Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects
Simulating Satellite Orbits and Atmospheric Drag part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Teaching Materials Collection
Physics students are intrigued by activities in space. To link this natural curiosity with solid problem-solving skills, we developed a spreadsheet simulation for satellites moving through an atmosphere of variable density. The simulation reviews mechanics and illustrates a method scientists might use to break a complex problem into small, solvable elements.