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The Earth has a gravitational field that exerts a force on objects
both on it and around it
Saturday, 23 October 2010
9:05 AM

1.1 define Weight as the force on an object due to a gravitational field
• W=mg
1.2 explain that a change in gravitational potential energy is related to work done
• To change the G.P.E. of an object a force must be applied through a distance, i.e. work
1.3 define gravitational potential energy as the work done to move an object from a very large
distance away to a point in a gravitational field
• At r=infinity, E.P. = 0
• To move an object away from the Earth we must do work on it. If after work is done, the
potential energy is 0, then near the Earth the Ep must be negative.
1.4 perform an investigation and gather information to determine a value for acceleration due to
gravity using pendulum motion or computer-assisted technology and identify reason for possible
variations from the value 9.8ms-2
Aim: To find the value of g by measuring the period of a pendulum of known length
Theory: oscillation (T) of a simple pendulum is given by:
1. Tie a mass to the end of a piece of string and attach to horizontal support
2. Measure the length of the pendulum
3. Set pendulum in motion and measure 10 oscillations (1 = back and forth)
4. Record results in a table like so:
Length (l) Time for 10 oscillations 10T (s)

Period T (s) g (ms-2)

















Average value for g is found to be 9.83 ms-2
Variations from expected is due to
• Variations of local g
• Experimental error
1.5 gather secondary information to predict the value of acceleration due to gravity on other

Mass ratio Radius ratio


































9.2 Space Page 1

and go into orbit • Curvature of Earth exactly matches curvature of projectile.2 Space Page 2 . Higher velocity = object escaping • Cannon fired horizontally cause an angle would lead to an ellipse therefore the object would always crash into earth 2. distance object travels before hitting Earth would increase until the object wouldn't hit the ground. it is convenient to use multiples of this.6 discuss the effect of the Earth's orbital motion and its rotational motion on the launch of a rocket • When a rocket takes off it starts vertically and then becomes parallel to the Earth's surface. maintain a stable orbit and return to Earth Saturday.e. therefore a rocket will turn east • Higher latitudes mean less contribution 2. • Scientists take advantage of the easterly spin of the Earth to add to the velocity of the rocket so as to launch it into orbit. as it is relatable to experience • (and because g forces mean gravity forces. • Therefore.2. 23 October 2010 9:15 AM 2.1 describe the trajectory of an object undergoing projectile motion within the Earth's gravitational field in terms of horizontal and vertical components • ay = -g • ax = 0 • • • • 2.5 identify why the term 'g forces' is used to explain the forces acting on an astronaut during launch • Because on the surface of the Earth.4 outline Newton's concept of escape velocity • Considered how a projectile could be launched horizontally from the top of a high mountain so it would not fall to Earth • As launch velocity increases. which is the downwards force on the astronaut) 2.7 analyse the changing acceleration of a rocket during launch in terms of the: Law of Conservation of Momentum • The change in momentum of the system consisting of the rocket and its exhaust gases is zero. • i.2 describe Galileo's analysis of projectile motion • Parabolic shape of the trajectory of a projectile • Showed that horizontal and vertical motion are independent and combine to produce parabolic shape 2. • Therefore • • Therefore 9. Many factors have to be taken into account to achieve a successful rocket launch.3 explain the concept of escape velocity in terms of the: Gravitational constant Mass and radius of the planet • 2. humans experience an acceleration of g.

mass of the satellite and the radius of the orbit using Kepler's Law of Periods • Orbital Velocity: the period (T) of an object in circular motion is the time for one complete revolution. the faster the satellite must travel to stay in orbit at that radius 2. friction is negligible 2.9 compare quantitatively low Earth and geo-stationary orbits • A geosynchronous orbit is one in which the satellite has a period the same as the earth • If it is in the equatorial plane. ○ Speed is inversely proportional to the square root of the radius ○ Smaller the radius. stops and fires second stage. and therefore is independent of the mass of the satellite. Velocity = distance/time.8 analyse the forces involved in uniform circular motion for a range of objects • Velocity ==> vector ==> magnitude and direction. mass of system decreases. Therefore • Kepler's Law of Periods: • Substituting for T and solving for v. one polar revolution will rotate the orbit 90 degrees to the west. the gravitational constant. as mass decreases. When it stops. uniform circular motion = speed the same. that is. centripetal force.12 discuss issues associated with safe re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere and landing on the Earth's surface • Heat generated as spacecraft meets with Earth's atmosphere 9. the satellite appears to stay above the same point on the Earth geo-stationary orbit • Geostationary orbit is about 35.• Therefore • is relatively constant and so as the mass of the rocket decreases (as fuel is burnt). acceleration = change in velocity. • Acceleration is proportional to thrust and inversely proportional to mass.2 Space Page 3 . In a couple of days the whole earth could be mapped 2. the mass of the planet and G. therefore. • For example. towards the centre of the string 2. accel decreases again so as to manage the maximum g-force 2. as the Earth rotates. mass of the central body. if T = 6 hours. then the orbit's orientation is fixed and the earth rotates under the satellite.10 define the term orbital velocity and the quantitative and qualitative relationship between orbital velocity. there is a force (F=ma). and in T seconds. cycle continues • As geostationary orbits are so far up. the velocity of the rocket must increase to compensate Forces experienced by astronauts • As fuel is consumed. orbits in a plane perpendicular to the plane of the equator. so force on astronauts increases • 2 stage rocket: fires first rocket (g-forces increase). a satellite has orbited 2πr.11 account for the orbital decay of satellites in low Earth orbit • Friction occurs between satellite and atmosphere • Loss of energy as heat • Object moves closer to Earth where atmosphere is thicker.800 km above the equator and have a period of 24 hours • Satellites in low earth orbit have a period of less than 24 hours • If the orbit is polar. direction changing therefore acceleration • Centripetal acceleration directed towards the centre of the circle: • If there is acceleration. accel increases. gives: • Thus the orbital velocity of a satellite depends on radius of the orbit.

2 Space Page 4 . g-forces will be too great for the crew to survive.13 identify that there is an optimum angle for safe re-entry for a manned spacecraft into the Earth's atmosphere and the consequences of failing to achieve this angle • Optimum angle for re-entry for Mercury. Place a Styrofoam cup at the calculated distance to test the results Results example: Time to roll 1. Oberth.0m along the table. Goddard. Horizontal velocity of the ball = 1.1 s. Set up an inclined plane so that a ball can roll down it. data loggers and computer analysis Aim: To predict the landing point of a ball launched horizontally from a table top at any speed Theory: The ball leaves the edge of the table top. spacecraft bounce of atmosphere back into space • Too steep.16 identify data sources.1 ± 0.15 perform a first-hand investigation.91 ms-1.86 m Hence: 2.0 s. O'Neill or von Braun Von Braun: • Developed V-2 guided missile used in attacks on London • Headed the team that put America's first satellite into space • Helped develop the Saturn V rocket that carried the first men to the moon • Responsible for the idea of the space station and space shuttle • Liquid fuel rockets 9. 1. with the ball being caught each time (repeat 5 times releasing the ball from the same position) 3. Gemini and Apollo missions was -6. range and time of flight of a projectile for a range of situations by using simulations.• Heat generated as spacecraft meets with Earth's atmosphere ○ When a blunt end hits the atmosphere.1 s.9091 0. Release the ball and time.2° ± 1° • Angle too shallow.0 s. its horizontal motion is given by: and its vertical motion is given by Combining the two to eliminate (t) gives: And Method: 1. Average = 1. analyse and present information on the contribution of one of the following to the development of space exploration: Tsiolkovsky.0m was recorded: 0. gather. 1.9 s. using a data logger. Calculate the horizontal speed of the ball 4. Calculate the distance the ball would land 6.1 = 0. EsnaultPelterie. 1. 1. onto a table top and off the edge unobstructed 2. and temperatures will make spacecraft burn up 2. it sets up a shockwave that carries away much of the heat ○ Use of an ablation shield • Retarding forces which need to be kept in safe limits for humans • Radio blackout 2. Measure the table top height 5.1 s. maximum height reached. gather information and analyse data to calculate initial and final velocity. the time it takes the ball to roll 1.0/1. Height of the table top = 0.

3 discuss the importance of Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation in understanding and calculating the motion of satellites • Orbital velocity is given by: • The force acting on a satellite in order to give it its changing velocity is given by • Combining these two equations with Newton's Law of Gravitation Kepler's Law of Periods. • Kepler's Law of Periods applies to planets.2 Space Page 5 . as well as spacecraft and other orbiting things • Therefore.3. under the conservation of angular momentum but due to the size of the planet.1 describe a gravitational field in the region surrounding a massive object in terms of its effects on other masses in it • A field can be described as a way of explaining 'action at a distance' • Masses experience a force when placed in the gravitational field of another mass 3. this is negligible) in much the same way as a collision functions • The velocities of the satellite and planet add together to give the satellite extra speed 3. can be derived.67 x 10-11 Nm2kg-2 3. The Solar System is held together by gravity Saturday. Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation is essential to understanding and calculating the motion of satellites 3.5 present information and use available evidence to discuss the factors affecting the strength of the gravitational force • The strength of a gravitational field (and hence the gravitational force) is proportional to the mass creating the field and inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source • The field is uniform if the mass distribution is uniform • Variations in mass distributions such as the presence of or bodies.2 define Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation: • Newton proposed that 'any two objects in the universe attract each other with a force which is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of their separation' (see formula) • G is the universal gravitational constant G = 6.4 identify that a slingshot effect can be provided by planets for space probes • Slingshot effect involves bringing a space probe closer to other planets to increase the probe's velocity • As a probe passes a planet. its speed reduces as it interacts with the planet's gravitational field • The probe picks up angular momentum from the planet (which in turn the planet loses. or oil and gas fields lead to variations in the strength of the field 9. 23 October 2010 9:32 AM 3. comets and satellites.

it had to be a solid • But. which is rigid for rapidly changing forces but is fluid under the action of continuous forces • Aether wind . and the experiment repeated at different altitudes and different times of the year • Therefore. it had to have an extremely low density or else be a tenuous fluid (thin consistency) • Paradox overcome by suggestion that the aether acted somewhat like wax. the results are not in agreement with prediction. The times to do this can be shown to be different and so should induce an interference pattern between the beams • No interference pattern was noticed even when the apparatus was rotated through 90 degrees.4.2 describe and evaluate the Michelson-Morley attempt to measure the relative velocity of the Earth through the aether • Used the phenomenon of interference of light to measure minute changes in speed of light • Light sent from a source and split into two perpendicular beams by a half silvered mirror. The two beams are sent back by two mirror and recombined in observers eye • Beam AM1 is going against the aether wind whilst AM2 is traveling with and then against.1 outline the features of the aether model for the transmission of light • Light as a wave. if it were solid. the planets would have been brought to rest a long time ago due to the earth was moving through the aether. the result was No motion of the Earth relative to the aether was detectable 4. waves need a medium for transmission --> aether • Supposed to permeate all matter • Light was shown to be a transverse wave. Current and emerging understanding about time and space has been dependant upon earlier models of the transmission of light Saturday. and as transverse waves cant travel through liquids or gases.3 discuss the role of the Michelson-Morley experiments in making determinations about competing theories • Science progresses as a result of validation of hypotheses by experimentation • From a hypothesis.2 Space Page 6 . so therefore. it was thought that the speed of light should change relative to the movement of light through the aether 'wind' 4. 23 October 2010 9:35 AM 4. predictions are made as to what would happen if an experiment were to be performed • If when the experiment was performed. the hypothesis is incorrect • A null result from the MM experiments showed that the hypothesis was incorrect 9.

which required no aether to function 4.5c and someone shines a light beam in the direction of motion. That is.5c • If c is constant however. and that from B occurring at time t + l/c (or alternatively. they are not 9. the metre is defined as 'the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299.8 discuss the concept that length standards are defined in terms of time in contrast to the original metre standard • The metre was originally one ten millionth of the distance between the equator and the North Pole this distance was marked on a platinum-iridium bar and copies were made • Following advances in accurate measurement of light wavelength this measure was changed to one defined by the wavelength of the light emitted by krypton-86 when excited in a discharge tube • Today. in most cases. so that the light beam was said to be going 1. In such frames observers have to postulate the existence of pseudo forces to maintain Newton's Laws 4.Newtonian relativity 4.5 discuss the principle of relativity • "The laws of mechanics are the same for a body at rest and a body moving with constant velocity" • Therefore.6 describe the significance of Einstein's assumption of the constancy of the speed of light • Constant speed of light (3x10^8m/s) • No need for an absolute frame of reference. and so perceives it simultaneously ○ The observer inside however.2 Space Page 7 . in fact. the events are not necessarily simultaneous in all reference frames.7 identify that if c is constant then space and time become relative • Consider a spacecraft travelling at 0.4 outline the nature of inertial frames of reference • An inertial frame of reference is one that is moving with constant velocity or is at rest. and the back flash has to travel faster ○ Therefore. therefore aether not needed • Comes to conclusions of length contraction.792. the light arrives at the mid-point at the same time) • Assume a train travelling at relativistic speed with an observer in the carriage and an observer standing on the side of the tracks ○ When the mid-point of the train is exactly lined up with the observer outside. that is. the Law of inertia holds • A non-inertial frame of reference is one that is accelerating. Prior to Einstein these two speeds would have added together. two lightning bolts hit the ends of the train ○ The observer on the track sees the light at the same time.• A null result from the MM experiments showed that the hypothesis was incorrect • The MM experiment did however give evidence for Einstein's theory.9 explain qualitatively and quantitatively the consequence of special relativity in relation to: The relativity of simultaneity • Two events A and B separated by a distance 'l' will be simultaneous if the observer at A records event at A occurring at time t. mass dilation and time dilation which are unobservable at speeds other than significant fractions of the speed of light 4. space and time become relative 4. time and distance need to change to compensate. no experiment can be done in an inertial frame of reference to determine whether it is stationary or moving with constant velocity • Time regarded independent of spaced and a fixed frame of reference to which all motion could be compared . and acknowledges the relativity of space and time 4. sees the front flash first because the train 'catches up' to the light.458 of a second' • This means that distance is defined in terms of time.

time dilation and length contraction for space travel • Time dilation and length contraction could theoretically allow exceptionally long space journeys within reasonable periods of time. they are not The equivalence between mass and energy • When work is done on an object its kinetic energy is increased ○ As speed approaches c. relativity also indicates that the cost of energy to do this would be prohibitive (mass dilation) 4.11 gather and process information to interpret the results of the Michelson-Morley experiment 9.2 Space Page 8 .10 discuss the implications of mass increase. However. work is still done but the amount of kinetic energy added is smaller ○ This goes into E=∆mc2 ○ Where ∆m= Length contraction • The length of a moving object appears to contract in the direction of motion relative to a stationary observer with the following relationship: where lv is the moving length and l0 is the stationary length Time dilation • A moving frame of reference appears to go slower relative to a stationary observer with the following relationship where tv is the 'moving' time and t0 is the 'stationary' time Mass dilation • A moving objects mass is greater than when its stationary with the following relationship where mv is the moving mass and m0 is the stationary mass 4. as judged by the travellers.most cases.

12 perform an investigation to help distinguish between non-inertial and inertial frames of reference Aim: To distinguish between inertial and non-inertial frames of reference Method: 1.g. then an outside observer would see the light travelling at 2c.14 analyse information to discuss the relationship between theory and the evidence supporting 9. violating relativity • Such thought experiments assisted Einstein in his formulation of the special theory of relativity 4. pseudo forces apply and so the measured weight changes 4. at constant speed and decelerating to rest Theory: in all inertial frames of reference. Make measurement of the weight of the person when the lift is accelerating. Place a set of scales in a lift 2. in a stationary frame of reference) 3.2 Space Page 9 . whereas in an accelerating frame.13 analyse and interpret some of Einstein's thought experiments involving mirrors and trains and discuss the relationship between thought and reality • Idea behind thought experiments is that the logic is sound even though the ideas cannot be scientifically tested due to technical limitations • e. then the light could not 'catch up' to the mirror and he could tell he was moving.e. Measure the weight of a person before they enter the lift (i. violating the constancy of light ○ If no. imagine himself on a train travelling at the speed of light while holding a mirror at arms length in front of his face. the measured weight should be the same as there are no external forces that don't cancel out.4. Would he see his reflection in the mirror? ○ If yes.

14 analyse information to discuss the relationship between theory and the evidence supporting it.2 Space Page 10 . designers need to account for the increasing mass of charged particles as they are accelerated to higher and higher speeds to ensure they are synchronised to continue to gain speed ○ Energy released in radioactive decay and nuclear reactors and explosions provides irrefutable evidence for the conversion of mass into energy 9.4. using Einstein's predictions based on relativity that were made many years before evidence was available to support it • Many of Einstein's predictions were not able to be verified for years after he first postulated them • Mostly this was due to the lack of appropriate technology • Nevertheless scientists came to accept Einstein's work and in time all his predictions were experimentally corroborated • Mass dilation and mass-energy transformations: ○ In particle accelerators.

2 Space Page 11 . 23 October 2010 10:15 AM Potential Energy in a gravitational field Relativity Equations Force due to gravitational field (on Earth) Projectile Motion Equations Kepler's Third Law Centripetal force Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation 9.Formulas Saturday.