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Unit 4 - Problem 11 ==> Escape Velocity

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Definition and Givens

- Escape velocity is the speed at which the kinetic energy plus the gravitational potential energy of an object is zero.
- It is the speed needed to "break free" from a gravitational field without further propulsion.
- According to Wikipedia, escape velocity equals the square root of 2 * G * m divided by r, where:
- G is the gravitational constant of 6.674 * 10^-11
- m is the mass of the body we are escaping from
- Mass of the earth is M=5.9736×10
^{24} kg

- r the distance from the center of gravity
- Radius of the earth is 6400 kilometers or 6.4 * 10^6 meters

- $$ V_{escape} = \sqrt{\frac{(2 G m)}{r}} $$
- On the surface of the Earth, the escape velocity is about 11.2 kilometers per second (~6.96 mi/s), which is approximately 34 times the speed of sound (Mach 34) and several times the muzzle velocity of a rifle bullet (up to 1.7 km/s).

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Deriving the escape velocity formula

- Conservation of energy provides us that the escape energies total zero.
- $$ E_{initial-potential} + E_{initial-kinetic} = E_{escape-potential} + E_{escape-kinetic-energy} $$
- $$ E_{initial-potential} = -\frac{G M m}{r} $$
- $$ E_{initial-kinetic} = \frac{1}{2}m V^2 $$

- $$ -\frac{G M m}{r} + \frac{1}{2}m V_{escape}^2 = 0 + 0 $$
- $$ \frac{1}{2}m V^2 = \frac{G M m}{r}$$
- $$ V_escape^2 = 2\frac{G M}{r}$$
- $$ V_{escape} = \sqrt{\frac{(2 G M)}{r}} $$

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Calculate the escape velocity value

- $$ V_{escape} = \sqrt{\frac{(2 G M)}{r}} $$
- $$ V_{escape} = \sqrt{\frac{(2* (6.674 * 10^-11) ( 5.97 * 10^{24}))}{6.4 * 10^6}} $$
- $$ V_{escape} = \sqrt{12.45118125 * 10^7} $$
- $$ V_{escape} = 11158.486120437665\frac{m}{s} = 24,960.8\;{mph}$$

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