for a mass m at a point r inside the Earth,
where is the mass of that part of the earth inside a radius
assuming uniform density ...
substituting for in the gravitational force equation ...
where
for SHM,
back sub for ...
Suppose that a small hole is drilled straight through the center of the earth, thus connecting two antipodal points on its surface. Let a a particle of mass m be dropped at time t = 0 into this hole with initial speed zero. Find the period of the simple harmonic motion exhibited by the particle.
Look up (or derive) the period of a satellite that just skims the surface of the earth; compare with the previous result. How do you explain the coincidence. Or is it a coincidence?
My attempt:
I derived the formula for the orbital period:
where is the the semi-major axis, which is in this case.
But a path that goes through the center of the earth isn't an orbit, in the usual sense of the word. However, I was able to derive independently that the period in this case has the same formula. So, is that a coincidence?
for a mass m at a point r inside the Earth,
where is the mass of that part of the earth inside a radius
assuming uniform density ...
substituting for in the gravitational force equation ...
where
for SHM,
back sub for ...
Actually, I did that and found the time period. But my question is, whether it is a coincidence that the time period equals that of a satellite that just skims the surface of the earth.
For an ellipse, , where is the semi-major axis. I wonder if the path, that passes through the center of the earth, can be considered to be a degenerate ellipse (with semi-major axis and semi-minor axis zero). But then, the central mass would be located at the center of the degenerate ellipse, and not at either of the foci (where it really should be).
The speed of the particle as it passes through the center of the earth is equal to that of a satellite that just skims the surface of the earth.
As I had asked earlier, is there any way the path, that passes through the center of the earth, can be considered to be a degenerate ellipse?
according to this definition ... The Most Marvelous Theorem in Mathematics , I guess you can.
then I guess the degenerate ellipse idea is bogus ... I will have to plead ignorance on how this argument answers the original question, anyway.
My problem is that I'm looking at the problem from a physics viewpoint. As I said earlier, circular orbits in two dimensions can be viewed as linear SHM when looking at the movement in only a single dimension.