Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 227-232

First online:

On the use and abuse of Newton's second law for variable mass problems

  • Angel R. Plastino
  • , Juan C. Muzzio

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We clarify some misunderstandings currently found in the literature that arise from improper application of Newton's second law to variable mass problems. In the particular case of isotropic mass loss, for example, several authors introduce a force that actually does not exist.

Key words

variable mass problems restricted problem