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Eur. J. Phys. 21 No 4 (July 2000) 297-302
PII: S0143-0807(00)11012-8

The velocity hodograph for an arbitrary Keplerian motion

Eugene I Butikov
St Petersburg State University, Uljanovskaya st. 1, Petrodvorets, St. Petersburg 198904, Russia

E-mail: butikov@spb.runnet.ru

Received 13 January 2000, in final form 19 April 2000

Abstract. An interesting, useful, and simple, but not widely known property of Keplerian motion relating to the circular shape of the orbit in velocity space is discussed in this paper. The property is illustrated by a computer simulation program. A simple dynamical derivation of the circular shape of the velocity hodograph is suggested.


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