Celestial Mechanics on a Graphing Calculator
An analytic treatment of the Two-body problem is in Eric Weisstein's Treasure Trove of Physics. Marshal Hampton at the University of Washington has a page on Central configurations in the n-body problem with a lovely animation of a configuration studied by Lagrange. The Astronomy Workshop at the University of Maryland has a nice page on Orbital Simulations (but their Satellite Viewer crashed my Netscape). DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS AND OSCILLATIONS is a web resource by Rubin H. Landau of Oregon State University, with a description of Euler's Method and the Runge-Kutta Algorithm. Comparison of the efficiency of the algorithms is treated on G. Bard Ermentrout's Numerical Methods page at Carnegie Mellon (useful although some links are dead).
1. Newton's laws
Isaac Newton laid down the law in outer space. The vast majority of motion in space is governed by two laws, both first propounded by him (Principia, 1687).
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These web essays are designed for those who have already discovered the joys of mathematics as well as for those who may be uncomfortable with mathematics.
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