Conceptual Physics Alive: Satellite Motion

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Master teacher Paul Hewitt extends the concept of simple projectile motion to include satellite motion- first circular, and then, elliptical.

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Digital format: The email you will receive will contain a hyperlink to download a .ZIP file containing a digital video (.MP4) and questions set with answers (.PDF).
Notice: This digital content can be used in physical or remote classroom settings (e.g., Google Classroom, Canvas, etc.), or Homeschool. Replicating and distributing this digital content for profit without the authority of the copyright owner is an infringement of the copyright.

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Additional Details

Conceptual Physics Alive: Satellite Motion includes a digital video and questions set with answers.

Observe Paul Hewitt teach in a classroom with real students, using engaging demonstrations and artwork. In this video, the concept of simple projectile motion is extended to include satellite motion—first circular, and then, elliptical. After a discussion of escape speed, the tape concludes with a summary of previously learned concepts in mechanics.

Satellite Motion Includes:

  • Begins with a review of the independence of motion via a demonstration of the ball-shoot apparatus.
  • The effect of the earth's curvature on projectile motion.
  • Cannonball speed to orbit the earth.
  • Cannonball shoot from atop Newton's mountain.
  • Satellite launching.
  • Constancy of speed in circular orbit.
  • Bowling alley analogy to satellite motion.
  • Vector components.
  • Effect of speed on projectile and satellite motion.
  • Effect of earth's rotation on satellite motion.
  • Elliptical orbits.
  • Kepler's misconceptions of satellite motion.
  • Kinetic energy and potential energy of satellite motion.
  • Burning of satellites that encounter air drag.
  • Meteorites.
  • Space shuttle problems and solutions.
  • Internal and external ellipses.
  • Escape speed.
  • Maximum falling speed and escape speed.

Next-Time Questions: Hewitt reviews mechanics in general with a series of questions about a satellite in elliptical orbit. The questions ask for the positions of maximum force, speed, velocity, kinetic and potential energy, total energy, momentum, acceleration, and angular momentum. Equations guide thinking. (SEE RESOURCES TAB FOR MORE)

Please note: The digital content will be sent to the email provided during checkout, once your order has been processed. Order will be processed no later than the next business day.

Digital format: The email you will receive will contain a hyperlink to download a .ZIP file containing a digital video (.MP4) and questions set with answers (.PDF).

NoticeThe Conceptual Physics Alive Digital content is protected by copyright laws. Replicating and distributing this digital content without the authority of the copyright owner is an infringement of the copyright. This digital content can be used in physical or remote classroom settings (e.g., Google Classroom, Canvas, etc.), or Homeschool.

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