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We got our Calc 3 tests today and as we were being shown how to get the answers, we came across a problem the teacher said "I'm curious that so many people got this question, maybe they learned it in some other class."  I present to you the problem:

Recall that the angular momentum of a particle of mass m along a path R(t) is defined by the vector quantity L(t) = mR(t) x v(t).  Consider a point R(t0) = p on the planar curve R(t).  Call p a point of maximal angular momentum if it has the property that amongst all particles of unit mass and unit speed on curves passing through p, |L(t0)| is maximum.  Suppose that each point of R(t) is a point of maximal angular momentum.  What can we say about R(t)?  That is, what kind of path does R(t) have to be?

Needless to say I got the question quite wrong.... Posted on Friday, April 18, 2008 1:45 PM | Back to top


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