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Physics 201

Analytical Mechanics
J Kiefer
May 2006

© 2006
I. INTRODUCTION......................................................................................................3
A. Fundamental Concepts and Assumptions ....................................................................................................... 3
1. Concepts ......................................................................................................................................................... 3
2. Assumptions ................................................................................................................................................... 3

B. Kinematics – Describing Motion ...................................................................................................................... 3


1. Coordinate Systems ........................................................................................................................................ 3
2. Variables of Motion........................................................................................................................................ 4
3. Galilean Relativity .......................................................................................................................................... 5

C. Newton’s “Laws” of Motion ............................................................................................................................. 6


1. First “Law” or “Law” of Inertia...................................................................................................................... 6
2. Second “Law”................................................................................................................................................. 7
3. Third “Law”.................................................................................................................................................... 7

II. DYNAMICS IN ONE DIMENSION............................................................................8


A. Constant Force................................................................................................................................................... 8
1. Equation of Motion......................................................................................................................................... 8
2. Examples ........................................................................................................................................................ 9

B. Force as an Explicit Function of Time............................................................................................................. 9


1. Equation of Motion......................................................................................................................................... 9
2. Examples ...................................................................................................................................................... 10
3. Impulse, a Vector.......................................................................................................................................... 10

C. Force as a Function of Position ...................................................................................................................... 11


1. Equation of Motion in One Dimension......................................................................................................... 11
2. Potential Energy Function ............................................................................................................................ 12

D. Force as a Function of Velocity ...................................................................................................................... 14


1. Equations of Motion—Two Ways to Go ...................................................................................................... 14
2. Examples ...................................................................................................................................................... 15

E. Harmonic Oscillator........................................................................................................................................ 17
1. Simple Harmonic Oscillator in One Dimension ........................................................................................... 17
2. Damped Harmonic Oscillator ....................................................................................................................... 18
3. Driven Harmonic Oscillator.......................................................................................................................... 20

III. DYNAMICS OF A POINT IN THREE DIMENSIONS ..........................................24


A. Extension of the Concepts to Three Dimensions........................................................................................... 24
1. Impulse ......................................................................................................................................................... 24
2. Work-Energy Theorem................................................................................................................................. 24
3. Work Integrals .............................................................................................................................................. 25
4. Potential Energy Functions........................................................................................................................... 26
5. Angular Momentum...................................................................................................................................... 27
6. Examples ...................................................................................................................................................... 28

B. Separable Forces.............................................................................................................................................. 29
1. Projectile Motion in a Uniform Gravitational Field...................................................................................... 29

1
2. Harmonic Oscillator.......................................................................................Error! Bookmark not defined.

C. Constrained Motion of a Particle ................................................................................................................... 34


1. Smooth Constraints....................................................................................................................................... 34
2. Motion on a Curve ........................................................................................................................................ 35

IV. ACCELERATED REFERENCE FRAMES..........................................................37


A. Galilean Transformation ................................................................................................................................ 37
1. Transformation Equations ............................................................................................................................ 37
2. Translating Reference Frames ...................................................................................................................... 37

B. Rotating Reference Frames ................................................................................................................................. 38


1. Equations of Motion ..................................................................................................................................... 38
2. Rotating Earth............................................................................................................................................... 41

V. POTPOURRI ..........................................................................................................45
A. Systems of Particles ......................................................................................................................................... 45
1. N-particles..................................................................................................................................................... 45
2. Rocket........................................................................................................................................................... 46
3. Collisions ...................................................................................................................................................... 48

B. Rigid Body........................................................................................................................................................ 49
1. Equations of motion...................................................................................................................................... 49
2. Computing moments of inertia ..................................................................................................................... 51
3. Laminar Motion of a Rigid Body ................................................................................................................. 53

C. Central Forces.................................................................................................................................................. 56
1. General Properties ........................................................................................................................................ 56
2. Orbits ............................................................................................................................................................ 57

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I. Introduction

A. Fundamental Concepts and Assumptions


1. Concepts

a. Space and time, defined operationally


That is, space and time are defined by specifying how they are to be measured.

b. Particle
A particle is an object with mass but no extent, or volume, nor internal structure.

2. Assumptions

a. Physical space can be described by 3-dimensional Euclidian geometry.

b. An ordered sequence of events can be measured on a uniform and absolute time scale. I.e.,
time intervals are measured the same by all observers.

c. Time and space are distinct and independent quantities.

B. Kinematics – Describing Motion


1. Coordinate Systems

a. Cartesian

iˆ , ĵ , and k̂ are unit vectors in a right-handed set of


coordinate axes. That is, kˆ = iˆ × ˆj , etc.

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b. Spherical polar

The unit vectors r̂ , θˆ , and φˆ are not constant.

c. Cylindrical

The unit vectors ρ̂ , φˆ , and ẑ are not constant.

2. Variables of Motion
& & &
To describe the motion of a particle, we use 4 variables: r , v , a , and t; all measured with
respect to some selected origin of coordinates.
&
a. Position, r
Selection of coordinate system is arbitrary, but once chosen must be adhered to.
&
b. Velocity, v
&
& dr
v=
dt
&
c. Acceleration, a
& &
& dv d 2 r
a= = 2
dt dt
d. Equation of motion
An equation of motion is a differential equation relating the variables of motion to one another,
& &
esp. to t. We have solved the equation of motion when we obtain r (t ) and v (t ) .

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e. Example – constant acceleration
& & & & 1& & & & &
r (t ) = r = ro + vo + at 2 and v (t ) = v = vo + at
2

3. Galilean Relativity
The motion of a particle may be described in terms of different reference frames. How do we
relate the motion variables measured in one frame to those measured in another frame?

a. Two reference frames

Viewed from O, the point P has


& &
velocity v and acceleration a .
Relative to O’, the point P is observed
&
to have velocity v ′ and acceleration
& & & & &
a ′ . In general v ≠ v ′ and a ≠ a ′ .

b. Galilean transformation, without rotation


To see clearly how the transformation goes, let’s take a simpler case:

& & & &


& & & & dr dR dr ′ dR &
Note that r = R + r ′ . Then just take the time derivative: v = = + = + v′ .
& dt dt dt dt &
dR & dR
The quantity is the relative velocity of the two reference frames. Let’s say that u = .
dt dt
& & &
& dv du dv ′ & &
Finally, a = = + = A + a ′ . We have assumed that dt is the same in both reference
dt dt dt
frames.

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c. Examples
i) boat, drifting with the current

& & &


v = u + v′

ii) elevator, with a person standing on a scale


We have a ′ = 0 and a = A . Newton’s
& &
Second “Law” says: ∑ Fi = ma . Write the
vertical components out separately in the two
reference frames.

in the elevator: Fc′ − mg ′ = 0

as seen by an observer outside the elevator:


Fc′ − mg = mA

The “true” weight, or gravitational force exerted by the Earth on the person is mg. In the
elevator, the scale reading is interpreted as the apparent weight, mg ′ = Fc′ . Only when we
compare the two viewpoints do we see that mg ′ = mg + mA . Note, also, that A may be plus (up)
or minus (down), or zero, or -g.

C. Newton’s “Laws” of Motion


To describe the relation among motion, changes in motion, and forces, Newton proposed three
“Laws.”

1. First “Law” or “Law” of Inertia


A body in uniform motion remains in uniform motion unless acted upon by an external net force.

a. Inertia
This property of matter expressed by the First “law” is called inertia. The quantitative measure
of inertia a body has is its inertial mass.

b. Inertial reference frames


A reference frame in which Newton’s three “Laws” are valid is called an inertial reference
frame. One in which they do not hold is called noninertial, for instance, the rotating Earth.

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2. Second “Law”
& & &
F = ∑i Fi = ma
The acceleration of a body is proportional to the net force, and in the direction of the net force.

a. Process
* & & &
Identify all applied forces, Fi . Add them vectorially to obtain the net force, F . Set F = ma
& &
and solve for v and r .

b. Quantitative definition of inertial mass


Let’s consider two bodies, 1 and 2, connected by a spring. Observe the motion:
& &
a1 = − µ ⋅ a 2
We wish to obtain a parameter characteristic of each body, so rewrite this observation as
& &
m1a1 = − m2 a 2
Ultimately, all masses are measured relative to some standard kilogram.

c. Translational momentum
&
& dv
We identify the “change in motion” caused by a force as ma = m .
dt
& &
Definition: translational momentum, p = mv .

3. Third “Law”
& &
We observed the two masses connected by a spring: m1a1 = − m2 a .

a. Action-reaction
&
The force exerted by body 1 on body 2 ( F12 ) is equal and opposite to that exerted by body 2 on
& & &
body 1 ( F21 ). I.e., F12 = − F21 .

b. Interaction
In effect, the Third “Law” is describing a property of force: that it is an interaction between two
masses. Put another way, any two bits of matter exert forces on each other.

c. Conservation of translational momentum


If two bodies are isolated, then
& &
m1 a1 + m2 a 2 = 0

& &
dv1 dv 2
m1 + m2 =0
dt dt
& &
m1v1 + m2 v 2 = a constant

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II. Dynamics in One Dimension
Dynamics is the application of calculus to solve equations of motion. We often begin the
discussion of dynamics in the context of simplified one-dimensional situations.

A. Constant Force
1. Equation of Motion

a. Coordinate frame

& &
F = ma

b. X-component equation of motion


Fx = ma x .
Solve for ax.
dv x Fx
ax = = = constant.
dt m
This is a differential equation for v x , which we solve in effect by separating the variables,
thusly:
dv x = a x dt
Integrate both sides
vx t t

∫ dv x = ∫ a x dt = a x ∫ dt
vox to to

v x − vox = a x (t − t o ) .
Let to = 0 and solve for v x (t ) = vox + a x t .

dx
Further, v x = , so
dt
x t

∫ dx = ∫ (vox + a x t )dt .
xo to

1
Integrate again and solve for x(t ) = xo + vox t + a xt 2 .
2

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2. Examples

a. Inclined plane

& & & &


F = Fc + mg + F f

Decompose normal and parallel to the surface:

x: − mg sin θ + F f = ma x
y: Fc − mg cosθ = 0
Substitute F f = µFc ; solve for ax. Then
substitute the constant ax into the equations for
x(t) and v(t).

b. Free fall

dv y
ay = = −g
dt
Separate:
dv y = − gdt
Integrate:
vy t

∫ dv y = − g ∫ dt
voy 0

v y = voy − gt

B. Force as an Explicit Function of Time


& &
F = F (t )

1. Equation of Motion
dv x
= a x (t )
dt
t
v x = vox + ∫ a x (t )dt
0
dx
= v x (t )
dt

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t
x = xo + ∫ v x (t )dt
0
We plug in the specified ax(t) and integrate twice to obtain x(t).

2. Examples

a. Linear dependence on time


dv x
ax = = b ⋅ t , where b is a constant.
dt
t
1
v x = vox + ∫ btdt = vox + bt 2
0
2
dx
Similarly, = v x , so that
dt
t
1 1
x = xo + ∫ (vox + bt 2 )dt = xo + vox t + bt 3 .
0
2 6
b. Simple harmonic motion
Fx = A sin(ω ⋅ t ) , where A is the amplitude and ω is the angular frequency (radians/sec). We
integrate twice to obtain x(t).
t
A
v x = vox + ∫ sin(ω ⋅ t )dt
0
m
A  −1 cos(0) 
v x = vox +  cos(ω ⋅ t ) + 
m ω ω 
A A
v x = vox + − cos(ω ⋅ t )
mω mω
t
x = xo + ∫ v x dt
0
t
 A A 
x = xo + ∫  vox + − cos(ω ⋅ t ) dt
0
mω mω 
 A  A
x = xo +  vox + ⋅t − sin(ω ⋅ t )
 mω  mω 2
The xo and vox are initial conditions.

3. Impulse, a Vector

a. Definition of impulse
& t &
P = ∫ F (t )dt
to

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t t v px
dv x x

In one dimension, Px = ∫ Fx dt = ∫ m dt = ∫ mdv x = ∫ dp x = ∆p x . The impulse is the


0 0
dt v pox
ox

momentum imparted to the mass, m, in the time interval ∆t = t − t o .

Definition of impulsive force: A force that acts


such a short time that the mass does not move while
the force is acting. The momentum is changed, in
effect, instantaneously.

graphically:

The area under the curve gives the magnitude of the


impulse, which equals the magnitude of the change in
momentum.

b. Example: an object hitting a wall

In an elastic collision, the x-component of the object’s momentum is reversed: p 2 x = − p1x . If


the duration of the collision were ∆t = 0.003 sec, for instance, then the average force exerted on
p − p1x
the object by the wall is Fx = 2 x . The equal
∆t
and opposite force exerted on the wall by the object is
− Fx . Care must be taken to keep straight what is
exerting which force on what. Often, the exact time-
dependence of the force during the collision is not
known, though in some cases a force sensor may be
used to record the magnitude of the force throughout the
impact.

C. Force as a Function of Position


& & &
F = F (r )

1. Equation of Motion in One Dimension


dv x d 2x
Fx ( x) = m =m 2
dt dt
a. Integration
We want to write the equation of motion in terms of dx because the force is a function of x rather
than of time. Using a chain rule, we obtain
d 2 x dv x dx dv x dv
2
= = = vx x .
dt dt dt dx dx
So, we have in the Second “Law”

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dv x
Fx = mv x .
dx
d (v x2 ) dv dv x
But notice that = 2v x x , so substitute for to obtain
dx dx dx

Fx = m
1 d v x2( ) .
2 dx

b. Kinetic energy
dp x 1 dT
In analogy with Fx = , define the kinetic energy, T = mv x2 , such that Fx = .
dt 2 dx
c. Work-energy theorem
In analogy with the definition of impulse, define the work done by a force on the mass, m, as
x
W = ∫ Fx dx = T ( x) − T ( xo ) = ∆T
xo
Keep in mind, this W is the work done by the force Fx on the object while the object undergoes a
displacement from xo to x.

2. Potential Energy Function

a. Potential energy
If the integration limits in the work integral are reversed, then
xo
x
− W = ∫ Fx dx = G ( x) xo , where G(x) is the antiderivative of Fx. If Fx is a function of x only, not
x
of t, or v, or v2, etc., then the work integral can be differentiated to obtain
G ( x) − G ( xo ) ∆G
Fx = − =−
x − xo ∆x
Define the potential energy function, V, such that
xo
V ( x) − V ( xo ) = ∫ Fx dx ,
x
dV
in terms of which Fx = − .
dx

b. Total mechanical energy


The right hand side of the definition of V(x) is also − ∆T , so
V ( x) − V ( xo ) = T ( xo ) − T ( x)
V ( x ) + T ( x) = V ( x o ) + T ( x o )
Define the total mechanical energy as E = T + V. This quantity, E, has the same value at x as at
xo, even though V and T may individually change. If T + V is indeed constant, then the force Fx
is said to be a conservative force, because the total mechanical energy is conserved. Arguing in
a sense backwards, it can be seen that only conservative forces have potential energy functions.

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The characteristic property of a conservative force is that the work done by a conservative force
depends only on the endpoints of the motion.

c. Motion from the total energy


The equation E = T + V can be solved for vx(x), but what’s really wanted is vx(t) and x(t).

When V(x) = E, vx = 0 and the particle turns around.


The points x1 and x2 are called turning points. On the
other hand, when E –V(x) is a maximum, vx is
dV
maximum, etc. Also, since Fx = − , the force can
dx
be described qualitatively by looking at the slope of
the V(x) graph.

Quantitatively, the equation of motion is obtained by


first solving E for vx.
1 2
mv x + V ( x) = E
2
1 2
mv x = E − V ( x)
2
dx 2
vx = = [E − V ( x)]
dt m
Integrate
t x
dx
∫ dt = ∫ 2
0 xo [E − V ( x)]
m
x
dx
t= ∫ 2
xo [E − V ( x)]
m
To go any further, a specific V(x) is required.

d. Example
Say that Fx = − kx , where k is a constant. This often called a linear restoring force. Then the
potential energy function is
xo
1 1
∆V ( x) = ∫ − kxdx = − kxo2 + kx 2 .
x
2 2
1 2 1 1
Evidently V ( x) = kx . The total mechanical energy is E = T + V = mv x2 + kx 2 . With this
2 2 2
V(x),

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x x
dx m dx
t= ∫ 2  1 
=
1 2 x∫

2
.
xo
E − kx 2  o E − kx
m  2  2
du u 1
This integral is of the form ∫ = sin −1 , where a2 = E and u 2 = kx 2 .
2
a −u 2 a 2
2
du u
m
u
k m  u
2 u∫o a 2 − u 2
t= ⋅ = ⋅ sin −1 
k  a  u
o

 k k
 x xo 
m 2 − sin −1 2= m  k 
t= ⋅ sin −1 ⋅ sin −1  x −Φ.

k  E E  k  2 E 
 
 
Solve for x(t):
2E  k 
x(t ) = ⋅ sin  ⋅ (t + Φ )  .
k  m 
dx 2E  k 
Finally, if desired, the v x (t ) = = ⋅ cos ⋅ (t + Φ)  . As expected, a linear restoring
dt m  m 
force leads to simple harmonic motion.

D. Force as a Function of Velocity


An object moving in a fluid experiences a resistive force dependent on the velocity.

1. Equations of Motion—Two Ways to Go

a. First way
dv x
Fx (v x ) = ma x = m
dt
Separate the variables and integrate
t vx
mdv x
∫ dt = ∫ Fx (v x )
0 vox
vx
dv x
t =m∫
vox
Fx (v x )
This expression would be solved for vx(t). In turn, vx(t) would be integrated to obtain x(t). A
specific form for Fx(vx) is required in order to continue.

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b. Second way
The alternative approach is to eliminate t to obtain x(vx). This recalls the procedure used in
introductory physics to obtain the four equations of motion (involving x, v, a, and t) for cases of
constant acceleration. Using the chain rule, the Second “Law” becomes
dv dv dx dv
Fx (v x ) = ma x = m x = m x = mv x x .
dt dx dt dx
Separate the variables and integrate
mv x dv x
dx =
Fx (v x )
vx
vx
x = xo + m ∫ dv x .
vox
Fx (v x )
dx
Next, solve for vx(x). Then, set v x ( x) = . Then, separate the variables and integrate
dt
dx
dt = to obtain t(x). Finally, solve for x in terms of t.
v x (x)

In practice, the second method is used when x(vx) or vx(x) is all that is desired. The first method
is usually shorter in obtaining vx(t) and x(t).

2. Examples

a. Fx = −cv x , where c is a constant greater than zero.


Follow the steps. . .
vx vx
dv x dv x m dv
t =m∫ =m∫ =− ∫ x
v
Fx (v x ) v
− cv x c vx
ox ox

m vx
t=− ln
c vox
Solve for vx
c
vx − ⋅t
=e m
vox
c
− ⋅t
v x = v ox e m

In the absence of other forces, the velocity decreases exponentially, with a characteristic time
m
(time constant) of τ = .
c

Next, integrate to get x(t).


t
x t c
− ⋅t  m − c ⋅t 
∫ dx = v ∫ eox
m
dt = vox  − e m 
xo 0  c 0

15
mv ox  − ⋅t 
c
x(t ) = x o + 1 − e m 
c  
 
mvox
Notice that for long times, x → xo + = a constant!
c
b. Fy (v y ) = − mg − cv y , where mg is constant and upward is (+).
Follow those steps. . .
vy vy
dv y dv y
t = m∫ = −m ∫
voy
− mg − cv y voy
mg + cv y
 mg + cv y 
[ v
oy
]
t = −m ⋅ ln(mg + cv y ) v y = − m ⋅ ln
 mg + cvoy


 
Take the antilog of both sides
mg + cv y c
− ⋅t
=e m
mg + cvoy
Solve for vy
1
( mg + cvoy )⋅ e − m ⋅t − mg  =  mg + voy  ⋅ e − m ⋅t − mg
c c
vy =
c   c  c
mg
Notice that for long times, v y → − = a constant called the terminal velocity, vt. Once
c
terminal velocity is achieved, Fy (v y ) = 0 and vy remains constant thereafter, or until impact.
Finally, vy(t) is integrated to obtain
mg  m 2 g mvoy  − ⋅t 
c

y = yo − 
t + 2 +  1− e m 
c  c c  

v 3y
c. Fy (v y ) = − mg − α
vy
This would be too messy to integrate, especially twice. The equation of motion could be solved
numerically instead. Firstly, chop time into short intervals, ∆t , as shown on the time-line below.

Secondly, assume that ay is constant during each time step of duration ∆t . Then the equations
for constant acceleration can be used to compute the motion from one time step to the next.

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1
v 3y  
 2 α  2
a y   = −g −
 2 m 1
vy  
 2
 2 0 1
y  = y  + v y  ∆t
 2  2  2
 3 1  2
v y   = v y   + a y  ∆t
 2  2  2
1
Notice that the initial values, y (0) and v y   must be given in order to start the cycle of
 2
computation. The calculation can be performed by a computer program written in C or Fortran
or Basic or some other language, or it can be done in a spreadsheet such as Excel.

E. Harmonic Oscillator
1. Simple Harmonic Oscillator in One Dimension

a. Differential equation of motion


Fx
ax=
m
2
d x k
2
=− x
dt m
This is a second order ordinary differential equation for x(t). It can be solved by integration,
yielding two constants of integration: xo and vox, as shown in Section IIC. On the other hand,
there are only a few functions that are proportional to their own second derivative, such as sin t ,
cos t , or e qt .
d qt
e = qe qt
dt
d 2 qt
2
e = q 2 e qt
dt
b. Proposed solution
Rather than carry out the two integrations, assume a general solution of the form
x = Ae qt + Be − qt and substitute into the differential equation.
d2
[
dt 2
] [ m
k
]
Ae qt + Be − qt = − Ae qt + Be − qt

[ k
]
Aq 2 e qt + Bq 2 e − qt = − Ae qt + Be − qt
m
[ ] [ k
]
q 2 Ae qt + Be − qt = − Ae qt + Be − qt
m

17
k k
Evidently, it must be that q 2 = − , or q = i = iω . The coefficients A and B are determined
m m
by the initial conditions x(0) = xo and v x (0) = v ox .
Ae iω 0 + Be − iω 0 = xo
iωAe iωo − iωBe − iω 0 = vox
These constitute two equations and two unknowns, which are solved in the usual way.
A + B = xo
v
A − B = ox

v
xo + ox
Add them together A = iω
2
v
xo − ox
Subtract them B = iω
2

c. Euler relations
If the sine, cosine, and the exponential functions are expanded in Taylor series, it can be seen
that e iω ⋅t = cos ω ⋅ t + i sin ω ⋅ t and e − iω ⋅t = cos ω ⋅ t − i sin ω ⋅ t . Therefore, the solution
obtained in Section IIC is in fact the same as that derived above.

2. Damped Harmonic Oscillator


Suppose the oscillator is immersed in fluid, then perhaps Fx = − kx − cv x , where c is the drag
coefficient.

a. Equation of motion
ma x = − kx − cv x
ma x + cv x + kx = 0
dx
In this case, both the first and second derivatives are present. For compactness, let x = and
dt
d 2x
x = . Then the equation of motion looks like
dt 2
mx + cx + kx = 0 .

b. Solution
Physically, we expect the mass, m, to oscillate like a harmonic oscillator, but with diminishing
total mechanical energy because of the viscous resistance term. As before, a solution of the form
x = Ae qt is assumed and substituted into the differential equation.
d2 d
m 2 Ae qt + c Ae qt + kAe qt = 0
dt dt
2 qt
mAq e + cAe qt + kAe qt = 0

18
mq 2 + cq + k = 0
This is a quadratic equation for q. The quadratic formula yields two roots.
− c ± c 2 − 4mk
q=
2m
Depending of the relative magnitudes of c2 and 4mk, there are three cases.

c. Over damping c 2 > 4mk


The roots are real and negative: Let
c − c 2 − 4mk c + c 2 − 4mk
γ1 = and γ 2 = , so
2m 2m
−γ t −γ t
that the solution is x = A1e 1 + A2 e 2 . These
are both decaying exponentials. Therefore the
mass, m, approaches the origin exponentially
without oscillation. With the initial velocity set to
zero, it looks like:

d. Under damping c 2 < 4mk


In this case, the roots are complex.
2
− c ± i 4mk − c 2 c k  c 
q= =− ±i − 
2m 2m m  2m 
q = −γ ± i ω o2 − γ 2 = −γ ± iω
The solution takes the form
[
x = A1e −γt +iωt + A2 e −γt −iωt = e −γt A1e iωt + A2 e −iωt ]
This function is a harmonic oscillation with an
exponentially decaying amplitude.

e. Critically damped
c
There is one value of c 2 = 4mk , so there is only one double root, q = − = −γ . Now, to
2m
complete the solution, two constants are needed, so in this case the assumed solution is not
adequate. So, we must return to the original differential equation and solve it by another method.
mx + cx + kx = 0
c k
x + x + x = x + 2γx + γ 2 x = 0
m m
Factor this like a polynomial
d  d 
 + γ  + γ  x = 0
 dt  dt 
 d 
Define a new variable u =  + γ  x and solve the following for u.
 dt 

19
d 
 + γ u = 0
 dt 
du
= −γdt
u
du
∫ u = − ∫ γdt
u = Be − γ ⋅t
Replace the u,
d  −γ ⋅t
 + γ  x = Be
 dt 
Solve for B,

B = e γ ⋅t  + γ  x = (xe γ ⋅t )
d  d
 dt  dt
Separate the variables again and integrate,
t x

∫ Bdt = ∫ d (xe )
γ ⋅t

0 A

Bt = xe γ ⋅t − A
x = (Bt + A)e −γ ⋅t .
The mass returns to x = 0 more quickly than exponentially, without oscillation.

3. Driven Harmonic Oscillator


An additional force is applied to the damped harmonic oscillator. For instance, we might
consider a sinusoidal driving force, Fo e i (ωt +θ ) .

a. Equation of motion
mx + cx + kx + Fo e i (ωt +θ ) = 0
The driving force is independent of x, so we separate the variables.
mx + cx + kx = Fo e i (ωt +θ )
This is an inhomogeneous second order ordinary differential equation.

b. Solution
The solution of such a differential equation consists of two parts: the general solution to the
homogeneous version, which we have in paragraph 2, plus a particular solution to the
inhomogeneous equation. To obtain the particular solution, we use physical insight.

What do we expect? The homogeneous solution dies out with time, so the remaining motion
must reflect the time dependence of the driving force. Therefore, we propose that x = Ae i (ωt +δ ) .
Notice that because the differential equation is second order, the proposed solution has two
adjustable constants.

20
Substitute into the differential equation
− mAω 2 e i (ωt +δ ) + ciωAe i (ωt +δ ) + kAe i (ωt +δ ) = Fo e i (ωt +θ )
Divide through by the Ae i (ωt +δ )
Fo i (θ −δ )
− mω 2 + icω + k =
e
A
The real and imaginary parts must be separately equal, so we get two equations with two
unknowns.
F F
k − mω 2 = o cos(θ − δ ) = o cos φ
A A
F F
cω = o sin (θ − δ ) = o sin φ
A A
The unknowns are A and φ and the simultaneous equations are solved in the usual way. Firstly,
divide the second by the first

tan φ = .
k − mω 2
Secondly, square both equations and add ‘em
F2
2
(
k − mω 2 + c 2ω 2 = o2 )
A
2
Fo
A2 =
) 2
k − mω 2 + c 2 ω 2 (
[(ω − ω ) ]
1
k c F 2 2

In terms of ω = 2
o and γ = , A= o 2
o + 4γ ω 2 2 2
.
m 2m m

[( ]
1
F
)2 −
Thus, the particular solution is x = o ω o2 − ω 2 + 4γ ω2 2 2
e i (ωt +δ ) where
m
 2γω 
φ = θ − δ = tan −1  2 .
2 
ω
 o − ω 

c. Interpretation
Notice that A depends on ω , as well as Fo and γ . It might be asked, at what ω = ω r is A a
dA
maximum? To find that out, set =0.

[( ]
3
1 Fo
) [( ) ]

− ωo − ω
2 2 2
+ 4γ ω
2 2 2
2 ω o2 − ω 2 (− 2ω ) + 8γ 2ω = 0
2 m
The numerator must vanish
(
− 4ω ω o2 − ω 2 + 8γ 2ω = 0 )
Rearrange, and rename ω = ω r
(
4ω r ω r2 − ω o2 + 2γ 2 = 0 )
ω = ω − 2γ
2
r
2
o
2

21
This ω r = ω o2 − 2γ 2 is called the resonant frequency. Plugging ω 2 = ω r2 = ω o2 − 2γ 2 back
into A gives the maximum amplitude, Amax.
1

Amax =
Fo
m
(
 ω 2 − ω 2 + 2γ 2
 o o )
2
(
+ 4γ 2 ωo2 − 2γ 2 

) 2

1

Amax
F
[
= o ω o2 − γ 2
2mγ
] 2

The phase angle, φ , gives the time difference


between the driving force and the resultant motion.

2γω
φ = tan −1
ω −ω2
2
o

The mechanical energy of the oscillator is


proportional to its amplitude squared. Therefore the
driving force transfers maximum energy to the
oscillator when the driving frequency is equal to the
resonant frequency. In addition, we see that the motion of the oscillator is not in general in phase
with the force since φ ≠ 0 .

d. Quality factor
The resonance peak may be broad or narrow. Let’s take the width to be defined quantitatively as
the ∆ω between the half-energy points, at
2
Amax
.
2

We’re interested the region ω ≈ ω o .


Further, we want weak damping, else there
would be no oscillation. Therefore,
Fo F
γ << ω o and Amax ≈ = o . Also,
2γmω o cω o
ω o2 − ω 2 ≈ 2ω o (ω o − ω ) and γω ≈ γω o .
Putting these approximations into A gives
Fo
m γAmax
A= ≈ .
[(ω ] [(ω ]
1 1
2
o −ω )
2 2
+ 4γ ω
2 2 2
o −ω) +γ
2 2 2

22
1 2
Amax ? When (ω o − ω ) = γ 2 or when ω = ω o ± γ . So γ corresponds
2
Now, when does A 2 =
2
∆ω
to . A relative measure of the width of the resonance peak is the quality factor, which is
2
ω
defined as Q = d , where ω d is the frequency of the under damped, but undriven, harmonic
∆ω
oscillator. We saw in paragraph 2 that ω d = ω o2 − γ 2 . If the damping is particularly weak,
ωo ωo
then ω d ≈ ω o and Q ≈ = .
∆ω 2γ

23
III. Dynamics of a Point in Three Dimensions

A. Extension of the Concepts to Three Dimensions


1. Impulse

a. Newton’s Second “Law”


& dp& d &
F= = (mv )
dt dt
The force, momentum and velocity are vectors. In three dimensions, we have three component
equations, as the vectors are decomposed along the three coordinate axes. E.g.,
dp d dp y d dp d
Fx = x = (mv x ) ; Fy = = (mv y ) ; Fz = z = (mv z ).
dt dt dt dt dt dt

b. Force as a function of time; impulse


& & &
P = ∫ F (t )dt = ∫ dp
&
This equation is solved for v (t ) , and a second integration yields
& &
r (t ) = ∫ v (t )dt.
Notice that these are vector equations, so they must be decomposed into component equations
&
before the integrals are performed. Also, it is often the case that F (t ) is not known, as in
collisions. In such cases we rely on the change in momentum.

2. Work-Energy Theorem

a. Kinetic energy
& dp&
F=
dt
&
Take the dot product with v , from the right on both sides.
& &  dp&  & d  m & & 
F ⋅v =  ⋅v =  v ⋅v ,
 dt  dt  2 
&
d & &
where we have assumed that the mass is constant and have recognized that (v ⋅ v ) = 2v& ⋅ dv .
dt dt

1 & & & & d


We define the kinetic energy as T = mv ⋅ v , so that F ⋅ v = T .
2 dt

b. Work
& &
F ⋅ v dt = dT
& &
Substitute for v dt = dr
& &
F ⋅ dr = dT
Integrate over the displacement

24
&
r2
& &
∫ ⋅ dr = T2 − T1
&
F
r1

The left hand side (l.h.s.) is the work done on the particle by the force, as the particle moves
& &
from position r1 to position r2 . Of course, to carry out the integral, the vectors must be
decomposed into components.

3. Work Integrals

a. Path integrals
In general, the work integral has to be evaluated
along the path followed by the particle between
the initial and final positions. Further, the applied
force is likely not constant. Imagine the path, C,
&
broken up into N short segments, dri . At each
&
segment, the force is Fi . Then the work integral
is
& & N &
&
∫ ⋅ = lim ∑ Fi ⋅ dri .
C
F d r
dr → 0 i =1

b. Parameterization of the path


We’d like to reduce the work integral to a one-
dimensional integral. In some instances, it is enough to decompose the force and displacement
along the coordinate axes. More generally, however, the curve C may be curved, rather than
straight. In that case, we look at the distance traveled along the curved path. Call that distance s.
& & &
If F (r ) and r (s ) are known, then
& & &
 & dr   dx dy dz 
∫C F ⋅ d r = ∫  ds ds = ∫  Fx ds + Fy ds + Fz ds ds
F ⋅
& & &
 & dr 
Alternatively, ∫ F ⋅ dr = ∫  F ⋅ ds = ∫ F cosθds , where
C
 ds 
& &
θ (s ) is the angle between the vectors F and r at every
point along the path. The choice of parameter will be
guided by the symmetry of the path.

c. Example

The work done by gravity on the object as it moves


from the top to the bottom of the incline is:
& & &
W = ∫ F ⋅ dr = ∫ − mgˆj ⋅ dr

25
h2 + " 2 h
W =∫ − mg cos φds = − mg h 2 + " 2 = −mgh
0 2 2
h +"
d. Example

Consider the work done on a particle moving on a semicircular path in the xy-plane. The force
& & &
acting on the particle is F = − k (r − ro ) ,
&
where ro = aiˆ and a is the radius of the
semicircle.
Let s = a(π − α ) . Since the motion is
confined to a semicircle, we’ll write the
work integral first in terms of the arc
length, s, and then in terms of the angle α .
& &
∫ ⋅ dr = ∫ F cosθds
C
F
We need to F, θ , and ds in terms of the
angle, α .
& & α
F = k r − ro = 2ak sin is the magnitude
2
of the force, since by the law of cosines,
& & 2 & & 2
r 2 + ro2 − r − ro 2a 2 − r − ro
cos α = = .
2rro 2a 2
Solve for
& &
= 2a 2 (1 − cos α ) ;
2
r − ro
& & α
r − ro = 2a sin .
2
π π π −α  α
Next, θ = −φ = −   = , by inspection of the diagram. Finally, since the path is
2 2  2  2
clockwise along the semicircle, ds = − adα .
& & 0 α α 0 α α
∫ F ⋅ dr = ∫π 2ak sin 2 cos 2 (− adα ) = −2a k ∫π sin 2 cos 2 dα = 2ka .
2 2

4. Potential Energy Functions

a. Conservative force
Condition for exact differential----
B
A differential dV is an exact differential if ∫A dV
&
= V ( B) − V ( A) . If a potential energy function
&
is to be defined for a force, then the quantity F ⋅ dr must be an exact differential. What
requirement on the force insures that this will be so?

Assume that for a given force there is a function such that

26
& ∂V ˆ ∂V ˆ ∂V
F = ∇V = iˆ + j +k .
∂x ∂y ∂z
∂Fx ∂ 2V ∂ 2V ∂Fy
Since these are partial derivatives, = = = . That is, the order we take the
∂y ∂y∂x ∂x∂y ∂x
∂Fx ∂Fy
derivatives does not matter. Therefore, we have = , etc. Now, consider the curl
∂y ∂x
operator
iˆ ˆj kˆ
& ∂ ∂ ∂  ∂F ∂Fy  ˆ ∂Fz ∂Fx  ˆ ∂Fy ∂Fx 
∇× F = = iˆ z −  − j −  + k − 
∂x ∂y ∂z  ∂y ∂z   ∂x ∂z   ∂x ∂y 
Fx Fy Fz
The curl operator (“del cross”) acts on a vector function to produce another vector function, with
the usual x, y, and z components. The curl is a measure of the extent to which the vector function
& &
F (r ) curls back on itself. It is also associated with rotation.

Referring to the conditions for an exact differential, we see that if a force is a conservative force,
∂Fx ∂Fy
then its curl is zero, since = , etc. This provides a test to determine whether a given
∂y ∂x
force is conservative. If it is conservative, then a potential energy function can be defined for
that force. The significance is that the work integral depends only on the end points of the
motion, not on the details of the path followed between the initial and final positions.

b. Potential energy
& & & & &
If F ⋅ dr is an exact differential, then we can write it as F ⋅ dr = − dV , where V (r ) is a scalar
&
function of r . In Cartesian coordinates we have
∂V ∂V ∂V
Fx dx + Fy dy + Fz dz = − dx − dy + dz .
∂x ∂y ∂z
∂V
We can identify the force components as Fx = − , etc. since the x, y, and z-axes are
∂x
&
independent. The V (r ) is the potential energy function. It’s a function of position, and the force
components are obtained from V by
& ∂V ˆ ∂V ˆ ∂V ˆ
F =− i− j− k = −∇V .
∂x ∂y ∂z
The ∇ operator (called del) is the gradient operator. It may be regarded as the three-
dimensional form of the slope. With the minus sign in front, we have defined the potential
energy function, or surface, such that the direction of the force will be “down hill.” Notice that
the gradient operator acts on a scalar function to produce a vector function.

5. Angular Momentum

a. Return to the Second “Law”

27
& dp&
F=
& dt
Operate from the left with r ×
&
& & & dp
r × F (t ) = r ×
dt
& &
d & & & & & dp & dp
Now, notice that (r × p ) = v × p + r × = 0 + r × . So, we can write, on the right hand
dt dt dt
side
& & d & &
r × F = (r × p )
dt
& & &
We define the angular momentum of the particle about the origin to be L = r × p . The value of
the angular momentum will depend on the choice
of the origin of coordinates. In fact, an angular
momentum can be defines about any point, and
&
the vector r points from that point to the particle.
Note, too, that the particle need not be moving in
a circle or even along a curved path.

The left hand side is called the Moment of Force,


or torque. In terms of the angular momentum, we
&
& & dL
have r × F = .
dt

b. Directions
& & & &
If the cross product A × B = C is written out, it can be seen that the product C is perpendicular
& &
to both the vectors A and B . Therefore, the direction of the angular momentum vector is
& & &
perpendicular to both r and p . Likewise, the torque is a vector perpendicular to both r and
&
F.

6. Examples

a. Find the force field of the potential energy function V = x 2 + xy + xz .


& ∂V ˆ ∂V ˆ ∂V
F = −∇V = −iˆ −j −k = −(2 x + y + z )iˆ − xˆj − xkˆ
∂x ∂y ∂z
&
b. Is F = xyiˆ + xzˆj + yzkˆ a conservative force?
iˆ ˆj kˆ
& ∂ ∂ ∂
∇× F = = (z − x )iˆ + 0 ˆj + (z − x )kˆ ≠ 0
∂x ∂y ∂z
xy xz yz
The force is not conservative.

28
&
c. ( )
Find values of a, b, and c such that F = ax + by 2 iˆ + cxyˆj is a conservative force.
&
Apply the condition by setting ∇ × F = 0 , then solve the component equations. In this case
& &
∇ × F = (c − 2b )ykˆ . Therefore, ∇ × F = 0 if c = 2b with any a.

B. Separable Forces
& &
In general, the force components may depend on r , v , and t. This is too hard to deal with
analytically. Sometimes, the force is separable. That is, the force components depend only on
& & &
their respective coordinates; i.e., Fx = f (x, x, t ) rather than Fx = f (r , v , t ) . If F is separable,
then the problem reduces to two (or three) independent one-dimensional problems.

1. Projectile Motion in a Uniform Gravitational Field

a. No air resistance

Newton’s Second “Law”


& &
F = ma
&
ˆ d 2r
− mgk = m 2
dt
Integrate the component equations twice:

x = 0 → x(t ) = x o t + xo
y = 0 → y (t ) = y o t + y o
1
z = − g → z (t ) = − gt 2 + z o t + z o
2

The conservation of mechanical energy is


1 & & 1 & &
m(v ⋅ v ) + mgz = m(vo ⋅ vo ) + mgz o
2 2
1
2
( ) 1
m x 2 + y 2 + z 2 + mgz = mvo2 + mgz o
2

Consider the trajectory—z as a function of x. Basically, we wish to eliminate the variable t from
x(t) and z(t).
x
t= ,
x o
substitute into z(t)

29
2
1  x   x 
z = − g   + z o   + z o
2  x o   x o 
 − g   z 
z = x 2  2  + x o  + z o
 2 x o   x o 
This is the equation for a parabola.
y y o t y o
If we similarly eliminate t from x(t) and y(t), we find that = = = a constant. This
x x o t x o
y o
result shows that the motion is confined to a vertical plane defined by y = x . This is the
x o
reason that we treat projectile problems as two dimensional rather than three.

b. linear air resistance


Newton’s Second “Law” says
&
ˆ & d 2r
− mgk − cv = m 2 .
dt
Decompose
c c c
x = − x y = − y zz = − g −
m m m
Just as before, we have three one-dimensional equations of motion. We can make use of
previous results:
c
− ⋅t
x = x o e m

m  − ⋅t 
c

x = x o 1 − e m 

c  
c
− ⋅t
y = y o e m

m  − ⋅t 
c
m 
y = y o 1 − e


c  
c
 mg  − ⋅t mg
z =  + z o  ⋅ e m −
 c  c
 m 2 g mz   − ⋅t 
c
z =  2 + o  ⋅ 1 − e m  − mgt
 c c   
 m g mz  
2
− t 
c
z =  2 + o  ⋅ 1 − e m  − mgt
 c c   

30
c. Trajectory with linear air resistance
It’s difficult to visualize the trajectory of a projectile subject to linear air resistance. There are
two ways to figure it out, one analytical and one numerical; both are approximate.

i. series expansion
m  cx 
Solve the x-equation for t = − ln1 −  and substitute into the z-equation.
c  mx o 
Expand the ln function in a series
2 3 4
 cx  − cx 1  cx  1  cx  1  cx 
ln1 −  = −   +   −   + 
 mx o  mx o 2  mx o  3  mx o  4  mx o 
 mg z o  mg 1 g 2 1 cg 3
Whence z ( x) =  +  x − x− 2
x − 3
x −  . Collect the powers of x,
c
 ox x
 o  cx o 2 x
 o 3 mx o

z o 1 g 2 1 cg 3
z ( x) = x− x − x − .
x o 2 x o2 3 mx o3
Now, the first two terms are the parabolic trajectory of a particle experiencing no air resistance.
The added terms give corrections to that trajectory due to air resistance.

ii. numerical simulation


The alternative is to perform a numerical solution to the equations of motion, just as was done in
section II. D. 2. for the one-dimensional case. Now there will be six equations, since we have
two dimensions.
 2 1
x  = −cx 
 2  2
 2 1
z  = − g − cz 
 2  2
 2  0 1
x  = x  + x  ∆t
 2  2  2
 2 0 1
z   = z   + z ∆t
 2  2  2
 3 1  2
x  = x  + x ∆t
 2  2  2
 3 1  2
z  = z  + z ∆t
 2  2  2

We may imagine further elaborations, such as a drag coefficient that depends on altitude, etc.

31
2. Harmonic Oscillator

a. isotropic harmonic oscillator


& &
In the Second “Law”, ma = −kr .
Separate the variables.
mx = − kx
my = − ky
mz = − kz
We have three one-dimensional problems, which we solved already.
x(t ) = A1 sin ω ⋅ t + A2 cos ω ⋅ t
x(t ) = A1 sin ω ⋅ t + A2 cos ω ⋅ t
x(t ) = A1 sin ω ⋅ t + A2 cos ω ⋅ t
k
All have the same angular frequency, ω = .
m

To obtain a trajectory, we eliminate t to get, for instance,


Step one:
B2 x = B1 A1 sin ω ⋅ t + B1 A2 cos ω ⋅ t
− A1 y = − A1 B1 sin ω ⋅ t − A1 B2 cos ω ⋅ t
__________________________________
B1 x − A1 y = B1 A2 cos ω ⋅ t − A1 B2 cos ω ⋅ t
Solve for
B x − A1 y
cos ω ⋅ t = 1
B1 A2 − A1 B2
Step two:
B2 x = B2 A1 sin ω ⋅ t + B2 A2 cos ω ⋅ t
− A2 y = − A2 B1 sin ω ⋅ t − A2 B2 cos ω ⋅ t
__________________________________
B2 x − A1 y = B2 A1 cos ω ⋅ t − A2 B1 cos ω ⋅ t
Solve for
B x − A2 y
sin ω ⋅ t = 2
B2 A1 − A2 B1
Step three: Substitute these into z(t).

 B x − A2 y   B x − A1 y 
z ( x, y ) = C1  2  + C 2  1 
 B2 A1 − A2 B1   B1 A2 − A1 B2 
 C B − C 2 B1   C A − C1 A2 
z ( x, y ) = x 1 2  + y 2 1 
 B2 A1 − A2 B1   B2 A1 − A2 B1 

32
The items in the brackets are constants, determined by initial conditions. So, z(x,y) is of the form
of an equation for a plane. That is, the motion of the three dimensional harmonic oscillator is
confined to a two dimensional plane.

b. Non-isotropic harmonic oscillator

More generally, the force constants may not be the same in the three directions.
& & & &
F (r ) = − k x xiˆ − k y yˆj − k z zkˆ = − k ⋅ r .
The separated equations of motion are
mx = − k x x
my = − k y y
mz = − k z z .
These have solutions of the same form, but different constants.
x(t ) = A1 sin ω x t + A2 cos ω x t
y (t ) = B1 sin ω y t + B2 cos ω y t
z (t ) = C1 sin ω z t + C 2 cos ω z t
kx ky kz
where ω x = , ωy = , and ω z = .
m m m

ωx ωy ωz
Special case: if = = , where nx, ny, and nz are integers, then the frequencies are said
nx ny nz
to be commensurable, and the trajectory of the oscillator is closed. These closed trajectories are
the famous Lissajou Figures.

c. Energy
The potential energy function is V ( x, y, z ) =
1
2
( )
k x x 2 + k y y 2 + k z z 2 and the kinetic energy

is T =
1 & & 1
2
( )
mv ⋅ v = m v x2 + v y2 + v z2 . The total mechanical energy is conserved E = T + V = a
2
constant.

33
C. Constrained Motion of a Particle
If a moving particle is restricted to a definite curve or surface, its motion is said to be
constrained. A constraint may be complete or one-sided, fixed or moving. We will consider
only fixed constraints. This is not really a new issue, just an alternative way of thinking about
the forces acting on a particle.

1. Smooth Constraints

a. Energy considerations
Let’s suppose that the forces acting on a particle are divided into two classes—call them the
applied forces and the constraining forces. The constraining forces are those that confine the
particle’s motion to a specific path or surface. In the Second “Law”
& & &
dv
F+R=m
dt
&
Take the dot product with v on both sides of the equation
& & & & &
 dv  &
F ⋅ v + R ⋅ v = m  ⋅ v .
 dt 
& & & &
Now, if R ⊥ v everywhere along the path, then R ⋅ v = 0 . We have remaining
& & &
 dv  & d  1 & & 
F ⋅ v = m  ⋅ v =  mv ⋅ v  .
 dt  dt  2 
& 1 2
If the force, F , is conservative, we can integrate to obtain mv + V ( x, y, z ) = E = constant,
2
just as before. That is, the constraining forces do no work. Such constraints are called smooth.

b. Example—a classic

A particle begins on top of a smooth sphere of


radius a. If it begins to slide, where will it
begin to leave the sphere’s surface?
& &
The forces acting are F = −mgkˆ and R , the
contact or normal force. In the Second “Law”
& &
ˆ dv
R − mgk = m .
dt
The key is to recognize that when the particle
leaves the sphere, the contact force vanishes.
&
So we solve for R and set it equal to zero.

v2
The radial components are − mg cosθ + R = −m . Solve for R.
a
2
v
R = −m + mg cosθ
a

34
The next step is to parameterize v in terms of θ , or both v and θ in terms of z. From the
1
conservation of energy we get mv 2 + mgz = E = mga , whence v 2 = 2 g (a − z ) . Also,
2
z
cosθ = . Plugging these into the equation for R yields
a
m z
R = − 2 g (a − z ) + mg = 0
a a
Solve for z
z z
− 2g + 2g + g = 0
a a
2
z= a
3

2. Motion on a Curve
&
A particle is constrained to move along a specified curve, C. Its displacement is r ( x, y, z ) . In
terms of s, the distance traveled along C, x = x(s), y = y(s), and z = z(s). There are two
approaches, both starting from the total energy, E.

a. Energy
1 2
E = ms + V ( s ) = constant. This is solved for s by integration:
2
s mds
t=∫ .
0 2 E − V (s)

b. Tangential force
Alternatively, differentiate the total energy equation
dV
ms + = 0,
ds
dV
where the quantity = − Fs is the negative of
ds
the tangential component of the external force,
&
F , that is tangential to the curve, C. As an
example, revisit the simple pendulum.

35
s
V ( s ) = mgz = mg"(1 − cosθ ) = mg" − mg" cos 
"
dV s
− = −mg sin θ = − mg sin  
ds "
s
So we have ms + mg sin   = 0 . We would integrate this twice to obtain s(t). If s << " , then of
"
course we have simple harmonic motion. If not, the motion is not simple harmonic. Instead,
s
s = − g sin   ;
"
 s 1  s  3
1 s
5 
s = − g  −   +   −  .
 " 3!  "  5!  "  
Integrate that twice in your spare time.

36
IV. Accelerated Reference Frames

A. Galilean Transformation

1. Transformation Equations
The motion of a particle is observed
relative to O and to O’. The Galilean
Transformation of coordinates is:
& & &
r = r ′ + ro
& & &
& dr dr ′ dro & &
v= = + = v ′ + vo
dt dt dt
& & &
& dv dv ′ du & &
a= = + = a ′ + ao
dt dt dt
The relative displacement, velocity, and acceleration are measured with respect to O.

2. Translating Reference Frames

Consider a mass hanging in static equilibrium


inside a railcar. That is, if the O ′ frame is
&
inside the railcar, then a ′ = 0 . The railcar is
accelerating along the straight, smooth track
&
with acceleration a o .

In the O-frame, the free body diagram looks like


this:

In the Second “Law”,


& & & &
T + W = ma = ma o . The component equations are
T sin θ = ma = mao and T cosθ − mg = 0 .

As observed in the O ′ -frame, the Second “Law” says


& & &
T ′ + W ′ = ma ′ = 0 . The component equations are
T ′ sin θ − W ′ sin θ = 0 and T ′ cosθ − W ′ cos θ = 0 ,
where naturally one would say that the weight of the hanging mass is
&
W ′ = mg ′ and that W ′ makes an angle θ with the vertical.

37
Suppose that somehow the external observer (in the O-frame) could inform the observer inside
the railcar that the force of gravity in fact pointed straight down, and that the “true” weight of the
mass is W = mg . Then the component equations in the O ′ -frame would look like this:
T ′ sin θ − f x = 0 and T ′ cosθ − mg = 0 .
& &
Of course T ′ = T , so we can identify the f x = mao . This f x is called a fictitious or an inertial
force, since it arises from the relative acceleration of the reference frames, not from interaction
among physical bodies.

B. Rotating Reference Frames


1. Equations of Motion

a. Rotating axes

Consider two coordinate frames, one


rotating with respect to the other. The
angular velocity of the rotating frame
&
( O ′ ) is ω . The direction is given by the
right-hand-rule. In what follows, we will
d′ d
have and , derivatives taken in the
dt dt
O ′ - and O -frames, respectively.

b. Rotating vectors
Now, let there be some physical vector,
&
B . Its components in each of the two
frames are:
& &
B = B x iˆ + B y ˆj + B z kˆ and B = B x′ iˆ′ + B y′ ˆj ′ + B z′ kˆ ′ .
&
The O-frame is fixed; the O ′ -frame rotates. We want to examine how the components of B
&
& d ′B
change with time. For the moment, assume that B is fixed in the O ′ -frame, so that = 0.
dt

Geometrically, we see that in the O -frame


∆B = (ω ⋅ ∆t ) ⋅ B sin θ , where θ is the angle
& &
between B and ω .
∆B
= ωB sin θ
∆t
Take the limit as ∆t → 0 ,
dB
= ωB sin θ
dt
From the diagram, the direction is
& &
perpendicular to both B and ω . That is,

38
&
dB & &
=ω×B.
dt
&
Now we turn to the more general time derivative of B .
&
dB d
dt dt
= (
B x′ iˆ′ + B y′ ˆj ′ + B z′ kˆ ′ )
&
dB dB x′ ˆ diˆ′ dB y′ ˆ dˆj ′ dB z′ ˆ dkˆ ′
= i ′ + B x′ + j ′ + B y′ + k ′ + B z′
dt dt
& & dt dt dt dt dt
dB d ′B
dt
=
dt
&
( ) &
( )
+ B x′ ω × iˆ′ + B y′ ω × ˆj ′ + B z′ ω × kˆ ′
&
( )
& &
dB d ′B & &
= +ω × B
dt dt

c. Motion variables
& &
If, at the moment, the origins of the two reference frames coincide, then r = r ′ . To obtain the
&
velocity of the particle, we take the time derivative of r .
& &
dr d ′r ′ & &
= +ω ×r′
dt dt
& & & &
r = r ′ + ω × r ′
Similarly, the acceleration is
r& = d (r& ′ + ω& × r& ′) = d ′ r& ′ + ω& × r& ′ + ω& × r& ′ + ω& × r& ′
( ) ( )
dt dt
r& = r&′ + ω& × r& ′ + ω& × r& ′ + ω& × r& ′ + ω& × (ω& × r& ′)
r& = r&′ + ω& × r& ′ + 2ω& × r& ′ + ω& × (ω& × r& ′)
If translational motion or acceleration of the O ′ -frame is allowed, then
& & &
r = ro + r ′
& & & & &
r = vo + r ′ + ω × r ′
& & & & & & & & & &
r = a o + r′ + ω × r ′ + 2ω × r ′ + ω × (ω × r ′)
From the point of view of an observer in the rotating O ′ -frame, we solve the last equation for
&
r&′ , which goes into Newton’s Second “Law” as written in the O ′ -frame: F ′ = mr&′ .
& & & & & & & & & &
r′ = r − a o − 2ω × r ′ − ω × (ω × r ′) − ω × r ′

Each term has a name:


& real physical net force, such as gravity
mr
&
− mao inertial “force”
& & Coriolis effect
− 2mω × r ′
& & &
− mω × (ω × r ′) centrifugal “force”
& & transverse “force”
− mω × r ′

39
The latter four “forces” are called fictitious forces, as they arise from the acceleration of the
reference frame, not from a physical interaction among particles. However, their effects are not
necessarily readily distinguishable from real physical forces in the O ′ -frame.

d. Example
turn table, merry-go-round, etc.
& & & &
Let ω = ω ⋅ kˆ ′ = constant; r ′ = x ′iˆ′ ; r ′ = x ′iˆ′ = vo iˆ′ =constant; and r′ = 0 .
&
As experienced in the rotating reference frame, F ′ is the net force. . .
& &
F ′ = mr′ = 0
& & & & & & & & &
F − mao − 2mω × r ′ − mω × (ω × r ′) − mω × r ′ = 0
& & & & & &
F − 2mω × r ′ − mω × (ω × r ′) = 0
&
( )
F − 2mω ⋅ kˆ ′ × vo iˆ′ − mω ⋅ kˆ ′ × ω ⋅ kˆ ′ × x ′iˆ′ = 0
&
F − 2mω ⋅ vo ˆj ′ + mω 2 x ′iˆ′ = 0
&
The applied force, F , is the force (such as friction)
&
necessary to maintain the constant r ′ .

At the same instant, an observer in the O –frame would


write:
& &
r = r ′ = x ′iˆ′
& & & &
r = r ′ + ω × r ′ = vo iˆ′ + ω ⋅ x ′ˆj ′
&
& & & & & & & & & F
r = r ′ + ω × r ′ + 2ω × r ′ + ω × (ω × r ′) = 0 + 0 + 2ω ⋅ vo ˆj ′ − ω x ′iˆ′ =
2
m
These deceptively simple expressions arise because we have taken a “snapshot” of the turn table
&
at the instant when the xyz-axes coincide with the x’y’z’-axes. We have not obtained r (t ) as yet.

e. rotating velocity vector


By way edging into the full blown treatment of rotating reference frames, consider a turn table
again, rotating with constant angular velocity. An insect walks with constant speed outward
&
from the center along the iˆ′ -axis. That is, r ′ = vo iˆ′ = constant. What are the velocity
& & & &
components relative to the non-rotating axes? Well, r = r ′ + ω × r ′ = vo iˆ′ + ω ⋅ x ′ˆj ′ . But this
gives the components relative to the rotating axes. We need relations between the unit vectors of
the two reference frames.
iˆ′ = iˆ cosθ + ˆj sin θ
ˆj ′ = iˆ(− sin θ ) + ˆj cosθ
kˆ = kˆ ′
Substituting for the unit vectors, we obtain
&
( ) (
r = vo iˆ cosθ + ˆj sin θ + ω ⋅ x ′ − iˆ sin θ + ˆj cosθ . )

40
What are x ′ and θ ? x ′ = vo t and θ = ω ⋅ t . So, we have at last
&
r = iˆv (cos ω ⋅ t − ω ⋅ t sin ω ⋅ t ) + ˆjv (sin ω ⋅ t − ω ⋅ t cos ω ⋅ t ) .
o o

2. Rotating Earth

a. Statics

Consider a plumb bob hanging at rest, and let the origin


& &
of our coordinate system be at the bob, so r ′ = r = 0 .
The “real” physical forces on the bob are gravity and the
& &
tension in the cord. We have also ω = 0 and r ′ = 0 .
& &
As seen in the rotating frame: T ′ + W ′ = 0 . Since we
use plumb bobs to determine the vertical direction, we’d

say that T ′ − mg ′ = 0 . However, since the


&
Earth is rotating, W ′ does not point toward
the center of the Earth. As seen in an
inertial frame, Newton’s 2nd “Law” appears
& & & v2
as T + W = mao , where ao = = ρω 2 is
ρ
the centripetal acceleration, directed toward
& & & & & &
the Earth’s rotational axis. Now, T = T ′ = −W ′ , so we can write − W ′ = −W + ma o = 0 , or
& & &
W ′ = W − ma o . The deviation from the true vertical (pointing toward the center of the Earth), is
a function of the latitude, λ , since
sin e sin λ
=
ao g′
sin e sin λ
=
ρω 2 g′
sin e sin λ
=
R cos λω 2
g′
Rω 2
sin e = sin( 2λ )
2g ′
Our scales actually measure W ′ = mg ′ . However, since the Earth rotates slowly, g ′ ≈ g . The
same would not be true on a planet that rotates much faster than the Earth. See for instance the
science fiction novel A Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement.

b. Dynamics

41
& & &
A frame fixed to the Earth’s surface is the O ′ -frame. In that frame, we observe r′ , r ′ and r ′ .
In the rotating frame, Newton’s 2nd “Law” looks like
& &
F ′ = mr′ . As related to an inertial reference frame,
& & & & & & & & & &
r′ = r − ao − 2ω × r ′ − ω × (ω × r ′) − ω × r ′ . On the
2π rad
Earth, a o = R cos λω 2 , ω = = 7.3 x10 −5 ,
day sec
& & &
ω = 0 , and the product ω × (ω × r ′) is very small. For a
& &
projectile without air resistance, mr = W only. The
& & &
equation of motion reduces to mr′ = W − 2mω × r ′ . We
may further neglect ao ∝ ω 2 in this case. [Since ω is
& &
small, ω ′ ≈ ω = − mgkˆ ′ .]

Let iˆ′ be east, ˆj ′ be north, and kˆ ′ be the local vertical.


Then our vectors have the following components:
&
W ′ = − mg ′kˆ ′
&
ω = ω x′ iˆ′ + ω y′ ˆj ′ + ω z′ kˆ ′ = ω cos λˆj ′ + ω sin λkˆ ′ .

The Coriolis term is


iˆ′ ˆj ′ kˆ ′
& &
ω × r ′ = ω x′ ω y′ ω z′ = iˆ′(ω ⋅ z ′ cos λ − ω ⋅ y ′) + ˆj ′(ω ⋅ x ′ sin λ ) + kˆ ′(− ω ⋅ x ′ cos λ ) .
x ′ y ′ z ′
&
Therefore, the components of r′ are
x′ = −2ω ⋅ (z ′ cos λ − y ′ sin λ )
y′ = −2ω ⋅ (x ′ sin λ )
z′ = − g ′ + 2ω ⋅ (x ′ cos λ )
[Recall that g ′ ≈ g in this case.]
These are coupled equations; we want to de-couple them. Firstly, integrate each one with respect
to time. . .
x ′ = −2ω ⋅ (z ′ cos λ − y ′ sin λ ) + x o′
y ′ = −2ω ⋅ (x ′ sin λ ) + y o′
z ′ = − g ′t + 2ω ⋅ (x ′ cos λ ) + z o′
Substitute y′ and z′  into x′ .
x′ = −2ω ⋅ [(− g ′t + 2ω ⋅ x ′ cos λ + z o′ )cos λ − (− 2ω ⋅ x ′ sin λ + y o′ )sin λ ]
( ) ( )
x′ = 2ω ⋅ g ′t − 4ω 2 x ′ cos λ − 2ω ⋅ z o′ cos λ + − 4ω 2 x ′ sin λ + 2ω ⋅ y o′ sin λ
We neglect terms in ω 2 as being much smaller than terms in ω .
x′ = (2ω ⋅ g ′t − 2ω ⋅ z o′ )cos λ + 2ω ⋅ y o′ sin λ
x′ = 2ω ⋅ g ′t cos λ − 2ω ⋅ (z o′ cos λ − y o′ sin λ )

42
Integrate.
x ′ = ω ⋅ g ′t 2 cos λ − 2ω ⋅ t (zo′ cos λ − y o′ sin λ ) + xo′
Integrate again.
1
x ′ = ω ⋅ g ′t 3 cos λ − ω ⋅ t 2 (z o′ cos λ − y o′ sin λ ) + x o′ t + xo′
3
Penultimately, plug this into y ′ and z′  .
y ′ = −2ω ⋅ {x ′}sin λ + y o′
z ′ = − g ′t + 2ω ⋅ {x ′}cos λ + z o′
Integrate each of these, afterward dropping once again terms in ω 2 .
y ′ = y o′ t − ω ⋅ x o′ t 2 sin λ + y o′
1
z ′ = − g ′t 2 + z o′ t + ω ⋅ x o′ t 2 cos λ + z o′
2

c. Projectile
Example: an object dropped from rest. xo′ = y o′ = z o′ = 0 and x o′ = y o′ = z o′ = 0 . Then,
1
x ′ = ω ⋅ g ′t 3 cos λ
3
y′ = 0
1
z ′ = − g ′t 2
2
We see that x ′ ≠ 0 ; the object drifts to the east as it falls. Suppose z ′ = − h . If we can pretend
2h
that the object is falling nearly straight downward, then the fall-time is t 2 ≈ and
g′
1
1  8h 3 2
x ′ ≈ ω ⋅ g ′ cos λ  3  .
3  g′ 

Example: an object projected horizontally at high velocity. x o′ = vo and y o′ = z o′ = 0


1
x ′ = vo t + ω ⋅ g ′t 3 cos λ
3
y ′ = −ω ⋅ vo t 2 sin λ
Remember, iˆ′ is east and ˆj′ is horizontal, parallel to the Earth’s
surface. So the projectile drifts to the right ( − ˆj′ ) at a rate
R
proportional to vo . If R is the horizontal range, then t ≈ is the
vo
2
R
time of flight and the total drift in the ˆj ′ -direction is − ω ⋅ sin λ .
vo
Of course, the horizontal range is determined in the first place by

43
how long it takes for the projectile to fall from its initial elevation to its final elevation. If the
2∆z ′
change in elevation is given, then the range is approximately R ≈ vo .
g′
However, if h (or ∆z ′ ) is large, then we can no longer use the approximate fall-time. If air
resistance is added as well, then it’s time for the numerical solution.

d. Foucault pendulum
We are not sensibly aware of sitting or standing
on a rotating surface. A definitive physical
demonstration that the Earth rotates is the
Foucault Pendulum.

Assume that the Earth rotates with a constant


&
angular velocity, ω . As viewed in the rotating
frame, the equation of motion for the pendulum
bob is
& & & & &
mr′ = T ′ + W ′ − 2mω × r ′ .
Decompose
x′
mx′ = − T ′ − 2mω ⋅ (z ′ cos λ − y ′ sin λ )
"
y′
my′ = − T ′ − 2mω ⋅ x ′ sin λ
"
mz′ = Tz′′ − mg ′ + 2mω ⋅ x ′ cos λ
As usual, we consider small oscillations, in
which case T ′ = W ′ ≈ mg and z ′ << y ′ . Then
g
x′ = − x ′ + 2ω ⋅ y ′ sin λ and
"
g
y′ = − y ′ − 2ω ⋅ x ′ sin λ . The pendulum bob
"
experiences a transverse force which causes the
plane of its swing to precess about the kˆ ′ -axis,
and at a rate proportional to ω and to the sine of
the latitude, λ . The fact that just exactly such a
precession is observed serves to demonstrate that
the Earth rotates.

44
V. Potpourri

A. Systems of Particles
1. N-particles
&
Consider a system comprised of N particles, each with its own mass, mi, it’s own position, ri , and
& &
velocity, r , and acceleration, r . The particles exert forces on one another and may be subject to
i i
forces external to the system as well.

a. Center of Mass
& &
& ∑ mi ri ∑ mi ri
R= = , where M is the total mass of the system. The velocity and acceleration
∑ mi M
of the center of mass is obtained by the usual time-derivatives. . .
& &
& ∑ mi ri & ∑ mi ri
V= , and A = .
M M
Keep in mind that there need be no particle located at the center of mass.

b. Forces
& N & &
Newton’s Second “Law” applies to each particle: Fi + ∑k =1 Fik = mi ri . Of course, the i = k
& &
term is omitted from the summation. Fi is the total external force acting on mi. Fik is the force
exerted by the kth particle on the ith particle.

The Second “Law” applies to the system as a whole, also. The total net force on the system is
& & &
∑i Fi + ∑i ∑k Fik = ∑i mi ri
& &
However, for each i and k, Fik = − Fki , so the double sum adds up to zero.
& & &
∑iF =i ∑i
m r = MA
i i
That is, the acceleration of the Center of Mass is proportional to the net external force on the
&
system. The Second “Law” reduces to that for a single particle of mass M located at R .

c. Momentum and energy


& & & &
The total translational momentum of a system of particles is P = ∑i pi = ∑i mi ri = MV . At the
& &
dP dpi &
same time, = ∑i = MA . Therefore, if the net external force on the system is zero, then
dt dt
the total translational momentum of the system is conserved.

45
1 & &
By a similar token, the total kinetic energy of the system is T = ∑i mi ri ⋅ ri . Now, we might
2
rewrite this expression in terms of the particle velocities with respect to the center of mass,
& & &
ri = V + ri′ .
& & & & & & & & & &
1
( )( ) 1
(
T = ∑i mi V + ri ′ ⋅ V + ri ′ = ∑i mi V ⋅ V + 2V ⋅ ri ′ + ri ′⋅ ri′
2 2
)
1 & & 1 & &
T = MV ⋅ V + ∑ mi ri′⋅ ri′
2 2
We see the kinetic energy separated into two contributions: kinetic energy of the Center of Mass
and kinetic energy with respect to the Center of Mass (or internal kinetic energy).

d. Angular momentum
& &
The total angular momentum of a system of particles is the vector sum L = ∑i Li . Of course,
the individual angular momenta must be computed about the same axis point. For the sake of
& & &
argument, let’s say that point is the origin: L = ∑i mi ri × ri . Again, rewrite in terms of positions
and velocities relative to the Center of Mass.
& & & & & & & & & & &
( )( ) & &
L = ∑i mi R + ri′ × V + ri ′ = MR × V + ∑i mi R × ri′ + ∑i mi ri ′× V + ∑i mi r ′ × ri ′ .
& &
The middle two terms are both zero, since ∑i mi ri ′ = 0 and ∑i mi ri ′ = 0 .
& & & & &
L = MR × V + ∑i mi ri′× ri′
Like the kinetic energy, the total angular momentum separates into two contributions: the
angular momentum of the Center of Mass about the origin and the angular momentum about the
Center of Mass. A similar analysis can be done if the axis point is not the origin.

If we consider the time rate of change of the angular momentum, we obtain


&
& &
dL
dt
& & & & &
(
= ∑i mi ri × ri + ∑i mi ri × ri = 0 + ∑i ri × Fi + ∑k Fik )
&
dL & & &
= N − ∑i ∑k rik × Fik ,
dt
& & &
where the position of the k particle relative to the ith particle is rik = rk − ri . If the internal
th
&
forces are central forces, then the double sum vanishes. If the external torque, N , is zero, then
the total angular momentum of the system is conserved.

2. Rocket
As an example of an object whose mass is changing as it moves, consider a rocket. We treat it as
a reverse inelastic collision.

a. Impulse
Suppose the total mass of a moving object is not constant. Say the net external force acting on
&
an object (such as a rocket or a rain drop) is Fext . Assume that during a short time interval, ∆t ,
&
the Fext is approximately constant. Then the impulse delivered to the mass, m, is

46
& &
Fext ∆t = ∆p .
Further suppose that during that interval ∆t the mass changes by an amount ∆m . The change in
momentum that results is
& & & &
∆p = mv 2 + ∆mv 2′ − (m + ∆m )v1 .
& & & & &
∆p = m(v 2 − v1 ) + ∆m(v 2′ − v1 )
We want to rewrite this in terms of the change in velocity of the mass, m, and the relative
& & & & & &
velocity of the m and ∆m . Namely, ∆v = v 2 − v1 and V = v 2′ − v 2 .
& &
& & & &
( )
& &
∆p = m(v1 + ∆v − v1 ) + ∆m V + v1 + ∆v − v1
& &
& & & &
∆p = m∆v + ∆m∆v + ∆mV = (m + ∆m )∆v + ∆mV
& & &
The impulse, then, is Fext ∆t = (m + ∆m )∆v + ∆mV . We may as well just let m + ∆m be m at this
point.
& & &
Fext ∆t = m∆v + ∆mV
Divide by ∆t ;
& & &
∆v ∆m & dv & dm
Fext = m + V →m +V .
∆t ∆t dt dt
& &
Recap: v is the velocity of the object (rocket or rain drop), V is the velocity of the ∆m relative
dm
to the object, and is the absolute value of the time rate of change in the mass of the object.
dt
Actually, we have to be careful of the directions of things. As derived here, if ∆m is leaving the
& &
object, then the object is losing mass and ∆v is in the opposite direction as V . Consider a
rocket in the absence of gravity or any other external force.

&
dv & dm
0=m +V
dt dt
& &
dv dm
m = −V .
dt dt

47
3. Collisions
Consider an isolated system of two particles, m1 and m2.

a. Reference frames
Lab frame—say the target is at rest,

& & &


p1 = p1′ + p 2′
p12 p′2 p′2
= 1 + 2 +Q
2m1 2m1 2m2

In general, this can be complicated, the more so if the particles are not point masses. We look at
a special case. . .

If the collision is elastic (Q = 0) and if m1 = m2 , then p12 = p1′ 2 + p 2′ 2 . On the other hand,
& & & & & & & &
p12 = p1 ⋅ p1 = ( p1′ + p 2′ ) ⋅ ( p1′ + p 2′ ) = p1′ 2 + p 2′ 2 + 2 p1′ ⋅ p ′2 .
& & & &
Evidently, 2 p1′ ⋅ p 2′ = Q if m1 = m2 . Further, if Q = 0, then p1′ ⋅ p ′2 = 0 which implies that
π
φ1 + φ 2 = . In order to solve for the out-going velocities, we need to be given one of the out-
2
& & &
going angles. An alternative scenario is that p1′ = 0 and p ′2 = p1 .

Center-of-Mass frame—say the origin is at the Center of Mass.

By the definition of the Center of Mass,


& & & &
p1 + p 2 = 0 = m1u1 + m2 u 2
& & & &
p1′ + p 2′ = 0 = m1u1′ + m2 u 2′

48
The energy equation is
m12 u12 m22 u 22 m12 u1′ 2 m22 u 2′ 2
+ = + +Q
2m1 2m2 2m1 2m2
Replace m22 u 22 = m12 u12 and m22 u ′22 = m12 u1′ 2 .
m12 u12 m12 u12 m12 u1′ 2 m22 u1′ 2
+ = + +Q
2m1 2m2 2m1 2m2
m12 u12  1 1  m12 u1′ 2  1 1 
 +  =  + +Q
2  m1 m2  2  m1 m2 
p12  m1 + m2  p12  m1 + m2 
 =  +Q
2  m1m2  2  m1m2 
m1m2
Define the reduced mass as µ = , in which case
m1 + m2
p12 p1′ 2
= +Q.
2 µ 2µ
Because the momenta of the two particles as measured in the Center of Mass frame are exactly
opposite of each other, it is often more convenient to solve a collision problem in the Center of
Mass frame. Of course, we would observe collisions in the Lab frame, so results must be
transformed from one frame to the other, and back again.

b) Transforming from the Lab frame to the Center of Mass frame, and back again

B. Rigid Body
A rigid body is a system of particles for which all the relative displacements between pairs of
& &
particles are fixed. That is, ri − r j = a constant for all i & j.

1. Equations of motion

a. Rotation variables
Let k̂ be the axis of rotation, and consider a particle, or mass element, which is executing
circular motion about the axis.

49
Ri = xi2 + yi2 = the distance from the axis of rotation,
ϕ i = angular displacement,
& dϕ
ω = i kˆ = angular velocity, and
dt
vi = Riω = orbital speed
By inspection, we can see that
xi = Ri cos ϕ i
dϕ i
x i = − Ri sin ϕ i = − Riω sin ϕ i
dt
y i = Ri sin ϕ i
y i = Riω cos ϕ i
zi = 0

b. Kinetic energy
1 1 ω2
T = ∑i mi vi2 = ∑i mi Ri2ω 2 = ∑i mi Ri2
2 2 2
We define the Moment of Inertia for the system as I = ∑i mi Ri2 , in terms of which the rotational
1 2
kinetic energy can be written as Trot = Iω . Notice that the numerical value of I depends on
2
the location of the rotational axis!

c. Angular momentum
& & &
The total angular momentum of the system is L = ∑ ri × mi vi .

iˆ ˆj kˆ
&
L = ∑i xi yi { }
z i = ∑i iˆ(− mi y i z i ) − ˆj (− mi x i z i ) + kˆ(mi y i xi − mi x i yi )
mi x i mi y i mi zi
We identify the components of the angular momentum vector as
L x = 0 , L y = 0 , and L z = ∑i (mi y i xi − mi x i yi ) . Since the particles are going around in circles,
the Lz can be written as L z = ω ∑i mi Ri2 = I z ω , where Iz means the moment of inertia calculated
about the k̂ -axis.

d. Torque, or Moment of force


& & &
N = ∑ ri × Fi
&
This is the total torque exerted on a system of particles. The Fi is the net force acting on the ith
&
particle; the ri is the position of the ith particle.

50
2. Computing moments of inertia

a. Discrete particles
The approach is to select an axis of rotation, then the moment of inertia about that axis is
I = ∑i Ri2 mi . Note that the Ri2 is the distance of the ith particle from the axis of rotation.

b. Continuous mass distribution


If the distribution of the mass in a system is continuous, then the summation goes over to an
integral over the mass density function.
I = ∫ R 2 dm = ∫ R 2 ρdxdydz
The whole of the integrand must be written in terms of spatial coordinates. The steps are
i) select the axis of rotation
ii) write R2 in terms of coordinates
iii) write dm or ρ in terms of coordinates
iv) take advantage of symmetry.

example: a thin rod of length a and uniform mass density ρ .

Because the rod is “thin” we have a one-dimensional problem. Let’s say the axis of rotation is
the k̂ axis, while at the moment the rod lies along the iˆ axis. Then R = x and dm = ρdx .
a a
a3
I = ∫ R dm = ∫ x ρdx = ρ
2 2

0 0
3
Suppose the mass density is not uniform, but instead ρ = 3x 2 − x . Then the moment of inertia is
a a a
3 5 1 4
I = ∫ R 2 dm = ∫ x 2 ρdx = ∫ 3 x 4 − x 3 dx = a − a
0 0 0
5 4
example: a disk of radius a and uniform mass density; the axis of rotation is perpendicular to the
plane of the disk, through the center of the disk.

51
This is a two-dimensional problem, since the object is said to be a disk rather than a cylinder.
The symmetry of the disk is circular, so polar coordinates are convenient.
I = ∫ R 2 dm
a 2π a
a4
I =∫ ∫ r ρrdθdr = 2πρ ∫ r dr = 2πρ 4
2 3

0 0 0
This can be written in terms of the total mass, M, of the disk by
M
substituting ρ = 2 .
πa
Of course, if the mass density is not uniform, then it is a function of r and θ .

c. Parallel axis theorem


Reconsider the thin rod, but now let the axis of rotation pass through the midpoint (i.e., the
Center of Mass) of the rod rather than its endpoint. [Of course, if the mass distribution is not
uniform, the Center of Mass is not at the rod’s midpoint.]

a a
2  x3  2 a3
I ′ = ∫ ρx 2 dx = ρ   = ρ

a  3 −a 12
2 2

a3
If I is the moment of inertia of the same rod about its endpoint, we can see that I = I ′ + ρ .
4
a3 a2
Once more in terms of the total mass of the rod, ρ =M . But that’s just the moment of
4 4

52
a
inertia of a point mass at a distance R = from the axis of rotation. Thus, what we have is the
2
following statement: the moment of inertia of a system about a specified axis is equal to the
moment of the system about a parallel axis through its Center of Mass, plus the moment of
inertia of a point mass, equal to the total mass of the system, about the specified axis.

example: a hoop

The moment of inertia about an axis in the plane of


the hoop and through its Center of Mass is
a2
I′ = M
2
The moment of inertia about a parallel axis at a
distance r from the hoop’s Center of Mass is
 a2 
I = I ′ + Mr 2 = M  + r 2 
 2 

example: disk

a2 3
I = I ′ + Ma 2 = M + Ma 2 = Ma 2
2 2

3. Laminar Motion of a Rigid Body


Laminar motion means that the translational motion of the rigid body is confined to a plane, say
the xy-plane, while rotation occurs only around an axis perpendicular to that plane, say the z-axis.

a. Angular momentum
Imagine the rigid body is composed of many tiny mass elements, mi. The rotational equation of
motion is
&
dL &
=N
dt
& &
( d
dt

&
) &
ri × mi ri = ∑ ri × Fi
In terms of the Center of Mass,
d
dt
∑ [ ( )]
&
(r&cm + r&i′)× mi r&cm + r&i′ = ∑ (r&cm + r&i′)× Fi
& &
Now, ∑ mi ri ′ = 0 and ∑ mi ri ′ = 0 , so we have left

53
&
& drcm d & & & & & &
rcm × ∑ mi + ∑ ri ′× mi ri′ = rcm × ∑ Fi + ∑ ri′× Fi .
dt dt
& &
However, ∑ Fi = ∑ mi ri so the Center of Mass falls out completely.
d & & & &
dt
∑ i i i ∑ i′× Fi
r ′ × m r ′ = r
&
dL ′ &
= N′
dt
The time rate of change of angular momentum about the Center of Mass is equal to the net
&
torque about the Center of Mass. Since this is true no matter what rcm is, the translational and
rotational motions can be treated separately.

b. Motion of a rigid body


example: rolling down an inclined plane

Consider a disk or a sphere or a hoop rolling down an inclined plane. The translational equation
of motion for the Center of Mass is
& &
F = Mrcm
For rotation about the Center of Mass the equation is
&
dL d & &
= (Iω ) = N
dt dt
The component equations are
Mxcm = Mg sin θ − F f
Mycm = − Mg cosθ + FN = 0
N = F f a = Iω
Note that rolling friction is not the same as sliding friction. If the object rolls without slipping,
x
then x cm = aω and xcm = aω . Therefore the third equation becomes I cm = F f a , which tells
a
x
us that the frictional force must be F f = I cm . Substitute this into the x-equation. . .
a2

54
xcm
Mxcm = Mg sin θ − I
a2
g sin θ
xcm = = a constant!
 I 
1 + 
 Ma 2 
So, both xcm and ω are constants, when the object rolls down the incline without slipping.

If there is slipping, then x cm ≠ aω . However, we do know that the sliding friction is F f = µFN .
Mxcm = Mg sin θ − F f = Mg sin θ − µFN = Mg sin θ − µMg cosθ
Integrate to obtain x cm = g (sin θ − µ cosθ )t .
Iω = F f a = µMga cosθ
µMga cosθ
Integrate to obtain ω = t.
I
We find the relationship between the translational and rotational motions by dividing the two,
x g (sin θ − µ cosθ )t I  tan θ 
thusly, cm = =  − 1 .
ω µMga cosθ Ma  µ 
t
I

example: the physical pendulum

The mass is not concentrated at the end of a


massless string or rod. The Center of Mass of the
pendulum is a distance " from the pivot point.
The total mass of the pendulum is M. The
gravitational torque on the pendulum about the
pivot is N = − Mg" sin θ . The rotational equation
of motion is
N = Iω
− Mg" sin θ = Iθ
Mg"
θ + sin θ = 0
I
For small amplitude swings, sin θ ≈ θ (in
radians) and we have the usual simple harmonic
Mg"
oscillator equation: θ = θ = 0 in which we can identify the frequency of oscillation
I
1 Mg" I
f = and the period T = 2π . Of course, the moment of inertia depends on the
2π I Mg"
shape and mass distribution of the pendulum.

c. Energy
For example, for the body rolling without slipping down the incline, the kinetic energy is

55
1 2 1
T=Mx cm + Iω 2 .
2 2
If we put the origin of coordinates at the top of the incline, then the gravitational potential energy
is V = − Mgxcm sin θ . Consequently, the total mechanical energy of the rolling object is
1 2 1 1 I  2
E= Mx cm + Iω 2 − Mgxcm sin θ =  M + 2  x cm − Mgxcm sin θ = constant.
2 2 2 a 
When there is no slipping, the rolling frictional force does no work.

C. Central Forces
1. General Properties
&
&
F = F (r )rˆ = F (r ) =
r r
(
r F (r ) ˆ ˆ
xi + yj + zkˆ )
&
& Gmi m j rij 1
e.g., gravity: Fij = − 2
. However, the force is not necessarily proportional to 2 . For
rij rij r
& &
instance, the isotropic harmonic oscillator is F = −kr . That’s a central force proportional to r.

a. Conservative

iˆ ˆj kˆ
& ∂ ∂ ∂
Consider the curl of a central force; ∇ × F = . The x-component is
∂x ∂y ∂z
yx z
F (r ) F (r )
F (r )
rr r
(∇ × F& )
x =

∂y
z ∂
r ∂z
y
r
∂  F (r ) 
F (r ) − F (r ) = z 
∂y  r 
∂  F (r ) 
− y 
∂z  r 
=z
∂r ∂  F (r ) 

∂y ∂r  r 
− y
∂r ∂  F (r ) 

∂z ∂r  r 

1 1
Now,
∂r
=
∂y ∂y
∂ 2
( ) 1
2
( −
) y
x + y 2 + z 2 2 = x 2 + y 2 + z 2 2 2 y = . Similarly,
r
∂r x
∂x r
= and
∂r z
= .
∂z r
&
(
Therefore, ∇ × F x = )
zy ∂
r ∂r
F (r ) −
yz ∂
r ∂r
F (r ) = 0. The same is true for the y- and z-
components, so any central force is conservative, because we have not specified F(r).

b. Potential energy
The potential energy function is obtained from the work integral, if the force is known.
r & &
W = ∫ F (r ) ⋅ dr = − ∆V = −(V (r ) − V (ro ) ) .
ro
On the other hand, if V(r) is known, the force components are obtained by
&  x y z  ∂V ∂V
F (r ) = −∇V (r ) = − iˆ + ˆj + kˆ  =− rˆ .
 r r r  ∂r r

56
c. Angular momentum
&
& & dL d & &
The torque exerted by a central force about the origin is r × F = = (r × p ) . In a central
dt dt
& &
force field, r × F = 0 ; therefore the angular momentum is constant. That means both magnitude
and direction. The motion is confined to a plane perpendicular to the angular momentum vector.
As a result, we often use plane polar coordinates rather than Cartesian.
&
In polar coordinates, the velocity is r = rrˆ + rθθˆ . The angular momentum becomes
& & &
( )
L = r × p = rrˆ × m rrˆ + rθθˆ = (mr 2θ)rˆ × θˆ = a constant vector.
The constant magnitude of the angular momentum determines the orbits that are possible for an
particle subject to any central force.

d. Equations of motion

We start, as we do every night, with Newton’s


Second “Law.”
& &
F (r ) = mr
F (r )rˆ = m[(r − rθ)rˆ + (rθ + 2rθ)θˆ]
Decompose:
θˆ : 0 = rθ + 2rθ =
d
(
dt
mr 2θ )
r̂ : mr = F (r ) + mrθ 2

The angular equation says that the quantity mr 2θ is a constant of the motion, namely the angular
momentum. The radial equation includes the same centrifugal term that arose in the rotating
reference frame.

e. Energy
The total mechanical energy is also a conserved quantity, or a constant of the motion.
1 & & 1
( ) 1
E = mr ⋅ r + V (r ) = r 2 + r 2θ 2 + V (r ) = mr 2 +
L2
+ V (r ) .
2 2 2 2mr 2

2. Orbits

a. Inverse square force


& K
F (r ) = 2 rˆ , where K is a constant. The most familiar examples of an inverse square force are
r
gravitation and the electrostatic force. The corresponding potential energy function is
K
V (r ) = .
r

b. Trajectory
An orbit is just the trajectory of the particle, so in polar coordinates we are solving for r (θ ) .

57
We start with the angular equations of motion:
K
mr = 2 + mrθ 2 and
r
L
r 2θ = = h = constant.
m
h
Solve the second equation for θ and substitute into the first equation. θ = 2 .
r
2 2
K h K h
mr = 2 + mr 4 = 2 + m 3
r r r r
 h  K
2
m r − 3  − 2 = 0
 r  r
d 2r d2
Next, we need to express 2 in terms of . To do this we start with the first derivative:
dt dθ 2
1
Let r = . Then
u
1 1 dθ du du
r = − 2 u = − 2 = −h
u u dt dθ dθ
Take the derivative of this
2
d  du  dθ d  du  2 2 d u
r = − h   = −h   = −h u
dt  dθ  dt dθ  dθ  dθ 2
Substitute into the r
 -equation above.
 d 2u  
m  − h 2 u 2  − h 2 u 2  − Ku 2 = 0
 dθ 2  
d 2u K mK
2
+u = − 2
= − 2 = constant.
dθ mh L
This is a differential equation with the form of a driven harmonic oscillator. The driving term is
mK 1
constant. The solution has the form u = A cos(θ − θ o ) − 2 . Recalling that u = , we obtain
L r
1
r= , where we have set θ o = 0 . This expression is the equation for a conic
mK
A cosθ − 2
L
1+ e
section whose general form is r = ro , where e is the eccentricity and ro is the closest
1 + e cosθ
AL2 L2  1  1
approach to the origin. In this case e = − and ro = −  =− . The exact
mK mK  1 + e  mK
−A
L2
shape of the orbit depends on the values of the orbital parameters, e, ro, and A. These, in turn,
are determined by the initial conditions through the total energy and angular momentum. The
conic sections are: ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola.

58
c. Orbital parameters from initial conditions
We are interested in such things as the turning point(s) of the motion, the eccentricity of the orbit
and the orbital period if the orbit is closed.

The turning points are obtained from the total energy, just as is done with a harmonic oscillator.
1 & & K 1 L2
E = V (r ) + mr ⋅ r = + mr 2 +
2 r 2 2mr 2
At a turning point, r = 0 .
2
L2  1  1
  + K  − E = 0
2m  r  r
1
Solve for using the quadratic formula—obtain two roots.
r
1
Km  Km  2mE  2
2
1
= − 2 +  2  + 2 
ro L  L  L 
1
Km  Km  2mE  2
2
1
= − 2 −  2  + 2 
r1 L  L  L 

Notice that if K > 0 (the force is repulsive), then r1 < 0 doesn’t exist and there is only one turning
point—the orbit is open.

1  Km 
We had previously that = − 2 − A  , where A was the amplitude of the solution to the
ro  L 
differential equation for r in terms of θ . Set this equal to the expression above and solve for A.
1
 Km  2 2mE  2
A =  2  + 2 
 L  L 
Plug this into the expression for the eccentricity
1
AL 2 2 EL 2 2
e= = 1 + 2  .
Km  K m 
Now, given E and L, we can obtain ro, r1, and e.

The period of an orbit has meaning only for a closed orbit—an ellipse. For an ellipse, the total
3
3
2πa 2 EL2
area enclosed by the orbit is A = πa 2 1 − e2 = , where a is the semimajor axis. On the
K 2m

59
& A τ L Lτ
other hand, the total area swept out by the r vector is also A = ∫ dA′ = ∫ dt = . So set
0 0 2m 2m
−K
‘em equal and solve for the period, τ . Using also the fact that a = , we get
2E
3
4πa 2 LE π L
τ= 2
= .
K 2 EK

& & &


Commonly, we start with ro perpendicular to ro at θ o = 0 and ro = vo . Then the angular
K L2 K 1
momentum and total energy are determined: L = mro vo and E = + 2
= + mvo2 .
ro 2mro ro 2
Notice that the origin is not at the center of the ellipse, but at one of the foci.

60