Trajectory

A trajectory or flight path is the path that an object with mass in motion follows through space as a function of time. In classical mechanics, a trajectory is defined by Hamiltonian mechanics via canonical coordinates; hence, a complete trajectory is defined by position and momentum, simultaneously.

Illustration showing the directional trajectory of a bullet fired at an uphill target.

The mass might be a projectile or a satellite.[1] For example, it can be an orbit — the path of a planet, asteroid, or comet as it travels around a central mass.

In control theory, a trajectory is a time-ordered set of states of a dynamical system (see e.g. Poincaré map). In discrete mathematics, a trajectory is a sequence of values calculated by the iterated application of a mapping to an element of its source.


Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Trajectory, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.