University Physics Volume 1

# Problems

### 13.1Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation

13.

Evaluate the magnitude of gravitational force between two 5-kg spherical steel balls separated by a center-to-center distance of 15 cm.

14.

Estimate the gravitational force between two sumo wrestlers, with masses 220 kg and 240 kg, when they are embraced and their centers are 1.2 m apart.

15.

Astrology makes much of the position of the planets at the moment of one’s birth. The only known force a planet exerts on Earth is gravitational. (a) Calculate the gravitational force exerted on a 4.20-kg baby by a 100-kg father 0.200 m away at birth (he is assisting, so he is close to the child). (b) Calculate the force on the baby due to Jupiter if it is at its closest distance to Earth, some $6.29×1011m6.29×1011m$ away. How does the force of Jupiter on the baby compare to the force of the father on the baby? Other objects in the room and the hospital building also exert similar gravitational forces. (Of course, there could be an unknown force acting, but scientists first need to be convinced that there is even an effect, much less that an unknown force causes it.)

16.

A mountain 10.0 km from a person exerts a gravitational force on him equal to 2.00% of his weight. (a) Calculate the mass of the mountain. (b) Compare the mountain’s mass with that of Earth. (c) What is unreasonable about these results? (d) Which premises are unreasonable or inconsistent? (Note that accurate gravitational measurements can easily detect the effect of nearby mountains and variations in local geology.)

17.

The International Space Station has a mass of approximately 370,000 kg. (a) What is the force on a 150-kg suited astronaut if she is 20 m from the center of mass of the station? (b) How accurate do you think your answer would be?

18.

Asteroid Toutatis passed near Earth in 2006 at four times the distance to our Moon. This was the closest approach we will have until 2060. If it has mass of $5.0×1013kg5.0×1013kg$, what force did it exert on Earth at its closest approach?

19.

(a) What was the acceleration of Earth caused by asteroid Toutatis (see previous problem) at its closest approach? (b) What was the acceleration of Toutatis at this point?

### 13.2Gravitation Near Earth's Surface

20.

(a) Calculate Earth’s mass given the acceleration due to gravity at the North Pole is measured to be $9.832m/s29.832m/s2$ and the radius of the Earth at the pole is 6356 km. (b) Compare this with the NASA’s Earth Fact Sheet value of $5.9726×1024kg5.9726×1024kg$.

21.

(a) What is the acceleration due to gravity on the surface of the Moon? (b) On the surface of Mars? The mass of Mars is $6.418×1023kg6.418×1023kg$ and its radius is $3.38×106m3.38×106m$.

22.

(a) Calculate the acceleration due to gravity on the surface of the Sun. (b) By what factor would your weight increase if you could stand on the Sun? (Never mind that you cannot.)

23.

The mass of a particle is 15 kg. (a) What is its weight on Earth? (b) What is its weight on the Moon? (c) What is its mass on the Moon? (d) What is its weight in outer space far from any celestial body? (e) What is its mass at this point?

24.

On a planet whose radius is $1.2×107m1.2×107m$, the acceleration due to gravity is $18m/s218m/s2$. What is the mass of the planet?

25.

The mean diameter of the planet Saturn is $1.2×108m1.2×108m$, and its mean mass density is $0.69g/cm30.69g/cm3$. Find the acceleration due to gravity at Saturn’s surface.

26.

The mean diameter of the planet Mercury is $4.88×106m4.88×106m$, and the acceleration due to gravity at its surface is $3.78m/s23.78m/s2$. Estimate the mass of this planet.

27.

The acceleration due to gravity on the surface of a planet is three times as large as it is on the surface of Earth. The mass density of the planet is known to be twice that of Earth. What is the radius of this planet in terms of Earth’s radius?

28.

A body on the surface of a planet with the same radius as Earth’s weighs 10 times more than it does on Earth. What is the mass of this planet in terms of Earth’s mass?

### 13.3Gravitational Potential Energy and Total Energy

29.

Find the escape speed of a projectile from the surface of Mars.

30.

Find the escape speed of a projectile from the surface of Jupiter.

31.

What is the escape speed of a satellite located at the Moon’s orbit about Earth? Assume the Moon is not nearby.

32.

(a) Evaluate the gravitational potential energy between two 5.00-kg spherical steel balls separated by a center-to-center distance of 15.0 cm. (b) Assuming that they are both initially at rest relative to each other in deep space, use conservation of energy to find how fast will they be traveling upon impact. Each sphere has a radius of 5.10 cm.

33.

An average-sized asteroid located $5.0×107km5.0×107km$ from Earth with mass $2.0×1013kg2.0×1013kg$ is detected headed directly toward Earth with speed of 2.0 km/s. What will its speed be just before it hits our atmosphere? (You may ignore the size of the asteroid.)

34.

(a) What will be the kinetic energy of the asteroid in the previous problem just before it hits Earth? b) Compare this energy to the output of the largest fission bomb, 2100 TJ. What impact would this have on Earth?

35.

(a) What is the change in energy of a 1000-kg payload taken from rest at the surface of Earth and placed at rest on the surface of the Moon? (b) What would be the answer if the payload were taken from the Moon’s surface to Earth? Is this a reasonable calculation of the energy needed to move a payload back and forth?

### 13.4Satellite Orbits and Energy

36.

If a planet with 1.5 times the mass of Earth was traveling in Earth’s orbit, what would its period be?

37.

Two planets in circular orbits around a star have speeds of v and 2v. (a) What is the ratio of the orbital radii of the planets? (b) What is the ratio of their periods?

38.

Using the average distance of Earth from the Sun, and the orbital period of Earth, (a) ﬁnd the centripetal acceleration of Earth in its motion about the Sun. (b) Compare this value to that of the centripetal acceleration at the equator due to Earth’s rotation.

39.

(a) What is the orbital radius of an Earth satellite having a period of 1.00 h? (b) What is unreasonable about this result?

40.

Calculate the mass of the Sun based on data for Earth’s orbit and compare the value obtained with the Sun’s actual mass.

41.

Find the mass of Jupiter based on the fact that Io, its innermost moon, has an average orbital radius of 421,700 km and a period of 1.77 days.

42.

Astronomical observations of light from the Milky Way galaxy's stars indicate that it has a mass of about $8.0×10118.0×1011$ solar masses. A star orbiting on the galaxy’s periphery is about $6.0×1046.0×104$ light-years from its center. (a) What should the orbital period of that star be? (b) If its period is $6.0×1076.0×107$ years instead, what is the mass of the galaxy? Such calculations are used to imply the existence of mass that does not emit any light. Scientists do not know what it is comprised of, so this mass is known simply as "dark matter" and remains an enduring astronomical mystery.

43.

(a) In order to keep a small satellite from drifting into a nearby asteroid, it is placed in orbit with a period of 3.02 hours and radius of 2.0 km. What is the mass of the asteroid? (b) Does this mass seem reasonable for the size of the orbit?

44.

The Moon and Earth rotate about their common center of mass, which is located about 4700 km from the center of Earth. (This is 1690 km below the surface.) (a) Calculate the acceleration due to the Moon’s gravity at that point. (b) Calculate the centripetal acceleration of the center of Earth as it rotates about that point once each lunar month (about 27.3 d) and compare it with the acceleration found in part (a). Comment on whether or not they are equal and why they should or should not be.

45.

The Sun orbits the Milky Way galaxy once each $2.60×108years2.60×108years$, with a roughly circular orbit averaging a radius of $3.00×1043.00×104$ light-years. (A light-year is the distance traveled by light in 1 year.) Calculate the centripetal acceleration of the Sun in its galactic orbit. Does your result support the contention that a nearly inertial frame of reference can be located at the Sun? (b) Calculate the average speed of the Sun in its galactic orbit. Does the answer surprise you?

46.

A geosynchronous Earth satellite is one that has an orbital period of precisely 1 day. Such orbits are useful for communication and weather observation because the satellite remains above the same point on Earth (provided it orbits in the equatorial plane in the same direction as Earth’s rotation). Calculate the radius of such an orbit based on the data for Earth in Appendix D.

### 13.5Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion

47.

Calculate the mass of the Sun based on data for average Earth’s orbit and compare the value obtained with the Sun’s commonly listed value of $1.989×1030kg1.989×1030kg$.

48.

Io orbits Jupiter with an average radius of 421,700 km and a period of 1.769 days. Based upon these data, what is the mass of Jupiter?

49.

The “mean” orbital radius listed for astronomical objects orbiting the Sun is typically not an integrated average but is calculated such that it gives the correct period when applied to the equation for circular orbits. Given that, what is the mean orbital radius in terms of aphelion and perihelion?

50.

The perihelion of Halley’s comet is 0.586 AU and the aphelion is 17.8 AU. Given that its speed at perihelion is 55 km/s, what is the speed at aphelion ($1AU=1.496×1011m1AU=1.496×1011m$)? (Hint: You may use either conservation of energy or angular momentum, but the latter is much easier.)

51.

The perihelion of the comet Lagerkvist is 2.61 AU and it has a period of 7.36 years. Show that the aphelion for this comet is 4.95 AU.

52.

What is the ratio of the speed at perihelion to that at aphelion for the comet Lagerkvist in the previous problem?

53.

Eros has an elliptical orbit about the Sun, with a perihelion distance of 1.13 AU and aphelion distance of 1.78 AU. What is the period of its orbit?

### 13.6Tidal Forces

54.

(a) What is the difference between the forces on a 1.0-kg mass on the near side of Io and far side due to Jupiter? Io has a mean radius of 1821 km and a mean orbital radius about Jupiter of 421,700 km. (b) Compare this difference to that calculated for the difference for Earth due to the Moon calculated in Example 13.14. Tidal forces are the cause of Io’s volcanic activity.

55.

If the Sun were to collapse into a black hole, the point of no return for an investigator would be approximately 3 km from the center singularity. Would the investigator be able to survive visiting even 300 km from the center? Answer this by finding the difference in the gravitational attraction the black holes exerts on a 1.0-kg mass at the head and at the feet of the investigator.

56.

Consider Figure 13.23 in Tidal Forces. This diagram represents the tidal forces for spring tides. Sketch a similar diagram for neap tides. (Hint: For simplicity, imagine that the Sun and the Moon contribute equally. Your diagram would be the vector sum of two force fields (as in Figure 13.23), reduced by a factor of two, and superimposed at right angles.)

### 13.7Einstein's Theory of Gravity

57.

What is the Schwarzschild radius for the black hole at the center of our galaxy if it has the mass of 4 million solar masses?

58.

What would be the Schwarzschild radius, in light years, if our Milky Way galaxy of 100 billion stars collapsed into a black hole? Compare this to our distance from the center, about 13,000 light years. Do you know how you learn best?
Order a print copy

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.