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PHYS 430: Space Environmental Dynamics


3 credit hours

Prerequisite: MATH 233, MATH 366, PHYS 350
An introduction to the motion of objects in space, including planets, moons, asteroids, comets, planetary rings, and man-made objects. Topics include: definition and use of orbital elements and their rates of change, determination of orbits from observations, rotational dynamics of the earth, moon, and natural and artificial satellites, control and emplacement of spacecraft into earth orbit and interplanetary trajectories. Laplace perturbation equations, precession of rotation axes and other orbital elements. Quaternions and their use in rotational dynamics, resonance phenomena involving rotational and orbital states, tidal heating, orbit-orbit and spin-orbit resonances. This course fulfills the requirements for Advanced Mechanics.