The classical-mechanics tag has no usage guidance.

**10**

votes

**3**answers

714 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 ...

**60**

votes

**5**answers

16k 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

**3**answers

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

**0**answers

263 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

**1**answer

442 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 ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

148 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

**2**answers

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

**2**answers

215 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

**0**answers

407 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

**4**answers

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 ...

**31**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### Billiard dynamics under gravity

Has the dynamics of billiards in a polygon subject to gravity been
studied?
What I have in mind is something like this:
Still Snell's ...

**15**

votes

**5**answers

1k views

### G-bundles in classical mechanics

The paper Geometry of the Prytz Planimeter described a mechanical instrument whose configuration space is an $S^1$-bundle with an $SU(1,1)$ action. That paper goes on to study the holonomies of ...

**8**

votes

**1**answer

690 views

### The rain hull and the rain ridge

Rain falls steadily on an island, a 2-manifold $M$, which you may
assume, as you prefer,
is: (a) smooth, or (b) a PL-manifold, or perhaps even
(c) a
triangulated irregular network (TIN).
After a ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

530 views

### Find a second integral for Arnold's example

Consider Arnold's example for Arnold diffusion 1964.
$$H=I_1^2/2+I_2^2/2+\epsilon(1-\cos\theta_2)(1+\mu(\sin\theta_1+\sin t)) $$
We can first make it a system of three degrees of freedom.
Then we ...

**10**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Surface equivalent of catenary curve

A catenary curve
is the shape taken by an idealized hanging chain or rope under the influence
of gravity. It has the equation $y= a \cosh (x/a)$.
My question is:
What is the shape taken by an ...

**11**

votes

**5**answers

1k views

### reference for Noether's theorem

What is a good reference for a geometric version of Noether's theorem about Lagrangians, symmetries and conserved currents?

**31**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Gently falling functions

I wonder if it is possible to characterize the class of
gently falling functions, which I would like to define
as follows.
Let $g(x)$ be a $C^2$ function defined on an interval
$R \subseteq ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

942 views

### Calculating the geodesic equation for a particular set of phase-space coordinates

Let $g$ be a Riemannian metric on the $d$-dimensional flat space $\mathbb R^d$, and consider the usual Lagrangian $$L(x, \dot x) = \tfrac 1 2 g_{ij}(x) \dot x^i \dot x^j.$$ Let $\hat g := \sqrt g$ ...

**21**

votes

**2**answers

898 views

### Billiard dynamics for multiple balls

I am interested to learn to what extent results on billiards
in polygons have been extended to multiple balls.
Assume the balls have equal radii and the same mass,
the same initial speed, and all
...

**19**

votes

**1**answer

821 views

### Which convex bodies roll along closed geodesics?

An ellipsoid could be rolled (without slippage) on a horizontal plane so that its point
of contact traces out a closed geodesic on its surface:
...

**2**

votes

**2**answers

441 views

### Herpolhode equation

Poinsot’s construction describes the motion of a freely rotating rigid body in terms of an ellipsoid rolling on a plane. (http://www.phys.ttu.edu/~huang24/Teaching/Phys5306/CH5C.pdf), and the path of ...

**5**

votes

**2**answers

540 views

### Minimal surface which divides a convex body into two regions of equal volume

Question. Given a convex body $\Omega$, what is the shape of a surface $\Gamma$ of minimal area which divides $\Omega$ into two regions of equal volume?
Background/motivation.
A 2D version of ...

**8**

votes

**0**answers

199 views

### Billiards with incompatible regions

An existing question asks whether "almost every" two-dimensional billiard possesses at least one orbit that is dense in its interior. My question is about the following set of strong ...

**5**

votes

**3**answers

997 views

### Dense orbits in billiards

This should be true in a more general setting, but for simplicity consider billiards that are connected, compact subsets of the plane with boundary $C^2$ except at finitely many points. A ball (or a ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### On the non-rigorous calculations of the trajectories in the moon landings

In a paragraph written by a person emphasizing that rigour is not everything in mathematics (I wish I had written down the details), it was stated that the moon landings would have been impossible ...

**5**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Bertrand theorem - central forces

Here is a version of Bertrand theorem. Let us consider a force $F(r)$ which depends only on the distance to a given point. If all trajectories which remain bounded are closed, then either $F(r)=ar$ ...

**10**

votes

**2**answers

702 views

### Floating polyhedra with fair equilibria

Is there a homogeneous convex polyhedron
which floats so that some subset (perhaps all) of its faces
is distinguished as "up" (above the water line)
in stable equilibrium, each face with ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

583 views

### Which motion is exclusive in 3D or higher dimensions?

Hi guys,
I have a simple question
Linear movement can be found in 1D, 2D and 3D world objects
Rotation can be found in 2D and 3D world objects.
Now, are there any kind of motion can only be found ...

**3**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### turbulence as an unsolved problem of classical mechanics

Why is it that turbulence is considered to be an unsolved problem of classical mechanics? What is meant by "unsolved"? Don't the Navier-Stokes equations apply to turbulent flows? It's difficult to ...

**44**

votes

**8**answers

6k views

### Fair but irregular polyhedral dice

I am interested in determining a collection of geometric conditions that will guarantee that a convex polyhedron
of $n$ faces is a fair die in the sense that, upon random rolling, it has an equal ...

**5**

votes

**3**answers

592 views

### Poincaré Recurrence and Dense Sets

This is kind of a spin-off of the question asked here. Take the interval $X:=[0,1]$ with $\mu$ being standard Lebesgue measure. Let $f$ be a measure preserving map $f:[0,1]\rightarrow [0,1]$. The ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

467 views

### How quickly will billiard trajectories cluster?

Suppose you launch $n$ point-particles on
distinct reflecting nonperiodic billiard trajectories
inside a convex polygon. Assume they all have the same speed.
Define an $\epsilon$-cluster as a ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

531 views

### What are the canonical and earliest references to trivial symmetries in gauge systems?

I am trying to find canonical references and the history of trivial symmetries.
The earliest text book reference I can find is on page 69 of Quantization of Gauge Systems by Henneaux and Teitelboim.
...

**28**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### $\exists$ a shot in ideal pocket billiards?

Assume you have one shot with the cue ball in pocket billiards (a.k.a. pool), with
the game idealized in that no spin is placed on the cue ball in
the initial shot, all collisions between billiard ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Hanging a ball with string

What is the shortest length of string that suffices to hang
a unit-radius ball $B$?
This question is related to an earlier MO question, but I think different.
Assume that the ball is ...

**12**

votes

**9**answers

2k views

### Newton equations, second order equation and (im)possible motions

I am am currently studying Newtonian mechanics from a conceptional and axiomatic point of view. Now, if I am not mistaken, one (but surely not all) statement of Newtons second law about nature is, ...

**24**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Is symplectic reduction interesting from a physical point of view?

Do you think that symplectic reduction (Marsden Weinstein reduction) is interesting from a physical point of view? If so, why? Does it give you some new physical insights?
There are some possible ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

384 views

### Two interacting bodies in an external field

Hope, MO is the right place for this question (if not so: where would you pose it?).
Consider a two-body system in classical mechanics. As long as the interaction depends only on the distance of the ...

**13**

votes

**5**answers

1k views

### 2- and 3-body problems when gravity is not inverse-square

Suppose that gravity did not follow an inverse-square law, but was instead a central force diminishing
as $1/d^p$ for distance separation $d$ and some power $p$.
Two questions:
Presumably the 2-body ...

**6**

votes

**0**answers

416 views

### Differential equation of line tangent to caustics

This problem (or rather, statement that I cannot understand) has arisen in a paper I have been reading "Geometry of Integrable Billiards and Pencils of Quadrics" by Dragovic and Radnovic. I'd be most ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

756 views

### Polygonal billards programs

I'm looking for software that will give billiard trajectories in arbitrary plane polygons. After much work I was able to produce this figure.
It was a good exercise, but at this point I wonder if ...

**16**

votes

**6**answers

6k views

### Angle Maximizing the Distance of a Projectile

It is well-known that to maximize the horizontal distance traveled by a projectile fired from the ground at a given speed, one should fire it at a $45^\circ$ angle. What's less-known, though not too ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

541 views

### Rolling a convex body: Geodesics vs. rolling curves

What are the curves of contact on a convex body $B$ rolling down an inclined plane?
Assume $B$ is smooth, and there is sufficient friction to prevent slippage.
Certainly, one can develop a geodesic ...

**34**

votes

**3**answers

5k views

### On linear independence of exponentials

Problem.
Let $\{\lambda_n\}_{n\in\mathbb N}$ be a sequence of complex numbers . Let's call a family of exponential functions $\{\exp (\lambda_n s)\}_{n\in\mathbb N}$ $F$-independent (where $F$ is ...

**28**

votes

**3**answers

3k views

### Parabolic envelope of fireworks

The envelope of parabolic trajectories from a common launch point is itself a parabola.
In the U.S. this weekend many will have a chance to observe this fact directly, as the 4th of July is ...

**2**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### Functional Analysis and its relation to mechanics

Hi I'm currently learning Hamiltonian and Lagrangian Mechanics (which I think also encompasses the calculus of variations) and I've also grown interested in functional analysis. I'm wondering if there ...

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votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Generalizing square wheels rolling on inverted catenaries

It is not uncommon to see in a science museum a bicycle with
square wheels that rides smoothly over a washboard-like
surface made from inverted catenary curves (e.g., at the Münich museum).
The ...

**11**

votes

**4**answers

906 views

### When sticks fall, will they weave?

Imagine $n$ $z$-vertical sticks uniformly spaced around a unit-radius circle in the $xy$-plane.
At $t{=}0$, each is randomly $\epsilon$-perturbed from the vertical, and they fall under
the influence ...

**15**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### Catenary curve under non-uniform gravitational field

The catenary curve is the shape of a chain hanging between two equal-height poles under the influence of gravity. But the derivation of the (hyperbolic cosine) curve equation from the physics ...

**20**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Classical mechanics motivation for poisson manifolds?

Suppose I want to understand classical mechanics.
Why should I be interested in arbitrary poisson manifolds and not just in symplectic ones?
What are examples of systems best described by non ...