The effect of gravity on time and space is an advanced physics topic and cannot be explained in its entirety in a school setting. Often, only the trajectories of planets are shown to students, and at best, they are just accepted. It is possible to simulate gravitational effects with a rather inexpensive model experiment consisting of a cloth and spheres. The physical concepts needed for understanding are based on simple intuitions concerning movement on an inclined surface and impact effects, known, for example, from billiards. In this article, we show that with the use of video analysis software, in our case Tracker, the trajectories can be highlighted, and complex phenomena such as formation of planetary orbits or gravity-assisted maneuvers of spacecraft can be illustrated. Advanced students can even take on the analysis process themselves. Through video analyses of this model experiment, it is possible to bring movements from the more...
How Does Our Solar System Work? Tracking Planetary Motion in the Classroom by Using Video Analysis in Astronomical Model Experiments
Alexander Arshewizkij, Dennis Schöneberg, Paul Schlummer, Malte S. Ubben, Alexander Pusch; How Does Our Solar System Work? Tracking Planetary Motion in the Classroom by Using Video Analysis in Astronomical Model Experiments. Phys. Teach. 1 September 2023; 61 (6): 492–495. https://doi.org/10.1119/5.0072740
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