I’m sorry to use (or imply) such strong language, but I’m honestly at a loss. I’m guessing the creator of this challenge is a physics enthusiast. I don’t understand the question or the Wikipedia article, both of which I’ve read multiple times. I am smart enough to look for a formula to use, and there are two formulas in the Wikipedia article that we can use to determine the orbital period, but we don’t have all the required bits of information to use the formula.
We are provided with the average altitude as an argument to the function and we are also provided with the radius and GM value of the Earth.
- We aren’t provided with the orbit’s semi-major axis in meters.
- We aren’t provided with the mean density (of the Earth?).
So, I feel my frustration is justified.
I know that there’s an answer in the Wiki and I also noticed that there’s a video to watch somewhere else here in the forum, I also suspect that a person with some understanding of physics could glean the necessary information from the combination of the challenge description and the Wikipedia article.
What’s going on here? This doesn’t look like a programming challenge, but a physics challenge. If it’s a matter of implementing a formula, why don’t they provide the formula and identify the parts of it?
A challenge which is literally impossible for me to solve without looking at the solution ahead of time isn’t a useful educational device or an effective testing device.
Please, someone tell me that I’ve missed some important detail that makes this possible without simply copying and pasting the solution.