**Motion Under Central forces (series List)**

Introduction

Equation of motion under central forces

Law of conservation of angular momentum

Law of conservation of energy

Equation of motion (equation of path of moving particle)

Form of motion under the effect of central forces

This article covers an introduction to central forces , equation of motion under central forces and

## Introduction

If the force acting on a body has following characteristics then it is a central force

(i) it depends on the distance between two particles

(ii) it is always directed towards or away from a fixed point.

Gravitational force is an example of central forces. Mathematically if we

consider central point as origin

where + stands for repulsion forces and – for attractive forces , is

the magnitude of the central forces and is unit vector in the

direction of central forces.

**Theorem:- **Under the action of central forces particle

always move in the same plane.

Multiplying equation (1) by on both the sides we get

This gives

since

but we know that

therefore

or,

now,

where is a vector which does not depend on time and is perpandicular to the plane formed by the position vector and velocity . Thus the plane formed by and velocity will also remains constant. Therefore the particle will always move in the same plane.

The torque due to central forces can be found out by the above expression. Torque

but

This implies thet is a constant quantity and it is known as angular momentum. Thus angular momentum is also conserved. But

## Equation of motion under central forces

The equation of particle moving in a plane under

central forces can be obtained in terms of polar co-ordinates. Let be the

mass of the particle, be its cartesian co-ordinates and be the polar co-ordinates of the particle.

therefore, and

Differentiating it with respect to time we get

again differentiating above two equations with respect to time we get

similarly,

now acceleration

We know that in radial direction unit vector is

and in transverse direction unit vector is

this vector is perpandicular to the radial vector.

Now acceleration is and

this implies that

(2)

(3)

According to Newton’s second law of motion

On comparison

(4)

and

(5)

Equations 4 and 5 are called the equation of motion of the particle moving under central forces.

## Law of conservation of angular momentum

Multiplying equation (5) of previous page by r on

both the sides we get

This implies that

(6)

or,

(7)

where,

Angular momentum of a particle moving with rotational motion is therefore equation 7 shows law of conservation of angular momentum of moving particle under the influence of central force.

is always conserved. Now if equation (6) is multiplied by the quantity then we get another physical quantity which is AREAL VELOCITY. It also remains constant for the particle moving under central forces

This implies that

or,

(9)

It defines areal velocity as the area swept by position vector of particle in unit time. Therefore we come across to know that the law of conservation of angular momentum of central forces expresses the invariance of areal velocity. It is actually Kepler’s Second law of planetary motion which states that *“Every planet moves with a constant areal velocity around the sun”*