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Rec06_172Fall11 - Physics 172 Recitation 06 Fall 2011 As...

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Physics 172 – Recitation 06 Fall 2011 As you work on today’s problems remember that every time you use a fundamental principle you must explain clearly what physical system you are applying the principle to and which objects in the system’s surroundings are interacting significantly with it. Problem 1. This figure shows the positions from 1995 to 2004 of a star, S0-20, that orbits the center of our galaxy. The orbit is nearly circular with the radius shown. For more detail on how the remarkable observations of this star’s position were made and on black holes at the centers of galaxies see 5.P.66 on page 217 of the text. a) Using the positions and times shown, estimate the star’s speed. Express your answer in MKS units and as a fraction of the speed of light. b) This is an extraordinarily high speed for a macroscopic object. Is it, nevertheless, reasonable to estimate the star’s momentum as m ! v ? c) Construct a simplified model of the star’s surroundings and use it to estimate the mass of the black hole about which S0-20 is orbiting.
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