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2
votes
2answers
123 views

Momentum a cotangent vector

Apparently one identifies the configuration space in physics often with a manifold $M$. The tangent bundle $TM$ is then the space of all possible positions and velocities. Furthermore, many sources ...
2
votes
0answers
71 views

Motivation for the existence of periodic solutions [closed]

I have been reading the book Critical Point Theory and Hamiltonian System by Mawhin and Willem, as well as several other papers on the existence of periodic solutions for equations of the form ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

*The* open problem in General Relativity?

Q. Is there a single, clear mathematical question that has emerged as the open problem in General Relativity? I ask this on the ~100th anniversary of Einstein's (4-page!) 1915 paper, "Die ...
2
votes
0answers
115 views

Dynamics of electrons on a sphere

Suppose one place $n$ electrons closely surrounding the north pole of a sphere, forming a perfect planar regular $n$-gon:           Q1. What will happen if the ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Invariance of the Noether charge

The paper http://epubs.siam.org/doi/abs/10.1137/1023098 (Generalizations of Noether’s Theorem in Classical Mechanics, by Willy Sarlet and Frans Cantrijn) mentions "an interesting property of the ...
1
vote
0answers
105 views

Shortest rope to capture a sphere of diameter 1 [duplicate]

I have a perfect rigid sphere of diameter 1. I have infinite supply of rope. The rope is infinitely flexible and can be cut or glued without losing or adding length. The rope can be glued at any ...
11
votes
3answers
335 views

Orthogonal mud cracks and Maxwell's reciprocal figures

Is there a succinct mathematical/physical explanation of why mud cracks tend to meet orthogonally?                     Wikipedia image in this ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Stable equilibria of points on the 2-sphere

Suppose $n$ points lie on the sphere $S^2=\{x\in\mathbb{R}^3\mid \|x\|=1\}$ and are subjected to a repulsive acceleration that pushes away a point from each other point with an intensity proportional ...
2
votes
0answers
90 views

Nature of separatrix in Fokker--Planck Hamiltonian with two degrees of freedom

Background The semiclassical (weak noise, small $D$) limit of the Fokker--Planck equation $$\frac{\partial P}{\partial t}=D\frac{\partial^2 P}{\partial x^2}-\frac{\partial}{\partial x}(v(x) P)$$ can ...
3
votes
1answer
155 views

Weinstein's local classification of Lagrangian foliations

In the paper "Symplectic manifolds and their Lagrangian submanifolds", Weinstein showed that locally all the Lagrangian foliations are symplectomorhic to the fiber foliation of a cotangent bundle. I ...
3
votes
0answers
73 views

A taut string of equilateral triangles

Let $T$ be a unit edge-length equilateral triangle composed of three cylinders each of (small) radius $r>0$. (By "small" I mean approximately $< 0.1$.) Think of $T$ as a physical, rigid ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

Find a maximizing solution to an ODE which depends on a paramater function

(For the physical meaning of this problem see http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/122818/how-should-i-throttle-my-rocket-to-reach-highest-altitude). Given $g \in (0,\infty), k \in C^1( [0, ...
22
votes
1answer
587 views

Bouncing a ball down the stairs

In a nutshell, the question is whether it can be faster to bounce a ball down an infinite flight of stairs than to bounce it down a ramp with the same slope. To be more specific: this is a $2$ ...
6
votes
1answer
457 views

Is there a sideways-walking rolling convex body?

Let $K$ be a solid, homogenous convex body in $\mathbb{R}^3$. Place $K$ on an inclined plane, and let it roll down the plane, under some reasonable assumptions of friction between $K$ and the plane, ...
3
votes
1answer
253 views

Planar linkage that traces a circle from its exterior?

Q. Is there a linkage in the plane that traces out a circle $C$ in such a manner that the interior of the disk bounded by $C$ is never intersected by any link througout the motion? What I ...
28
votes
1answer
2k views

Geometric interpretation of the half-derivative?

For $f(x)=x$, the half-derivative of $f$ is $$\frac{d^{\frac{1}{2}}}{dx^{\frac{1}{2}}} x = 2 \sqrt{\frac{x}{\pi}} \;.$$ Is there some geometric interpretation of (Q1) this specific derivative, and, ...
7
votes
2answers
181 views

Well-definedness of single-particle smooth billiards flow

Single-particle billiards systems in a domain with corners, or multi-particle billiards in a domain with smooth boundary, can exhibit singularities in finite time. (The former phenomenon is well ...
26
votes
5answers
2k views

Differentiable functions with discontinuous derivatives

For years I've taught my honors calculus students about functions like (the continuous extension of) $x^2 \sin 1/x$, and for just as many years I've told them that they won't encounter functions like ...
9
votes
0answers
232 views

Periodic orbits of a spinning ball in a square

Periodic orbits of a billiard ball bouncing in a square have been well-studied. I am seeking similar analysis of what is sometimes called a rough ball, one whose high friction causes it to pick up ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Can the equation of motion with friction be written as Euler-Lagrange equation, and does it have a quantum version?

My (non-expert) impression is that many physically important equations of motion can be obtained as Euler-Lagrange equations. For example in quantum fields theories and in quantum mechanics quantum ...
8
votes
1answer
558 views

Oloid and sphericon: rolling develops entire surface

Wikipedia says that, "The oloid is one of the only known objects, along with some members of the sphericon family, that while rolling, develops its entire surface." Below are illustrations of ...
-1
votes
2answers
632 views

Regarding understanding differential geometry [closed]

I am essentially looking for a book that would hold my hand through basic concepts to more complicated ones. I am coming from physics. I am looking to make some connections with Classical mechanics ...
17
votes
4answers
851 views

Non-chaotic bouncing-ball curves

I was surprised to learn from two Mathematica Demos by Enrique Zeleny that an elastic ball bouncing in a V or in a sinusoidal channel exhibits choatic behavior:     (The Poincaré map ...
2
votes
0answers
107 views

How to find solutions of non-linear ODE with particular BCs

What are some methods, numerical or otherwise, of finding solutions to nonlinear ODEs that satisfy particular boundary conditions? In particular, I'm looking for curves y(s) constrained to a ...
4
votes
1answer
220 views

Relation between Lee and Yang' s “circle theorem”, zeta functions and Weil conjectures?

Ruelle mentions ( http://www.ihes.fr/~ruelle/PUBLICATIONS/%5B94%5D.pdf ) Lee and Yang' s "circle theorem", which comes from statistical mechanics and shall have not yet explored connections with zeta ...
2
votes
1answer
814 views

Derivation of Bessel functions

I am writing a summary on a work on Fluid Dynamics that develops irrotational flow states that appear to interact amongst each other according to the equations of Electromagnetism ...
11
votes
5answers
520 views

To what extent does trajectory determine gravity sources?

Suppose one has in-hand an accurate time-space trajectory in $\mathbb{R}^3$ of a (small) body, say an asteroid or satellite—effectively a point. To what extent does this trajectory determine the ...
5
votes
0answers
510 views

Egg-ovoid rolling down an inclined plane

I am seeking a mathematical analysis of an egg-ovoid rolling down an inclined plane, for pedagogical reasons. It is well-known folk lore that the shape of an egg prevents it from rolling away from ...
1
vote
0answers
127 views

Rigid-body in a central field: orbital and attitude motion

Question I would like to find a nice set of explicit coordinates for the family (parametrised by angular momentum) of reduced systems representing a rigid-body in a central field in which the orbital ...
5
votes
0answers
187 views

Generalization of the non-existence of a monostatic planar body

Domokos, Papadopulos, and Ruina showed that there does not exist a convex planar rigid body of uniform density which has only one orientation of stable equilibrium and one orientation of unstable ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Classical Limit of Feynman Path Integral

I understand that in the limit that h_bar goes to zero, the Feynman path integral is dominated by the classical path, and then using the stationary phase approximation we can derive an approximation ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Classical Limit of Quantum Mechanics

There is a well-known principle that one can recover classical mechanics from quantum mechanics in the limit as $\hbar$ goes to zero. I am looking for the strongest statement one can make concerning ...
4
votes
1answer
220 views

Minimizing action squared versus action

I have a very basic question in the calculus of variations: Suppose I want to minimize the functional $$A[r, r'] = \int_\Omega L(r, r') dx $$ When is it possible to say that extremals of $A$ agree ...
1
vote
1answer
453 views

Generating functions and Lagrangian submanifolds

I'm interested in showing the existence of a generating function. Explicitly: Suppose $\Lambda\subset T^*M\times T^*M$ is a Lagrangian submanifold. Consider the projection ...
3
votes
2answers
418 views

How to deal with the singular reduction of the Hamiltonian n body problem?

I would like to consider the reduced Hamiltonian $n$ body problem, but am struggling with the angular momentum reduction seeing as the $SO(3)$ action is not free and the reduction is singular. ...
4
votes
2answers
711 views

References for the Poincaré-Cartan forms

Hello, everybody. I'm looking for some reference about the Poincaré-Cartan form, I do not know how it is defined, I just know that it is used in Lagrangian mechanics but I have not found any ...
7
votes
1answer
311 views

Generalizing a square wheel to a body rolling on a surface

A square wheel rolling on a catenary road maintains the wheel center at a fixed height, a well-known construction previously discussed on MO (e.g., "Generalizing square wheels rolling on inverted ...
4
votes
1answer
575 views

How the Jacobi metrics may be useful in mechanics with or without constraints?

A mechanical system $(Q,K,V)$ is specified by the configuration space $Q,$ the potential energy $V\in C^\infty(Q),$ and the kinetic energy $K=K_g$ given by a Riemannian metric $g$ on $Q.$ If ...
0
votes
0answers
169 views

Transformation of the dynamics of mechanical system under coordinate change

It is well known that the dynamics equation for a mechanical system (e.g. a robotics manipulator) is given be the Euler-Lagrange equation which takes the particular form (in the simplified version), ...
2
votes
0answers
222 views

In search for a more geometric proof of a result of van der Schaft and Maschke on nonholonomic mechanics.

Edit: Now I have found something that appears to answer my own question. It is section 2 in the paper "On Submanifolds and Quotients of Poisson and Jacobi Manifolds" by Ch.-M. Marle. (There, he ...
10
votes
3answers
685 views

“Rolling Geodesics”: Designing a $k$-putt green

I am interested in what might be called rolling geodesics, paths of physical particles confined to a surface in $\mathbb{R}^3$ under certain force conditions. Here I will pose a specific (but ...
54
votes
5answers
10k views

The “Dzhanibekov effect” - an exercise in mechanics or fiction? Explain mathematically a video from a space station

The question briefly: Can one explain the "Dzhanibekov effect" (see youtube videos from space station or comments below) on the basis of the standard rigid body dynamics using Euler's equations? (Or ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

The Lagrangian formulation of mechanics without going through variational principles.

In some texts on classical mechanics and not only, the Euler--Lagrange equations of motion are directly obtained as solution of variational problems. On the other side, sometimes reading about ...
1
vote
0answers
247 views

Dissipative Hamiltonian System with a Periodic Force

Let $H:P \to \mathbb{R}$ be a Hamiltonian on a symplectic manifold $(\omega,P)$ and let $X_H: P \to TP$ be the Hamiltonian vector-field. Let $F:P \to T^*P$ be a dissipative force field such that for ...
9
votes
1answer
429 views

Classical analogue of the Stone-von Neumann Theorem?

Let $U_s$, $V_t$ be a pair of continuous $n$-parameter groups ($n < \infty$) of unitary operators on a complex Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$. The Stone-von Neumann Theorem establishes that any such ...
2
votes
0answers
138 views

What happens when Appell-Chetaev's rule for constrained mechanical systems is not applicable?

Background: Let be given a mechanical system whose configuration space is a manifold $Q$, and the kinetic energy is a metric $K$ on $Q$, in presence of a potential function $V$. Let us identify the ...
40
votes
2answers
1k views

Topple height of randomly stacked bricks

What is the expected height of a stack of unit-length bricks, each one stacked on the previous with a uniformly random shift within $\pm \delta$? The stack topples if the center of gravity of the top ...
4
votes
2answers
214 views

Elastostatics and homotopy type

In perfect elastostatics, the unknown is the displacement $x\mapsto y$, where $x\in\Omega\subset{\mathbb R}^3$ is the reference configuration, and $y\in{\mathbb R}^3$. It obeys to an 2nd-order PDEs. ...
10
votes
0answers
384 views

Functions approximated by rolling epicycle curves

Imagine a decreasing sequence of (positive) radii $r_1 > r_2 > r_3 > \cdots$ and a series of nested circles $C_1 \supset C_2 \supset C_3 \supset \cdots$ with these radii, initially each ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the role of contact geometry in the hamiltonian mechanics?

Let us assume someone is interested in the study of Hamiltonian mechanics. What are good examples to illustrate him of the usefulness of contact geometry in this context? On one hand the Hamiltonian ...