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August 20, 2014

Homework Help: Physics

Posted by Alphonse on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:01pm.

Two astronauts, each having a mass M are connected by a length of rope of length d have a negligible mass. They are isolated in space, orbiting their center of mass at an angular speed of 0. By pulling on the rope, one of the astronauts shortens the total distance between them to 0.54d. Treat the astronauts as point particles (in terms of their moments of inertia).

a) What is the final angular speed of the astronauts as a fraction/multiple of 0? (E.g. If you find that the final angular speed is half the initial angular speed enter 0.5.). Use angular momentum conservation.

b) What work does the astronaut do to shorten the rope as a multiple/fraction of the quantity Md^20^2 (which has dimensions of energy)? (Hint: Calculate the change in rotational kinetic energy of the system instead, since you have no idea how the astronaut actually carried out the shortening.)

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