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# Classical Mechanics - Homework Assignment 4

## October 18, 2012

Goldstein, Ch.3, 18 At perigee of an elliptic gravitational orbit a particle experiences
an impulse S in the radial direction, sending the particle intro another elliptic orbit.
Determine the new semimajor axis, eccentricity, and orientation in terms of the old.
Figure 1: Sketch of a particle moving in an elliptic gravitational orbit experience an impulse
S in the perigee.
This exercise is described in the Figure 1. Here, in the perigee the particle experiences
an impulse S, then:
S = p = p
f
p
i
p
f
= p
i
+ S r
where p
i
is perpendicular to r and S is in the direction of r. To determine the new
semimayor axis and the eccentricity, we must calculate rst the angular momentum
(l) and the energy (E):
l
f
= r p
f
= r (p
i
+ S r) = r p
i
+ 0 = l
i
This means that l = 0, that makes sense since p is in the radial direction. In the
case of the energy after the impulse:
r
f
= r
f
r =
p
f
m
r =
p
i
+ S r
m
r =
S
m
E
f
=
1
2
r
2
f
=
S
2
2m
2
=
m
S
2
2m
since p
i
is perpendicular to r. Now, the eccentricity is:
e
2
f
= 1 +
2El
2
mk
2
= 1 +
2l
2
mk
2
(E
i
+ E
f
) = e
2
i
+
2E
f
l
2
i
mk
2
= e
2
i
+
_
lS
mk
_
2

gomez@physics.rutgers.edu
1
where, in the case of a graviational potential, k = GmM. Then, the new semimayor
axis is:
a =
l
mk
1
(1 e
2
)
the new semimayor in terms of the initial one must be:
a
f
a
i
=
1 e
2
i
1 e
2
f
=
1 e
2
i
1 e
2
i

l
2
S
2
m
2
k
2
=
1
1
l
2
S
2
m
2
k
2
1
(1e
2
i
)
=
1
1
a
i
S
2
mk
a
f
=
a
i
1
a
i
S
2
mk
Finally, for the orientation, lets write the initial orbit as:
r
i
() =
l
2
mk
1
1 e
i
cos
and the nal as:
r
f
() =
l
2
mk
1
1 e
f
cos( +
0
)
in the perigee, both orbits must be equal and = :
r
i
( = ) = r
f
( = )
1
1 + e
i
=
1
1 + e
f
cos(
0
)
1 + e
i
= 1 + e
f
cos(
0
)
cos =
e
i
e
f
Goldstein, Ch.3, 29 If all the momentum vectors of a particle along its trajectory are
translated so as to start from the center of force, then the heads of the vectors trace
out the particles hodograph, a locus curve of considerable antiquity in the history of
mechanics, with something of a revival in connection with space vehicle dynamics.
By taking the cross product of L with the Laplace-Runge-Lenz vector A. Show that
the hodograph for elliptical Kepler motion is a circle of radius mk/l with origin on
the y axis displaced a distance A/l from the center of force.
The Laplace-Runge-Lenz vector is given by:
A = p L
mkr
r
where p is the momentum of the particle of mass m in a central force potential.
Dene the unit vector
r
r
= cos x + sin y
In addition, we know that the angular momentum vector is in the z direction: L = l z,
thus:
A = p L mk (cos x + sin y)
= l(p z) mk cos x mk sin y
2
Taking the cross product:
L A = l
2
z (p z) mkl cos y + mkl sin x
here, taking p = p
x
x + p
y
y, the product:
z (p z) = z (p
x
y + p
y
x) = p
x
x + p
y
y = p
then:
L A = l
2
p mkl cos y + mkl sin x
Now, from equation (3.86) of Goldstein, we know that the value of the Laplace-
Runge-Lenz vector in the perihelion is A = mke x, where e is the eccentricity. If we
start the hodograph in the perihelion, we can match:
L (mke x) = l
2
p mkl cos y + mkl sin x
mkel y = l
2
p mkl cos y + mkl sin x
mke y = lp mk cos y + mk sin x
p =
mk
l
sin x +
_
mke
l
+
mk
l
cos
_
y
p =
mk
l
sin x +
_
A
l
+
mk
l
cos
_
y A = mke
where we can conrm that r = mk/l and the center is in the origin, displaced in the
direction of y a distance A/l.
Goldstein, Ch.3, 31 Examine the scattering produced by a repulsive central force f =
kr
3
. Show that the dierential cross section is given by
()d =
k
2E
(1 x)dx
x
2
(2 x)
2
sin x
where x is the ratio of / and E is the energy.
Starting with the dierential equation of the orbit:
d
2
u
d
2
+ u =
m
l
2
d
du
V
_
1
u
_
where u = 1/r. We must express the repulsive central force in terms of a potential
V (1/u):
f = V V =
k
2r
2
=
ku
2
2
then, the orbit equation is:
d
2
u
d
2
+ u =
m
l
2
ku
d
2
u
d
2
+
_
1 +
mk
l
2
_
u = 0
that has the solutions when
2
= 1 +
mk
l
2
:
u = Acos() + B sin()
3
Then, lets use boundary conditions. In the case where r , i.e., the particle is
moving in the direction of the potential but is very far away, the variable u 0 and
the angle = :
u( = ) = 0
Acos() + B sin() = 0
A = B tan() (1)
On the other hand, once the particle experienced scattering, it moves in an angle
= when r , then u 0:
u( = ) = 0
Acos() + B sin() = 0 (2)
Replacing (1) in (2):
B tan() cos() + B sin() = 0
B(sin() tan() cos()) = 0
sin() tan() cos() = 0
cos() sin() sin() cos() = 0
sin() = 0
() =
(x 1) = 1 x =

=
1
x 1
Replacing in the expression above:

2
= 1 +
mk
l
2
_
1
x 1
_
2
= 1 +
mk
l
2
In terms of the impact parameter s, l = mv
0
s = s

2mE. Thus,
1
(x 1)
2
= 1 +
k
2Es
2
k
2Es
2
=
1 (x 1)
2
(x 1)
2
1
s
2
=
2E
k
_
x(2 x)
(x 1)
2
_
s
2
=
k
2E
_
(x 1)
2
x(2 x)
_
Derivating both sides:
2sds =
k
2E
2(x 1)
x
2
(x 2)
2
dx =
k
E
(1 x)
x
2
(2 x)
2
dx
4
Finally, the dierential cross section is:
()d =
|sds|
sin
=
k
2E
(1 x)
x
2
(2 x)
2
sin(x)
dx
Goldstein, Ch.3, 35 Another version of the truncated Coulomb potential has the form
V =
k
r

k
a
r < a
V = 0 r > a
Obtain closed-form expressions for the scattering angle and the dierential scatter-
ing cross section. These are most conveniently expressed in terms of a parameter
measuring the distance of closest approach in units of a. What is the total cross
section?.
Figure 2: Sketch of the problem 35. Here, is the angle

xob, =

xod, =

aob =

eod,
=

doc =

cob and = xoe.
We have two cases, consider the case where the potential vanishes:
1
2
m r
2
+
1
2
mr
2

2
= E
1
2
m r
2
+
l
2
2mr
2
= E
dr
dt
=

2
m
_
E
l
2
2mr
2
_
(3)
where
mr
2

= l
d
dt
=
l
mr
2
(4)
5
Dividing (3) by (4):
dr
d
=
_
2
m
_
E
l
2
2mr
2
_
l
mr
2
d =
1
r
2
dr
_
2Em
l
2

1
r
2
Replacing
2
0
=
2Em
l
2
and making the change in the variable:
u =
1
r
du = d
_
1
r
_
=
1
r
2
dr
thus,
d =
_
du
_

2
0
u
2
changing the variable one more time:
u =
0
cos x du =
0
sin xdx
then,

_

0
sin xdx

1 cos
2
x
=
_
dx =
_
d
x =
0
where we can take
0
= /2 just to have our coordinates in the regular form. Going
back to our original variable:
1
r
= u =
0
cos x =
_
2Rm
l
2
cos(

2
)
1
r
=
_
2Rm
l
2
cos(

2
) (5)
For the second part of the exercise, when r < a:
1
2
m r
2
+
l
2
2mr
2
+
_
k
r

k
a
_
= E
1
2
m r
2
+
l
2
2mr
2

k

r
= E

(6)
where k

= k and E

= E+
k
a
. Equation (5) is the regular central potential equation,
where the solution, in terms of the angles described in Figure 2 are:
1
r
=
_
1 +
_
1 +

2
cos
_

2
_
_
=
k

m
l
2
, =
2E

m
l
2
(7)
here, according with the angles introduced in Figure 2, the angle = + . Then,
(6) and (7) must be equal when the particle start experiencing the potential:
_
2Em
l
2
cos
_

2
_
=
_
1 +
_
1 +

2
cos
_

2
_
_
(8)
6
Then, from the Figure 2, we can see that = + therefore:
cos
_

2
_
= cos
_
+

2
_
= sin ( + ) = sin cos + cos sin
=

a
2
s
2
a
sin +
s
a
cos (9)
For the angle , we can probe that = , thus:
cos
_

2
_
= cos
_

2
_
= sin =
s
a
(10)
Replacing (9) and (10) in (8) and, the values of and :
_
2Em
l
2
_
s
a
_
=
_
1 +
_
1 +

2
_

a
2
s
2
a
sin +
s
a
cos
__
_
2Em
l
2
_
s
a
_
=
k

m
l
2
+

k
2
m
2
+ 2E

ml
2
l
2
_

a
2
s
2
a
sin +
s
a
cos
_
sl

2Em
a
= k

m +
_
k
2
m
2
+ 2E

ml
2
_

a
2
s
2
a
sin +
s
a
cos
_
(11)
where we have a function s(). Once we derivate both sides, we will found an
expression for s ds that we can replace in:
()d =
|sds|
sin
to nd the dierential cross section and for the total cross section, we have to derivate
in the solid angle d.
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