Quantitative Skills > Teaching Resources > Activities > Keplers Third Law - The Equation

# Kepler's Third Law - The Equation

#### Summary

In this module, students try various ways of plotting sidereal period vs. orbital radius and discover the simple power-law relationship of Kepler's third law. Students recreate spreadsheets shown in the Powerpoint module on their own with formulas that answer various pieces of the overall question.

## Learning Goals

• Determine the best-fit relationship between orbital period and orbital distance for the planets from graphs of the data.
• Become familiar with various XY-plots

## Context for Use

This module was designed to be used in an undergraduate mathematical geology class where students are asked to look at geological questions mathematically and may spend more time on the math than on the geology.

## Teaching Notes and Tips

These modules were developed as essentially self-paced, take-home lab assignments. Students are supposed to work through the modules, slide by slide, building their own worksheets as they go along, taking note of instructions and prompts, hints, and queries.

Students must have access to computers equipped with a spreadsheet program such as Excel.

## Teaching Materials

This module is one of several developed by Dr. Vacher. The module presentation could be found at http://www.evergreen.edu/washcenter/modules/moduleList.asp

The Powerpoint file is considered to be the student version. There is also an instructor's version that has active spreadsheets in it. There are instructions for requesting this version on the website.

## Assessment

The easiest way to test student work on this module is to ask students to hand in a copy of their worksheets starting with a different set of input data. The module also ends with homework assignment questions.

## Contact the Author

Please contact the author with questions or suggestions: Feedback Form

## Controlled Vocabulary Terms

Subject: Geoscience:Lunar and Planetary Science
Resource Type: Activities:Lab Activity
Special Interest: Quantitative
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16), College Lower (13-14)
Quantitative Skills: Arithmetic/Computation, Problem Solving, Probability and Statistics:Data Trends:Curve Fitting/Regression, Units and Unit Conversions, Scientific Notation
Ready for Use: Ready to Use
Topics: Solar system

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