Period Derivative

  • The period derivative is the rate at which an object's orbital or rotation period P is changing - ie the instaneous change in period divided by the change in time. In calculus terms this is simply dP/dt and is often expressed as a dimensionless quantity.

    Sometimes physicists use the simple dot above a quantity to represent the derivative with respect to time t, so the period derivative dP/dt is often called P-dot, ie:

    $ \dot P = dP/dt = {{P_f-P_0}\over{t_f-t_0}} $

    here the subscripts 0 and f refer to the initial and final conditions respectively.


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