Motion in Gravitational Fields

Inquiry question: How does the force of gravity determine the motion of planets and satellites?

Students:
● apply qualitatively and quantitatively Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation to:
– determine the force of gravity between two objects Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation
– investigate the factors that affect the gravitational field strength gravitational field
– predict the gravitational field strength at any point in a gravitational field, including at the surface of a planet (ACSPH094, ACSPH095, ACSPH097)
● investigate the orbital motion of planets and artificial satellites when applying the relationships between the following quantities:
– gravitational force
– centripetal force
– centripetal acceleration
– mass
– orbital radius
– orbital velocity
– orbital period
● predict quantitatively the orbital properties of planets and satellites in a variety of situations, including near the Earth and geostationary orbits, and relate these to their uses (ACSPH101)
● investigate the relationship of Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion to the forces acting on, and the total energy of, planets in circular and non-circular orbits using: (ACSPH101)

Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion
● derive quantitatively and apply the concepts of gravitational force and gravitational potential energy in radial gravitational fields to a variety of situations, including but not limited to:
– the concept of escape velocity escape velocity
– total potential energy of a planet or satellite in its orbit potential energy
– total energy of a planet or satellite in its orbit total energy
– energy changes that occur when satellites move between orbits (ACSPH096)
– Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion (ACSPH101)

Extract from Physics Stage 6 Syllabus © 2017 NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA)