This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?

Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more

Download

Standard view

Full view

of .

Look up keyword

Like this

Share on social networks

2Activity

×

0 of .

Results for: No results containing your search query

P. 1

Ajp 2006 Falling ChainsRatings:

(0)|Views: 44|Likes: 2

Published by ambarish_srivastava

See more

See less

https://www.scribd.com/doc/38811594/Ajp-2006-Falling-Chains

07/18/2012

text

original

Falling chains

Chun Wa Wong

a

and Kosuke Yasui

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1547

Received 1 August 2005; accepted 17 February 2006

The one-dimensional fall of a folded chain with one end suspended from a rigid support and a chainfalling from a resting heap on a table is studied. Because their Lagrangians contain no explicit timedependence, the falling chains are conservative systems. Their equations of motion are shown tocontain a term that enforces energy conservation when masses are transferred between subchains.We show that Cayley’s 1857 energy nonconserving solution for a chain falling from a resting heapis incorrect because it neglects the energy gained when a link leaves a subchain. The maximumchain tension measured by Calkin and March for the falling folded chain is given a simple if roughinterpretation. Other aspects of the falling folded chain are brieﬂy discussed. ©

2006 American Association of Physics Teachers.

DOI: 10.1119/1.2186686

I. INTRODUCTION

A folded ﬂexible heavy chain is suspended from a rigidsupport by its two ends placed close together. One end isthen released in the manner of a bungee fall, while the sta-tionary arm becomes longer. Calkin and March have notedthat the system is conservative, “there being no dissipativemechanisms.”

1

Energy conservation allows them to describethe one-dimensional motion of the falling chain simply andtransparently in the continuum limit where the link lengthgoes to zero: As the chain falls, energy conservation concen-trates the entire mechanical energy in the still falling arm.When the mass of the falling arm ﬁnally vanishes at the endof the fall, both its falling velocity

v

and its falling accelera-tion diverge to inﬁnity.

1

This phenomenon of energy concen-tration is similar to that occurring in the crack of the whip. Inthe words of Bragg,

2,3

a shock “wave runs down the cord andcarries energy to the lash at the end,” where the velocitydiverges to inﬁnity in the continuum limit.

4,5

Calkin and March

1

measured the falling motion of an ac-tual chain 2 m long containing 81 links. They found that thephysical chain does fall faster than free fall, and that thecontinuum model accurately describes the experimentalchain motion except near the end of the chain fall. Theirmeasurement of the chain tension

T

at the ﬁxed support of the chain is particularly interesting. The theoretical chaintension given by the continuum model contains a term pro-portional to

v

2

of the falling velocity. It therefore increaseswithout limit as the value of

v

becomes inﬁnite at the end of the fall. Calkin and March

1

found that the experimental ten-sion increases only to a maximum value of about 25

Mg

,where

M

is the total mass of the chain. This maximum ten-sion is far in excess of the maximum value of only 2

Mg

expected when the falling end is falling freely, thus demon-strating beyond doubt that the folded chain falls faster than

g

.We shall explain in Sec. IV that the ﬁnite size of the link prevents

T

from going to the inﬁnite value predicted by thecontinuum model.In many older textbooks on mechanics,

6–8

the falling armis incorrectly described as freely falling and is brought to restby inelastic impacts at the fold of the chain. The kineticenergy loss in a completely inelastic collision is real. It wasﬁrst described by Lazare Carnot,

9–11

father of Sadi Carnot of thermodynamics. The effect is called Carnot’s energy loss orCarnot’s theorem in Sommerfeld’s book on mechanics.

9

Theeffect of an impulse alone on a dynamical system was treatedcorrectly by an additional term by Lagrange.

12,13

In contrast,Hamel

14

obtained the correct solution for the falling chain byassuming energy conservation. We shall show that energyconservation results because the Carnot energy loss causedby a transferred mass absorbed by the receiving subchain iscounterbalanced by the energy gained when the mass leavesthe “emitting” subchain.The Calkin-March observation

1

that the folded chain fallsfaster than

g

was subsequently conﬁrmed experimentally bySchagerl

et al.

15

Photographic evidence can also be found inRef. 16. The correct solution of the motion of the fallingfolded chain by energy conservation has been included insome recent textbooks on classical dynamics.

17–19

Schagerl

et al.

15

were unaware of the measurement of Calkin and March.

1

The results of their own measurements

15

came as a surprise to them because they had concluded bytheoretical arguments that the chain fell only as fast as

g

, andthat the total mechanical energy was not conserved.

20,21

Inthese earlier papers, the authors rejected Hamel’s energy-conserving solution,

14

and claimed that there was dissipationcaused by the inelastic but momentum-conserving impacts atthe fold of the chain. They justiﬁed their treatment by citingSommerfeld’s use of Carnot’s energy loss in another fallingchain problem,

9

which we will describe in the following.The experimental observation

15

that the free end of thefalling folded chain falls faster than

g

might have led theauthors of Ref. 15 to conclude that the motion of the fallingchain is nonunique, because “it is important to note that forthe folded string itself there exist more solutions which fulﬁllthe balance of linear momentum

but do not conserve themechanical energy

.”

15

This nonuniqueness is the paradoxreferred to in the title of their paper.

15

The conclusion that nonunique solutions exist is clearlyuntenable because, whether the chain is energy-conserving ornot, its equation of motion is a linear differential equationwith a unique solution for a given set of initial conditions.Hence, the experimental observation

1,15,16

of faster than

g

fall proves that the motion cannot be the freely falling,energy-nonconserving one. Thus, there is no paradox.A review article by Irschik and Holl

22

mentions the sameerroneous interpretation that for the falling folded chain, mo-mentum is conserved but mechanical energy is not con-served. These authors knew of the experimental work in Ref.15 but not that of Ref. 1. In a previous paper on Lagrange’s

490 490Am. J. Phys.

74

6

, June 2006 http://aapt.org/ajp © 2006 American Association of Physics Teachers

equations, Irschik and Holl

23

were puzzled by the result of Ref. 15 because they thought that the string tension at thebase of the falling arm

N

in their Eq.

6.22

should vanish,and therefore the arm should fall freely. They realized thatthis conclusion is not consistent with the observation of Ref.15.We shall show that the erroneous conclusion of energyloss comes from the neglect of the energy gained when thetransferred mass at the fold of the chain leaves the fallingarm. This energy gain is the time reverse of the Carnot en-ergy loss incurred when the transferred mass is received bythe stationary arm of the folded chain.There is another falling chain problem for which the con-sensus is that the total mechanical energy is not conserved.The steady fall of a stationary chain resting on a table link bylink through a hole in the table appears to have been ﬁrststudied by Cayley in 1857.

22,24

He treated the motion as acontinuous-impact problem leading to a nonconservativesystem and a acceleration of

g

/3. Cayley’s falling chainproblem appears as Problem I.7 of Sommerfeld,

9

where theconnection to Carnot’s energy loss is explicitly stated. It canalso be found in Refs. 18 and 25–30. Note that Problem 9–15in Ref. 29 has been rewritten in Ref. 30 without any mentionof energy loss. However, the solutions given in the instruc-tor’s manuals

31,32

are identical.The only dissent we have found of this common consensusthat energy is not conserved is in the recent paper by deSousa and Rodrigues.

33

They ﬁrst describe the falling foldedchain by giving Newton’s equation of motion for the twovariable mass subchains including the gravitational force butno chain tension. They obtain the incorrect energy-nonconserving solution with acceleration

a

=

g

. They thensolve the problem of the chain falling from a resting heap ina different way by assuming energy conservation. This as-sumption yields the right solution, as we shall show in thefollowing. Their solution is the only correct solution we havebeen able to ﬁnd in the literature for the chain falling from aheap on a table.In Sec. III we shall show speciﬁcally that the transfer of alink from the heap to the falling subchain is the same energy-conserving process that operates in the falling folded chain,namely an exoergic mass emission followed by a counterbal-ancing endoergic mass absorption. We will see that Cayleyand others considered only half of a two-step mechanicalprocess that is energy conserving as a whole.Given the brief history of falling chains that we havesketched, it is interesting to determine unambiguously whena mechanical system such as a falling chain is energy con-serving. The answer was already given in 1788 byLagrange.

12

In modern terminology using the Lagrangian

L

x

,

v

and the Hamiltonian

H

x

,

p

, two conditions must besatisﬁed for the mechanical energy

E

to be conserved:

E

=

H

and

L

/

t

=0. Consequently,

dE dt

=

d

H

dt

= −

L

t

= 0,

1

as we shall discuss in Sec. II. We shall also write the condi-tion

E

=

H

in the original form given by Lagrange,

12

whoreferred to kinetic energies as “live forces”

forces vives

.These conditions are well known and can be found in mosttextbooks on analytical mechanics, but they have been tooinfrequently applied on actual physics problems.To show explicitly how this energy conservation enters inthe mass transfer between subchains, we begin in Sec. IIIwith the standard force equation of motion for a variablemass system.

9,33–36

For the special case where no externalforces act on these subchains, we show explicitly that themass transfer is made up of an exoergic mass emission fol-lowed by an endoergic mass absorption when the transferredmass sticks inelastically to the receiving arm. We also ﬁndthat the complete process of mass transfer conserves me-chanical energy when the transferred mass has the velocitygiven to it by Lagrange’s equation of motion. Hence,Lagrange’s formulation gives both the simplest and the mostcomplete description of the motion of both falling chains.There is an important practical difference between the twofalling chains, however. The link-by-link mass transfer of thefalling folded chain is automatically guaranteed at the fold of the chain, but is difﬁcult to realize for a real chain fallingfrom a resting heap. The folded chain always falls in more orless the same way, but the motion of the resting heap de-pends on its geometry. More than one link at a time might beset into motion as the chain falls, and some of them mighteven be raised above the table before falling off it. Thesecomplications make it difﬁcult to check the idealized theo-retical result by an actual measurement. We therefore con-centrate on the falling folded chain in the rest of the paper. InSec. IV we give a simple-minded interpretation of the maxi-mal chain tension measured by Calkin and March.

1

Then, weexplain in Sec. V how to understand the total loss of kineticenergy at the moment the chain reaches full extension, andwhy the chain rebounds against its support afterward. In Sec.VI we pay tribute to Lagrange’s formulation of classical me-chanics.

II. THE LAGRANGIAN AND THE HAMILTONIAN

Figure 1 shows the folded chain when its falling end hasfallen a distance

x

. The chain is ﬂexible, and has mass

M

,length

L

, and a uniform linear mass density

=

M

/

L

. ItsLagrangian in the idealized one-dimensional treatment is

L

x

,

v

=

4

L

−

x

v

2

+

MgX

,

2

where

v

=

x˙

and

Fig. 1. The falling folded chain.491 491Am. J. Phys., Vol. 74, No. 6, June 2006 C. W. Wong and K. Yasui

X

=

m

L

x

L

+

m

R

x

R

M

=14

L

L

2

+ 2

Lx

−

x

2

3

is its center of mass

CM

position measured in the down-ward direction. Here,

m

L

is the mass,

b

L

is the length, and

x

L

is the CM position of the left arm; the corresponding quan-tities for the right arm are

m

R

,

b

R

, and

x

R

,

m

i

=

b

i

,

4a

b

L

=

12

L

+

x

,

4b

b

R

=

12

L

−

x

,

4c

x

L

=

14

L

+

x

,

4d

x

R

=

14

L

+ 3

x

.

4e

The parameters in the Lagrangian are time independent andhence

L

/

t

=0.The Hamiltonian of the falling folded chain is

H

x

,

p

R

=

p

R

v

−

L

x

,

v

=

p

R

2

2

m

R

−

MgX

=

E

.

5

The canonical momentum,

p

R

=

L

v

=

m

R

v

,

6

is the momentum of the right arm. Hence, Eq.

1

is satisﬁedand the system is conservative.The identity

d

H

/

dt

=−

L

/

t

used in Eq.

1

follows fromthe relation

H

xdxdt

+

H

pdpdt

= 0.

7

These two terms cancel each other because the total timederivatives satisfy the canonical equations of motion of Hamilton

37,38

dxdt

=

H

p

,

8a

dpdt

= −

H

x

.

8b

Equation

1

can also be obtained without using theHamiltonian. We start with

E

=2

K

−

L

, where

K

is the kineticenergy, and write

dE dt

=

d dt

2

K

−

L

x x˙

+

L

vv

˙

+

L

t

.

9

The second term on the right can be written in terms of

L

/

v

by using Lagrange’s equation of motion

39

L

x

=

d dt

L

v

,

10

to simplify

dE

/

dt

to the form obtained by Lagrange

40

dE dt

=

d dt

2

K

−

v

L

v

−

L

t

.

11

Thus, two conditions are needed for

E

to be conserved:

L

/

t

=0 and

v

L

/

v

=2

K

. The second condition is equiva-lent to the requirement

E

=

H

.By using energy conservation, the squared velocity at po-sition

x

is found to be

1,14,17,19

v

2

= 2

gx

1 −

12

xˆ

1 −

xˆ

,

12

where

xˆ

=

x

/

L

. A Taylor expansion for small

xˆ

,

x˙

2

2

gx

1 +

12

xˆ

+

xˆ

2

+

¯

,

13

shows that the falling chain falls faster than free fall rightfrom the beginning. Its falling speed then increases mono-tonically beyond free fall, and reaches inﬁnity as

xˆ

→

1.We can obtain from Eq.

10

Lagrange’s equation of mo-tion for the falling folded chain,

m

R

g

−

14

v

2

=

p˙

R

=

m

R

v

˙

+

m˙

R

v

.

14

We can then verify by direct substitution that the energy-conserving solution

12

satisﬁes Eq.

14

. Equation

14

canalso be solved directly for

v

2

by using the identity

v

˙

=12

d

v

2

dx

,

15

to change it into a ﬁrst-order inhomogeneous differentialequation for

v

2

x

.Lagrange’s equation

14

is particularly helpful in under-standing the problem conceptually because it uniquely de-ﬁnes the chain tension −

v

2

/4 that acts upward on the bot-tom of the right arm at the point

B

R

shown in Fig. 1. Thistension comes from the

x

dependence of the kinetic energyand serves the important function of enforcing energy con-servation. The mistake made in the erroneous energy-nonconserving solution is to omit this term. We shall explainin the next section why this tension points up and not down,as might be expected naively.It is interesting to apply our analysis to a chain fallingfrom a resting heap on a table through a hole in it becausethis situation is even more transparent. Let

x

be the fallingdistance, now measured from the table. The falling chain isdescribed by

L

x

,

v

=

2

x

v

2

+

g x

2

2,

16a

p

x

=

L

v

=

x

v

,

16b

H

=

p

x

2

2

x

−

gx

2

2=

E

,

16c

where the subscript

x

refers to the falling part of the chain of length

x

. Because the Lagrangian

L

is not explicitly timedependent, we again ﬁnd

L

/

t

=0 and a conservative sys-tem. Energy conservation can be written in the form

E

=

12

x

v

2

−

gx

= 0.

17

The resulting solution,

33

492 492Am. J. Phys., Vol. 74, No. 6, June 2006 C. W. Wong and K. Yasui

INMO-2011

Abhyasa Pustakam Complete Final

Strike Rate vs Marks vs Rank in IIT JEE 2010

Ambarish Horoscope

KVPY SB_2009

KVPY SA_2009

Solution to the Weekly Challenge 2

Solution to the Weekly Challenge 1

Online Quiz on Work Power Kinematics_ and Laws of Motion

Apho2000 Theo

List of Important Questions From H.C. Verma and I.E. Irodov for IIT JEE Preparation

Don't Even Dream of Making a Silly Mistake IIT JEE 2010 Rank vs Marks

IIT JEE 2010 Rank vs Marks vs Percent Marks

Iit Jee 2010 Rank vs Marks

Fiitjee Result Highlights 2010

- Read and print without ads
- Download to keep your version
- Edit, email or read offline

Are you sure?

This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?

CANCEL

OK

You've been reading!

NO, THANKS

OK

scribd