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Example 2

Problem 1. Consider the standard pendulum of length l , mass m. (a) Find the virtual displacement of the tip of the pendulum. Solution. Using the standard polar coordinates attached to the pendulum, the position of the mass is: r = l er (1) Now, we want to ﬁnd δr. The standard formula we have for this is: δr = ∂r δθ ∂θ (2)

Applying this to equation (1), and noting that l is not a function of θ, while er is a function of θ, we have: ∂er δθ (3) δr = l ∂θ Now, we can write our moving unit vectors in terms of ﬁxed cartesian unit vectors: er = sin θi − cos θj eθ = sin θi + cos θj So the virtual displacement becomes: δr = l cos θδθi + l sin θδθj = l δθeθ (5) (4)

This is a bit tricky.

(b) Find the velocity and acceleration of the mass. Solution. To calculate the velocity v, we can use RAT or differentiate the position vector r. If we differentiate, we get: ˙ ˙ v = l er = l θeθ (6)

To calculate the acceleration a, we can use RAT or differentiate the velocity vector. Either way, we get ¨ ˙ a = l θeθ − l θ 2 er (7)

(c) Find the equation of motion for the pendulum using D’Alembert’s principle. Solution. D’Alembert’s principle for a single particle is (F − ma) · δr = 0 (8)

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AE 352: Aerospace Dynamics II. we get ¨ (ml θ + mg sin θ)l δθ = 0 (10) (9) And ﬁnally. we should get F = −mg sin θeθ + mg cos θer . Fall 2008 where F are the applied external forces. we see that the terms in parenthesis must be equal to zero. Note that we are ignoring the tension in the pendulum rod (which we should have drawn in the FBD) – it is not an external. Plugging F. applied force. we get ¨ ˙ (−mg sin θeθ + mg cos θer − ml θeθ + ml θ 2 er ) · l δθeθ = 0 Taking the dot product. or (11) (12) Page 2 of 2 .e. a. δr into equation (8). After drawing a free body diagram. and we have: ¨ ml θ + mg sin θ = 0 ¨ g θ + sin θ = 0 l which is the standard differential equation of motion for a pendulum. δθ can be anything). assuming arbitrary virtual displacements (i.

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