Effective Potentials & Orbital Motion


Students should be able to:

  • Write Newton's second law as a differential equation.
  • FIXME - reduced mass

In-class Content

In-class Content

Finding the Radial Equation from Conservation of Energy Lecture 15 minutes
Energy and Effective Potential Lecture 25 minutes
Exploring the Effective Potential Maple Activity 45 minutes
Interpreting Effective Potential Plots Kinesthetic Activity 15 minutes
Trajectories in an Attractive Central Potential Maple/Java Activity 30 minutes

Homework for Effective Potential

  1. (Yukawa) Not all central forces are Coulombic.

  2. (NASA) How do you change the orbit of a spacecraft?

  3. (Hockey)

  4. (FindForceLaw)

  5. (OrbitsEnergy) FIXME This problem needs to be rewritten to be textbook independent.

Personal Tools