Question #fa936

1 Answer
May 9, 2016

Answer:

The only magnitude which changes is the linear momentum. Angular momentum and kinetic energy are constant.

Explanation:

The satellite which is revolving in a circular orbit around the Earth has gravity force, pulling towards the Earth, in balance with the centrifuge force, pulling towards the space,

#F_g = F_c => G*M*m/r^2 = m*v^2/r => v^2 = G*M/r#

where

M = mass of Earth ; m= mass of satellite ; r= distance from the satellite to the centre of Earth ; G= gravitation constant

Therefore, the module of speed of satellite is constant, so the module of linear momentum is constant but not its direction. A satellite in circular orbit has as linear momentum

# vec p## = m * ##vec v ##= mv* ( #-#vec i ##*costheta + ##vec j##*sentheta)# where #theta# is the angle of the satellite in relation with axis #X#.

The kinetic energy is defined as #E_k =m*v^2/2#, thus as the module of speed is constant, #E_k# is contant.

As the orbit of the satellite is flat the angular momentum is conserved, consequently, does not change.