Physics 560

Midterm I:  Suggested Study Problems, in no particular order



  1. Calculate the low altitude orbital period for a spacecraft in orbit about Mars, the Moon, and Mercury. Write a relationship between the orbital period and the average density of each planet.
  2. R&P 3.10
  3. Calculate the angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system about their common center of mass, and compare it to the total angular momentum about the Sun.  Also estimate the rotational angular momentum for the Earth and Moon assuming they are uniform density spheres.
  4. Compare the aphelion speed of the Earth to the perihelion speed of Mars.
  5. Use the Virial Theorem to write an expression for the “kinetic temperature” of a cluster of stars.
  6. Assume Jupiter moves within one Hill radius of the Sun.  Will it be tidally disrupted?
  7. R&P 5.8
  8. Derive the energy levels for a simple Bohr model of positronium.
  9. R&P 7.5
  10. R&P 11.8
  11. Estimate the Kelvin Helmholtz contraction timescale for Neptune, given that it releases 2.5 times as much flux as it receives from the Sun.