3
votes
0answers
38 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
440 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
163 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
219 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
1answer
370 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
735 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
468 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
179 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
299 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
658 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
678 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
755 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:           ...
4
votes
2answers
468 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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
1k 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
1answer
695 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
1answer
500 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 ...