Baton Orbit Model Documents

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Main Document

Baton Orbit Model 

written by Jessie Barrick

Baton Orbit Model shows the trajectory of a baton-like object orbiting under the influence of a 1/r^2 force.  This model was motivated by the tumbling motion of one of Saturn's moons, Hyperion.  Hyperion is the only celestial body in our solar system which exhibits chaotic tumbling. The chaotic motion is attributed to the uneven mass distribution and highly elliptical orbit of the moon. In order to model the behavior of Hyperion, we approximate its shape using a baton-like object composed of two point masses connected by a mass-less rod. This uneven mass distribution causes a net force and a net torque on its center of mass.

The Baton Orbit Model was developed as a final project in a sophomore-level Computational Physics course (Phy 200) using the Easy Java Simulations (EJS) modeling tool.  It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive.   Double clicking the jar file will run the program if Java is installed.  You can modify this simulation if you have EJS installed by right-clicking within the map and selecting "Open Ejs Model" from the pop-up menu item.

Published June 16, 2012
Last Modified June 2, 2014

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Supplemental Documents (2)

Baton Orbit Source Code 

The source code zip archive contains an EJS-XML representation of the Baton Orbit Model.   Unzip this archive in your EJS workspace to compile and run this model using EJS.

Last Modified June 16, 2012

Baton Orbit Project Poster 

Davidson College student Research Symposium poster presentation.

Last Modified June 16, 2012