Homework 11 Due April 3 2007
1) A meteor of mass
m
approaches the earth from a large distance (compared to the radius
of the earth) at velocity
v
as shown below. Taking the
x
axis parallel to the course of the
meteor passing through the center of the earth, let the initial y component of the meteor's
position be
b
. Thus as
x
→∞
,
yb
→
.This quantity is often called the "impact
parameter".
a) What is the angular momentum vector of the meteor about the center of the earth?
b) What is the total mechanical energy of the meteor taking the gravitation potential of
the meteor to be 0 at infinity?
c) Let
r
c
be the distance of closest approach of the meteor to the earth and
v
c
be the
velocity at the closest approach. Write an expression for the total mechanical energy and
angular momentum at the closest approach. Using conservation of energy and angular
momentum and energy derive two equations for these two quantities.
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 Spring '08
 HerreraSiklody
 Mass, Work

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