Satellite Splat: An Inelastic Collision with a Surface-launched Projectile
NAVAL ACADEMY ANNAPOLIS MD DEPT OF PHYSICS
Pagination or Media Count:
A projectile is launched vertically from the surface of an isolated planet. It collides with and sticks to a satellite of equal mass that is initially moving in a circular orbit around the planet. Conservation of mechanical energy, angular momentum, and linear momentum are used to determine whether the combined object will subsequently crash into the surface of the planet, remain in orbit, or escape. The material is appropriate for undergraduate students in an introductory mechanics course.
- Non-electrical Energy Conversion
- Atomic and Molecular Physics and Spectroscopy