Work in an Attractive Inverse-Square Field

This Demonstration presents a computation of work done in an attractive central field, specifically Newton's inverse-square law of universal gravitation. The red disk locates the attracting mass. The plot shows the work done on the particle as it moves along a piecewise-linear path specified by the black locators.

SNAPSHOTS

  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]

DETAILS

The segments of the path are linear, which implies that the work curve is made up of parabolic arcs. The calculations are based on Newton's second law of dynamics, , where is the force, is the mass, and is the acceleration, and the differential equation for work, , where is work and is distance.
    • Share:

Embed Interactive Demonstration New!

Just copy and paste this snippet of JavaScript code into your website or blog to put the live Demonstration on your site. More details »

Files require Wolfram CDF Player or Mathematica.