This course will focus on the study of orbital and celestial mechanics, using many of the methods that are covered in a traditional advanced mechanics course. We will look primarily at closed form and approximation methods (as opposed to numerical solutions) in a wide variety of problems in orbital and celestial mechanics. Space engineering and applied physics students who take this class will be well-versed in fundamentals that can then be leveraged in more advanced future space applications. Topics will include Newtonian Mechanics, Newtonian Gravitation, Central Force Orbits (with a focus on Keplerian Orbits), Orbital & Interplanetary Maneuvers, Non-inertial Reference Frames, the Lagrangian Formalism, Rigid Body Rotation, the Three Body Problem, Approximation Methods for Orbits, and Lunar Motion. Discussions will include the historical figures in physics who contributed significantly to the topics discussed.
EN.615.641 Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering or EN.675.650 Mathematics for Space Systems