Physics C Mechanics
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Unit 7: Gravitation

solar system
     There is no bigger idea in the world of physics than gravity. Actually, however, it is the weakest of the fundamental forces recognized by modern science. It's ubiquitous nature, and the fact that we tire under the influence of gravity every day of our lives, makes us think that it is very strong indeed. The history of human thought regarding gravity extends back to the Greeks and the geocentric model of the universe they proposed. Even in this era of advanced scientific knowledge, however, we still don't have a firm grasp on the fundamental nature of gravity (although progress is being made). But as you will see it is a very "attractive" idea and one that every physics student has to appreciate (at least mathematically!)

Suggested timeframe: 2 weeks

Big Ideas:
1. Every mass exerts a force on every other mass.
2. Satellites in orbit follow Kepler’s Laws.
3. Satellites in uniform circular motion experience a gravitational force that acts centripetally.
4. The total energy of an orbiting satellite will determine its trajectory.

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