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Newton’s Mountain Model
written by Todd Timberlake
The EJS Newton's Mountain model illustrates the motion of a projectile launched from the top of a VERY tall mountain on Earth. The diagram shown in the simulation is taken from Newton's A Treatise on the System of the World, which he wrote after the Principia, but the basic idea is found in the Principia itself. Newton concluded that a projectile launched horizontally with sufficient speed would orbit Earth rather than crashing to Earth's surface. Thus the motion of a projectile fired on Earth was not qualitatively different from that of the moon orbiting Earth.  You can modify this simulation if you have EJS installed by right-clicking within the plot and selecting "Open Ejs Model" from the pop-up menu item.

EJS Newton's Mountain model was created using the Easy Java Simulations (EJS) modeling tool.  It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive.   Double clicking the ejs_astronomy_NewtonsMountain.jar file will run the program if  Java is installed.  EJS is a part of the Open Source Physics Project and is designed to make it easier to access, modify, and generate computer models.  Additional EJS models for astronomy are available.  They can be found by searching ComPADRE for  Open Source Physics, OSP, or EJS.

Please note that this resource requires at least version 1.5 of Java (JRE).
1 source code document is available
Subjects Levels Resource Types
- Astronomy Education
= Curricula
- Fundamentals
= Night Sky
- Historical Astronomy
= History of Astronomy
Classical Mechanics
- Motion in Two Dimensions
= Projectile Motion
- Lower Undergraduate
- Middle School
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Curriculum support
= Interactive Simulation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Educators
- Learners
- General Publics
- application/java
  • Currently 5.0/5

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Access Rights:
Free access
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
Todd Timberlake
Earth, Newton, Newton Cannon, earth, gravity, orbit, projectile, satellite
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created August 26, 2009 by Mario Belloni
Record Updated:
June 10, 2014 by Andreu Glasmann
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 18, 2009
Other Collections:

thanks for your amazing simulation :)

Author: lookang
Posted: May 21, 2011 at 4:32PM
Source: The Open Source Physics collection

Hi Professor Todd,
for ur info :)
credits to you, i remixed the Newton's Mountain Model simulation customized to real earth data.
R = 6.37x10^6 m etc.
these is a summary of the changes i made
changes by lookang:
made sliders and fields conform to my design preference
redo for SI units for closer to sg syllabus instead of arbitrary units originally made
add earth picture
add panel of x,y,vx,vy,ax,ay for calculating values to coincident with Earth data
add trace instead of the older trail that can display older data
rotate newton's diagram by 5 degree to coincident with x=0, instead of the older 0.1*R
add time
change to acceleration instead of force

thanks for your amazing simulation :)

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ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
T. Timberlake, Computer Program NEWTON’S MOUNTAIN MODEL, Version 1.0 (2009), WWW Document, (
T. Timberlake, Computer Program NEWTON’S MOUNTAIN MODEL, Version 1.0 (2009), <>.
APA Format
Timberlake, T. (2009). Newton’s Mountain Model (Version 1.0) [Computer software]. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from
Chicago Format
Timberlake, Todd. "Newton’s Mountain Model." Version 1.0. (accessed 25 June 2024).
MLA Format
Timberlake, Todd. Newton’s Mountain Model. Vers. 1.0. Computer software. 2009. Java (JRE) 1.5. 25 June 2024 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Todd Timberlake", Title = {Newton’s Mountain Model}, Month = {August}, Year = {2009} }
Refer Export Format

%A Todd Timberlake %T Newton's Mountain Model %D August 18, 2009 %U %O 1.0 %O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Computer Program %A Timberlake, Todd %D August 18, 2009 %T Newton's Mountain Model %7 1.0 %8 August 18, 2009 %U

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Electronic References.

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Newton’s Mountain Model:

Is Based On Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool

The Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool is needed to explore the computational model used in the Newton's Mountain Model.

relation by Mario Belloni

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