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53
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
27
votes
1answer
1k 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
104 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
443 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
432 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
1k 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
817 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
148 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, ...
0
votes
0answers
121 views

what aspects of Lagrangian submanifolds make them important? [duplicate]

what aspects of lagrangaian submanifolds make them important to concern, and for what reason we call them "lagrangian", are they related to lagrangian function? I maen, I wanna know the physical ...
7
votes
2answers
160 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
67
votes
0answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
215 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
690 views

Can the equation of motion with friction be written as Euler-Lagrange equation?

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 ...
3
votes
0answers
500 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
340 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

Significance of a combination of Weierstrass zeta values arising in the Lagrange top

I'll follow the notation of Whittaker and Watson. Let $\zeta(z)$ be the Weierstrass zeta function with half periods $\omega_{1,2}$ and $\eta_i=\zeta(\omega_i)$. I am interested in the case where the ...
16
votes
4answers
704 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 PoincarĂ© map ...
-2
votes
2answers
534 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
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
353 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
101 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
200 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
542 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
3k 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 ...
28
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
1k 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
500 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
929 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
688 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
450 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
119 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
177 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
393 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. ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
360 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
968 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?
4
votes
2answers
593 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
293 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
886 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 $F(r)=ar$ ...
4
votes
1answer
512 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
167 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
213 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
651 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 ...
43
votes
8answers
5k 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 ...
31
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...