Mechanics: Circular Motion and Gravitation
Circular Motion and Gravitation: Audio Guided Solution
Scientists determine the masses of planets by observing the effect of the gravitational field of those planets on nearby objects - mainly upon their moons. By measuring the orbital period and orbital radius of a moon about a planet, Newton's laws of motion can be used to determine the mass of the planet. Phobos, a moon of the planet Mars, was discovered in 1877. It's orbital radius is 9380 km and its orbital period is 0.319 days (2.77 x 104 seconds). Determine the mass of Mars based on this data.
Audio Guided Solution
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6.36 x 1023 kg
Habits of an Effective Problem Solver
- Read the problem carefully and develop a mental picture of the physical situation. If necessary, sketch a simple diagram of the physical situation to help you visualize it.
- Identify the known and unknown quantities in an organized manner. Equate given values to the symbols used to represent the corresponding quantity - e.g., m = 61.7 kg, v= 18.5 m/s, R = 30.9 m, Fnorm = ???.
- Use physics formulas and conceptual reasoning to plot a strategy for solving for the unknown quantity.
- Identify the appropriate formula(s) to use.
- Perform substitutions and algebraic manipulations in order to solve for the unknown quantity.
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Get more information on the topic of Circular Motion and Gravitation at The Physics Classroom Tutorial.
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