The classical-mechanics tag has no usage guidance.

**4**

votes

**1**answer

209 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, ...

**23**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### Stability of the Solar System

My question is simple:
Is the Solar System stable?
You can see this Wikipedia page.
In May 2015 i was in the conference of Cedric Villani at Sharif university of technology (Iran) with this ...

**14**

votes

**5**answers

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 ...

**27**

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 ...

**1**

vote

**0**answers

146 views

### Proof of Arnold-Liouville theorem in classical mechanics [closed]

I am currently reading Arnold's book "Mathematical Methods of classical mechanics" on page 278 and I don't see through his arguments there at a point.
Especially, I am talking about the part that ...

**7**

votes

**0**answers

85 views

### Kinematics of rolling knots

It is well known that there are trefoil knots without tritangent planes, and with 3d printers one can print these beautiful objects and make them roll on planes.
(An ...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

99 views

### Lagrangian flow preserves symplectic form

Let $X$ be a configuration space and $L: TX \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ a Lagrangian. Then I want to show that the Lagrangian flow $F^t(x(0),x'(0)) = (x(t),x'(t))$ preserves the symplectic form just like ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

164 views

### higher order Noether identities

Noether's second variational theorem gives a correspondence between symmetries of a Lagrangian and Noether identities, which are relations among the Euler–Lagrange equations.
How about relations ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

746 views

### 1-jet bundle on vector bundle with metric connection

Background
I'm working to simplify the Lagrangian formalism of classical field theory for the situation of a vector bundle with a bundle metric and a metric connection. Particularly, I want to ...

**3**

votes

**2**answers

181 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

**0**answers

88 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
...

**11**

votes

**2**answers

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

**0**answers

126 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

**1**answer

133 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 ...

**75**

votes

**0**answers

6k views

### Dropping three bodies

Consider the usual three-body problem with Newtonian
$1/r^2$ force between masses. Let the three masses start off at rest,
and not collinear. Then they will become collinear a finite time ...

**1**

vote

**0**answers

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

**3**answers

347 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

**1**answer

90 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

**0**answers

101 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

**1**answer

164 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

**0**answers

78 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 ...

**59**

votes

**5**answers

15k 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 ...

**28**

votes

**1**answer

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, ...

**22**

votes

**1**answer

653 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

**1**answer

468 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, ...

**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 ...

**21**

votes

**2**answers

873 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
...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

312 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 ...

**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, ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

193 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

**5**answers

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

**0**answers

251 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 ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

523 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 ...

**8**

votes

**1**answer

704 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 ...

**17**

votes

**4**answers

926 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 ...

**-1**

votes

**2**answers

694 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 ...

**34**

votes

**3**answers

4k 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 ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

221 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 ...

**5**

votes

**3**answers

360 views

### Do there exist small neighborhoods in a classical mechanical system without pairs of focal points?

The question I will ask makes sense in much more generality, but I will leave the translation to the experts, since I'm only looking for a special case (and it would not surprise me if the answer does ...

**2**

votes

**0**answers

110 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

**1**answer

225 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

**1**answer

888 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 ...

**16**

votes

**6**answers

5k 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 ...

**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 ...

**6**

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

**5**answers

526 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 ...

**15**

votes

**5**answers

974 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 ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

740 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 ...

**5**

votes

**0**answers

525 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

**0**answers

130 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 ...