Planet and Moon Orbit

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Link:http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/embed/23514109/

This project shows the Earth orbiting the sun and the moon orbiting the Earth. The distance between the Earth and sun, and, the moon and Earth is not to scale. Otherwise the moon would be so small you couldn’t see it compared to the sun. I used Kepler’s 3rd Law to find the equation for the orbit.

The hardest part of this project was turning the mathematical equations of a planet orbit into the actual animations on the computer screen. I started by just doing the Earth orbiting the Sun and not the moon going around the Earth at the same time. I had to change the velocity of the Earth at every point along its orbit to make the orbit look realistic. After doing this I added the next layer of the moon going around the Earth at the end.

Planet Orbit

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Here is the link to my planet orbit project:
http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/embed/23456990/
The program creates a stable orbit by calculating the initial velocity needed for a stable orbit and then makes the planet start at that velocity.

I found the equation of the orbit using the vis viva equation for orbital energy and I also used my knowledge about the mathematics of ellipses.

 

The hardest part of this project was turning the mathematical equations into animations on the screen and I had to change the velocity of the Earth at every point along its orbit.

Simple Pendulum

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Here is a link to my first physics scratch project:
http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/embed/23049293/

This project is the equation of motion for a pendulum where you can enter the mass and angle where it is released. It also tells you the kinetic and potential energy.

I had to derive the formula for the equation of motion of a pendulum using the euler-lagrange equation from classical mechanics which uses the principle of least action to find equations of motion. After that I had to turn this equation of motion into an actual animation on the computer screen.