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Head First Physics by Heather Lang

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Chapter 18. Gravitation and Orbits: Getting away from it all

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So far, you’ve been up close and personal with gravity - but what happens to the attraction as your feet leave the ground? In this chapter, you’ll learn that gravitation is an inverse square law, and harness the power of gravitational potential to take a trip to infinity... and beyond. Closer to home, you’ll learn how to deal with orbits - and learn how they can revolutionize your communication skills.

Party planners, a big event, and lots of cheese

The local party planner is in need of your help. They’re catering a big event, and the centerpiece is a huge, innovative globe of cheese.

But there’s more... the planner has sent over instructions.

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The party planner already has a machine that will put cheese blocks onto cocktail sticks with 2.0 cm sticking out at the end. The machine is also able to put all 500 cocktail sticks into the center of the orange so that they’re evenly spaced. You don’t need to worry about how to do any of that.

What length should the cocktail sticks be?

Your job is to calculate the length that the cocktail sticks should be.

If the sticks are too short, there won’t be space for you to fit on all 500 pieces of cheese, as the sticks won’t spread out enough for the pieces of cheese to fit on next to each other. ...

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