Laser Sails (astrophysics)
I dont see many astrophysics problems on here so I thought I would ask one.
Consider a spacecraft of mass m whose engine is a perfectly absorbing laser sail that is initially at rest in space. No gravity is being exerted on it. We aim a laser at the sail and cause it to accelerate into deep space.
Derive a formula for its kinetic energy, as a function of its mass and the total amount of energy Ei that it absorbs from the laser beam during some time interval t. Assume that the spacecrafts velocity remains NON-relativistic.
I.E. You're firing radiation and using the pressure of light to accelerate it.
HINT: Radiation pressure=
I've been stuck on this for a while. Obviously once you have the force then you can divide by mass to get the acceleration, but I dont see how Kinetic energy can be found.