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MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Department of Physics
Physics 8.01 TEAL
Fall Term 2004
InClass Problems 2223: Mechanical Energy Solution
Section ______
Table and Group Number ______________________
Names
____________________________________
Hand in one solution per group.
We would like each group to apply the problem solving strategy with the four stages (see
below) to answer the following two problems.
I.
Understand – get a conceptual grasp of the problem
II.
Devise a Plan  set up a procedure to obtain the desired solution
III.
Carry our your plan – solve the problem!
IV.
Look Back – check your solution and method of solution
1
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View Full DocumentProblem 22:
Escape Velocity and Mechanical Energy
The asteroid Toro, discovered in 1964, has a radius of about
R
=
5.0
km
and a mass of
about
m
t
=
2.0
×
10
15
kg . Let’s assume that Toro is a perfectly uniform sphere. What is the
escape velocity for an object of mass
m
on the surface of Toro? Could a person reach
this speed (on Earth) by running?
Solution:
The only potential energy in this problem is the gravitational potential energy. We choose
the zero point for the potential energy when the object and Toro are an infinite distance
)
apart,
U
gravity
(r
0
=
∞≡
0 . Then the potential energy when the object and Toro are an
infinite distance
r
apart is given by
Gm m
t
U
gravity
(r) =
−
with
U
gravity
(r =
∞
)
≡
0 .
0
r
The expression
escape velocity
refers to the minimum velocity necessary for the object to
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 Spring '10
 SPURLOCK
 Physics, Energy, Kinetic Energy, Mass, Potential Energy, TORO

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