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7 Chapter 4 Thrills and Chills +Math +Depth Acceleration of the Moon +Concepts The Moon is 60 times further away from the center of Earth than objects on the surface of Earth, and moves about Earth in an approximately circular path. 1. If the acceleration due to gravity on the surface of Earth is 9.8 m/s 2, use the inverse square relationship and your calculator to determine the acceleration due to gravity at the Moon s distance. Since the Moon orbits Earth, you can calculate its acceleration. The equation for acceleration of any object moving in a circle at constant speed is a = 2 v r where v is the speed r is the distance (radius) of the object from the center The Moon s distance is 60 times the radius of Earth ( m = m). The Moon travels once about Earth in days. 2. Find the speed of the Moon using the equation v = d/t where d is the circumference of the Moon s orbit (2π r). 3. Calculate the acceleration of the Moon. 4. Compare the acceleration of the Moon using these two different approaches. (When Newton made this comparison, he was confident that his inverse square law of gravity was correct.) +Exploration Kepler s Laws Newton once stated, If I have seen further than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants. Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler were two of those giants. Tycho Brahe observed and recorded the positions of the planets every night over many years. Kepler viewed the data and tried for years to form mathematical relationships that could explain all of Brahe s data. At first, it appeared that the planet s data could be adequately described by stating that the planets moved in circles about the Sun. This description was only approximately true. Kepler had to decide if Brahe s data was a bit imprecise or whether the circular path was incorrect. Kepler s confidence in Brahe s observations forced him to keep trying other descriptions of the paths. Kepler eventually did find three mathematical relationships that fit the data very well. These are now known as Kepler s laws. Kepler s first law: The planets travel in ellipses about the Sun. An ellipse is a mathematical shape that is defined by two foci. The Sun is at one focus. There is nothing at the other focus. Sun x Active Physics Plus planet foci x Active Physics 388

8 Section 4 The Ups and Downs of a Roller Coaster Kepler s second law: The planets sweep out equal areas in equal times. Imagine a pizza in the shape of an ellipse. Slices of pizza are cut from one of the foci. Each slice of pizza has the same area. The planets would travel along the edge of the ellipse. The time needed to travel along the edge of each slice of pizza would be identical. Since the edge of the pizza represents the path of the planet around the Sun, this means that the planet travels faster when it is near the Sun and slower when it is further from the Sun. Sun equal areas in equal times Kepler s third law: There is a mathematical relationship that defines the time it takes for a planet to complete an orbit about the Sun and the average distance of the planet from the Sun. 2 T 3 R = a constant where T is the time to complete one orbit and R is the average distance from the Sun. The quantity T 2 3 R is identical for all planets orbiting the Sun. Kepler found this equation from the experimental data of Brahe. Newton derived the same equation from his assertion that the Sun and each planet have an attractive gravitational force. Gm m F = 1 2 G 2 r 1. Earth travels about the Sun in 1 year. The average distance of Earth from the Sun is m. Convert the 1 year to seconds and find the value of T 2 for Earth. 3 R Defining Earth s average distance from the Sun as 1 AU (astronomical unit), all other planets average distance and period can be defined in terms of Earth. 2. Show that Kepler s value T 3 is R identical for all planets, using the table below. A spreadsheet program will allow you to make these calculations in very little time. 2 Mean distance from the Sun (AU) Sidereal period of orbit (years) Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune What Do You Think Now? At the beginning of this section, you were asked the following: Does gravity have a direction? How can people in Australia be held on Earth when they are upside down? Now that you have completed this section, how would you revise your answers to these questions? 389 Active Physics

9 Chapter 4 Thrills and Chills Physics Essential Questions What does it mean? Newton s law of gravitation says that all massive objects attract each other with a force that decreases with the square of the distance between them. How does the Gm m equation F = 1 2 also communicate this relationship? G 2 r How do you know? You observe the force of gravity when a penny is dropped. Earth attracts the penny. How did Cavendish demonstrate that two objects attract each other? Why do you believe? Connects with Other Physics Content Fits with Big Ideas in Science Meets Physics Requirements Forces and motion Models Good, clear explanation, no more complex than necessary Newton s law of gravitation states that Earth attracts the Moon in the same way that Earth attracts an apple. Why do you believe that the physics laws on Earth work equally well for the objects outside of Earth? Why should you care? As you design your roller coaster on Earth, you may also wonder would the roller coaster behave identically on the Moon? What changes would you expect if your roller coaster was on the Moon where the acceleration due to gravity is only 1 6 that on Earth? Reflecting on the Section and the Challenge In this section, you mapped the gravitational field by using data of the acceleration of objects falling at specific locations. Patterns help you understand the world around you, such as Newton s law of universal gravitation, with its inverse square relationship. With this concept, you have a reason for the flights of projectiles and the elliptical orbits of satellites. You have both a field model Gm m and a mathematical model, F = 1 2 G. Both can be and have been tested 2 r experimentally, and they both are successful. Gravity is required for any roller-coaster ride. The acceleration due to gravity at Earth s surface is 9.8 m/s every second or 9.8 m/s 2. This will not only determine the speed at different parts of the coaster ride, but will also have an impact on your apparent weight during the roller-coaster ride. Physics to Go 1. The gravitational force between two asteroids is 500 N. What would the force be if the distance between them doubled? Active Physics 390

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