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Central force laws, hodographs, and polar reciprocals.


Speaker: Prof. Don. Chakerian, Mathematics, UC Davis
Location: 693 Kerr
Start time: Mon, Oct 30 2000, 4:10PM

The hodograph or velocity diagram of a trajectory of a particle is the curve described by the velocity vector. The fact that the hodograph of an orbit associated with any central force law is similar to the polar reciprocal of the orbit gives some geometric insight into the physics and leads to easy derivations of the force laws associated with various orbits.