Game of orbits: a gaming approach to Neptune’s discovery

Bhatnagar, Siddharth and Murthy, Jayant (2018) Game of orbits: a gaming approach to Neptune’s discovery. arXiv.

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One reason that the planet Neptune will be remembered for, is to do with the fact that it was the first planet whose existence was postulated before being observed. This was based on analysing deviations in Uranus' orbit. The present study gives a brief account of the history behind the discovery of Neptune, looking at the same, through the conflicting lenses of France and Britain. With this context established, the study then investigates deviations in Uranus' orbit (experimentally found to range from 10,100 km to 21,276,000 km), under a host of different conditions and orientations of the perturbing body (Neptune/Jupiter). This was accomplished using Universe Sandbox 2, which is a physics-based simulation software, presented on the gaming platform, Steam. The paper then examines what these deviations correspond to, as viewed from Earth, finding that the deviation angle ranges between 0.04 arc-seconds and 3.22 arc-seconds. The paper in this way, demonstrates how using games like Universe Sandbox 2, can aid in approaching problems that would be considered difficult to visualize using a purely mathematical approach

Item Type: Article
Authors: Bhatnagar, Siddharth and Murthy, Jayant
Document Language:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Popular Physics
Subjects: Natural Sciences > Physics
Divisions: Azim Premji University > School of Arts and Sciences
Full Text Status: Public
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