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4
votes
1answer
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
4answers
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
5answers
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
3answers
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
0answers
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
0answers
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
1answer
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
1answer
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
1answer
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
2answers
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
0answers
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
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
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
1answer
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
0answers
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
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
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
1answer
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
0answers
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
1answer
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
0answers
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
5answers
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
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, ...
22
votes
1answer
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
1answer
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
6answers
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
2answers
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
1answer
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
9answers
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
2answers
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
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
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
0answers
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
1answer
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
4answers
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
2answers
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
3answers
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
1answer
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
3answers
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
0answers
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
1answer
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
1answer
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
6answers
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
6answers
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
2answers
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
5answers
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
5answers
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
1answer
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
0answers
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
0answers
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 ...