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# Central Force Problem

Examples:

F1,2 ( r ) = G

8.01
W14D1

m1m2
r
r2

## Linear restoring force:

F1,2 ( r ) = kr r

## Two Body Problem: Center

of Mass Coordinates

Problem

Center of mass
R cm

m r + m2r2
= r1 1 1
m1 + m2

## Relative Position Vector

Divide by mass

r = r1 r2 = r1 r2

F1,2
m1

Subtract:

Reduced Mass
= m1m2 / (m1 + m2 )

F1,2 r = m1
r =

F1,2
m1

d 2r1
dt 2

d 2r1
dt 2

F2,1
m2

F2,1
m2

)r =

r =

d 2r2
dt 2

d 2r2
dt 2

d 2 (r1 r2 ) d 2r
= 2
dt 2
dt

r = r1 r2
Use Newtons Third Law (in components)

## Position of each object

m r + m2r2 m2 ( r1 r2 )
r1 = r1 R cm = r1 1 1
=
= r
m1 + m2
m1 + m2
m1

F2,1 r = m2

r2 =

m2

Summary

1
1
d 2r
+
) F1,2 r = 2
m1 m2
dt

F1,2 = F2,1

F1,2 r =

d 2r
dt 2

## Reduction of Two Body Problem

Knowledge of r = r1 r2
determines the motion of
mass with position.

## Reduce two body problem to one

body of reduced mass moving
about a central point O under the
influence of gravity with position
vector corresponding to the
relative position vector from
object 2 to object 1
Solving the problem means
finding the distance from the
origin r(t) and angle (t) as
functions of time

Interpretation of Solution:

r1 ==
2

d r
F1,2 = 2
dt

m1

r2 =

m2

## Equivalently, finding r() as a

function of angle

## Concept Question: Angular

Momentum
The angular momentum about the point
O of the reduced body

= rO F1,2 (r ) = rr F1,2 (r )r = 0

1. is constant.
2. changes throughout the motion
because the speed changes.
3. changes throughout the motion
because the distance from O changes.
4. changes throughout the motion
because the angle changes.
5. Not enough information to decide.
6. We had the angular momentum quiz
last Friday so I dont need to think

Velocity

v=

dr
d
r + r

dt
dt

Angular Momentum

d
dr
LO = r v = rr r + r

dt
dt
d
LO = r 2
k
dt
2 d
L Lz = r
dt
2

Key Relation:

L2
1 2 d
1 d
=
r
= r
2 2
dt
2 dt

## Recall: Potential Energy

Find an expression for the potential energy of the system
consisting of the two objects interacting through the central
forces given by
F1,2 =

a) Gravitational force
b) Linear restoring force

F1,2 = krr

r = rf

Gravitation:

U grav =

Gm1m2
r
r2

r = r0

r = rf
1 1
Gm1m2
Gm1m2
r dr =
dr = Gm1m2
2
rf ri
r
r2
r = r0

r = rf

Linear restoring:

U spring =

krr dr =

r = r0

## There are no non-conservative forces acting so the mechanical

energy is constant.
2

K=

E=

## Effective Kinetic Energy

1. is constant.
2. changes throughout the motion
because the speed changes.
3. changes throughout the motion
because the distance from O
changes.
4. is not constant because the orbit is
not zero hence the central force
does work.
5. Not enough information to decide.

## Force and Potential Energy

Effective Potential Energy

1 d
1 dr
L2
1 dr

+ r = +
2
2 dt
2 dt
2 dt
2

Mechanical Energy

1
k (rf2 r02 )
2

## Mechanical Energy and

Effective Potential Energy
Kinetic Energy

## Concept Question: Energy

1 dr 1 L
+
+ U (r ) K effective + U effective
2 dt 2 r 2
U effective =

L2
+ U (r)
2 r 2

K effective =

1 dr

2 dt

U eff =
Frep =

Repulsive Force

Effective Force

d L2
L2
= 3
2
r
dr 2 r

Fr =

Central Force

L2
+ U (r)
2r 2

Feff =

dU eff ( r )
dr

dU (r)
dr

L2 dU ( r )
r = 3
r
dr
r

## Reduction to One Dimensional

Motion
Reduce the one body problem in two dimensions to a one
body problem moving only in the radial direction but under
the action of two forces: a repulsive force and the central
force

## Central Force Motion:

constants of the motion
Total mechanical energy E is conserved because the force
is radial and depends only on r and not on
Angular momentum L is constant because the torque about
origin is zero
The force and the velocity vectors determine the plane of
motion

Feff =

dU eff (r )
dr

L2 dU (r )
d 2r
r = 3
r = 2
dr
dt
r

## Linear Restoring Force

F1,2 = krr

Central Force

Energy
Angular Momentum

1 dr 1 L2 1 2
E = +
+ kr = K effective + U effective
2 dt 2 r 2 2
d
L = r2
dt

Kinetic Energy
Effective Potential Energy

K effective =

U effective =

Repulsive Force
Frepulsive =

1 dr

2 dt

## Energy Diagram: Graph of

Effective Potential Energy vs.
Relative Separation
For
E > 0 , the relative
separation oscillates
varies between

rmin r rmax

L2
1
+ kr 2
2r 2 2

## The effective potential

has a minimum at r0

d L2 L2

=
dr 2 r 2 r 3

Fspring =

dU spring
dr

= kr

## Group Problem: Lowest

Energy Solution
The effective
potential energy is
U effective =

L2
1
+ kr 2
2 r 2 2

the energy for the
lowest energy orbit.
What type of motion
is this orbit?

## Orbit Equation: Isotropic

Harmonic Oscillator
A special solution of the equation of
motion for a linear restoring force

d 2r
= kr r
dt 2

is given by r (t ) = x(t ) i + y (t ) j
with

x(t) = x0 sin( t)

## Group Problem: Lowest

Energy Orbit Solution
The lowest energy state corresponds to a circular
orbit where the radius can be found by finding the
minimum of the effective potential energy
0=

dU effective
dr

L2

+ kr0

r03

r = r0

L2
r0 =

## Energy of circular orbit

Emin = U effective

r = r0

1/ 4

L2 k
=

1/ 2

## Kepler Problem: Gravitation

=

Reduced Mass
Energy

E=

Angular Momentum

1 dr 1 L2 Gm1m2
+

= K effective + U effective
2 dt 2 r 2
r
2 d
L=r

Kinetic Energy

K effective =

## Effective Potential Energy

U effective =

y(t) = y0 cos( t)
where for the case shown in the
figure with
rmax = x0
rmin = y0
y0 < x0

Repulsive Force

## The solution for r (t ) is an ellipse

centered at the origin

Gravitational force

m1m2
m1 + m2

Fcentrifugal =

Fgravitational =

dt
2
1 dr

2 dt

L2
Gm1m2

r
2 r 2

d L2 L2

=
dr 2 r 2 r 3

dU gravitational
dr

Gm1m2
r2

Problem

E > 0, >1

r=

r0
1 cos

Eccentricity

Emin =

= 1 +

E = 0 , =1

2
Gm1m2

1 (Gm1m2 )
2
L2

2EL2

1/ 2

E
= 1
Emin

r0 =

1/ 2

L2
Gm1m2

## Group Problem: Lowest

Energy Orbit
The effective potential
energy is

U effective =

Gm1m2
L2

r
2 r 2

Energy Diagram

## Case 3: Elliptic Orbit

Emin < E < 0 , 0 < < 1
Case 4: Circular Orbit
E = Emin, =1

L2
Gm1m2

r
2 r 2

## Group Problem: Lowest

Energy Orbit Solution
The lowest energy state corresponds to a circular
orbit where the radius can be found by finding the
minimum of the effective potential energy
0=

## Make a graph of the

effective potential energy
as a function of the
relative separation. Find
for the lowest energy
orbit. What type of motion
is this orbit?

U effective =

dU effective
dr

=
r = r0

L2 Gm1m2
+

r03
r02

r0 =

## Energy of circular orbit

L2
Gm1m2

Emin = U effective

r = r0

(Gm1m2 )

2L

Keplers Laws
1. The orbits of planets are ellipses; and the center of
sun is at one focus

## Equal Area Law and Conservation

of Angular Momentum
Change in area

A = (1 / 2)rv t
per time

## 2. The position vector sweeps out equal areas in

equal time
3. The period T is proportional to the length of the
major axis A to the 3/2 power T A3/ 2

A 1
= v r
t 2

Angular
momentum

L = r v

L
A
=
t 2