Classical Mechanics
5th Edition

Classical Mechanics
5th Edition

Tom W.B. Kibble Frank H. Berkshire
Imperial College London


Imperial College Press

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Kibble, T. W. B. Classical mechanics / Tom W. B. Kibble, Frank H. Berkshire, -- 5th ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1860944248 -- ISBN 1860944353 (pbk). 1. Mechanics, Analytic. I. Berkshire, F. H. (Frank H.). II. Title QA805 .K5 2004 531'.01'515--dc 22


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This book, based on courses given to physics and applied mathematics students at Imperial College, deals with the mechanics of particles and rigid bodies. It is designed for students with some previous acquaintance with the elementary concepts of mechanics, but the book starts from first principles, and little detailed knowledge is assumed. An essential prerequisite is a reasonable familiarity with differential and integral calculus, including partial differentiation. However, no prior knowledge of differential equations should be needed. Vectors are used from the start in the text itself; the necessary definitions and mathematical results are collected in an appendix. Classical mechanics is a very old subject. Its basic principles have been known since the time of Newton, when they were formulated in the Principia, and the mathematical structure reached its mature form with the works of Lagrange in the late eighteenth century and Hamilton in the nineteenth. Remarkably enough, within the last few decades the subject has once again become the focus of very active fundamental research. Some of the most modern mathematical tools have been brought to bear on the problem of understanding the qualitative features of dynamics, in particular the transition between regular and turbulent or chaotic behaviour. The fourth edition of the book was extended to include new chapters providing a brief introduction to this exciting work. In this fifth edition, the material is somewhat expanded, in particular to contrast continuous and discrete behaviours. We have also taken the opportunity to revise the earlier chapters, giving more emphasis to specific examples worked out in more detail. Many of the most fascinating recent discoveries about the nature of the Earth and its surroundings — particularly since the launching of artificial satellites — are direct applications of classical mechanics. Several of these are discussed in the following chapters, or in problems.


Classical Mechanics

For physicists, however, the real importance of classical mechanics lies not so much in the vast range of its applications as in its role as the base on which the whole pyramid of modern physics has been erected. This book, therefore, emphasizes those aspects of the subject which are of importance in quantum mechanics and relativity — particularly the conservation laws, which in one form or another play a central role in all physical theories. For applied mathematicians, the methods of classical mechanics have evolved into a much broader theory of dynamical systems with many applications well outside of physics, for example to biological systems. The first five chapters are primarily concerned with the mechanics of a single particle, and Chapter 6, which could be omitted without substantially affecting the remaining chapters, deals with potential theory. Systems of particles are discussed in Chapters 7 and 8, and rigid bodies in Chapter 9. The powerful methods of Lagrange are introduced at an early stage, and in simple contexts, and developed more fully in Chapters 10 and 11. Chapter 12 contains a discussion of Hamiltonian mechanics, emphasizing the relationship between symmetries and conservation laws — a subject directly relevant to the most modern developments in physics. It also provides the basis for the later treatment of order and chaos in Hamiltonian systems in Chapter 14. This follows the introduction to the geometrical description of continuous dynamical systems in Chapter 13, which includes a discussion of various non-mechanics applications. Appendices from the fourth edition on (A) Vectors, (B) Conics, (C) Phase-plane analysis near critical points are supplemented here by a new appendix (D) Discrete dynamical systems — maps. The writing of the first edition of this book owed much to the advice and encouragement of the late Professor P.T. Matthews. Several readers have also helped by pointing out errors, particularly in the answers to problems. We are grateful to the following for permission to reproduce copyright material: Springer–Verlag and Professor Oscar E. Lanford III for Fig. 13.20; Cambridge University Press for Fig. 13.22 and, together with Professors G.L. Baker and J.P. Gollub, for Fig. D.5; Institute of Physics Publishing Limited and Professor M.V. Berry for Figs. 14.11, 14.12 and 14.13; the Royal Society and Professors W.P. Reinhardt and I. Dana for the figure in the answer to Appendix D, Problem 13. T.W.B. Kibble F.H. Berkshire Imperial College London

. . . .1 2. . . .8 2. . . . . The Concepts of External Forces Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 1. . . . . . . .9 2. . the Green’s Function Method . . . . . Collision Problems . Impulsive Forces. . . . . . . . . .5 Space and Time Newton’s Laws . . . . . . . .2 1. . .5 2. . . . . the Harmonic Oscillator Complex Representation . . . . . . . . . . . vii xv xvii 1 2 5 10 13 13 17 . . . . .6 2. . . . . . . . . . . . The Damped Oscillator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Conservative Forces. . . . . . . Conservation of Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mass and Force . . . . . . . . . . Oscillator under Simple Periodic Force . . . .3 2. . Introduction 1. . . . . . . . . . Motion near Equilibrium. . . ix . .3 1. General Periodic Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Summary . . . . . . . . . The Law of Conservation of Energy . . . .2 2. . . .7 2. . . .4 2. . . . . Linear Motion 2. . 17 20 24 25 27 30 34 37 39 42 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Contents Preface Useful Constants and Units List of Symbols 1. . . . . .4 1. . .

. . . . Coriolis Force . . .6 4. . .5 5. . . . . . . . . . . .6 6. . . . . The Dipole and Quadrupole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Gravitational and Electrostatic Potentials . Larmor Effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Summary . . . .2 5. . . . . . .5 6. . . . . Potential Theory 6. Orbits . . . . . . . . . . . Conservative Forces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 3. . . . . . . . Conservation of Angular Momentum . The Calculus of Variations .1 6.5 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 131 134 137 140 144 148 152 4. . . . . . . . .8 Energy. . . . . Angular Momentum . . . .8 The Isotropic Harmonic Oscillator The Conservation Laws . . . . . Angular Momentum and the Larmor Effect . . .4 3. .3 6. . . . . Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Expansion of Potential at Large Distances The Shape of the Earth . . . . . . . . . Acceleration. . . . . . . .1 5. . . .7 6. . . . . Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . Energy and Angular Momentum 3. . . . . . . . . . . Central Conservative Forces 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apparent Gravity . . . . . . . . . . . .3 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Summary . . . . . Rate of Change of a Vector Particle in a Uniform Magnetic Field . . Projectiles . . Lagrange’s Equations . Spherical Charge Distributions . Rotating Frames 5. . . . . .4 5. . . . . . . . . Mean Free Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 4. The Inverse Square Law . . . .x Statistical Mechanics Made Simple 3. . . . . . . Moments. . . . . . . . . . . Polar Co-ordinates .7 4. . . . . . .4 4. . . . . . . . 73 76 78 84 90 94 96 98 105 . . . . . 5. . . . . . . . .7 3. . . . . Scattering Cross-sections . . . . . .2 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 6. . .3 5. . 105 108 111 114 120 121 124 129 . . . . . .6 5. . . . Rutherford Scattering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Central Forces. . . . The Tides . . . . . . . . .1 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Field Equations . . . . . . .5 4. . .4 6. . . . 49 49 51 53 55 57 59 62 66 73 .2 3. . . . . . . . . . . Hamilton’s Principle. . . . . . . . . . . .6 3. . . . . . .7 Angular Velocity. 6. .

. . . . . . . . . . . . 10. . . . .2 7. . . .3 10. . . . . . The Stretched String . Precession of a Symmetric Top . . . . . . Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 9. . . Lagrange’s Equations . . . . Summary .6 10. . . . . . .3 9. . Angular Momentum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 9. . . . . . . . . . . Elastic Collisions . . . . Principal Axes of Inertia . Lagrange’s Equations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Summary . . CM and Lab Cross-sections . . Rotation about a Principal Axis . . . . . . . . . . Many-Body Systems 8. Summary . . . . . . 253 . . . . . . . . . . . Centre-of-mass Motion . .1 Orthogonal Co-ordinates . . . . . Pendulum Constrained to Rotate about an Axis Charged Particle in an Electromagnetic Field . . . .3 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 8. . . Energy. . . . . . . Small Oscillations and Normal Modes 11.4 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Effect of a Small Force on the Axis . . . . .1 8. . . . 177 181 183 188 190 192 197 . . Perpendicular Components of Angular Momentum . . . . Holonomic Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rigid Bodies 9. . . . . . . .2 9. 197 198 203 205 208 211 216 218 221 225 231 .10 Basic Principles . . . . . . 9.6 Momentum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 8. . . Rotation about an Axis . .6 9. . Lagrangian Mechanics 10. .5 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 9. . Instantaneous Angular Velocity . . . . . . . . . . .4 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Generalized Co-ordinates. . .5 8. . . . .7 9. . . . . . 11.1 10. . . . . . . . . . .1 7. . . . . .5 Centre-of-mass and Relative Co-ordinates The Centre-of-mass Frame . The Two-Body Problem 7. . . . . . . . . . . .4 10. . . . Forces . . . . . . . . . . .2 10. . . . . . . . . Conservative Forces . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 159 162 165 168 173 177 . . Euler’s Angles . . . . . Central Internal The Earth–Moon System . .Contents xi 7. .1 9. . . . . . . . . .4 9. . . . . . . . . 231 233 236 238 241 244 248 253 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Calculation of Moments of Inertia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . .6 13.3 11. . . . . . . . . . . Hamiltonian Mechanics 12. . . .2 12. .4 13. . . . . . Systems of Third (and Higher) Order . .6 14. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 14. . .6 11. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Definitions and Elementary Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 256 258 261 266 269 272 277 12. . . . . . . . Summary . . Oscillations of Particles on a String . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Normal Modes of a Stretched String . . Action/Angle Variables . . . . . .7 Integrability . . . Summary . Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems 14. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Some Hamiltonian Systems which Exhibit Chaos . . . . . . . . . 347 351 354 359 369 372 374 381 Appendix A. . . . . .1 13. . . . . . . .3 14.5 11. . . . .3 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . First-order Systems — the Phase Line (n = 1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Second-order Systems — the Phase Plane (n = 2) . . . Symmetries and Conservation Laws . . . . Prey–Predator. . . . . . Summary .8 Hamilton’s Equations . . . . . . . . . . . .5 14. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307 309 312 318 324 329 337 340 347 14. . Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 13. . . General Motion of the Symmetric Top Liouville’s Theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 12. . . Conservation of Energy . . . . . . . .5 12. . . . . .1 14. Surfaces of Section . . . Vectors A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sensitivity to Initial Conditions and Predictability . . . Galilean Transformations . . . . . . 381 . . . . .4 14. . . . . . . . . . Competing-species Systems and War Limit Cycles . .1 12. . Coupled Oscillators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xii Statistical Mechanics Made Simple 11. . .4 12. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Summary . . . . . . 277 280 282 285 289 291 295 300 307 13.5 13. . . .7 13. . .6 12. . .7 12. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Slow Change of Parameters — Adiabatic Invariance Near-integrable Systems . . . . . . . .4 11. . . . . . .7 Equations of Motion for Small Oscillations Normal Modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 11. .8 Phase Space and Phase Portraits . . . Ignorable Co-ordinates . . .2 13. . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . 421 Systems of Third (and Higher) Order . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 A. . . . . . . . . . . 409 Polar Form .4 A. . 437 445 463 465 Answers to Problems Bibliography Index .2 A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 412 415 Appendix C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Differentiation and Integration of Vectors . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Linear Systems and their Classification . . . .6 A. . . . . . . . . The Vector Product . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 C. . . . . . . .2 D. . . . . . . 425 Two-dimensional Maps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Phase Plane Analysis near Critical Points C. . . . . . . . Diagonalization of a Symmetric Tensor . . 423 425 Appendix D. . . . . . . . Gradient. . . . . .2 Cartesian Form . . . . . . Curvilinear Co-ordinates . . . . 433 Twist Maps and Torus Breakdown . . .1 B. . . . .Contents xiii A. . . . . . . . . . . Tensors . . . . . . . . . Eigenvalues. Conics B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 415 Almost Linear Systems . Divergence and Curl . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 The Scalar Product . . .3 One-dimensional Maps . . . . . . . .5 A. . . 384 385 388 390 393 397 398 401 403 409 Appendix B. . .8 A. . . . . . . . .2 C. . . . . . . . . Integral Theorems . .7 A. . Electromagnetic Potentials . . . . . . . . . Discrete Dynamical Systems — Maps D. . . . . . . .9 A. . .1 D. . . .

xiv Statistical Mechanics Made Simple .

016 722 3.1 km 6371.013 25 × 105 Pa = 1.109 38 × 10−31 kg e = 1.806 65 m s−2 1 atm = 1.673 × 10−11 N m2 kg−2 = 1.997 924 58 × 108 m s−1 G = 6.8 km 6378.013 25 bar Properties of Earth mass radius (polar) (equatorial) 2 (mean)[= (Re Rp )1/3 ] semi-major axis of orbit eccentricity of orbit orbital period (sidereal year) mean orbital velocity surface escape velocity (mean) rotational angular velocity xv M GM Rp Re R a e τ v ve ω = = = = = = = = = = = 5.054 57 × 10−34 J s mH = 1.0 km 1.495 98 × 108 km 0.Useful Constants and Units Physical constants speed of light gravitational constant Planck’s constant/2π mass of hydrogen atom mass of electron charge of proton permittivity of vacuum permeability of vacuum Defined standard values standard gravitational acceleration normal atmospheric pressure c = 2.854 19 × 10 −7 −1 µ0 = 4π × 10 H m gn = 9.602 18 × 10−19 C −12 F m−1 0 = 8.673 52 × 10−27 kg me = 9.18 km s−1 7.785 km s−1 11.9860 × 1014 m3 s−2 6356.974 × 1024 kg 3.155 75 × 107 s 29.2921 × 10−5 s−1 .

3048 m pound 1 lb = 0. mF = 0 and F = 3.329 5 × 105 M 1. equivalently.3606 × 106 s SI units kilogramme (kg): mass of the international standard kilogramme kept at S`vres in France.) Subsidiary units newton 1N = joule 1J = watt 1W = coulomb 1C = 1 kg m s−2 1Nm 1 J s−1 1As pascal ton(ne) bar hertz 1 Pa 1t 1 bar 1 Hz = = = = 1 N m−2 103 kg 105 Pa 1 s−1 British and American units foot 1 ft = 0. ampere (A): defined so that the force per unit length between two infinitely long parallel wires of negligible cross section 1 m apart in vacuum.989 × 1030 kg 3. e second (s): 9 192 631 770 oscillation periods of the hyperfine transition between the levels F = 4. so that the constant µ0 has the precise value 4π × 10−7 N A−2 ). metre (m): distance travelled by light in vacuum in (1/299 792 458) s.8440 × 105 km 2. candela and mole are not used in this book.452 592 37 kg Prefixes denoting multiples and submultiples 103 kilo (k) 10−3 milli (m) 6 mega (M) 10−6 micro (µ) 10 giga (G) 10−9 nano (n) 109 10−12 pico (p) 1012 tera (T) 10−15 femto (f) 1015 peta (P) 18 exa (E) 10−18 atto (a) 10 .327 12 × 1020 m3 s−2 7.012 300 M 3. (The kelvin.xvi Classical Mechanics Properties of Sun and Moon mass of Sun mass of Moon semi-major axis of lunar orbit lunar orbital period (sidereal month) MS = = GMS = MM = = aM = τM = 1. mF = 0 in the ground state of 133 Cs. each carrying a current of 1 A is 2 × 10−7 N m−1 (or.348 × 1022 kg 0.

2 9.1.2. B. 3.1.5 6. e2 .5 6.7 1.4.1 4. 8.2 2.5 . A. 8.1 3.6 13.1.5 5.4.3 A. It includes symbols of frequent occurrence or special importance. 11. F i .2.1 6.2 13.3. e3 F . B.7 4.1 14. B. A. A. 6.2 4.7.5 10. A. The figures refer to the section in which the symbol is defined.1 6.7 4.2.4 2.10 1.1 4.List of Symbols The following list is not intended to be exhaustive. Aα A a.4. 4.3.7 4.4. 10. F ij Fα F Fi f complex amplitude vector potential acceleration amplitude of oscillation semi-major axis of orbit equatorial radius magnetic field semi-minor axis of orbit impact parameter polar radius propagation velocity control parameters dipole moment total energy electric field base of natural logarithms (minus) electron charge eccentricity of orbit principal axes force generalized force phase-space velocity constants of the motion particle flux xvii 2. a a a a B b b c c c d E E e e e e1 .

2 7.2.1 3.8 10.3 3.2 2. 11.1 14.3 9.xviii Classical Mechanics G G G g. 7.5 14.3 9.3 12. Ixx Ixy Ii .2 3.1 14.1 7.4.4 1.5 8.2. 9. J ∗ k. p∗ pi . 6.7 9. Ii∗ Ii i i i.1 3. pi .3 12. kαβ k L l ln M M M m. 4. pα p Q Q q.1 10. 9.2 4. qi qi qα R R r gravitational constant moment of force generator of transformation gravitational acceleration observed gravitational acceleration Hamiltonian function action integral moment of inertia product of inertia principal moment of inertia action variables √ −1 particle index unit vectors angular momentum oscillator constant inverse square law constant Lagrangian function semi-latus rectum of orbit natural logarithm total mass Jacobian matrix invariant torus mass number of particles number of degrees of freedom total momentum momentum generalized momentum exponential rate coefficient quality factor quadrupole moment electric charge curvilinear co-ordinate generalized co-ordinate radius of Earth position of centre of mass radial co-ordinate 1.7 5.3.1 3. 8. g g∗ H I I.2.1 5.1 1.1 1.3. B.3 1.1 2. 12.2 3.3. 8. 8. A. 8. 6.1.1 1.2 4.1 A. 6. mi N n P p.1 3.2. 10.2.3 6. 8. j.5 .3 7. k J. 7.

3 2. 3.5 1.9 14.2. 7. 7.1. x.2 10. T t U V v.3 1.1 A.2.1 A.1 4.1 D. η π ρ ρ σ. Euler angle scattering angle Lyapunov exponent eigenvalues reduced mass permeability of free space linearized phase-space co-ordinates circumference/diameter ratio of circle cylindrical polar co-ordinate mass or charge density cross-section period gravitational potential electrostatic potential azimuth angle.1 of Symbols xix r. Y x.7 3.5. D. xi . Z X.9 .1 6. z x. 7. 4. θ∗ λ.3 4. 3.1. T ∗ T.2 2. 13. 9.2 D.4.6 D. y xn .7 4. ξ.3 9.1. y. Euler angle angle variables Euler angle 1. A. r i r. yn α γ δ δ 0 θ Θ.4 2.1. δW X. λi λi µ µ0 ξ.1 7.1 D. A. C. 12. θ.4 6.2 C.5. 10. 13. 8.5 6.2.1 3.1 1.1 13.1. r ij r∗ i T. 13.3 1.5 2. 9. v i dW.5 3.4. A.7.5 D. dσ τ Φ φ ϕ φi ψ position vector relative position position in CM frame kinetic energy twist map time effective potential energy function potential energy velocity work done in small displacement co-ordinates of centre of mass R fixed points of maps Cartesian co-ordinates phase-space co-ordinates iterates of maps rotation number damping constant small variation Feigenbaum number oblateness permittivity of free space polar angle.7 13. D.5. 8. Y.1.7 3. 1. A.1 7.

5 5. Ω ω ωi ∇ a·b a∧b solid angle angular velocity angular frequency natural angular frequencies vector differential operator scalar product of a and b vector product of a and b 4.2. 9. 11.5 A.7 2. 9.xx Classical Mechanics dΩ ω.1.3 .2.3 14.1 A.2 A.

Chapter 1 Introduction Classical mechanics is one of the most familiar of scientific theories. or neglected effects that may be significant. we can never claim for these laws a universal validity. we try to modify the hypotheses to restore the agreement with observation. they have been modified in Einstein’s theory of gravitation (‘general relativity’). If many such tests are made and no serious disagreement emerges. then the hypotheses gradually acquire the status of ‘laws of nature’. a large part of this introductory chapter will be devoted to a critical examination of the fundamental concepts and principles of mechanics. no matter how impressive the evidence may be. force. and so on — have become very much a part of our everyday modes of thought. The theory is then tested by checking the predictions deduced from these hypotheses against experiment. they are unquestionably valid. When results that apparently contradict well-established laws appear. we tend to look for other possible explanations — for simplifying assumptions we have made that may be wrong. but represent an idealization of them. On any ordinary scale. acceleration. Every scientific theory starts from a set of hypotheses. as they often do. Indeed. which are suggested by our observations. For this reason. It must be remembered however that. When persistent discrepancies are found. but we are not entitled to assume that they should necessarily apply on either a cosmological or a sub-microscopic scale. The laws of classical mechanics are no exception. So we may easily regard their physical meaning as more obvious than it really is. We may only be confident that they provide a good description of that class of phenomena for which their predictions have been adequately tested. Its basic concepts — mass. Since they were first 1 . One of the earliest examples is provided by Euclid’s axioms.

In particular. that it is meaningful to say that an event occurred at a specific point in space and a specific instant of time. classical mechanics has been superseded by quantum mechanics. and that there are universal standards of length and time (in the sense that observers in different places and at different times can make meaningful comparisons of their measurements). there is as yet no compelling evidence that we have reached the limits of their range of validity. we shall take them for granted. by relativity. Indeed both quantum mechanics and the special and general theories of relativity are extensions of classical mechanics in the sense that they reproduce its results in appropriate limiting cases. their range of known validity has been enormously extended. Thus the fact that these theories have been confirmed actually reinforces our belief in the correctness of classical mechanics within its own vast range of validity. Moreover. so far as we yet know. the conservation laws of energy. which provides a coherent and satisfying account of phenomena as diverse as the planetary orbits. This is not to say that classical mechanics has lost its value. and. but in two directions they have been found to be inadequate.2 Classical Mechanics formulated by Galileo and by Newton in his Principia. and concentrate our attention on the more specific assumptions of classical mechanics. it is a remarkably successful theory. the tides and the motion of a gyroscope. . though all are being challenged. that the geometry of space is Euclidean. These assumptions have been somewhat modified in quantum mechanics and relativity. and that there is no limit in principle to the accuracy with which we can measure all positions and velocities. and for phenomena involving speeds approaching that of light. many of the results of classical mechanics still apply. We assume that space and time are continuous. These assumptions are common to the whole of physics. For the description of the small-scale phenomena of atomic and nuclear physics. of universal validity. Here. we assume further that there is a universal time scale (in the sense that two observers who have synchronized their clocks will always agree about the time of any event). momentum and angular momentum are. Indeed.1 Space and Time The most fundamental assumptions of physics are probably those concerned with the concepts of space and time. In ‘classical’ physics. 1. however. even outside this range.

air. This statement. If we are sitting inside an aircraft. To specify positions and time. is the principle of relativity. velocity has only a relative significance. The relativity principle asserts that all unaccelerated observers are equivalent. in particular. and therefore forms a sphere about this point. at least on a small scale. and position in space has an absolute meaning. however. it is impossible in principle to decide which of them is at rest.Introduction 3 The relativity principle In Aristotle’s conception of the universe. but we cannot measure its velocity — though by looking out we can estimate its velocity relative to objects outside. However.) If two unaccelerated observers perform the same experiment. an accelerated observer who performs the experiment may well get a different answer. the fact that heavy bodies fall downwards was explained by supposing that each element (earth. even acceleration becomes a relative concept. to an observer in a confined region of space. In Newtonian mechanics. The element earth. fire. It makes no difference whether it is performed on the ground or in a smoothly travelling vehicle.e. tends to get as close as it can to the centre of the Universe. Given two bodies moving with constant relative velocity. In this kind of explanation. Inertial frames It is useful at this point to introduce the concept of a frame of reference. we can easily detect its acceleration. water) has its own appointed sphere. In just the same way. which is of fundamental importance. on the other hand. Acceleration. and which moving. each observer may choose a zero of the time . the effects of being accelerated and of being in a gravitational field are indistinguishable. distinguished role. they must arrive at the same results. Thus position has a meaning only relative to the Earth. still retains an absolute meaning. the central point plays a special. to which it tends to return unless forcibly prevented from so doing. or to some other body. constant in magnitude and direction) and accelerated motion.. it says nothing about accelerated observers. since it is experimentally possible to distinguish between motion with uniform velocity (i. bodies fall downward because they are attracted towards the Earth. (In Einstein’s theory of general relativity. rather than towards some fixed point in space. This is made possible by the fact that.

Sometimes it proves convenient to use a non-inertial (in particular. for example. and take the axes to be rigidly fixed to it (though. we may. The frames used by unaccelerated observers are called inertial frames. t . The laws of physics expressed in terms of our x. The position and time of any event may then be specified with respect to this frame by the three Cartesian co-ordinates x. For example. For all practical purposes. such as the Earth. This is of course an idealized definition. They are not. Formally. Indeed. this frame is not quite unaccelerated). Vectors It is often convenient to use a notation which does not refer explicitly to a particular set of co-ordinate axes. We shall refer to these collectively as a frame of reference. It is an essential assumption of classical mechanics that such frames exist. y. y. We need a criterion to distinguish inertial frames from the others. an origin in space. rotating) frame. A quantity which is specified by a magnitude and a direction is called a vector. would move with uniform velocity. since in practice we can never get infinitely far away from other matter. as we discuss later. this assumption (together with a definition of inertial frames) is the real physical content of Newton’s first law (a body acted on by no forces moves with uniform velocity in a straight line). however. We have not yet said how we can tell whether a given observer is unaccelerated. z we may specify the position of a point P with respect to a given origin O by the length and direction of the line OP . z . in this case the . identical with the laws expressed in terms of the co-ordinates used by an accelerated observer. In view of the relativity principle. t must be identical with those of someone else’s x . Instead of using Cartesian co-ordinates x. an inertial frame is one whose orientation is fixed relative to the ‘fixed’ stars. It is generally convenient to use only inertial frames. however. we shall discuss in Chapter 5 the use a frame rigidly fixed to the rotating Earth.4 Classical Mechanics scale. If we are located on a solid body. and a set of three Cartesian co-ordinate axes. and in which the Sun (or more precisely the centre of mass of the solar system) moves with uniform velocity. z and the time t. far removed from all other matter. y . z. choose some point of the body as the origin. an inertial frame may be defined to be one with respect to which any isolated body. y. in which the laws of mechanics take on a more complicated form. but there is no necessity to do so. the frames of reference used by different unaccelerated observers are completely equivalent.

They are to be distinguished from scalars — like mass and energy — which are completely specified by a magnitude alone. how their positions change with time. what is meant by the ‘position’ of a large object of complex shape. r i. both because of the mathematical simplicity thereby attained. We shall use r to denote the unit vector in the direction ˆ = r/r. at time t. can be specified by a position vector r(t). k. We shall therefore consider first only small bodies which can be effectively located at a point. 1. vectors will be denoted by boldface letters (like a). or by the use of vertical bars (|a|). we shall make the additional assumption that any such body may be divided up into a large number of very small bodies. The magnitude of the vector will be denoted by the corresponding letter in ordinary italic type (a). in classical hydrodynamics. and because the physical ideas behind the mathematical formalism are often much clearer in terms of vectors. to fluids too. Throughout this book.Introduction 5 position vector r of P with respect to O. z-axes will be denoted by of r. and. however.2 Newton’s Laws Classical mechanics describes how physical objects move. Its basic laws may be applied to objects of any size (above the atomic level) and of any shape and internal structure. (We shall also need to make some assumptions about the nature of the internal forces between these particles. It is not immediately obvious. so that the position of each. they will find a discussion which includes all the results we shall need in Appendix A. The unit vectors along the x-. When we come to deal with large extended bodies. We shall use the vector notation in formulating the basic laws of mechanics. each of which may be treated as a point particle. Only in the idealized case of point particles (which do not exist in nature) does this concept have an intuitively obvious meaning. Many other physical quantities are also vectors: examples are velocity and force. j. so that r = xi + yj + zk. if not. y-. We assume here that readers are familiar with the ideas of vector algebra. The scalar and vector products of two vectors a and b will be written a · b and ˆ a ∧ b respectively. in Chapter 8.) We shall then find .

2) is a vector sum. particularly those of mass and force. The laws themselves prescribe the meaning of the ‘position’ of an extended body. This force is composed of a sum of forces due to each of the other bodies in the system. Note that since the sum on the right side of (1. Each of the N bodies is assumed to be small enough to be treated as a point particle. . Its momentum pi is defined to be mass × velocity: pi = m i v i . where the dots denote differentiation with respect to the time t. this equation incorporates the ‘parallelogram law’ of composition of forces. .2) where of course F ii = 0. We shall begin by simply stating Newton’s laws. The equation of motion.1) where F i is the total force acting on the body. The position of the ith body with respect to a given inertial frame will be denoted by r i (t). ˙ ¨ ai (t) = v i (t) = r i (t). If we denote the force on the ith body due to the jth body by F ij .6 Classical Mechanics that if we are interested in the overall motion of even a very large object. Let us consider an isolated system comprising N bodies. By saying that the system is isolated. then N F i = F i1 + F i2 + · · · + F iN = F ij . since there is no force on the ith body due to itself. its mass mi . . which we label by an index i = 1. Its velocity and acceleration are ˙ v i (t) = r i (t). N . . we mean that all other bodies are sufficiently remote to have a negligible influence on it. (1. we may often legitimately treat it as a point particle located at the centre of mass of the body. and defer to the following section a discussion of the physical significance of the concepts involved. such as a planet. dt Each body is characterized by a scalar constant. . For example ˙ r≡ dr . which specifies how the body will move is Newton’s second law (mass × acceleration = force): ˙ pi = mi ai = F i . 2. j=1 (1.

which depend on the positions and velocities of three particles simultaneously. It would be perfectly possible to include also. F ji = −F ij . which asserts that ‘action’ and ‘reaction’ are equal and opposite. ^ r ij ri rij rj Fig. then from (1.1 If the forces are known. 1. There is here an implicit assumption of perfect knowledge and infinite precision of calculation.1). However. It is now recognized (see Chapters 13. as functions of the positions and velocities. However. F ij is a function of the positions and velocities (and internal structure) of the ith and jth bodies.3) Moreover. no such forces are known. and their inclusion would be an inessential complication. 1. (It can be argued that this is an unnecessarily restrictive assumption. but is unaffected by the presence of the other bodies. false. Given their initial positions and velocities.Introduction 7 The two-body forces F ij must satisfy Newton’s third law.) Because of the relativity principle. say. and the relative velocity v ij = v i − v j . leading to a loss of predictability. 14) that this assumption is.1) we can predict the future motion of the bodies. for the time being. three-body forces. in general. (1. we shall assume that our solution can be effected. within the realm of validity of classical mechanics. we can solve these equations (analytically or numerically) to find their positions at a later time. . the force can in fact depend only on the relative position rij = r i − rj (see Fig.

6) is another constant. Correspondingly large charges never appear.4) with f (rij ) = − Gmi mj . if f (rij ) is negative. because positive . and 0 = 8. They appear significant to us only because we happen to live close to a body of very large mass. = 8. According to Newton’s law of universal gravitation. This serves to illustrate the fact that gravitational forces are really exceptionally weak. which depend only on the relative positions of the two bodies. proportional in magnitude to the product of their masses. directed inwards. It is given by (1. whose value is G = 6. (1.854 19 × 10−12 F m−1 .987 55 × 109 N m2 C−2 . there is an electrostatic Coulomb force given by f (rij ) = qi qj 2 . if the bodies are electrically charged. If f (rij ) is positive the force F ij is a repulsive force directed outwards along the line joining the bodies. Note the enormous difference in the orders of magnitude of the constants G and 1/4π 0 when expressed in SI units.4) ˆ where.673 × 10−11 N m2 kg−2 . it is an attractive force. 2 rij (1. there is a force of this type between every pair of bodies. The most important class of forces consists of the central. Note that the analogue of Newton’s constant G is 1/4π 0 Electric charges may be of either sign. this force is always attractive. 4π 0 rij 0 (1. Since the masses are always positive. conservative forces.5) where G is Newton’s gravitational constant. In addition.8 Classical Mechanics All that then remains is to specify the precise laws by which the twobody forces are to be determined. and have the form ˆ F ij = rij f (rij ). and therefore the electrostatic force may be repulsive or attractive according to the relative sign of qi and qj . where qi and qj are the electric charges. as usual. r ij is the unit vector in the direction of r ij and f (rij ) is a scalar function of the relative distance rij .

3). we need quantum mechanics. for there is still an apparent contradiction between this classical electromagnetic theory . which are of great importance even in the realm of classical physics. Frictional forces have the effect of transferring some of this energy from the large-scale motion of the bodies to small-scale movements in their interior. therefore. as we shall see in Chapter 2. central. in a less obvious way. which are independent of velocity. if there is a distribution of electric charge within each body. It would be wrong to conclude.e. By supposing that the field itself can carry energy and momentum. that we can explain everything in terms of them. conservative forces as the norm. and therefore appear non-conservative on a large scale. but on the field in its immediate vicinity. The chief distinguishing feature of conservative forces is the existence of a quantity which is conserved. i.. and so on. however. not directed along the line joining the bodies).Introduction 9 and negative charges largely cancel out. and satisfy some further conditions that need not worry us here — see §3. In the first place. conservative forces between their constituent parts can evidently give rise to forces which are still conservative (i. we can reinstate the conservation laws.6). This particular difficulty may be resolved by introducing the concept of the electromagnetic field.1 and §A. More serious is the existence of electromagnetic forces. In bodies with structure. but no longer central (i. namely the energy of the system.e. this in turn affects the field further out. However. the concepts of classical mechanics cannot be applied to the really small-scale structure of matter. we may regard central. They can also give rise.. The effect of a disturbance of one charge is not felt immediately by the other. This can happen. but on its past history. and does not even satisfy Newton’s third law (1. for example. Many resistive and frictional forces can be understood as macroscopic effects of forces which are really conservative on a small scale. For that. Then we may suppose that one charge does not act directly on the other. The force on one charge depends not only on the instantaneous position of the other. whose total value never changes. velocity-dependent forces. This is a consequence of the finite velocity of propagation of electromagnetic waves. but after an interval of time sufficient for a light signal to propagate from one to the other. but which cannot readily be accommodated in the framework of classical mechanics. In a sense.. leaving macroscopic bodies with a net charge close to zero.e. The force between two charges in relative motion is neither central nor conservative. which are among the most important consequences of Newton’s laws. this does not completely remove the difficulty. to non-conservative.

‘special’ relativity). Let us consider first the measurement of mass. but also the new concepts of mass and force. are actually contained in the laws themselves. Since the units of mass are arbitrary. This is by no means an unusual or logically objectionable situation.. which appears in Newton’s second law. Classical electromagnetic theory and classical mechanics can be incorporated into a single self-consistent theory. To give the laws a physical meaning we have. Now. the use of a balance.10 Classical Mechanics and the principle of relativity discussed in §1.3 The Concepts of Mass and Force It is an important general principle of physics (though not universally applied!) that no quantity should be introduced into the theory which cannot. This rules out. be measured.e. we have to specify a way of comparing the masses of two given bodies. because any experiment designed to measure these quantities must necessarily involve Newton’s laws themselves in its interpretation. we must be able to measure each kind of mass separately. It is important to realize that we are discussing here the inertial mass.1) and not the gravitational mass. This is not quite as trivial as it might seem. to show that these are measurable quantities. Newton’s laws involve not only the concepts of velocity and acceleration. from which he deduced that in a vacuum all bodies would fall equally fast) rather than an a priori assumption. 1. but it may clarify the status of these concepts to reformulate the laws in such a way as to isolate their definitional element. . Thus the operational definitions of mass and force — the prescriptions of how they may be measured — which are required to make the laws physically significant. This paradox can only be resolved by the introduction of Einstein’s theory of relativity (i.5). but only by ignoring the relativity principle and sticking to one ‘preferred’ inertial frame. therefore. for example. This arises from the fact that if the speed of light is constant with respect to one inertial frame — as it should be according to electromagnetic theory — then the usual rules for combining velocities would lead to the conclusion that it is not constant with respect to a relatively moving frame. at least in principle. (1. but this equivalence principle is a physical law derived from experimental observation (in particular from Galileo’s observations of falling bodies. which appears in (1. which can be measured by measuring distances and times. To verify the law.1. The two are of course proportional. in contradiction with the statement that all inertial frames are equivalent.

Note that for consistency. m1 a1 = −m2 a2 . If we allow two small bodies to collide. and compare their mutually induced accelerations. analogous to the law of composition of forces. We must also assume of course that if we compare the masses of three bodies in this way. because of Newton’s third law. we need one which deals with systems containing more than two bodies. and inversely proportional to the masses.7) or its immediate consequence. Clearly. velocities and internal states.2). and conventionally assign it unit mass (say m1 = 1 kg). for two given bodies. (Such collisions will be discussed in detail in Chapters 2 and 7. but this does not help unless we have some way of knowing that the forces are equal. then during the collision the effects of more remote bodies are generally negligible in comparison with their effect on each other. and we may treat them approximately as an isolated system. However there is one case in which we do know this. (1. where the scalar k21 is. the accelerations always satisfy the relation a1 = −k21 a2 .3). (1. we can compare the inertial masses of two bodies by subjecting them to equal forces and comparing their accelerations. m1 v 1 + m2 v 2 = constant. then we may define the mass of the second to be k21 in units of this standard mass (here m2 = k21 kg).1) and (1. we obtain consistent results: For any three bodies.Introduction 11 which compares gravitational masses. the constants kij satisfy k31 = k32 k21 . If we choose the first body to be a standard body. we must have k12 = 1/k21 . k32 is the mass ratio: k32 = m3 /m2 . To complete the list of fundamental axioms. by using (1.7). the law of conservation of momentum. If we isolate the two bodies from all other matter. we may adopt as a fundamental axiom the following: In an isolated two-body system.) The mass ratio can then be determined from measurements of their velocities before and after the collision. This may be stated as follows: . then according to (1.8) If we wish to separate the definition of mass from the physical content of equation (1. (1.7) so that the accelerations are oppositely directed. a constant independent of their positions. It then follows that for any two bodies.

which appear in a rather unfamiliar form. The utility of this definition arises from the fact that forces satisfy Newton’s third law. they are essentially determined by a single function. m2 a2 = F 21 + F 23 .10) (1. . the equations of motion for the three bodies are m1 a1 = F 12 + F 13 . In a many-body system. the acceleration of any given body is equal to the sum of the accelerations induced in it by each of the other bodies individually. their accelerations must be equal: a2 = a3 . (1. and is unaffected by the presence of other bodies.3). These laws. Then. (1. which shows that the mass of the composite body is just m23 = m2 + m3 . It is interesting to note. that one consequence of our basic laws is the additive nature of mass. (1. while accelerations satisfy only the more complicated law. and it is useful to introduce the more symmetric concept of force.3).1). Now. It can of course be introduced. Since the mutually induced accelerations of two given bodies are always proportional. In view of the apparently fundamental role played by the concept of force in Newtonian mechanics.7). If we add these equations. for which this becomes obvious. if we suppose that the force between the second and third is such that they are rigidly bound together to form a composite body. by defining it through Newton’s second law. Let us take a three-body system.12 Classical Mechanics The acceleration induced in one body by another is some definite function of their positions. and we are left with m1 a1 + m2 a2 + m3 a3 = 0.7). (1. velocities and internal structure.9) which is the generalization of (1. in view of (1. then. finally. m3 a3 = F 31 + F 32 . the terms on the right cancel in pairs. returning to the notation of the previous section. we get m1 a1 = −(m2 + m3 )a2 . In that case. as stated in the previous section. are actually completely equivalent to Newton’s laws. it is remarkable that we have been able to reformulate the basic laws without mentioning this concept.

we have to compute the new positions and velocities after a short interval of time has elapsed. is a matter of choice. for the gravitational and electrostatic cases. given the positions and velocities at any one instant of time.5 Summary To some extent. in discussing the motion of an artificial satellite. the complementary problem of determining the force from a knowledge of the positions of other bodies. The Earth enters simply as a known external influence. we are really concerned with the satellite alone. as functions of position. it is useful to concentrate our attention on a small part of a dynamical system. Then. which we suppose to be known in advance. Since the motion of the Earth is already known. For example. From this point of view. First. In a general case. given the forces acting. Typically. we return to the more complex type of problem in which the system of immediate interest cannot be taken to be merely a single particle. This is the kind of problem with which we shall be mainly concerned in the next few chapters. or group of small bodies. Later. and in that case the two problems can be separated. in terms of which others are to be defined. In the latter problem. Second. however. we can clearly ignore its effect on the Earth. the selection of a group of basic concepts. and must be solved simultaneously. we can calculate the force on the satellite as a function of its position and (if atmospheric resistance is included) its velocity.Introduction 13 1. The first law contains the definition of an inertial . therefore. in Chapter 7. In many cases.4 External Forces To find the motion of the various bodies in any dynamical system. we can solve separately the problem of its motion. velocity and time. we shall consider the motion of a particle under a known external force. We have chosen to regard position and time (relative to some frame of reference) as basic. taking the force as known. we consider. we have to solve two closely interrelated problems. these two problems are inextricably bound up with each other. In Chapter 6. If. we are concerned with the motions of a small body. 1. and to represent the effect of everything outside this by external forces. we have to determine the forces acting on each body. Newton’s laws must be regarded as containing definitions in addition to physical laws. then we can often neglect its effect on other bodies.

If.9). If particles 2 and 3.) 3. find the equations describing the motion 2 of the two-body system comprising particle 1 and the composite body (2+3). each of mass m.6 × 10−19 C. instead of bouncing apart. What is the ratio of their masses? (Hint: Write down their accelerations in terms of the angular velocity of rotation. 1. 6.) 5. Consider a system of three particles. are regarded as forming a composite body of mass 2m located at the mid-point r = 1 (r2 +r3 ). such as the law of universal gravitation. while the second and third laws contain definitions of mass and force. where each position vector r i is replaced by r i = r i − vt. (Proton charge = 1. These laws. Here and in later chapters. A is moving with velocity 2 v and B with velocity 3 2 v. proton mass = 1.) How does a relative position vector r ij transform? How do momenta and forces transform? Show explicitly that if equations (1.7 × 10−27 kg. with what velocity would they then move? 2. (Here v is a constant. ω. A body of mass 50 kg is suspended by two light.4) hold in the original frame. Problems Note. starred problems are somewhat harder. together with the physical assertion that such frames exist. Find the ratio of their masses. An object A moving with velocity v collides with a stationary object B. Consider a transformation to a relatively uniformly moving frame of reference. whose motion is described by (1. inextensible cables of . the two bodies stuck together after the collision. The two components of a double star are observed to move in circles of radii r1 and r2 . even though not rigidly bound together.1) to (1. supplemented by the laws of force. Find the distance r between two protons at which the electrostatic repulsion between them will equal the gravitational attraction of the Earth on one of them.7).14 Classical Mechanics frame. then they also hold in the new one. 1 After the collision. provide the equations from which we can determine the motion of any dynamical system. What is the force on the composite body due to particle 1? Show that the equations agree with (1. what is the correct definition of the position of the composite (2 + 3) that will make (1. When the masses are unequal. the relative velocity of the two frames.7) still hold? 4.

8 m apart. (This latter assumption will be justified. by modelling the mountain as a sphere of radius 500 m and density 2.5 m long.) . along the direction of the leg) and that the legs themselves have negligible weight. How should one then define and measure the mass of a body? The first estimate of Newton’s constant was made by the astronomer Nevil Maskelyne in 1774 by measuring the angle between the directions of the apparent plumb-line vertical on opposite sides of the Scottish mountain Schiehallion (height 1081 m.) *Discuss the possibility of using force rather than mass as the basic quantity. for a spherical object. Find the height of the tripod. and the wind backs to the north-east. with feet 0. find the forces in the legs.) Given that the tripod carries a weight of mass 2 kg. taking for example a standard weight (at a given latitude) as the unit of force.7 × 103 kg m−3 . 9. The third leg is 1. 8. and the vectors representing the positions of its three feet relative to the top. Find a rough estimate of the angle through which a plumb line is deviated by the gravitational attraction of the mountain. but no allowance is made for this change. and its foot is 1. 10. how far from its destination will the aircraft be at its expected arrival time. On what compass heading should the pilot fly? How long will the flight take? If the wind speed increases to 50 m s−1 .5 m directly behind the midpoint of the line joining the other two. and assuming that its gravitational effect is the same as though the total mass were concentrated at its centre. in Chapter 6.e.Introduction 15 7.) *An aircraft is to fly to a destination 800 km due north of its starting point. The wind is from the east at a speed of 30 m s−1 . (Take g = 10 m s−2 . assuming they are purely compressional (i. (Hint: Choose a convenient origin and axes and write down the lengths of the legs in terms of the position vector of the top. lengths 15 m and 20 m from rigid supports placed 25 m apart on the same level. chosen for its regular conical shape). Find the tensions in the cables. Take g = 10 m s−2 .. This and the following two problems are applications of vector addition. and in what direction? *The two front legs of a tripod are each 1. Its airspeed is 800 km h−1 . (Note that by convention ‘light’ means ‘of negligible mass’.4 m long.

16 Classical Mechanics .

Conservation of Energy We consider first a particle moving along a line. ˙ When the force depends only on x. Let us consider the ˙ kinetic energy. 2.3) F (x) dx. (2.1) Since this equation is of second order in the time derivatives. we shall have to integrate twice to find x as a function of t. we can always find a ‘first integral’.4) . we find for its rate of change ˙ T = mx¨ = F (x)x. (2. we find T = F (x)x dt = ˙ 17 (2. under a force which is given as a function of its position. Thus the solution will contain two arbitrary constants that may be fixed by specifying the initial values of x and x. 1 ˙ T = 2 mx2 . The problems discussed are chosen to illustrate the concepts and techniques which will be of use in the more general case of three-dimensional motion. Integrating with respect to time. F (x).Chapter 2 Linear Motion In this chapter we discuss the motion of a body which is free to move only in one dimension.1 Conservative Forces. ˙x ˙ using (2.1) is m¨ = F (x). Then the equation of motion (1.2) Differentiating. x (2.1). a function of x and x whose value is constant in time.

5) T + V = E = constant. By ‘light’ we mean ‘of negligible mass’.4). Example: The simple pendulum A simple pendulum comprises a bob of mass m supported by a light rigid rod of length l. What kinds of motion are possible for different values of v? .6) in the form 1 ˙2 2 mx = E − V (x) (2. If the initial position and velocity are given.6) is the law of conservation of energy.7) The equation (2. the motion is confined to the region where V (x) ≤ E. x0 (2.18 Classical Mechanics If we define the potential energy. Then (2. A great deal of information about the motion can be obtained from this conservation law.8) gives the velocity of the particle (except for sign) when it is at any given position x. (2. we can calculate the value of the constant E. (We choose a rod rather than a string so that we may consider motion above the point of support. even without integrating again to find x explicitly as a function of t. There is a corresponding arbitrariness up to an additive constant in the total energy E. is called a conservative force. dx (2. An example may help to explain this.6) Here x0 is an arbitrary constant.4) in the form F (x ) dx . Since the kinetic energy is obviously positive. x V (x) = − we can write (2.5) can be inverted to give the force in terms of the potential energy: F (x) = − dV ≡ −V (x). Note that (2. A force of this type. depending only on x. corresponding to the arbitrary additive constant of integration in (2.) The bob starts with velocity v from the equilibrium position.

the total energy is E = 1 mv 2 .Linear Motion 19 The distance moved by the bob is x = lθ. the motion is a continuous rotation rather than an oscillation. Corresponding to the restoring force F = −mg sin θ = −mg sin(x/l). where θ is the angular displacement from the downward vertical. These are the points where the kinetic energy vanishes. namely 2 1 2 mv 1 = E − 2mgl = 2 mv 2 − 2mgl. 2. i. it still has positive energy. the potential energy function is V = mgl[1 − cos(x/l)] = mgl(1 − cos θ). 1 − cos θ0 = v 2 /2gl.1. so that the pendulum bob is instantaneously at rest. Since we have chosen the arbitrary constant in V so that V (0) = 0. (Note that the points θ = π and θ = −π may be identified. On the other hand. In this case. (2.) V E(2) E(1) 1 −mv′ 2 2 −π −θ 0 θ0 Fig.9) It is plotted in Fig.1 π θ Initially θ = 0. and the bob is moving with velocity v. Now if E < 2mgl (E(1) in the figure). The motion is an oscillation of amplitude θ0 .e. the motion will be 2 confined between the two angles ±θ0 where V (θ0 ) = E. then the kinetic energy will never vanish. When the bob reaches the upward vertical. if the bob is pushed so hard that E > 2mgl (E(2) in the figure). . 2.

there are two points where V (x) = E. Without loss of generality. 2. the linear term is absent also.2(a)). the Harmonic Oscillator A particle can be in equilibrium only if the total force acting on it is zero. It will therefore be useful to analyze it in some detail. by (2. The force corresponding to the potential energy function (2. it is remarkably ubiquitous. F (x) = −kx. (2. where it comes momentarily to rest before reversing direction (E(2) in figure).20 Classical Mechanics 2. a= 2E/k. But if E > 0 (E(1) in figure). with decreasing speed as it approaches x = 0 and then increasing speed. namely x = ±a. that the potential energy curve is horizontal at the position of the particle. where the primes denote differentiation with respect to x. and choose the arbitrary constant in V so that V (0) = 0.2(b)).10) (We assume for simplicity that V (0) does not also vanish. Thus near x = 0 we can write. 2.7). In this case. 1 V (x) = 2 kx2 . Thus for k > 0 and any energy E > 0 (Fig.) Because motion near almost any point of equilibrium is described approximately by this potential energy function. by (2. Let us now consider the motion of a particle near a position of equilibrium. if k < 0. (2. approximately. it plays as important a role in quantum mechanics as in classical mechanics. it has enough energy to surmount the barrier and will never come to rest: it will continue moving in the same direction for ever. we may choose the equilibrium point to be the origin. For a conservative force this means.12) . The potential energy curve here is a parabola (see Fig. the constant term is absent. and since the equilibrium condition is V (0) = 0.10) is. we may expand V (x) in a Maclaurin–Taylor series.11) The motion is an oscillation between these two points. (2. the curve is an inverted parabola (see Fig.2 Motion near Equilibrium. On the other hand. two kinds of motion are possible. 1 V (x) = V (0) + xV (0) + 2 x2 V (0) + · · · .2). 2. k = V (0).7). If E < 0 the particle may approach to some minimum distance. x = 0. If we are interested only in small displacements. Since we have chosen V (0) = 0.

The equation of motion may be written m¨ + kx = 0. x (2. We could proceed directly from the energy conservation equation in the form (2. proportional to displacement from the point of equilibrium.13) This equation is very easy to solve.15) .2 It is an attractive or repulsive force. for. one involving only linear terms in x and its derivatives. according as k > 0 or k < 0. Solution of the harmonic oscillator equation Equation (2. (2.14) However. clearly. 2. since we shall encounter a number of similar equations later.8) and integrate again to obtain k 2E − x2 m m −1/2 dx = dt. m¨ + kx = a1 (m¨1 + kx1 ) + a2 (m¨2 + kx2 ) = 0. x x x (2. where a1 and a2 are constants.Linear Motion 21 V V E(1) x E(2) E −a (a) a x (b) Fig. it will be useful to discuss an alternative method of solution that can be adapted later to other examples. Such equations have the important property that their solutions satisfy the superposition principle: if x1 (t) and x2 (t) are solutions. that is. then so is any linear combination x(t) = a1 x1 (t) + a2 x2 (t).13) is a linear differential equation.

10) ceases to be valid. (2.19) is x = a cos(ωt − θ). 2 (2.16) It is easy to verify that this equation is satisfied by the functions x = ept and x = e−pt . Thus the equilibrium is unstable.19) The arbitrary constants c and d are to be determined by the initial conditions. (2.18) It is again very easy to check that the functions x = cos ωt and x = sin ωt are solutions. if x1 and x2 are linearly independent solutions (that is.22 Classical Mechanics Moreover. Let us consider first the case where k < 0. If at t = 0 the particle is at x0 with velocity v0 . and the general solution must therefore contain just two arbitrary constants of integration.10) is that of a simple harmonic oscillator. a small displacement will in general lead to an exponential increase of x with time. . then we easily find c = x0 . unless one is simply a constant multiple of the other).13) is of second order.13) becomes x + ω 2 x = 0. we could obtain its solution by integrating twice.17) (We introduce the factor of 1 for later convenience. ¨ p= −k/m. so that V (x) has a maximum at x = 0. We now turn to the case where k > 0 and V has a minimum at x = 0. all we have to do is to find any two independent solutions x1 (t) and x2 (t). (2.) Clearly.20) d = v0 /ω. then (2. (2. Then the potential energy function (2. Then (2. which continues until the approximation involved in (2. The equation of motion (2.13) can be written x − p2 x = 0. it is a matter of con2 1 1 vention whether we call the arbitrary constants A and B or 2 A and 2 B. So to find the general solution. and the general solution is therefore x = c cos ωt + d sin ωt. For.15) is actually the general solution. Thus the general solution is 1 x = 2 Aept + 1 Be−pt . since (2. ¨ ω= k/m. as we should expect when V has a maximum. An alternative form of (2.

fixed at x = ±a. Example: Charged particle between two fixed charges A particle of charge q is constrained to move along a line between two other equal charges q. It is identical to the constant introduced in (2.22) x a τ t −a Fig.Linear Motion 23 where the constants a. What is the period of small oscillations? . 2. namely f= ω 1 = . τ 2π (2.21) (See Fig.) The frequency f is the number of oscillations per unit time.3 Notice that this discussion applies to the motion of a particle near a stable equilibrium point of any potential energy function. x = ±a. The constant a is called the amplitude. For sufficiently small displacements. and defines the limits between which the particle oscillates. any system of this kind behaves like a simple harmonic oscillator.3. of period τ given by τ = 2π/ω. d by c = a cos θ.11). 2. θ are related to c. The motion is a periodic oscillation. d = a sin θ. the period or frequency of small oscillations may always be found from the second derivative of the potential energy function at the equilibrium position. In particular. (2.

19). In particular. and τ = (2π/q) π 0 a3 m. 2 4π 0 (a + x) 4π 0 (a − x)2 1 1 + a+x a−x q2 4π 0 2a a2 − x2 corresponding to the potential energy function V = q2 4π 0 = . so that A and B must be complex conjugates. When k > 0. where V = 0. B = aeiθ . Clearly. and we easily find q 2 a a2 + 3x2 q2 . of the previous section together. 2 2 (2.20).24 Classical Mechanics Here. Similarly. and the solution (2. B = c + id. this allows us to treat both cases. If we allow p to be complex.23) Of course. to use complex numbers. is x = 0. A = ae−iθ . If we write A = c − id. = π 0 (a2 − x2 )3 x=0 π 0 a3 √ Hence. . x must be a real number. we obtain the solution in the form (2. ω 2 = q 2 /π 0 a3 m. the position of equilibrium.16) and (2. we recover the solution (2. p = iω. p becomes purely imaginary. and use the relation eiωt = cos ωt + i sin ωt. the force (in the region |x| < a) is F = q2 q2 − . then the solution in both cases is given by (2.17).17) is x = 1 Aeiωt + 1 Be−iωt . in discussing periodic phenomena. if we use the polar form of a complex number. k > 0 and k < 0. k = V (0) = 2.3 Complex Representation It is often very convenient.

4 The Law of Conservation of Energy This law was originally derived from Newton’s laws for the case where the force is a function only of x. x = Re(z) and y = Im(z). and whose phase θ defines the initial direction of the vector from the origin to z. 2. ω is usually called the y d c θ a z x Fig. 2. It has. For this reason. we see that z moves in a circle around the origin with angular velocity ω (see Fig.4). The real part of the solution.Linear Motion 25 It is also useful to note that if z = x + iy is a complex solution of (2. must separately each satisfy the equation. x. z x y then its real and imaginary parts. a much wider application.4 angular frequency. however. . If we plot the complex solution.13). The constant A is a complex amplitude. This method of obtaining solutions will be useful later. may be regarded as the projection of this circular motion on the real axis. in the xy-plane. whose absolute value (the real amplitude a) is the radius of the circle. 2. z = x + iy = Aeiωt . m¨ + kz = (m¨ + kx) + i(m¨ + ky) = 0.

In a real mechanical system. Thus the increase in kinetic energy in a time ˙ interval dt. as we shall see later in Chapter 12. this energy is gradually distributed among the surrounding molecules. is dT = dW. the rate of change of the kinetic energy T is ˙ given by (2. and the rate P of doing work (the power ) is defined as F x. to the point where it is now recognized as one of the most fundamental of all physical laws. The existence of such a law.3): T = F x. (Thus for a conservative force. In each collision. electromagnetic and so on).) The work is therefore a measure of the amount of energy converted to kinetic energy from other forms.26 Classical Mechanics By introducing additional forms of energy (heat. For an arbitrary force F . it experiences a force which is velocity-dependent. and of the laws of conservation of momentum and angular momentum. if we look at the situation on a sub-microscopic scale. there will be dissipative forces acting on the system. energy is conserved. there is usually ˙ some loss of mechanical (kinetic or potential) energy to heat or other forms. chemical. where dW = F dx (2. For example. This increased energy appears macroscopically as heat. when a particle penetrates a retarding medium. Many non-conservative (or dissipative) forces may be regarded as macroscopic effects of forces which are really conservative on a small scale. (Such collisions will be discussed in detail in Chapter 7. the potential energy V (x) is equal to minus the work done by the force in the displacement from the fixed point x0 to x. such as the atmosphere. we see that what happens is that the particle makes a series of collisions with the molecules of the medium.24) is called the work done by the force F in the infinitesimal displacement dx. is in fact closely related to the relativity principle. The net result is to retard the incoming particle. Correspondingly. However. and some of the kinetic energy of the incoming particle is transferred to the molecules with which it collides.) .) By means of further collisions. during which the particle moves a distance dx. and therefore non-conservative. and results in a rise in the temperature of the medium. it has been extended far beyond the field of mechanics.25) (2. it is also possible to convert heat to mechanical energy. (Of course. as in an internal combustion engine. and to increase the average energy of the molecules in the medium.

26) Equations of this form turn up in many branches of physics. C in which the variable q represents the charge on one plate of the condenser. xx and x2 in comparison. ˙ Thus we are led to consider the damped harmonic oscillator for which F = −kx − λx.28) 2 γ 2 − ω0 . m (2. resistance R and capacitance C in series are described by the equation L¨ + Rq + q ˙ 1 q = 0. the oscillations of an electrical circuit containing an inductance L. The equation (2. ˙ ˙ the particle would therefore be gaining.5 The Damped Oscillator We saw in §2. rather than losing. (2.2 that a particle near a position of stable equilibrium under a conservative force may always be treated approximately as a simple harmonic oscillator.27) Note that ω0 is the frequency of the undamped oscillator. The rate at which work is done by the force −λx is −λx2 .18). 2m and ω0 = k .26) may be solved as before by looking for solutions of the form x = ept . as in (2. we obtain for p the equation mp2 + λp + k = 0. and neglect x2 . x ˙ (2. If there is energy loss. Substituting in (2. So we shall assume that λ is positive. energy. ˙ where λ is another constant. The equation of motion now becomes m¨ + λx + kx = 0. If λ were negative.26).Linear Motion 27 2. whose roots are p = −γ ± where γ= λ . we must include in the equation of motion a force depending on the velocity. For example. . So long as we are concerned only with small displacements from the equilibrium position. we may treat ˙ ˙ both x and x as small quantities.

the dominant term is that containing in the exponent the smaller coefficient. B = aeiθ . then both roots for p are real and negative: p = −γ± .30) The general solution may be written in the alternative forms x = 1 Aeiωt−γt + 1 Be−iωt−γt 2 2 = Re(Aeiωt−γt ) = ae−γt cos(ωt − θ). Small damping Now let us consider the case where λ is small. γ− . Thus the characteristic time in which the displacement x is reduced by a factor 1/e is of order 1/γ− .31) From the last form of (2. and angular frequency ω. (2. It is often convenient to introduce the quality factor.31) we see that this solution represents an oscillation with exponentially decreasing amplitude ae−γt . of the oscillator. (2.29) where A and B are arbitrary constants.) Note that ω is always less than the frequency ω0 of the undamped oscillator. where A = ae−iθ . so that γ < ω0 . p = −γ ± iω. ω= 2 ω0 − γ 2 . defined as the dimensionless number ω0 mω0 = . called the relaxation time of the oscillator.28 Classical Mechanics Large damping If λ is so large that γ > ω0 . For large times. 2. or simply ‘Q’.32) Q= λ 2γ . is 1/γ = 2m/λ.5. (2. Hence the displacement tends exponentially to zero. Then the two roots for p are complex conjugates. (See Fig. 2 γ± = γ ± 2 γ 2 − ω0 . The time in which the amplitude is reduced by a factor 1/e. The general solution is then 1 x = 2 Ae−γ+ t + 1 Be−γ− t . (2.

5 If the damping is small then Q is large. 2.6). as we noted above. γ− decreases.31) involves only one arbitrary constant. It is not hard to verify that as γ increases. A + B. γ = ω0 . it is easy to verify by direct substitution that the equation (2. Critical damping The limiting case. Thus the shortest possible response time is obtained by choosing γ = ω0 . or approximately e−π/Q . We need to find a second independent solution in this case. (2. Let us assume that k is fixed and the amount of damping varied. in a measuring instrument. 2. so that the response time 1/γ− increases (see Fig. When the damping is less than critical (γ < ω0 ).33) Critical damping is often the ideal. that is for critical damping. is the case of critical damping. In a single oscillation period. The number of periods in a relaxation time is roughly Q/π. . For example. However.29) or (2. In fact. in which ω = 0 and the two roots for p coincide. we want to damp out the oscillations of the pointer about its correct position as quickly as possible. the characteristic time is 1/γ− . Then the solution (2. and cannot be the general solution. the characteristic time of response is the relaxation time 1/γ.26) in this special case is also satisfied by the function te−pt . which of course decreases as γ is increased. the amplitude is reduced by the factor e−2πγ/ω . but too much damping would lead to a very slow response.Linear Motion 29 x t Fig. when γ > ω0 . Thus the general solution is x = (a + bt)e−γt .

(2. .6 Oscillator under Simple Periodic Force In an isolated system the forces are functions of position and velocity.26) for the unforced oscillator. but not explicitly of the time.34) Now. However. 2.26).6 γ− γ 2. x1 (t) + x0 (t) will be another solution of (2.34). which is given as a function of the time. if x1 (t) is any solution of this equation.30 Classical Mechanics γ± γ+ γ ω0 Fig.) Let us consider first the case where the applied force is periodic in time. Its general solution is then obtained by adding to this particular solution the general solution of the homogeneous equation (2. as one can easily check by direct substitution. we are often interested in the response of an oscillatory system to an applied external force. Then we have to deal with the equation m¨ + λx + kx = F (t). It is convenient to write this in the form F (t) = Re(F1 eiω1 t ). and x0 (t) is a solution of the corresponding homogeneous equation (2. x ˙ (2. (This will be the general solution because it contains two arbitrary constants. F (t).35) where F1 and ω1 are real constants. Hence we only need to find one particular solution of this equation. with the simple form F (t) = F1 cos ω1 t. then.

(2.37) Dividing by me−iθ1 and rearranging the terms gives 2 2 (ω0 + 2iγω1 − ω1 )a1 = F1 iθ1 e . (2. z ˙ (2.39) If F1 > 0. the corresponding particular solution of our original equation (2. we obtain an equation for A1 : 2 (−mω1 + iλω1 + k)A1 = F1 . equating real and imaginary parts. where A1 = a1 e−iθ1 is a complex constant. is simply x = a1 cos(ω1 t − θ1 ). The amplitude is found by squaring these equations and adding. Substituting in (2. to give a1 = F1 /m 2 2 2 (ω0 − ω1 )2 + 4γ 2 ω1 .36) Then the real part x of this solution will be a solution of the equation (2. 2γω1 a1 = (F1 /m) sin θ1 .36) which is periodic in time with the same period as the applied force. z = A1 eiω1 t = a1 ei(ω1 t−θ1 ) .35). m where γ and ω0 are defined as before by (2.34) with the force (2.40) .38) Dividing one equation by the other yields the phase: tan θ1 = 2γω1 2 2. We have found a particular solution of (2.36). Its real part. Hence.34). m¨ + λz + kz = F1 eiω1 t . ω0 − ω1 (2. 2 2 (ω0 − ω1 )a1 = (F1 /m) cos θ1 . (2.28). the correct choice between the two solutions for θ1 differing by π is the one lying in the range 0 < θ1 < π.36).Linear Motion 31 and to solve first the equation with a complex force. We now look for a particular solution of (2.

41). the amplitude is a maximum when ω0 = ω1 . by (2. 2mγω1 λω1 (2. alone.38) and (2.41). which represents a free oscillation. that is. In the case where the damping is less than critical (γ < ω0 ). but a and θ are arbitrary constants to be fixed by the initial conditions. that is the range of frequencies over which the amplitude is large. . namely ω1 = 2 ω0 − 2γ 2 . In this case. and vary the oscillator frequency ω0 .42) which can be very large if the damping constant λ is small. (2. the displacement x will be given by the first term of (2. this does not differ much from ω0 . If. on the other hand. the dependence of the amplitude a1 on the forcing frequency ω1 is of the form illustrated in Fig. Near resonance. as we discussed above.40). 2. we fix the parameters γ and ω0 of the oscillator. of course. if γ is small. Note that their period is the period of the applied force. However. the amplitude is a1 = F1 F1 = . Note that the natural frequency ω of the oscillator lies between this resonant frequency and the frequency ω0 of the undamped oscillator. no matter what initial conditions we choose. It is therefore called the transient. If we fix γ and the forcing frequency ω1 . we say that the system is in resonance. is obtained by adding to this particular solution the general solution of the corresponding homogeneous equation. dies away exponentially with time. the oscillations are ultimately governed solely by the external force. The width of the resonance. In particular.31).32 Classical Mechanics The general solution. the amplitude can become very large when the frequencies are almost equal. a1 and θ1 are given by (2.7(a).29) or (2. Thus. At resonance. After a long time. not the period of the unforced oscillator.39). if the damping is small. we obtain x = a1 cos(ω1 t − θ1 ) + ae−γt cos(ωt − θ). The second term in the general solution (2. and vary the forcing frequency ω1 . the maximum amplitude actually occurs for a frequency slightly lower than ω0 . Resonance The amplitude a1 and phase θ1 of the forced oscillations are strongly dependent on the angular frequencies ω0 and ω1 .41) Here. namely (2.

and is of great practical importance. mω0 Thus the position x at any time t. If the force is slowly oscillating. given by (2. great care must be taken in the design of any mechanical structure to avoid this possibility.7 ω1 ω0 (b) ω1 √ is determined by γ. Since quite small forces can set up large oscillations if the frequencies are in resonance. given by (2. 2.Linear Motion 33 a1 large Q γ F1 2 mω 0 θ1 π large Q π 2 small Q small Q ω0 (a) Fig.38) is a1 ≈ F1 F1 2 = k . the ratio of the amplitude at resonance. In that case. Indeed. so that the induced oscillations are in phase with the force. to the amplitude at ω1 = 0 (which describes the response to a time-independent force) is precisely Q. Notice the inverse relationship between the width and peak amplitude: the narrower the resonance. the amplitude is reduced to 1/ 2 of its peak value when the two terms in the denominator of (2. γ is called the half-width of the resonance. The constant θ1 specifies the phase relation between the applied force and the induced oscillations.40). For. the amplitude (2. The quality factor Q = ω0 /2γ provides a quantitative measure of the sharpness of the resonance peak. Therefore. and θ1 ≈ 0.42). The phenomenon of resonance occurs with any oscillatory system. This led to problems for example with the original design of the Millennium Bridge in London.38) become roughly equal. the higher is its peak. is approximately the . ω1 is small. and for small γ this occurs when ω1 = ω0 ± γ.

(In particular. In this limiting case. a simple periodic force may be written as a sum of two terms proportional to eiωt and e−iωt . and the induced oscillations lag behind by a quarter period. Note that the value of the damping constant is important only in the region near the resonance.34 Classical Mechanics equilibrium position under the force F1 cos ω1 t − kx. (2. F (t) = F1 eiω1 t + F2 eiω2 t + · · · = Fr eiωr t . At resonance.46) In fact. a1 ≈ F1 /mω1 and the oscillations correspond to those of a free particle under the applied oscillatory force. the 1 phase shift is θ1 = 2 π. which is called a Fourier series. and the oscillations are almost exactly 2 out of phase.7(b).) Because of the linearity of (2. so it is not really necessary to write Re in front of the sum. (2.45).) For very rapidly oscillating forces.44) where each Ar is related to the corresponding Fr by (2.7 General Periodic Force The solution we have obtained can immediately be generalized to the case where the applied force is a sum of periodic terms.34). In particular. positive. If we are given F (t) it is easy to find the . (2. so F (t) is clearly periodic in the sense that F (t + τ ) = F (t).34). negative and zero. r (2. 2. Here ω represents a fundamental angular frequency and the frequencies nω are its harmonics. any periodic force with period τ can be expressed in the form (2. Each term in the sum is unchanged by the replacement t → t + 2π/ω. (The variation of θ1 with ω1 is shown in Fig.43) We can always ensure that this force is real by including with each term its complex conjugate. This may easily be verified by direct substitution in (2.37). let us take F (t) = ∞ n=−∞ Fn einωt .45) where n runs over all integers. 2. θ1 ≈ π. the corresponding solution is x= r Ar eiωr t + transient. where τ = 2π/ω.

Example: Square-wave force Find the position after a long time of an oscillator subjected to a force with the square-wave form shown in Fig.45) by e−imωt and integrate over a period. ±2. . −F. (2. (2.48) Thus if we multiply (2. ±1. 0 if n = m. 1 rτ < t ≤ (r + 2 )τ. F. the only term in the sum which survives is the one with n = m. and given by F(t) F 0 −F Fig. .Linear Motion 35 corresponding coefficients Fn . δnm = (2.49) A simple example involves a force with ‘square-wave’ form. .8. 2.8 τ t F (t) = for r = 0. . 2.47) where δnm is Kronecker’s delta symbol defined by 1 if n = m. Hence we obtain Fm = 1 τ τ 0 F (t)e−imωt dt. . 1 (r − 2 )τ < t ≤ rτ. For one easily sees that 1 τ τ 0 ei(n−m)t dt = δnm .

The position of the oscillator is then given by x= A2r+1 ei(2r+1)ωt + transient. subject to some very general mathematical requirements. because the expression in square brackets vanishes. which is often simpler to use. by replacing the sum in (2. In general. we find F τ /2 −2πint/τ F τ −2πint/τ e dt − e dt τ 0 τ τ /2 F [1 − (−1)n ].34) for an arbitrary periodic force. and the position is given by the sum alone. After a long time. can be written in this form.45) by an integral over all possible angular frequencies ω.36 Classical Mechanics Since ω = 2π/τ . and the oscillation will be almost simple harmonic motion at this frequency. then one pair of amplitudes. An and A−n will be much larger than the rest. Any force whatever.) However. (This is the Fourier integral theorem. As a matter of fact. the amplitudes An decrease rapidly in magnitude as n increases. For odd values of n. we find from (2. In this way. . = iπn Note that Fn = 0 for all even values of n.37) that the 2 amplitudes An are Fn = An = 2F 2 iπnm(ω0 − n2 ω 2 + 2inγω) ∞ r=−∞ (n odd). we shall not pursue this method. This happens because in addition to repeating after the period τ . because we shall find in the next section an alternative method of solving the problem. this kind of treatment can be extended even further. Note that if the damping is small and ω0 is close to one of the values nω. so that we can obtain a good approximation to x by keeping only a few terms of the series. one can obtain the solution to (2. F (t) repeats with opposite sign after half this period: F (t + 1 τ ) = −F (t). for large n. the transient can be ignored.

the position does not change discontinuously). and that at time t = 0 it experiences a blow of impulse I. we find that the position is given by ⎧ ⎨0. We obtain in this way x(t) = r G(t − tr )Ir + transient.51). and the whole of the impulse I is delivered to the particle instantaneously. while its velocity is v0 = I/m.50) The quantity on the right is called the impulse I delivered to the particle. In the next section. In other words. Here.51) This solution is illustrated in Fig.Linear Motion 37 2. mω (2. At the instant when the impulse is delivered the momentum of the particle changes discontinuously.9. 2. (2. we can immediately generalize this result to a sum of impulsive forces. the effect of a sudden blow. Although in reality the force must always remain finite. its position may be found by adding together the corresponding set of solutions of the form (2. this is a good description of. we let ∆t → 0 and F → ∞ in such a way that the impulse I remains finite. Let us consider a force F acting on a particle during the time interval ∆t. Just as in the case of periodic forces. x= ⎩ I e−γt sin ωt. for example collisions. The resulting change of momentum of the particles is t+∆t ∆p = p(t + ∆t) − p(t) = F dt. Immediately after the blow. of impulse Ir at time tr . t < 0. in which very large forces act for very short times. its position is still x = 0 (since the velocity remains finite. for example.8 Impulsive Forces. Inserting these initial conditions in the general solution (2. we shall consider the effect of an impulsive force on an oscillator. t > 0. Let us suppose first that the oscillator is at rest at its equilibrium position x = 0. t (2. we shall discuss some simple collision problems.31) for the oscillatory case γ < ω0 .52) . If the oscillator is subjected to a series of blows. It is natural to consider an idealized situation in which the time interval ∆t tends to zero. the Green’s Function Method There are many physical situations.

and we finally obtain t x(t) = t0 G(t − t )F (t ) dt + transient. 2. We can now use this result to obtain a solution to (2. It represents the response to a blow of unit impulse delivered at the time t . we express it as a sum of impulsive forces. The approximation will improve as ∆t is reduced.52). blows subsequent to t do not affect the position at t. because it is an explicit solution requiring the evaluation of only one integral. The method is. If we divide the time scale into small intervals ∆t. (2.53) The function G(t − t ) is called the Green’s function of the oscillator. t<t. The upper limit may be taken to be t because G(t − t ) vanishes for t > t. Moreover. then the impulse delivered to the particle between t and t+∆t will be approximately F (t)∆t.34) for an arbitrary force F (t). the sum in (2. mω (2. in which the interval between tr and tr+1 is ∆t and Ir = F (tr )∆t. It is particularly .52) goes over into an integral. Instead of expressing F (t) as a sum of periodic forces. and become exact in the limit ∆t → 0. t > t .9 where ⎧ ⎨0. in a sense.54) is very useful in practice. In this limit. G(t − t ) = 1 −γ(t−t ) ⎩ e sin ω(t − t ). if ∆t is short enough.54) The lower limit t0 is the initial time at which the initial conditions determining the arbitrary constants in the transient term are to be imposed. complementary to Fourier’s. Thus the solution should be given approximately by (2. (In other words.) The solution (2. it will be a good approximation to suppose that the whole of this impulse is delivered instantaneously at the time t.38 Classical Mechanics G(t) t Fig.

Linear Motion 39 well adapted to numerical solution of the problem when F (t) is known numerically. the sum of these two equations leads to the law of conservation of momentum. Example: Step-function force An oscillator is initially at rest and is subject to a step-function force. (2.56) .54). t < 0. 2 [ω(1 − e mωω0 = 2 using γ 2 + ω 2 = ω0 . this tends as it must to the 2 displacement for a constant force F . ¨ (2. What is the position at time t > 0? To perform the integration in (2.55) As we have already seen in Chapter 1. we have been discussing the motion of a single particle under a known external force. p1 + p2 = P = constant. We now turn to the problem of an isolated system of two bodies moving in one dimension under a mutual force F which is given in terms of their positions and velocities. The equations of motion are then m1 x1 = F. namely x = F/mω0 . Note that for large t. 2. it is convenient to write the sine function as the imaginary part of an exponential: t x(t) = 0 G(t − t )F dt = F mω t 0 Im e(−γ+iω)(t−t ) dt 1 − e−γt+iωt F Im mω γ − iω F Im (γ + iω) 1 − e−γt+iωt = mω(γ 2 + ω 2 ) F −γt = cos ωt) − γe−γt sin ωt]. ¨ m2 x2 = −F. F.9 Collision Problems So far. t > 0. with F constant. F (t) = 0.

when the bodies are again far apart. is the same as the .) From the law of conservation of energy. 2.55) and the relation between V and F . the potential step would have to be infinitely high.) An ideal impulsive conservative force corresponds to a potential energy function with V V x (a) Fig.10(a).7). (See Fig. The law of conservation of energy then takes the form T + V = E = constant. and rises very sharply for small values. in which the force is generally small except when the bodies are very close together. For completely impenetrable bodies. with 1 T = 2 m1 x2 + 1 m2 x2 . 2. the bodies will bounce off one another. x = x1 − x2 and x = x1 − x2 . we know that the final value of the kinetic energy. ˙1 2 ˙2 (2. (If the kinetic energy exceeds this value. ˙ ˙ ˙ When it is a function only of x the force is conservative.57) This may easily be verified by differentiating (2. which is still (2.10 (b) x a discontinuity or step (Fig.10(b)). So long as the initial kinetic energy is less than the height of the step. The potential energy function is then a constant (say zero) for large values of x. F must be a function only of the relative distance and relative velocity. 2. one body will pass through the other. and we can introduce a potential energy function V (x) as before.57) and using (2.40 Classical Mechanics According to the relativity principle. We are particularly interested in collision problems.

m1 + m 2 v2 = 2m1 u1 .11 2 1 2 m1 v1 2 + 1 m2 v2 = 1 m1 u2 + 1 m2 u2 . with reduced velocity. v1 + u1 = u2 + v2 . 2. if the second body is initially at rest (u2 = 0). to obtain or. the result is v1 = m1 − m 2 u1 . If we denote the initial velocities by u1 . then the first body is brought to rest by the collision. and its velocity transferred to the second body. They are typical of very hard bodies.11) m1 u1 initial m2 u2 m1 v1 final m2 v2 Fig. We saw earlier that a particle which bounces back from a potential barrier emerges with velocity equal (except for sign) to its initial velocity. like billiard balls. the first body continues in the same direction.Linear Motion 41 initial value well before the collision. v2 . . If m1 > m2 .58) Collisions of this type. In particular. are known as elastic collisions. equivalently. 1 2 m1 v1 − m1 u1 = m2 u2 − m2 v2 . We can easily derive a similar result for the case of two-body collisions. We can then divide the first equation by the second.60) Note that if the masses are equal. v2 − v1 = u1 − u2 .59) This shows that the relative velocity is just reversed by the collision. m1 + m 2 (2. 2.56) may be solved for the final velocities in terms of the initial ones.59) and the momentum conservation equation (2. u2 and the final velocities by v1 . 1 2 2 2 2 (2. then (see Fig. (2. To do this we write the energy and momentum conservation equations in the forms 2 2 m1 v1 − m1 u2 = m2 u2 − m2 v2 . Equation (2. in which there is no loss of kinetic energy.

Substituting for the final velocities from (2. more accurately perhaps. They are valid quite generally for an isolated system. Then e = 0.63) This shows.56). that the fractional loss of kinetic energy is (1 − e2 )m2 T −T = . we get v1 = m1 − em2 u1 . m1 + m 2 v2 = (1 + e)m1 u1 .60) for the case of an elastic collision.61) The usefulness of this quantity derives from the experimental fact that. In that case. that e must always be less than one. When u2 = 0.62) For e = 1 these reduce to the relations (2. we have the case of very soft bodies that stick together on impact. 2. T m1 + m 2 (2. The initial 1 2 kinetic energy is T = 1 m1 u2 . We define the coefficient of restitution e in a particular collision by v2 − v1 = e(u1 − u2 ). m1 + m 2 (2. perfectly plastic). and the collision is called perfectly inelastic (or. as for example by an explosion. e is approximately a constant for a wide range of velocities. we obtain v1 = −u1 . For a system which is .62) we find.61) and the momentum conservation equation (2. the relative velocity will be reduced in magnitude by the collision. unless some energy is released. incidentally. after a simple calculation. it rebounds in the opposite direction. In the limit where m2 is much larger than m1 . (2.10 Summary The conservation laws for energy and momentum are among the most important consequences of Newton’s laws. which agrees with the previous result for a particle rebounding from a fixed potential barrier. as we shall see in later chapters. The energy loss in an inelastic collision is easily evaluated. Inelastic collisions In practice there is generally some loss of energy in a collision.42 Classical Mechanics whereas if m1 < m2 . for any two given bodies. for instance in the form of heat. At the other extreme. while the final kinetic energy is T = 2 m1 v1 + 1 2 1 2 2 m2 v2 . The final velocities may again be found from (2.

When a mass is suspended from a spring. What is its angular velocity when it reaches the vertical? When it first returns to its starting point. Find the first time at which x = 0. (A sketch of the solution may help. In particular. and leads. treated in detail in this chapter. however. and the first at which x = 0. Find its subsequent angular position as a function of time. Problems 1. the total (kinetic plus potential) energy is conserved if the force is a function only of x. The methods we have discussed for solving the oscillator equation can therefore be applied to a great variety of problems. assuming negligible damping. to oscillations of very large amplitude. A harmonic oscillator of angular frequency 2 s −1 is initially at x = −3 m. The weight is released from rest with the spring unextended. lies in the fact that any system with one degree of freedom behaves like a harmonic oscillator when sufficiently near to a point of stable equilibrium. the phenomenon of resonance can occur in any system subjected to periodic forces. 4.19). with x = 8 m s−1 . and subject to external forces. Find its position as a function of time. The importance of the harmonic oscillator. the equilibrium length is increased by 50 mm. 5. assuming negligible damping. For a single particle moving on a straight line. It occurs when there is a natural frequency of oscillation close to the forcing frequency. A pendulum of period 2 s is released from rest at an inclination of 5◦ to the (downward) vertical. it is given an impulsive blow towards the vertical that increases the amplitude of swing to 10◦ . if the damping is small. 3. If the force is velocity-dependent. (2. Write the solution in each of the three forms ˙ (2. A weight of mass m is hung from the end of a spring which provides a restoring force equal to k times its extension.20) and (2. there may be some transfer of energy and momentum from the system to its surroundings (or vice versa). Find the period and amplitude of the resulting oscillations. Write down the potential energy function corresponding to the force −GM m/x2 experienced by a particle of mass m at a distance x from a . there will be some loss of energy to the surroundings.23). The mass is then given a blow which starts it moving vertically at 200 mm s−1 .) ˙ 2.Linear Motion 43 only part of a larger system.

The particle of Problem 9 with k = −mω 2 < 0 is initially in the region x < −a. Sketch V as a function of x. The particle is released from rest at a distance a from the centre of the planet. If the particle starts from rest at x = −a. (Use R = 6400 km. The potential energy function of a particle of mass m is V = − 2 c(x2 − 2 2 a ) . and the frequency of small oscillations about it. 7. what is its velocity when it reaches x = 0? Where in the subsequent motion does it instantaneously come to rest? A particle of mass m moves (in the region x > 0) under a force F = −kx+c/x. moving to the right with velocity v. What is the force when x > 0. What is its speed when it strikes the surface? Evaluate this speed for a particle falling to the Earth from a = 2R. What is the force on the particle? Sketch the function V . *The potential energy function of a particle of mass m is V = cx/(x2 + a2 ). Sketch this function. and a > 0. Given that the particle starts from this point . Find the corresponding potential energy function.) A particle of mass m moves under a force F = −cx3 . and describe the possible types of motion in the three cases (a) E > 0. where k and c are positive constants. where c and a are positive constants. where c and a are positive constants. 9. and (c) − 1 ca4 < E < 0. If the particle starts from rest at x = −a. Determine the position of equilibrium. use a substitution of the form x = constant × sin θ. (b) 1 E < − 2 ca4 .) 1 11. planet of mass M ( m). and when x < 0? Sketch the function V and describe the motion. Find the potential energy function. 2 12. and the period of small oscillations about it. whose radius is R. and describe the possible types of motion. where c is a positive constant. 10. A particle of mass m has the potential energy function V (x) = mk|x|. 8. for both cases k > 0 and k < 0. find the time it takes to reach x = a. and GM/R2 = g = 10 m s−2 . When it emerges into the region x > a. will it do so earlier or later than if it were moving freely under no force? Find an expression for the time difference. A particle of mass m moves under a conservative force with potential energy function given by V (x) = 1 2 2 k(a 0 − x2 ) for |x| ≥ a. where a and k are constants. and falls under gravity. Find the position of stable equilibrium.44 Classical Mechanics 6. (To do the required integral. where k is a positive constant. for |x| < a.

θ = π. assuming that θ0 is small. with a suitable choice of origin and definition of γ (differing from (2. z + γz = −gt. i. where k ˙ is a constant. [Note that ln always denotes the natural logarithm: ln x ≡ loge x.10.1. and (c) escapes to +∞.] The terminal speed of the particle in Problem 13 is 50 m s−1 . To integrate again. if it starts from rest. ˙ a function f (t) such that when the equation is multiplied by f (t) the left-hand side becomes an exact derivative. *A particle falling under gravity is subject to a retarding force proportional to its velocity. Find its position as a function of time. in fact the derivative of zf .1 is released from rest at an angle θ0 to the downward vertical. 17. The final stage requires an integration by parts. and the distance it has fallen in that time. and the period of small oscillations about the position of stable equilibrium. [The equation of motion can be integrated once to give. (Take g = 10 m s−2 . 18. 16. What is its limiting speed? How long does it take to hit the ground if dropped from height h? The pendulum described in §2. then the time taken for the angular displacement to increase by a factor of 10 will be approximately l/g ln 20.) If v is its upward or downward speed. Write down the solution for θ as a function of time. find the equation of motion for small displacements from the position of unstable equilibrium. Show that if it is released from rest at a small angle to the upward vertical.Linear Motion 45 13. find the time at which it comes instantaneously to rest. Find its angular velocity as a function of θ. *For the pendulum described in §2. show that v = ∓g −kv 2 . You may find the identity ln cos x = − 1 ln(1 + tan2 x) useful. If the particle is moving upwards. find the ranges of values of v for which it (a) oscillates. respectively.e. 15.) *A particle moves vertically under gravity and a retarding force proportional to the square of its velocity. with velocity v. show that its position √ at time t is given by z = z0 + (1/k) ln cos[ gk (t0 − t)].] 2 *Show that if the particle of the previous question falls from rest its √ speed after a time t is given by v = g/k tanh( gk t). and its height then.28) by a factor of 2). Find the time it takes to reach a speed of 40 m s−1 . (b) escapes to −∞. 14. (This is more appropriate than a linear relation for larger particles — see Problem 8. use an integrating factor. Evaluate this time for . where z0 and t0 are integration constants. and show that it will eventually reach a terminal velocity. If its initial velocity at t = 0 is u.

*The particle of Problem 11 starts from rest at x = −a. find its position as a function of time.] *For an oscillator under a periodic force F (t) = F1 cos ω1 t.02 N and period 1 s. calculate the power.) *A particle of mass m moves in the region x > 0 under the force F = −mω 2 (x − a4 /x3 ). the rate at which the force does work. and is subjected to a periodic force of amplitude 0. as ω0 is reduced to the critical value γ. 25. 22. The particle starts from this point with velocity v. transform to the variable y = x2 . where ω and a are constants. (Assume that the push has negligible effect on its energy. Show that. What is its new period? Given that the pendulum bob is of mass 0. Its amplitude on each swing is observed to be half that on the previous swing. Find the position of equilibrium. a pendulum of period 2 s. 20. [Assume that the damping is less than critical. find the angular amplitude of the resulting forced oscillation. *A pendulum whose period in a vacuum is 1 s is placed in a resistive medium.46 Classical Mechanics 19. and verify that it reproduces the solution of §2. Sketch the potential energy function. 21. Write down the solution to the oscillator equation for the case ω 0 > γ if the oscillator starts from x = 0 with velocity v. 23. To do the integral. and hence verify that it 1 is equal to the average rate at which energy is dissipated against the resistive force. and is given a small push to start it moving to the right. Show that the period of oscillation is independent of v. and find the angular velocity of the pendulum when it reaches the downward vertical. then add a constant to ‘complete the square’. and finally use a trigonometric substitution. *Solve the problem of an oscillator under a simple periodic force (turned on at t = 0) by the Green’s function method. write sin ωt as (eiωt − e−iωt )/2i. (To do the integration.4 m below the point of release. Show that the power P is a maximum. and the period of small oscillations about it. What is its velocity when it reaches the point x? Given that t = 0 is the instant when it reaches x = 0. Compare your answer with the angular deviation that would be induced by a constant force of this magnitude in a pendulum at rest.) 2 Show that the average power is P = mγω1 a2 .) Repeat the calculation of Problem 2 assuming that the system is critically damped. the solution tends to the corresponding solution for the critically damped oscillator. Find the limiting values of x in the subsequent motion. 24. Given that the final position of equilibrium is 0. find how close to the equilibrium position the particle is after 1 s. as a function . (Neglect the transient.1 kg.6.

Using the binomial theorem to expand in powers of b. Find how many collisions take place in the subsequent motion. 4 . 28. Show that the period of oscillation is x2 τ =2 x1 m dx. 1 kg. and verify that the final value of the kinetic energy is equal to the initial value. and immediately after the nth bounce. show that the period for oscillations of amplitude a is τ= 2 ω0 a −a √ a2 − x2 dx 1 − b(a2 + x2 ) . Find the ratios of the amplitudes an of oscillation at the angular frequencies 2πn/τ . 30. Show that the ball finally comes to rest after a time 1+e 1−e 2h . and find the values of ω1 for which it has half its maximum value. 2[V (x2 ) − V (x)] 1 2 In particular. if V = 2 mω0 (x2 − bx4 ).Linear Motion 47 of ω1 . Three perfectly elastic bodies of masses 5 kg. Q by W/E 27. *Find the average value E of the total energy of an oscillator under a periodic force. The coefficient of restitution at each bounce is e. show that for small amplitude the period is approximately τ ≈ 2π(1 + 3 ba2 )/ω0 . the middle one is moving with velocity 27 m s−1 . and the others are at rest. 2 for each integer n (c is a constant). If W is the work done against friction in one period. 5 kg are arranged in that order on a straight line. Find the velocity immediately after the first bounce. ¯ show that when ω1 = ω0 the ratio W/E is related to the quality factor ¯ = 2π/Q. Initially. g 29. at ω1 = ω0 . and the substitution x = a sin θ. and are free to move along it. ¯ 26. *A particle moving under a conservative force oscillates between x1 and x2 . *An oscillator with free period τ is critically damped and subjected to a force with the ‘saw-tooth’ form F (t) = c(t − nτ ) for 1 (n − 1 )τ < t ≤ (n + 2 )τ. A ball is dropped from height h and bounces.

Use it to solve the problem of an oscillator that is initially in equilibrium. *Find the Green’s function of an oscillator in the case γ > ω0 . . Use the result of the preceding question to obtain an estimate of the correction factor to the period of a simple pendulum when its angular 1 1 amplitude is 30◦ . (Write cos θ ≈ 1 − 2 θ2 + 24 θ4 .) 32. and is subjected from t = 0 to a force increasing linearly with time.48 Classical Mechanics 31. F = ct.

4) (3. therefore. 49 .1) by the equation of motion (1.3) This is the three-dimensional expression for the work done by the force F in the displacement dr. (3.1). ˙ x ˙y ˙ ¨ (3. The change in kinetic energy in a time interval dt during which the particle moves a (vector) distance dr is then dT = dW. Conservative Forces The kinetic energy of a particle of mass m free to move in three dimensions is defined to be ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ T = 1 mr 2 = 1 m(x2 + y 2 + z 2 ). Note that it is equal to the distance travelled. Throughout this chapter. we shall be concerned with the problem of a particle moving under a known external force F . |dr|. we generalize the discussion of Chapter 2 to the case of motion in two or three dimensions. multiplied by the component of F in the direction of the displacement.2) (3. 3. 2 2 The rate of change of the kinetic energy is. with dW = F · dr = Fx dx + Fy dy + Fz dz.Chapter 3 Energy and Angular Momentum In this chapter. ˙ ˙ ¨ ˙ T = m(x¨ + y¨ + z z ) = mr · r = r · F .1 Energy.

it reads Fx = − ∂V . 2 2 (3. ∂y Fz = − ∂V . ∂x Fy = − ∂V . and using (3. and the potential energy V is a function of position. ∂x ∂y ∂z ˙ ˙ Thus.e.1). ˙ Since this must hold for any value of the velocity r of the particle. Now. F (r) = −∇V (r). However. ˙ V (r) = ∂x ∂y ∂z or. In terms of components.5).9) . this is not sufficient to ensure the existence of a law of conservation of energy. V (r). We require that T + V = E = constant.7) This is the analogue for the three-dimensional case of (2.6) for T and V . the quantity in parentheses must vanish. suppose that V has the form V = 1 kr2 = 1 k(x2 + y 2 + z 2 ).8) For example. ∂z (3. (3. in terms of the gradient of V . by ˙ ˙ V = r · ∇V.5) where T is given by (3.21)). (3. which is the essential feature of a conservative force. the rate of change of the potential energy is ∂V ∂V ∂V ˙ x+ ˙ y+ ˙ z. ∇V = i (see (A.7). differentiating (3. we obtain ˙ r · (F + ∇V ) = 0. i.2) and (3.50 Classical Mechanics One might think at first sight that a conservative force in three dimensions should be defined to be a force F (r) depending only on the position r of the particle.6) ∂V ∂V ∂V +j +k . (3.

r (3.10) It is not hard to find the necessary and sufficient condition on the force F (r) to ensure the existence of a potential energy function V (r) satisfying (3. It can be shown (see Appendix A) that it is also a sufficient condition.8) and the symmetry of the second partial derivative: ∂2V ∂ 2V = . (We ignore the small effects due to the Earth’s rotation. if the force F (r) satisfies this condition. ∂x ∂y and this is true because of (3. Any vector function F (r) of the form (3.26)). Therefore. its curl vanishes (see (A.11) is a necessary condition for the force F (r) to be conservative.11) that is. For instance.12) where g is the acceleration due to gravity. 3. which will be discussed in Chapter .5).2 Projectiles As a first example of motion in two dimensions let us consider a projectile moving under gravity. More specifically. we can define the potential energy V (r) in terms of the force by a relation analogous to (2.7). The equation of motion. then the work done by the force in a displacement from r 0 to r is independent of the path chosen between these points. the z component of (3.8) yields F = (−kx.7) obeys the relation ∇ ∧ F = 0. (3. assuming that atmospheric friction is negligible.Energy and Angular Momentum 51 which describes a three-dimensional harmonic oscillator (discussed in more detail in Chapter 4). Then (3. −ky. (3. is m¨ = mg.11) is ∂Fx ∂Fy − = 0. a vector of constant magnitude g = 9. ∂x ∂y ∂y ∂x Thus (3. −kz) = −kr.81 m s−2 directed in the downward vertical direction.

At that instant. i. then it will do so always. b. d are constants to be fixed by the initial conditions. so that (3. As in Chapter 2. x = v cos α. Thus the motion is effectively two-dimensional. at the time t = 2(v sin α)/g. 1 z = c + dt − 2 gt2 .14) yields for the range x = 2(v 2 cos α sin α)/g.15) It is interesting to note that to maximize the range we should choose α = π/4.) If we choose the z-axis vertically upwards.13) are x = a + bt. such as atmospheric drag. ¨ (3.52 Classical Mechanics 5.12) takes the form x = 0. (3. as well as the variation of g with height — see Chapter 6. and is easily seen to be a parabola. However. z = vt sin α − 1 gt2 . then g = −gk. c. Finally..and y-axes so that initially the particle is moving in the xz-plane. ˙ z = v sin α.e.) The projectile will hit the ground when z = 0 again. so that . 2 (3. ¨ z = −g. What is its range? We may choose the point of launch as the origin. we assume that the retarding force is proportional to the velocity. Substituting into the first of Eqs. the explicit equation is not needed here. the maximum value is xmax = v 2 /g. (3.13) If we choose the x. ˙ Thus the solution with the required initial conditions is x = vt cos α. where a. The solutions of (3. Example: Projectile range A projectile is launched from the surface of the Earth (assumed flat) with velocity v at an angle α to the horizontal.14) (The trajectory in the xz-plane is obtained by eliminating t between these equations. and the time of launch as t = 0. ¨ y = 0. let us consider the much less trivial problem of a projectile subject also to a resistive force.

γ z= w g + 2 γ γ (1 − e−γt ) − gt . The direction of the vector G is that of the normal to the plane of r and F . Thus the trajectory ends in a near-vertical drop. Gx = yFz − zFy . w).16) The actual dependence of atmospheric drag on velocity is definitely nonlinear. Gy = zFx − xFz . Gz = xFy − yFx . there is a maximum value of x. but this equation nevertheless gives a reasonable qualitative picture of the motion. γ Eliminating t between these two equations yields the equation of the trajectory. ¨ ˙ These equations may be integrated by the use of integrating factors (see Chapter 2.Energy and Angular Momentum 53 the equation of motion becomes ˙ m¨ = −λr + mg. Defining γ = λ/m. and as it approaches that value. we may write (3. The projectile can never reach beyond x = u/γ. r (3. 0. (3. Problem 13).3 Moments. y. ¨ ˙ z = −γ z − g. If the initial velocity is v = (u.18) The components of the vector G are the moments about the x-.16) as x = −γ x. when all the forward momentum has been spent. Angular Momentum The moment about the origin of a force F acting on a particle at position r is defined to be the vector product G = r ∧ F. even if the launch point is far above the ground.and z-axes.17) A distinctive feature of this equation is that. z → −∞. It may be regarded as defining the axis about which the force tends to . γu γ u (3. 3. z= g γx γw + g x + 2 ln 1 − . the required solution is x= u (1 − e−γt ).

˙ ˙ The momentum p is often called linear momentum when it is important to emphasize the distinction between p and J. 3. ˙ ˙ Jz = m(xy − y x). provided that the order of the two factors is preserved. (3.54 Classical Mechanics rotate the particle. the second term is simply r ∧ F = G. we define the vector angular momentum (sometimes called moment of momentum) about the origin of a particle at position r. because it is the vector product of a vector with itself. the first term in (3. dt (3.19) Its components.20) is zero. to be ˙ J = r ∧ p = mr ∧ r. obtained by differentiating (3.) Now. are ˙ ˙ Jx = m(y z − z y). Jy = m(z x − xz). y. Thus we obtain .1).1. and b is the perpendicular distance from the origin to the line of the force.and z-axes. (See Fig. Correspondingly. The rate of change of angular momentum.19) is d ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ¨ J = m (r ∧ r) = m(r ∧ r + r ∧ r). The magnitude of G is G = rF sin θ = bF. 3. the angular momenta about the x-.20) (Recall that the usual rule for differentiating a product applies also to vector products. where θ is the angle between r and F . as we shall see in Chapters 8 and 9.) Moments of forces G r b θ F Fig. By (1.1 play a particularly important role in the dynamics of rigid bodies. and moving with momentum p.

it must always remain zero. since the force is central.22) From (3. 3. and. A vector of this type is known as an axial vector.1). Hence.3) depends on the choice of a right-hand screw convention. the condition for a force F to be central is that its moment about the centre should vanish: G = r ∧ F = 0. §A. vector. for. It is to be contrasted with an ordinary. Let us look at these in turn. Since the definition of the vector product (see Appendix. Conservation of Angular Momentum An external force is said to be central if it is always directed towards or away from a fixed point. since the normal component of velocity is initially zero.4 Central Forces. the angular momentum is a constant: J = constant. (3. It really contains two statements: that the direction of J is constant. . the directions of the vectors G and J also depend on this convention. but the sense of rotation about it (see Fig. (3.23) This is the law of conservation of angular momentum in its simplest form. In other words. (3. the statement that this direction is fixed implies that r and v must always lie in a fixed plane. This is obvious physically.2). called the centre of force. ˙ The direction of J is that of the normal to the plane of r and v = r. and that its magnitude is constant. the motion of the particle is confined to the plane containing the initial position vector and velocity vector (see Fig. If we choose the origin to be this centre. Axial vectors are often associated with rotation about an axis.21) it follows that if the force is central. this means that F is always parallel to the position vector r.21) ˙ This should be compared with the equation p = F for the rate of change of the linear momentum. it has no component perpendicular to this plane. 3. 3.Energy and Angular Momentum 55 the important result that the rate of change of the angular momentum is equal to the moment of the applied force: ˙ J = G. or polar. What is specified physically is not the direction along the axis. Since the vector product of two parallel vectors is zero.

3). in which the co-ordinates change by amounts dr and dθ. it is convenient to introduce polar co-ordinates r and θ in the plane of the motion. the distances travelled in the radial and transverse directions are dr and rdθ. In a short time interval.3 vr = r.56 Classical Mechanics J r v Fig. 3. (3.25) It is now easy to find a geometrical interpretation of the statement that J is a constant. We note that when the angle θ changes by an amount dθ. (3.24) The magnitude of the angular momentum is then ˙ J = mrvθ = mr2 θ. ˙ ˙ vθ = rθ.2 To understand the meaning of the second part of the law. . respectively (see Fig. the radius vector sweeps out an area 1 dA = 2 r2 dθ. 3. 3. Thus the radial and transverse components of the velocity are dr dθ rdθ r Fig. the constancy of the magnitude J of J .

When the force is both central and conservative.5 Polar Co-ordinates In problems with particular symmetries. although as we have seen it applies more generally to motion under any central force. we may use cylindrical polar co-ordinates ρ. It applies even if the force is non-conservative — for example. This important special case is the subject of the next chapter.25). and in that context. ϕ. to a particle attached to the end of a string which is gradually being wound in towards the centre.4 θ z y . is that the transverse component of the velocity. the two conservation laws. 2 dt 2m (3. z. in the case of axial or spherical symmetry.Energy and Angular Momentum 57 Thus the rate of sweeping out area is dA J ˙ = 1 r2 θ = = constant. vθ . it is often convenient to use nonCartesian co-ordinates.26) One of the most important applications is to planetary motion.23). (3. or spherical polar co-ordinates r. In particular. An equivalent statement of the law. These are related to Cartesian co-ordinates by z r θ x ϕ ρ y x Fig. varies inversely with the radial distance r. the constancy of the rate of sweeping out area is generally referred to as Kepler’s second law. 3. 3. which follows at once from (3. ϕ.5) and (3. θ. together give us a great deal of information about the motion of the particle.

analogous to (3. ˙ (3.29) In the spherical polar case. the co-ordinates ρ and ϕ are just plane polar co-ordinates in the xy-plane. (See Fig.4. it will be very useful to have expressions for the kinetic energy in terms of polar co-ordinates. Thus we can write. while r and ϕ are fixed. y = ρ sin ϕ = r sin θ sin ϕ. (This would not be true if the co-ordinates were oblique. z =z = r cos θ. a curve along which θ varies.30) we find 1 ˙ ˙ ˙ T = 2 m(ρ2 + ρ2 ϕ2 + z 2 ). 2 2 2 v 2 = vρ + vϕ + vz . though curvilinear.29) and (3. (3.58 Classical Mechanics x = ρ cos ϕ = r sin θ cos ϕ. are still orthogonal in the sense that the three coordinate directions at each point are mutually perpendicular. (3.28) It is easy to find the components of velocity in the various co-ordinate directions.30) For use later in this chapter. 3.) Hence from (3.) The relation between the two is clearly z = r cos θ ρ = r sin θ.24). vϕ = ρϕ ˙ vz = z. for example.27) (3. and we get ˙ vr = r.31) and 1 ˙ T = 2 m(r2 + r2 θ2 + r2 sin2 θ ϕ2 ). r dθ and r sin θ dϕ. Thus the elements of length in the three co-ordinate directions are dr.32) . A curve along which only ϕ varies is a circle of radius ρ = r sin θ (corresponding to a parallel of latitude). These co-ordinates. is a circle of radius r (corresponding on the Earth to a meridian of longitude). ϕ = ϕ. ˙ vθ = rθ. In the cylindrical polar case. and we obviously have ˙ vρ = ρ. ˙ ˙ (3. vϕ = r sin θ ϕ. ˙ (3.

Principles of this kind are used in many branches of physics. and hence write down equations of motion. y(x1 ) = y1 . like (3. Any curve joining them is represented by an equation y = y(x) such that the function satisfies the boundary conditions y(x0 ) = y0 . to find the shortest path between two points on a curved surface. but also on the co-ordinates themselves. A method of doing this that we shall use extensively later is due to the eighteenth-century mathematician Joseph– Louis Lagrange. it is very convenient to have a general prescription for writing down the equations of motion in arbitrary co-ordinates. It may therefore be useful. 3. It can be done as soon as we have found the expression for the kinetic energy.31) or (3. or.32). Suppose the two points are (x0 . . to consider the general kind of problem in which such methods are used. particularly in quantum mechanics and in optics. a stationary value. We could now go on and find expressions for the acceleration in terms of these co-ordinates. y1 ). before discussing the particular principle we shall require. (3. more generally. The simplest — though not the only — way of deriving Lagrange’s equations is to use what is known as a variational principle.6 The Calculus of Variations Let us begin with what may seem a ridiculously simple example: what is the shortest path between two points in a plane? Of course we know the answer already.Energy and Angular Momentum 59 Note the characteristic difference between these expressions and the corresponding one for the case of Cartesian co-ordinates: here T depends not only on the time derivatives of the co-ordinates. While it is not particularly hard to do this directly in these simple cases. y0 ) and (x1 .33) Consider two neighbouring points on this curve. This is a principle which states that some quantity has a minimum value. This we shall do in the next section. The distance dl between them is given by dl = dx2 + dy 2 = 1 + y 2 dx. but the method we shall use to derive it can also be applied to less trivial examples — for instance.

(We shall not be concerned with the problem of distinguishing maxima from minima. y ) is a specified function of y and its first derivative.36) . y0) y(x) x Fig. subject to the boundary conditions (3. 3. we may be interested in finding the stationary values of an integral of the form x1 I= x0 f (y. Thus the total length of the curve is x1 l= x0 1 + y 2 dx. However. we can still apply the same criterion: when the integral has a minimum value. subject to the condition that the values of y at the end-points are unchanged (see Fig.5 x δy(x0 ) = 0. but a function y(x). We shall solve this general problem. therefore. is to find that function y(x). (3.33).34). (3. it must be unchanged to first order by making a small variation in the function y(x).35) where f (y. y ) dx.5): y (x1 . that will make this integral a minimum. y1) δy(x) (x0 . Consider a small variation δy(x) in the function y(x). and then apply the result to the integral (3. This problem differs from the more familiar kind of minimum-value problem in that what we have to vary is not just a single variable or set of variables. All we shall do is to find the stationary values.60 Classical Mechanics where y = dy/dx. δy(x1 ) = 0. 3. (3.34) The problem.) More generally.

We can now return to solving the problem we started with.34) with (3. of finding the curves of shortest length (called geodesics) in a plane. x0 vanishes because of the conditions (3.35). whose solution contains two arbitrary constants that may be determined from the boundary conditions. ∂f = 0.38) This is known as the Euler–Lagrange equation. the variation in f (y. Thus we require d ∂f − ∂y dx ∂f ∂y = 0. this variation δI must vanish for an arbitrary small variation δy(x) (subject only to the boundary conditions (3. This is only possible if the integrand vanishes identically. dx Thus the variation of the integral I is δI = x0 ∂f ∂f d(δy) δy + ∂y ∂y dx dx. (3. we may integrate by parts.37) Now. we have to choose f = 1 + y 2 and. ∂y ∂y x1 where δy = d(δy) . in order that I be stationary. pretending for the moment that we don’t know the answer! Example: Geodesics on a plane What is the shortest path between two given points in a plane? In this case.36). In the second term. ∂y ∂f = ∂y y 1+y 2 . . comparing (3. y ) is δf = ∂f ∂f δy + δy .36)). It is in general a secondorder differential equation for the unknown function y(x). The integrated term. Hence we obtain x1 δI = x0 ∂f d − ∂y dx ∂f ∂y δy(x) dx. namely ∂f δy ∂y x1 .Energy and Angular Momentum 61 To first order. (3. therefore.

. . . . Its solutions are therefore the straight lines y = ax + b (a. . In order that the integral t1 I= t0 f (q1 . . . but in the applications we consider later we shall be concerned instead with functions of the time t. b = constants).62 Classical Mechanics Thus the Euler–Lagrange equation (3. . So far. n). qn and their time derivatives q1 . y.33). . . (3. . . we have used x as the independent variable. q2 . subject to the conditions δqi (t0 ) = δqi (t1 ) = 0. . .39) These n second-order partial differential equations determine the n functions qi (t) to within 2n arbitrary constants of integration. Thus we have proved that the shortest path between two points in a plane is a straight line! The constants a and b are of course fixed by the conditions (3. and hence that y is a constant. . This equation states that the expression inside the parentheses is a constant. qn )dt ˙ ˙ be stationary. Thus we require the n Euler–Lagrange equations ∂f d − ∂qi dt ∂f ∂ qi ˙ = 0.40) . . 2 (3. qn . We define the Lagrangian function ˙ ˙ ˙ L = T − V = 1 m(x2 + y 2 + z 2 ) − V (x. . . q2 . . . . n. Lagrange’s Equations We shall now show that the equations of motion for a particle moving under a conservative force can be written as the Euler–Lagrange equations corresponding to a suitable integral. 2.38) reads d dx y 1+y 2 = 0. .7 Hamilton’s Principle. i = 1. q1 . . it must be unchanged to first order by a variation in any one of the functions qi (t) (i = 1. . 2. qn . z). 3. It is easy to generalize the discussion to the case of a function f of ˙ ˙ ˙ n variables q1 .

z. which is relatively little used.41) with similar equations for the y and z components. Thus we have arrived at Hamilton’s principle (named after the nineteenth-century Irish mathematician and physicist Sir William Rowan Hamilton): the action integral I is stationary under arbitrary variations δx. y. . δz which vanish at the limits of integration t0 and t1 . we employ a set of curvilinear co-ordinates q1 . (3.43). q2 .Energy and Angular Momentum 63 (Note the minus sign — this is not the total energy. 2. Thus the equation of motion px = Fx can be written in the form ˙ d dt ∂L ∂x ˙ = ∂L . δq3 .) Its derivatives are ∂L = mx = p x . it is more convenient. (3. δy. δq2 . ∂x (3. q1 . q3 . q2 . q2 . If. ∂qi i = 1. q3 .44) These are the equations of motion in terms of the co-ordinates q1 . 3. However. The action integral must then be ˙ ˙ ˙ stationary with respect to arbitrary variations δq1 . ∂x ∂x (3. this terminology does not accord with the original. ˙ ∂x ˙ ∂V ∂L =− = Fx . Strictly speaking. subject to the conditions that the variations are zero at the limits t0 and t1 .43) This is generally known as the action integral. in which the term ‘action’ was used for a related but different quantity (the integral of twice the kinetic energy). q3 and their time derivatives. The importance of this principle lies in the fact that it can immediately be applied to any set of co-ordinates. and has now become standard practice. q3 . to use this simple name for the commonly occurring function (3. q2 . instead of using Cartesian coordinates x.42) But this has precisely the form of an Euler–Lagrange equation for the integral t1 I= t0 L dt. Thus we obtain Lagrange’s equations: d dt ∂L ∂ qi ˙ = ∂L . then we can express the Lagrangian function L = T − V in terms of q1 .

5. ∂L ∂ qi ˙ ∂L . In the cylindrical polar case. Using the potential energy function (2. ∂θ . ˙ ∂θ and Lagrange’s equation yields ¨ ml2 θ = −mgl sin θ.44) read pi = Fi . we find 1 ˙ L = T − V = 2 ml2 θ2 − mgl(1 − cos θ). Thus ∂L ˙ = ml2 θ. ∂qi pi = and Fi = (3.1. as we would to derive it directly from Newton’s laws. however. Note that to find this equation of motion. we may define the generalized momenta and generalized forces.46) It must be emphasized. ˙ (3. the derivatives of the kinetic energy ∂L = −mgl sin θ. we have not needed expressions for the polar components of acceleration. We can also apply these equations to the polar coordinates discussed in §3. Example: Simple pendulum revisited Find the equation of motion for a simple pendulum.41). To see how this works in a simple case.9).64 Classical Mechanics By analogy with (3. nor have we needed to introduce the tension in the rod. that in general the pi and Fi are not components of the momentum vector p and the force vector F — we shall see this explicitly in the examples below.45) so that the equations (3. let us return to the simple pendulum discussed in §2.

47) The generalized momenta mρ and mz corresponding to the co-ordinates ˙ ˙ ρ and z are the components of the momentum vector p in the ρ and z ˙ directions.32).Energy and Angular Momentum 65 function (3. Jz . it is in fact the ϕ component of . using the derivatives of the kinetic energy function (3. ∂ϕ ∂T = mz. rather than linear. the generalized momentum mr 2 sin2 θ ϕ is the component of ˙ angular momentum Jz about the z-axis. ˙ ∂ϕ ˙ ∂T = 0.48) Once again. We find ∂V d ˙ (mr) = mr(θ2 + sin2 θ ϕ2 ) − ˙ . and is a constant if V is indepen˙ dent of ϕ. ˙ ∂ρ ˙ ∂T = mρϕ2 . The generalized momentum mr 2 θ also has the dimensions of angular momentum. when using the notation pϕ to specify whether this is the ϕ component of the momentum vector p or the ϕ generalized momentum. Since it is equal to the radial distance r multiplied ˙ by the θ component of momentum. ˙ ∂ρ ∂T = mρ2 ϕ. mrθ. dt ∂ρ d ∂V (mρ2 ϕ) = − . ˙ ∂z ˙ ∂T = 0. ˙ dt ∂θ d ∂V (mr2 sin2 θ ϕ) = − .44) take the form d ∂V (mρ) = mρϕ2 − ˙ ˙ . whenever qi is an angle. momentum. However.47) expresses the fact that the component Jz of angular momentum is conserved. It is easy to see that. (3. ˙ dt ∂ϕ d ∂V (mz) = − ˙ . dt ∂z (3.31) are ∂T = mρ. ˙ dt ∂ϕ (3. One must be careful. Proceeding in a similar way. we can write down the equations of motion in spherical polars. Note that when the potential energy is independent of ϕ. then the second of Eqs. the angular momentum Jz about the z-axis. the corresponding generalized momentum pi has the dimensions of angular. ∂z Hence Lagrange’s equations (3. the generalized momentum mρ2 ϕ is an angular momentum. in fact. ˙ dt ∂r d ∂V ˙ (mr2 θ) = mr2 sin θ cos θ ϕ2 − .

The angular momentum J = Jϕ = mr2 θ is then a constant. ˙ θ = π with θ = 0. and that the motion is confined to a plane. in which r and θ play the role of ˙ plane polar co-ordinates. Then we have F = −ˆ r dV (r) . ∂r Fθ = − 1 ∂V . The force is conservative if it has the form . We know from the discussion of §3. T = r · F . it will be useful to discuss briefly the special case of a central conservative force. ϕ will always be zero. In this case. If it is chosen so that ϕ = 0 initially. however. the component Jϕ may vary.8 Summary The rate of change of kinetic energy of a particle is the rate at which the ˙ ˙ force does work. Jϕ .49) This shows incidentally that the magnitude of a central. Similarly. The equations of motion are considerably simplified by an appropriate choice of the polar axis θ = 0. The potential energy function (3. The motion is then in a plane ˙ ϕ = constant. In spherical polars. then by the ˙ third of Eqs. through the polar axis. that even when V is independent of both angular variables θ and ϕ. (3. the components of the force F (not the generalized forces) are given in terms of the potential by Fr = − ∂V . if the particle is originally moving in the ‘equatorial’ plane. then from the second equation it follows that θ is always 2 π . dr (3.50). Note. but changes according to the position of the particle.48). 3. which is treated in detail in the following chapter. Thus. This is because the ϕ direction is not a fixed direction in space. (3. V is independent of both angular variables θ and ϕ. as is the case for a central force.4 that the angular momentum vector J in this case is a constant. and the angular 2 ˙ momentum is J = Jz = mr2 ϕ. even when J is a fixed vector. r ∂θ Fϕ = − 1 ∂V . r sin θ ∂ϕ (See (A. Before concluding this section. by the second of Eqs.66 Classical Mechanics angular momentum. Jϕ is not in general a constant.48). and only if. conservative force depends only on r. not on θ or ϕ.) Thus the force will be purely radial if. like the z-axis.9) of the three-dimensional harmonic oscillator is an example. the plane polar co-ordinates are r and ϕ.

and in that case the total energy T + V is a constant. and for those that are find the corresponding potential energy function (a and b are constants. evaluate the work done in taking a particle from the origin to the point (1. (e) F = ra. The condition for the existence of such a function is that F should be a function of position such that ∇ ∧ F = 0. 2. The use of these conservation laws greatly simplifies the treatment of any problem involving central or conservative forces. (b) Fx = ay. Given that the force is as in Problem 1(a). 1. (d) F = a ∧ r. 0): (i) by moving first along the x-axis and then parallel to the y-axis. In later chapters. and (ii) by going in a straight line. Compute the work done in taking a particle around the circle x2 + y 2 = . Lagrange’s equations are of great importance in advanced treatments of classical mechanics (and also in quantum mechanics). Then the motion is confined to a plane. Verify that the result in each case is equal to minus the change in the potential energy function. Problems 1. We have seen that they can be used to write down equations of motion in any system of coordinates. the angular momentum is conserved. 3. J = r ∧ F . Fθ = ar cos θ sin ϕ. (f) F = a(a · r). as soon as we have found the expressions for the kinetic energy and potential energy. Repeat the calculations of Problem 2 for the force in 1(b). Fy = az. and a is a constant vector): (a) Fx = ax + by 2 . 4. they provide all the information we need to determine the motion of the particle. Fy = az + 2bxy.Energy and Angular Momentum 67 F = −∇V (r). (c) Fr = 2ar sin θ sin ϕ. When the force is central. as we shall see in the following chapter. Fz = ax. and the rate of sweeping out area in this plane is a constant. Find which of the following forces are conservative. When the force is both central and conservative. we shall see that the method can readily and usefully be extended to more complicated systems than a single particle. The rate of change of angular momentum of a particle is equal to the ˙ moment of the force. Fz = ay + bz 2 . Fϕ = ar cos ϕ.

y = a sin ϕ. A particle of mass m is attached to the end of a light string of length l. 7.1 s−1 . estimate the optimal angle and the range if the launch speed is 100 m s−1 . g 3g 2 and hence that to maximize the range for given launch speed v the angle √ of launch should be chosen to satisfy cos 2α = 2γv/3g. (Hint : In the term containing γ.) For a projectile whose terminal speed if dropped from rest (see Chapter 2. and verify that it satisfies ∇ ∧ F = 0. For a projectile launched at 800 m s−1 with γ = 0. Given that the ground slopes at an angle β. show that the range of the projectile (measured horizontally) is x= 2v 2 sin(α − β) cos α . and (b) F = xi. *By expanding the logarithm in (3. What do you conclude about these forces? (Use the parametrization x = a cos ϕ. What other angle of launch would give the same range? Find the time of flight in each of the two cases. A projectile is launched with velocity 100 m s−1 at 60◦ to the horizontal.68 Classical Mechanics a2 . z = 0 if the force is (a) F = yi. find the approximate equation for the trajectory of a projectile subject to small atmospheric drag to first order in γ. The other end of the string is passed through a small hole and is . 9. 20◦ and 10◦ . (Note that this requires terms up to order γ 3 in the logarithm. g cos β At what angle should the projectile be launched to achieve the maximum range? 8. Problem 13) would be 500 m s−1 . Write your answer in vector notation.) 5. Find the maximum height attained and the range. Show that to the same order of accuracy the range is x ≈ (u/γ)(1 − e−1−γw/g ). estimate the range for launch angles of 30◦ . you may use the zeroth-order approximation for the angle.) Show that to this order the range (on level ground) is x= 2uw 8γuw2 − . 10. assuming negligible atmospheric resistance. Evaluate the force corresponding to the potential energy function V (r) = cz/r3 . 6. *Show that in the limit of strong damping (large γ) the time of flight of a projectile (on level ground) is approximately t ≈ (w/g + 1/γ)(1 − e−1−γw/g ). z = 0. *Find the equation for the trajectory of a projectile launched with velocity v at an angle α to the horizontal. Atmospheric drag is negligible. where c is a constant.17). and also in spherical polars.

a weight of mass m/2 is hung on it.) Show that there is a point at which the tension falls to zero. Use the energy conservation equation to find the angular velocity as a function of θ. In the system of Problem 12. 12. and a steady tension F applied to it. use the energy and angular momentum conservation laws to determine the velocity at that point. Find also the 2 tension in the string when its length is r. Write down the horizontal component of momentum. Write down the equations of motion in polar co-ordinates. What happens immediately beyond this point? A wedge-shaped block of mass M rests on a smooth horizontal table. so that the spring is free to rotate in a horizontal plane. A particle of mass m is fixed to the cylinder at a distance a from the axis and is initially at rest at its lowest point. A small block of mass m is placed on its upper face. and the kinetic energy of the system. The particle is originally spinning round the hole with angular velocity ω. Find the angular velocity when the string length has been reduced to 1 l. Using conservation of momentum and the equation for the rate of change of kinetic energy. but if F > F0 it continues to accelerate. instead of a fixed tension applied to the string. A particle of mass m is attached to the end of a light spring of equilibrium length a. and verify that the increase in kinetic energy is equal to the work done by the force pulling the string through the hole. which is also smooth and inclined at an angle α to the horizontal. (Compare your results with those in Problem 12. 14. Find also the values of r when r = a and when r = 2a. which is horizontal. The system is released from rest. Given that the maximum radial distance attained is 2a. Find also the angular acceleration and the tension in the string. slowly pulled through it. and find the angle at which this occurs. Gravity is negligible. The tension in the spring is k times its extension. A light string is wound on the cylinder. Show that there is a limiting tension F0 such that if F < F0 the motion is oscillatory. . Initially the system is at rest and the particle is given an impulse that starts it moving at right angles to the spring with velocity v. whose other end is fixed. 13. in terms of the velocity v of the wedge and the velocity u of the small block relative to it. Find the angular acceleration and angular velocity of the cylinder after it has turned through an angle θ. ¨ *A light rigid cylinder of radius 2a is able to rotate freely about its axis.Energy and Angular Momentum 69 11. and to find v in terms of the various parameters of the system. Estimate the value of F0 by numerical approximation.

[Take the origin as the starting point and the z axis downwards. and hence that for a minimum dx dz = c2 z . 1 − c2 z where c is an integration constant.70 Classical Mechanics find the accelerations of the blocks. use the substitution z = c−2 sin2 θ. *A particle starts from rest and slides down a smooth curve under gravity. This problem was first posed by Johann Bernoulli on New Year’s Day 1697 as an open challenge. 15. Show that the solution is r = r0 sec[(ϕ − ϕ0 ) sin α]. *The position on the surface of a cone of semi-vertical angle α is specified by the distance r from the vertex and the azimuth angle ϕ about the axis. and writing dr du du d2 r du = =u . It is in fact an example of a cycloid. find the angle α that will maximize the acceleration of the wedge. To complete the integration.] 16. where r0 and ϕ0 are constants. = dϕ2 dϕ dϕ dr dr The substitution u2 = v then reduces the equation to a linear form that may be solved by using an integrating factor (see Chapter 2. the locus of a point on the rim of a circle of radius 1/2c2 being rolled beneath the x-axis. Newton’s brilliant solution method initiated the calculus of variations. Problem . This famous curve is known as the brachistochrone. Show that the shortest path (or geodesic) along the surface between two given points is specified by a function r(ϕ) obeying the equation r d2 r −2 dϕ2 dr dϕ 2 − r2 sin2 α = 0. using an optical analogy with refraction of a light ray through a sequence of plates and Fermat’s principle of least time. Given that M = 1 kg and m = 250 g. Find the shape of the curve that will minimize the time taken between two given points. [The equation may be solved by the standard technique of introducing a new dependent variable u = dr/dϕ. Show that the time taken is z1 0 1 + (dx/dz)2 2gz 2 1/2 dz. Bernoulli had an equally brilliant idea.

Write down the equations of motion in polar co-ordinates for a particle of unit mass moving in a plane under a force with potential energy function V = −k ln r + cr + gr cos θ. Hence find the equations of motion. (Here ei is a unit vector in the direction of increasing qi .) 21. and the element of length in the qi direction is hi dqi .] 18. will the particle. Find the positions of equilibrium (a) if c > g. For the case of plane polar co-ordinates r. 23.] 17. (b) the generalized momentum ˙ pi and (c) the component ei · p of the momentum vector p in the qi direction. 22. *Find the corresponding formulae for ∂ei /∂qj for spherical polar coordinates. By starting with r = rer and differentiating. ∂qi Use this result to identify the components of the acceleration in cylindrical and spherical polars. if given a small displacement. Finally. write the unit vectors er ˆ (= r) and eθ in terms of i and j. one may use the substitution r = 1/x. show that the r component of the acceleration vector in the qi direction is ¨ ei · r = d 1 mhi dt ∂T ∂ qi ˙ − ∂T .. where k. to calculate ϕ = (1/u)dr. and look for the path ϕ = ϕ(θ). use the substitution x = cot θ. write down (a) the kinetic energy T in terms of the generalized velocities qi . . and (b) if c < g. [Hint : Use θ as independent variable. θ. tend to return repeatedly?). rederive the expressions for the components of the velocity and acceleration vectors. η = r − x. Show that the kinetic energy of a particle of mass m is T = m (ξ + η) 8 ˙ ξ2 η2 ˙ + ξ η . q3 are orthogonal curvilinear co-ordinates. and hence verify the results obtained in Problem 21. c and g are positive constants.e. 20. *By comparing the Euler–Lagrange equations with the corresponding components of the equation of motion m¨ = −∇V . Hence show that ∂er /∂θ = eθ and ∂eθ /∂θ = −er . By considering the equations of motion near these points. Find x and y in terms of ξ and η. *Parabolic co-ordinates (ξ. 19. q2 . determine whether the equilibrium is stable (i. *Find the geodesics on a sphere of unit radius.Energy and Angular Momentum 71 13). η) in a plane are defined by ξ = r + x. If q1 . To perform the integration.

*A curve of given total length is drawn in a plane between the points (±a. y ) = (y − λ) 1 + y 2 . *The motion of a particle in a plane may be described in terms of elliptic co-ordinates λ. 2 Hence write down the equations of motion. we have to find the stationary points of the integral I − λJ under variations of the function y(x) and of the parameter λ. subject to the condition that the total length is fixed.72 Classical Mechanics 24. Problem 11) can be extended to the calculus of variations. where c is a positive constant. Using the method of Problem 25. Apply this method to find the catenary. and hence to the equation (y − λ)y = 1 + y 2 . Solve this equation by introducing the new variable u = y and solving for u(y). Show that this leads to a variational problem with f (y. 25. 0). [The required shape is the one that minimizes the total potential energy. θ defined by x = c cosh λ cos θ. To find the maxima and minima of an integral I. 0 ≤ θ ≤ 2π). Show that the kinetic energy function may be written ˙ ˙ T = 1 mc2 (cosh2 λ − cos2 θ)(λ2 + θ2 ).] 26. subject to the condition that another integral J = 0. find the shape that will enclose the largest possible area between the curve and the x-axis. *The method of Lagrange multipliers (see Appendix A. . (λ ≥ 0. the shape in which a uniform heavy chain hangs between two fixed supports. y = c sinh λ sin θ.

r or. in terms of components. 4. Much of this chapter will therefore be devoted to this special case. y m¨ + kz = 0.1 The Isotropic Harmonic Oscillator We consider a particle moving under the action of a central restoring force proportional to its distance from the origin. 73 . however.13) for the simple harmonic oscillator.Chapter 4 Central Conservative Forces The most important forces of this type are the gravitational and electrostatic forces. F = −kr. x m¨ + ky = 0. m¨ + kx = 0. The corresponding equation of motion is m¨ + kr = 0. which obey the ‘inverse square law’.1) The equation of motion for each co-ordinate is thus identical with the equation (2. but with different constants in the three equations. by discussing a problem for which it is particularly easy to solve the equations of motion — the three-dimensional analogue of the harmonic oscillator discussed in §2. This oscillator is called isotropic because all directions (not only those along the axes!) are equivalent. with k constant. The anisotropic oscillator (which we shall not discuss) is described by similar equations. z (4. We begin.2.

(4.3) We can easily verify the conservation laws for angular momentum and energy. the arbitrary constant vectors c and d can be fixed by the initial conditions. the solution is r = c cos ωt + d sin ωt. 2 (4.5) Thus.74 Classical Mechanics The general solution is again given by (2.4) which is obviously a constant.2) it is clear that r always lies in the plane of c and d.23). form. d = v 0 /ω. From (4. (4.10) — is just (3.19): x = cx cos ωt + dx sin ωt. (Other forms of the solution can be given. the motion is periodic. we find explicitly ˙ J = mr ∧ r = mωc ∧ d = mr 0 ∧ v 0 .20) or (2.9). y = cy cos ωt + dy sin ωt. The potential energy function corresponding to the force (4. (4. Using ˙ r = −ωc sin ωt + ωd cos ωt. with period τ = 2π/ω.1) — or (3.2) Clearly. evaluating the energy. but equivalent. then c = r0. If θ is any fixed angle. If at t = 0 the particle is at r 0 and moving with velocity v 0 . so that the direction of J is fixed. we find 1 1 ˙ E = 2 mr 2 + 1 kr 2 = 1 k(c2 + d2 ) = 2 mv 2 + 1 kr2 .7) . analogous to (2. we can write r = a cos(ωt − θ) + b sin(ωt − θ). z = cz cos ωt + dz sin ωt. where ω 2 = k/m. In vector notation.2) in a slightly different. 0 0 2 2 2 (4.) As in the one-dimensional case. namely 1 V = 2 kr2 = 1 k(x2 + y 2 + z 2 ). it is convenient to rewrite (4.6) which is again a constant. (4. To find the shape of the particle orbit.

) The vectors c and d are what is known in geometry as a pair of conjugate semi-diameters of the ellipse. (4. It is x2 y2 + 2 = 1. b = −c sin θ + d cos θ. We can now choose θ so that a and b are perpendicular. z = 0. c2 − d2 (4. or. 4. (B. This requires 0 = a · b = −(c2 − d2 ) sin θ cos θ + c · d(cos2 θ − sin2 θ). a2 b z = 0. and semi-axes a and b. equivalently. b O d a c α v0 Fig. a = c cos θ + d sin θ. or tan 2θ = 2c · d . 4. The equation of the orbit is obtained by eliminating the time from these equations.1.Central Conservative Forces 75 where c = a cos θ − b sin θ. y = b sin(ωt − θ). Equation (4.2).9) This is the well-known equation of an ellipse with centre at the origin. Eq.7) then becomes x = a cos(ωt − θ).8) We are now free to choose our axes so that the x-axis is in the direction of a and the y-axis in the direction of b.1 . d = a sin θ + b cos θ. and Fig. (See Appendix B.

It corresponds.6) and (4. (4. (4. from c and d) is to use the constancy of E and J. the second equation yields ab = cd sin α. to the corresponding expressions in terms of a and b. 1 ˙2 2 mr + V (r) = E = constant. Equating the expressions for these quantities. we obtain for a2 (or b2 ) the quadratic equation a4 − (c2 + d2 )a2 + c2 d2 sin2 α = 0.76 Classical Mechanics The simplest way to determine the magnitudes of the semi-axes a and b from the initial conditions (that is.10) Conventionally. 4.7. as we saw in §3.11) A great deal of information about the motion can be obtained directly from these equations. so that the problem is effectively twodimensional. we obtain a2 + b2 = c2 + d2 . without actually having to solve them to find r and . a is taken to be the larger root. There are two conservation laws.4. (4. Introducing polar co-ordinates r. a ∧ b = c ∧ d. According to the discussion of §3. one for energy. conservative force.4).8). the second of these laws implies that the motion is confined to a plane. (These equations may also be obtained directly from (4. Hence eliminating b (or a) between these two equations.) If α is the angle between c and d. ˙ mr2 θ = J.2 The Conservation Laws We now consider the general case of a central. θ in this plane. and called the semi-major axis. we may write the two conservation laws in the form 1 ˙2 2 m(r ˙ + r2 θ2 ) + V (r) = E. to a potential energy function V (r) depending only on the radial co-ordinate r. and one for angular momentum ˙ mr ∧ r = J = constant.

expressed in terms of the constant J ˙ rather than the variable θ.2 a r As an example. 4. The corresponding effective potential 2 energy function U (r) is shown in Fig. let us consider again the case of the isotropic harmonic oscillator. 2mr2 (4. 2mr2 (4. for which V (r) = 1 kr2 .2. 4. it has precisely the same form as the one-dimensional energy equation with an effective potential energy function U (r) = J2 + V (r).48)).13) It is easy to understand the physical significance of the extra term J 2 /2mr2 in this ‘potential energy’ function. We note that θ may be eliminated to yield an equation involving only r and r: ˙ 1 ˙2 2 mr + J2 + V (r) = E.Central Conservative Forces 77 ˙ θ as functions of the time. This ˙ is precisely the ‘centrifugal force’ mr θ2 (the first term on the right hand side of the radial equation in (3. Since r 2 ˙ is positive. We can use the radial energy equation just as we did in §2.14) The maximum and minimum radial distances are given by the values of r for which the equality holds. It corresponds to a ‘force’ J 2 /mr3 .12) We shall call this the radial energy equation. U E b Fig. 2mr2 (4. It has a minimum (corresponding . the motion is limited to the range of values of r for which U (r) = J2 + V (r) ≤ E.1. For a given value of J.

k 0 k By (4. the force is repulsive. the motion is confined to the region b ≤ r ≤ a between the two limiting values of r. 4. then the values of E and J are 2 2 1 E = 2 mv0 + 1 kr0 . 2mr2 r J2 k + . and in the second. this is identical with the equation (4.10) found previously. For any larger value of E. 4. If the particle is initially at a distance r0 from the origin. 2 2mr r (4.15) When the value of E is equal to the minimum value of U . the particle must move in a circle around the origin. attractive.3 The Inverse Square Law We now consider a force F = k ˆ r. r must always be ˙ zero. The constant k may be either positive or negative.78 Classical Mechanics to a position of stable equilibrium in the one-dimensional case) at r= J2 mk 1/4 .15) by equating the attractive force kr to the centrifugal force in the circular orbit.1). It is interesting to note that we could also obtain (4. The corresponding potential energy function is V (r) = k/r. in the first case. and r is fixed at the minimum position. In this case.14). Thus the equation whose roots are a and b becomes (on multiplying by 2r2 /k) 2 r4 − r0 + m 2 2 m 2 2 2 v r + r0 v0 sin α = 0.3).16) It corresponds to the ‘effective potential energy’ function U (r) = . (4. and moving with velocity v0 in a direction making an angle α with the radius vector (as in Fig. given by the solutions of the equality in (4. J 2 /mr3 . 2 J = mr0 v0 sin α. The radial energy equation for this case is 1 ˙2 2 mr + J2 k + = E. r2 where k is a constant.

Example: Distance of closest approach A charged particle of charge q moves in the field of a fixed point charge q .) Thus the total energy is simply 1 E = 2 mv 2 . This distance b is known as the impact parameter.3 r motion is impossible. and circular U E r1 Fig. the orbit is actually a hyperbola. Then U (r) decreases monotonically from +∞ at r = 0 to 0 at r = ∞ (see Fig. As is well known. with qq > 0. Initially it is approaching the centre of force with velocity v (at a large distance) along a path which. 4. 4.4. 4. and as we shall show in the next section. If the radial velocity is initially inward. Thus it has no minima. For any positive value of E. the particle must follow an orbit on which r decreases to r1 (at which point the velocity is purely transverse).) Since the particle starts from a great distance.17) . would pass the centre at a distance b. and then increases again without limit. there is a minimum value of r. Find the distance of closest approach. (See Fig. (4. its initial potential energy is negligible. r1 say. Let us consider an example. (Note that we have chosen the arbitrary additive constant in V so that V (∞) = 0. and will appear frequently in our future work. but no maximum value.3).Central Conservative Forces 79 Repulsive case We suppose first that k > 0. if continued in a straight line. which is the unique positive root of U (r) = E. as is physically obvious.

18) The distance of closest approach. and then setting r = 0. . since the component of r perpendicular to v is b. by l= J2 .80 Classical Mechanics m v r1 Θ b Fig.19) The required solution is the positive root r1 = a + a2 + b 2 . m|k| (4. where a= qq . (4.21) Then the effective potential energy function is U (r) = |k| l 1 − 2r2 r . is obtained by substituting these values.4 Moreover. r1 . This yields ˙ 2 r1 − 2ar1 − b2 = 0. into the radial energy equation. 4. and k = qq /4π 0 . 4π 0 mv 2 (4. It will be useful to define a quantity l. the angular momentum is J = mvb. as in the gravitational case.20) Attractive case We now suppose that k < 0. with the dimensions of length. (4.

5 Here. Since the potential energy is V = −|k|/l. 4. and U (r) has a minimum at 2 r = l. r must always be zero. The radial distance is limited between a minimum distance r1 and a maximum distance r2 . It is easy to find the orbital velocity v from the kinetic energy T = E − V . with minimum value U (l) = −|k|/2l.22) This can also be found by equating the attractive force |k|/l 2 to the ‘centrifugal force’ mv 2 /l.5. We may distinguish four cases: |k| . 2l This case is illustrated by the lower line (E) in Fig. U E′ r E |k| 2l r1′ l r1 2 l r2 Fig. As we shall see. and ˙ the particle must move in a circle of radius l. U ( 1 l) = 0.5. 2l This is the minimum value of U . Evidently. 4. (b) − . Hence. ml (4. 4. 2l whence v= |k| .Central Conservative Forces 81 It is plotted in Fig. |k| < E < 0. the orbit is in fact an ellipse. we must have (a) E=− T = |k| . Note the interesting result that for a circular orbit the potential energy is always twice as large in magnitude as the kinetic energy (see Problem 21). different types of motion are possible according to the value of E.

To express the energy in terms of more familiar quantities. Thus the particle has just enough energy to escape to infinity. J = mRv sin α. R2 from which we obtain the useful result mg = GM = R2 g. but the maximum distance r2 is infinite. or equivalently that its velocity exceeds the escape velocity. we note that the gravitational force on a particle at the Earth’s surface is 1 E = 2 mv 2 − GM m . Example: Escape velocity What is the minimum velocity with which a projectile launched from the surface of the Earth (taken to be a sphere of mass M and radius R) can escape. 4.5. ve = 2Rg.82 Classical Mechanics (c) E = 0. .23) R where G is Newton’s gravitational constant. The projectile will escape to infinity provided 2 that E ≥ 0. there is a minimum distance but no maximum distance. This corresponds to the upper line (E ) in Fig. we compute the escape velocity from the Earth. 1 In this case. and how does this depend on the angle of launch? Suppose the projectile is launched with velocity v at an angle α to the vertical. r1 = 2 l. Now. there is a minimum distance. The orbit is in fact a hyperbola. As a simple example of the use of these equations. The orbit will be shown to be a parabola. however. The energy and angular momentum are GM m . the particle can escape to infinity with non-zero limiting velocity. with kinetic energy tending to zero at large distances. (d) E > 0.24) Thus E = 1 mv 2 − Rgm. (4. Again. (4.

Central Conservative Forces 83 Note that this condition is independent of the angle of launch α (so long as we neglect atmospheric drag).2 km s−1 . the energy levels derived from quantum mechanics can . Thus the equation reduces to r2 − 2Rr + R2 sin2 α = 0.81 m s−2 . the maximum distance is 2R. It is particularly useful when we are interested only in r. (2Rg − v 2 )r2 − 2R2 gr + R2 v 2 sin2 α = 0. If the projectile is launched with a speed less than escape velocity. by (4. or.) The problem of finding this distance provides another useful example. g = 9. However. with the values (4. The circular orbit velocity. (This is a generalization of the problem discussed in §3. and in the limit of an almost horizontal launch.23) for E and J. it will reach a maximum height and then fall back.2. and not in the polar angle θ or the time t.22) and (4. This example illustrates the kind of problem which may readily be solved by using the radial energy equation. Using the values R = 6370 km. how high will the projectile reach for a given angle of launch α? The maximum distance r2 from the centre is the larger root of the equation U (r) = E. it is less.9 km s−1 . For a vertical launch. For any other angle. we find for the escape velocity from the Earth ve = 11. is vc = Rg = 7. the orbit is nearly a circle of radius R. Example: Maximum height of projectile If the launch speed v is equal to the circular orbit speed vc in an orbit just above the Earth’s surface. Energy levels of the hydrogen atom This is not a problem that can be solved by the methods of classical mechanics alone. so that r2 = R(1 + cos α).24).

84 Classical Mechanics also be obtained by imposing on the classical orbits an ad hoc ‘quantization rule’. This can be done by eliminating the time from the two conservation equations. In the case of circular orbits. by (4. to obtain an equation relating r and θ. historically.29 × 10−11 m. the electron in an atom cannot occupy any orbit. me2 where a1 . or minus the charge on the electron.4 Orbits We now turn to the problem of determining the orbit of a particle moving under a central conservative force. the quantization rule he imposed was that the angular momentum J be an integer multiple of (Planck’s constant divided by 2π). an = 4π 0 J 2 = n 2 a1 . as determined from the spectrum of hydrogen. the radius of the first Bohr orbit (usually denoted by a0 ).21). dθ r dθ whence r= ˙ dr ˙ ˙ du = − J du . but with the variable u = 1/r. (4. but only a certain discrete set of orbits. 8π 0 an n 8π 0 a1 These values agree well with the energies of atomic transitions. Indeed. According to Bohr’s ‘old quantum theory’. and look for an equation determining u as a function of θ. 4. is a1 = 4π 0 2 = 5. The constant k in this case is k = −e2 /4π 0 . Thus for J = n the radius an of the orbit is.11). where e is the electric charge on the proton. this is how they were first obtained. Now 1 dr du =− 2 . θ = −r2 θ dθ dθ m dθ . The simplest way of doing this is to work not with r itself. me2 The corresponding energy levels are En = − e2 e2 1 =− 2 .

k > 0. as in the preceding section. multiplying (4. Thus finally. The general solution of this equation is z = lu ± 1 = e cos(θ − θ0 ). in the . so that du dz =l . we multiply both sides by l and add 1 to ‘complete the square’. it can have a solution only when the the right hand side is positive. We shall consider explicitly only the case of the inverse square law. 2m (4. replacing u by 1/r and multiplying by r. We now introduce the new variable z = lu ± 1. |k| (4.Central Conservative Forces 85 Thus substituting for r in the radial energy equation (4. and the lower to the attractive case. dθ dθ Then we may write the equation as dz dθ 2 + z2 = 2El + 1 = e2 .12). to define the length parameter l= J2 m|k| (4.26) Then.25) in which of course V is to be regarded as a function of 1/u. in agreement with our earlier result that the minimum value of E is −|k|/2l. if not analytically) to give the equation of the orbit.25) by 2/|k|. k < 0.27) say. To solve this equation. |k| where the upper sign refers to the repulsive case. where θ0 is an arbitrary constant of integration. This equation can be integrated (numerically. defining a new dimensionless constant e. by writing V = ±|k|u. we obtain ˙ J2 2m du dθ 2 + J2 2 u + V = E. for which V = ku. Note that since the left hand side is a sum of squares. we find that the orbit equation is. we obtain l du dθ 2 + lu2 ± 2u = 2E . We shall treat both cases k > 0 and k < 0 together. It will be useful.

Therefore.29) (k > 0) (4. we obtain after some algebra (x + ae)2 y2 + 2 = 1. it is better to use the orbit equation directly in polar form. E must be positive. determines its scale. that is. Elliptic orbits (E < 0. a2 b where a= l |k| = 1 − e2 2|E| and b2 = al = J2 2m|E| (4. determines the shape of the orbit. the square bracket in (4. by (4.27). e must be greater than unity. It is the radial distance 1 at right angles to this direction. referred to a focus as origin (see Appendix B). and θ0 its orientation relative to the coordinate axes. l.28) is always negative. The constant e. r can become infinite when the square bracket vanishes.30) .28) These are the polar equations of conic sections. the constant l also has a simple geometrical meaning. When e ≥ 1. however. In the attractive case. called the semi-latus rectum.86 Classical Mechanics repulsive case r[e cos(θ − θ0 ) − 1] = l. e = 0 when E has its minimum value. In the repulsive case. and there is a value of r for every θ. or E ≥ 0. Note that r takes its minimum value when θ = θ0 . It is.29) is always positive. Thus the orbit is closed. r = l when θ = θ0 ± 2 π. Thus θ0 specifies the direction of the point of closest approach. the orbit is then the circle r = l. the eccentricity. or E < 0. If we choose the axes so that θ0 = 0. 0 ≤ e < 1) For most applications. −|k|/2l. since otherwise the square bracket in (4. So long as e < 1. This is in agreement with our previous conclusion that the particle will escape to infinity if and only if its total energy is positive. straightforward to rewrite it in the possibly more familiar Cartesian form (see Appendix B). In the attractive case. and in the attractive case r[e cos(θ − θ0 ) + 1] = l. (k < 0) (4.

) For a planet or satellite orbiting a central body of mass M . = 2 J m|k|l = m 3 a . Thus by (4. J dA = . (See Fig. |k| (4.30).6 determined by the value of the energy E. since the area of the ellipse is A = πab. The time taken by the particle to traverse any part of its orbit may be found from the relation (3. .26) and (4.6) It is useful to note that the semi-major axis a is b a ae l Fig.32) This yields Kepler’s third law of planetary motion: the square of the orbital period is proportional to the cube of the semi-major axis. In particular. τ 2π and thus τ 2π 2 2 = m 2 a2 b 2 m2 a3 l . dt 2m All we have to do is to evaluate the area swept out by the radius vector. the orbital period is τ = 2mπab/J.31) (It is easy to verify directly from (4.22) that this gives the correct period for a circular orbit of radius a. 4. GM (4. τ 2π 2 = a3 . and multiply by 2m/J. 4.Central Conservative Forces 87 This is the equation of an ellipse with centre at (−ae. and semi-axes a and b. 0).26) between angular momentum and rate of sweeping out area. while the semi-latus rectum l is fixed by the angular momentum J.

88 Classical Mechanics Example: Time spent in the two halves of Earth’s orbit If the Earth’s orbit is divided in two by its minor axis. It is clear from Fig. 4. Thus the times 2 taken are ( 1 ± e/π) years. and l by l ae b Θ a Fig. As before.7 . 4. the Cartesian equation of the orbit is (x − ae)2 y2 − 2 = 1. a is determined by the energy E.0167. e > 1) For both the repulsive and attractive cases.) One branch of the hyperbola (on the left in the figure) corresponds to the orbit in the attractive case and the other to the orbit in the repulsive case. Hyperbolic orbits (E > 0. 2 a b where a= |k| l = e2 − 1 2E and b2 = al = J2 . namely 1 πab ± aeb.6 that the areas swept out by the position vector of the Earth in the two halves are equal to half the area of the ellipse ± the area of a triangle with base 2b and height ae. The difference between the two is 2e/π years.88 days. 2mE (4. 4. 2 or 3. (See Fig.33) This is the equation of a hyperbola with centre at (+ae.7. how much longer does it spend in one half than the other? The eccentricity of Earth’s orbit is e = 0. 0) and semi-axes a and b.

18). Hence the energy is 2 E = 2mvc. r = aE /2 and v = 2vc.17) and (4.34). we have a = |k|/mv 2 . For later use.33). Note that by (4. in the repulsive case. 2 But also from (4.22). 2 Substituting in (4.33). aE using (4. and the limiting velocity v at infinity.E . the semi-minor axis b is identical with the impact parameter introduced earlier. the angle through which the particle is deflected from its original direction of motion is Θ = π − 2 arccos(1/e). it will be helpful to find the relation between the impact parameter b.34) This angle Θ is called the scattering angle. we have e = sec 1 (π−Θ). In both cases. mv 2 Let us complete this section by considering a rather special orbit. θ = ± arccos(1/e). and the angle at which the orbits cross. the scattering angle Θ.35) |k| 1 cot 2 Θ. Find its velocity when it crosses the Earth’s orbit. (4. It follows that the comet’s velocity v when it crosses the Earth’s orbit is given by 2 1 2 mv = GMS m 2 = mvc.E − 2GMS m = 0.Central Conservative Forces 89 the angular momentum J. in the attractive case. θ = ±[π − arccos(1/e)]. therefore. Thus we (4. Example: Orbit of a comet The minimum distance of a comet from the Sun is half the radius of the Earth’s orbit (assumed circular). aE . and. using E = obtain b= 1 2 2 mv . From (4. and its velocity at that point is twice the orbital velocity of the Earth.E . The directions in which r becomes infinite are. this gives 1 b2 = a2 (e2 − 1) = a2 [sec2 1 (π − Θ) − 1] = a2 cot2 2 Θ. Will the comet subsequently escape from the solar system? What kind of orbit does it follow? At perihelion.

we must know how to calculate the expected angular distribution when the forces are known. Then the number of particles which strike the target in unit time is w = f σ. and rises very sharply in the neighbourhood of r = R. and that a uniform.8. 4. Then. parallel beam of particles impinges on it.E . as is clear from Fig. 4. (4. Let us take the . The angular distribution of scattered particles will depend on the shape of the target and on the nature of the forces between the particles and the target.5 Scattering Cross-sections One of the most important ways of obtaining information about the structure of small bodies (for example atomic nuclei) is to bombard them with particles and measure the number of particles scattered in various directions. where σ is the cross-sectional area presented by the target. whence by (4. perfectly elastic) sphere of radius R. Since E = 0. We suppose that it impinges on the target with velocity v and impact parameter b. be f . To be able to interpret the results of such an experiment.36) Now let us consider one of these particles. hard (that is.E . Let the particle flux in the beam. the number of particles crossing unit area normal to the beam direction per unit time.90 Classical Mechanics √ whence v = 2vc. The angular momentum is J = maE vc. namely σ = πR2 . it will hit the target at an angle α to the normal given by b = R sin α.26). We shall consider first a particularly simple case. that is. corresponding to a potential V (r) which is zero for r > R. the comet has just enough energy to escape from the solar system. which yields α = 45◦ . Thus the kinetic energy and angular momentum must be the same before and after the collision. Its orbit is a parabola.E . Thus the angle α at which the orbits cross is given by maE v cos α = J = maE vc. We suppose that the target is a fixed.37) (4. The force on the particle is an impulsive central conservative force. l = aE .

The particles scattered through angles between θ and θ + dθ are those that came in with impact parameters between b and b + db. (4. within angular ranges dθ. Then. (4. 2 (Note that in our case db is actually negative. 4. the particle must move in a plane ϕ = constant. by the axial symmetry of the problem. from angular momentum conservation.Central Conservative Forces 91 α α Θ R b z Fig. dϕ. where 1 db = − 2 R sin 1 θ dθ. Thus the particle is deflected through an angle θ = π − 2α. related to the impact parameter by 1 b = R cos 2 θ.38) We can now calculate the number of particles scattered in a direction specified by the polar angles θ. The particles we are interested in are those which cross a small element of area dσ = b |db| dϕ.) Consider now a cross-section of the incoming beam. it follows that the particle will bounce off the sphere at an angle to the normal equal to the incident angle α. its velocity must be the same in magnitude before and after the collision.39) . ϕ. From energy conservation. Then.8 positive z direction (θ = 0) to be the direction of motion of the incoming particles.

) Inserting the values of b and db. 4.92 Classical Mechanics         L dθ dA                 L sin θ dϕ db dσ b dϕ b     Θ (See Fig. 4 (4.9. (4.40) The rate at which particles cross this area. we may place a small detector at a large distance from the target in the specified direction. We therefore want to express our result in terms of the cross-sectional area dA of the detector.9 . and therefore the rate at which they emerge in the given angular range. we find dσ = 1 R2 sin θ dθ dϕ. is dw = f dσ. and its distance L from the target (which we assume to be much greater     dϕ Fig. 4.41) In order to measure this rate.

Then the rate at which particles are detected is obtained by multiplying the differential cross-section by the flux of incoming particles. so that dA = L2 dΩ. Just as the total angle subtended by an entire circle is 2π. like angle. it is measured in square metres per steradian (m2 sr−1 ).44) It is useful to note an alternative definition of the differential crosssection.45) .43).Central Conservative Forces 93 than R). By (4. and therefore cannot say just which of the incoming particles are those that emerge in a particular direction. Now from the discussion of §3.30)). is dimensionless). and by the solid angle subtended at the target by the detector.40) and (4. the differential cross-section is. so the total solid angle subtended by an entire sphere is dΩ = 1 L2 π 2π dA = 0 sin θ dθ 0 dϕ = 4π. we see that the element of area on a sphere of radius L is dA = L dθ × L sin θ dϕ. The important quantity is not the cross-sectional area dσ itself. In the particular case of scattering from a hard sphere. Note that dσ/dΩ has the dimensions of area (solid angle. (4.5 (see the paragraph preceding (3. by (4. We may define dσ/dΩ to be the ratio of scattered particles per unit solid angle to the number of incoming particles per unit area.42) The solid angle is measured in steradians (sr). 4 dΩ (4. (4. dσ = 1 R2 . as in (4.41) and (4. Eq. which is called the differential cross-section. It plays the same role for a sphere as does the angle in radians for a circle.42).44). which is applicable even if we cannot follow the trajectory of each individual particle.43) (4. dΩ L2 (4. but rather the ratio dσ/dΩ. We define the solid angle subtended at the origin by the area dA to be dΩ = sin θ dθ dϕ.43) is the analogue of the equation ds = L dθ for a circle of radius L. the rate dw at which particles enter the detector is dw = f dσ dA .

Let this flux be f (x). The rate at which unscattered particles enter the slice is Af (x). 4.e. nσ (4. This is therefore the average number of collisions made by the particle when it travels a distance x.10). λ= 1 . Thus the rate at which collisions occur in the slice is f (x)σnA dx.45) over all solid angles. in this case.46). Now the total number of atoms in the slice is nAdx. λ . We note that the total cross-section (4. 4π. and the total cross-sectional area presented by all of them is σnA dx (assuming dx is small enough that none of them overlap).6 Mean Free Path The total cross-section σ is useful in discussing the attenuation of a beam of particles passing through matter. and consider a thin slice of wall of thickness dx and area A at the depth x (see Fig. dx λ A dx. Then the particle will collide with any atoms whose centres lie within the cylinder. and whose crosssectional area is σ. or independent of the scattering angle. 4. Now. Let us consider first a particle moving through a material containing n atoms per unit volume. Thus the mean distance travelled between collisions — the mean free path λ — is x/nσx. Equivalently. and the rate at which they emerge on the other side is Af (x + dx). impinging normally on a wall. the number of such atoms in a length x of the cylinder is nσx. How far will they penetrate? We need to calculate the flux of particles that penetrate to a depth x without suffering a collision.94 Classical Mechanics It has the special feature of being isotropic. we have Af (x) − Af (x + dx) = f (x)σnA dx = f (x) by (4.37) is correctly given by integrating (4. with flux f . in this case.46) Now consider a beam of particles. Thus the rate at which particles enter the detector is. independent of the direction in which it is placed. i. Equating the two quantities. Consider a cylinder whose axis is the line of motion of the particle. and suppose that the total cross-section for scattering by a single atom is σ. we have merely to multiply by the total solid angle. df (x) 1 = − f (x). The difference between the two must be the rate at which collisions occur within the slice.

this shows that for a thin target the number of particles scattered will be just N times the number scattered by a single atom. like an atom. the rate is approximately Axf /λ = Axnσf . For a thick target. If we . When the target is thin. the rate at which collisions occur within the target will be Af (0) − Af (x) = A(1 − e−x/λ )f. where C is an arbitrary constant.Central Conservative Forces 95 f(x) A f x dx f(x + dx) Fig. Instead. If the thickness of the target is x. then we may retain only the linear term in the expansion of the exponential. If x is small compared to the mean free path. we have to use a target containing a large number N of atoms. Since N = nAx.47) Thus the number of particles in the beam decreases by a factor of 1/e in one mean free path. the probability of multiple collisions. But f (0) = f . it would be quite impractical to use a target consisting of only a single atom. so finally f (x) = f e−x/λ . because the atoms would effectively screen each other. Very often. when we wish to study the structure of a small object.10 This equation may be integrated to give f (x) = Ce−x/λ . in which a particle strikes several target atoms in succession. it would be less. (4. 4. will be small. In this case.

they are deflected only very slightly by the electrons in the atom (see Chapter 7).7 Rutherford Scattering We discuss in this section a problem which was of crucial importance in obtaining an understanding of the structure of the atom. is large compared to the target size (so that the scattering angle does not depend appreciably on which of the atoms in the target is struck).35). and can therefore be used to study the heavy atomic nucleus. Thus he concluded that the positive charge is concentrated in a very small nuclear volume rather than being spread out over the whole volume of the atom.e. Rutherford bombarded atoms with α-particles (helium nuclei). performed in 1911. 4π 0 mv 2 (4. Because these particles are much heavier than electrons. . a= qq . Let us now calculate the differential cross-section for the scattering of a particle of charge q and mass m by a fixed point charge q . just N times the rate for a single target atom.48) that is. substituting in (4. dΩ L2 (4. In a classic experiment. From observations of the angular distribution of the scattered α-particles. 2 sin2 1 θ 2 so that. we obtain dσ = 1 a2 cos 2 θ dθ dϕ 2 sin3 1 θ 2 . The impact parameter b is related to the scattering angle θ by (4. L. 4. then we can conclude that the angular distribution of scattered particles will also be the same as that from a single target atom. then the rate at which particles enter the detector will be dw = N f dσ dA .39).49) Thus db = − a dθ . i. Rutherford was able to show that the law of force between α-particle and nucleus is the inverse square law down to very small distances. If we use a detector whose distance from the target. 1 b = a cot 2 θ. This will be the case if all the dimensions of the target are small in comparison with λ.96 Classical Mechanics assume that it is negligible.

it would decrease as we go to even smaller distances. Thus to investigate the structure of the atom at small distances. A peculiar feature of the differential cross-section (4. however small. and examine largeangle scattering. The corresponding cross-section is.Central Conservative Forces 97 Dividing by the solid angle (4.50) This is the Rutherford scattering cross-section. and would be scattered through smaller angles. For. we must use high-velocity particles. we find for the differential cross-section a2 dσ = . The cross-section (4. in contrast to the differential cross-section for hard-sphere scattering. dΩ 4 sin4 1 θ 2 (4. If the positive nuclear charge were spread out over a large volume. qq = 2Ze2 (where −e is the electronic charge).50) is that the corresponding total cross-section is infinite.) . We saw in §4. is indeed infinite. For scattering of an α-particle on a nucleus of atomic number Z. 0 (4.51) (This may also be verified by direct integration of (4. It also increases rapidly with increasing charge. it still experiences some force. for which a is small.50). the force would be inverse-square-law only down to the radius of the charge distribution.50) is large for small values of the scattering angle. We note that. corresponding to particles with small impact parameter b. Beyond that point. and is scattered through a non-zero (though small) angle. These are the particles which had impact parameters b less 1 than b0 = a cot 2 θ0 . However far away from the nucleus a particle may be. therefore.20). Thus the total number of particles scattered through any angle. the particles that penetrate to within this distance would experience a weaker force than the inverse square law predicts. this cross-section is strongly dependent both on the velocity of the incoming particle and on the scattering angle. This is a consequence of the infinite range of the Coulomb force.3 that the minimum distance of approach is given by (4.42). Thus we expect the number of particles scattered to increase like Z 2 with increasing atomic number. Consequently. We can easily calculate the number of particles scattered through any angle greater than some small lower limit θ0 . but physically it is the large-angle scattering which is of most interest. the fact that particles can be scattered through large angles is an indication that there are very strong forces acting at short distances. 1 σ(θ > θ0 ) = πb2 = πa2 cot2 2 θ0 .

The semi-major axis of Jupiter’s orbit is 5. we must find the equation of the orbit. The semi-major axis of the Earth’s orbit. Find its orbital period in years.8 Summary For a particle moving under any central. Find the radii of synchronous orbits about Jupiter and about the Sun. (Mean orbital speed of Earth = 29. information about the radial motion may be obtained from the radial energy equation. and the semi-latus rectum by J.20 au. we can use the relation between the angular momentum and the rate of sweeping out area. according as E < 0 or E > 0. When a beam of particles strikes a target.] 3. and its mean (time-averaged) orbital speed. If we are concerned with finding the time taken to traverse part of the orbit. The values of E and J can be determined from the initial conditions. ˙ which results from eliminating θ between the conservation equations for energy and angular momentum. When information about the angle θ is needed. the angular distribution of scattered particles may be found from the differential cross-section dσ/dΩ. obtained by integrating dσ/dΩ over all solid angles.) 4. Find its orbital period. The attenuation of the beam is related to the total cross-section σ. and this equation then tells us the radial velocity at any value of r. The orbit of an asteroid extends from the Earth’s to Jupiter’s. The mass of Jupiter is 318 times that of the Earth. just touching both. respectively. The orbits of synchronous communications satellites have been chosen so that viewed from the Earth they appear to be stationary. the orbit is an ellipse or a hyperbola. 2.8 km s−1 . For the inverse square law. The semi-major axis is fixed by E.98 Classical Mechanics 4. conservative force. [Their mean rotation periods are 10 hours and 27 days. or astronomical unit (au) is 1. (Treat the planetary orbits as circular and coplanar. This may be calculated from a knowledge of the relation between the scattering angle and the impact parameter. Problems 1.) .50 × 10 8 km. Find the radius of the orbits.

Use the conservation laws to determine the minimum and maximum distances from the origin during the subsequent motion. See Appendix B.) 12. and the escape velocity. Show that the comet discussed at the end of §4.273 RE (E = Earth). 9. 11. Find also the periods for close orbits around the Moon and Jupiter. the particle will execute small oscillations about the circular orbit. 10. If the motion is lightly disturbed. Explain your results physically for the two limiting cases α = 0 and α = π. Hence describe the disturbed orbit qualitatively. whose distance is 28 000 light years. the particle is moving in a circular orbit of radius 2a. find the angular frequency ω of small oscillations. Find the orbital angular velocity ω in terms of the natural angular frequency ω0 of the oscillator when not rotating. Initially. write the equation of the orbit in Cartesian co-ordinates. Find in each case the gravitational acceleration at the surface. A star of mass M and radius R is moving with velocity v through a cloud of particles of density ρ.0123 ME and 0. By considering the effective potential energy function U (r) near its minimum. Estimate the total mass of the Galaxy in solar masses. Find the time it spends inside the Earth’s orbit. Initially. It is then given a blow of impulse mv in a direction making an angle α with its original velocity. (To evaluate the area required. Calculate the period of a satellite in an orbit just above the Earth’s atmosphere (whose thickness may be neglected).4 crosses the Earth’s orbit at opposite ends of a diameter. 6. For Jupiter the corresponding figures are 318 ME and 11. The Sun has an orbital speed of about 220 km s−1 around the centre of the Galaxy. If all the particles that collide with the star are trapped by it.Central Conservative Forces 99 5. 7. 8. A particle of mass m moves under the action of a harmonic oscillator force with potential energy 1 kr2 . Find the maximum and minimum orbital speeds of the asteroid in Problem 4. it is moving in a circle of 2 radius a. Find the orbital speed v.0 RE. show that the mass of the star will increase at a rate 2GM R dM = πρv R2 + dt v2 . The Moon’s mass and radius are 0. Problem 11. Write down the effective potential energy function U (r) for the system described in Chapter 3. .

. 4 and 5 to find the relative velocity of the spacecraft with respect to the Earth just after launching and that with respect to Jupiter when it nears that planet. using the effective potential energy function U .) Check also that the period is given correctly by τ = 2mA/J. For Mars. an obvious target in the short term. How would the orbit equation. Where in its orbit must Jupiter be at the time of launch. A similarly careful choice of timing for initiating a return to Earth is necessary. *Find the polar equation of the orbit of an isotropic harmonic oscillator by solving the differential equation (4. It is an interesting and important exercise to compare timings for round trips of planetary exploration using this form of transfer. is 2 e 1 − e2 + arcsin e . π and hence for small e about twice as large as the difference computed in the example in §4. 100 km s−1 and 10 km s−1 .e.100 Classical Mechanics Given that M = 1031 kg and R = 108 km. A spacecraft is to travel from Earth to Jupiter along an elliptical orbit that just touches each of the planetary orbits (i.) 16. the time required is about 32 Earth months with about 15 months spent at Mars.25). and verify that it is an ellipse with centre at the origin. The identity π/2 − arcsin 1 − e2 = arcsin e may be useful. (Hint : Change to the variable v = u2 . show that the difference in time spent in the two halves. as found in Problem 13. so that there is an inevitable minimum time that must be spent in the region of (here) Jupiter before this can be done.4. neglecting in each case the gravitational attraction of the planet. There are of course other . 14. Use the results of Problems 3. 13. Discuss qualitatively the orbits of a particle under a repulsive force 1 with potential energy function V = 2 kr2 where k is negative. the orbit of the asteroid in Problem 4). in years. find how the effective crosssectional area compares with the geometric cross-section πR 2 for velocities of 1000 km s−1 . *If the Earth’s orbit is divided in two by the latus rectum. relative to the Earth? Where will the Earth be when it arrives? [This semi-elliptical trajectory is known as a Hohmann transfer and it is energy-efficient for interplanetary travel using high-thrust rockets in that a discrete boost is required at the beginning and at the end of the journey in order respectively to leave Earth and to arrive at the target planet. differ in this case? What shape is the orbit? 15. (Hint : Use Cartesian co-ordinates to evaluate √ the required area.

ways of effecting transfer. 19. using hyperbolic functions. 20. so that the final velocity of the spacecraft relative to Jupiter is radially away from the Sun. in the frame of reference in which the Earth is at rest.) What is its new velocity v relative to the Sun? Show that the semi2 2 major axis of its new orbit is aE vE /(2vE − v 2 ). however the spectacular impact of comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 with Jupiter in July 1994 should prevent us from being too complacent about this threat!) Find the distance of closest approach and the angle through which the asteroid is scattered. RJ = 11. the spacecraft in Problem 16 is swung around the planet by its gravitational attraction — a ‘slingshot’ manoeuvre. (This is an improbably close encounter for a large asteroid. 21.) *If the manoeuvre in Problem 21 is in the orbital plane.1. (See Problem B. where RE = Earth’s radius. What is the magnitude and direction of the spacecraft’s velocity before scattering? What is its magnitude after scattering? If the scattering angle in this frame is 90 ◦ . (Assume that the asteroid is small enough to have negligible effect on the Earth’s orbit. V av = −2 T av . in terms of an angular parameter ψ by x = a(cos ψ − e). ψ is sometimes called the eccentric anomaly. what is its velocity in magnitude and direction relative to the Sun? Use the radial energy equation to determine the spacecraft’s . On reaching the vicinity of Jupiter.0RE. Consider this encounter in the frame of reference in which Jupiter is at rest. Find the asteroid’s new orbital period. *Find a parametrization similar to that of Problem 18 for a hyperbolic orbit. Use the parametrization of Problem 18 to calculate the time-averaged values of the kinetic and potential energies T and V over a complete period. 18.) Show that r = a(1 − e cos ψ).Central Conservative Forces 101 17. moving in the same plane and overtaking it. y = b sin ψ. in terms of Jupiter radii? (MJ = 318ME. either in fuel or in time spent at the destination!] *Suppose that the asteroid of Problems 4 and 5 approaches the Earth with an impact parameter of 5RE . and that the time from perihelion is given by t = (τ /2π)(ψ − e sin ψ) (Kepler’s equation). where aE and vE are the Earth’s orbital radius and orbital velocity. what must be the impact parameter? What is the distance of closest approach to the planet. *Show that the position of a planet in its elliptical orbit can be expressed. In the literature. 22. but at rather greater cost. while the polar angle θ is the true anomaly. Hence verify the virial theorem. using a frame with x-axis in the direction of perihelion (point of closest approach to the Sun).

What is its velocity relative to the Sun? What will be its aphelion distance and orbital period? How far from the orbital plane will it reach? (Hint : Immediately after scattering. described by the potential energy function V = k/2r2 .102 Classical Mechanics 23. 26. (Ignore the Earth’s rotation. find the launch velocity and the angle at which the rocket should be launched.) Find the angular velocity ω in a circular orbit of radius a. farthest distance from the Sun (its aphelion distance) in astronomical units.) Show that the scattering angle for particles of mass m and initial velocity v scattered by a repulsive inverse-cube-law force is π − π/n (see Problem 25). what will be its perihelion distance? An alternative to the manoeuvre described in Problem 22 is for the spacecraft to be scattered out of the orbital plane.) Deduce that the maximum range is 2Rθ where sin θ = v 2 /(2Rg − v 2 ). This is therefore the perihelion point of the new orbit.) *A ballistic rocket (one that moves freely under gravity after its initial √ launch) is fired from the surface of the Earth with velocity v < Rg at an angle α to the vertical. For the repulsive case (k > 0). the nature of the orbit depends on the signs of J 2 + mk and of E. the radial component of its velocity is zero. Find the equation of the orbit for each possible type. (The gravitational potential energy in the equatorial plane of the Earth has approximately this form. Express the range 2Rθ (measured along the Earth’s surface) in terms of the parameters l and a. 27. b and θ0 are constants. Assume that relative to Jupiter its velocity after scattering is directed normal to the orbital plane. (Include the cases where one of these parameters vanishes. When it returns. Given that the maximum range is 3600 nautical miles. Show that for the attractive case (k < 0). The farthest point from the original orbital plane will occur when it is at one end of the semi-minor axis of the orbit. we should choose α so that l = 2a − R. 25. where k < 0 and c is a small constant. Hence find the differential cross-section. (Note: 1 nautical mile = 1 minute of arc over the Earth’s surface. because of its flattened shape — see Chapter 6. and hence show that to maximize the range. where n. Find also its new orbital period. 24. and the angular frequency ω of small radial oscillations about this circular orbit.) Find the equation of its orbit. Hence show that a . *The potential energy of a particle of mass m is V (r) = k/r + c/3r 3 .) Discuss the possible types of orbit for a particle moving under a central inverse-cube-law force. show that the orbit equation is r cos n(θ − θ0 ) = b. (Hint : A sketch may help.

For an ellipse. the mean over angle θ is in fact b. What thickness would be needed to stop all but one particle in 106 ? An α-particle of energy 4 keV (1 eV = 1.26). 29. where r is a ¯ ‘mean value’ of r. (Hint : By differentiating the orbit equation l/r = 1 + e cos θ.66 × 10−27 kg. Find the thickness of wall that exactly half the particles will penetrate without scattering. A beam of particles strikes a wall containing 2 × 1029 atoms per m3 . ¯ [This law was originally expressed by Kepler as τ ∝ r 3/2 . Find the rate of detection of α-particles. for most planets in our Solar System these values are almost equal. find r and r in terms of r and θ. implies that the force on a planet is proportional to its mass.) Show that Kepler’s third law. 1 u = 1. and using (3.6 × 10−19 J) is scattered by an aluminium atom through an angle of 90◦ .] . (Atomic number of α-particle = 2.4 that Kepler’s second law of planetary motion implies that the force is central. A detector of cross-sectional area 400 mm2 is placed 0.) A beam of such particles with a flux of 3 × 108 m−2 s−1 strikes a target containing 50 mg of aluminium.6 m from the target in a direction at right angles to the beam direction. τ ∝ a3/2 .) *It was shown in §3. Hence calculate the ˙ ¨ radial acceleration. (Atomic mass of Al = 27 u. Calculate the distance of closest approach to the nucleus.Central Conservative Forces 103 28. Each atom behaves like a sphere of radius 3 × 10−15 m. e = 1. 30. the 1 mean over time is actually a(1 + 2 e2 ). it is the mean over arc length — or the median — which is given by a! Of course. nearly circular orbit is approximately an ellipse whose axes precess at an angular velocity Ω ≈ (c/|k|a2 )ω. atomic number of Al = 13. Show that his first law — that the orbit is an ellipse with the Sun at a focus — implies the inverse square law. 31.6 × 10−19 C.

104 Classical Mechanics .

Its magnitude is equal to 2π divided by the length of the sidereal day (the rotation period with respect to the fixed stars. that is ω= 2π −1 s = 7.3). it is often convenient to use a frame which is rigidly fixed to the Earth. Clearly.292 × 10−5 s−1 . whose direction is defined by the right-hand rule: it is the direction in which a right-handthread screw would move when turned in the direction of the rotation. is an axial vector (see §3. ω is a vector pointing along the polar axis. we shall find the equations of motion with respect to such a frame. 86164 (5. For example. and discuss some applications of them. There are. angular velocity. For example. a number of problems that can most easily be solved by using a non-inertial frame. which is less than that with respect to the Sun by one part in 365). in which the laws of motion take on the simple form expressed in Newton’s laws.1) If we take the origin to lie on the axis of rotation. and rotates with it. towards the north pole. Then we define the vector angular velocity ω to be a vector of magnitude ω in the direction of n: ω = ωn. when discussing the motion of a particle near the Earth’s surface.Chapter 5 Rotating Frames Hitherto. for the Earth. we have always used inertial frames. like angular momentum. however. 5.1 Angular Velocity. then the velocity of 105 . Let n be a unit vector along the axis. Rate of Change of a Vector Let us consider a solid body which is rotating with constant angular velocity ω about a fixed axis. In this chapter.

Moreover.1 v = ωρ = ωr sin θ = |ω ∧ r|. if i.) dj = ω ∧ j. k are orthogonal unit vectors fixed in the body. Thus (5. dt dj = −ωi. (5. dt (5. v is perpendicular to the plane containing ω and r.4) For example. dt di = ωj. dt dk = ω ∧ k. then .2) is correct both as regards magnitude and direction. If a is any vector fixed in the rotating body. da = ω ∧ a. for clearly. 5. then by the same argument. the direction of v is that of ω ∧ r. dt (Compare Fig. j.1).106 Classical Mechanics a point of the body at position r is given by the simple formula v = ω ∧ r.2. It is not necessary that r should be the position vector of a point of the rotating body. dt di = ω ∧ i. we note that the point moves with angular velocity ω around a circle of radius ρ = r sin θ (see Fig. 5. dt dk = 0.2) To prove this. then (5. Thus its speed is ω ρ v θ r Fig. and it is easy to see from the figure that its sense is given correctly by the right-hand rule. if ω is in the k direction. 5.3) In particular.

Rotating Frames 107 k j i dj di Fig. and it will be convenient to ˙ suspend for the moment the convention whereby da/dt and a mean the same thing. We wish to find the relation between these two rates of change. although our two observers differ about the rate of change of a vector.6) . j. An observer outside the Earth will always agree with one on the Earth about the latitude and longitude of a small body moving on the surface. so that ˙ a = ax i + ay j + az k. az . az . ˙ dt day = ay .) Hence we can write dax = ax . ˙ dt daz = az . k by the components ax . these are not the components of a with respect to his own set of axes. (Our discussion applies quite generally. and by a the rate of change as measured by an observer rotating with the solid body. (Note that for the inertial observer. the rate of change of a is fully described by the rates of change of its three components. so that a = ax i + ay j + az k.5) According to the observer on the rotating body. but it may be helpful to think of a as the position vector of a particle with respect to the Earth. though these are not the co-ordinates he would naturally use himself to describe its position. ay . ˙ ˙ ˙ (5. and in particular about the rates of change of the three components ax .2 Now consider a vector a specified with respect to the rotating axes i. they will always agree about the rate of change of any scalar quantity. ay . Now. ˙ dt (5. We shall denote by da/dt the rate of change of a as measured ˙ by an inertial observer at rest relative to the origin. 5.) We must distinguish two kinds of ‘rates of change’.

108 Classical Mechanics However. finally. It is important to realize that one can reverse the argument that led up to it. We shall frequently encounter in our later work equations similar to (5. For. the axes i. and perpendicular to it. m (5. Thus. dt (5. we obtain da ˙ = a + ω ∧ a. The equation of motion is then m dv = qv ∧ B.7).10) .3). if we introduce a frame of reference rotating with ˙ angular velocity ω. then according to (5. ˙ by (5. dv = ω ∧ v. j.4). We have given a detailed proof because of the central importance of this result. to the inertial observer. F = qv ∧ B. for it states that the velocity with respect to the inertial observer is the sum of the ˙ velocity r with respect to the rotating frame and the velocity ω ∧ r of a particle at r rotating with the body. and because its application to other vectors is much less obvious. then it must be a vector of constant length rotating with angular velocity ω about the direction of ω. Then (5.4).7) Applied to the position vector r.9) (5. so that da = dt dax day daz di dj dk i+ j+ k + ax + a y + az dt dt dt dt dt dt ˙ ˙ = (ax i + ay j + az k) + ω ∧ (ax i + ay j + az k).9) has precisely the form of (5. dt (5. so that a is fixed in the rotating frame. dt where ω=− q B.2 Particle in a Uniform Magnetic Field A particle of charge q moving with velocity v in a magnetic field B(r) experiences a force proportional to its velocity. If a satisfies this equation. 5.8) Now let us suppose that the magnetic field is uniform (independent of position) and constant in time.3): da/dt = ω ∧ a. this result is almost obvious. k are themselves changing with time according to (5. a = 0.5) and (5.

Each semicircle is therefore slightly larger than the preceding one. by the time the particles have made a half-revolution. If we take the direction of B to be the z-direction. 5. . Quite similar methods can be used.12) Thus. the velocity vector v rotates about the direction of B with a constant angular velocity. in which v is perpendicular to B. however. It follows that the path of the particle is a helix whose axis points along the field lines (see Fig. if v is initially parallel to B. then v has B Fig.11) This effect is used in accelerating particles in the cyclotron. is more interesting. m (5. The angular frequency of this alternating voltage is chosen to coincide with the cyclotron frequency ωc = qB . the angular frequency ωc is not precisely constant when the speed is large. 5. and a component in the xy-plane which rotates around a circle with angular velocity ω. by the argument of the preceding section. ω qB (5. Finally. In particular.4). a strong magnetic field is employed to constrain them to move in circles. and the particles spiral outwards with increasing energy. To accelerate them.3). the particle describes a circle of radius r= mv v = . even at the highest energies. 5. the direction of the electric field has reversed. In order to prevent the particles from escaping. The other limiting case. and they experience an accelerating field each time they cross the gap. but decreases with increasing speed. an alternating voltage is applied between two D-shaped pole pieces enclosing two halves of the circles (see Fig.Rotating Frames 109 Hence. according to relativity theory. the particle will continue to move with uniform velocity along a field line. In that case.3 a constant z-component. one obtains a beam of high-velocity particles at the outer edge of the cyclotron. for. This method can be used only so long as the speed remains small compared to the speed of light.

this will be true always. in terms of components.110 Classical Mechanics E E ~ Fig. E = Ej and B = Bk. 5. F = q(E + v ∧ B). it will continue to do so. We can eliminate ˙ the term in E by going over to a frame moving with relative velocity (E/B)i (see Chapter 1. if z = z = 0 initially. y ˙ m¨ = 0. r m¨ = qB y. Find the solution for the case when the particle starts from rest at the origin. Show that if it is initially moving in the xy-plane. ˙ The equation of motion m¨ = qE+q r∧B is. Problem 5). a charged particle experiences the Lorentz force. z = z. y = y. Example: Crossed electric and magnetic fields A particle of mass m and charge q moves in uniform perpendicular electric and magnetic fields. An interesting case is that of crossed fields. .4 If there are both electric and magnetic fields present. and that it has a circular motion with a superimposed uniform drift velocity in a direction perpendicular to both E and B. x ˙ m¨ = qE − qB x. z Clearly. in which the co-ordinates are given by x = x − (E/B)t.

The initial conditions yield x = −E/B.7) twice to obtain the relation between the ¨ absolute acceleration d2 r/dt2 of a particle and its acceleration r relative to a rotating frame. z So in the moving frame.14) The second term on the right is called the Coriolis acceleration.15) (5. as in the discussion above. y ˙ m¨ = 0. Hence. this means circular motion with a uniform velocity superimposed. If the particle starts from the origin. y = y. The velocity of the particle relative to an inertial frame is v= dr ˙ = r + ω ∧ r. = dt2 dt But.Rotating Frames 111 Then x = x−E/B. we have d2 r dv ˙ = v + ω ∧ v. substituting in (5. Apparent Gravity We can use the formula (5. assuming that ω is constant. the particle moves in a circle. 5. Bωc z = 0. from (5. x m¨ = −qB x . z = z. In the original frame. we obtain d2 r ¨ ˙ = r + 2ω ∧ r + ω ∧ (ω ∧ r).13) Applying the same formula to the rate of change of v.3 Acceleration. dt (5. Thus the equations of motion become ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ m¨ = qB y . The latter is directed inwards . we find ˙ ¨ ˙ v = r + ω ∧ r. the complete solution is x= E B t− sin ωc t ωc . and the third term is the centripetal acceleration. y= E (1 − cos ωc t). dt2 (5. and ˙ ω ∧ v = ω ∧ r + ω ∧ (ω ∧ r). so the ˙ radius of the circular motion is E/Bωc .13).14).

r (5. proportional. as may be seen by writing it in the form (see (A. we can write it as ˙ m¨ = mg + F − 2mω ∧ r − mω ∧ (ω ∧ r). in which this effect is greatly exaggerated. and perpendicular to it. like gravity. ∗ gv = g − ω 2 r sin2 θ. a plumb line does not point directly towards the centre of the Earth. (5. due to the nonspherical shape of the Earth.5. but is swung outwards through a small angle by the centrifugal force. The most important application of (5. This force is a slowly varying function of position. Using (5. what we actually measure is not g but g ∗ = g − ω ∧ (ω ∧ r). Thus the horizontal and vertical components of the effective gravitational acceleration g ∗ (using ‘vertical’ to mean towards the Earth’s centre) are ∗ gh = ω 2 r sin θ cos θ. to be discussed later.) .16)) ω ∧ (ω ∧ r) = (ω · r)ω − ω 2 r. and consider here the last term. We shall postpone discussion of the effects of the third term — the Coriolis force — to the next section.17) In particular. which is the familiar centrifugal force. For a particle moving under gravity. and moving all the terms except the relative acceleration to the right side of the equation.15).16) The last two terms are apparent (or fictitious) forces. to the mass of the particle. When we make a laboratory measurement of the acceleration due to gravity. Then |ω ∧ (ω ∧ r)| = ω|ω ∧ r| = ω 2 r sin θ. mechanical force F . the equation of motion is m d2 r = mg + F .) Let us consider a point in colatitude (π/2 − latitude) θ.15) is to a particle moving near the surface of the Earth. (See Fig. dt2 where g is a vector of magnitude g pointing downward (towards the centre of the Earth). and under an additional.112 Classical Mechanics towards the axis of rotation. which arise because of the non-inertial nature of the frame of reference. 5. (There are further corrections.

At the pole. Thus the gravitational acceleration g. the angle α between the apparent and true verticals is approximately α≈ ∗ ω2r gh sin θ cos θ. We find ω 2 r = 34 mm s−2 . These two effects are not really independent. 6371 km.1) for ω. we shall consider the problem of a liquid in a rotating vessel. The actual measured difference is somewhat larger than this. is itself larger at the pole than on the equator. flattened at the poles. and for r the mean radius of the Earth.5 The magnitude of the centrifugal force may be found by inserting the value (5.19) This discrepancy arises from the fact that the Earth is not a perfect sphere. . As another example of the effect of the centrifugal force. ∗ ∗ ∆g ∗ = gpole − gequator = 52 mm s−2 . even excluding the centrifugal term. We shall discuss this point in the next chapter. for the flattening of the Earth is a consequence of its rotation. ∗ g = g − ω 2 r. but more nearly spheroidal in shape. and g ∗ = g. On the equator. 5. and is about 0◦ 6 . (5. there is no centrifugal force. ≈ ∗ gv g The maximum value occurs at θ = 45◦ .Rotating Frames 113 ω ω −ω∧(ω∧r) g α g* Fig.18) Since ω 2 r g. (5. Thus we might expect the measured value of the acceleration due to gravity to be larger at the pole by 34 mm s−2 .

an observer on the disc will see the particle crossing successive radii.6 as representing the Earth viewed from the north pole.114 Classical Mechanics Example: Surface of a rotating liquid Liquid in a vessel rotating with angular velocity ω is rotating with the same angular velocity. so that in the rotating frame the liquid is at rest. 2 This is a paraboloid of revolution about the z-axis. he will ascribe this curvature to a force acting on the particle at right angles to its velocity. To understand its physical origin. the particle will tend to move towards regions of lower potential energy. rotating disc.4 Coriolis Force ˙ The Coriolis force. This is the Coriolis force. Hence if the liquid is in equilibrium under the gravitational and centrifugal forces. its surface must be an equipotential surface. Unless the surface is one on which potential energy is constant. 5. for example mercury. −2mω ∧ r. 5. Thus we see that the effect of the Coriolis force is to make a particle . velocity-dependent force arising from the Earth’s rotation.20) Consider a particle on the surface of the liquid. If he is unaware that the disc is rotating.) Then. This effect is used in constructing some high-powered optical telescopes. gz − 1 ω 2 (x2 + y 2 ) = constant. is an apparent. Suppose that a particle moves across the disc under no forces. We may regard Fig. following a curved track as in Fig. 2 (5. so that an inertial observer sees it moving diametrically across in a straight line.6(a). Now this force is conservative. (See Fig. it may be helpful to consider a flat. and corresponds to a potential energy 1 Vcent = − 1 mω 2 ρ2 = − 2 mω 2 (x2 + y 2 ). 5. Find the equation for its surface. Because a paraboloid is the ideal shape to focus light from directly above it. We use a frame rotating with the vessel. because the disc is rotating. the mirror is made by spinning a thin film of liquid.6(b). This is very much cheaper than grinding glass mirrors to a precise shape — though it has the disadvantage that the telescope can only look at objects near the zenith. 5. but subject to the centrifugal force.

and the colatitude θ is the angle between that direction and the Earth’s axis. let us take a small body falling freely under gravity towards the Earth’s surface. The equation of motion is then ˙ m¨ = mg + F − 2mω ∧ r.) It is responsible for some well-known meteorological phenomena. 5. . For convenience.Rotating Frames 115 ω (a) Fig. Example: Freely falling body A body is dropped from rest at a height h above the ground. r (5. The angular velocity vector then has the components ω = (0. it is convenient to choose our axes so that i is east. however. 5. (See Fig.21) As an example. j is north. and to the left in the southern. and write this simply as g. in general. we examine some effects of the Coriolis force which are observable in the laboratory.7. Then we may combine them in a constant effective gravitational acceleration g ∗ . We shall suppose that the distance through which it moves is sufficiently small for both the gravitational and centrifugal forces to be effectively constant. ω sin θ. ω cos θ).6 (b) deviate to the right in the northern hemisphere. we shall drop the star. (It also has a vertical component. which we shall discuss below. and k up. How far from the point directly below its starting point does it land? To analyze this problem. First.) Here ‘up’ means opposite to g ∗ . Let us consider a particle moving near the surface of the Earth in colatitude θ.

7 Hence the Coriolis force is ˙ −2mω ∧ r = 2mω(y cos θ − z sin θ. y = 0. the deviation is about 16 mm. (5. therefore. The equations of motion (5. Since the particle is dropped from rest relative to the Earth. z = 0. at a distance x= ω 3 8h3 g 1/2 sin θ. −x cos θ. this means that we may substitute for r the ˙ zeroth-order value r = (0. y = 0. Thus the body will hit the ground. x m¨ = 0. at a point east of that vertically below its point of release. the motion is described by x = 0. (5. x sin θ). z z = h − 1 gt2 .21) then read m¨ = 2mωgt sin θ. 5.22) We shall calculate the effect of the Coriolis force only to first order. Since the Coriolis force (5. It is instructive to consider how an inertial observer would describe this experiment. 0. ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Neglecting the Coriolis force. −gt).22) contains ˙ an explicit factor of ω. 1 x = 3 ωgt3 sin θ.116 Classical Mechanics ω j North θ k Fig. that is. y m¨ = −mg. it has a component of velocity towards the east relative to the inertial . 1 z = h − 2 gt2 .23) For example. if a particle is dropped from a height of 100 m in latitude 45◦ . we neglect terms of order ω 2 . 2 The solution with appropriate initial conditions is.

l (5. so that it gets ahead of the ground beneath it. despite the resistance of the air. so that its periods of oscillation in all directions are precisely equal. Foucault’s pendulum Another way of observing the effect of the Coriolis force is to use Foucault’s pendulum.8(a) and 5.25) g y = − y − 2ω x cos θ. ¨ l or. for it is merely a small correction to g.) Examples of the Foucault pendulum are to be found in many science museums. and fairly heavy. and therefore its angular velocity increases.8(b) show the experiment as it appears (but much exaggerated) to an observer on the Earth and to an inertial observer. (It must also be long. we have 2ω x = 1. Thus the equations of motion for ˙ the x and y co-ordinates are g ˙ x = − x + 2ω y cos θ. (Even for a velocity x as large ˙ ˙ g.Rotating Frames 117 x x h (b) Fig. If the amplitude is small. ¨ ˙ l (5. respectively.5 mm s−2 are the horizontal ones. Figs. The vertical component of the Coriolis force is negligible. g ¨ ˙ r = − r − 2ω cos θ k ∧ r. the angular momentum about the Earth’s axis remains constant. the pendulum equation is simply the equation of two-dimensional simple harmonic motion. so that z ≈ 0. This is simply an ordinary pendulum free to swing in any direction. whose sign alternates on each half-period. 5.8 h (a) observer.) The important components as 10 m s−1 .24) . in vector notation. 5. As it falls. so that it will go on swinging freely for several hours at least. and carefully arranged to be perfectly symmetric. the velocity of the pendulum bob is almost horizontal. For small amplitude.

(5. Then y − ix = −iz. . so that. Hence. or. ω cos θ k. Then it is clear from the equation of motion in a non-rotating frame that it must swing in a fixed direction in space. we may regard the Earth’s surface in colatitude θ as rotating about the vertical with angular velocity ω cos θ (and also with angular velocity ω sin θ about a horizontal northsouth axis. We now look for solutions of the form pt z = Ae and. at any other latitude. its oscillation plane must rotate around the vertical with angular velocity −ω. we should expect that the oscillation plane of the pendulum rotates with angular velocity −Ω = −ω cos θ around the vertical. find for p the equation 2 p2 + 2iΩp + ω0 = 0. In particular. which does not appreciably affect the motion.5. (5. relative to the Earth. so that the solution is z = ae−iΩt cos ω1 t. where ω1 = ω0 + Ω2 . Now. but this component leads only to a vertical Coriolis force. as in §2. Thus.24). the only difference in Eq. in terms of x and y. the general solution of the equation for z is z = Ae−i(Ω−ω1 )t + Be−i(Ω+ω1 )t . A neat way of doing this is to combine the two equations by introducing a complex variable z = x + iy (not of course to be confused with the vertical co-ordinate). we must choose A = B = a/2. x = a cos Ωt cos ω1 t. we get 2 z + 2iΩz + ω0 z = 0. 2 2 The roots of this equation are p = −iΩ ± iω1 .118 Classical Mechanics Let us first suppose that the pendulum is at the north pole (θ = 0). y = −a sin Ωt cos ω1 t. while the Earth rotates beneath it. 0) at t = 0.25) is that in place of the angular velocity ω we have only its vertical component. adding i times ˙ ˙ ˙ the second equation to the first. if the pendulum is released from rest at position (a.) We can verify this conclusion by obtaining an explicit solution of Eqs. ¨ ˙ 2 where Ω = ω cos θ and ω0 = g/l. Hence. In effect.

because of the Coriolis force. there is no effect of this kind on the equator. however. and be replaced by cooler air flowing in from higher latitudes. sin Ωt). since Ω ω0 and ω0 ω1 . As it starts to move. Cyclones and trade winds There are also some important large-scale effects of the Coriolis force. For reasons that are too complex to discuss in detail here. on a yet larger scale. The process will continue until an approximate equilibrium is established between the pressure force. Thus an anticlockwise rotation is set up around the low-pressure zone. Further from the equator there are belts of high pressure. the pendulum bob oscillates between the extreme points ±a(cos Ωt.) More generally. keeping the low pressure on the left in the northern hemisphere. The period of the pendulum will not be substantially affected. while on the equator (where ω is purely horizontal). This configuration is a cyclone. Suppose that for some reason a region of low pressure develops in the northern hemisphere. The solution represents an oscillation with amplitude a in a plane rotating with angular velocity −Ω. the plane of oscillation makes a complete revolution in just 24 hours. and is in fact 2π/ω cos θ. and the Coriolis force (plus the centrifugal force of the rotation) acting outwards. Thus we have the north-east trade winds in the northern hemisphere. it is infinite.24) we neglected terms of order Ω2 (in particular. the Coriolis force cause it to curve to the right. (As in the case of Foucault’s pendulum. the wind velocity is not directly from regions of high to low pressure. acting inwards. At the pole. are characterized . familiar to those who live in temperate latitudes. the variation in the centrifugal force is of this order). Thus the difference between the angular frequency ω1 in our solution and ω0 is not significant. At any other latitude. it does not flow directly north or south. but more nearly along the isobars. for the trade winds. In latitude 45◦ . the period is greater than this. The same effect is responsible. in these latitudes. The heating of the Earth’s surface near the equator causes the air to rise. this pattern does not extend to high latitudes. However. like the equatorial region itself. or depression. which. The air around it will be pushed inwards by the force of the pressure gradient. it is about 34 hours. and the south-east trade winds in the southern.Rotating Frames 119 So at time t. It should be noted that in deriving (5. but is made to deviate towards the west.

and the circumpolar winds blow from the east. then the terms in r drop out.7) and (5. Let us rewrite this equation in terms of a rotating frame of reference. mr3 4π 0 mr3 (5. Consequently. . using (5. a bounded orbit in the rotating frame is an ellipse. non-rotating frame. if we choose ω = −(q/2m)B. the direction of the pressure gradient is reversed.120 Classical Mechanics by light and variable winds.5 Larmor Effect As a rather different example of the use of rotating frames. mr2 But this is just the usual equation of motion for a particle in an inversesquare-law field. Beyond these. The necessary condition for this is that ω2 = qB 2m 2 k qq 2 = ≈ ω0 . Thus around 40◦ to 50◦ N or S the prevailing wind direction is westerly rather than easterly. The equation of motion. is m dr k d2 r ˆ ∧ B. however. Near the poles. we obtain the approximate equation ¨ r=− k ˆ r. We now assume that the magnetic field is sufficiently weak for the quadratic term in B to be negligible in comparison to the electrostatic force term.26) where we have used (4.8).15). In the original. When this condition is satisfied. We obtain ¨ ˙ r + 2ω ∧ r + ω ∧ (ω ∧ r) = − q k ˆ ˙ r + (r + ω ∧ r) ∧ B. so we obtain ¨ r=− q k ˆ r+ mr2 2m 2 B ∧ (B ∧ r). = − 2r +q 2 dt r dt where k = qq /4π 0 . including the magnetic force (5. mr2 m ˙ Now. there is a further reversal. we shall consider the effect of a magnetic field on a particle of charge q moving in an orbit around a fixed point charge −q . 5.31) to express the right side in terms of the mean angular velocity ω0 of the particle in its orbit. it is a slowly precessing ellipse. The last term on the left only cancels half the last term on the right.

This effect is known as the Larmor effect.15). 5.) When the weak magnetic field approximation is not applicable then the resulting motion can be very complex — see §14.26). This effect leads to observable changes in the spectra emitted by atoms in the presence of a magnetic field.9 will be inclined.) Note that. (The shift in spectral lines is known as the Zeeman effect. The difference arises from the factor of 2 in the Coriolis acceleration term of (5. and the angular velocity of precession.12). . 2m is called the Larmor frequency.Rotating Frames 121 precessing with angular velocity ω. the axes of the ellipse will precess only through a small angle on each revolution. revolve about some fixed direction. As we shall see later in a number of different examples. since the Bohr energy level corresponding to a given angular momentum is slightly shifted in the presence of a magnetic field. phenomenon.6 Angular Momentum and the Larmor Effect The Larmor effect is a particular example of a more general. In general. and the plane of the orbit will precess about the direction of B.9. Note that it is just half the cyclotron frequency (5. in view of the restriction (5. and very important. 5. ωL = qB . which is drawn for the special case in which the orbit lies in the plane normal to B.4. (See Fig. 5. it B Fig. the effect of a small force on a rotating system is often to make the axis of rotation precess — that is.

To be specific. a in the direction of k ∧ n and b = n ∧ a. 5. (5.16).10. n. n normal to the n α k b ψ a r v v∧B Fig. let us suppose that the magnetic field is in the z-direction. 5.10 plane of the orbit. then in terms of the axes a.) It will be convenient to introduce three orthogonal unit vectors. B = Bk. Since the magnetic force is perpendicular to the velocity. v and B . b. Then the angular momentum is J = mr ∧ v = mrvn. Hence the energy is constant. However the angular momentum J does change with time. and therefore so is the semimajor axis of the orbit. according to the equation dJ = r ∧ F = qr ∧ (v ∧ B) = q[(r · B)v − (r · v)B]. (See Fig. it does no work.28) If we specify the position of the particle in its orbit by the angle ψ between a and r. the components of r.122 Classical Mechanics It will therefore be useful to consider here an alternative treatment of the problem which is of more general applicability. then to a first approximation the particle must move in an inverse-square-law orbit whose characteristics change slowly with time. and that the particle is moving in a circular orbit of radius r in a plane inclined to the xy-plane at an angle α. dt (5.27) using (A. If the magnetic field is weak.

Thus (5. From (5.. In fact.) Now. (5.e. we have k ∧ J = mrvk ∧ n = mrv sin α a. v cos ψ.3). over all values of ψ from 0 to 2π. B sin α. B cos α).28). Hence the right hand side of (5. i. its magnitude remains unchanged.30) may be written dJ qB =− k ∧ J. r sin ψ. (5. This yields the equation 2 dJ = r∧F dt av 1 = − 2 qBrv sin α a. v = (−v sin ψ. 0). 0).30) Thus the vector J will move in the direction of −a. It follows that we can replace (5. sin ψ cos ψ. and sin ψ cos ψ by 0. B = (0. but for small magnetic fields this will be negligible. 2m (5. Thus the oscillatory term in (5. the change in J in a single orbit will be small. Since dJ /dt is perpendicular to J .29) is unimportant: it leads only to a very small periodic oscillation in J.29) by its average value over a complete oscillation period. (There is also a small contribution to v from the fact that the plane of the orbit is changing.27) is qBr sin α sin ψ v = qBrv sin α(− sin2 ψ. while its direction precesses around the direction of B. dt 2m This is the equation of a vector J rotating with angular velocity ω=− qB . 0).31) .29) Since the magnetic field is weak.Rotating Frames 123 are r = (r cos ψ. Thus we replace 1 sin2 ψ = 2 (1 − cos 2ψ) by 1 . in a circular orbit. The important term is the one which leads to a secular variation of J (a steady change in one direction).30) can be seen to be another example of an equation of the form (5. r · v is always zero. (5.

but a point 90◦ later. These are the centrifugal force. say at the farthest point above the xy-plane. and the velocity-dependent . however. rather than its position.124 Classical Mechanics Since the direction of J is that of the normal to the orbital plane. The next orbit will be in a plane slightly tilted with respect to the original one. the effect would be simply to rotate it about this axis. If one applies a small force downwards on the rim of a rapidly rotating wheel. Thus the effect of a small blow is not seen in a shift of the orbit at the point of the blow. that is changed instantaneously. (This is easy to verify with a freely spinning bicycle wheel. directed outwards from the axis of rotation. its mass) is not rotating. Comparison with a current loop It is instructive to contrast this behaviour of a charged particle with the superficially similar case of a current loop.) To understand why a particle moving in an orbit behaves so differently. it may be helpful to consider. in place of a continuously acting force. The effect of such a blow is to give the particle a small component of velocity perpendicular to its original orbit.) 5. with a precessional angular velocity equal to the angular Larmor frequency. producing a moment about the −a-axis. (This is the familiar fact that a current loop behaves like a magnetic dipole. The net effect is to make the orbit swing around the z-axis. The effect of the force. The essential point here is that it is the velocity of the particle. this agrees with our previous conclusion that the orbital plane precesses around the direction of the magnetic field. a small impulsive blow delivered once every orbit. Since the loop itself (that is. but rather at a point 90◦ later. but reaching just as far from the xy-plane. A circular current loop in the same position as the particle orbit would experience a similar force. it is not that point that moves down.7 Summary In problems involving a rotating body — particularly the Earth — it is often convenient to use a rotating frame of reference. so that its normal tends to become aligned with the direction of B. The equations of motion in such a frame contain additional terms representing apparent forces which arise because the frame is non-inertial. We shall see in Chapter 9 that a rigid body displays a very similar type of behaviour. would be quite different.

The wind speed in colatitude θ is v. Evaluate this gradient in mbar km−1 for a wind speed of 50 km h−1 in latitude 30◦ N. and thus to maintain a constant wind direction. Because the magnetic force on a charged particle tends to produce rotation about the direction of the magnetic field. and the masses 1.9 × 1027 kg and 2. (The rotation periods are 10 hours and 27 days. What is its apparent weight in each of the three cases (a)–(c)? 6. respectively. An aircraft is flying above the equator at 1000 km h−1 . Find the horizontal and vertical components of the Coriolis force acting on it. By considering the forces on a small volume of air.1 × 104 km and 7. Assuming that it flies straight and level (i. (Earth radius = 6400 km. the radii 7. 7. find the height by which the centre is raised by the curvature of the Earth’s surface. (b) if it flies west.3 kg m−3 ..Rotating Frames 125 ˙ Coriolis force. In each case.) 4. 3. Find the depth by which the centre is depressed relative to the shore by the centrifugal force. density of air = 1. is dp/dx = 2ωρv cos θ. A bird of mass 2 kg is flying at 10 m s−1 in latitude 60◦ N. Problems 1. at a constant altitude above the surface) what is its velocity relative to the inertial frame (a) if it flies north. show that the pressure gradient required to balance the horizontal component of the Coriolis force. and (c) if it flies east? 5. For comparison. The apparent weight of the aircraft in Problem 4 when on the ground at the equator is 100 t weight.0 × 1030 kg.e. Find the angular velocity of the container.) . express your answer also as a fraction of the surface gravity. Water in a rotating container of radius 50 mm is 30 mm lower in the centre than at the edge.) 2. Find the centrifugal acceleration at the equator of the planet Jupiter and of the Sun. −2mω ∧ r. heading due east. Find the velocity relative to an inertial frame (in which the centre of the Earth is at rest) of a point on the Earth’s equator. (1 bar = 105 Pa. The water in a circular lake of radius 1 km in latitude 60◦ is at rest relative to the Earth. rotating frames are also useful in many problems involving a magnetic field.0 × 105 km. where ρ is the density of the air.

6 × 10−19 J. 0) enters a region containing crossed electric and magnetic fields. Suppose the particles have velocities equal to v in magnitude.1 × 10−31 kg. on a circle on the inside of the cylindrical wall) at 5 m s−1 . How does this locus depend on m and q? 12. A man whose normal weight is 75 kg weight runs around the station in one direction and then the other (i. 13. Show that the effect of the field is to focus the beam to a point at a distance z = 2πmv/|q|B from the source. Show that the locus of points of arrival of particles with given m and q. parallel electric and magnetic fields. roughly parallel with a magnetic field B. A beam of particles with velocity (v.) For electrons of velocity 108 m s−1 in a magnetic field of 0. An aircraft is flying at 800 km h−1 in latitude 55◦ N. Given that the radius is 25 m. The angular velocity of the electron in the lowest Bohr orbit of the hydrogen atom is approximately 4 × 1016 s−1 . but with a small angular dispersion.. find the required electric field. given that the particle starts from the origin with velocity (v. both in the z-direction. closer to the axis).7g.2. and solve it. An orbiting space station may be made to rotate to provide an artificial gravity. Show that if the ratio E/B is correctly chosen the particles are undeviated. but with a small angular dispersion.126 Classical Mechanics 8. What effects will he experience if he climbs a ladder to a higher level (i. mass = 9.01 T. and the correct (smallest possible) choice for l. (Charge on electron = −1.) 11.02 T. Find the angle through which it must tilt its wings to compensate for the horizontal component of the Coriolis force. 0). 1 eV = 1. all such particles are focussed onto a line parallel to the z-axis. 0. Calculate the focal distance for electrons of kinetic energy 500 eV in a magnetic field of 0. while particles with other speeds follow curved trajectories. (Thus a slit at that point can be used to select particles with a given speed. *Write down the equation of motion for a charged particle in uniform. A screen is placed at x = a. where a mv/qB.e.. 0. A beam of particles of charge q and velocity v is emitted from a point source.e. Show that if the path length l is correctly chosen.6 × 10−19 C. climbing at 1 m s−1 ? 10. Find his apparent weight in each case. 9. as in the example at the end of §5. is approximately a parabola. What is the largest . but different speeds v. find the rotation period required to produce an apparent gravity equal to 0.

) 15.) *Solve the problem of a particle falling from height h above the equator by using an inertial frame. the projectile will miss its target by a distance 2y 3 g 1/2 x=ω (cos θ − 1 3 sin θ). Discuss the physical origin of this force. 19. *The orbit of an electron (charge −e) around a nucleus (charge Ze) is a circle of radius a in a plane perpendicular to a uniform magnetic field B.48). Evaluate this distance if θ = 45◦ and y = 40 km. and subject to other forces.Rotating Frames 127 magnetic field which may be regarded as small in this case. z) of a particle with respect to a uniformly rotating frame may be related to those with respect to a fixed inertial . the gravitational field may be eliminated by a suitable choice of a. Why is it that the deviation is to the east near the north pole. 16. 5. (Hint : Use equations (3. *The co-ordinates (x. Z = 1 and a = 5. *A projectile is launched due north from a point in colatitude θ at an angle π/4 to the horizontal. however.) Find the equations of motion for a particle in a frame rotating with variable angular velocity ω. in the sense of §5. and aimed at a target whose distance is y (small compared to Earth’s radius R). 18. but to the west both on the equator and near the south pole? (Neglect atmospheric resistance. Recall Fig. Show that if no allowance is made for the effects of the Coriolis force. and verify that the answer agrees with that found using a rotating frame. Find the equation of motion for a particle in a uniformly accelerated frame.5? Determine the Larmor frequency in a field of 2 T. that in reality a would be changed by the field. this agrees with §5. y.8. with acceleration a. 17. and show that there is another apparent ˙ force of the form −mω ∧ r. By writing the equation of motion in a frame rotating with the electron.5. show that the angular velocity ω is given by one of the roots of the equation mω 2 − eBω − Ze2 /4π 0 a3 = 0. Show that for a particle moving in a uniform gravitational field. (Note. Evaluate the two roots if B = 105 T. Verify that for small values of B.3 × 10−11 m. 14.

[Hint : Note that r = (¨. z z∗ 0 0 1 x = cos ωt · x∗ + sin ωt · y ∗ . (x∗ . y. z). z ∗ ) in terms of (x.16) is to use La1 grange’s equations. rederive the relation ¨ ¨ x ¨ ¨ (5. z). z ).) Write down the inverse relation giving (x∗ .16) for the case where the force is conservative. . y. (Here. Express the kinetic energy 2 m(dr/dt)2 in terms of (x.128 Classical Mechanics frame. etc. y ∗ . z ∗ ). while d2 r/dt2 is the vector obtained by applying the above transformation to (¨∗ .15) between d2 r/dt2 and r . By differentiating with respect to t. y .] x ¨ ¨ 20. Another way of deriving the equation of motion (5. y ∗ . by the transformation ⎡ ⎤ ⎡ ⎤ ⎡ ∗⎤ x cos ωt sin ωt 0 x ⎣y ⎦ = ⎣− sin ωt cos ωt 0⎦ ⎣y ∗ ⎦ . z ∗ ).44) reproduce (5. and show that Lagrange’s equations (3. y ∗ . we use matrix notation: this stands for three separate equations.

˙ We return here to the convention whereby r = dr/dt.) Since the mass m appears only as an overall factor.2) (6. located at the points r j . If we have several masses mj . In it we shall discuss not the problem of determining the motion of a particle under known forces. which are determined by the positions of other masses and charges. so that Φ(r) = − Gmj . We deal specifically with gravitational and electrostatic forces obeying the inverse square law. We shall not use rotating frames again until Chapter 9. 6. but the problem of finding the forces from a knowledge of the positions of other bodies.1 Gravitational and Electrostatic Potentials The gravitational potential energy of a particle of mass m moving in the field of a fixed mass m at r is −Gmm /|r − r |. |r − r j | j (The fact that the potential energies add follows from the additive property of forces. |r − rj | (6.1) j 129 . we may define the gravitational potential Φ(r) to be the potential energy per unit mass V (r) = mΦ(r). then the potential energy is the sum V (r) = − Gmmj .Chapter 6 Potential Theory This chapter is complementary to the preceding ones.

3) are all that is needed to calculate the acceleration induced in a particle by a given distribution of masses. and therefore positive. (The corresponding ratio in the gravitational case is the ratio of gravitational to inertial mass. set equal to unity in conventional units. The potential due to charges qj at r j is then φ(r) = j (6.130 Classical Mechanics Note that Φ is always negative. the electrostatic potential φ may have either sign.6) Note that the acceleration depends on the charge-to-mass ratio q/m. because both positive and negative charges exist. We prefer. This proportionality is the content of the equivalence principle. so that particles tend to move towards regions of lower potential. (6. .3) Thus (6. 4π 0 |r − rj | (6. The electrostatic case is very similar. (6.2) and (6. (The potential has sometimes been defined to be minus the potential energy per unit mass.) The acceleration of a particle moving under gravitational forces is given by m¨ = −∇V (r) = −m∇Φ(r).5) The acceleration of a charged particle is given by m¨ = qE. We define the electrostatic potential φ(r) to be the electrostatic potential energy per unit charge. r Since this acceleration is independent of the mass m. to retain the direct correspondence between potential and potential energy.4) qj . V (r) = qφ(r). r where the electric field E(r) is defined by E(r) = −∇φ(r). we may define the gravitational acceleration or gravitational field g(r) by g(r) = −∇Φ(r). however. which is of course a constant.) Unlike the gravitational potential.

1 r φ(r) = q q − . q and −q. then |r − a|2 = r2 − 2ar cos θ + a2 . 4π 0 |r − a| 4π 0 |r| (6.8) 1 a2 a 1 + 2 cos θ + 3 ( 3 cos2 θ − 2 ) + · · · . and concentrate on the problem of calculating the potential from given information about the positions of the masses or charges. Since we shall need the result later. we evaluate the terms up to order a2 . but neglect a3 .) The potential is r−a +q a θ −q Fig.7) We shall assume that a r. respectively. r r r 2 (The general term in this series is of the form (al /rl+1 )Pl (cos θ). placed close together.Potential Theory 131 We can now forget about the particle at r. say at a and at the origin. Here. so that we may expand by the binomial theorem. 6. Hence 1 1 = |r − a| r = = a2 a 1 − 2 cos θ + 2 r r −1/2 1 1 1− r 2 a2 a −2 cos θ + 2 r r + 3 8 a2 a −2 cos θ + 2 r r 2 − ··· (6.1. . 6. If θ is the angle between a and r.2 The Dipole and Quadrupole The electric dipole consists of two equal and opposite charges. where Pl is a polynomial. known as the Legendre polynomial of degree l. 6. (See Fig.

has the spherical polar components (see (A.8) as 1 a · r 3(a · r)2 − a2 r2 1 = + 3 + + ··· . 4π 0 |r − a|3 4π 0 r3 −3/2 Now. 6. given by (6.2. |r − a| r r 2r5 (6. we have 1 a·r 1 ≈ 3 1−2 2 |r − a|3 r r Hence. r3 r . drawn in the direction of E. 3 4π 0 r 4π 0 r2 (6. by putting two dipoles together to form a quadrupole.6). neglecting terms of order a2 . Eϕ = − r sin θ ∂ϕ Er = − (6. Keeping only the linear term in a and neglecting a2 .7). at a and at the origin.) In vector notation. d = qa. we shall only need the terms up to l = 2. Eθ = − r ∂θ 4π 0 r3 1 ∂φ = 0. The corresponding electric field. Note that the two always intersect at right angles. in which the solid lines are field lines. We can repeat the process of putting two charges (or monopoles) together to form a dipole. with dipole moments d and −d. 4π 0 r5 (6.132 Classical Mechanics however.12) ≈ 1 a·r +3 5 . we denote the potential and the azimuth angle by the distinct symbols φ and ϕ. to this approximation φ(r) = 3(d · r)(a · r) − (d · a)r2 .11) (To avoid any possible risk of confusion. then the potential is φ(r) = d·r d · (r − a) − . φ = constant. we can write it as φ(r) = d·r d cos θ = .10) where d is the electric dipole moment. and the dashed lines are the equipotential surfaces. ∂r 4π 0 r3 d sin θ 1 ∂φ = . we may write (6.9) We now return to (6. If we place oppositely oriented dipoles.) This field is illustrated in Fig.50)) 2d cos θ ∂φ = .

3. so that d is parallel to a. Q = 4da. . 8π 0 r4 Eϕ = 0. 6. 16π 0 r3 φ(r) = (6. and obtain Q (3 cos2 θ − 1). where the dipoles are placed end-on. 6.2 In the special case.) The corresponding electric field is 3Q (3 cos2 θ − 1).Potential Theory 133 Fig. we may take this common direction to be the z-axis. Er = (6.13) where Q is the electric quadrupole moment.14) It is illustrated in Fig. (The factor of 4 is purely conventional. 16π 0 r4 3Q Eθ = cos θ sin θ. and serves to simplify some of the later formulae.

and d3 r denotes the element of volume. radius a and thickness da. for which ρ is a function only of the radial co-ordinate r .3 6. Choosing the direction of r to be the z-axis. namely (see §3. the volume element is the product of the elements of length in the three co-ordinate directions. 6. we can write . We shall consider in this section spherically symmetric distributions of charge.134 Classical Mechanics Fig.5) by an integral: φ(r) = ρ(r ) d3 r . Let us first take a uniform thin spherical shell of charge density ρ. Note that θ ranges from 0 → π. In spherical polars.5) d3 r = dx dy dz = r 2 dr sin θ dθ dϕ . and ϕ from 0 → 2π.15) where ρ(r ) is the charge density.3 Spherical Charge Distributions When we have a continuous distribution of charge (or mass) we can replace the sum in (6. 4π 0 |r − r | (6.

4π 0 a r > a. (6. the potential is the same as that of a charge dq concenˆ trated at the origin. In terms of the total charge dq = 4πρa2 da of the spherical shell. we obtain ⎧ dq ⎪ .) A simple example is a uniformly charged sphere. 4π 0 r with q= 4 3 πa ρ. (r2 − 2ar cos θ + a2 )1/2 The ϕ integration gives a factor of 2π. with constant charge density ρ inside it? For r > a the potential is clearly just φ(r) = q . and the electric field vanishes. ⎨ 4π 0 r φ(r) = ⎪ dq ⎩ . we have to separate the contributions from the regions r < r and r > r. . Example: Uniformly charged sphere What is the potential and electric field for a sphere of radius a. and obtain r φ(r) = 0 ρr 2 a 0r dr + r ρr 0 dr . It is now easy to find the potential of any spherically symmetric distribution. the potential is a constant. by summing over all the spherical shells. 3 Inside the sphere. whose magnitude is the total charge enclosed within a sphere of radius r. 2 0 ar We now have to consider separately the cases r > a and r < a.Potential Theory 135 (6.16) r < a. Outside the shell. The θ integration can easily be performed by the substitution u = cos θ .15) as φ(r) = ρa2 da 4π 0 sin θ dθ dϕ . (A similar result holds in the gravitational case. and yields φ(r) = ρa2 da (r + a) − |r − a| . It is clear that the electric field at a distance r from the centre is equal to that of a point charge located at the origin. and the electric field is E = r dq/4π 0 r2 . Inside.

6. 6. Of course.17) . Inside. r < a. outside the sphere.18) r < a. as a point mass in discussing the motion of the planets. for example. we find ⎧ q ⎪ ⎨ 4π r . We shall discuss the nature of this correction later. 4π 0 r2 ⎪ r qr . ⎩ˆ 4π 0 a3 q r > a. The corresponding electric field is φ q 4πε0 a a Fig. This is the justification for treating the Sun. any deviation from spherical symmetry will lead to a modification in the inverse square law.4 r E(r) = ⎧ ⎪r ⎨ˆ Thus. This potential is illustrated in Fig. 0 φ(r) = r2 3 ⎪ q ⎩ − 3 4π 0 2a 2a r > a. . any spherically symmetric distribution of charge or mass may be replaced by a point charge or mass located at the centre. it increases linearly from zero at the centre to the surface value q/4π 0 a2 . So far as its effect on outside bodies is concerned. (6. .4. the field obeys the inverse square law. (6.136 Classical Mechanics Performing the integrations.

25) . (6. The leading (‘monopole’) term is φ0 (r) = where q is the total charge q= j (6.15).19) is φ1 (r) = d·r . This is the potential we should get for an exactly spherically symmetric distribution. we can always make the dipole moment vanish by choosing the origin to lie at the centre of charge R= d qj rj = . if the total charge is non-zero.22) where d is the dipole moment. we must use approximation methods. not the shape of the distribution. and we may use the series expansion (6. The next term in (6. (6.23) If we shift the origin through a distance R. (6. 4π 0 r (6. 4π 0 r3 (6. only the total charge is important.5) or (6. q qj (6.4 Expansion of Potential at Large Distances It is only for simple cases that we can calculate the potential exactly.20) qj or q= ρ(r ) d3 r . Then in (6. In general.21) Thus at very great distances. the total charge is clearly unaffected.19) q .19) may be regarded as measuring deviations from spherical symmetry.24) Thus.8) to obtain an expansion of the potential in powers of 1/r: φ(r) = φ0 (r) + φ1 (r) + φ2 (r) + · · · . r is much larger than rj or r . Thus the further terms in the series (6. we are often interested in the form of the potential at distances from the charge or mass distribution which are large compared to its dimensions.Potential Theory 137 6. but the dipole moment changes to d= j qj (r j − R) = d − qR. In particular. defined by d= j qj rj or d= ρ(r )r d3 r .

Hence we can replace 2x 2 − y 2 − z 2 in the integrand by 1 (x 2 + y 2 ) − z 2 without 2 affecting the value of the integral. the dipole moment gives us information about the position of the centre of charge.12). it reads x2 (2x 2 − y 2 − z 2 ) + y 2 (2y 2 − x 2 − z 2 ) + z 2 (2z 2 − x 2 − y 2 ) + 6xyx y + 6xzx z + 6yzy z . To do this. (6.19). z ) and (−x . if the total charge is zero. we see that the three .13) with a suitably defined quadrupole moment Q. but restrict the discussion to the special case of axial symmetry. Written out in terms of components. y . (6. We shall see that in the case of axial symmetry. because the contributions from (x . However. obtained by substituting the third term of (6.138 Classical Mechanics In this case. for example ρ(r )x z d3 r = 0.15). we shall not consider the general case here (see Appendix A.26) One can write this expression in a form similar to (6. any integral involving an odd power of x or y will vanish. then by (6.27) Now. the total mass can never vanish. since the x. z ) exactly cancel. The ‘quadrupole’ term in the potential (6. Moreover.and y-axes are in no way distinguished from one another. because of axial symmetry. which is to a good approximation axially symmetric. Problem 17). though flattened at the poles. Note that in the gravitational case. where ρ depends on r and θ (or ρ and z ) but not on ϕ .26) can be written in a form similar to (6. so we can always ensure that the gravitational ‘dipole moment’ is zero by choosing our origin at the centre of mass. This case is of particular interest in connection with the gravitational potential of the Earth.24) the dipole moment is independent of the choice of origin — the electric dipole and quadrupole discussed in the preceding section are examples of this. axial symmetry also implies that ρ(r )x 2 d3 r = ρ(r )y 2 d3 r . is φ2 (r) = ρ(r ) 3(r · r )2 − r2 r 8π 0 r5 2 d3 r . (6. When we do this. y .26). we examine the numerator of the integrand in (6.9) into (6. However.

Example: Linear quadrupole Two equal charges q are positioned at the points (0. for a spheroid (ellipsoid of revolution).30) . Find the quadrupole moment. namely Q= Thus (6. we can evaluate the integral in (6. c.26) all involve the same integral. The result is Q = 2 q(c2 − a2 ). and therefore omit the details here. with uniform charge density and semiaxes a. and the other two each give the same contribution. We shall have occasion to evaluate a very similar integral in connection with moments of inertia in Chapter 9.28). The quantity Q defined by (6. so Q = 2q(2a2 ) = 4qa2 . For a spherically symmetric charge distribution. In particular. with the z-axis longer than the others). and write down the potential and electric field at large distances. a. 5 (6.Potential Theory 139 remaining terms of (6. Q is positive if the shape is prolate (egg-shaped. 0. 16π 0 r5 16π 0 r3 (6.29) ρ(r )(2z 2 − x 2 − y 2 ) d3 r .13) and (6. For a distribution with uniform positive charge density. ±a). like the Earth.28) explicitly. Thus we see that a better approximation than treating a charge distribution as a single point charge is to treat it as a point charge plus an electric quadrupole of moment given by (6. Here the central particle contributes nothing to Q. The potential and electric field at large distances are given by (6. because the integrals over x 2 . The value of Q may be regarded as a measure of the flattening of the distribution. y 2 and z 2 all yield the same value.12) of an axially symmetric quadrupole.28) This is identical with the potential (6.28) is the quadrupole moment of the distribution.26) can be written φ2 (r) = Q 2z 2 − x2 − y 2 Q= (3 cos2 θ − 1). and negative if it is oblate. and a charge −2q at the origin. Q = 0.14) with this value of Q. (6.


Classical Mechanics


The Shape of the Earth

The Earth is approximately an oblate spheroid whose equatorial radius a exceeds its polar radius c by about 21.4 km. Its oblateness is defined to be = 1 a−c ≈ . a 297 (6.31)

Its gravitational potential is therefore not precisely the inverse-square-law potential, −GM/r. The most important correction is the ‘quadrupole’ term, Φ2 (r) = − GQ (3 cos2 θ − 1). 4r3

Since the Earth is oblate, Q here is actually negative. If the density of the Earth were uniform, the quadrupole moment would be given simply by (6.30):
2 4 Q = − 5 M (a2 − c2 ) ≈ − 5 M a2 .

Here we have used c = a(1 − ), and dropped terms of order 2 . In fact, the density is considerably greater near the centre than at the surface, so that large values of r contribute proportionately less to the integral (6.28). Thus we must expect Q to be rather smaller in magnitude than this value (see Problem 15). It will be convenient to write Q = −2M a2J2 ,
2 where J2 is a dimensionless parameter, somewhat less than 5 , defining the magnitude of the quadrupole moment. (In general, Jl parametrizes the term in Φ proportional to Pl (cos θ) — see the note following Eq. (6.8).) Then the gravitational potential becomes

Φ(r) ≈ −

GM a2 J2 GM + (3 cos2 θ − 1). r 2r3


We shall see that both and J2 can be determined from measurements of the acceleration due to gravity and the use of an equilibrium principle. The flattening of the Earth is in fact a consequence of its rotation. Over long periods of time, the Earth is capable of plastic deformation, and behaves more nearly like a liquid than a solid — and of course the larger part of the surface is covered by a liquid. Although its crust does have some rigidity, it could not preserve its shape for long unless it were at

Potential Theory


least approximately in equilibrium under the combined gravitational and centrifugal forces. Now, as in the problem discussed at the end of §5.3, the surface of a liquid in equilibrium under conservative forces must be an equipotential surface, for otherwise there would be a tendency for the liquid to flow towards regions of lower potential. We can include the centrifugal force by adding to the potential a term
1 1 Φcent (r) = − 2 ω 2 (x2 + y 2 ) = − 2 ω 2 r2 sin2 θ.

The equipotential equation is then Φ(r) + Φcent (r) = constant, (6.33)

with Φ given by (6.32). Thus equating the values at the pole (θ = 0) and on the equator (θ = π/2), we obtain the equation − GM a2 J2 GM J2 GM GM + − − 1 ω 2 a2 . =− 2 c c3 a 2a

Since and J2 are both small quantities, we may neglect 2 and J2 . Thus, in the quadrupole term, we may ignore the difference between c and a. In the inverse-square-law term, we can write 1/c ≈ (1/a)(1 + ). Hence to first order we find − 3GM J2 GM 1 + = − 2 ω 2 a2 . a 2a

Writing g0 for the gravitational acceleration without the centrifugal term, g0 = GM/a2 , and multiplying by 2/ag0, we obtain ω2a = 2 − 3J2 . g0 (6.34)

If we made the approximation of treating the Earth as of uniform den2 sity, and therefore set J2 = 5 , then this equation would determine the oblateness in terms of the angular velocity. This yields ≈ 1/230, which is appreciably larger than the observed value. On the other hand, if we regard and J2 as independent, then we need another relation to fix them both. Such a relation can be found from the measured values of g. (See §5.3.) Now, the gravitational field g = −∇Φ


Classical Mechanics

corresponding to the potential (6.32) is gr = − GM 3GM a2 J2 + (3 cos2 θ − 1), r2 2r4 3GM a2 J2 gθ = cos θ sin θ. r4


Note that gθ is directed away from the poles, and towards the equator, as one might expect from thinking of it as due to the attraction of the equatorial bulge. The inward radial acceleration −gr is decreased at the poles, and increased at the equator, by the quadrupole term, so that the difference between the two values is not as large as the inverse square law would predict. At the poles, and on the equator, gθ = 0, and the magnitude of g is equal to −gr . Thus we find gpole = geq 3GM a2 J2 GM − ≈ g0 (1 + 2 − 3J2 ) c2 c4 GM 3GM J2 3 = 2 + ≈ g0 (1 + 2 J2 ), a 2a2

making the same approximations as before. Thus, for the difference, we find the expression gpole − geq 9 ∆g = = 2 − J2 . g0 g0 2 (6.36)

For the value including the centrifugal term, ∆g ∗ = ∆g + ω 2 a, we have to add (6.34) to (6.36). This yields 15 ∆g ∗ = 4 − J2 . g0 2 (6.37)

Using the known values quoted in (5.18) and (5.19), we may solve the simultaneous equations (6.34) and (6.37) for and J2 . This yields = 0.0034, J2 = 0.0011.

The value of is in good agreement with the the oblateness deduced from direct measurements of the polar and equatorial radii. As expected, the 2 value of J2 is somewhat less than 5 . The relation between the two is determined by the density distribution within the Earth. (See Problem 15.) One consequence of the fact that the Earth’s surface is approximately an equipotential surface should be noted. Because of the general property

Potential Theory


that the force field is always perpendicular to the equipotentials, it means that the effective g ∗ , which is the field derived from Φ + Φcent , is always perpendicular to the Earth’s surface. Thus, although a plumb line does not point towards the Earth’s centre, it is perpendicular to the surface at that point — apart, of course, from minor deviations caused by mountains and the like. (Compare Chapter 1, Problem 10.) Satellite orbits The ‘quadrupole’ term in the Earth’s gravitational field has two important effects on the orbit of a close artificial satellite. Indeed, observations of such orbits provide the most reliable means of measuring its magnitude (and those of the even smaller higher-order correction terms). They have revealed quite substantial deviations from spheroidal shape and from hydrostatic equilibrium: the Earth’s surface is only rather approximately an equipotential. The first effect of the quadrupole term, arising mainly from the deviation of the radial component of g from the inverse square law, is a precession of the major axis of the orbit within the orbital plane. (Compare Chapter 4, Problem 27.) The major axis precesses in the forward direction for orbits of small inclination to the equator, and in the retrograde direction for orbits with inclination greater than arcsin 4/5 = 63.4◦ . (The difference is a reflection of the differing sign of the quadrupole contribution to gr on the equator and near the poles.) The second effect occurs because the force is no longer precisely central, so that the angular momentum changes with time according to dJ = mr ∧ g. dt (6.38)

Thus, as in the case of the Larmor effect discussed in §5.6, the orbital plane precesses around the direction of the Earth’s axis. The rate of precession may be calculated by a method very similar to the one used there (see Problem 25). The precession is in fact greater for orbits of small inclination, and is zero for an orbit passing over the poles. For a close satellite with small inclination, it can be nearly 10◦ per day. It is always in a retrograde sense (opposite to the direction of revolution of the satellite in its orbit). Both effects are strongly dependent on the radius of the satellite orbit. In fact, the rate of precession decreases like r −7/2 . At the radius of the Moon’s orbit, the precessional angular velocity is only a few seconds of arc


Classical Mechanics

per year. (The Moon’s orbit does precess, at about 19◦ per year, but this is a consequence of the non-uniformity of the Sun’s gravitational field, not of the shape of the Earth. See Problem 26.)

Planetary precession It should be noted that a small oblateness of the Sun produces a slow precession of the Kepler orbits around it. The major part of the precession of planetary orbits is due to the gravitational action of the planets on each other, leading for example in the case of Mercury to a predicted precession of the axes of the ellipse of about 531 seconds of arc every century. These effects can be modelled quite well for each planet by smearing the mass of each of the other planets into an appropriate coplanar uniform circular ring. The modifications to the inverse square law potential depend, of course, on whether the planetary distance being considered is inside or outside the ring. For Mercury (alone) there is an observed residual precession of 43 per century, not explainable by the Newtonian theory. In fact, general relativity does explain this precession — indeed that it does so is one of the celebrated tests of the theory.


The Tides

Tidal forces arise because the gravitational attraction of the Moon, and to a lesser extent of the Sun, is not uniform over the surface of the Earth. The attraction is stronger than average on the side of the Earth facing the Moon, and weaker than average on the far side, so there is a tendency for the Earth to be elongated along the line of centres. Let a be the position of the Moon relative to the Earth’s centre, and consider a point r on the Earth. The potential at this point is (see Fig. 6.5) Gm , |r − a|

Φ(r) = −


where m is the mass of the Moon. Now, since r a, we may expand in powers of r/a. (This is the reverse of the situation encountered in §6.2, where r was much larger than a.) Taking the direction of the Moon to be

Potential Theory


h(θ) E r θ M


Fig. 6.5

the z-direction, and using (6.8), we obtain Φ(r) = −Gm r r2 1 + 2 cos θ + 3 ( 3 cos2 θ − 1 ) + · · · . 2 a a a 2

The first term is a constant and does not yield any force. The second may be written Φ1 (r) = − Gm z. a2

It yields a uniform gravitational acceleration Gm/a2 directed towards the Moon. This term therefore describes the major effect of the Moon’s gravitational force, which is to accelerate the Earth as a whole. It is irrelevant in discussing the phenomenon of the tides, since we are interested in motion relative to the centre of the Earth. In fact, we can eliminate it by going over to an accelerated frame, the frame in which the Earth’s centre of mass is at rest. (See Chapter 5, Problem 18.) The important term for our purposes is the quadratic term, which leads to a gravitational field Gmr (3 cos2 θ − 1), a3 3Gmr gθ = − 3 cos θ sin θ. a gr =


This field is directed outwards along the z-axis, towards and away from the Moon, and inwards in the xy-plane, as expected. It should be noted that the field described by (6.40) is much weaker even than the corrections to the Earth’s field discussed in the preceding section. (If it were not, it would show up in measurements of g.) It is easy to compute its magnitude. It is smaller than g0 = GM/r2 by the factor


Classical Mechanics

mr3 /M a3 . For the Moon, m/M = 1/81.3 and r/a = 1/60.3, so that this factor is mr3 = 5.60 × 10−8 . M a3 (6.41)

If we denote the mass of the Sun by m and its mean distance, the semimajor axis of the Earth’s orbit, by a , then the corresponding values for the Sun are m /M = 3.33 × 105 and r/a = 4.26 × 10−5 . Thus the factor in that case is m r3 = 2.57 × 10−8 . Ma 3 (6.42)

By a remarkable coincidence (unique in the solar system), these two fields are of roughly the same order of magnitude: the effect of the Sun is rather less than half that of the Moon. The only reason why these very small fields can lead to significant effects is that they change with time. As the Earth rotates, the value of θ at any point on its surface varies. Thus the field described by (6.40) oscillates periodically with time. Because of the symmetry of (6.40) in the central plane, the main term has an oscillation period of 12 hours in the case of the Sun, and slightly more for the Moon, because of its changing position. This explains the most noticeable feature of the tides — their twice-daily periodicity. Unless the Moon is directly over the equator, however, a point on the Earth that passes directly beneath it will not also pass directly opposite, so that the two daily tides may be of unequal height. In other words, there is an additional term in the field with a period of 24 rather than 12 hours. At new moon or full moon, the Sun and Moon are acting in the same direction, and the tides are unusually high; these are the spring tides. On the other hand, at the first and third quarters, when the Sun and Moon are at right angles to each other, their effects partially cancel, and we have the relatively low neap tides. (See Fig. 6.6.) Measurements of the relative heights of the tides at these times provided one of the earliest methods of estimating the mass of the Moon. (A more accurate method will be discussed in the next chapter.) To get some idea of the order of magnitude of the effects produced by the tidal field, (6.40), let us make the simplest possible assumptions. We consider a perfectly rigid solid Earth, completely covered by ocean, and suppose that the natural periods of oscillation are short compared to the rotation period. In that case, the rotation is slow enough for the water

Potential Theory



S (a) Spring tides

M (b) Neap tides
Fig. 6.6


to reach equilibrium under the combined forces of Earth and Moon. The problem is then one in hydrostatics rather than hydrodynamics. In equilibrium, the surface of the water must be an equipotential surface. We can thus calculate the height h(θ) through which it is raised, as a function of the angle θ to the Moon’s direction (see Fig. 6.5). Since h(θ) is certainly small, the change in the Earth’s gravitational potential is approximately g0 h(θ). This change must be balanced by the potential due to the Moon, so that g0 h(θ) = Gmr2 3 1 ( cos2 θ − 2 ). a3 2

Thus, using g0 = GM/r2 , we find h(θ) = h0 ( 3 cos2 θ − 1 ), 2 2 where h0 = mr4 . M a3 (6.43)

This h0 is just (6.41) times an extra factor of r. Thus, using r = 6370 km, we find, for the Moon, h0 = 0.36 m, and for the Sun, h0 = 0.16 m. These figures must not be taken as more than rough order-of-magnitude estimates of the height of the tides. Even on a completely ocean-covered Earth, there would be important modifying effects. First, we have neglected the gravitational attraction of the ocean itself. The tidal bulges exert an attraction that tends to increase h0 slightly, in fact by about 12 per cent (see Problem 19). More important, however, is the fact the Earth is not perfectly rigid, and is itself distorted by tidal forces. Because the observed tidal range refers not to absolute height but to the relative heights of sea surface and sea floor, this reduces the effective height by a substantial factor. Indeed, in the extreme case of a fluid Earth enclosed by a completely flexible crust, there would be essentially no observable tide at all.


Classical Mechanics

The values obtained from (6.43) may seem rather small, especially when further reduced by the effect just mentioned. However, it is important to remember that they refer to the unrealistic case of an Earth without continents. The observed tidal range in mid-ocean (which can be measured by ranging from satellites) is in fact quite small, normally less than a metre. Large tides are a feature of continental shelf areas, and are strongly dependent on the local topography. Note too that the Moon’s attraction at any point on the Earth’s surface is a periodic force, whose effect may be greatly enhanced by the phenomenon of resonance, discussed in §2.6. The natural periods of oscillation of a body of water depend on a variety of factors, including its size, shape and depth, and there are critical values for which one of the periods is close to 12 hours. Then, because the damping produced by tidal friction is normally quite small except in very shallow water, very large tides can be set up. Another effect of resonance is to delay the oscillations, so that they are not precisely in phase with the applied force. At resonance, the phase lag is a quarter period (about three hours in this case). Thus we should not normally expect the times of high tide to coincide with the times when the Moon is overhead, or directly opposite. In practice, the times are determined in a very complicated way by the actual shapes of the oceans.


The Field Equations

It is often convenient to obtain the electric or gravitational potential by solving a differential equation rather than performing an integration. Although we shall not in fact need to use this technique in this book, we include a short discussion of it because of its very important role in more advanced treatments of mechanics and electromagnetic theory. To find the relevant equations, we consider first a single charge q located at the origin. The electric field is then E= q ˆ r. 4π 0 r2

Now let us consider a closed surface S surrounding the charge, and evaluate the surface integral of the component of E normal to the surface, E · n dS = q 4π ˆ r·n dS, r2




6. directed outwards (see Fig. if we consider a surface S which does not enclose the origin. rather ˆ than out of. Hence it follows from the definition of solid ˆ angle (see (4.44) . we can see that the surface integral will vanish. 6. (See Fig.44). Hence E · n dS = q 4π dΩ = 0 S since the total solid angle subtended by a closed surface around the origin is 4π.Potential Theory 149 where dS is the element of surface area.) Moreover.) We have implicitly assumed that each radial line cuts the surface only once. 6. ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ dΩ Fig.8. and n is a unit vector normal to ˆ the surface. a radial line must always cut it in an odd number of points.7).7 q 0 .42)) that r · n dS/r2 is equal to the solid angle dΩ subtended at the origin by the element of area dS. so that all contributions will cancel. Evidently. Similarly. (6. half in each direction. For each radial line cuts S in an even number of points. If α is the angle between r n ¡ ¡ ¡ α ¡ E dS ¡ ¡ q ˆ and n. and we obtain the same answer (6. However. (It is to ensure that the factor of 4π here cancels that Coulomb’s law in SI units is written with an explicit factor of 1/4π. Thus all the terms but one will cancel. then r · n dS = dS cos α is the projection of the area dS on a plane normal to the radius vector r. the contributions to the surface integral from points where it goes into. we can easily remove this restriction. the surface are all of opposite sign (because r · n = cos α is negative at these points) and of equal magnitude.

Any charge q located anywhere within a closed surface S will contribute to the surface integral an amount q/ 0 .45) may be written (∇ · E − −1 3 0 ρ) d r = 0. then E · n dS = 1 0 V ρ(r) d3 r.8 It is now clear how we may generalize this result to an arbitrary distribution of charges. by the theorem of Gauss (see (A. Now. If we have a continuous distribution of charge. while charges outside contribute nothing. with charge density ρ(r). 6. the value of the integral is 1/ 0 times the total charge enclosed within the surface.46) . V This equation must be true for an arbitrary volume V . (6.150 Classical Mechanics n n n q Fig.45) S where V is the volume enclosed by the surface S. the surface integral is equal to the volume integral of the divergence of E: E · n dS = ∇ · E d3 r. Therefore. S V Hence (6. (6. This is often called Gauss’s law. and therefore the integrand itself must vanish: ∇·E = −1 0 ρ.36)).

5). we must know ρ everywhere.50). and ∇ ∧ g = 0.47) This latter equation guarantees the existence of the potential φ related to E by E = −∇φ. (6.6). while.50) Note the explicit appearance of the factor of 4π on the right hand side of (6. The field equations are ∇ · g = −4πGρ. The expression (6.48) becomes Laplace’s equation. instead of having information about ρ outside this region. ∇2 φ = 0. .5) and (1.46). we have some conditions on the fields at the boundary. ∇2 φ = − −1 0 ρ.48) The main importance of these equations lies in the fact that they provide local relations between the potential or field and the charge density. Frequently.6.49) The gravitational case is of course entirely similar. which arises because the gravitational force is conventionally expressed in terms of unrationalized units. in the sense that it expresses the potential φ at one point as an integral involving the charge density at all points of space. however. ∇ ∧ E = 0. (See §6. The electric field is in fact completely determined (except for a possible additive uniform field extending over the whole of space) by this equation together with the condition that it be a conservative field.15) for φ in terms of ρ is non-local. (6.e. Then (6.48) with appropriate boundary conditions. where ρ is now the mass density. (6. we are interested in the field in some restricted region of space. To use this equation. there is no factor of 1/4π in (1.51) (6. A particularly important special case is that in which ρ vanishes inside the region of interest.46) and (6. we obtain Poisson’s equation for the potential. which again reflect the difference between (1.50)..Potential Theory 151 This is the differential form of Gauss’s law. i. Note also the differing signs in (6. (6. where we do know the value of ρ.) Substituting in (6. This type of problem may be solved by looking for solutions of (6.

52) The great advantage of calculating the potential. q at a and −q at the origin. and let a → ∞? 2. Verify that on the axis it agrees with the exact value when r/a is sufficiently large. a direct integration of the forces produced by each element of the sphere is difficult to perform. Problems 1. Together. where we discussed the motion of a particle under known forces. and deduce the form of the field at large distance in any direction. and show that F = d ∂E/∂z. is complementary to the previous chapters. Calculate the quadrupole moment of the disc of Problem 1. In fact. Write down the potential energy of a pair of charges. What happens to the field if we keep the charge per unit area σ = q/πa2 fixed. show that the potential energy of a dipole of moment d is V = −d · E. This chapter. the introduction of the potential was one of the major advances in mechanics. Even in simple cases. 3. which allowed many previously intractable problems to be handled relatively simply. rather than the field itself directly. is that it is much easier to add scalar quantities than vector ones. moving under the action of conservative forces. G = d ∧ E. By considering the limit a → 0.8 Summary (6. they provide a method of solving most of the problems in which the object of immediate interest is (or may be taken to be) a single particle. and that in a non-uniform field there is also a net force. (Take d in the z-direction. like that of the uniformly charged sphere.152 Classical Mechanics Poisson’s equation for the gravitational potential is ∇2 Φ = 4πGρ. or couple. Find the potential and electric field at points on the axis of symmetry of a uniformly charged flat circular disc of charge q and radius a. 6. If the electric field is uniform. in which we have discussed the method of determining the force on a particle from a knowledge of the positions of other masses or charges. when is this potential energy a minimum? Show that the dipole experiences a net moment. F = (d · ∇)E. in a field with potential φ(r).) .

initially far apart. and d in the x-direction. *Two equal charges q are located at the points (±a. up to terms of order r −3 . Near the Earth’s surface. 5. where φj (r j ) is the potential at r j due to all the other charges. and the stored energy per unit surface area. (Note: This requires expansion of the potential up to terms of order a4 /r5 . Find the corresponding total charge on the Earth. Using the result of Problem 3. 10. 11. Show that the work done in bringing two charges q1 and q2 . Find also the potential. and the leading term in the gravitational field near the origin. Find also the stored energy in the case where the charge is uniformly spread over the surface of the sphere. and show that infinite energy is required to compress the sphere to a point. Why does a factor of 1 appear here. Find the gravitational potential at large distances of a thin circular loop of radius a and mass m. *Six equal point masses m are located at the points ±ai. find the potential energy of a dipole of moment d in the field of another dipole of moment d .Potential Theory 153 4. at distances r a. (b) both are pointing in the x-direction. Find the quadrupole moment of a distribution of charge on the surface 3 1 of a sphere of radius a with surface charge density σ = σ0 ( 2 cos2 θ − 2 ). and the corresponding electric field. and two charges −q at (0. 6. *Write the electric field of a dipole in vector notation. there is normally a vertical electric field. but not in the corresponding expression 2 for the potential energy in an external potential φ(r)? Find the energy stored in a sphere of charge q and radius a with uniform charge density. 9. 8. and find the leading correction to the monopole term −6Gm/r. typically of order 100 V m−1 . 0).) Find the forces and couples acting between the dipoles if they are placed on the z-axis and (a) both are pointing in the zdirection. (Take d at the origin and d at position r. Show that the energy stored in the charge distribution is V = 1 2 j qj φj (rj ). to a separation r12 is q1 q2 /4π 0 r12 .) . 0). Find the leading term in the potential at large distances. 0. and (d) d is in the x-direction and d in the y-direction. (c) d is in the zdirection. 7. ±a. Find the total energy stored in this distribution. ±aj and ±ak. Write down the corresponding expression for a system of many charges. Show that the quadrupole term in the potential vanishes.

(Hint : Assume that particles do not overtake those that start nearer the centre. Note that in reality neither core nor mantle is of uniform density.84 × 105 km for the Moon. assuming that the density of the star is still uniform. compared with 3.27RE . How far away will it be when the lunar and solar tides are equal in magnitude? 17. (The observed value is about 1/15. as compared to 7. Find what ratio of densities ρc /ρm is required to explain the observed quadrupole moment.4). *Assume that the Earth consists of a core of uniform density ρc . Jupiter has a satellite Io only a little heavier than the Moon (mass 8. neglecting other forces. and that its contraction is halted by the build-up of pressure when a star of radius 106 km has been formed. Find the radial velocity of a particle which starts at a distance a from the centre when it reaches the distance r.) 16. 14. 13.22 × 105 km. The semi-major axis of its orbit is 4. respectively (E = Earth).) Estimate the collapse time for the Earth and for the Sun. (The Moon’s radius is RM = 0. (Hint : Treat the Earth as a superposition of two ellipsoids of densities ρm and ρc − ρm . taking a suitable value of ρ in each case. surrounded by a mantle of uniform density ρm .93 × 1022 kg. Verify that your solution is consistent with this assumption. use the result of Problem 6 to find the total energy released. The substitution r = a sin2 θ may be used to perform the integration. The distance between the Earth and the Moon is gradually increasing (because of tidal friction — see §8. Given that the mass of the gas cloud of Problem 12 is 10 30 kg. neglecting the variation in density. 18. Calculate approximately its oblateness. and that the time taken is 3π/32ρG. . but with a radius only three-fifths as large.) Estimate how high the tides on the Moon would have been when the Earth–Moon distance was 10RE . Hence. The rotation period of Jupiter is approximately 10 hours.0RE.154 Classical Mechanics 12. Estimate the height of the tides when the Moon was 10 Earth radii away.) 15. show that every particle will reach the centre at the same instant. and that the boundary between the two is of similar shape to the outer surface. Its mass and radius are 318ME and 11.35 × 1022 kg). and starts to collapse under its own gravitational attraction. Evaluate this time in years if ρ = 10−19 kg m−3 . A diffuse spherical cloud of gas of density ρ is initially at rest. Find the ratio between the heights of the tides raised on the Moon by the Earth and on the Earth by the Moon. Suppose that at some time the Moon had been ocean-covered and rotating relative to the Earth.

for example. excluding the origin. show that they will be pulled apart by the Earth’s tidal force if a is less than ac = 2(ρE /ρ)1/3 RE . (You will need (A. It is ac = 2. however.) The potential φ(r) = (q/4π 0 r)e−µr may be regarded as representing the effect of screening of a charge q at the origin by mobile charges in a plasma.) *Two small identical uniform spheres of density ρ and radius r are orbiting the Earth in a circular orbit of radius a. Calculate the charge density ρ (at points where r = 0) and find the total charge throughout space. Evaluate this factor.) Verify that the potential of a uniformly charged sphere satisfies Poisson’s equation. ρ = 3. 23. positive near θ = 0 and π and negative near θ = π/2. show that in a fluid in equilibrium under pressure and gravitational forces. because the spheres themselves would be distorted by the tidal force. thus enhancing the effect. Find the quadrupole moment of this distribution. Given that the spheres are just touching. (This is an illustration of the existence of the Roche limit.52 × 103 kg m−3 and ρo = 1. and show that when it is included in (6. and that the only force between them is gravitational. (Note. where ρ is the density and p the pressure (the equation of hydrostatic equilibrium). Deduce that. this gives ac = 2. Estimate the height of the tides raised on Jupiter by Io. ∇p = ρg. p + ρΦ is a constant.89RE . for an incompressible fluid of uniform density ρ. 22.43) the effective height of the tides is increased by a factor (1 − 3ρo /5ρE )−1 . within which small planetoids would be torn apart by tidal forces. that the effective height is decreased by a larger factor due to the nonrigidity of the Earth.45(ρE/ρ)1/3 RE .03 × 103 kg m−3 . 20.) *The tidal bulge in the ocean may be regarded as adding a surface mass distribution of the same form as the surface charge distribution of Problem 8. 21.5 × 103 kg m−3 . Note that the pressure at the surface is essentially zero. with their centres in line with the Earth’s centre. For the mean density of the Moon. By considering the equilibrium of a small volume element. where ρE is the mean density of the Earth and RE its radius. given that ρE = 5. Use this result to obtain a rough estimate of the pressure at the centre of the Earth.Potential Theory 155 19. where ρo is the mean density of the oceans and ρE that of the Earth as a whole.59) for this and subsequent problems. both inside and outside the sphere. The actual limit is larger than the one found here. (See Problem 14 for Jovian data. (Mean density of Earth = 5. The actual pressure at the centre is more than this estimate — .34 × 103 kg m−3 .

It should be noted that — as indicated in Problem 12 — even very small departures from hydrostatic equilibrium would result in collapse on a short time scale. =− dr2 k Solve this equation with the boundary conditions that ρ is finite at r = 0 and vanishes at the surface of the star.156 Classical Mechanics in fact about 3.6 (see Fig. a5 S . where k is a constant. Hence show that Poisson’s equation yields 4πG d2 [rρ(r)] rρ(r). where ω is the orbital angular velocity. By introducing a pair of axes in the plane of the orbit. Show also that M = (4/π)a3 ρ(0). r5 Consider a satellite in a circular orbit of radius r in a plane inclined to the equator at an angle α. as in §5. Hence show that the radius a of the star is determined solely by k and is independent of its mass M . *Show that the moment of the solar tidal force mg S on an Earth satellite is mr ∧ g S = 3GMS m (r · aS )(r ∧ aS ). Hence show that the orbit precesses around the direction k of the Earth’s axis at a rate Ω = −(3J2 a2 /2r2 )ω cos α. *Show that the moment of the Earth’s gravitational force may be written in the form mr ∧ g = 3GM ma2 J2 (k · r)(k ∧ r).10). 5. 26.) 24. 25. Use the fluid equilibrium equation obtained in Problem 23 to find a relation between ρ and Φ. show that the average value of this moment is mr ∧ g av =− 3GM ma2 J2 cos α (k ∧ n). Find also the precessional period.6 × 1011 Pa — because of the non-uniformity of ρ. only checked by an increase in internal pressure via other processes. 2r3 where n is the normal to the orbital plane. Evaluate this rate for an orbit 400 km above the Earth’s surface. *Assume that the pressure p in a star with spherical symmetry is related to the density ρ by the (distinctly unrealistic) equation of state 1 p = 2 kρ2 . with an inclination of 30◦ .

Potential Theory 157 where aS is the position vector of the Sun relative to the Earth. Compute the precessional period. with i in the direction where the Moon’s orbit crosses it. whose orbit is inclined at α = 5◦ to the ecliptic (the Earth’s orbital plane). Write down the positions of the Sun and Moon. By averaging both over a month and over a year (i. at a precessional angular velocity 3 2 cos α k. show that the moment leads to a precession of the Moon’s orbital plane. as functions of time. Consider the effect on the Moon.e. relative to Earth. (Note that this calculation is only approximately correct. 4ω where is the Earth’s orbital angular velocity..) Ω=− . Introduce axes i and j in the plane of the ecliptic. over the positions in their orbits of both bodies).

158 Classical Mechanics .

However. (7.2) ¯ (See Fig. Thus. by Newton’s third law. m1 + m 2 (7.1). then. m2 . and considerably extends the range of applicability of the results. This symbol is. (7. If the force on the first particle due to the second is F . subject only to the force between the two. as it is no harder to solve. that on the second due to the first is −F . R= and the relative position.1 Centre-of-mass and Relative Co-ordinates We denote the positions and masses of the two particles by r 1 . From (7.Chapter 7 The Two-Body Problem We shall be mainly concerned in this chapter with an isolated system of two particles.1. in a uniform gravitational field g.1) It is convenient to introduce new variables in place of r 1 and r2 . we shall also allow the presence of a uniform gravitational field. ¨ m2 r 2 = m 2 g − F .) The centre of mass is often denoted by r. we get the equation of motion for R by adding: ¨ M R = M g. however. 7. r = r1 − r2 . typographically inconvenient when dots are used to denote time derivatives. where 159 M = m 1 + m2 .3) m1 r 1 + m 2 r 2 .4) . We define the position of the centre of mass. r2 and m1 . 7. (7. the equations of motion are ¨ m1 r 1 = m 1 g + F .

4) shows that the centre of mass moves with uniform acceleration g. (7. M (7. If we can solve this one-particle problem. When we have found R and r as functions of time. r where µ= m1 + m 2 The mass µ is called the reduced mass. = m1 R + M M M M . These two equations are now completely separate.160 Classical Mechanics m1 r1 r R r2 Fig. M r2 = R − m1 r.3): r1 = R + m2 r. Equation (7.2) and (7. The equation for r is obtained by dividing by the masses and then subtracting: m1 m2 .5) µ¨ = F .1 m2 One virtue of the notation R for the centre of mass is that it serves to emphasize the fact that R is associated with the total mass. In the case g = 0 it is equivalent to the law of conservation of momentum.7) The separation between centre-of-mass and relative motion extends to the expressions for the total angular momentum and kinetic energy. 7. We have ˙ ˙ J = m1 r 1 ∧ r 1 + m2 r 2 ∧ r 2 m2 m1 m2 m1 ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ r ∧ R+ r + m2 R − r ∧ R− r . because it is always less than either m1 or m2 .5) for the relative position is identical with that for a single particle of mass µ moving under the force F . (7. we can obtain the positions of the particles by solving the simultaneous equation (7. ˙ ˙ ˙ M R = m1 r1 + m2 r2 = P = constant. M .6) The equation of motion (7. then we can also solve the two-particle problem.

z2 . Let us suppose that the internal. 2 ˙ 2 (7.5). Then. substituting (7.8) we find. It is easy to see that the cross terms between R and r cancel. two-body force is conservative. from (7.The Two-Body Problem 161 by (7. and we are left with ˙ ˙ J = M R ∧ R + µr ∧ r. ˙2 ˙ T = 1 M R + 1 µr 2 . 2 2 (7. z1 .1).9) and (7.10).7. y1 . after a little algebra.11) The complete separation of the terms involving R from those involving r is now obvious. we find 1 ˙ L = 2 M R + M g · R + 1 µr 2 − Vint (r). (If g is in the −z-direction.9) It is instructive to examine this problem also from the Lagrangian point of view introduced in §3. Now. .4) and (7. In particular.) Thus the Lagrangian function is L=T −V 1 ˙1 2 ˙2 = 2 m1 r 2 + 1 m2 r2 + m1 g · r 1 + m2 g · r2 − Vint (r 1 − r2 ). but only for a uniform gravitational field does the potential energy separate in a similar way. Now the potential energy of a particle of mass m in a uniform gravitational field g is −mg · r. It then corresponds to a potential energy function Vint (r). It is easy to check that Lagrange’s equations for these co-ordinates are just (7. and depends only on the relative co-ordinate r. just as in §3.7) into 1 ˙1 2 ˙2 T = 2 m1 r 2 + 1 m2 r 2 . this is the familiar expression mgz. it is clear that the crucial point is the separation of the potential energy. we may express L in terms of any six independent co-ordinates in place of x1 . The kinetic energy may always be separated according to (7.9).7. y2 . we may choose the coordinates of R and r.7). (7. x2 . (7. In this form.44) yield the correct equations of motion (7. Similarly.10) It is easy to verify that Lagrange’s equations (3. The total potential energy V includes not only Vint but also the potential energy of the external gravitational forces.

non-inertial frame. their momenta are ˙ ˙ p1 = m 1 r 1 = m 1 R + p ∗ .9). this is an accelerated. (7. so. The relative position r is of course independent of the choice of origin. (In a gravitational field. M r∗ = − 2 m1 r. it is often convenient to solve a problem first in the CM frame. ˙ T = 1 M R + T ∗.12) In this frame. ˙ ˙ p2 = m 2 r 2 = m 2 R − p ∗ .) This is the centre-of-mass (CM ) frame.8) and (7. the momenta of the two particles are equal and opposite: ˙1 ˙2 ˙ m1 r ∗ = −m2 r ∗ = µr = p∗ . ˙ J ∗ = µr ∧ r = r ∧ p∗ . M (7.14) ˙ ˙ ˙2 r2 = R + r∗ . 2 2 (7.7). T ∗ = 1 µr 2 = 2 ˙ Thus in any other frame we can write ˙ P = M R. Then the velocities of the two particles are ˙ ˙1 ˙ r1 = R + r ∗ . angular momentum and kinetic energy in the CM frame are P ∗ = 0. As we shall see explicitly later. (7.162 Classical Mechanics 7. setting R∗ = 0 in (7. we find r∗ = 1 m2 r. We shall denote quantities referred to it by an asterisk.16) . 2µ ∗2 (7. but it is still useful.13).13) say. From (7. ˙ J = M R ∧ R + J ∗. we then need the relations between the momenta in the two frames.15) p . it follows that the total momentum. Hence by (7. To find the solution in some other frame.2 The Centre-of-mass Frame It is often convenient to describe the motion of the system in terms of a frame of reference in which the centre of mass is at rest at the origin. Let us consider ˙ a frame in which the centre of mass is moving with velocity R.

and that M is the sum of the masses.) The only cases in the solar system for which the lighter mass is an appreciable fraction of the total are those of the Earth–Moon system. Problem 31. rather than the mass of the heavier body. but also on the mass. with semi-major . This would yield a period about 4 hours too long. r r2 r This is identical with the equation for a particle moving around a fixed point mass M . In particular. Example: Motion of a satellite How does the period of the Moon’s orbit relate to the Earth– Moon distance? How far does the apparent position of the Sun oscillate because of the influence of the Moon on the Earth’s position? Equation (7. and the Pluto–Charon system.5) becomes Gm1 m2 GM µ = −ˆ 2 . µ¨ = −ˆ r r τ 2π 2 = a3 . we have only to add the contribution of a particle of mass M located at the centre of mass R.12) that both bodies move in ellipses around the centre of mass. we should obtain the value given above but with m2 in place of M . for which m1 /m2 = 1/8. If we were to compute the period of the Moon’s orbit from Kepler’s third law by comparing it with the period of a small Earth satellite.3. In the CM frame of the Earth–Moon system. for which m1 /m2 = 1/81. We shall see in the next chapter that this is a general conclusion. not restricted to two-particle systems. GM Note that a here is the semi-major axis of the relative orbit (the median distance between the bodies). for an elliptic orbit.The Two-Body Problem 163 To obtain the values in any frame from those in the CM frame.5. (See also Chapter 4.31). for instance the Moon and the Earth. As an example. Thus Kepler’s third law is only approximately correct: the orbital period depends not only on the semi-major axis. the period is given by (4. let us consider two bodies moving under their mutual gravitational attraction. we see from (7.

84 × 105 km.3 = 4670 km. In the approximation in which the Sun’s gravitational field is uniform over the dimension of the Earth–Moon system. and the motion of the two bodies around the centre of mass is superimposed on this larger orbital motion. In the frame in which the Sun is at rest. of angular amplitude α ≈ a2 /A. M a2 = m1 a. . 7.4 seconds of arc. α = 6.164 Classical Mechanics axes a1 = m2 a. However. such as an asteroid. M For the Earth–Moon system. since A = 1. Moon a1 A α a 2 Sun Earth Fig. where A is the distance to the Sun. there are small effects due to the non-uniformity of the Sun’s field. The Earth therefore moves around the centre of mass in a small ellipse with semi-major axis a2 = a/82. as we shall see later. This effect provides a method of determining the lunar mass. the centre of mass of the Earth–Moon system moves in an ellipse around the Sun. (Note that the centre of mass is inside the Earth.2 A larger effect can be obtained by looking at the direction of some object closer to us than the Sun. a = 3.) This leads to a small oscillation in the direction of the Sun (see Fig.2 — which is not drawn to scale).5 × 108 km. and no transfer of energy or angular momentum from one to the other can occur. the two types of motion are completely separate. 7.

the target. we have. 7. like billiard balls. if the total kinetic energy after the collision is the same as that before it. p∗ and −p∗ . Since the collision is elastic. and the angles of scattering and recoil by θ and α (see Fig. 7. and the momenta after the collision by q 1 and q 2 .The Two-Body Problem 165 7. most experiments are performed with one particle initially at rest (or nearly so) in the laboratory. from (7. q∗ 1 p∗ −q ∗ θ∗ −p ∗ 2 Fig. 2µ 2µ (7. and recede after the collision again with equal and opposite momenta. q ∗ and −q ∗ . (They are also important in atomic and nuclear collision problems. 7.) It is easy to describe such a collision in the CM frame. We shall denote the Lab momentum of the incoming particle by p1 .15). so that p2 = 0. The particles must approach each other with equal and opposite momenta. in which the momentum of particle 2.3).4). Thus each particle is scattered through the same angle θ ∗ (see Fig. before the collision is zero.3 T∗ = q ∗2 p∗2 = . To interpret such an experiment.17) Thus the magnitudes of the momenta before and after the collision are the same. We could work out the relations . Such collisions are typical of very hard bodies.3 Elastic Collisions A collision between two particles is called elastic if there is no loss of kinetic energy in the collision — that is. we therefore need to use the laboratory (Lab) frame.18) In practice. (7. p∗ = q ∗ .

19). q 2 = p∗ − q ∗ . using also (7. Since p2 = 0. drawn in Fig. but with q ∗ in place of p∗ . They are then. but it is actually simpler to relate them to the CM quantities.5 q2 θ p∗ α . 7. 7.166 Classical Mechanics between these quantities by using the conservation laws of energy and mo- q1 p1 1 2 θ α q2 Fig. 1 ∗ ˙ p .2.4 mentum directly in the Lab frame. m2 m2 (7.20) (7.19) The momenta after the collision are again given by (7.5.14). m1 ∗ p + q∗. 7. q1 = m2 All these relations may be conveniently summarized in a vector diagram. using the formulae obtained in §7. R= m2 and also p1 = m1 ∗ M ∗ p + p∗ = p .14). we have from (7. which also incorporates the momentum conservation q1 m1 p ∗ m2 q∗ θ∗ p1 Fig.

2m1 2m1 m2 2 by (7. It is easy to prove by elementary trigonometry (most simply by dropping a perpendicular from the upper vertex in Fig.20). Any desired relation between momenta. q ∗ . Thus the recoil angle and the magnitude of the recoil momentum q2 are given in terms of CM quantities by 1 α = 2 (π − θ∗ ). the total kinetic energy in the Lab is just the kinetic energy of the incoming particle. q 2 form an isosceles triangle.22) The maximum possible kinetic energy transfer occurs for a head-on collision (θ∗ = π). if it is very heavy. 2 T M2 (7. T = M 2 p∗2 p2 1 = . Clearly this can be close to unity only if m1 and m2 are comparable in magnitude.) Another important relation is that between the Lab and CM scattering angles. We consider explicitly only a few important relations. (m1 /m2 ) + cos θ∗ (7. In an electron–proton collision (m1 /m2 = 1/1836) it is about 0. in a proton–α-particle collision (m1 /m2 = 4 or 1 ). the maximum fractional energy transfer is 64 4 per cent. This is T2 4m1 m2 = sin2 1 θ∗ . and is T2 /T = 4m1 m2 /(m1 + m2 )2 . energies or angles may be extracted from this diagram without difficulty. and again loses little of its energy.2 per cent.5) that tan θ = sin θ∗ .23) .The Two-Body Problem 167 equation in the Lab.18). By (7. If the incoming particle is very light.21) The Lab kinetic energy transferred to the target particle is therefore T2 = 2 q2 2p∗2 = sin2 1 θ∗ . the vectors p∗ . The interesting quantity is the fraction of the total kinetic energy which is transferred. it bounces off the target with little loss of energy. (These conclusions are changed by relativistic effects for speeds approaching that of light. 2 (7. q2 = 2p∗ sin 1 θ∗ . 7. 2 2m2 m2 On the other hand. it is hardly deflected at all from its original trajectory. p1 = q 1 + q2 . For example.

As θ∗ varies from 0 to π. We shall suppose that the target contains a large number N of identical target particles. and θ also varies from 0 to π. (7. In that case. 7. It is given by q1 θmax q* m1 * p m2 Fig. the maximum scattering angle is π/2. and a proton can only be scattered by an electron through an angle less than 0. The maximum scattering angle occurs when q 1 is tangent to the circle (see Fig. the semicircle excludes this vertex.168 Classical Mechanics Note that this relation is independent of the momenta of the two particles.5◦ . and so that the geometry of the scattering event is not . (7. the vector q ∗ sweeps out a semicircle of radius ∗ p .24) For instance.6). 7. 7. if the target is the lighter particle (m1 /m2 > 1). and there is an intermediate value of θ ∗ for which θ is a maximum. However.23) simplifies to tan 1 θ∗ .25) In this case.5 lies inside this semicircle.4 CM and Lab Cross-sections Let us now consider the scattering of a beam of particles by a target. 7.031◦.6 sin θmax = m2 /m1 . θ = 0 both when θ ∗ = 0 and when θ∗ = π. as in §4. the right side of (7. but. the left-hand vertex of Fig. In the special case of equal-mass particles. If the target is the heavier particle (m1 /m2 < 1). 2 (m1 = m2 ). so that we obtain the simple relation 2 θ = 1 θ∗ . is still small enough so that the particles do not screen each other. an α-particle can only be scattered by a proton through an angle of almost 14.5. and depends only on their mass ratio.

a particular pair of particles will collide if the distance b between . we shall be interested in the case where the momenta of the particles in the two beams are equal and opposite. but for the moment we shall assume that they can be distinguished. To find the number emerging within a solid angle in some specified direction. the rate of detection will be dw = N f dσ dA .5. each with the same mass and velocity. First. however. so that it is possible to set up a detector to count the number of scattered particles emerging in some direction. Thus the particles scattered through angles between θ and θ + dθ will be those of the incident particles which strike any one of the target particles with impact parameters between the corresponding values b and b + db. Evidently. and multiply by the number of target particles. 4. N . In any one collision.26) (compare (4.9). We shall return to the question of calculating the Lab differential crosssection later. If we set up a detector of cross-sectional area dA at a large distance L from the target.44). and by the flux. we have to calculate the corresponding cross-sectional area of the incident beam. f . The incident particles may or may not be the same as those in the target. In particular. dσ = b |db| dϕ. We also suppose that the beam is a parallel beam of particles. so that we are directly concerned with the CM frame. To be specific. without including also the recoiling target particles. with a particle flux of f particles crossing unit area per unit time. Indeed the fact that the particles that are struck recoil out of the target makes no essential difference. let us suppose that the particles in one beam are hard spheres of radius a1 and those in the other beam are hard spheres of radius a2 .The Two-Body Problem 169 seriously affected by which target particle is struck. (7. Let us imagine two beams of particles approaching from opposite directions — a ‘colliding-beam’ experiment.39) and Fig. the scattering angle θ will be determined in some way (depending on the shape of the particles) by the impact parameter b. just as we did for the case of a fixed target in §4.27) exactly as in (4. we wish to discuss a slightly different type of experiment. dΩ L2 (7. We can now introduce the concept of differential cross-section. The ratio dσ/dΩ is the Lab differential cross-section.

Note that it is the sum of the radii which enters here.170 Classical Mechanics the lines of motion of their centres is less than a = a1 + a2 (see Fig. it is clear from Fig. Then the probability that the centre of one of the particles in the first beam crosses this area in the time dt will be n1 vσ dt. (7. In our case. not of either particle individually. if we are interested in the number of particles emerging in a given solid angle. and evaluate the corresponding cross-sectional area (7. we may imagine the cross-sectional area σ to be attached to our selected particle and moving with it. This is the total cross-section for the collision. 7. 7. Now. where n1 is the number of particles per unit volume in the beam. and v is the relative velocity (= v1 + v2 ).28) . It will collide with any particles in the first beam whose centres cross an area σ = πa2 . we have to find the relation between b and the CM scattering angle θ∗ . To compute the number of collisions occurring in a short time interval dt.7). α α a1 θ∗ b a2 θ∗ Fig.26).7 that 1 b = a sin α = a cos 2 θ∗ .7 Let us select one of the particles in the second beam. If the number of particles in the second beam per unit volume is n2 . then the total number of collisions occurring in volume V is n1 n2 vσV dt. 7. This serves to emphasize the fact that the cross-section is a property of the pair of particles involved in the collision. and is the same whether the target is at rest or moving towards the beam.

dΩ dΩ∗ dz [(m1 /m2 ) + z ∗ ]2 .29) is independent of θ ∗ . the number of particles detected is independent of the direction in which we place the detector (so long as it is outside the unscattered beam). Then it follows that dσ dz ∗ dσ = . 4 dΩ∗ (7. . dΩ sin θ dθ dz with z = cos θ. 1 + 2(m1 /m2 )z ∗ + (m1 /m2 )2 (7. as in (4. the reason for calculating the CM differential cross-section first is that the relation between b and θ ∗ is much simpler than that between b and θ.29) If we set up a detector arranged to record particles scattered in a particular direction from a small volume V . which may be written z2 = It is straightforward. and then use the relation sin θ∗ dθ∗ dz ∗ dΩ∗ = = .31) The value of dz ∗ /dz may be found from (7. but the resulting expression for the general case is not particularly illuminating. Indeed. to solve for z ∗ and differentiate. of hard-sphere scattering. In our particular case.27) correspond to n2 V and n1 v in this formula. dΩ∗ L2 (7. Let us assume (for a reason to be given later) that m1 < m2 . This is a very special property of hard spheres.23). the differential crosssection (7. The easiest way to find the Lab differential cross-section is often to compute the CM differential cross-section first. z ∗ = cos θ∗ . and the scattering is therefore isotropic in the CM frame. if tedious. so that the cross-section takes a simpler form in the CM frame than in the Lab frame. Nor is it true in the Lab frame. introducing the solid angle dΩ∗ = sin θ∗ dθ∗ dϕ. In other words.30) Note that N and f in (7. and we shall omit it. then the detection rate of particles will be w = n1 n2 vV dσ dA . we find that the CM differential cross-section is dσ = 1 a2 .The Two-Body Problem 171 Hence. and is not true in general.42).


Classical Mechanics

If m1 > m2 , there is a complication which arises from the fact that for each value of θ less than the maximum scattering angle θmax there are two possible values for θ ∗ , as is clear from Fig. 7.6. If we measure only the direction of the scattered particles, we cannot distinguish these two, and must add the contributions to dσ/dΩ from dσ/dΩ∗ at these two separate values of θ∗ . (Moreover, for one of these two, dz ∗ /dz is negative, and must be replaced by its absolute value.) The two values of θ ∗ can be distinguished if we can measure also the energy or momentum of the scattered particles. We shall consider explicitly only the case of equal mass particles, m1 = m2 . Example: Scattering of equal hard spheres Find the Lab-frame differential cross-section for the scattering of equal-mass hard spheres. Here the relation between the scattering angles, (7.23), simplifies to θ∗ = 2θ, or z ∗ = 2z 2 − 1. Consequently, dz ∗ /dz = 4z, and the Lab differential cross-section corresponding to (7.29) is dσ = a2 cos θ, dΩ (θ < 1 π). 2 (7.32)

Of course, no particles are scattered through angles greater than π/2, so dσ = 0, (θ > 1 π). (7.33) 2 dΩ In this case, the cross-section is peaked towards the forward direction, and more particles will enter a detector placed at a small angle to the beam direction than one placed nearly at right angles. As a check of this result, we may evaluate the total cross-section σ, 1 which must agree with the value σ = 4π × 4 a2 = πa2 obtained in the CM frame. We find σ= dσ dΩ = dΩ
2π π/2

0 0

a2 cos θ sin θ dθ = πa2 ,

as expected. (Note the upper limit of π/2 on the θ integration, which arises because of (7.33).)

The Two-Body Problem


We assumed at the beginning of this section that the target particles and beam particles were distinguishable, and that the aim of the experiment was to count scattered beam particles only. However, it is easy to relax this condition. We shall now calculate the rate at which recoiling target particles enter the detector. In a collision in which the incoming particle has impact parameter b, and is moving in a plane specified by the angle ϕ, the target particle will emerge in a direction specified by the polar angles α, ψ, where α is related to θ ∗ or b by (7.21) and ψ = π + ϕ. The number of target particles emerging within the angular range dα, dψ is therefore equal to the number of incident particles in the corresponding range db, dϕ. To determine the number of recoiling particles entering the detector, we have to relate dσ to the solid angle dΩ2 = sin α dα dψ. By (7.21), we have cos θ ∗ = 1 − 2 cos2 α, whence dσ dσ = 4 cos α dΩ2 dΩ∗ (α < 1 π). 2 (7.34)

In the particular case of equal-mass hard spheres, this differential crosssection has exactly the same form as (7.32). This shows that in the scattering of identical hard spheres the numbers of scattered particles and recoiling target particles entering the detector are precisely equal, and the total detection rate is obtained by doubling that found earlier.



For our later work, the most important result of this chapter is that the total momentum, angular momentum and kinetic energy in an arbitrary frame differ from those in the CM frame by an amount equal to the contribution of a particle of mass M moving with the centre of mass. We have seen that for a two-particle system the use of the CM frame is often a considerable simplification, and this is true also for more complicated systems. When we need results in some other frame, it is often best to solve the problem first in the CM frame, and then transform to the required frame. This is true for example in the calculation of scattering cross-sections in two-particle collisions.


Classical Mechanics

Problems 1. A double star is formed of two components, each with mass equal to that of the Sun. The distance between them is 1 AU (see Chapter 4, Problem 2). What is the orbital period? 2. Where is the centre of mass of the Sun–Jupiter system? (The mass ratio is MS /MJ = 1047. See Chapter 4, Problems 2 and 3.) Through what angle does the Sun’s position as seen from the Earth oscillate because of the gravitational attraction of Jupiter? 3. The parallax of a star (the angle subtended at the star by the radius of the Earth’s orbit) is . The star’s position is observed to oscillate with angular amplitude α and period τ . If the oscillation is interpreted as being due to the existence of a planet moving in a circular orbit around the star, show that its mass m1 is given by α m1 = MS M τE MS τ


where M is the total mass of star plus planet, MS is the Sun’s mass, and τE = 1 year. Evaluate the mass m1 if M = 0.25MS, τ = 16 years, = 0.5 and α = 0.01 . What conclusion can be drawn without making the assumption that the orbit is circular? 4. Two particles of masses m1 and m2 are attached to the ends of a light spring. The natural length of the spring is l, and its tension is k times its extension. Initially, the particles are at rest, with m1 at a height l above m2 . At t = 0, m1 is projected vertically upward with velocity v. Find the positions of the particles at any subsequent time (assuming that v is not so large that the spring is expanded or compressed beyond its elastic limit). 5. *Prove that in an elastic scattering process the angle θ + α between the emerging particles is related to the recoil angle α by m1 + m 2 tan(θ + α) = . tan α m1 − m 2
1 (Hint : Express both tangents in terms of tan 2 θ∗ .) What is the mass ratio if the particles emerge at right angles to each other? 6. A proton is elastically scattered through an angle of 56◦ by a nucleus, which recoils at an angle α = 60◦ . Find the atomic mass of the nucleus, and the fraction of the kinetic energy transferred to it.

The Two-Body Problem


7. An experiment is to be designed to measure the differential cross-section for elastic pion–proton scattering at a CM scattering angle of 70◦ and a pion CM kinetic energy of 490 keV. (The electron-volt (eV) is the atomic unit of energy.) Find the angles in the Lab at which the scattered pions, and the recoiling protons, should be detected, and the required Lab kinetic energy of the pion beam. (The ratio of pion to proton mass is 1/7.) 8. *An unstable particle of mass M = m1 + m2 decays into two particles of masses m1 and m2 , releasing an amount of energy Q. Determine the kinetic energies of the two particles in the CM frame. Given that m1 /m2 = 4, Q = 1 MeV, and that the unstable particle is moving in the Lab with kinetic energy 2.25 MeV, find the maximum and minimum Lab kinetic energies of the particle of mass m1 . 9. The molecules in a gas may be treated as identical hard spheres. Find the average loss of kinetic energy of a molecule with kinetic energy T in a collision with a stationary molecule. (Hint : Use the fact that the collisions are isotropic in the CM frame, so that all values of cos θ ∗ between ±1 are equally probable.) How many collisions are required, on average, to reduce the velocity of an exceptionally fast molecule by a factor of 1000? 10. Two identical charged particles, each of mass m and charge e, are initially far apart. One of the particles is at rest at the origin, and the other is approaching it with velocity v along the line x = b, y = 0, where b = e2 /2π 0 mv 2 . Find the scattering angle in the CM frame, and the directions in which the two particles emerge in the Lab. (See §4.7.) 11. *Find the distance of closest approach for the particles in Problem 10, and the velocity of each at the moment of closest approach. 12. Obtain the relation between the total kinetic energy in the CM and Lab frames. Discuss the limiting cases of very large and very small mass for the target. 13. *Suppose that the asteroid of Chapter 4, Problem 17, has a mass of 6 × 1020 kg. Find the proportional change in the kinetic energy of the Earth in this encounter. What is the resulting change in the semi-major axis of the Earth’s orbit? By how much is its orbital period lengthened? (Note that the postulated event is exceedingly improbable.) 14. Calculate the differential cross-section for the scattering of identical hard spheres directly in the Lab frame.


Classical Mechanics

15. Find the Lab differential cross-section for the scattering of identical particles of charge e and mass m, if the incident velocity is v. (See (4.50).) 16. At low energies, protons and neutrons behave roughly like hard spheres of equal mass and radius about 1.3 × 10−14 m. A parallel beam of neutrons, with a flux of 3 × 1010 neutrons m−2 s−1 , strikes a target containing 4 × 1022 protons. A circular detector of radius 20 mm is placed 0.7 m from the target, in a direction making an angle of 30◦ to the beam direction. Calculate the rate of detection of neutrons, and of protons. 17. *Write down the equations of motion for a pair of charged particles of equal masses m, and of charges q and −q, in a uniform electric field E. Show that the field does not affect the motion of the centre of mass. Suppose that the particles are moving in circular orbits with angular velocity ω in planes parallel to the xy-plane, with E in the z-direction. Write the equations in a frame rotating with angular velocity ω, and hence find the separation of the planes.

Chapter 8

Many-Body Systems

Any material object may be regarded as composed of a large number of small particles, small enough to be treated as essentially point-like, but still large enough to obey the laws of classical rather than quantum mechanics. These particles interact in complicated ways with each other and with the environment. However, as we shall see, if we are interested only in the motion of the object as a whole, many of these details are irrelevant. We shall consider in this chapter a general system of N particles labelled by an index i = 1, 2, . . . , N , interacting through two-body forces, and also subjected to external forces due to bodies outside the system. We denote the force on the ith particle due to the jth particle by F ij , and the external force on the ith particle by F i . Then the equations of motion are ¨ mi ri = F i1 + F i2 + · · · + F iN + F i ≡ F ij + F i .


Here, and throughout this chapter, the sum is over all particles of the system, j = 1, 2, . . . , N . Of course, there is no force on the ith particle due to itself, and so F ii = 0. The sum in this case is really over the other N − 1 particles.


Momentum; Centre-of-mass Motion

The position R of the centre of mass is defined, as in (7.2), by R= 1 M mi r i ,



mi .




Classical Mechanics

The total momentum is P =

˙ ˙ mi r i = M R.


It is equal to the momentum of a particle of mass M located at the centre of mass. The rate of change of momentum, by (8.1), is ˙ P =
i j

F ij +

F i.


Now the two-body forces must satisfy Newton’s third law F ji = −F ij . (8.5)

Thus, for every term F ij in the double sum in (8.4), there is an equal and opposite term F ji . The terms therefore cancel in pairs and the double sum is zero. (Compare the discussion at the end of §1.3 for the three-particle case.) Hence we obtain the important result that the rate of change of momentum is equal to the sum of the external forces alone: ˙ ¨ P = MR =

F i.


In the special case of an isolated system of particles, acted on by no external forces, this yields the law of conservation of momentum, ˙ P = M R = constant. (8.7)

Let us now regard our system of particles as forming a composite body. If the body is isolated, then according to Newton’s first law it moves with uniform velocity. Thus we see that to maintain this law for composite bodies, we should define the position of such a body to mean the position of its centre of mass. Moreover, with this definition, Newton’s second law is just (8.6), provided that we interpret the force on the body in the obvious way to mean the sum of the external forces on all of its constituent particles, and the mass as the sum of their masses. It is also clear that if Newton’s third law applies to each pair of particles from two composite bodies, then it will apply to the bodies as a whole. Thus, with a suitable (and very natural) interpretation of the concepts involved, Newton’s three basic laws may be applied to composite bodies as well as to point particles. (Though we have phrased the discussion in terms

Many-Body Systems


of collections of particles, we could also include the case of a continuous distribution of matter, by dividing it up into infinitesimal particles.) It follows that, so long as we are interested only in the motion of a body as a whole, we may replace it by a particle of mass M located at the centre of mass. This is a result of the greatest importance, for it allows us to apply our earlier discussion of particle motion to real physical bodies. We have of course implicitly assumed it in many of our applications; for example, we treated the planets as point particles in discussing their orbital motion. There is one point about which one must be careful. We may still need some information about the actual shape of the body to calculate the total force acting on it. This force is not necessarily equal to that on a particle of mass M at the centre of mass. In the gravitational case, it happens to be so if the body is spherical, or if the gravitational field is uniform, but not in general otherwise. As an example of the use of the momentum conservation equation for an isolated system, we consider the motion of a rocket. Example: Rockets A rocket, initially at rest, emits matter with a constant velocity u relative to the rocket (though not necessarily at a uniform rate). Gravity is negligible. If the initial total mass of the rocket is M0 , find its velocity v when the mass has fallen to M . Consider the emission of a small mass dm. After the emission, the mass of the rocket will be reduced by this amount, dM = −dm, (8.8)

and its velocity will be increased to some value v + dv. (See Fig. 8.1.) This velocity can be found from the momentum conservation equation (M − dm)(v + dv) + dm(v − u) = M v.

M before




M−dm after


Fig. 8.1


Classical Mechanics

Neglecting second-order infinitesimals, we find M dv = u dm. By (8.8), we can write this in the form dv dM =− , u M whence, integrating, and using the initial condition M = M0 when v = 0, we have v M = − ln . u M0 This relation may be solved to give the mass as a function of the velocity attained: M = M0 e−v/u . (8.10) (8.9)

This shows that to accelerate a rocket to a velocity equal to its ejection velocity u, we must eject all but a fraction 1/e of its original mass. Note that the velocity of the rocket depends only on the ejection velocity and the fraction of the initial mass which has been ejected, and not on the rate of ejection. It makes no difference whether the acceleration is brief and intense, or prolonged and gentle. (This assumes of course that the rocket is not subjected to other forces, such as gravity, during its acceleration. It would clearly be useless to try to escape from the Earth with a rocket providing a long, slow acceleration, because it would be constantly retarded by gravity.) For interplanetary flights, rockets are normally used only for brief spells, between which the spacecraft moves in a free orbit — as, for example, in Chapter 4, Problem 16, where these brief spells are at or near planetary departures and arrivals. If the duration of the rocket bursts is sufficiently short for the change in position of the rocket during each burst to be negligible, then it is a good approximation to assume that on each occasion the velocity is changed instantaneously, by an amount known as the velocity impulse. The relevant quantity for determining the mass of the rocket required to deliver a given payload, using a given ejection velocity, via a given orbital manoeuvre, is then the sum of the velocity impulses (in the ordinary, not the vector, sense). For example, the minimum velocity impulse needed to escape from the Earth is 11 km s−1 . For the return trip,

(8.12) will cancel in pairs. say 1 and 2. (See Fig. 8. Let us for the moment simply assume that all the internal forces are central. Central Internal Forces The total angular momentum of our system of particles is J= i ˙ mi r i ∧ r i . (We shall discuss the possible justification for this assumption shortly.) For simplicity.13) This contribution will be zero if F is a central internal force.2. parallel to r.2 The contribution consists of two terms. (8. F r1 1 r r2 2 −F Fig. if the deceleration on re-entry into the atmosphere is to be produced by the rockets rather than atmospheric friction. so that also F 21 = −F . and F = F 12 .2 Angular Momentum. r 1 ∧ F 12 + r2 ∧ F 21 = r 1 ∧ F − r 2 ∧ F = r ∧ F .) Then all the terms in the double sum in (8. 8.12) from the internal force between a particular pair of particles.Many-Body Systems 181 it is 22 km s−1 .11) The rate of change of J is ˙ J= i ¨ mi r i ∧ r i = i j r i ∧ F ij + i ri ∧ F i . The total moment of all the internal forces will be . (8.12) Now let us examine the contribution to (8. just as they did in the evaluation of the rate of change of total linear momentum. let us write r = r 1 − r2 . 8.

It is better to regard (8. justified by the fact that the predictions derived from it agree with observations. i The second and third terms vanish by virtue of (8. the origin (which may be true for example if they are due to the gravitational attraction of a spherical body).15) hold in the special case of central internal forces.14) In particular. Thus we can write ˙ J = M R ∧ R + J ∗. It is certainly not true that all the internal forces in real solids.17). (8. for an isolated system.16) into (8. so that M R∗ = i mi r∗ = 0. to separate the contributions to J from the centre-of-mass motion and the relative motion.18) . as we did in Chapter 7. but there are obvious exceptions.17) Now.182 Classical Mechanics zero. the rate of change of angular momentum is equal to the sum of the moments of the external forces only: ˙ J= i ri ∧ F i . i (8. we obtain J= i mi + i ˙ R∧R+ mi r ∗ i i ˙ ∧R+R∧ ˙i mi r ∗ i ˙i mi r ∗ ∧ r ∗ . J = constant. Although we have only shown that (8. (8. or away from. we have the law of conservation of angular momentum. It is often convenient. (8. they are actually of much more general validity.14) and (8.14) as a basic postulate of the dynamics of composite bodies.15) More generally. for reasons that should become clearer in Chapter 12. when the internal forces are central. Many are. the position of the centre of mass relative to itself is zero. substituting (8. We define the positions r ∗ of the particles relative to the centre of mass by i ri = R + r∗ .11). notably the electromagnetic force between moving charges. this is true if all the external forces are directed towards.16) Clearly. with all F i = 0. liquids or gases are central. i (8. So.

20) Hence. such as where the point is the centre of mass. i (8. (We ignore the other planets. i (8.21) Thus the rate of change of the angular momentum J ∗ about the centre of mass is equal to the sum of the moments of the external forces about the centre of mass. by (8. For an isolated system. which we discuss in Chapter 9.22) .3 The Earth–Moon System As an interesting example of the use of the angular momentum conservation law. For example. namely J∗ = i ˙i mi r ∗ ∧ r ∗ . (8. It is particularly important in the case of rigid bodies. Only in very special cases. we consider the system comprising the Earth and the Moon.6). and treat the Sun as fixed. and treat it as though it were fixed.16). For. More generally. This is a remarkable result.21) that J ∗ as well as J is a constant. it follows from (8. 8. d ˙ ¨ (M R ∧ R) = M R ∧ R = R ∧ dt F i. we may take moments about the origin of any inertial frame.Many-Body Systems 183 where J ∗ is the angular momentum about the centre of mass. but it would be quite wrong to take moments about an accelerated point. In general. subtracting from (8. it must be remembered that the centre of mass is not in general moving uniformly. for a system of particles in a uniform gravitational field. and J ∗ is therefore a constant. the resultant force acts at the centre of mass. are we allowed to do this.14).) The angular momentum of this system is ˙ J = M R ∧ R + J ∗. For. J ∗ is a constant if the external forces have zero total moment about the centre of mass. i (8. This result means that in discussing the rotational motion of a body we can ignore the motion of the centre of mass.19) It is easy to find the rate of change of J ∗ . and using (8. we obtain ˙∗ J = i r∗ ∧ F i .

it tries to carry with it the tidal ‘bulges’. according to (7. and J ∗ is the angular momentum about the centre of mass. Thus ˙ J ∗ = µr ∧ r + J ∗ + J ∗ . while the Moon’s attraction is pulling them back into line. for at least two reasons. Indeed. over long periods of time they do change. This angular momentum J ∗ can again be separated into an orbital term.184 Classical Mechanics where M = m + m is the total mass of Earth plus Moon. is µr ∧ r. The dissipation of energy by the tides has the effect of gradually slowing the Earth’s rotation. One is the non-spherical shape of the Earth. leads to a precession of the Moon’s orbital plane.3.1. 8. which. This is too small to be of much importance in the present context (the non-uniformity of the Sun’s field produces a much bigger effect). due to the rotation of each body about its own centre. The second reason is the effect of tidal friction.3 rotation. We shall E discuss this effect further in §10. to a good approximation. and a corresponding equal and opposite couple tending to increase the orbital angular momentum. Then J ∗ as well as J will be constant. as we saw in §6.15). the individual terms of (8. where µ = mm /M . E M ˙ The orbital angular momentum. We can picture this effect as follows: as the Earth rotates.23) are separately constant. We neglect the rotational angular momentum J ∗ of the Moon M . To investigate this effect. due to the motion of the Earth and Moon around their common centre of mass. but because of angular momentum conservation there is a corresponding precession of the Earth’s angular momentum J ∗ which is important. However. E M (8.) Thus there is a couple acting to slow the Earth’s ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ ¢ Moon Fig. (See Fig. 8.23) Let us first neglect the non-uniformity of the Sun’s gravitational field over the dimensions of the Earth–Moon system.5. we shall make the simplest possible approximations. J ∗ and J ∗ . and two rotational terms.

given by (5. a must increase. Note that at present the first term of (8. and ω the rotational angular velocity.24) (dividing by µr2 ω0 ) as a r 2 Ω ω + 27. where I is the so-called moment of inertia. approximately I = 0. mass m and radius 2 r. .33mr2 ω. as we shall see in the next chapter. (8.26) and (8. I has the value I = 5 mr2 .33mr2 . In fact.24) where Ω is the Moon’s orbital angular velocity. i.e.2 = 160. Hence Ω decreases too. so that the remaining terms of (8.4 (which are not drawn to scale).23)). It is convenient to express the angular velocities in terms of the present value ω0 of ω. or.32).25) is almost five times as large as the second.3. If we use (8. and assume that the Earth’s axis is perpendicular to the Moon’s orbital plane.3 and Ω/ω0 = 0. i.25) yields for the Earth’s rotational angular velocity ω a = 5.0365.8 cm yr −1 . equivalently Ω r = 17. Now the orbital angular velocity Ω is related to a by (4..88 − 0. the Moon moves further away from the Earth. For a sphere of uniform density.1).27) As ω decreases due to tidal friction.27) to plot Ω and ω as functions of a we obtain curves like those of Fig.629 ω0 r 1/2 .e. ω0 ω0 (8. Ω2 a3 = GM. Indeed this effect can now be measured: the Moon is currently receding from the Earth at about 3.23) have the same direction. (8.1 ω0 a 3/2 .26) Inserting this into (8. we may write the conservation law (8.Many-Body Systems 185 (which is in fact very small compared to the other terms in (8. Thus the total angular momentum about the centre of mass is J ∗ = µa2 Ω + 0. The Earth’s rotational angular momentum. the Earth’s density increases towards its centre.25) where the value of the constant on the right is obtained by using the present values a/r = 60. 8. (8. has the ∗ form JE = Iω. Using m/µ = 82. and I is therefore somewhat less than this..

Ω ω ω0 Ω0 Ω a Fig. the smallest distance there can have been between the bodies corresponds to the first point where the curves cross (about 2. and the common rotation period (the ‘day’ or the ‘month’) would be nearly 48 days. It is now generally believed that the material that later formed the Moon was ejected from a proto-Earth in a violent collision with another planet early in its history. Then ω and Ω would again be equal. In this final state. However. 8.4 It is important to note that if at any time Ω were actually larger than ω. On this simple picture. and tidal forces would play no further role. and that Mercury always presents the same face to the Sun. it is in fact impossible that the Moon should ever have been so close. as the Moon already does to the Earth (except for a small wobble). however.186 Classical Mechanics ω. then the tidal forces would act to increase the angular velocities and decrease the separation. Problem 20). However. It was at one time believed that Mercury and the Sun had reached the final state described above. because it would then have been inside the Roche limit (about 2. with a common rotation period of under 5 hours).3 Earth radii. so that the Moon revolved around the Earth in less than a day. The distance between Earth and Moon would then be about half as large again as it now is. the Earth would always present the same face to the Moon.9 Earth radii) where the tidal forces become so strong that they would break up the Moon (see Chapter 6. it is now known that the ratio of the orbital . several factors which might modify this picture. There are. The final state of the system in the very distant future would correspond to the second point where the curves cross. and then gradually condensed into the present Moon in an orbit with a radius of a few Earth radii.

pulling it (immeasurably slowly) closer to the Sun. both its eccentricity and its inclination can change with time. This process has the effect of transferring angular momentum from the Earth’s orbital motion to its rotation. The solar ocean tides are indeed small compared to the lunar ones. It is a little surprising that the dominant period is 12 hours. and engulfed the whole system. The stability of this configuration depends on the unusually large eccentricity of Mercury’s orbit. but its effect averages out to zero over a lunar month.6): the amplitude of the 12-hour oscillation may be enhanced by being closer to a natural oscillation period of the atmosphere than is 24 hours. This energy comes from solar heating. the two bodies would collide. the Sun exerts a gravitational couple on the resulting bulges in the atmosphere. not after. It therefore tends to decrease the Earth’s orbital radius. In the very remote future. The ‘final’ state would in any case not be the end of the evolution of the system. They are predominantly of thermal. rather than 24. In the distant past. because the solar tides would still be active. noticeable as fluctuations in the barometric pressure at sea level. The Sun has another effect which has been omitted from our discussion. As on the oceans. The effect of tidal dissipation is not only to make the Moon’s orbit expand. and of course the Earth’s axis also precesses is a complicated way. due to heating during the hours of daylight.Many-Body Systems 187 and rotation periods is not unity but 3/2. There are several other cases in the solar system of such rational ratios.) It happens that the maxima in this case occur before. The most important component has a period of half a solar. In reality. with the Earth acting as a kind of giant heat engine . origin. but also to make it more eccentric and less inclined. for the energy (kinetic plus potential) is actually increasing. This may be an example of the phenomenon of resonance (see §2. rather than lunar. Thus the couple acts to speed the Earth’s rotation rather than to slow it. However. They would tend to slow the Earth’s rotation even more. It is unlikely that such a state could be reached by the Earth–Moon system. 12 noon and 12 midnight. A significant over-simplification in our argument is the assumption that the Moon’s orbit is a circle in a plane normal to the Earth’s axis. and are very different in character from the ocean tides. although it is probable that the Sun will have reached the end of its life. day. and would therefore gradually pull the Moon back towards the Earth. there are quite substantial semi-diurnal tides in the Earth’s atmosphere. A purely gravitational process could not have this effect. (So does the Moon of course. long before that happens. rather than gravitational. it may have been considerably more steeply inclined than it now is.

angular momentum and kinetic energy in any frame are obtained from those in the CM frame by adding the contribution of a particle of mass M located at the centre of mass R. it is ˙ ˙ ˙ r1 · F − r 2 · F = r · F . 8.13). We may note that there are certain special cases in which a force does no work. because in general we must expect there to be some change in the internal potential energy of the system. is T∗ = i 1 ˙ ∗2 2 mi r i .3). Let us again examine the contribution from the internal force F 12 = −F 21 = F between particles 1 and 2 (see Fig.4 Energy. Conservative Forces The kinetic energy of our system of particles is T = i 1 ˙2 2 mi r i .12). 8. Substituting (8.29) (8.30) The relations (8.16) into (8. T can be separated into centre-ofmass and relative terms. and T cannot therefore be written in terms of the external forces alone. 2 (8. 2 where T ∗ . The rate of change of kinetic energy is ˙ T = i ˙ ¨ mi r i · r i = i j ˙ r i · F ij + i ˙ ri · F i .16)). and may be omitted from the energy change equation.28) As in the case of angular momentum. in contrast to the previous situation. However. the kinetic energy relative to the centre of mass.31) This equation may be compared with (8.28). the net effect of the atmospheric tides in speeding the Earth’s rotation is not nearly large enough to counterbalance that of the ocean tides in slowing it. This is of course the rate at which the force F does work. (8.29) show that. there is in general no reason for this to ˙ vanish.18) and (8.17).2). This is not at all surprising. This will .188 Classical Mechanics converting heat to mechanical work. However. we again find that the cross terms drop out because of (8. (8. the momentum. Thus we obtain ˙ T = 1 M R + T ∗. As in (8. exactly as in the twoparticle case (see (7. (8.

. From (8. We can also find the rate of change of energy relative to the centre of mass. we find d ∗ (T + Vint ) = dt ˙i r∗ · F i .21). and the rate of working r · F will be equal to minus the rate of change of this potential energy. (8. the magnetic force on a charged particle). the reaction at a fixed pivot).34) . Let us denote the internal potential energy — the sum of the potential energies for all the 1 N (N − 1) pairs of particles — by Vint . subtracting from (8. Thus a central force between particles whose distance apart is fixed does no work. then it has the same direction as r. and is therefore unaffected by the choice of reference frame. Now let us suppose that the external forces are also conservative.32) we then find the law of conservation of energy T + V = E = constant. Thus we obtain d (T + Vint ) = dt ˙ ri · F i . From (8. whose rate of change is minus the rate of working of the external forces. Now. let us make the less restrictive assumption that all the internal forces are conservative.6). Thus T ∗ + Vint is the total energy in the CM frame.g.32) i The rate of change of the kinetic plus internal potential energy is equal to the rate at which the external forces do work. where V = Vext + Vint . (8. and ˙ is always perpendicular to r. in which the distances between all the particles are fixed.32) and using (8. If the force is central. Then clearly the rate of 2 working of all the internal forces will be minus the rate of change of Vint . (8. Then there must exist a corresponding external potential energy function Vext . however. so that ˙ r · r = 0. Then the force F must correspond to a ˙ potential energy function of particles 1 and 2. i Hence.16). we have d 1 ˙2 ˙ ¨ ˙ (2MR ) = MR · R = R · dt F i. or ˙ if F is always perpendicular to r (e.Many-Body Systems 189 ˙ be the case.29) and (8. if r = 0 (e. for example.33) i This equation is the analogue of (8.g. An important special case is that of a rigid body.. Then r is constant. Note that Vint is a function only of the differences r i − r j .

2. N ).7. Exactly as in §3. . not merely the co-ordinate differences. Thus (8. Thus in general it is not possible to write down a similar equation in which only the kinetic energy T ∗ relative to the centre of mass appears. however. clearly. is stationary under arbitrary small variations of the 3N co-ordinates r i = (xi .5 Lagrange’s Equations We close this chapter with a brief discussion of the extension of the Lagrangian method of §3.190 Classical Mechanics It is important to notice.1 (see the discussion following (7.9)) that the derivatives of the potential energy function Vint (r 1 − r2 ) corresponding to a two-body force with respect to the components of r 1 or r 2 give correctly minus the forces on the corresponding particles. . ∂xi (i = 1. The equations of motion may thus be written mi xi = − ¨ ∂V . so that there exists a total potential energy function V .35) are identical with ˙ Lagrange’s equations d dt ∂L ∂ xi ˙ = ∂L . ∂T = mi xi . . ∂xi (i = 1. N ). t1 I= t0 L dt. Now. (8. ˙ ∂ xi ˙ while ∂T /∂xi and ∂V /∂ xi both vanish. We saw in §7. Thus the components of the total force on the ith particle will be minus the derivatives of V with respect to the components of r i . that Vext depends on the co-ordinates themselves.7. .35) together with similar equations for the y and z components. We consider only the case where all the forces are conservative.36) with L = T − V . zi ) which vanish at the limits of integration. it follows that the action integral. again as in §3. 2. . . unlike Vint . Then. and is therefore dependent on the choice of frame.7 to a many-particle system. . 8. . (8. yi . . we may re-express L in terms of any other set of 3N co-ordinates.

17)). the motion of the centre of mass and the relative motion are uncoupled. just as in the twoi particle case of §7. q3N . . Then. q2 . . The corresponding equations of motion will be Lagrange’s equations d dt ∂L ∂ qα ˙ = ∂L . . In particular. there are two separate conservation laws for energy.1. Now. we find ˙ L = 1MR + Mg · R + 2 2 i ˙i mi r∗2 − Vint .38) Since Vint is a function only of the co-ordinate differences r i − rj = r ∗ − r∗ .Many-Body Systems 191 q1 . . . 3N ). 2. . There is an important physical consequence of this separation: no observation of the internal motion of a system can ever reveal the presence of . For the case of a uniform gravitational field. and T ∗ + Vint = constant. let us suppose that external forces are provided by a uniform gravitational field g. ∂qα (α = 1. Example: Uniform gravitational field Show that the centre-of-mass and internal motions can be completely separated in the case of a uniform gravitational field. The potential energy function for the uniform field is Vext = − i mi g · ri = −M g · R. (8. . let us write the Lagrangian in terms of the three co-ordinates R and the co-ordinates r ∗ (of which only 3N − 3 are independent.29).2.37) As an example. (8. As we saw in §8. there is also in this case a separate conservation law for angular momentum relative to the centre of mass. 1 ˙2 2MR − M g · R = constant. this Lagrangian function exhibits a complete separation between i j the terms involving R and those involving the r ∗ . . because i of (8. with two separate energy conservation laws. using (8.

to reach a height of 50 km. for an isolated system. then the total angular momentum. the same thing is true for the motion relative to the centre of mass. When they are conservative. are conserved. or total energy (including external potential energy). In particular. Indeed if the Earth were removed. Note that a laboratory is i subjected to other external forces besides the Earth’s gravitational field. Given that the mass of the payload and rocket without fuel is 100 kg. Find the required velocity impulse. respectively. Calculate the total velocity impulse needed to place it in a . neglecting the variation of g with height (and the Earth’s rotation). the rate of change of angular momentum is equal to the sum of the moments of the external forces. In both cases. J and T + Vint are all constants.6 Summary The centre of mass of any system moves like a particle of mass M acted on by a force equal to the total force on the system.) When the internal forces are central. and J or T may be written as a sum of two corresponding terms. find the required initial mass. The contribution of this motion to the angular momentum or kinetic energy may be completely separated from the contributions of the relative motion.192 Classical Mechanics a uniform gravitational field. P . which would of course be accelerated upwards with acceleration g! This was an important consideration in the argument which led to Einstein’s general theory of relativity. but the supporting forces somehow retained. or conservative. A rocket is launched from the surface of the Earth. A satellite is orbiting the Earth in a circular orbit 230 km above the equator. (Of course. and the ejection velocity is 2 km s−1 . the only contribution to P comes from the centre-of-mass motion. Problems 1. the rate of change of the kinetic energy plus the internal potential energy is equal to the rate of working of the external forces. 8. 2. there would be no observable difference inside the laboratory. since it is supported by the ground. If the external forces are also central. since such a field in no way affects the equations of motion for the relative co-ordinates r ∗ .

2 km s−1 )? With that number.15. *A rocket with take-off mass M0 is launched vertically upward. find the necessary initial mass.5 km s−1 . Consider the effect of a finite burn-up time. e−v/u − λ 4.5 km s−1 ? Find a formula analogous to that of Problem 3 for a two-stage rocket. (The firststage rocket is discarded when its fuel is burnt out. 7. Hence calculate the total energy which must be supplied from chemical or other sources to accelerate the rocket to a given velocity. without payload or fuel. what is the minimum number of stages required to reach escape velocity (11. Assume that the residual mass of a rocket. 6. and the ejection velocity of the rocket is 2. what is the upper limit to the velocity attainable with an ejection velocity of 2. using an intermediate semi-elliptical transfer orbit which just touches both circles. If λ = 0. if the payload mass is 100 kg? Find the velocity impulse needed to launch the spacecraft on its trip to Jupiter. what take-off mass is required. find the total take-off mass. what is the minimum required ejection velocity? Given that u = 2. and the parameter λ of Problem 3 is 0. (Hint : From the orbit parameters a and ae. Problem 16. if the rocket ejects matter at a constant rate a. find l.1. 2 a M with M = M0 − at. and hence the velocities. Problem 1).) If a three-stage rocket is used.5 km s−1 .) Given that the final mass to be placed in orbit is 30 kg. as in Problem 1. and that the mass of the payload is 500 kg.Many-Body Systems 193 synchronous orbit (see Chapter 4.) With the figures of Problem 3. described in Chapter 4. . in which each stage produces the same velocity impulse. Show that the total take-off mass required to accelerate a payload m to velocity v is M0 = m 1−λ . then its height at time t is z = ut − M0 uM ln − 1 gt2 . Show that. Show that this is equal to the energy required if an equal amount of matter is ejected while the rocket is held fixed on a test-bed. Find the gain in kinetic energy when a rocket emits a small amount of matter. 3. 5. (Hint : Use energy conservation to find the velocity at the surface of the Earth needed to give the appropriate relative velocity for the spacecraft once it has escaped. is a given fraction λ of the initial mass including fuel (but still without payload).

Find the velocities of the three balls immediately after impact. Two billiard balls are resting on a smooth table. and the required velocity increment. leaving a final mass M1 .194 Classical Mechanics Hence. find the changes in the parameters a and l. Replace it by an impulsive force of impulse I delivered once every orbit. A spherical satellite of radius r is moving with velocity v through a uniform tenuous atmosphere of density ρ. 12. A third identical ball moving along the table with velocity v perpendicular to their line of centres strikes both balls simultaneously. find the required take-off mass. at perigee. M0 and M1 as in Problem 1. using a rocket launched vertically from a point on the equator. 10. *A satellite is to be launched into a synchronous orbit directly from the surface of the Earth. find the maximum height reached if the burn-up time is (a) 10 s.7 m.) Show that the velocity at apogee increases. Can you explain why the two answers are equal. the mass and radius of the satellite are 30 kg and 0. With the same figures as in Problem 2. and just touching. Find the rates of change of energy and angular momentum. (The orbit therefore becomes more and more circular with time. and (b) bounces off it elastically. 11. Show also that the velocity of the satellite must increase. and hence show that the rates of change of a and l are equal. M0 − M1 M1 8. while leaving the perigee distance unaffected. then [provided that t1 < (u/g) ln(M0 /M1 )]. *Suppose that the satellite of Problems 10 and 11 has achieved a circular orbit of radius a. assuming that the collision is elastic. Find the required launch speed to achieve the desired apogee. Find the retarding force on the satellite if each particle which strikes it (a) adheres to the surface. Show that δl = δa(1 − e)2 . If the satellite orbit of Problem 12 is 500 km above the Earth’s surface. while that at perigee decreases. Using the same values of u. and . so that the orbit remains approximately circular. in terms of the scattering cross-section of a hard sphere? *If the orbit of the satellite of Problem 10 is highly elliptical. the maximum height reached is z= u2 2g ln M0 M1 2 − ut1 M0 M0 ln −1 . show that if it burns out after a time t1 . and (b) 30 s. and hence that the effect is to decrease the period and apogee distance. By considering changes in energy and angular momentum. 13. 9. the retarding force is concentrated almost entirely in the lowest part of the orbit.

and by minimizing with respect to r i that all particles occupy the same orbit.] *A planet of mass M is surrounded by a cloud of small particles in orbits around it. because there are three components of the constraint equation. we need three Lagrange multipliers. ωy . and treat the components of the positions r i and velocities ri as independent variables. the constraint may be imposed by the method of Lagrange multipliers. say ωx . If the height is 200 km and ρ = 10−10 kg m−3 . We have to minimize the function E − ω · (J − J 0 ) with respect to variations of the positions r i and ˙ velocities ri . ωz . Problem ˙ 11). and (b) when the solar and lunar tides become equal in magnitude. Show that the potential energy function V satisfies the equation ri · ∇i V = −V.] What happens to the energy lost? Why does the argument not necessarily apply to a cloud of particles around a hot star? *An N -body system is interacting only through the gravitational forces between the bodies. find the changes in orbital period and height in a year. The system will thus evolve towards a state of minimum energy. In this case. 15. and with respect to ω. Their mutual gravitational attraction is negligible. Show that the particles will tend to form a ring around the planet.Many-Body Systems 195 14. say. 17. ρ = 10−13 kg m−3 . (See Chapter 6. Find the lengths of the ‘day’ and the ‘month’ (a) when the Moon was 10 Earth radii away. ∂/∂yi . a state of minimal total energy for a given total z-component of angular momentum is necessarily one in which the system is rotating as a rigid body about the z-axis. Problem 16. Show by minimizing with respect ˙ to r i that once equilibrium has been reached the cloud rotates as a rigid body. (Hint : Show that each two-body term Vij satisfies this equation.) . i where ∇i = (∂/∂xi . subject to this constraint. [As in Problem 15. 16. ∂/∂zi ).) Show that in a conservative N -body system. but the angular momentum will remain fixed. find the changes in a single orbit. Due to collisions between the particles. J = J 0 . This condition expresses the fact that V is a homogeneous function of the co-ordinates of degree −1. the energy will gradually decrease from its initial value. [Use the method of Lagrange multipliers (see Appendix A.

i (Note that K relates to the overall scale of the system. (Compare Chapter 4. if the scale 2 of the system as measured by K is. *Under the conditions of Problem 17. on average. 2T + V = d2 K . then the time-averaged value of the total energy is equal to minus the time-averaged value of the kinetic energy — the virial theorem. dt2 where K= 1 2 i mi r 2 .) . show that the total kinetic and potential energies T and V satisfy the virial equation. We may define a root-mean-square radius r by K = 1 M r2 . neither growing nor shrinking.) Deduce that.196 Classical Mechanics 18. Problem 19.

3. The motion of the centre of mass of the body is completely specified by (8. we shall write P = ˙ mr.1) Our main interest in this chapter will be centred on the rotational motion of the rigid body.11). (9. changes in temperature.3) and (8.14). as we originally did in §8. ˙ J= r ∧ F. its size and shape vary only slightly under stress. in place of (8. In this chapter. according to (8. let us assume.2) . Then.Chapter 9 Rigid Bodies The principal characteristic of a solid body is its rigidity. and J= ˙ mr ∧ r. that the internal forces are central. Thus it is natural to consider the idealization of a perfectly rigid body.1 Basic Principles It will be convenient to simplify the notation of the previous chapter by omitting the particle label i from sums over all particles in the rigid body. and the like. whose size and shape are permanently fixed.6): ˙ ¨ P = MR = F. Under normal circumstances. 197 (9. we shall be concerned with the mechanics of rigid bodies. Such a body may be characterized by the requirement that the distance between any two points of the body remains fixed. 9. For the moment. for example. Thus.

since it then leads to the conservation law T + V = E = constant. However.1) and (9. which for simplicity we take to be the z-axis. . the body can remain at rest only if the right hand sides of both (9. as we discussed in §8. as we shall see. it could not be justified from our knowledge of the internal forces in real solids. previously denoted by Vext . However. One very important application of (9.2) vanish.2). r = 0 for every particle..4) where V is the external potential energy. whose justification lies in the fact that their consequences agree with observation. the success of these postulates. in a rigid body. Indeed. All we actually require is the validity of the basic equations (9. and it is better to regard these as basic assumptions of rigid body dynamics. In fact. which are certainly not exclusively central. (Note that there is no mention here of internal potential energy. (9. It is of course particularly useful in the case when the external forces are conservative.3) This might at first sight appear to be a third independent equation. and thus both P and J vanish. this is not only a necessary. particularly (9. i. but also a sufficient.198 Classical Mechanics We shall see later that these two equations are sufficient to determine the motion completely. we saw in §8. so that ˙ T = ˙ r · F. and in any case cannot be adequately described by classical mechanics.) The assumption that the internal forces are central is much stronger than it need be. For ˙ a rigid body at rest. may seem rather fortuitous.1) and (9.e.5 that the internal forces do no work. we shall see later that it is actually a consequence of the other two. (9.2) should be noted.3. condition for equilibrium. this does not change. 9. we shall see in Chapter 12 that it is closely related to the relativity principle discussed in Chapter 1.2 Rotation about an Axis Let us now apply these basic equations to a rigid body which is free to rotate only about a fixed axis. To some extent. Under the same assumption of central internal forces.1) and (9. if the sum of the forces and the sum of their moments are both zero. Clearly.2).

and may be called the equation of motion of the rotating body. i.29). the angular velocity of ˙ the body (not necessarily constant). as shown in Fig.e. that the forces have no net moment about the z-axis. The condition for equilibrium here is simply that the right hand side of (9. (9.7) vanishes. By (3. (9. consider a rectangular lamina (i.6) mρvϕ = mρ2 ω = Iω.Rigid Bodies 199 We also choose the origin on this axis.5) is the moment of inertia about the axis.2) yields ˙ ˙ Jz = I ω = ρFϕ . pivoted at one corner. Since I is obviously constant. it is Jz = where I= mρ2 (9. (9. positioned so that the z co-ordinate of the centre of mass is zero.. 9.1.. 9. two-dimensional object) of size a × b and negligible mass. For example. carrying a weight M g and supported by a horizontal force F . a plane. For T = 1 ˙ 2 2 m(ρϕ) 1 = 2 Iω 2 . In cylindrical polars. the z and ρ co-ordinates of every point are fixed. so for equilibrium we require F = (a/b)M g. while the ϕ co-ordinate varies according to ϕ = ω.7) This equation determines the rate of change of angular velocity. the z component of (9. The total moment here is bF −aM g.8) . We examine first the component of angular momentum about the axis of rotation. F b Q a Mg Fig.e.1 The kinetic energy may also be expressed in terms of I.

(See Fig. (9.1. −ω 2 R in the ρ direction. and the reaction at the pivot as a function of angle. Example: Compound pendulum Find the period of small oscillations of a compound pendulum. equations (9.7). we obtain ¨ ˙ ˙ ˙ R = ω ∧ R + ω ∧ R = ω ∧ R + ω ∧ (ω ∧ R).7) is I ϕ = −M gR sin ϕ. 9. To be consistent. therefore.10) serve to determine Q.9) and (9. in the case illustrated in Fig. 0). and gives us no additional information. and choose the x-axis vertically downward. As a simple example. ˙ T = Iω ω = ˙ (ρϕ)Fϕ = ω ˙ ρFϕ .) Then the force (the weight) acts at the centre of mass. let us consider a compound pendulum — a rigid body pivoted about a horizontal axis. (9. so that. Rω in the ϕ direction. The momentum equation (9. and separate this from all the other forces on the body.200 Classical Mechanics The equation (9.9) For example. ˙ R = ω ∧ R. ¨ (9. and moving under gravity.) The centre of mass is of course fixed in the body.47).2. (Note that the z-axis here is horizontal. Let us denote the force on the body at the axis by Q. and has the components F = (M g.1) ˙ ¨ P = MR = Q + F. 9.11) .) Together. Differentiating again to find the acceleration of the centre of mass. (Compare (3. M g. 0). the equilibrium condition ˙ P = 0 immediately yields Q = (F.1) serves to determine the reaction at the axis. and so does not appear in (9.2). Then from (9. by (5. we shall still take the z-axis to be the axis of rotation. and the ˙ second the radial acceleration. which has of course no moment about the axis.3) is. 0.10) The first term is the tangential acceleration.7). Thus the equation of motion (9. This is clearly a consequence of (9.

are Qz = 0 ¨ Qϕ = M g sin ϕ + M Rϕ.11). E is determined by the initial conditions. As we shall see. The energy conservation equation is T + V = 1 I ϕ2 − M gR cos ϕ = E = constant.12) It may be obtained from (9. ˙ The components of the reaction Q.2 This is identical with the equation of motion of a simple pendulum of length l = I/M R.12). and (9. Thus.9). l is always larger than the distance R from the pivot to the centre of mass. substituting for ϕ in terms of ϕ using (9. obtained from (9. Qρ = −M g(1 + 2R/l) cos ϕ − 2E/l. (This is the length of the equivalent simple pendulum) Thus the period of small oscillations is 2π l/g = 2π I/M gR.11) by multiplying by ϕ and integrating.Rigid Bodies 201 y ϕ R F x Fig. 2 ˙ (9. As ˙ usual.12) then serves to fix the angular velocity ϕ for any given inclination ϕ. 9. ˙ Qρ = −M g cos ϕ − M Rϕ2 . we find Qz = 0 Qϕ = M g(1 − R/l) sin ϕ. . and for ϕ in terms ¨ ˙ of ϕ by (9.

in this case the impulsive reaction. For what value of d does the impulsive reaction at the pivot vanish? S d K Fig.3 From (9. that this result is not the same as the reaction at the pivot of a simple pendulum of length l. This is the ideal point at which to hit a ball with a bat (sometimes called the ‘sweet spot’ in sporting applications — cricket. 9. As before.11) integrated over a short time interval.). (9. d = I/M R = l.9) is M ωR = −S + K. etc. the integrated form of (9. Since the velocity of the centre of mass immediately after the blow is ωR.202 Classical Mechanics Note. we learn that the angular velocity ω just after the blow is given by Iω = dK. The interesting thing about this result is that it is possible to make S vanish by choosing d equal to the length of the equivalent simple pendulum. 9. S say. whence S= 1− M dR I K. tennis. however.9) serves to fix the reaction at the axis. As a rather different illustration of the use of these equations. . baseball. Example: Effect of sudden blow Suppose that the pendulum is initially in equilibrium and is given a sharp horizontal blow of impulse K at a distance d below the axis (see Fig.3). let us consider the effect of a sudden blow.

previously denoted by I. 9. ˙ z = 0.) If the positions of the masses are r and −r.13) We can write all three components of J in the form Jx = Ixz ω. When the rod is in the xz-plane. At first sight it may seem surprising that J has components in directions perpendicular to ω.Rigid Bodies 203 9. where Ixz = − mxz. the total reaction on the axis is zero.3 Perpendicular Components of Angular Momentum We now consider the remaining components of the angular momentum vector. y = ωx. as shown in the figure. J is perpendicular to r.4. We shall see that they give us further information about the reaction on the axis. the masses are moving in the ±y directions. which is required to balance the couple produced by the centrifugal forces. (See Fig. Iyz = − myz. Clearly. Izz = m(x2 + y 2 ). (9. ˙ (9. ˙ Thus we find Jx = Jy = m(−z y) = − ˙ m(z x) = − ˙ mxzω. In this example. (9. Consider a light rigid rod with equal masses m at its two ends. The magnitude of this couple may be determined from the remaining pair of the . A simple example may help to clarify the reason for this. Thus if no external force is applied. the centre of mass lies on the axis. the velocity of a point r of the body is given by x = −ωy. and there is a component of angular momentum about the x-axis as well as one about the z-axis. a resultant couple on the axis (here represented by the forces F ). rigidly fixed at an angle θ to an axis through its mid-point. the total angular momentum is ˙ ˙ J = mr ∧ r + m(−r) ∧ (−r) = 2mr ∧ (ω ∧ r).14) Here Izz is the moment of inertia about the z-axis. myzω. however. Jz = Izz ω. The quantities Ixz and Iyz are called products of inertia. There is.15) Jy = Iyz ω. In Cartesian co-ordinates.

4 equations (9.15).13). unlike Izz the products of inertia are not constants.2). If there are no other external forces. then ω is a constant.2) ˙ Jx = Ixz ω − Iyz ω 2 = Gx + ˙ ˙ Jy = Iyz ω + Ixz ω 2 = Gy + ˙ (yFz − zFy ). in general. This determines F . . Using (9. Gy = dFx = Ixz ω 2 = −2mr2 ω 2 sin θ cos θ. I˙zz = 0. When the rod is in the xz-plane. and G precisely balances the centrifugal couple. From (9. the only non-vanishing component of G is the moment about the y-axis. ˙ Iyz = ωIxz . we find I˙xz = −ωIyz . (zFx − xFz ). Thus if G is the couple on the axis. we see that.204 Classical Mechanics ω F′ d/2 J θ r −r d/2 −F ′ Fig. 9. we have from (9.

So we shall no longer assume that the axis of rotation is the z-axis. Jx = Ixx ωx + Ixy ωy + Ixz ωz . −z). Ixy . the z-axis is called a principal axis of inertia. . y. Its components are therefore linear functions of the components of ω. for then the contributions to the products of inertia Ixz and Iyz from any point (x. in which the products of inertia Ixz and Iyz vanish. Jy . in this case the inertia tensor. z) is cancelled by that from (−x. in the form J= mr ∧ (ω ∧ r) = m[r2 ω − (r · ω)r]. y. y. Similarly.17) is therefore unchanged by reflection in the leading diagonal. For bodies with three symmetry axes — such as a rectangular parallelepiped or an ellipsoid — there are obviously three perpendicular principal axes.16). the angular momentum vector J is in a different direction from the angular velocity vector ω. . . The entity I is called a tensor. if the xy-plane is a plane of reflection symmetry. In that case. The nine elements Ixx . It is obvious from the definition (9. in general. it is a principal axis if it is an axis of rotational symmetry. in particular. in much the same way as the three quantities Jx .9. In this case. z). but take it to have an arbitrary inclination. Then ω has three components (ωx . A tensor I with this property is called symmetric. The z-axis is a principal axis. However. The angular momentum J may be written. there is no resultant force or couple on the axis. Then J is also in the z direction. The 3 × 3 matrix in (9. z) is exactly cancelled by that from (x. ωz ).Rigid Bodies 205 9. for then the contribution from (x. and we shall see later that this is true more generally.16) that is. we shall need to use only one result from this general theory.15) that the products of inertia satisfy symmetry relations like Ixy = Iyx . Jz are regarded as the components of the vector J. The elementary properties of tensors are described in §A. . which we may write in matrix notation as ⎡ ⎤ ⎡ ⎤⎡ ⎤ Ixx Ixy Ixz Jx ωx ⎣Jy ⎦ = ⎣Iyx Iyy Iyz ⎦ ⎣ωy ⎦ . (9. and two similar equations.17) Jz Izx Izy Izz ωz . using (A. When a body is rotating freely about a principal axis through its centre of mass. it is clearly an advantage to choose these as our co-ordinate axes. (9. −y. Izz of the 3 × 3 matrix may be regarded as the components of a single entity I. There are special cases. however. ωy .4 Principal Axes of Inertia We have seen that.

This is. however. It is important to realize that the principal axes are fixed in the body. We shall always use a single subscript for the principal moments. but not in general otherwise.19) the components of J in these three directions will be obtained by multiplying the components of ω by the appropriate moments of inertia. Thus we obtain J = I1 ω1 e1 + I2 ω2 e2 + I3 ω3 e3 . (9. not in space. I2 . Jz = Izz ωz .18). not an inertial one. The kinetic energy may also be expressed in terms of the angular velocity and the inertia tensor. if we write ω = ω 1 e1 + ω 2 e2 + ω 3 e3 . (9.206 Classical Mechanics If the three co-ordinate axes are all axes of symmetry.17) simplify to Jx = Ixx ωx . Jy = Iyy ωy . Thus for any rigid body. and I has the diagonal form ⎤ ⎡ Ixx 0 0 ⎣ 0 Iyy 0 ⎦ . and therefore rotate with it. (9. to distinguish them from moments of inertia about arbitrary axes.18) Thus J is parallel to ω if ω is along any one of the three symmetry axes. I2 . e3 along these axes. particularly since the principal moments I1 . then all the products of inertia vanish. as in (9. I1 . Then. e2 .20) The three diagonal elements of the inertia tensor. we can find three perpendicular axes through any given point which are principal axes of inertia. It is often convenient to use these axes to define our frame of reference. I3 are constants. a rotating frame. It will be convenient to introduce three unit vectors e1 . the relations (9.10 that for any given symmetric tensor one can always find a set of axes with respect to which it is diagonal. It is shown in §A. 0 0 Izz In this case. I3 are called principal moments of inertia. . We have T = 1 ˙2 2 mr = 1 2 m(ω ∧ r)2 = 2 2 1 2 m[ω r − (ω · r)2 ].

technical significance.16).23) will still hold so long as this condition is satisfied. It follows from the fact that one cannot find a pair of perpendicular axes e1 and e2 which are in any way distinguished from other possible pairs. Indeed. Comparing with (9.) For a symmetric body. we find 2 2 2 1 T = 2 I1 ω1 + 1 I2 ω2 + 1 I3 ω3 . Symmetric bodies The term symmetric applied to a rigid body has a special. the axis of a spheroid or a circular cylinder or cone. 2 2 (9. Assuming that I3 = I1 . a cube. we see that 1 T = 2ω · J. they need not even be fixed in the body. Equation (9. (9. This freedom of choice will prove to be very useful later.20). but the axes e1 and e2 are not. This is the case for a sphere (with origin at the centre). We may choose them to be any pair of orthogonal axes in the plane normal to e3 . say I1 = I2 . then J = I1 ω. I1 = I2 if e3 is an axis of more than two-fold rotational symmetry — for example the axis of an equilateral triangular prism. or a square pyramid. (9.20) becomes J = I1 (ω1 e1 + ω2 e2 ) + I3 ω3 e3 . vy and 2 vz are all equal. This is true in particular if the third axis e3 is a symmetry axis of appropriate type. any axis in the plane of e1 and e2 is a principal axis. unlike the inertia 2 2 tensor. It may be an axis of cylindrical symmetry — for example. namely T = 1 1 2 2 M v = 2 v ·P . In other words. so that the coefficients of vx .) Thus from (9. so J is parallel to ω.22) These equations for rotational motion may be compared with the corresponding ones for translational motion with velocity v. Problem 7). has no directional properties. I1 = I2 = I3 .19) and (9.Rigid Bodies 207 by a standard formula of vector algebra (see Appendix A. (In the case of the prism. It can happen that all three principal moments of inertia are equal. It means that two of the principal moments of inertia coincide. . The principal difference is that the mass.8) provide a special case of this general result. More generally.21) (Equations (9.5) and (9. (9.23) Note that if ω3 = 0. this is not entirely obvious. the symmetry axis e3 is of course uniquely determined. so long as they always remain perpendicular to e3 and to each other.

it is convenient to choose that point to be the origin. namely mx∗ = my ∗ = mz ∗ = 0.16). For example. It may of course also happen by accidental coincidence of the three values. and use the conditions (8.. where ρ(r) is the density. as in previous cases. As usual.208 Classical Mechanics or a regular tetrahedron (or. Thus it is useful to be able to relate the moments and products of inertia about an arbitrary point to those about the centre of mass. Because of these relations. we shall distinguish quantities referred to the centre of mass as origin by an asterisk. and the choice of the orthonormal triad e1 .15).29). r = R + r ∗ . the components of the inertia tensor with respect to an arbitrary origin are obtained from those with respect to . We may call such bodies totally symmetric.5 Calculation of Moments of Inertia The moments and products of inertia of any body with respect to a given origin may be calculated from the definitions (9. we generally choose the origin to be the centre of mass.15) the relation (8.24) etc.17). They have the property that J = I1 ω whatever direction ω may take. (9. so that every axis is a principal axis. we must replace sums by integrals: Ixx = ρ(r)(y 2 + z 2 ) d3 r. Note that. Ixy = − m(X + x∗ )(Y + y ∗ ) = −M XY − mx∗ y ∗ . Shift of origin When the rigid body is pivoted so that one point is fixed. e2 . e3 is completely arbitrary.18) or (8. indeed. 9. Ixy = ρ(r)(−xy) d3 r. exactly as they did in (8. For continuous distributions of matter. we substitute in (9. ∗ Ixy = −M XY + Ixy . (9. Thus we obtain relations of the form ∗ Ixx = M (Y 2 + Z 2 ) + Ixx . any of the five regular solids). To find the desired relations.25) etc. If there is no fixed point. the cross terms between R and r ∗ drop out. ∗ The last term here is just the product of inertia Ixy referred to the centre of mass as origin.

the chosen origin lies on one of the principal axes through the centre of mass. integrated over the volume V of the body. where. for example. The mass of the body is of course M= V ρ dx dy dz. then the products of inertia ∗ ∗ ∗ Ixy . so that two of the three co-ordinates X. Ixz . It is then easy to find how M and Kz depend on these three lengths.Rigid Bodies 209 the centre of mass by adding the contribution of a particle of mass M at R. ∗ I2 = Kx + Kz . Y. . Ixz . we see that the principal moments of inertia may be written in the form ∗ I1 = Ky + Kz . It is important to realize that the principal axes at a given origin are not necessarily parallel to those at the centre of mass. The principal axes are then obvious. 2c. In fact.) Because of this result. 2b.. c.25) that this does not necessarily imply that Ixy . ∗ I3 = Kx + Ky . and we shall take them to be the co-ordinate axes. Making the substitution x = aξ. to compute the moments and products of inertia with respect to the centre of mass. or rectangular parallelepipeds) but with different values of a. From (9. z = cζ. y = bη. we see that M = ρabc V0 dξ dη dζ. b. and consider together all bodies of the same type (e. but it is clear from (9. and only if. (For the moments of inertia. We consider bodies with uniform density ρ and three perpendicular symmetry planes. it is only necessary.25). Iyz will all be zero. Z are zero. this will be true if. respectively. Routh’s rule There is a simple and convenient formula that allows us to write down at once the moments of inertia of a large class of bodies.24). ellipsoids. for any given body. Kz = V ρz 2 dx dy dz.g. Now let us denote the lengths of the three co-ordinate axes by 2a. this is known as the parallel axes theorem. If we choose the axes at the centre of mass to be principal axes. Iyz are zero. those with respect to any other origin are then given by (9.

210 Classical Mechanics where V0 is a standard body of this type with ρ = 1 and a = b = c = 1. 3 ∗ I3 = 1 M (a2 + b2 ). A parallelepiped 3 with c = 0 is a flat rectangular plate. which asserts that ∗ I1 = M (λy b2 + λz c2 ). 3 ∗ I2 = 1 M a2 . Similarly a cube is a parallelepiped with 5 a = b = c. Hence we obtain Routh’s rule. 15 1 Since also M0 = 4π/3. λz may be found by examining the standard volume V0 . 1/4 for ‘elliptic’ ones. For ellipsoids. ∗ I2 = M (λx a2 + λz c2 ). It follows that Kz = λz M c2 . A sphere is of course an ellipsoid with a = b = c. and each of its principal moments is 2 M a2 . and each of its three principal moments of inertia is 2 M a2 . In a similar way. 3 (parallelepiped) As an example of a body for which the three constants are not all equal. for which λx = λy = 1 4 λz = 1 . and 1/5 for ‘ellipsoidal’ ones. Kz ∝ ρabc3 . we may quote the elliptic cylinder of length 2c. for example. V0 is a sphere of unit radius. 3 . 3 (cylinder) All three examples may be summarized by saying that λ is 1/3 for ‘rectangular’ axes. Hence M ∝ ρabc.26) = M (λx a + λy b ). where λz is a dimensionless number. for which Kz0 = V0 ζ 2 dξ dη dζ = 1 −1 ζ 2 π(1 − ζ 2 ) dζ = 4π . Thus for an ellipsoid λx = λy = λz = 1 . λy . Its principal moments are ∗ I1 = 1 M b2 . This formula covers several special cases of particular interest. the same for all bodies of this type. 5 (ellipsoid) A similar calculation shows that for a rectangular parallelepiped λx = λy = λz = 1 . 2 2 The values of the constants λx . ∗ I3 (9. we have λz = Kz0 /M0 = 5 .

∗ ∗ I1 = I2 = 1 M a2 . 9. say e3 . As we shall see. Its principal moments are ∗ ∗ I1 = I2 = 1 M c2 .) Now suppose that a small force F is applied to the axis at a point r (see Fig. (9. we may neglect the angular . Then the equation of motion becomes ˙ J = r ∧F.6 Effect of a Small Force on the Axis So far we have assumed that the axis about which the rigid body is rotating is fixed. 2 Finally. a thin rod is a limiting case of either a parallelepiped or a cylinder with a = b = 0. However. We shall see what happens in that case later. the angular velocity with which the axis moves will be small in comparison to the angular velocity of rotation about the axis. 9. if the angular velocity is ω = ωe3 .2) tells us that ˙ ˙ J = I3 ω = 0. which forms the basis. and the body will therefore acquire a small component of angular velocity perpendicular to its axis e3 . We now go on to consider how it moves if only one point on the axis is fixed. for example. a flat circular plate is a cylinder with a = b and c = 0. 3 ∗ I3 = 0. In that case. and that initially it is rotating freely about a principal axis.Rigid Bodies 211 Similarly. So long as no external force acts on the body the angular momentum equation (9. rapidly rotating bodies have great stability. Then. the angular momentum will be J = I3 ωe3 . (This would not be true if the axis of rotation were not a principal axis. so the axis will remain fixed in space and the angular velocity will be constant.27) This force will cause the axis to change direction. 4 ∗ I3 = 1 M a2 . We suppose that the rigid body is free to rotate about a fixed smooth pivot. In that case. provided the force is small enough. of the gyroscope.5).


Classical Mechanics

F r∧F

ω r

Fig. 9.5

momentum components normal to the axis, and again write ˙ ˙ J = I3 ω = r ∧ F . (9.28)

Since the moment r∧F is perpendicular to ω, the magnitude of the angular ˙ velocity does not change. (Recall that d(ω 2 )/dt = 2ω · ω.) However, its direction does change, and the axis will move in the direction of r ∧ F , that is perpendicular to the applied force. The effect may be rather surprising at first sight. However, it is easy to see it in action in, for example, a freely rolling bicycle wheel (see Fig. 9.6). If the wheel leans to the right, it will not necessarily fall over, as it would if it were not rotating, but will turn to the right. The force F in this case is the force of gravity, which produces a moment about a horizontal axis, as shown in Fig. 9.6. Thus, in a small time interval dt, the angular velocity ω of a wheel acquires a small additional horizontal component, dω. This shows that the axis of the wheel must change direction. When turning a corner on a bicycle, this effect plays a role, but there are other more important effects, related to the way the handlebars and front fork are pivoted. (See Jones, Physics Today, 23, 34–40, 1970 and Fajans, American Journal of Physics, 68, 654–659, 2000.) Another familiar example is the spinning top, or toy gyroscope (which we shall discuss in more detail in Chapters 10 and 12). The force in this case is again the force of gravity, F = −M gk, acting at the centre of mass position, R = Re3 (see Fig. 9.7). Thus (9.28) yields

Rigid Bodies


ω ω r ∧ Mg Mg r

Fig. 9.6


Ω k R Mg

Fig. 9.7

˙ I3 ω e3 = −M gRe3 ∧ k. This equation is of a form we have encountered several times already. It may be written ˙ e3 = Ω ∧ e 3 ,


Classical Mechanics

where Ω= M gR k. I3 ω (9.29)

Thus (see §5.1) it describes a vector e3 rotating with constant angular velocity Ω about the vertical. The effect is similar to the Larmor precession (see §5.6) or the precession of a satellite orbit (see §6.5). Note that the angular velocity Ω is independent of the inclination of the axis. Our treatment here is valid only if Ω ω, or, equivalently, if M gR I3 ω 2 . In other words, we require the rotational kinetic energy (T = 1 I3 ω 2 ) 2 to be much greater than the possible change in gravitational potential energy (of order M gR). We shall discuss what happens when this condition is not satisfied later (see §10.3 and §12.4). Note that the precessional angular velocity (9.29) is inversely proportional both to the moment of inertia and the rotational angular velocity ω. Thus, to minimize the effect of a given force, we should use a fat, rapidly spinning body. The great stability of rapidly rotating bodies is the basis of the gyroscope. Essentially, this consists of a spinning body suspended in such a way that its axis is free to rotate relative to its support. The bearings are made as nearly frictionless as possible, to minimize the torques on the gyroscope. Then, no matter how we turn the support, the axis of the gyroscope will remain pointing very closely to the same direction in space. The gyroscope is particularly useful for navigational instruments in aircraft. It may be employed, for example, to provide an ‘artificial horizon’ which allows the pilot to fly a level course even in cloud (where our normal sense of balance is notoriously unreliable). A similar instrument, designed to show the orientation in a horizontal plane, serves as a direction indicator.

Precession of the equinoxes The non-spherical shape of the Earth leads to another example of the phenomenon of precession. The effect is closely related to the precession of a satellite orbit discussed in §6.5. Since the Earth exerts a moment on the satellite, the satellite exerts an equal and opposite moment on the Earth. For a small satellite, this is of course quite negligible, but a similar moment is exerted by both the Sun and the Moon, and, although the effect is still quite small, it leads to observable changes over long periods of time.

Rigid Bodies


Let us consider for example the effect of the Sun. Because it attracts the nearer equatorial bulge more strongly that the farther one, it exerts a couple on the Earth’s axis, in a direction which would tend (if the Earth were not rotating) to align it with the normal to the plane of the Earth’s orbit (called the ecliptic plane, because it is the plane in which eclipses can occur.) (See Fig. 9.8.) However, because of the Earth’s rotation, the


n α Sun

Fig. 9.8

actual effect is to make the axis precess around the normal to the ecliptic plane. Since the equator is inclined to the ecliptic at about 23.45◦, the axis therefore describes a cone in space with semi-vertical angle 23.45 ◦. It turns out that this effect depends on the same parameter, (6.41) or (6.42), that appeared in the discussion of the tides. Thus, as in that case, the effect of the Moon is rather more than twice as large as that of the Sun (though somewhat complicated by the fact that the Moon’s orbital plane is not fixed in space). The two bodies together lead to a precessional angular velocity of about 50 per year, which corresponds to a precessional period of 26 000 years. The effect means that the pole of the Earth’s axis moves relative to the fixed stars, so that 13 000 years ago our present pole star was some 47◦ away from the pole. (The irregularity of the Moon’s motion, which is due to the moment exerted by the Sun on the Earth–Moon system, leads to a superimposed wobble of the axis with an amplitude of 9 and a period of 18.6 years.) The equinoxes occur when the apparent direction of the Sun crosses the equator. The points on the ecliptic where this happens also precess with the 26 000-year period, which is why this phenomenon is known as ‘precession of the equinoxes’.


Classical Mechanics


Instantaneous Angular Velocity

We shall now turn to the problem of the general motion of a rigid body, without assuming that it is spinning about a principal axis, or that the forces acting are small. In this section, we shall discuss the concept of angular velocity, and show that, no matter how the body is moving, it is always possible to define an instantaneous angular velocity vector ω (which in general is constant in neither direction nor magnitude). We consider first a rigid body free to rotate about a fixed pivot. Then the position of every point of the body is fixed if we specify the directions of the three principal axes e1 , e2 , e3 . (This would be true for any three axes fixed in the body, but it will be convenient later if we choose them to be principal axes.) Since the position of any point of the body is fixed relative to these ˙ ˙ ˙ axes, its velocity is determined by the three velocities e1 , e2 , e3 . In fact, if the point in question is r = r1 e1 + r2 e2 + r3 e3 , then r1 , r2 , r3 are constants, and ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ r = r1 e1 + r2 e2 + r3 e3 . (9.31) (9.30)

We now wish to show that, no matter how the body is moving, we can always define an instantaneous angular velocity ω. Let us define the nine quantities ˙ aij = ei · ej . Now, since e1 is a unit vector, e2 = 1. Hence, differentiating, we obtain 1 0= d 2 ˙ (e ) = 2e1 · e1 = 2a11 . dt 1

˙ It follows that e1 has the form ˙ e1 = a21 e2 + a31 e3 . Moreover, since e1 and e2 are always perpendicular, we have 0= d ˙ ˙ (e1 · e2 ) = e1 · e2 + e1 · e2 = a21 + a12 . dt (9.32)

Rigid Bodies


Thus we can define a vector ω by setting ω1 = −a23 = a32 ,

ω3 = −a12 = a21 . With this definition, (9.32) becomes simply ˙ e1 = ω 3 e 2 − ω 2 e 3 = ω ∧ e 1 , where of course ω = ω 1 e1 + ω 2 e2 + ω 3 e3 is the instantaneous angular velocity. Substituting this, and two similar equations, into (9.31), we find that the velocity of any point in the body is given by ˙ r = ω ∧ r. (9.35) (9.34)

ω2 = −a31 = a13 ,


Thus we have shown that an instantaneous angular velocity vector ω always exists. We note that the direction of ω is the instantaneous axis of rotation: ˙ for points r lying on this axis, the instantaneous velocity r is zero. Now let us consider the general case, in which no point of the body is permanently fixed. Then we may specify the position of the body by the position R of its centre of mass (or of any other designated point), and by the orientations of the principal axes at that point. We can now define, as ˙ before, an angular velocity vector ω relative to the centre of mass. If R is the velocity of the centre of mass, then the instantaneous velocity of a point whose position relative to the centre of mass is r ∗ is ˙ ˙ ˙ r = R + r∗ . But, since r ∗ is fixed in the body, we can apply the same argument as above to define an instantaneous angular velocity vector ω and write ˙ ˙ r = R + ω ∧ r∗. (9.36)

We have not attached an asterisk to ω, because the angular velocity is in fact independent of the choice of origin. For example, if the body is rotating with angular velocity ω about a fixed pivot, then ˙ r = ω ∧ r = ω ∧ R + ω ∧ r∗ .


Classical Mechanics

˙ But the instantaneous velocity of the centre of mass is of course R = ω ∧R, whence subtracting from (9.36), we find ˙ r∗ = ω ∧ r ∗ , which shows that ω is also the angular velocity relative to the centre of mass. The equation of motion of a rigid body rotating about a fixed pivot is the angular momentum equation (9.2), ˙ J= where J is related to ω by (9.20): J = I1 ω1 e1 + I2 ω2 e2 + I3 ω3 e3 . As in §9.2, the momentum equation (9.1) serves to determine the reaction at the pivot. In the general case, we have to determine both the velocity of the centre of mass and the angular velocity. The motion of the centre of mass is described by the momentum equation (9.1): ˙ ¨ P = MR = and the rotational motion by J˙∗ = r∗ ∧ F . (9.39) F, (9.38) r ∧ F, (9.37)

The angular momentum J ∗ about the centre of mass is of course related to the angular velocity by
∗ ∗ ∗ J ∗ = I1 ω1 e∗ + I2 ω2 e∗ + I3 ω3 e∗ , 1 2 3 ∗ ∗ ∗ where e∗ , e∗ , e∗ are the principal axes at the centre of mass, and I1 , I2 , I3 1 2 3 are the corresponding principal moments.


Rotation about a Principal Axis

The principal axes e1 , e2 , e3 rotate with the body. Thus if we wish to use directly the expression for J in terms of its components with respect to these axes, we have to remember that they constitute a rotating frame. In this section, we shall return to the notation of Chapter 5, and distinguish ˙ the absolute rate of change dJ /dt from the relative rate of change J . The

Rigid Bodies


equation of motion (9.37) refers of course to the absolute rate of change, so we must write it as dJ = dt r ∧ F = G, (9.40)

say. (The argument here may be applied equally to a rigid body rotating about a fixed pivot, or to the rotation about the centre of mass.) The relative rate of change is ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ J = I1 ω1 e1 + I2 ω2 e2 + I3 ω3 e3 , since the principal moments of inertia are constants. The two rates of change are related by dJ ˙ = J + ω ∧ J. dt Substituting in (9.40), we obtain ˙ J + ω ∧ J = G, or, in terms of components, ˙ I1 ω1 + (I3 − I2 )ω2 ω3 = G1 , ˙ I3 ω3 + (I2 − I1 )ω1 ω2 = G3 .

˙ I2 ω2 + (I1 − I3 )ω3 ω1 = G2 ,


These equations may be solved, in principle, to give the angular velocity components as functions of time. However, when there are external forces, they are not often particularly useful, because these forces are usually specified in terms of their components with respect to a given fixed set of axes. Even if the external force F is a constant, its components F1 , F2 , F3 are variable, and depend on the unknown orientation of the body. For this kind of problem, an alternative method of solution, using Lagrange’s equations (to be described in the next chapter), is usually preferable. We shall confine our discussion here to the case where there are no external forces, so that the right hand sides of (9.41) vanish. If the body is initially rotating about the principal axis e3 , so that ω1 = ω2 = 0, then we see from (9.41) that they remain zero, and ω3 is a constant. Thus we have verified our earlier assertion that a body rotating freely about a principal axis will continue to rotate with constant angular velocity. Now, however, we wish to investigate the stability of this motion.


Classical Mechanics

Example: Stability of free rotation about a principal axis A rigid body is rotating freely about a principal axis, say e3 , and is given a small displacement. Will its rotation axis remain close to e3 ? If the displacement is small enough, we may treat ω1 and ω2 (at least initially) as small, and neglect the product ω1 ω2 . Thus the third equation, with G3 = 0, tells us that ω3 remains almost constant. We can solve the remaining two equations (with G1 = G2 = 0) by looking for solutions of the form ω1 = a1 ept , ω2 = a2 ept ,

where a1 , a2 and p are constants. (This is essentially the method we used to treat the the problem of stability of equilibrium in one dimension in §§2.2, 2.3. We shall discuss the general problem of stability by a similar method in the next chapter.) Substituting, and dividing by ept , we obtain I1 pa1 + (I3 − I2 )ω3 a2 = 0,

I2 pa2 + (I1 − I3 )ω3 a1 = 0. Eliminating the ratio a1 /a2 , we find p2 = (I3 − I2 )(I1 − I3 ) 2 ω3 . I1 I2

2 The denominator is obviously positive, as is ω3 . Thus if I3 > I1 and I3 > I2 , or if I3 < I1 and I3 < I2 , the two roots for p are pure imaginary, and we have an oscillatory solution. On the other hand, if I1 > I3 > I2 or I1 < I3 < I2 , then the roots are real, and the values of ω1 and ω2 will in general increase exponentially with time, until the approximation of treating them as small is no longer valid. Therefore, we may conclude that the rotation about the axis e3 is stable if I3 is either the largest or the smallest of the three principal moments, but not if it is the middle one.

This interesting result is easy to verify. For example, if one throws a matchbox in the air, it is not hard to get it to spin about its longest or its shortest axis, but it will not spin stably about the other one. The result applies to any rigid body. It is often called the tennis racquet theorem, and we will examine this problem from a different perspective in §13.6.

we make a rotation through an angle ϕ about the axis k. e2 . (See Fig. This brings the three axes into the positions e1 . ϕ. e3 of the body coincide with the fixed axes i. e3 .) The first two rotations are designed to bring the e3 ψ k ϕ θ e2 i e 1′′ e1′ ϕ θ ψ ϕ ψ j θ e 2′ e1 Fig. bringing the axes to the positions e1 . e2 . Next. and making three successive rotations. say e3 — they are just the polar angles θ. k. specified by the polar angles θ. we make a rotation through an angle θ about the axis e2 . k. . Let us suppose that initially the axes e1 . We can reach an arbitrary orientation by starting with the body in a standard position.9 axis e3 to its required position. j. but one convenient choice is the set of angles known as Euler’s angles.Rigid Bodies 221 9. These may be chosen in various ways.9. ϕ — and the third specifies the angle through which the body has been rotated from a standard position about this axis. First. Two of these are required to fix the direction of one of the axes.9 Euler’s Angles The orientation of a rigid body about a fixed point — or about its centre of mass — must be specified by three angles. 9. 9. e2 .

so long as they are always principal axes. Hence if ϕ is changing at a rate ϕ.4. It is not necessary that the axes we choose be fixed in the body.42).20). we limit the discussion to the case of a symmetric body. The angular velocity of the body is clearly determined by the rates of change of these three angles. Instead. This brings all three axes to their required positions e1 . k.44) are already expressed in terms of these axes e1 . ψ.22). so that k = − sin θ e1 + cos θ e3 . we should have to find the components of ω in the directions of the three principal axes. e2 . We obtain ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ J = −I1 ϕ sin θ e1 + I1 θe2 + I3 (ψ + ϕ cos θ)e3 . Then. I3 .43) We can now find the angular momentum from (9. ˙ (9. we make a rotation through an angle ψ about e3 . any orthogonal pair of axes in the plane of e1 and e2 will serve as principal axes. e2 . e3 . j.44) (9. cos θ). and the other angles are constant. Since the three Euler angles. fix the orientations of the three axes. or write down equations directly in the rotating frame . (9. they specify completely the orientation of the rigid body. but we shall not go through the derivation in the general case.222 Classical Mechanics Finally. ˙ ˙ (9. I1 . we could either re-express J in terms of the fixed axes i. Thus from (9. the angular ˙ velocity is ϕk. In particular. This choice has the advantage that two of the three terms in (9. All we have to do is to multiply the three components of ω by the principal moments I1 .45) To find the equations of motion. we find ˙ ˙ ω = −ϕ sin θ e1 + θe2 + (ψ + ϕ cos θ)e3 . with symmetry axis e3 . ˙ ˙ ω = ϕk + θe2 + ψe3 . e1 . using (9. e3 are clearly (− sin θ. 0. θ. When all three angles are changing. we may use the axes e1 . according to the discussion of §9. e2 . Similarly. e3 . together with e3 . if only θ or ψ is changing.20) or (9. the angular velocity is ˙ ˙ ˙ θe2 or ψe3 . e2 . The components of k in the directions of e1 . e2 . and I1 = I2 . e3 . the angular velocity is the sum of these three contributions.42) In order to find the angular momentum or kinetic energy. ϕ. This is not difficult. A small change in ϕ corresponds to a rotation about k.

however. the angular velocity vector ω thus describes a cone around the direction of J . e3 rotates around the direction of J at a constant rate ϕ. e2 .22). Hence the axis of the ˙ ˙ body. The same formalism applies to a body rotating freely about a fixed pivot. precessing at the . equating the three components. We shall. ˙ I3 (ψ + ϕ cos θ) = J cos θ.43). maintaining a constant angle θ to it. J = Jk = −J sin θ e1 + J cos θ e3 .10). and in addition the body spins about its axis with ˙ constant angular velocity ψ (see Fig 9. let us consider a symmetric body moving under no forces. and also with J . Hence. it will be convenient to choose the axis k to be in the direction of the constant vector J . we obtain I1 ϕ sin θ = J sin θ. this must be identically equal to the expression (9. In space.47) has fixed components with respect to e1 . e3 . It too therefore maintains a constant angle with e3 . The interesting part of the motion is the rotation about the centre of mass. Its centre of mass moves of course with uniform velocity. The angular momentum vector therefore points in a fixed direction in space. Since there are no external forces. the angular momentum equation is simply dJ /dt = 0.48) (9.45). 2 2 2 (9. ˙ ˙ I1 θ = 0. find a simpler method in the next chapter. Though we could solve the problem in terms of arbitrary axes.46) Free motion of a symmetric rigid body As an example of the use of the Euler angles. The angular velocity vector ˙ ˙ ω = −ϕ sin θ e1 + (ψ + ϕ cos θ)e3 ˙ (9.Rigid Bodies 223 defined by e1 . For consistency. we learn that θ is a constant. e2 . Then. and from the other ˙ two that (provided θ = 0 or π) ϕ and ψ are constants. ˙ From the second equation. by (9. It is ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ T = 1 I1 ϕ2 sin2 θ + 1 I1 θ2 + 1 I3 (ψ + ϕ cos θ)2 . e3 . The kinetic energy is obtained similarly from (9.

called the Chandler wobble. From (9. In the body. e2 . In this case. This is known as the space cone.224 Classical Mechanics J ϕ e3 ψ −e 1′ ω β θ Fig.10 rate ϕ. In particular. e3 .1 (a circle of about 3 m radius at the pole) in a period which .49) by (9. 9. The Earth’s axis has a very small oscillation of this kind. The rate at which it describes this body cone is ψ. which is where it touches the space cone. the body cone is instantaneously at rest along the line in the direction of ω. then the angles β and θ are nearly equal. ω is fixed with respect to the axes e1 . since ω maintains a ˙ constant angle to e3 . so that the period taken to describe the body cone is much greater ˙ than that for the space cone.48) we see that the semi-vertical angle β of the body cone is given by tan β = − ϕ sin θ ˙ I3 ω1 = tan θ. it is easy to see that ˙ ψ ϕ.) Thus the motion may be described by saying that the body cone rolls round the fixed space cone.47). and moves round a cone in the Earth with semi-vertical angle of order 0.) Since the direction of ω is the instantaneous axis of rotation. and the space cone is much narrower than the body cone. so that |I1 − I3 | I3 . it must describe a cone around this axis — the body ˙ cone. if the body is nearly totally symmetric. 9.10. (For. = ˙ + ϕ cos θ ω3 I1 ψ ˙ (9. It precesses around a fixed direction in space roughly once every day. and the body rotates relative to them ˙ with angular velocity ψ. (See Fig.

by the total force acting on the body — or.11). 9. by the total moment of the forces acting. Similarly the kinetic energy T is the sum of the three terms corresponding to rotation about each of the three principal axes. the precession of the equinoxes. with considerable variation. Then J is obtained from ω simply by multiplying each component by the appropriate principal moment of inertia. The relation between angular momentum and angular velocity is described by the inertia tensor. and therefore β > θ.11 of the much larger effect.2). ˙ and ψ < 0 (see Fig. the force is determined by the motion of the centre of mass. . via the momentum equation (9. but is actually around 14 months. It is always possible to find a set of principal axes (fixed in the body) for which all the products of inertia vanish. 9. via the angular momentum equation (9.Rigid Bodies 225 should be about 300 days for a perfectly rigid Earth. The rotational motion about the centre of mass is determined. so the body cone actually rolls around with the space cone inside it. (Note that this precession is quite independent J e3 −ψ ω β θ −e 1′ ϕ Fig. if one point is fixed. discussed at the end of §9. 9.1). In this case I3 > I1 .6). The motion of the centre of mass is determined.10 Summary Determining the motion of a rigid body under known forces can be divided into two quite separate problems.

and (b) along it. and the fractional loss of kinetic energy. at a point a distance b below the hinge. if the rod is struck elsewhere. the . Determine the point at which the rod may be struck without producing any impulsive reaction at the hinge.m. 4. about a smooth pivot. the orientation of the body is conveniently described by Euler’s angles. An insect of mass 100 mg is resting on the edge of a flat uniform disc of mass 3 g and radius 50 mm.226 Classical Mechanics In general. A uniform rod of mass M and length 2a hangs from a smooth hinge at one end. In that case. Where does this kinetic energy come from. 5.9. Which dynamical variables are conserved (a) before impact. Determine the minimum value of v for which the cube topples over rather than falling back. Find the length of the equivalent simple pendulum. it is convenient to describe the rotational motion in terms of a set of principal axes. It is struck sharply. Find the period of small oscillations (a) perpendicular to the line of centres. find its angular velocity when it reaches the lowest point. though in the special case of a symmetric rigid body (with I1 = I2 ) they may be chosen as in §9. Find the angular velocity when it reaches it. The insect crawls in towards the centre of the disc. with impulse X. A pendulum consists of a light rigid rod of length 250 mm. Use the angular momentum equation to find the initial value of the angular velocity. 2. Find the length of the equivalent simple pendulum. Find also the initial momentum. Normally these rotate with the body. and what happens to it when the insect crawls back out to the edge? 3. We shall see in the following chapter that the Lagrangian method is very useful for obtaining equations of motion in terms of Euler’s angles. with two identical uniform solid spheres of radius 50 mm attached one on either side of its lower end. Problems 1. Given that the cube is released from rest with its centre of mass level with the axis. A uniform solid cube of edge length 2a is suspended from a horizontal axis along one edge. (b) during impact. Show that. and (c) after impact? Find the angular velocity immediately after impact.p. which is rotating at 60 r. and the gain in kinetic energy. A uniform solid cube of edge 2a is sliding with velocity v on a smooth horizontal table when its leading edge is suddenly brought to rest by a small ridge on the table.

direction of the impulsive reaction depends on whether the point of impact is above or below this point. Find also the energy dissipated in this manoeuvre. It is given a small displacement. . Its orientation in space is controlled by a uniform circular flywheel of mass 10 kg and radius 0. *Find the principal moments of inertia of a flat rectangular plate of mass 30 g and dimensions 80 mm×60 mm. find the position of the centre of mass and the principal moments of inertia about it. with inner radius 2. (Hint : Think of it as a sphere of density ρ and radius a. 11. Compare your answer with the corresponding expressions for the equivalent simple pendulum. Find the principal moments of inertia of a uniform solid cube of mass m and edge length 2a (a) with respect to the mid-point of an edge. Given that the flywheel is set spinning at 2000 r. and (b) with respect to a vertex.) A spaceship of mass 3 t has the form of a hollow sphere.) *Calculate the principal moments of inertia of a uniform.5 m and outer radius 3 m. 12. Find the reaction at the pivot as a function of the angle of inclination. A long. find how long it takes the spaceship to rotate through 1◦ . find the horizontal component of the force on each bearing. 10. and base radius a about its vertex. and is held vertical by bearings at its ends. Given that the axis is of total length 120 mm. Find the moment of inertia about an axis through its centre of a uniform hollow sphere of mass M and outer and inner radii a and b. with its axis parallel to it. Calculate the angular displacement at the moment when the cylinder ceases to touch the knife edge.1 m. thin hollow cylinder of radius a is balanced on a horizontal knife edge.Rigid Bodies 227 6. For what value of the ratio h/a is every axis through the vertex a principal axis? For this case.m. find the horizontal and vertical components of the reaction on the axis as a function of its angular position. find the components of the angular momentum parallel to the edges. with a sphere of density ρ and radius b removed.. Given that the plate is rotating about a diagonal with angular velocity 15 rad s−1 . *(a) A simple pendulum supported by a light rigid rod of length l is released from rest with the rod horizontal. solid cone of vertical height h. 9. (b) For the cube of Problem 1. 7. 8.p. (Hint : This is the moment when the radial component of the reaction falls to zero.

p. where q and M are the total charge and mass. about a horizontal axis.5. Taking the z axis in the direction of ω. and Ω ( ω) is the precessional angular velocity of the axis. solid cone of height 50 mm and base radius 20 mm. 19. but non-uniform? 17. A 5 g mass is attached to the axis at a distance of 100 mm from the centre. Evaluate R for v = 5 m s−1 and α = 30◦ . 18. Due to faulty construction. if the axis of rotation is (a) the longest. Determine the frequency of small oscillations of the axis. the fixed point is not precisely at the centre. and is spinning about its axis at 2400 r. and show that it is equal to (q/2M )J ∧B.g. A solid rectangular box. Then show from the angular momentum equation about the centre of mass that R = 2v 2 /g tan α. Find the time taken for the axis to move through 1◦ . What difference would it make if the charge distribution were spherically symmetric. Evaluate the total moment of the magnetic force on the sphere. A top consists of a uniform.m. Hence show that the axis will precess around the direction of the magnetic field with precessional angular velocity equal to the Larmor frequency of §5. 16. *A uniformly charged sphere is spinning freely with angular velocity ω in a uniform magnetic field B. A gyroscope consisting of a uniform solid sphere of radius 0. Find the angular velocity of precession of the axis. write down the moment about the centre of the magnetic force on a particle at r. but 20 µm away from it along the axis. 14. with its mass concentrated on the rim. *A rigid body of spheroidal shape. It is spinning with its vertex fixed at 7200 r. where ω is the angular velocity of the wheel about its axis. and B in the xz-plane.m. is placed on a smooth flat table.p. 15. e. axis. A gyroscope consisting of a uniform circular disc of mass 100 g and radius 40 mm is pivoted so that its centre of mass is fixed. respectively. Show by considering the moment of the force at the point of contact that its axis will precess in one direction if it is oblate (c < a = b.1 m is spinning at 3000 r.m. spinning rapidly about its axis of symmetry. a discus) and in the . is rolling with velocity v round a circle of radius R ( a). of dimensions 100 mm×60 mm×20 mm.p. maintaining a constant inclination α to the vertical.p. Find the precessional period of the axis about the vertical.228 Classical Mechanics 13. and (b) the shortest. Use the momentum equation to find the horizontal and vertical components of the force at the point of contact. Show that v = aω = RΩ. *A wheel of radius a.m. is spinning freely with angular velocity 240 r.

) From the component along the axis. Due to the Coriolis force. Show also that if there is a small frictional force.p. Determine the period of small oscillations about this direction if the gyroscope is a flat circular disc spinning at 6000 r. use the equation for the rate of change of angular momentum in a frame rotating with the Earth ˙ (e..g.5? 21. *The axis of a gyroscope is free to rotate within a smooth horizontal circle in colatitude λ. Why is this effect less sensitive to the distribution of density within the Earth than the complementary one discussed in §6.45◦ is the tilt between the Earth’s axis and the normal to the orbital plane (the ecliptic). in particular the contribution of Ω to J . except for sign. the oblateness of the Earth.m. and Ω is the Earth’s angular velocity. Show also that (I3 − I1 )/I3 ≈ . where G is the couple restraining the axis from leaving the horizontal plane. and r as the distance to the Sun.7). 5. identical with the expression found in Chapter 6. and hence evaluate Ω. Problem 26. and describe the effect qualitatively from the point of view of an inertial observer. (Neglect terms of order Ω2 . e. that of Fig. Show that Q = −2(I3 − I1 ) and hence that the precessional angular velocity produced by this moment is Ω=− 3 I3 − I1 2 cos α n. *The average moment exerted by the Sun on the Earth is. Show that the stable position is with the axis pointing north. but if it is prolate it will rise. . 20. To find the effect of this couple.g. J +Ω∧J = G. there is a couple on the gyroscope. 2 I3 ω where is the Earth’s orbital angular velocity. and α = 23. the axis will become more nearly vertical. Explain why this system is sensitive to the horizontal component of Ω. so that if the body is oblate its centre of mass will fall. in latitude 30◦ N.Rigid Bodies 229 opposite direction if it is prolate (c > a = b. show that the angular velocity ω about the axis is constant. from the vertical component show that the angle ϕ between the axis and east obeys the equation ¨ I1 ϕ − I3 ωΩ sin λ cos ϕ = 0. a rugby ball). provided we interpret m as the mass of the Sun.

230 Classical Mechanics .

X = Y = Z = 0). in place of algebraic equations. the position of every particle may be fixed by specifying the values of just six quantities — for instance.5. The second type of constraint is represented by conditions on the velocities rather than the co-ordinates. these co-ordinates may be subject to further constraints. In fact. and apply it in particular to the case of rigid bodies. Y.) In this chapter. the three co-ordinates X.1 Generalized Co-ordinates. these 3N co-ordinates cannot all vary independently. Holonomic Systems Let us consider a rigid body. the three Euler angles alone suffice to fix the position of every particle. 10. Z of the centre of mass and the three Euler angles ϕ. In particular problems. These six constitute a set of generalized co-ordinates for the rigid body.g. say the centre of mass. However. In this particular case. we might for example fix the position of one point of the body. or to move round a circle with uniform angular velocity. which may be of two kinds. ψ which determine the orientation. θ. For example. we might constrain the centre of mass to move with uniform velocity.. First. which may be used to eliminate some of the co-ordinates. Then. (See §8. we 231 . we shall give a more systematic account of the Lagrangian method. but are subject to constraints — the rigidity conditions. The positions of all the particles may be specified by 3N co-ordinates. Such constraints are represented by algebraic conditions on the co-ordinates (e. composed of a large number N of particles.Chapter 10 Lagrangian Mechanics We have already seen that the equations of motion for a system of N particles moving under conservative forces may be obtained from the Lagrangian function in terms of any set of 3N independent co-ordinates.

and the number of degrees of freedom is two (three if we allow it also to spin about the vertical). . leaving a set equal in number to the number of degrees of freedom. Its position may be specified by five generalized co-ordinates — X. qn is a set of generalized co-ordinates for a given system if the position of every particle in the system is a function of these variables.1) The number of co-ordinates which can vary independently is called the number of degrees of freedom of the system. the system is natural. and the number of generalized coordinates taken equal to the number of degrees of freedom. and perhaps also explicitly of time: r i = r i (q1 . q2 . . which will be useful later. ϕ. ψ. The distinction between a natural and a forced system can be expressed in another way. we say that q1 . X = X0 + ut).. (10. we find ˙ that the velocity of the ith particle is a linear function of q1 . on the other hand. the system is said to be forced .) However. θ. it is not hard to show that ˙ ω = k ∧ R/a. . Consider. though ˙ . for example. . .g. In general. these equations can be solved to find some of the co-ordinates as explicit functions of time (e. X = u). a sphere rolling on a rough plane. If this elimination introduces explicit functions of time. q2 . if all the constraints are purely algebraic. (Z is a constant and may be omitted. Differentiating (10. . for. we could roll the sphere round a circle so that it returns to its starting point but with a different orientation. If it is possible to solve the constraint equations.1). together with k · ω = 0. . .) However. where a is the radius of the sphere. the system is called holonomic. we shall assume that the constraint equations can be solved. these equations cannot be integrated to find the orientation in terms of the position of the centre of mass. qn . The constraint equations — the rolling conditions — serve to determine the angular velocity in terms of the velocity of the centre of mass. the sphere can roll in only two directions. There do exist non-holonomic systems.. In simple cases. qn . and eliminate some of the co-ordinates. . . t). so that t does not appear explicitly in (10.1). For the present. for which the constraint equations cannot be solved to eliminate some of the co-ordinates. Then the position of every particle will be determined by the values of the remaining generalized co-ordinates and the time t. .g. . Y. (This follows from the ˙ fact that R = ω ∧ ak.232 Classical Mechanics ˙ have differential equations (e. Using the fact that the instantaneous axis of rotation must be a horizontal axis through the point of contact.

the kinetic energy of a symmetric rigid body is ∗ ∗ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ T = 1 M (X 2 + Y 2 + Z 2 ) + 1 I1 (ϕ2 sin2 θ + θ2 ) + 1 I3 (ψ + ϕ cos θ)2 . Similarly. 2 2 2 If we impose further algebraic constraints. we ˙ obtain a quadratic function of the time derivatives q1 . and is 1 ˙2 absent for a natural system. one that is not restricted to conservative forces — let us return for the moment to the case of a single particle. and performing an integration by parts. the integrand is −Fx δx = −δW . qn . in which the integrated term vanishes by virtue of the boundary conditions.2). We consider variations of the integral t1 I= t0 T dt. . where ˙ T = 1 mr 2 . ˙ ˙ Substituting in (10. and we are still left with a homogeneous quadratic function of the remaining time derivatives. but for a forced system there are also linear terms and terms independent of the velocities.1). the corresponding terms drop out. where δW is the work done by the force F in the displacement δx. if we impose a ˙ differential constraint. . such as X = 0. Then clearly δT = mx δ x. if we make variations of all three . qα + ˙ ∂qα ∂t α=1 n The last term arises from the explicit dependence on t in (10. moving under an arbitrary force F . .2 Lagrange’s Equations To obtain a more general form of Lagrange’s equations than the one found in §3. it is a homogeneous quadratic function. we obtain a function with ˙ constant or linear terms. When we substitute in T = 2 mr . For example.29) and (9.46). For a natural ˙ system.7 — in particular. we find t1 δI = − m¨ δx dt. 10. subject to the boundary conditions δx(t0 ) = δx(t1 ) = 0. such as X = u or ϕ = ω.Lagrangian Mechanics 233 in general it depends in a more complicated way on the co-ordinates themselves: ˙ ri = ∂ri ∂r i . 2 (10. .2) Now let us make a small variation δx(t) in the x co-ordinate. x t0 Now. On the other hand. according to (8.

it makes no explicit reference to any particular set of co-ordinates.3) where δW = F · δr is the work done by the force in the displacement δr. On the other hand. for example. Hence we can use it to find equations of motion in terms of an arbitrary set of co-ordinates q1 . dt (10. for a particle moving in a plane. Hence Lagrange’s equations are ˙ d ˙ (mr) = mrθ2 + Fr .3) and (10. T = 2 m(r2 + r2 θ2 ). Then. we find t1 δI = − δW dt. Consider. or δW = Fr δr + Fθ δθ. (10.4). q2 .37). F3 corresponding to F by δW = F1 δq1 + F2 δq2 + F3 δq3 . Let us define the generalized forces F1 .3) is that. q3 . t0 (10. according to (3.47). t1 δI = − F1 δq1 (t) dt. t0 These two expressions must be equal for arbitrary variations subject only to the boundary conditions that δq1 (t0 ) = δq1 (t1 ) = 0.4) Then we may equate δI as given by (10. ∂qα (10.3) to the general expression (3. and we obtain Lagrange’s equations in the form d dt ∂T ∂ qα ˙ = ∂T + Fα . like Hamilton’s principle (see §3. (Compare the discussion following (3. The advantage of (10. a variation δq1 of q1 .4).234 Classical Mechanics coordinates.6) It is important to remember that Fθ here does not mean the component of the vector F in the direction of increasing θ.37).) It is defined by (10.7).5) For example. Hence the integrands must be equal. . by (10. ˙ dt d ˙ (mr2 θ) = Fθ . and described by polar 1 ˙ co-ordinates. F2 . t1 δI = t0 ∂T d − ∂q1 dt ∂T ∂ q1 ˙ δq1 (t) dt.

.8) but also to the ‘generalized momentum’ on the left.8). the centrifugal term mr θ2 in (10.5) in the form (3. it may be possible to find an effective ‘potential energy’ function V depending on the velocities as well as the co-ordinates. containing any number of particles.8) that restricts their applicability to the case of a single particle. which we shall discuss in §10.9) In this case too. The most important example of a force of this type in the electromagnetic force on a charged particle. (Recall that the generalized ˙ momentum pθ = mr2 θ is the angular momentum. q2 .5. defining the Lagrangian function L = T − V . we can define L = T − V .6)).Lagrangian Mechanics 235 The work done in producing a small angular displacement δθ is equal to δθ multiplied by the moment of the force F about the origin.7) Thus.44) obtained earlier. Thus Fθ here is in fact the moment of F about the origin. .4) that Fα = − ∂V . d dt ∂L ∂ qα ˙ = ∂L . The general principle embodied in (10. then δW = −δV . we can write (10. If the system is holonomic. and write Lagrange’s equations in the form (10. Note that in this case the ‘potential energy’ V contributes not only to the ‘generalized force’ on the right side of (10. with n degrees of freedom.6) expresses the fact that the rate of change of angular momentum is equal to the moment of the force. It then follows from (10.3) applies to any system whatsoever. (10. (10. ∂qα (10. Thus the second of Eqs. and such that Fα = − ∂V d + ∂qα dt ∂V ∂ qα ˙ . . . even if F is non-conservative.) If the force is conservative.5) or (10. and obtain Lagrange’s equations . qn .8) Note that the ‘generalized force’ ∂L/∂qα on the right hand side of this equation includes not only the force Fα determined by F but also the ‘apparent’ force ∂T /∂qα arising from the curvilinear nature of the co-ordinates ˙ (for example. ∂qα (10. More generally. then we can make independent arbitrary variations of the generalized co-ordinates q1 . where V is the potential energy. There is nothing in the discussion leading to Lagrange’s equations (10.

and we use the three Euler angles as generalized co-ordinates. by n δW = F1 δq1 + F2 δq2 + · · · + Fn δqn = Fα δqα . ˙ dt (10. Show that for any θ < π/2. or more generally if they can be written in the form (10. in which the generalized forces are defined. and the potential energy is V = M gR cos θ. 2 2 (10. (Compare Fig.8) for θ is therefore d ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ (I1 θ) = I1 ϕ2 sin θ cos θ − I3 (ψ + ϕ cos θ)ϕ sin θ + M gR sin θ. This is a symmetric rigid body. (10.46). Thus the Lagrangian function is 1 ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ L = 2 I1 ϕ2 sin2 θ + 1 I1 θ2 + 1 I3 (ψ + ϕ cos θ)2 − M gR cos θ. The kinetic energy is given by (9. can occur.3 Precession of a Symmetric Top As a first example of the use of Lagrange’s equations.4). then Lagrange’s equations may be expressed in the form (10.8). θ. 10.) Example: Steady precession of a top Find the conditions under which steady precession at a given constant angle of inclination of the axis. α=1 (10.5). but only their time derivatives. discussed in the previous chapter.7. there is a minimum value of the rotational angular velocity about the axis for which this is possible. we consider in more detail the problem of the symmetric top.10) Finally. as in (10.12) dt The Lagrangian function does not involve the other two Euler angles.9).11) Lagrange’s equation (10. and moving under gravity.13) . 9. ˙ ˙ dt d ˙ [I3 (ψ + ϕ cos θ)] = 0. pivoted at a point on its axis of symmetry. if the forces are conservative. so the corresponding equations express the constancy of the generalized momenta pϕ and pψ : d ˙ [I1 ϕ sin2 θ + I3 (ψ + ϕ cos θ) cos θ] = 0. This system has three degrees of freedom.236 Classical Mechanics (10.

9. I1 Ω2 cos θ − I3 ω3 Ω + M gR = 0.15).13). To find ˙ the relation between the angular velocities Ω and ω3 . using the Hamiltonian methods developed there. The first of these is just the approximate result we obtained in §9. we examine the θ equation. Note that if we allow θ to be greater than π/2 — that is. It is interesting to examine the special case where ω3 is large. Thus the axis of the top precesses ˙ around the vertical with constant angular velocity ϕ = Ω. In particular. I1 | cos θ| We shall discuss the more general motion of this system in Chapter 12. we learn ˙ that both ϕ and ψ must be constant. Ω=± M gR . and another which is comparable in magnitude to ω3 . The second represents a rapid precessional motion in which the gravitational force is negligible. Ω ≈ I3 ω3 /I1 cos θ. given by Ω ≈ M gR/I3 ω3 .15) The minimum value of ω3 for which real roots for Ω exist is given by If the top is spinning more slowly than this. that is unless the axis is vertical). given that θ remains constant. for ω3 = 0. discussed in §9.14) From the equations (10. (10. Then there is one root for Ω which is much less than ω3 . we obtain (for sin θ = 0.29)).Lagrangian Mechanics 237 Note that this last equation tells us that the component of angular velocity ω3 about the axis of symmetry is constant ˙ ˙ ω3 = ψ + ϕ cos θ = constant. . we find the possible angular velocities of a compound pendulum swinging in a circle. the roots of (10. Since the left side must vanish.6 on the assumption that Ω was much smaller than ω3 (see (9. It corresponds precisely to the free precessional motion of a rigid body.12). if we consider a top suspended below its point of support — then steady precession is possible for any value of ω3 . 2 2 I3 ω3 = 4I1 M gR cos θ. (10. it will start to wobble. (10. For any larger value of ω3 there are two possible values of Ω. say.

we take the z-axis vertically downward. explicitly. so that it can swing freely in a vertical plane.) The Lagrangian function is 1 ˙ ˙ L = 2 ml2 (θ2 + ϕ2 sin2 θ) − mgl(1 − cos θ). This imposes . Its position may be described by the two polar angles θ. (10. It consists of a light rigid rod. ∂ϕ d ˙ (ml2 ϕ sin2 θ) = G. Lagrange’s equations are d dt or. ϕ.238 Classical Mechanics 10.1. dt Now let us suppose that the torque G is adjusted to constrain the system to rotate with constant angular velocity ω about the vertical. (For convenience.4 Pendulum Constrained to Rotate about an Axis Next.16) Since the work done by the torque G is δW = G δϕ. and hinged at ω θ l m Fig. ∂θ d dt ∂L ∂ϕ ˙ = ∂L + G. in addition to gravity. ˙ (10. so that θ = 0 is the equilibrium position.1 the other to a vertical axis. ¨ ml2 θ = ml2 ϕ2 sin θ cos θ − mgl sin θ. 10. We suppose initially that. of length l. 10. carrying a mass m at one end.17) (10.18) ∂L ˙ ∂θ = ∂L . let us consider the system illustrated in Fig. This system has two degrees of freedom. a known torque G(t) is applied to rotate it about the axis.

this corresponds to using a rotating frame. we write L = T − V . (10. we find 1 ˙ L = 2 ml2 (θ2 + ω 2 sin2 θ) − mgl(1 − cos θ). independent of them. Multiplying (10. Substituting this constraint into the Lagrangian function (10. Example: Types of motion of the constrained pendulum Describe the possible types of motion of the constrained pendulum for a given value of ω. Here T is the kinetic energy of the motion relative to this frame.1. It is often useful in problems of this kind to separate the Lagrangian function into a ‘kinetic’ term T . where 1 ˙ T = 2 ml2 θ2 .Lagrangian Mechanics 239 the constraint ϕ = ω. to find the qualitative features of the motion. d d (T + V ) = Gω = (ml2 ω 2 sin2 θ). In this case.19) Note the appearance in the kinetic energy part of L of a term indepen˙ dent of θ. dt dt Since T + V = T + V − ml 2 ω 2 sin2 θ. .20).17) by θ and integrating. (10.16). from (10. the constraining forces can do work on the system. because the centrifugal term appears with the opposite sign. ˙ there is still a conservation law. V = mgl(1 − cos θ) − 1 ml2 ω 2 sin2 θ. However. It is easy to verify the consistency of this by calculating the work done on the system. so the total energy T + V is not in general a constant. and the system may be regarded as a system with ˙ one degree of freedom. this is equivalent to (10. Thus. which is characteristic of a forced system. The rate at which the torque does work is Gω. we find T + V = E = constant. and the extra term in V is the potential energy corresponding to the centrifugal force. and a ‘potential’ term −V . described by the co-ordinate θ. in our case. rotating with angular velocity ω. 2 Physically. For a forced system. quadratic in the time derivatives. We can use this conservation law. just as we did in §2.20) This is not the total energy T + V .18).

2 (10. if the rotation period is longer than the free oscillation period of the pendulum). three types of motion are possible. though the period is longer. without ever reaching the vertical.21) . Finally. 10. From (10.2. the pendulum oscillates around this stable position. we have a continuous circular motion.2 π θ If ω 2 > g/l. Problem 10). If E < 0. V′ 2mgl 0 θ0 Fig. we introduce a new variable ˙ λ. The motion is qualitatively just like that of the ordinary pendulum. if E > 2mgl. 10. though θ = 0 is no longer the position of maximum velocity.16). passing through both the upward and downward verticals. The stable equilibrium position at θ0 is the one where the transverse components of the gravitational and centrifugal forces are in equilibrium. the Lagrange multiplier. To impose the constraint ϕ = ω on our system. and an intermediate minimum at θ = θ0 = arccos(g/lω 2 ). depending on the value of ω. using the method of Lagrange multipliers (see Appendix A. There are two distinct cases. it swings from one side to the other as before.2. The equilibrium position at θ = 0 is then unstable. we draw the ‘effective potential energy’ diagram for the function V . 10. then V has a minimum at θ = 0. For this case.240 Classical Mechanics To do this. and a maximum at θ = π. then V has maxima at both 0 and π. we obtain in this way ˙ ˙ ˙ L = 1 ml2 (θ2 + ϕ2 sin2 θ) − mgl(1 − cos θ) − λ(ϕ − ω). For 0 < E < 2mgl. as shown in the upper curve in Fig. and subtract λ times the constraint from the Lagrangian function. There is a more general way of handling constraints (holonomic or not). as shown in the lower curve in Fig. If ω 2 < g/l (that is.

0 = ϕ − ω. (10. (10. λ itself would be the torque. or. That for ϕ becomes d (ml2 ϕ sin2 θ − λ) = 0. we wish to show that this force may be written in the form (10. we have the Euler–Lagrange equation for λ. To do this. ˙ dt (10. ∂t B = ∇ ∧ A.Lagrangian Mechanics 241 The Euler–Lagrange equation for θ.25) For time-independent fields. we see that λ is physically the torque G required to impose the constraint. ˙ ˙ Fx = qEx + q(yBz − zBy ). the physical significance of λ may be found by considering a small virtual change in the constraint equation. . In that case.22) with (10. (10. and subtracted λ(ϕ − ωt) from L. Now. 10.22) In addition. which simply reproduces the constraint. according to which it is always possible to find a scalar potential φ and a vector potential A. Equivalently.7). z. we have to make use of a standard result of electromagnetic theory (see §A. In general. in terms of components.9) with a suitably chosen function V . we could have integrated the constraint. y.23) together with two similar equations obtained by cyclic permutation of x.5 Charged Particle in an Electromagnetic Field We now wish to consider one of the most important examples of a nonconservative force. ˙ ˙ Comparing (10.17) is unchanged.18). functions of r and t. The force on the particle is then F = q(E + v ∧ B). This method is particularly useful when we want to find the constraining forces or torques.24) (10. φ is simply the electrostatic potential of Chapter 6. such that E = −∇φ − ∂A . We consider a particle of charge q moving in an electric field E and a magnetic field B.

bearing in mind that Ax varies with time both because of its explicit time dependence. It follows that the equations of motion for a particle in an electromagnetic field may be obtained from the Lagrangian function ˙ ˙ L = 1 mr2 + q r · A(r. t) Clearly. Instead. ˙ so. let us consider the function ˙ V = qφ(r.9) with V equal to (10. ˙ px = ∂L = mx + qAx . (10. whence ˙ − ∂V d + ∂x dt ∂V ∂x ˙ =q − ∂φ ∂Ax − + ∂x ∂t ∂Ay ∂Ax − q y ˙ ∂x ∂y +z ˙ ∂Ax ∂Az − ∂x ∂z ˙ ˙ = qEx + q(yBz − zBy ). But this is just the expression for Fx given by (10. by (10. d dt ∂V ∂x ˙ = −q dAx .24). we find that the terms in x cancel. ˙ ∂x ˙ . Hence we have verified that F is given by (10. T − V . t) − qφ(r.26) ˙ ˙ = qφ − q(xAx + yAy + zAz ).25). t) − q r · A(r.27) Note the appearance in L of terms linear in the time derivatives. dt ∂V ∂φ ∂Ax ∂Ay ∂Az = −q +q x ˙ +y ˙ +z ˙ ∂x ∂x ∂x ∂x ∂x . and because of its dependence on the particle position r(t). mx.242 Classical Mechanics Now. we find d dt ∂V ∂x ˙ = −q ∂Ax ∂Ax ∂Ax ∂Ax + x+ ˙ y+ ˙ z . ˙ ∂t ∂x ∂y ∂z Adding. one quadratic in ˙ r and one independent of it. This function cannot be separated into two parts. t). 2 (10. − Also.26). Another consequence of the appearance of these terms is that the generalized momentum px is no longer equal to the familiar mechanical momentum.

(10. 2 2 Lagrange’s equations are therefore ˙ m¨ = mρϕ2 + qBρϕ.31) (10.2. or ˙ qB . m This is of course precisely the solution we obtained in §5. ˙ p = mr + qA. if we choose the z-axis in the direction of B. in the case where ρ is a constant. it reads ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ L = 1 m(ρ2 + ρ2 ϕ2 + z 2 ) + q(ρAρ + ρϕAϕ + zAz ) − qφ. ϕ=− ˙ .) Thus the Lagrangian function is ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ L = 1 m(ρ2 + ρ2 ϕ2 + z 2 ) + 1 qBρ2 ϕ. we learn from the last two equations that ϕ and z are also constants. ρ ˙ d (mρ2 ϕ + 1 qBρ2 ) = 0. more generally. (It is easy to verify the relation B = ∇ ∧ A using (A. z (10. For example. 2 Az = 0. (10. Find the solutions of the equations of motion in which ρ is constant. we may take φ=0 and A = 1 B ∧ r.27). φ = 0. 2 Example: Uniform magnetic field A charged particle moves in a uniform static magnetic field B. For a uniform magnetic field.30) In particular.28) We can now obtain the equations of motion in terms of arbitrary coordinates from the Lagrangian function (10.55).Lagrangian Mechanics 243 or. in terms of cylindrical polars.29) or. Aρ = 0. 2 Aϕ = 1 Bρ. and from the first ˙ ˙ equation that either ϕ = 0 (particle moving parallel to the z-axis). ˙ 2 dt m¨ = 0.

For the partial derivatives of y we use the notations y= ˙ ∂y . In place of a finite set of generalized co-ordinates. we consider a rather different kind of problem. we can 1 replace 1 + y 2 by 1 + 2 y 2 . its length is increased. its length is l. The kinetic energy of a small element of string of length dx is Thus the total kinetic energy is l T = 0 1 ˙2 2 µy dx. say to l + ∆l. and is given by (3. For small displacements.31) is particularly interesting. The reason for the existence of such a conservation law will be discussed in Chapter 12. This is an example of a system with an infinite number of degrees of freedom — a string of length l. 10. It shows that. and mass µ per unit length. there is still a corresponding conservation law for the quantity ˙ 1 pϕ = mρ2 ϕ + 2 qBρ2 . namely l l + ∆l = 0 1 + y 2 dx. although in general the z component of the particle angular momentum is not a constant. We shall consider small transverse oscillations of the string.244 Classical Mechanics The second of the three equations (10.32) . This is the potential energy of the string. the displacement y(x. ∂x 1 ˙2 2 (µ dx)y . we now have a continuous function. and stretched to a tension F . Thus we may take l V = 0 2 1 2Fy dx. t) of the string from its equilibrium position. when it is displaced. However. The work done against the tension in increasing the length by ∆l is F ∆l. with fixed ends. When the string is in equilibrium. ∂t y = ∂y . (10.34).6 The Stretched String As a final example of the use of the Lagrangian method.

t) which vanishes at t0 and t1 . and with respect to x in the third. we integrate by parts.35) In the particular case of the stretched string. we can use Hamilton’s principle to derive the equation of motion. The variation of the action integral is t1 l 0 δI = t0 ∂L ∂L ∂(δy) ∂L ∂(δy) δy + + dx dt. it will be useful to consider a more general problem. given by the integrand of (10. 2 ˙ 2 (10. This is possible only if the integrand vanishes identically. In both cases. in which the Lagrangian function has the form l L= 0 L(y. with respect to t in the second term. therefore. ˙ (10.) The action integral is t1 l 0 I= t0 L(y.34) where L may be called the Lagrangian density. the integrated terms vanish because δy is zero at the limits of integration. Hence we obtain Lagrange’s equation ∂ ∂L − ∂y ∂t ∂L ∂y ˙ − ∂ ∂x ∂L ∂y = 0. l L= 0 ( 1 µy 2 − 1 F y 2 ) dx. (10. ˙ Let us consider a small variation of the displacement δy(x. as in §3.Lagrangian Mechanics 245 Our Lagrangian function is. y. (In our particular case. y ) dx dt. ∂y . y ) dx. and a function only of its derivatives. is actually independent of y. To do this.33). Thus we obtain t1 l 0 δI = t0 ∂L ∂ − ∂y ∂t ∂L ∂y ˙ − ∂ ∂x ∂L ∂y δy(x. ∂y ∂ y ∂t ˙ ∂y ∂x Now. and also (because the ends of the string are fixed) at x = 0 and x = l.6. ˙ ∂y ˙ ∂L = −F y . ∂y ∂L = µy. t) vanishing at the limits.33) As before. y. the derivatives of the Lagrangian density are ∂L = 0. Hamilton’s principle requires that this expression should be zero for arbitrary variations δy(x. t) dx dt. L.

It ˙ is easy to verify by direct substitution that. but shifted to the right by a distance ct (see Fig. For a string of finite length. t) = f (x − ct) is a solution. Similar equations turn up in many branches of physics. 0) of the ˙ string find its displacement at a later time t. for any function f . When it gets to the end of the string it must be reflected back. representing a wave travelling to the left along the string. In fact. whenever wave phenomena are encountered. a wave cannot travel indefinitely in one direction. (10. The general solution is y = f (x + ct) + g(x − ct). ¨ where c2 = F/µ.246 Classical Mechanics Thus Lagrange’s equation becomes y = c2 y . we now have a partial differential equation for the function y(x. Ignoring for the moment the boundary conditions at x = 0 and x = l. t) = f (x + ct) is a solution. Example: Solution of the stretched-string equation Given the initial displacement y(x.36) involves two arbitrary functions. 10. 0) and velocity y(x. which may be determined by the initial values of y and y. the general solution of the wave equation (10. for. the shape of the displacement y is the same at time t as at time 0. Similarly. y(x. y(x. To satisfy the boundary conditions at x = 0 and x = l both terms in the solution must be present. Note that c2 has the dimensions of (velocity)2 . c is the velocity of propagation of waves along the string. It represents a wave travelling along the string with velocity c to the right. as we show below.3). where f and g are arbitrary functions. t) of two independent variables.36) In place of a discrete set of ordinary differential equations for the generalized co-ordinates qα (t).36) is the one-dimensional wave equation. . Equation (10.

39) . To fix f . and in the sign of the argument. Thus the functions f and g differ only in sign. (10. Now from (10.3 x The condition y = 0 at x = 0 requires that f (ct) + g(−ct) = 0 for all t. we have to specify its values in the interval from −l to l. k(x) = f (x) − f (−x). satisfying f (x + 2l) = f (x). In other words.38) (10.40) (10. the initial value of y is y(x. to specify both functions h and k in the interval from 0 to l.37) To establish the connection between the periodic function f and the initial conditions. 0) = f (x) − f (−x) = k(x).37).Lagrangian Mechanics 247 y time 0 time t ct Fig. let us write f as the sum of an even function and an odd function: f (x) = 1 [h(x) + k(x)]. or. The condition y = 0 at x = l requires that f (ct + l) − f (ct − l) = 0 for all t. 10. equivalently. of period 2l. and we can write the solution as y = f (x + ct) − f (ct − x). (10. f must be a periodic function. 2 where h(x) = f (x) + f (−x).

37)). which is horizontal. all we need is the Lagrangian function L = T − V . A cable of negligible mass and length l is wound on the drum. If the cable . on the other hand. This is the case in all the examples we have considered. T may contain ˙ linear and constant terms. If the forces are conservative (and sometimes in other cases too). and carries on its free end a mass m. Find the acceleration of the masses. The system is natural if the functions specifying the positions of particles in terms of the generalized co-ordinates do not involve the time explicitly. 10.7 Summary The position of every part of a system may be fixed by specifying the values of a set of generalized co-ordinates. Problems 1. 0) = cf (x) − cf (−x) = ch (x). ˙ (10. for dissipative forces. In general. and Lagrange’s equation. A uniform cylindrical drum of mass M and radius a is free to rotate about its axis. Masses m and 2m are joined by a light inextensible string which runs without slipping over a uniform circular pulley of mass 2m and radius a. 2. Using the angular position of the pulley as generalized co-ordinate. the equations of motion are given by Lagrange’s equations. the generalized forces Fα corresponding to the generalized co-ordinates qα must be found by evaluating the work done in a small displacement.41) (Remember that [f (−x)] = −f (−x). In that case. Write down the Lagrangian function in terms of an appropriate generalized co-ordinate. the system is holonomic.248 Classical Mechanics This therefore determines the odd part of f . Moreover. assuming no slipping or stretching of the cable. write down the Lagrangian function. the kinetic energy is a homogeneous quadratic function of the qα . For a forced system. If these co-ordinates can all vary independently. In either case. the initial value of y is ˙ y(x.) Thus the initial value of y deter˙ mines the even part of f (up to an irrelevant additive constant. which cancels in (10.

7. with elastic potential energy 2 kx2 . Show that the terms proportional to ω and ω 2 reproduce the Coriolis force and centrifugal force respectively. 4. The other end supports a second pulley with a string over it carrying masses 3m and m on the two ends. If the system is released from rest with the pendulum inclined at 30◦ to the vertical. 9. Obtain an equation of motion for θ alone. Problem 13. is initially fully wound up. where x is the extension of the cable. and Lagrange’s equations. given that M = 2 kg. A simple pendulum of mass m and length l hangs from a trolley of mass M running on smooth horizontal rails. although the total mass on each side is the same.Lagrangian Mechanics 249 3. use energy conservation to find its angular velocity when it reaches the vertical. Treat the system of Problem 2 as one with two generalized co-ordinates. m = 1 kg. find the angular velocity of the drum when it is fully unwound. write down the Lagrangian function. and carries a mass 4m on one end. and l = 2 m. Find the downward accelerations of the three masses. 5. with an appropriate constraint. Compare the slower value with the approximate result found earlier. Hence find the tension in the cable. Show that the motion of the mass m is a uniform acceleration at the same rate as before. 8. with a superimposed oscillation of angular frequency given by ω 2 = k(M + 2m)/M m. A light inextensible string passes over a light smooth pulley. and Lagrange’s equations. and the system is released from rest.) *Find the Lagrangian function for the system of Problem 2 if the cable 1 is elastic. Evaluate accurately the two possible precessional angular velocities of the top described in Chapter 9. Find the tensions in the strings in Problem 6. write down the Lagrangian function for the system. Find also the minimum angular velocity ω3 for which steady precession at this angle is possible. if the axis makes an angle of 30◦ with the vertical. (Show that it is equal to the Lagrange multiplier. Using the position x of the trolley and the angle of inclination θ of the pendulum as generalized co-ordinates. Using a suitable pair of generalized co-ordinates. Write down the kinetic energy of a particle in cylindrical polar coordinates in a frame rotating with angular velocity ω about the z-axis. the angular position of the drum and the free length of cable. Find the amplitude of this oscillation if the system is released from rest with the cable unextended. . The pendulum swings in a plane parallel to the rails. 6. Explain why the first pulley turns.

is 1 ˙ ˙ T = 2 I1 (Ω sin λ cos ϕ)2 + 1 I1 (ϕ + Ω cos λ)2 + 1 I3 (ψ + Ω sin λ sin ϕ)2 . *A uniform plank of length 2a is placed with one end on a smooth horizontal floor and the other against a smooth vertical wall. I1 . and find the smallest value for which it is stable. then the Lagrangian functions L and L + dF/dt must yield the same equations of motion. (Hint : First write the co-ordinates of the centre of mass in terms of x and θ. (Hint : Take F = −qΛ. Note that the reaction at the wall is related to the Lagrange multiplier. the distance x of the foot of the plank from the wall. ψ. From Lagrange’s equations. Find the function f (x). find the angle at which it loses contact with the wall. ϕ. and the principal moments I1 . with a suitable constraint between the two. and its angle θ of inclination to the horizontal.) The stretched string of §10. using two generalized co-ordinates. Problem 21. 12. *Show that the kinetic energy of the gyroscope described in Chapter 9. Y. . What are the stable positions when ω3 = 0? Interpret this result in terms of a non-rotating frame.) Show that the horizontal motion of the centre of mass may be completely separated from the rotational motion. Hence show that the equations of motion of a charged particle in an electromagnetic field are unaffected by the ‘gauge transformation’ (A.42). Show that motion with the axis pointing north becomes unstable for very small values of ω3 . Given that the plank is initially at rest at an inclination of 60◦ . 2 2 11. *Find the Lagrangian function for a symmetric top whose pivot is free to slide on a smooth horizontal table. Write down the Lagrangian function.6 is released from rest with its mid-point displaced a distance a. 14.15) for steady precession? Are the precessional angular velocities greater or less than in the case of a fixed pivot? Show that steady precession at a given value of θ can occur for a smaller value of ω3 than in the case of a fixed pivot. I3 about the centre of mass. and (c) a time l/c.) Use Hamilton’s principle to show that if F is any function of the generalized co-ordinates. and obtain the equation for ϕ without neglecting Ω2 . (Note that Z is related to θ. show that the angular velocity ω3 about the axis is constant. in terms of the generalized co∗ ∗ ∗ ordinates X.250 Classical Mechanics 10. 13. Describe the shape of the string after (a) a short time. and each half of the string straight. (b) a time l/2c. What difference is there in the equation (10. θ.

with a = a1 + a2 and ω 2 = GM/a3 . find the equations that must be satisfied for ‘equilibrium’ in the rotating frame (i. (Note: The positions are actually the solutions of a quintic equation. (The stability of these so-called Lagrangian points is the subject of Problem 12.4. circular motion with the same angular velocity as M1 and M2 ). *Two bodies of masses M1 and M2 are moving in circular orbits of radii a1 and a2 about their centre of mass. Assuming that the third body is moving in the plane of the first two...) 16. Consider ‘equilibrium’ positions on the line of centres of M1 and M2 . but that all three are unstable.g. show that there are three such positions.Lagrangian Mechanics 251 15. using a rotating frame in which M1 and M2 are fixed. (Hint : The identities GM1 = ω 2 a2 a2 and GM2 = ω 2 a2 a1 may be useful. a spacecraft in the vicinity of the Earth–Moon system). *For the system of Problem 15. The restricted three-body problem concerns the motion of a third small body of mass m ( M1 or M2 ) in their gravitational field (e.e. Chapter 12. Find the equations of motion. By roughly sketching the effective potential energy curve. There is further consideration of this important problem in §14. write down the Lagrangian function of the system. in each of which the three bodies form an equilateral triangle.) .) Show also that there are two ‘equilibrium’ positions off the line of centres.

252 Classical Mechanics .

Without loss of generality.1) In general. we could include also those forced systems — like that of §10.4 — for which L can be written as a sum of a quadratic term T and a term −V independent of the time derivatives. The only essential restriction is that there should be no linear terms. a22 will be functions of q1 and q2 . if we are interested only in small values of q1 and q2 . .Chapter 11 Small Oscillations and Normal Modes In this chapter. In that case. . holonomic systems.2 — the oscillations of a system of several degrees of freedom near a position of equilibrium. the co-ordinates are called orthogonal if the co-ordinate curves always intersect at right angles (see §3. We shall begin by investigating the form of the kinetic and potential energy functions near this point. For a particle described by curvilinear co-ordinates. for n = 2. However. described by n generalized co-ordinates q1 . the ˙ ˙ 253 . the kinetic energy contains terms in q1 . 11. ˙ 2 ˙2 ˙2 but no cross products like q1 q2 . (More gener˙ ˙ ally. We consider only conservative. . qn . we shall discuss a generalization of the harmonic oscillator problem treated in §2. .) For example. . . we have ˙2 ˙ ˙ ˙2 T = 1 a11 q1 + a12 q1 q2 + 1 a22 q2 . we may choose the position of equilibrium to be q1 = q2 = · · · = qn = 0. and treat them as constants (equal to their values at q1 = q2 = 0). we may neglect this dependence. qn .1 Orthogonal Co-ordinates We shall restrict our attention to natural systems. q2 . a12 . . the coefficients a11 . . q2 .5). for which the kinetic ˙ energy is a homogeneous quadratic function of q1 . q2 . 2 2 (11. By an extension of this terminology. q3 .

Hence we can define ˙ new co-ordinates q1 = √ a11 q1 .4) where we now drop any primes. Thus we can always reduce T to the ˙ standard form n T = α=1 1 2 ˙ 2 qα . and this can always be done. and so on. q2 . (11. a11 so that. It is a considerable simplification to choose the co-ordinates to be orthogonal. with no cross products — for example.3) A similar procedure can be used in the general case.2) must be positive numbers. 2 with a22 = a22 − a2 12 .1.1) becomes 1 ˙ ˙2 T = 2 a11 q1 2 + 1 a22 q2 . if a12 above is zero. ˙ 2 ˙ (11. q2 = a22 q2 . As an illustration of these ideas. a11 a11 then those involving q2 . For instance. so that T is reduced to a simple sum of squares: 1 T = 2 q1 2 + 1 q2 2 .) We may first eliminate the cross products involving q1 by means of the transformation to ˙ q1 = q1 + a12 a1n q2 + · · · + qn . a11 (11. ˙ q2 . in terms of q1 and q2 . . 11. let us consider the double pendulum illustrated in Fig. (11. qn are called orthogonal if T is a sum of squares. we may set q1 = q1 + a12 q2 . . .2) We can even go further. . Since T is necessarily positive for all possible q1 . the coefficients in (11. . (It is called the Gram–Schmidt orthogonalization procedure.254 Classical Mechanics generalized co-ordinates q1 .

Consider only motion in a vertical plane. The velocity of the upper pendulum ˙ ˙ bob is Lθ.4). we may approximate cos(ϕ − θ) by 1. Find a standard set of co-ordinates in terms of which the kinetic energy takes the form (11. with a second simple pendulum of mass m and length l suspended from it. In fact. The ˙ angle between these is ϕ − θ. y = Lθ + lϕ. Since ˙˙ there is a term in θϕ. 2 2 For small values of θ and ϕ. we may initially choose the inclinations θ and ϕ to the downward vertical.Small Oscillations and Normal Modes 255 Example: Kinetic energy of the double pendulum θ L Lθ M ϕ l m Fig. equally well. these co-ordinates are not orthogonal. 11. or. so that the system has two degrees of freedom. and the velocity lϕ relative to that point.1 lϕ Lθ A double pendulum consists of a simple pendulum of mass M and length L. but we can make them so by adding an appropriate multiple of ϕ to θ.5) . it is easy to see physically that a pair of orthogonal co-ordinates is provided by the displacements of the two bobs. (11. As generalized co-ordinates. Hence the kinetic energy is ˙˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ T = 1 M L2 θ2 + 1 m[L2 θ2 + l2 ϕ2 + 2Llθϕ cos(ϕ − θ)]. That of the lower bob has two components — the velocity Lθ of its point of support. of θ to ϕ. which for small angles are x = Lθ.

2 Equations of Motion for Small Oscillations Now let us consider the potential energy function V . we may define the new co-ordinates √ √ q2 = my.7) q1 = M x.8) Thus the condition for equilibrium is that all n partial derivatives of V should vanish at the equilibrium position. the equations of motion are simply qα = − ¨ ∂V . . and may be set equal to zero without changing the equations of motion. 2 (11. 11. ∂qα for α = 1. n. . 2 2 The equilibrium conditions require that the linear terms should be zero.8) become q1 = −k11 q1 − k12 q2 .10) where for the sake of symmetry we have written k21 = k12 in the second equation. For small values of the co-ordinates. just as we did for a single co-ordinate in §2. b1 = b2 = 0. ¨ (11. Moreover. 2.2.4). . we can expand V as a series. and for small values of q1 and q2 . . ¨ q2 = −k21 q1 − k22 q2 . For example. this is not always essential. (11. (11. though it makes the discussion of the general case much easier. 2 2 V = V0 + (b1 q1 + b2 q2 ) + ( 1 k11 q1 + k12 q1 q2 + 1 k22 q2 ) + · · · . .4). we may approximate V by 2 2 1 V = 2 k11 q1 + k12 q1 q2 + 1 k22 q2 . just as in §2.6) To complete the reduction to the standard form (11.256 Classical Mechanics In terms of these. 2 (11. In practice. Thus the leading terms are the quadratic ones. T becomes 1 ˙ ˙ T = 2 M x2 + 1 my 2 .9) Then the equations of motion (11.2. for n = 2. the constant term V0 is arbitrary. With T given by (11.

. . we may approximate (1 − cos θ) by 1 θ2 . we have V = 1 (M + m)gLθ2 + 1 mglϕ2 = 2 2 (M + m)g 2 mg x + (y − x)2 . (11.) Then the 2 2 equations of motion are n qα = − ¨ kαβ qβ . . For small angles. qn ¨ k12 . . ⎥⎢ . V may be taken to be a homogeneous quadratic function of the co-ordinates. ⎥ = −⎢ . . ⎦ qn (11. which are of course equal. . The potential energy of the double pendulum is easily seen to be V = (M + m)gL(1 − cos θ) + mgl(1 − cos ϕ). . . because we have not gone over to the normalized variables of (11. .11) with kβα = kαβ . ⎡ ⎡ ⎤ k11 q1 ¨ ⎢ k21 ⎢ q2 ⎥ ¨⎥ ⎢ ⎢ ⎢ . knn ⎤⎡ ⎤ k1n q1 k2n ⎥ ⎢ q2 ⎥ ⎥⎢ ⎥ . in terms of the orthogonal co-ordinates x and y. for example 1 k12 q1 q2 and 1 k21 q2 q1 . ⎣ . ⎥. α=1 β=1 V = (11. 2. . n.7). ⎣.Small Oscillations and Normal Modes 257 In the general case. kn1 kn2 . . . . . Hence in terms 2 of x and y. (Notice that each term with α = β appears twice. which can be written n n 1 2 kαβ qα qβ . . ⎣ ⎦=⎢ (11. ⎦⎣ . .12) or. . . β=1 for α = 1.13) Example: Equations of motion of the double pendulum Find the equations of motion of the double pendulum.⎦ . in matrix notation. 2L 2l Thus the equations of motion are ⎤ ⎡ ⎤ ⎡ (M + m)g mg mg ⎡ ⎤ − − Mx ¨ x L l l ⎥⎣ ⎦.14) ⎣ ⎦ mg mg m¨ y y − l l Note the appearance of the masses on the left hand side. k22 .

Then these equations are k11 k12 k21 k22 A1 A = ω2 1 . Substituting (11.5. of the form qα = Aα eiωt .15) where the Aα are complex constants. = 0 A2 These equations have a non-zero solution if and only if the determinant of the coefficient matrix vanishes.) Such solutions are called normal modes of the system. we obtain a set of n simultaneous equations for the n amplitudes An . i. q2 . A2 A2 (11.15). (As in §2.17) This is what is known as an eigenvalue equation. we adopt a generalization of the method used for the damped harmonic oscillator in §2.e.17) can alternatively be written as k12 k11 − ω 2 k21 k22 − ω 2 A1 0 .. the physical solution may be taken to be the real part of (11. The column vector formed by the Aα is an eigenvector of the matrix.5: we look first for solutions in which all the co-ordinates are oscillating with the same frequency ω. n −ω 2 Aα = − kαβ Aβ .18) . β=1 (11. k21 k22 − ω 2 (11. q1 . if and only if k12 k11 − ω 2 2 = (k11 − ω 2 )(k22 − ω 2 ) − k12 = 0. To find the general solution.14) must involve four arbitrary constants.15) into (11.13).13) must involve 2n arbitrary constants.258 Classical Mechanics 11. The equations (11.3 Normal Modes The general solution of a pair of second-order differential equations like (11. the general solution of (11.16) Let us consider first the case n = 2.3 and §2. The values of ω 2 for which non-zero solutions exist are called the eigenvalues of the 2 × 2 matrix with elements kαβ . which may be fixed by the ˙ ˙ initial values of q1 . q2 . (11. Similarly.

but actually in (or directly out of) phase. If ω 2 and ω 2 are the roots of (11. The condition for stability is that both roots should be positive. any superposition of solutions is again a solution. where both the Aα and the Bα coefficients constitute eigenvectors of the 2×2 matrix. Since the equations of motion (11. Hence it always has two real roots. it may be written as the real part of q1 = A1 eiωt + A1 eiω t . would yield a solution of the form qα = Aα eγt + Bα e−γt .10) are linear.) This means that A1 and A2 have the same phase (or phases differing by π).Small Oscillations and Normal Modes 259 This is called the characteristic equation for the system. since the eigenvector is unique up to an overall factor.18) is a quadratic equation for ω 2 . is a natural generalization of the requirement. so that q1 and q2 not only oscillate with the same frequency. See §A. Hence the general solution is simply a superposition of the two normal mode solutions. Its discriminant may 2 be written (k11 − k22 )2 + 4k12 .17). In general. which is clearly positive. which are the square roots of the eigenvalues ω 2 . which serves to fix the overall amplitude and phase of the normal mode solution. (11. A negative root. in which the ratios A1 /A2 and A1 /A2 are fixed by (11.18). that the second derivative of the potential energy function be positive (see §2.19) . that all the eigenvalues be positive. (This is a special case of a general theorem about symmetric matrices — those satisfying kβα = kαβ . Equation (11.18). Except in the degenerate case of two equal eigenvalues. therefore. Thus each normal mode solution contains two arbitrary real constants. q2 = A2 eiωt + A2 eiω t .2). this means that the Aα and Bα coefficients must be proportional. The ratio of q1 to q2 remains fixed throughout the motion.17) fixes the ratio A1 /A2 . This stability condition. then either of the two equations in (11.10. Since the coefficients are real numbers. If ω 2 is chosen equal to one of the two roots of (11. the solution yields an exponential increase in the displacements with time. in the one-dimensional case. the ratio is obviously real. There remains in A1 and A2 a common arbitrary complex factor. corresponding to the eigenvalue −γ 2 . say −γ 2 . It determines the frequencies ω of the normal modes.

20).21) M L l M Ll The roots of this equation determine the frequencies of the two normal modes. . the pendulums swing almost like a single rigid pendulum of length L + l.17) may be written ⎡ ⎤ ⎡ ⎤ mg mg ⎡ ⎤ (M + m)g + − Ax ⎢ ML ⎥ ⎣Ax ⎦ Ml Ml⎦ = ω2 ⎣ ⎦ .20) The characteristic equation (11. are. provided that l is not too close to L. L l Ax m L+l . ≈ Ay M l−L In the first mode. the upper pendulum is practically stationary. Here the equations (11. the lower bob remains almost stationary. ⎣ g g Ay Ay − l l ω4 − (11. It is interesting to examine special limiting cases. In the second. the two roots. At the other extreme. ≈ Ay L g . while the lower is swinging with its natural frequency. Ay L+l In the first mode. with the corresponding ratios determined by (11. whose frequency is that of the upper pendulum. while the upper one executes a very rapid oscillation. if M m. the two normal modes are ω2 ≈ and ω2 ≈ m M g g + . the amplitudes are comparable.260 Classical Mechanics Example: Normal modes of the double pendulum Find the normal mode frequencies of the double pendulum.18) simplifies to g M +m g M + m g2 + ω2 + = 0. First. ≈− Ay M L g . let us suppose that the upper pendulum is very heavy (M m). l Ax m L . Then. approximately ω2 ≈ and ω2 ≈ g . L Ax L−l . (11. L+l L Ax ≈ . In the second mode.

these equalities will still be approximately true.18) it is clear that the characteristic frequencies of the system are given by ω 2 ≈ k11 and ω 2 ≈ k22 . which consists of a pair of identical pendulums coupled by a spring. For each normal mode.4 Coupled Oscillators One often encounters examples of physical systems that may be described as two (or more) harmonic oscillators. for n = 3.16). then V = 1 ω 2 q 2 . they are close to the frequencies of the uncoupled oscillators. The roots then determine the frequencies of the three normal modes. 11. where ω is the angular frequency. When the oscillators are weakly coupled. Hence for a pair ˙ 2 2 of uncoupled oscillators. As before. but with some kind of relatively weak coupling between the two. we shall consider below the system shown in Fig. and the general solution is a superposition of all the normal modes. k12 = 0. Then from (11.16) is again that the determinant of the coefficients should vanish. the condition for stability is that all three roots should be positive. 11. Each normal mode solution involves just two arbitrary real constants. Thus from (11.Small Oscillations and Normal Modes 261 The normal modes of a system with n degrees of freedom may be found by a very similar method. we require k12 k13 k11 − ω 2 2 = 0. k21 k22 − ω k23 k31 k32 k33 − ω 2 (11. so that in a normal mode all the co-ordinates oscillate in phase (or 180 ◦ out of phase). the coefficients in (11. the ratios of the amplitudes are fixed by the equations (11.17) we see that.10).) If the co-ordinate q of a harmonic oscillator is normalized so that T = 1 2 q . as one might expect. in the first normal mode. As in the case n = 2. the ratio A2 /A1 is approximately k12 /(k11 − k22 ).10) are 2 k11 = ω1 .2. these ratios are all real. It can be proved that its three roots are all real (see §A. (As a specific example. so that in particular k12 is small in comparison to k11 and k22 . which are approximately independent. Thus. The condition for consistency of the simultaneous equations (11. 2 k22 = ω2 . unless the frequencies of the two normal modes are nearly equal. For example.22) This is a cubic equation for ω 2 . the normal modes differ very little from those of .

and the coupling is not of great importance.24) The two solutions of the characteristic equation are easily seen to be 2 ω 2 = ω0 with + 2 2ωs Ax /Ay = 1. ωs defined by ωs = k/m. We shall l l m x Fig. As a specific example of this case. 2 (11. Ax /Ay = −1.23) The normal mode equations now read 2 2 2 −ωs ω0 + ωs 2 2 2 −ωs ω0 + ωs Ax A = ω2 x . For small values of x and y. the potential energy is approximately 1 mω0 (x2 + y 2 ). in the 2 absence of coupling. ωs is the angular frequency of the spring if one end is held fixed and the other attached to a mass m. 2 2 where ω0 = g/l gives the free oscillation frequency. It will 2 2 be convenient to introduce another frequency. 11. Then. in which even a weak coupling can be important. ˙ ˙ 2 2 2 V = 1 m(ω0 + ωs )(x2 + y 2 ) − mωs xy. each of mass m and length l. we consider a pair of pendulums.2 m y use the displacements x and y as generalized co-ordinates.2). ω = 2 2 ω0 with . Ay Ay (11. 11. coupled by a weak spring (see Fig. In fact.262 Classical Mechanics the uncoupled system. or nearly so. Thus we take 1 T = 2 m(x2 + y 2 ). is that in which the two frequencies are equal. the potential energy of the spring has the form 1 k(x − y)2 . The interesting case.

and may be written as the real part of x = Aeiω0 t + A eiω t . (11. Describe the motion. 11. alternately expanding and compressing the spring (see Fig. The constants A and A may be determined by the initial conditions. In the second normal mode. (a) (b) Fig. Since the spring is neither expanded nor compressed in this motion.3 The general solution is a superposition of these two normal modes. 11.25) 2 2 where ω 2 = ω0 + 2ωs .3(a)). . with equal amplitude (see Fig. the pendulums swing in opposite directions. which has a somewhat higher frequency. 11.Small Oscillations and Normal Modes 263 In the first normal mode.3(b)). Example: Motion of coupled pendulums Find the solution for the positions of the bobs if the system is released from rest with one bob displaced a distance a from its equilibrium position. it is not surprising that the frequency is just that of the uncoupled pendulums. the two pendulums oscillate together in phase. y = Aeiω0 t − A eiω t .

and therefore ω− ω+ . Thus only a very small oscillation will be set up in the second oscillator. we introduce. √ A2 = 2mA . Then its amplitude starts to decrease. The whole process is then repeated indefinitely (though in practice there will of course be some damping). the new co-ordinates q1 = m (x + y). Meanwhile.264 Classical Mechanics Here. y = 0. and with gradually increasing amplitude a sin ω− t. Thus we may describe the motion as follows. and we have used standard trigonometric iden2 tities. q2 = A2 eiω t . the first spring swings with angular frequency ω+ and gradually decreasing amplitude. at t = 0. ω is only slightly greater than ω0 . whence we find ˙ ˙ A = A = a/2. so the solution is 1 x = 2 a cos ω0 t + 1 a cos ω t = a cos ω− t cos ω+ t. we have x = a. 2 2 where ω± = 1 (ω ± ω0 ). A1 = √ 2mA. Since the spring is weak. y = 0. Initially. After a time π/2ω− . and the second is oscillating with amplitude a. (11. while the first increases again. the first pendulum has come momentarily to rest. but 90◦ out of phase. This behaviour should be contrasted with that of a pair of coupled oscillators of very different frequencies.27) . 2 q2 = m (x − y). In the case of the coupled pendulums. in place of x and y. and the amplitude of the first will be practically constant. We have beats between two nearly equal frequencies. In such a case. We can make this fact explicit by introducing new ‘normal’ co-ordinates.26) In terms of these co-ordinates. the solution (11. 2 y = 1 a cos ω0 t − 1 a cos ω t = a sin ω− t sin ω+ t. Normal co-ordinates The two normal modes of this system (or the n normal modes in the general case) are completely independent.25) is q1 = A1 eiω0 t . 2 (11. one of the two normal modes will have a much larger amplitude than the other. the second pendulum starts to swing with the same angular frequency. a cos ω− t. if one is started oscillating. x = 0.

2 ˙ 2 ˙ (11.2). we have reduced the Lagrangian to that for a pair of uncoupled oscillators. with angular frequencies ω0 and ω .28) In effect. Example: Forced oscillation of coupled pendulums Find the amplitudes of forced oscillations of the coupled pendulums if one of them is subjected to a periodic force F (t) = F1 cos ω1 t.23) and (11. 2m (11. one co-ordinate only is oscillating. To find the equations of motion in the presence of this force. In particular. we find 2 2 T = 1 q1 + 1 q2 .6. F (t)δx = √ 2m Hence the equations of motion are F1 eiω1 t 2 .29) These independent oscillator equations may be solved exactly as in §2.Small Oscillations and Normal Modes 265 Thus. This is F (t) (δq1 + δq2 ). The independence of the two normal co-ordinates may also be seen by examining the Lagrangian function. in each normal mode. q1 = −ω0 q1 + √ ¨ 2m iω1 t F1 e q2 = −ω 2 q2 + √ ¨ . Coordinates with this property are called normal co-ordinates. we must evaluate the work done in a small displacement (see §10. 2 ˙ 2 ˙ 2 2 2 2 2 V = 1 ω0 (q1 + q2 ) + ωs q2 . A2 = 2 2 2. From (11. ω0 − ω1 ω − ω1 . The normal co-ordinates are very useful in studying the effect on the system of a prescribed external force.26). 2 whence the Lagrangian function is 2 2 2 2 2 L = 1 (q1 − ω0 q1 ) + 1 (q2 − ω 2 q2 ). the amplitudes of the forced oscillations are given by √ √ F1 / 2m F1 / 2m A1 = 2 . We write the force as the real part of F1 eiω1 t .

11.4 y3 l T = 1 m(y1 + y2 + · · · + yn ).4. the first normal mode will predominate. while if it is close to ω the second will be more important.) 11.266 Classical Mechanics The corresponding forced oscillation amplitudes for x and y are found by solving (11. Let us consider the length of string between the jth and (j + 1)th particles. and are Ax = A1 + A2 √ . its length is l. we should really include the effects of damping. y2 . The work done against the tension in increasing the length of the string to this extent . 2m Ay = A1 − A2 √ . provided we set y0 = yn+1 = 0. (See Fig. ˙2 ˙2 ˙2 2 (11. . . 2l2 assuming the displacements are small. and so that transient effects disappear in time. stretched to a tension F . . We shall consider transverse oscillations of the particles. and the pendulums will swing in the same direction. we must calculate the potential energy. (Of course. 11. with n equal masses m placed along it at regular intervals l. and use as our generalized co-ordinates the displacements y1 . Next.30) these co-ordinates are orthogonal. so that the amplitudes do not become infinite at resonance. This calculation also applies to the segments of string at each end. yn . drawn for the case n = 3.26). but when the particles are displaced it is l + δl = l2 + (yj+1 − yj )2 ≈ l 1 + (yj+1 − yj )2 .5 Oscillations of Particles on a String Consider a light string of length (n + 1)l. 2m Note that if the forcing frequency is very close to ω0 .) Since the kinetic energy is y1 l l y2 l Fig. In equilibrium. .

. ⎥⎢ . ⎦⎣ . 0 ⎥ ⎢ A3 ⎥ ⎢ ⎥ 0 0 ⎢ ⎥ ⎢ ⎥ = ω 2 ⎢ A3 ⎥ . ml (11.30) and (11. ⎤⎡ ⎤ ⎡ ⎤ 2 2 2ω0 −ω0 0 . For n = 1. there is of course just 2 one normal mode. . . . substituting the normal iωt mode solution yj = Aj e .32). . ⎥ ⎢ . . . adding the contributions from each segment of string. ⎦ .33) and we obtain two normal modes: 2 ω 2 = ω0 . 2ω0 ⎡ (11. ω = 2 2 3ω0 . we obtain the equations Let us look at the first few values of n. . Now consider n = 3. 2 An An 0 0 0 . . F (yn−1 − 2yn ). For small l.31) It is worth noting that the potential energy of a continuous string may be obtained as a limiting case.32) yn = ¨ 2 It will be convenient to write ω0 = F/ml. . . . 2l 1 (11. we find that the potential energy is V = F 2 2 y + (y2 − y1 )2 + · · · + (yn − yn−1 )2 + yn . ⎣ . ⎢ . as n → ∞ and l → 0. 0 ⎥ ⎢ A2 ⎥ ⎢ A2 ⎥ ⎢ ⎥⎢ ⎥ ⎢ ⎥ ⎢ 0 −ω 2 2ω 2 . with ω 2 = 2ω0 . From (11. −ω0 −ω0 2ω0 − ω 2 2 0 −ω0 2ω0 − ω 2 (11.34) . . ⎦ . y2 = ¨ ml . Hence. For n = 2. . 0 A1 A1 2 2 2 ⎢−ω0 2ω0 −ω0 . A1 /A2 = −1.Small Oscillations and Normal Modes 267 is F δl. . ⎣ . the characteristic equation is 2 4 (2ω0 − ω 2 )2 − ω0 = 0. (yj+1 −yj )2 /l2 is approximately y 2 . we find that Lagrange’s equations are y1 = ¨ F (−2y1 + y2 ). . . so we recover the expression (10. ml F (y1 − 2y2 + y3 ). A1 /A2 = 1.31). . . Then. ⎥ . The characteristic equation here is 2 2 2ω0 − ω 2 −ω0 0 2 2 2 2 = 0.

ω 2 = (2 − √ 2 2)ω0 . A1 : A2 : A3 = 1 : A1 : A2 : A3 = 1 : 0 : −1. the characteristic equation requires the vanishing of a 4 × 4 determinant. Hence we obtain the √ 2 : 1. These normal modes are illustrated in Fig.5 Higher values of n may be treated similarly. √ 2 ω = (2 + 2)ω0 . which may be expanded by similar rules to yield 2 4 2 8 (2ω0 − ω 2 )4 − 3ω0 (2ω0 − ω 2 )2 + ω0 = 0.268 Classical Mechanics Expanding this determinant by the usual rules. 11. The roots of this equation are given by 2 (2ω0 − ω 2 )2 = √ 3± 5 4 ω0 = 2 √ 5±1 2 ω0 2 2 . 2 2 ω 2 = 2ω0 . 2 The roots of this equation are 2ω0 and (2 ± three normal modes √ 2 2)ω0 . we obtain a cubic equation for ω 2 : 2 4 2 (2ω0 − ω 2 )3 − 2ω0 (2ω0 − ω 2 ) = 0. . √ A1 : A2 : A3 = 1 : − 2 : 1. 11.5. For n = 4. Fig.

(See Fig.6 Normal Modes of a Stretched String We now wish to discuss the problem treated in §10. For large values of n.62 ω0 .38 ω0 .62 : −1.38 ω0 . We start from the equations of motion.6. A1 : A2 : A3 : A4 = 1 : −1.62 ω0 . the slowest mode is the one in which all the masses are oscillating in the same direction.35) . A1 : A2 : A3 : A4 = 1. 2 2. 11.) Fig.36). while the fastest is one in which alternate masses oscillate in opposite directions.62. the normal modes approach those of a continuous stretched string.6 from the point of view of normal modes. 11. 11. ¨ c2 = F/µ.62 : 1.62 : −1 : −1 : 1. (11.62. A1 : A2 : A3 : A4 = 1.62 : 1. 2 3.6 For every value of n. which we discuss in the following section.62 : 1 : −1 : −1. (10.Small Oscillations and Normal Modes 269 Thus we obtain the four normal modes: 2 ω 2 = 0. ω = ω = ω = 2 2 2 2 1. y = c2 y .62 : 1. A1 : A2 : A3 : A4 = 1 : 1.

The possible values of k are k= nπ .270 Classical Mechanics and look for normal mode solutions of the form y(x. 11. t) = Re An einπct/l sin nπx . 2. The general solution for the stretched string is a superposition of all the normal modes (11. 3. .35). . (11. The general solution of this equation is A(x) = a cos kx + b sin kx. l (11. (11. . 3. .37) Each of these values corresponds to a normal mode of the string. However. The first few normal modes are illustrated in Fig.37) obtained in the previous chapter. because the ends of the string are fixed. denoted by (n + 1)l in the preceding section. The solution for the nth normal mode can be written as y(x. t) = A(x)eiωt . Ml where M is the total mass of the string. . or points where y = 0. k = ω/c. we obtain A (x) + k 2 A(x) = 0. (11. It is easy to establish the connection with the general solution (10.) Thus a = 0 and moreover sin kl = 0. .39) where An is an arbitrary complex constant. l n = 1. with n − 1 nodes. The corresponding angular frequencies are ω= nπc . we must impose the boundary conditions A(0) = A(l) = 0. l n = 1. in place of a set of simultaneous equations for the amplitudes Aj . Substituting in (11. It represents a ‘standing wave’ of wavelength 2l/n. According to . 2. . .39).36) Thus.7.38) Note that they are all multiples of the fundamental frequency ω1 = πc =π l F . (Note that l here is the full length of the string. we obtain a differential equation for the amplitude function A(x).

Thus we may restrict the sum to positive values of n. l = n=−∞ Now recall that fn and f−n must be complex conjugates (so that the two terms add to give a real contribution to y).37) is +∞ y(x. with period 2l. Thus the solution (10.) If we define An = 2ifn . t) = 2Re n=1 An einπct/l sin nπx . we can write the solution as +∞ y(x. Hence it may be expanded in a Fourier series (see Eq. f (x) is a periodic function of x. t) = n=−∞ +∞ fn einπ(ct+x)/l − einπ(ct−x)/l 2ifn einπct/l sin nπx .Small Oscillations and Normal Modes 271 n=1 n=2 n=3 n=4 Fig.7 (10. (Note that there is no contribution from n = 0 because the sine function then vanishes.38). (2. +∞ f (x) = n=−∞ fn einπx/l . 11.45)). l .

To find the normal modes of oscillation. which are special but important. conservative system. We can always find a set of orthogonal co-ordinates. Find the displacements of the pendulums as functions of time. Such systems may then be analyzed as a combination of ‘nonlinear’ normal modes. with constant coefficients. the idea of a normal mode may be generalized. the kinetic energy may be taken to be a homogeneous quadratic function of the qα . The stability condition is that all the roots of this equation for ω 2 should be positive. where no small amplitude approximation needs to be made — see §14. is released from rest with the pendulums displaced but in a straight line. and obtain a set of simultaneous linear equations for the coefficients.7 Summary Near a position of equilibrium of any natural. The general solution to the equations of motion is a superposition of all the normal modes. each normal co-ordinate is oscillating at its own frequency.272 Classical Mechanics 11. The condition for consistency of these equations is the characteristic equation. find the maximum amplitude of the other pendulum in . The linearized analysis of small amplitude oscillations near to a position of stable equilibrium in the form of normal modes is a technique which is applicable generally. and with amplitude and phase determined by the initial conditions. Given that the pendulum of mass M is started oscillating with amplitude a. 11.1.2) if the two are of different masses M and m. Problems 1. in terms of which T is reduced to a sum of squares. the system is reduced to a set of uncoupled harmonic oscillators. In terms of normal co-ordinates. consisting of a pair. and the potential energy to be a homoge˙ neous quadratic function of the qα . which reduce not only T but also V to a sum of squares. which determines the frequencies of the normal modes. For some systems. A double pendulum. Find the normal modes of a pair of coupled pendulums (like those of Fig. we substitute solutions of the form qα = Aα eiωt . The problem of finding the normal modes is equivalent to that of finding normal co-ordinates. but still the same length l. whose frequencies are the characteristic frequencies of the system. In it. Lagrange’s equations then take on a simple form. each of mass m and length l. 2.

2. The period of the . Using the vertical displacements x and y of the masses from their positions with the springs unextended as generalized co-ordinates. with springs between the first and second and between the second and third. and is restricted by a harmonic-oscillator restoring force. Find the frequencies of the normal modes. while the other two are vertical. whose period when suspended from a rigid support is 1 s. and the normal modes and frequencies of vertical oscillations. 7. 11. and spring constant (force/extension) k. Find the frequencies of the normal modes. *A bead of mass m slides on a smooth circular hoop of mass M and radius a. and the time at which it first occurs. the subsequent motion. and beneath it a second. which is pivoted at a point on its rim so that it can swing freely in its plane. as in Fig. and natural length a are attached end-to-end. A simple pendulum of mass m. The system is stretched between fixed points a distance 3l apart (l > a). 8.Small Oscillations and Normal Modes 273 3. Given that M = 8m and that 2a is the length of a simple pendulum of period 1 s. are fixed to the points where they meet. and the ratios of the amplitudes. supports a mass m. Does the amplitude of the first pendulum ever fall to zero? A spring of negligible mass. 4. and (b) transverse oscillations. Find the position of equilibrium. Three identical pendulums are coupled. identical spring. identical mass. write down the Lagrangian function. spring constant k. 9. Determine the maximum value of θ in the subsequent motion. The system is released from rest. The first of the three pendulums of Problem 4 is initially displaced a distance a. Find the frequencies of normal modes of (a) longitudinal. 5. and sketch the configuration of hoop and bead at the extreme point of each. *The system of Problem 7 is released from rest with the centre of the hoop vertically below the pivot and the bead displaced by a small angle ϕ0 . find the angular displacement θ of the hoop as a function of time. and a pair of particles. each of mass m. Write down the Lagrangian in terms of the angle of inclination θ of the diameter through the pivot and the angular position ϕ of the bead relative to a fixed point on the hoop. carrying a second. Three identical springs. 6. Find the maximum amplitudes of the second and third pendulums in the subsequent motion. of negligible mass. hangs from a supporting block of mass 2m which can move along a horizontal line (in the plane of the pendulum).

Show that a typical equation of the set (11. y2 ). 2.1 s. physically.) *Each of the pendulums in Fig 11. l Determine the amplitudes of the various normal modes in the motion described in Chapter 10. and that β is negligible. Problem 14. Show that this is a position of stable equilibrium. (Hint : First find the height by which each end is raised. find the Lagrangian function (for small x. t) sin 0 nπx dx.2). . Given that the forcing frequency is that of the uncoupled pendulums. 14. and the transverse displacements y1 .2 is subjected to a damping force. the co-ordinates of the centre of mass and the angle through which the rod is turned. and the pendulum bob is given an impulsive blow which starts it moving with velocity 0. Determine the normal modes and frequencies. y2 of its ends. *Show that a stretched string is equivalent mathematically to an infinite number of uncoupled oscillators. Using the longitudinal displacement x of the centre of the rod. find the range of values of α for which the amplitude of the second pendulum is less than half that of the first. and two fixed charges 12q at ±2ai. described by the co-ordinates qn (t) = 2 l l y(x. Find the electrostatic potential near the origin (see §6. as generalized co-ordinates. When the pendulum bob is swinging in the slower mode with amplitude 100 mm. 13. *A particle of charge q and mass m is free to slide on a smooth horizontal table. oscillator (with the pendulum removed) is 0.33) may be satisfied by 1 setting Aα = sin αk (α = 1.5 m s −1 . Two fixed charges q are placed at ±aj. Find the amplitudes of the forced oscillations obtained by applying a periodic force to one pendulum. 11. what is the amplitude of the motion of the supporting block? *The system of Problem 9 is initially at rest. and find the frequencies of the normal modes of oscillation near it. y1 . provided that ω = 2ω0 sin 2 k. Find the position of the support as a function of time in the subsequent motion. . are the modes for even values of n not excited? 15. Show that the equations for the normal co-ordinates q1 ˙ and q2 are still uncoupled. inextensible strings of length l joining its ends to supports also a distance 2a apart and level with each other. *A rigid rod of length 2a is suspended by two light. of magnitude αx and αy respectively. Find the periods of the two normal modes. while there is a damping force β(x− ˙ ˙ ˙ y) in the spring. 12. . .274 Classical Mechanics 10. Why. . n).

) . if V satisfies Laplace’s equation. in the limit of large n.7).Small Oscillations and Normal Modes 275 Hence show by considering the required condition when α = n + 1 that the frequencies of the normal modes are ωr = 2ω0 sin[rπ/2(n + 1)]. dynamic equilibrium — stable periodic motion — can occur. then the equilibrium is necessarily unstable. The point r = 0 is a position of equilibrium. confining the charge to the horizontal plane. the frequency of the rth normal mode tends to the corresponding frequency of the continuous string with the same total length and mass. . Why may we ignore values of r greater than n + 1? Show that. with r = 1. n. . Show that. 16. . Note also that the two-dimensional stable equilibrium of Problem 11 does not contradict this result because there is another force imposed. and the axes are so chosen that x. and hence that stable equilibrium under purely gravitational and electrostatic forces is impossible. A particle moves under a conservative force with potential energy V (r). (Of course. . 2. y. ∇2 V = 0 (see §6. z are normal co-ordinates.

276 Classical Mechanics .

n. .Chapter 12 Hamiltonian Mechanics We have already seen. .2) Here and in the following equations. . the value of the Lagrangian method. we ˙ 277 . . . q2 . . qn . For brevity. in several examples. . ∂ qα ˙ (12. we shall discuss an extension of the method. . In this chapter. qn . . α runs over 1. and q for all their ˙ ˙ time derivatives. where q stands for all the generalized coordinates. . .1 Hamilton’s Equations The Lagrangian function L for a natural system is a function of q1 . some of the generalized momenta are constants of the motion. ˙ ˙ as often happens. q). Lagrange’s equations may be written in the form pα = ˙ ∂L . . The instantaneous position and velocity of every part of our system may be specified by the values of the 2n variables q and q. it is well suited to finding conserved quantities. . due to Hamilton. Its principal feature is the use of the generalized momenta p1 . . 12. More generally. . . and making use of them. q2 . . . which allows us to find equations of motion for any system in terms of an arbitrary set of generalized co-ordinates. ∂qα (12. qn and q1 . we shall indicate this dependence by writing ˙ ˙ ˙ L(q. pn in place of ˙ the generalized velocities q1 . . 2. It is particularly valuable when. q2 . p2 . However. .1) where the generalized momenta are defined by pα = ∂L .

p) − L(q. We find ˙ ∂H ∂L =− + ∂qα ∂qα n pβ β=1 ∂ qβ ˙ − ∂qα n β=1 ∂L ∂ qβ ˙ . p)). Other terms arise ˙ ˙ tive is the coefficient of pα in the sum from the dependence of each qβ . θ. We differentiate first with respect to pα .5) Next. the term coming from the explicit dependence of L on qα . and those from the dependence of each qβ on qα . for a particle moving in a plane. Hence we are left with ∂H = qα . In this case.2) for the q in terms of q and p. ˙ obtaining.6) We now examine the derivative with respect to qα . We now define a function of q and p. we compute the derivatives of H with respect to its 2n independent variables. p). and described by polar co˙ ˙ ordinates. ˙ ˙ (12. by (12. Eqs. q(q.4) The instantaneous position and velocity of the particle may be fixed by the values of r. namely qα . ˙ (12. we obtain ∂H = qα + ˙ ∂pα n pβ β=1 ∂ qβ ˙ − ∂pα n β=1 ∂L ∂ qβ ˙ . p) = β=1 pβ qβ (q.2). One term in this derivapq. ˙ ∂pα (12.278 Classical Mechanics can alternatively solve the equations (12. ∂ qβ ∂pα ˙ Now. Again. pr and pθ . the Hamiltonian function. m pθ ˙ θ= . mr2 (12. (12. the generalized momenta are given by pr = mr and pθ = mr2 θ. there are two kinds of terms. ˙ on pα . by n H(q. say. ˙ qα = qα (q. the second and third terms cancel.3) so the 2n variables q and p also serve equally well to specify the instantaneous position and velocity of every particle. either in the sum or as an argument of L. ∂ qβ ∂qα ˙ . Altogether.3) read r= ˙ pr . For example.

7).6). are H= r= ˙ ∂H pr = .4) between velocities and momenta. (12.7) together constitute Hamilton’s equations. Hamilton’s constitute a set of 2n first-order equations. Here the Lagrangian is 1 ˙ ˙ L = 2 mr2 + 1 mr2 θ2 − V (r). The first pair of Hamilton’s equation. The second pair. T + V . 2 Thus the Hamiltonian function is ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ H = (pr r + pθ θ) − [ 1 mr2 + 1 mr2 θ2 − V (r)]. for example.Hamiltonian Mechanics 279 As before. Thus.4) to eliminate the velocities. ˙ ∂qα (12. ∂pr m pθ ∂H ˙ = .9) They simply reproduce the relations (12. (12. a particle moving in a plane under a central. ∂θ (12. p2 p2 r θ + + V (r). 2 2 or.10) . as we shall see below. are −pr = ˙ p2 ∂H dV = − θ3 + . ∂r mr dr −pθ = ˙ ∂H = 0.8) 2m 2mr2 Note that this is the expression for the total energy. This is no accident. Let us consider.1). θ= ∂pθ mr2 (12. but a general property of natural systems.7) The equations (12. the second and third terms cancel. using (12. Note that whereas Lagrange’s equations are a set of n second-order differential equations. (12. we obtain ∂H = −pα . Example: Central conservative force Obtain Hamilton’s equations for a particle moving in a plane with potential energy function V (r). conservative force.6) and (12. using Lagrange’s equations (12.

11) We saw in §10.12) in Chapter 4. Thus ∂T ∂T q1 + ˙ q2 = (a11 q1 + a12 q2 )q1 + (a21 q1 + a22 q2 )q2 = 2T. Now let us examine the time derivative of H. J2 dV .2 Conservation of Energy (12. r pr = m¨ = ˙ 12.4. and V is independent of them.1 that a natural system is characterized by the fact that the kinetic energy contains no explicit dependence on the time. − mr3 dr It may be integrated to give what we termed the ‘radial energy equation’ (4. in the form L = T − V . as we saw in §10. and is a homogeneous quadratic function of the time derivatives q.280 Classical Mechanics The second of these two equations yields the law of conservation of angular momentum. T has the form (11. which is in general not the total energy. the Lagrangian can sometimes be written. In such a case. the value of the Hamiltonian function is equal to the total energy of the system. we therefore have ˙ n n n H= β=1 pβ qβ − L = ˙ β=1 ∂T qβ − (T − V ) ˙ ∂ qβ ˙ = 2T − (T − V ) = T + V. for a natural system. Thus. for n = 2. the ˙ Hamiltonian function is equal to T + V .1). pθ = J = constant. where T is a homogeneous quadratic in the variables q. ˙ ∂ qα ˙ α=1 For example. The first gives the radial equation of motion. We shall now allow for the possibility that H may contain an explicit time dependence (as it does for . This latter ˙ condition may be expressed algebraically by the equation ∂T qα = 2T. ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ∂ q1 ˙ ∂ q2 ˙ Since pα = ∂T /∂ qα . For a forced system.

and write H = H(q. Even when H is not of the form T + V . In particular.13) In a forced system. using Hamilton’s ˙ ˙ equations (12. for a natural. because the variables q and p are themselves functions of time. neither T nor V contains any explicit dependence on the time. and is time-independent. The prime example of this is that of a charged particle moving in static electric and magnetic fields E and B.6) and (12. It is interesting to see how this emerges from the Hamiltonian formalism. we obtain dH ∂H = + dt ∂t α=1 n n n ∂H ∂H ∂H ∂H − ∂qα ∂pα ∂pα ∂qα . H = T + V = E = constant. The net change induced by the fact that q and p vary with time is zero. Since the magnetic force ˙ is perpendicular to r. it does no work. secondly. and. the terms in parentheses cancel.Hamiltonian Mechanics 281 some forced systems). Then the value of H varies with time for two reasons: firstly. and it follows that dH = 0.14) (12. t). and the sum of the kinetic and electrostatic potential energies is a constant. dt ∂t (12. an energy conservation law may exist. conservative system. Thus ∂H/∂t = 0. if H = T + V . whence dH ∂H = . ˙ dt ∂t ∂qα ∂pα α=1 α=1 Now. if we express q and p in terms of derivatives of H. p.7). Obviously. we again have a conservation law — like (10.12) This equation asserts that the value of H changes in time only because of its explicit time dependence. because of its explicit time dependence. dt Thus there is a law of conservation of energy. Thus the total time derivative is ∂H ∂H ∂H dH = + qα + ˙ pα .20) — though not for T + V . . (12.

if E and B are time-independent.7) yields −pα = ˙ ∂H = 0. ˙ Note that in this case. t). if the fields are time-independent. 12. Hamilton’s equation (12. ˙ H =p·r−L= The Hamiltonian formalism is particularly well suited to finding conservation laws. it turns out that H = L2 − L0 . We begin with the Lagrangian (10. (12.28).15) 2m Now. say qα . B appears in H only via the relation between r and p. In such a case.16) . does not appear in the Hamiltonian function (though the corresponding momentum.282 Classical Mechanics Example: Particle in electric and magnetic fields Find the Hamiltonian for a charged particle in electric and magnetic fields. the co-ordinate qα is said to be ignorable — for a reason we shall explain in a moment. L does have a term linear in r: it has the ˙ form L = L2 + L1 + L0 . as in (10. and therefore is conserved: H = E = constant. there is an energy conservation law. Thus we find (p − qA)2 + qφ. where Lk is of degree k in r. it follows that the generalized momentum is ˙ p = mr + qA. does). it is possible to choose the scalar and vector potentials φ and A also to be so (see §A. Thus H has no explicit time-dependence. For an ignorable co-ordinate. In that case. t) − qφ(r.27): ˙ ˙ L = 1 mr2 + q r · A(r. In fact. Show that. 2 from which. pα . ∂qα (12. or constants of the motion. The conservation law for energy is the first of a large class of conservation laws which we shall discuss in the following sections.7). The ‘magnetic’ term L1 apparently does ˙ not appear.3 Ignorable Co-ordinates It sometimes happens that one of the generalized co-ordinates.

described by the co-ordinate r and its corresponding momentum pr . using its energy conservation equation. conservative force. we were able to deal with an effectively one-dimensional problem involving only the radial co-ordinate r. for a particle moving in a plane under a central. in the form θ = pθ /mr2 . Since the Hamiltonian (12.8) is independent of θ. one of which is the angular momentum conservation equation. so θ is ignorable. ∂pr m −pr = ˙ dU ∂H = . in which a constant pθ appears. pθ = 0.18) This is precisely the ‘effective potential energy function’ of (4. while the other gives ˙ ˙ ˙ θ in terms of pθ . pα = constant. The generalized momentum pθ = J was simply a constant appearing in the equation of motion or the energy conservation equation. The term ‘ignorable co-ordinate’ means just what it says: that for many purposes we can ignore the co-ordinate qα . (12. This is. in effect.8) as the Hamiltonian for a system with one degree of freedom. though we did not then . (12.Hamiltonian Mechanics 283 It leads immediately to a conservation law for the corresponding generalized momentum. and therefore r as a function of t. Our solution gives us complete information about the radial motion — it gives r as a function of r. we may regard (12. Hamilton’s equations for r and pr are r= ˙ pr ∂H = . ∂r dr To solve the central force problem. Because of the conservation law for angular momentum. the ‘radial energy equation’). Let us re-examine this problem from the Hamiltonian point of view.13). Clearly. ˙ by integrating.17) For example. It is identical with the Hamiltonian for a particle moving in one dimension under a conservative force with potential energy function U (r) = p2 θ + V (r). Thus. Any required information about the angular part of the motion can then be found from the remaining pair of Hamilton’s equations.11). and treat the corresponding pα simply as a constant appearing in the Hamiltonian function. H is independent of the angular co-ordinate θ and we therefore have the law of conservation of angular momentum. 2mr2 (12. what we did for the central force problem in Chapter 4. we solve first this one-dimensional problem (for example.

and express T in terms of the generalized momenta using (12.20) It is easy to verify that the first set of Hamilton’s equations. this is essentially just the method we used in Chapter 4. It is clear that the two co-ordinates ϕ and ψ here are ignorable. θ. pϕ = constant and pψ = constant. (12.19) The simplest way to construct the Hamiltonian function is to use the fact that H = T + V . Thus the problem can be reduced to that of a system with one degree of freedom only. ˙ pψ = I3 (ψ + ϕ cos θ). I1 sin2 θ ˙ pθ θ= . The Hamiltonian . I1 pψ pϕ − pψ cos θ ˙ ψ= cos θ.19). described by the co-ordinate θ. ˙ Solving these equations for ϕ.11): ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ L = 1 I1 ϕ2 sin2 θ + 1 I1 θ2 + 1 I3 (ψ + ϕ cos θ)2 − M gR cos θ. ψ. and find the ‘effective potential energy function’ for the remaining co-ordinate.6). + θ + 2I1 2I3 2I1 sin2 θ (12. We shall use the same method in the following section to discuss the general motion of a symmetric top. we find H= p2 (pϕ − pψ cos θ)2 p2 ψ + M gR cos θ. and there are two corresponding conservation laws. correctly reproduce (12. In this way.19).284 Classical Mechanics introduce the Hamiltonian. We start from the Lagrangian function (10. Example: The symmetric top Show that for the symmetric top two of the three Euler angles are ignorable co-ordinates. ˙ pθ = I1 θ. 2 2 2 The corresponding generalized momenta are ˙ ˙ ˙ pϕ = I1 ϕ sin2 θ + I3 (ψ + ϕ cos θ) cos θ. − I3 I1 sin2 θ ϕ= ˙ (12. we obtain ˙ ˙ ˙ pϕ − pψ cos θ .

the angle θ oscillates between a minimum θ1 and a maximum θ2 .19). . ϕ. 2I1 (12. between 0 and π. If this angle lies outside the range between θ1 and θ2 (or ˙ if |pϕ /pψ | > 1). 12. and the motion is confined to the region where U (θ) ≤ E. we have an ‘equilibrium’ situation. (We return to this important special case in the next section. then ϕ never vanishes and the axis precesses round the vertical in a fixed direction. We note that. according to (12. We exclude for the moment the special case where pϕ = ±pψ . ∂θ dθ (12. Hence it has roughly the form shown in Fig. This corresponds to steady precession. is zero when ˙ cos θ = pϕ /pψ . with a minimum at some value of θ. U (θ) → +∞. the angular velocity of the axis about the vertical. It can be shown that there is only one minimum (see Problem 7).21) 12. the qualitative features of the motion can be found from the energy conservation equation. say θ0 .21) that as θ approaches either 0 or π.1. 2I1 where the effective potential energy function U (θ) is U (θ) = p2 (pϕ − pψ cos θ)2 ψ + M gR cos θ. + 2I3 2I1 sin2 θ (12. For any larger value of E. It is not hard to describe the motion of the top.4 General Motion of the Symmetric Top Hamilton’s equations for θ and pθ give ¨ ˙ −I1 θ = −pθ = dU ∂H = .22) This is obviously a rather complicated equation to solve. and wobbles up and down between θ1 and θ2 .23) ˙ In particular. p2 θ + U (θ) = E = constant. the angles θ at which θ = 0 are given by the equation U (θ) = E. When E is equal to this minimum value.) Then it is clear from (12. and θ remains fixed at θ0 . However.Hamiltonian Mechanics 285 function (12.20) may be written H= p2 θ + U (θ). Now let us examine the function U (θ).

12.2 On the other hand. and the opposite near the bottom.1 θ2 π θ This motion is illustrated in Fig. as shown in Fig. 12.4. θ1 θ2 Fig. The limiting case between the two kinds of motion occurs when arccos(pϕ /pψ ) = θ1 . the axis moves in loops.2. as shown in Fig.286 Classical Mechanics U E 0 θ1 θ0 Fig. 12. if θ1 < arccos(pϕ /pψ ) < θ2 . which shows the track of the end of the axis on a sphere.3. 12. Then the loops shrink to cusps. 12. . The axis of the top comes instantaneously to rest at the top of each loop. The angular velocity has one sign near the top of the loop.

3 θ1 θ2 Fig. (It is impossible to have cusped motion with the cusps at the bottom. 12. A top set spinning with its axis stationary cannot rise without increasing its energy.4 This kind of motion will occur if the top is set spinning with its axis initially at rest.Hamiltonian Mechanics 287 θ1 θ2 Fig. 12. for they correspond to points of minimum kinetic energy. and the motion must always be below such points.) .

2 2 2I1 (12. (12. How will it move? If the axis of the top passes through the vertical. 2 I3 say. In practice. 4I1 (12. θ = 0. (We could also consider types of motion for which the axis passes through the downward vertical.288 Classical Mechanics It is easy to observe these kinds of motion using a small gyroscope. and retain only the terms up to order θ2 . the type of motion will change slowly with time. because of frictional effects. that is.21) becomes U (θ) = 2 2 I3 ω3 2 tan2 1 θ + 1 I3 ω3 + M gR cos θ. This is possible only if pϕ = pψ . the top will begin to wobble. The treatment is entirely similar — but less interesting because a downward-pointing top is always stable.26) If the top is set spinning with angular velocity greater than this critical value. it will remain vertical. because of friction).25) Since there is no linear term.24) where we have used the identity (1 − cos θ)/ sin θ = tan 1 θ. then it is clear that U (0) must be finite. given by 2 ω3 = 4I1 M gR 2 = ω0 . Thus there is a minimum value of ω3 for which the vertical top is stable. When the angular velocity falls below the critical value (as it eventually will. 2 For small values of θ. The energy of the vertical top is 2 1 E = 2 I3 ω3 + M gR. θ = π. the effective potential energy function (12. . we may expand U (θ). if the coefficient of θ 2 is positive. Example: Stability of a vertical top A top is set spinning with angular velocity ω3 with its axis vertical. obtaining 2 U (θ) ≈ ( 1 I3 ω3 + M gR) + 2 1 2 2 2 I3 ω3 − M gR θ2 . It is a position of stable equilibrium if U (θ) has a minimum at θ = 0. and both generalized momenta must be equal to I3 ω3 . we require pϕ = −pψ = −I3 ω3 .) If we set pϕ = pψ = I3 ω3 . θ = 0 is always a position of equilibrium. In that case.

12.5 θ2 π θ They are easily seen to be θ1 = 0 and θ2 = 2 arccos(ω3 /ω0 ). . 12. Note that θ2 increases as ω3 is decreased.Hamiltonian Mechanics 289 ˙ Thus the angles at which θ = 0 are given by U (θ) = E (see Fig. . and swings in a circle through both the upward and downward verticals. .24). pn ). Symbolically. . with angular velocity less than the critical value ω0 . qn . Thus if the top is set spinning with its axis vertical and almost stationary. . When ω3 = 0. but it is interesting to consider it here because it is a very direct consequence of Hamilton’s equations. . . . The instantaneous position and velocity of every particle in our system is specified by the 2n variables (q1 . . and tends to π as ω3 approaches zero. called the phase space of the system.5 Liouville’s Theorem This theorem really belongs to statistical mechanics. or. . . from (12.5). we may write r = (q1 . 2 2 2I1 U E 0 Fig. pn ). It is convenient to think of these as co-ordinates in a 2n-dimensional space. it will oscillate in the subsequent motion between the vertical and the angle θ2 . the top behaves like a compound pendulum. qn . . . 12. p1 . by 2 2 I3 ω3 tan2 1 θ = M gR(1 − cos θ) = 2M gR sin2 1 θ. . . . . p1 .

These may be regarded ˙ as the components of a 2n-dimensional velocity vector. but with small random variations in the initial conditions. . p1 . . and usually does. . .24)) that the fluid velocity in an incompressible fluid satisfies the condition ∇ · v = 0. ∇·v = ∂ qn ˙ ∂ p1 ˙ ∂ pn ˙ ∂ q1 ˙ + ···+ + ···+ = 0. rather like the particles in a fluid. We thus have a swarm of points.. Each copy of the system is represented by a point in the phase space. Liouville’s theorem concerns how this swarm moves. by (12. (12. we may repeat many times an experiment on the same system. the motion in phase space is complicated. result. qn . moving according to Hamilton’s equations. The 2n-dimensional volume occupied by the swarm does not change with time. p1 . the 1st and (n+1)st terms are ∂ q1 ˙ ∂ p1 ˙ ∂ + = ∂q1 ∂p1 ∂q1 ∂H ∂p1 + ∂ ∂p1 − ∂H ∂q1 . . namely that the representative points in phase space move as though they formed an incompressible fluid. In general. . What it says is a very simple.7). ˙ v = r = (q1 . pn ). the changing state of the system can be described by a curve r(t) in the phase space. which is indeed zero. it is shown in Appendix A (see (A. but very remarkable. all the other terms in (12. .27) cancel in pairs. . The condition that the phase-space volume does not change with time in the flow described by the velocity field v is simply that the 2n-dimensional divergence of v is zero. though of course its shape may. . Hamilton’s equations. but becomes extremely distorted. ∂q1 ∂qn ∂p1 ∂pn (12. ˙ ˙ ˙ prescribe the rates of change (q1 . Similarly. i. .27) But.e.6) and (12. For example. change in very complicated ways. . ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Now suppose that we have a large number of copies of our system. . qn . . starting out with slightly different initial values of the co-ordinates and momenta. The phase-space volume containing the swarm of representative points maintains its volume.6) and (12. except for special cases. In three dimensions. we need to apply a generalization of the divergence operation. It is easy to see that the argument generalizes to any number of dimensions. . Thus the theorem is proved. occupying some volume in phase space. rather like a drop of immiscible coloured liquid in a glass of water which is then stirred. . pn ). To prove this. . .290 Classical Mechanics As time progresses.7).

of the fact that there is no preferred orientation in the plane. without changing r.2 and 12. p) = E. Remarkably. to be discussed in Chapter 14. They must remain on the same constant-energy surface. however. it does determine a preferred orientation is space. for the symmetric top. In fact. but so far we have not discussed the physical reasons for their existence. Such behaviour is called ergodic. many quite complicated systems do not behave in this way. The study of which systems do and do not behave ergodically. 12. and particularly the transition between one type and another as the parameters of the system are varied. Thus angular momentum is conserved (pθ = constant) for systems possessing this rotational symmetry. For example. Of course.6 Symmetries and Conservation Laws In §§12. and of course there might be other conservation laws that also restrict the accessible region of phase space.3. we found some examples of conserved quantities. every component of the angular momentum J is conserved if the force is purely central. and angular momentum is not conserved. H(q. replacing θ by θ + δθ. namely pϕ . is conserved. The . the conservation law of angular momentum for the central force problem. Averaged properties of the system over a long time can then be estimated by averaging over the accessible phase space.Hamiltonian Mechanics 291 The points cannot just go anywhere in phase space. is now one of the most active fields of mathematical physics. But one might expect that in time the phase-space volume would become thinly distributed throughout almost all the accessible parts of phase space. pr or pθ . but show surprising almost-periodic behaviour. and is commonly assumed in statistical mechanics. Similarly. arises from the fact that the Hamiltonian is independent of θ. because of the energy conservation equation. This is an expression of the rotational symmetry of the system — in other words. if the force is non-central. (12. If the force is noncentral. but still possesses axial symmetry — so that H depends on θ but not on ϕ — then only the component of J along the axis of symmetry.11). the equation ∂H/∂ϕ = 0 is an expression of the rotational symmetry of the system about the vertical. they are expressions of symmetry properties possessed by the system. the equation ∂H/∂θ = 0 means that the energy of the system is unchanged if we rotate it to a new position. Explicitly. It has revealed an astonishing range of possibilities. In a three-dimensional problem.

If we make a small rotation through an angle δθ. δy = x δθ. t). (12. so clearly x y δH = 0. ∂qα (12. ˙ ˙ The equation ∂H/∂ψ = 0 expresses the rotational symmetry of the top itself about its own axis. δ(x2 + y 2 ) = 0 and δ(p2 + p2 ) = 0.28) Under this transformation. We define the transformation generated by G to be δqα = ∂G δλ. while all the remaining coordinates and momenta are unchanged. δpy = px δθ. Let us consider a general function of the co-ordinates.45). The problem is to understand the relationship between the transformation (12. Now we know from our earlier discussion in terms of polar co-ordinates that this symmetry is related to the conservation of angular momentum. J = xpy − ypx = constant.292 Classical Mechanics corresponding conserved quantity pϕ is the vertical component of J . A. For example.28) and the conserved quantity J. Using Hamilton’s equations (12.43) and (9. G(q. δpx = −py δθ. we see from (9. The energy is clearly unchanged by rotating the top about its axis. It does. pψ = J3 = e3 · J. p.4) δx = −y δθ.29) where δλ is an infinitesimal parameter.45) that the conserved quantity pψ is the component of J along the axis of the top. ∂pα δpα = − ∂G δλ. and time. the function G = p1 generates the transformation in which δq1 = δλ.6) . momenta. ˙ Jz = k · J = I1 ϕ sin2 θ + I3 (ψ + ϕ cos θ) cos θ = pϕ . by (9. neither co-ordinate is ignorable. Then the Hamiltonian is H= p2 + p 2 x y +V 2m x2 + y 2 . Now of course not all symmetries are expressible simply by saying that H is independent of some particular co-ordinate. For example. possess a symmetry under rotations. for. the changes in the co-ordinates and momenta are (see Fig. In this case. Since it depends on both x and y. we might consider the central force problem in terms of the Cartesian co-ordinates x and y. however.

G] = α=1 ∂F ∂G ∂F ∂G − ∂qα ∂pα ∂pα ∂qα . and it is convenient to introduce an abbreviated notation. appears quite frequently. The transformation it generates is given by δx = ∂J δλ = −y δλ.Hamiltonian Mechanics 293 and (12. involving the derivatives of two functions. ∂y δpx = − δpy = − This is clearly identical to the infinitesimal rotation (12. we return to a general function G. G] δλ. The rate of change of F is ∂F dF = + dt ∂t α=1 n ∂F ∂F qα + ˙ pα ˙ ∂qα ∂pα = ∂F + [F.28). Thus we have established a connection between J and this transformation (12. The change in F is n δF = α=1 ∂F ∂F δqα + δpα ∂qα ∂pα n = α=1 ∂F ∂G ∂F ∂G − ∂qα ∂pα ∂pα ∂qα δλ. This kind of sum. ∂px ∂J δλ = −py δλ. (12. (12. We define the Poisson bracket of F and G to be n [F. this represents the time development of the system. p. ∂x δy = ∂J δλ = x δλ.7).29) on some other function F (q.31) Then we can write the change in F under the transformation generated by G in the form δF = [F.30) generated by H.32) A particular example is provided by the transformation (12. δpα = pα δλ.30) If δλ is interpreted as a small time interval. t). ∂t (12. To this end. ∂py ∂J δλ = px δλ. we see that the transformation generated by the Hamiltonian is ˙ δqα = qα δλ.33) . and consider the effect of the transformation (12. We can now return to the function J. H]. ˙ (12.28). The next problem is to understand why the fact that this transformation represents a symmetry property of the system should lead to a conservation law.

then the motion may exhibit disorder or ‘chaos’. H] = 0. The number of independent symmetries possessed by a system. G]. Now an obvious property of the Poisson bracket is its antisymmetry. If there are insufficient conserved quantities to bring this about. if F is unchanged by the transformation generated by G. (12.34) that [G. and the system is termed integrable (in the sense of Liouville — see §14. we find from (12. has a profound effect on the way that the system may behave.294 Classical Mechanics The extra term here arises from the fact that we have now allowed F to have an explicit dependence on the parameter t. then the corresponding generator is conserved.35) It then follows from the reciprocity relation (12. .e. The condition that H should be unchanged is δH = [H. we merely change the sign: [G. (12. By exploiting the conservation laws. is at least equal to the number of degrees of freedom (the number of independent co-ordinates). If the number of independent conserved quantities for a system. From (12. i. The motion is then ordered and ‘regular’. Hence if ∂G/∂t = 0.33) that dG = [G. then reciprocally G is unchanged by the transformation generated by F . in addition to the dependence via q and p.. the complexity of problems may be reduced progressively. H] = 0 also. We are now finally in a position to apply this discussion to the case of a symmetry property of the system.36) Thus we have shown that if H is unaltered by a t-independent transformation of this type. If we interchange F and G. independent of q and p. then the reduction may be complete. then G may be chosen to contain no explicit t dependence. F ] = −[F. G] δλ = 0. dt (12.1). apart from an arbitrary additive function of t. constants or integrals of the motion. if the transformation does not involve the time explicitly. and hence the number of conserved quantities.34) This has the important consequence that. and which is generated by a function G.29) we see that the generator G is unique. In particular. Let us suppose that there exists a transformation of the co-ordinates and momenta which leaves the Hamiltonian unaffected.

3 and §§12. dt (12. origin in space. We consider them in turn.37) . and transformations between frames moving with uniform relative velocity (sometimes called boosts). and may be described by the particle positions r i and momenta pi (i = 1.7 Galilean Transformations To illustrate the ideas of the preceding section. and the symmetric top considered in §10. Time translations The changes in r and p in an infinitesimal time δt are generated by the Hamiltonian function H. 12.4. rotations. 2. we shall consider a general. The condition for invariance of H under this transformation is [H. The system has 3N degrees of freedom. .Hamiltonian Mechanics 295 The central. H] = 0. considered in Problems 15 and 16 of Chapter 10. spatial translations.3. orientation of axes. dH = 0. . does not possess such a complete set of conserved quantities. then it is in fact conserved. as we showed in §12. conservative force problems considered in Chapter 4. Thus. They are known collectively as Galilean transformations. or standard of rest. .2. and so is not integrable. 12. which is certainly true because of (12. N ). and investigate the symmetry properties implied by the relativity principle of §1.34). since they possess respectively two and three conserved quantities. are examples of integrable systems. A combination of these four types of transformation is the most general transformation which takes one inertial frame into another. . The formal description of the connection between symmetry properties and invariance is contained in a famous theorem due to Emmy Noether (1918). associated with the requirements that there should be no preferred zero of the time scale. and in Problems 12 and 13 at the end of this chapter.1. isolated system of N particles. equal in each case to the number of degrees of freedom. The corresponding symmetry transformations are translations in time. if H contains no explicit time dependence. We shall consider four distinct symmetry properties. The restricted three-body problem.

The condition for H to be invariant under this transformation is N 0 = [H. δpzi = 0. δzi = 0. N Px = i=1 pxi .296 Classical Mechanics Spatial translations An infinitesimal translation of the system through a distance δx in the x direction is represented by the transformation δxi = δx. for then. ∂xi It is satisfied if H depends only on the co-ordinate differences xi − xj . δyi = 0. then all components of P are conserved: dP = 0. δyi = xi δϕ. We know from our earlier work that momentum is conserved for an isolated system. δzi = 0. When this condition holds. δpzi = 0. a centre of force). . dPx /dt = 0. When the system possesses translational invariance in all directions.39) This is physically very reasonable. (12. we obtain a conservation law for the x-component of momentum. (12. dt (12. δpyi = 0. a translation in the direction of the unit vector n is generated by the component of the total momentum P in this direction. Px ] δx = i=1 ∂H δx. n · P . δpxi = 0. More generally.40) δpxi = −pyi δϕ. but not for a system subjected to external forces which determine a preferred origin (for example.38) The corresponding generator is easily seen to be the total x-component of momentum. δpyi = pxi δϕ. Rotations An infinitesimal rotation through an angle δϕ about the z-axis yields δxi = −yi δϕ. changing each xi by the same amount cannot affect H.

.13)). n · J.41). For example. we have shown that the conservations laws of energy. All we have assumed is the existence of the Hamiltonian function. and the relativity principle. which is in some ways rather different from the others. The condition for H to be rotationally symmetric. and so dJ = 0. They have. dt (12. For example. There remains one type of Galilean transformation.41) It is generated by the appropriate component of the angular momentum. When the Hamiltonian possesses complete rotational symmetry. N Jz = i=1 (xi pyi − yi pxi ). It is easy to verify that scalar quantities are indeed unchanged by (12. involving only the squares and scalar products of vectors. (12. δpi = n ∧ pi δϕ. The Hamiltonian function is invariant under this transformation provided that it is a scalar function of r i and pi . or that they are central or conservative. by the symmetry of the scalar triple product (see (A. a rotation through an angle δϕ about an axis in the direction of the unit vector n may be written in the form δr i = n ∧ r i δϕ. δ(r i · r j ) = (δr i ) · rj + ri · (δr j ) = [(n ∧ r i ) · rj + ri · (n ∧ rj )]δϕ = 0. then every component of J is conserved. is satisfied provided that H involves the x and y co-ordinates and momenta only through invariant combinations like xi xj + yi yj . a much more general validity than the specific assumptions used in their original derivation. and angular momentum are expressions of symmetry properties required by the relativity principle.42) So far.Hamiltonian Mechanics 297 The corresponding generator is the z-component of the total angular momentum. [H. we have not assumed that the forces in our system are all two-body forces. Jz ] = 0. In general. momentum. therefore.

is dG d = (P t − M R) = 0. δpyi = 0. The corresponding transformations are δxi = t δv. The fourth of the basic conservation laws. Indeed. δyi = 0. (12. δpzi = 0. For.43) This transformation differs from the others we have considered in that t appears explicitly in (12. we find δH = [H. though not on the choice of origin or axes.33) and (12. G] δλ = −[G.43). because of the explicit time-dependence. dt dt (12. where M is the total mass. What the relativity principle actually requires is that the equations of motion should be unchanged by the transformation. The generator of this transformation is N Gx = i=1 (pxi t − mi xi ) = Px t − M X. This generator is also explicitly time-dependent.44). it is no longer true that H must be invariant under (12. δpxi = mi δv.43). It is clearly the x component of the vector G = P t − M R. In fact.298 Classical Mechanics Transformations to moving frames Let us consider the effect of giving our system a small overall velocity δv in the x direction — a small ‘boost’. dt (12. H] δλ = ∂G δλ. using (12. ∂t (12. for the quantity (12.47) . and X is the x co-ordinate of the centre of mass.34). we know that the energy of a system does depend on the choice of reference frame. We must now be careful.45) However. It can be shown (see Problem 17) that the condition for this is still dG = 0. (12.44) Transformations to frames moving in other directions are generated by appropriate components of this vector. δzi = 0. this no longer implies the invariance of H.46) Thus the change in H is related to the explicit time-dependence of G.

Moreover. 2mi then we find directly from (12. is δH = Now. V must contain no explicit dependence on time.49).49) imposes no further restrictions on the r dependence. if we write N ∂Gx δv = Px δv. Thus the change in kinetic energy is exactly what is demanded by (12. it must contain them only through the combinations v ij = pj pi − .48). and this relation reduces to δV = 0. This relation too is therefore a consequence of the relativity principle.49) It is interesting to examine the conditions imposed on V by this requirement. For. given by (12.43) that N δT = i=1 pxi δv = Px δv. none of the conditions imposed so far requires it to be independent of the momenta. For a transformation in the x direction. To satisfy (12. ∂t (12.48) H = T + V. since dP /dt = 0. dt which is simply the relation (8.7) between the total momentum and the centre-of-mass velocity. (12. the equation is actually quite familiar. the change in H.46). Let us now turn to the question of what this symmetry implies for the form of the Hamiltonian function. where T = i=1 p2 i . We have already seen that V must be a scalar function. mi mj . However. Since these are unaffected by (12.Hamiltonian Mechanics 299 Though this is an unfamiliar form. and must involve the particle positions only through the differences r ij = r i − r j . it may be written P −M dR = 0. the requirement (12.43).

following a theoretical prediction by Lee and Yang. Thus the most general form of interaction in an N particle system which is invariant under all Galilean transformations is one described by a ‘potential energy function’ which is an arbitrary scalar function of the relative position vectors and the relative velocity vectors. it does not lead to a conservation law at all. such as rotations.43). in classical mechanics. 12. In particular. z → z) or inversions (r → −r) which lead from a right-handed set of axes to a left-handed set. then the transformation takes us to another right-handed set. They differ from the proper transformations. we could also consider transformations like reflections (say x → −x. in being discrete rather than continuous — no continuous change can ever take a right-handed set of axes into a left-handed set. it was believed that all physical laws were unchanged by reflections.300 Classical Mechanics which are easily seen to be invariant under (12. but this is the only new requirement. Because of the discontinuous nature of these transformations. this symmetry does not lead to a conservation law for some continuous variable. However. The condition for the Hamiltonian to be unchanged also under improper co-ordinate transformations is that it should be a true scalar function. However. Until 1957. The laws describing such processes do not have the same form in right-handed and left-handed frames of reference. y → y. Reflections. when the Hamiltonian function is independent . in quantum mechanics. like (r i ∧ rj ) · r k . rather than a pseudoscalar. In fact. which changes sign under inversion.8 Summary The Hamiltonian method is an extremely powerful tool in dealing with complex problems. These are called improper co-ordinate transformations. All those we have considered so far have the property that if we start with a right-handed set of axes. that parity is in fact not conserved in the process of radioactive decay of atomic nuclei. it yields a conservation law for a quantity known as the parity. If this condition is fulfilled. parity There is one other type of co-ordinate transformation which might be mentioned. like r i · rj . which has only two possible values ±1. but it was then discovered by Wu et al. the equations of motion will have the same form in right-handed and left-handed frames of reference.

but can now be seen as having a far more fundamental role. where there is an ‘uncertainty principle’ according to which it is impossible to measure both members of such a pair simultaneously with arbitrary accuracy. . whose axis points vertically upwards. and determine the corresponding angular velocity. and lead to very similar conservation laws. Find the angle α if the frequency of small oscillations about this circular motion is also ω. using the distance r from the vertex. which were originally derived as rather special consequences of Newton’s laws. The Hamiltonian function is also of great importance in quantum mechanics. In relativity. but the same principles apply. We have seen that the variables appear in pairs. Obtain the Hamiltonian function. since the amount of labour involved in solving a complicated problem can be greatly reduced by making full use of all the available symmetries. we have seen that any symmetry property of the system leads to a corresponding conservation law. It is the basic reason for the universal character of these laws. This relationship between pairs of variables is of central importance in quantum mechanics. the number of degrees of freedom is effectively reduced by one. To each co-ordinate qα there corresponds a momentum pα . the transformations we consider are slightly different (Lorentz transformations rather than Galilean). then the system is ‘integrable’ (in the sense of Liouville) and the conservation laws may then be exploited to produce (in principle) the complete solution to the problem. In such a case. Such pairs are called canonically conjugate. Problems 1. The relationship between the relativity principle and the familiar con˙ servation laws (including the ‘conservation law’ P = M R) is of the greatest importance for the whole of physics. and many of the features of our discussion carry over to that case. and the azimuth angle ϕ as generalized co-ordinates. then the corresponding generalized momentum pα is conserved. The relationship between symmetries and conservation laws also applies to quantum mechanics.Hamiltonian Mechanics 301 of some particular co-ordinate qα . More generally. This can be of great importance in practice. ω. If there is a sufficient number of symmetries. A particle of mass m slides on the inside of a smooth cone of semivertical angle α. Show that stable circular motion is possible for any value of r.

8. Problem 11. supported by a spring with spring constant k. 5. inextensible string passes over a small pulley and carries a mass 2m on one end.4) has only a single minimum. A light. Find the Hamiltonian function for the forced pendulum considered in §10. Express the quantity J 2 = ˙ ˙ m2 r4 (θ2 + sin2 θ ϕ2 ) in terms of the generalized momenta. and show that ϕ. Find the Hamiltonian function. 3. To what symmetry does this correspond? 6. A particle of mass m moves in three dimensions under the action of a central. Find the Hamiltonian function in terms of spherical polar co-ordinates. 4. and hence that there are either two roots or none between these points: for every E there are at most two values of θ for which U (θ) = E. Show. conservative force with potential energy V (r). On the other end is a mass m. starting from the Lagrangian function (10. with three roots in general. however. Determine the frequency of small oscillations about the stable ‘equilibrium’ position when ω 2 > g/l. as generalized coordinates. *To prove that the effective potential energy function U (θ) of the symmetric top (see §12. find the positions of the particles at any later time. a second mass m. Can you explain this result physically? 7. Find whether the minimum angular velocity required for stable vertical rotation is greater or less than in the case of a fixed pivot. Find the Hamiltonian for a charged particle in electric and magnetic fields in cylindrical polars. and the extension y in the spring. Problem 9. static magnetic field. and verify that it is equal to T + V . but not θ. and show that it is a second constant of the motion. To what symmetry property does this correspond? (In other words.302 Classical Mechanics 2. Show that in the case of an axially symmetric. is ignorable. show that the equation U (θ) = E can be written as a cubic equation in the variable z = cos θ.4.29). z) of the vector . described by the single component Aϕ (ρ. *Find the Hamiltonian for the pendulum hanging from a trolley described in Chapter 10. using the distance x of the first mass beneath the pulley. what operation can be performed on the system without changing its energy?) If the system is released from rest with the spring unextended. that f (z) has the same sign at both z = ±1. Show that x is ignorable. *Obtain the Hamiltonian function for the top with freely sliding pivot described in Chapter 10. and beneath it. Show that x is ignorable.

find the radius of a stable circular orbit with angular velocity ωL . and determine the angular frequency of small oscillations about it. The motion is confined to the plane perpendicular to B. y − y0 . and the distances at which it does so. 10.) Consider a system like that of Problem 9. Investigate the stability of one of the Lagrangian ‘equilibrium’ positions off the line of centres by assuming a solution where x − x0 . (Here qµ is assumed positive. (Note that Jz is not a constant of the motion. (Note: Remember that the subscripts ϕ on the generalized momentum pϕ and on the component Aϕ mean different things. Describe qualitatively the appearance of the orbits for different values of b. it takes the form H= 1 2m p2 + p2 + ρ z (pϕ − qρAϕ )2 ρ2 . and in a uniform magnetic field B. *A particle of mass m and charge q is moving in the equatorial plane z = 0 of a magnetic dipole of moment µ. Show that ϕ is ignorable. and interpret the conservation law. but with a charge +q at the origin. (Hint : It may be useful to sketch the effective radial potential energy function.5). 12. and that the distance of closest √ 1 approach to the dipole is 2 ( b2 ∓ a2 ± b). according as b > a or b < a. Show that v and pϕ are constants of the motion. it is approaching from a great distance with velocity v and impact parameter b.) Find also the range of values of b for which the velocity can become purely radial.) *Find the Hamiltonian for the restricted three-body problem described in Chapter 10. whose sign is defined to be that of pϕ . Write down the Lagrangian function in polar co-ordinates rotating with the Larmor angular velocity ωL = −qB/2m (see §5. px + mωy0 and py − mωx0 are all small quantities proportional to ept . 11. where a2 = µ0 qµ/πmv. Hence find the Hamiltonian function. described (see Appendix A. Show that it will continue to move in this plane. 9. Initially.Hamiltonian Mechanics 303 potential. Problem 12) by a vector potential with the single non-zero component Aϕ = µ0 µ sin θ/4πr2 .) A particle of mass m and charge q is moving around a fixed point charge −q (qq > 0). with p constant. By examining the effective radial potential energy function. 4(M1 + M2 )2 . Show that the possible values for p are given by p4 + ω 2 p2 + 27M1 M2 ω 4 = 0. Problems 15 and 16.

What is the relation between ϕ and J? Treat the third term of the Hamiltonian in Problem 8 as an effective potential energy function U (ρ. . The stability condition of Problem 12 is well satisfied for the case of the Sun and Jupiter. *To investigate the stability of the motion described in the preceding question. 15. ∂Bρ /∂ρ = 0 also. and the fact that. z). Interpret this result in terms of the transformation of one component generated by another. ρ=a. 14. and in the plane z = 0 has only a z component.86 years. and show that they may be written ∂Bz ∂ 2 U q2 = Bz Bz + ρ ∂ρ2 m ∂ρ ∂2U = 0. z) = J 2 /2mρ2 .z=0 (Hint : You will need to use the ϕ component of the equation ∇∧B = 0. ˙ and ∂J/∂z = qρBρ . 11. ∂ρ ∂z . evaluate the second derivatives of U at ρ = a. and write down the ‘equilibrium’ conditions ∂U/∂ρ = ∂U/∂z = 0.2). compute its derivatives. Jy ] = Jz (together with two other relations obtained by cyclic permutation of x. for which M1 /M2 = 1047. Defining J = pϕ − qρAϕ . Specifically. show that the orbit is stable if 0 < n < 1. that ∂J/∂ρ = −qρBz .55).z=0 ∂2U q2 ∂Bz =− Bz ρ ∂z 2 m ∂ρ . Find for this case the periods of small oscillations about the ‘equilibrium’ points (in the plane of the orbit). given that M1 > M2 show that the minimum possible ratio for stability is slightly less than 25. z = 0. since Bρ = 0 for all ρ. whose orbital periods are the same as Jupiter’s. Indeed. ρ=a. 16. Show that the Poisson brackets of the components of angular momentum are [Jx . 13.) Given that the dependence of Bz on ρ near the equilibrium orbit is described by Bz ∝ (a/ρ)n . Hence show that a particle of mass m and charge q can move in a circle of any given radius a in the plane z = 0 with angular velocity equal to the cyclotron frequency for the field at that radius (see §5.40) and (A. *The magnetic field in a particle accelerator is axially symmetric (as in Problem 8). y. show. in that case these positions are occupied by the so-called Trojan asteroids. using (A.304 Classical Mechanics and hence that the points are stable provided that the masses M1 and M2 are sufficiently different.

this means we can choose it so that dG/dt = 0. But since we can always add to G any function of t alone without affecting the transformation it generates. (12. Write both sides of this equation in terms of G and use (12. Proceed as follows. show that it is independent of each qα .33) applied both to ∂G/∂pα and to G itself to show that it is equivalent to the condition ∂ ∂pα dG dt = 0. in addition to its dependence via q(t) and p(t). . (12. will be unchanged provided that d (δqα ) = δ dt ∂H ∂pα .7).6).Hamiltonian Mechanics 305 17. *Show that the condition that Hamilton’s equations remain unchanged under the transformation generated by G is dG/dt = 0 even in the case when G has an explicit time-dependence. by using the other set of Hamilton’s equations. Thus dG/dt is independent of each pα . Similarly. Thus dG/dt must be a function of t alone. The first set of Hamilton’s equations.

306 Classical Mechanics .

Not only does this new perspective bring out important features of systems which are already familiar. which may be represented by functions xi (t) of time t where i = 1. [For some systems it is appropriate and useful to observe at discrete time intervals (not necessarily equal).1). for example. positions and velocities or momenta (as in §12. other branches of physics. Differential equations are then replaced by maps — see §14. 307 .1 Phase Space and Phase Portraits Many systems have a finite number n of distinct dynamic elements. chemistry and economics. which had its origins in the work of Poincar´.2 and appendix D. . . Here we are dealing with the number of elements which describe the dynamic state and these might therefore include. but it also enables us to gain qualitative (and some quantitative) information about systems in which there is complex interaction. for example. . . but also in. engineering and applied mathematics. not only in mechanics. The ideas are of very wide applicability in many fields. for example. the system is mechanical. 2.Chapter 13 Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry In this chapter we will begin to look at continuous dynamical problems in a new. which may be highly nonlinear and accessible by other methods only with difficulty. e This approach enables us to move on from the solution of the differential equations for a system having one set of parameters and initial conditions to the consideration of the geometry of all the possible solutions.] 13. n. It should be noted that n is not necessarily the same as the number of degrees of freedom if. if at all. powerful and largely geometrical way. biology.

Fig.1) as the prescription for the way in which the point x evolves with time along trajectories (or orbits) in an n-dimensional space — the phase space of the system. spring constants and so on. It is extremely useful to view (13. dt (13. it is useful to do so. t). The idea is that we fix c and consider the solutions of (13.1 . together with the velocity directions upon them. 13. like masses. The function F in (13. 13. although there are obvious difficulties in graphical representation when n > 3. constitutes the phase portrait of the system. In practice F usually contains a set c of control parameters which are characteristic of the physical problem. by analogy with fluid motion (see Fig.1) is then called the phase velocity. The phase space is usually taken to be Euclidean in its geometry. The evolutions of a continuous dynamical system pictured in this manner are often described as a flow.1) describing the evolution of the dynamic elements with ‘velocity’ F . so determining the evolution of these different initial states.1). The set of all trajectories in this space for various initial prescribed values of x. While this is not absolutely necessary.1) for various different prescribed values of the xi at a particular initial time.308 Classical Mechanics We may denote the state of the system by the vector x(t) and the n equations of motion can be written in vector form ˙ x≡ dx = F (x.

is a model of population growth (among many other applications) and the general motivation is that the growth rate x/x decreases as the population x(t) increases on account of ˙ overcrowding or lack of resources.1).1) the functions Fi contained within the phase velocity F may not depend explicitly on time. 2. The importance of this lies in what is called the structural stability of systems.2) then we may write xi = di−1 x/dti−1 for i = 1. abrupt changes at particular c are bifurcations or catastrophes. but at the expense of raising by one the dimension of the phase space. The equation. there is considerable interest in the dynamical transitions which occur in their behaviour at particular parameter values. (13. Naturally the interest for this biological application is in x0 ≥ 0.1) and. for many such systems. .1]. Of course.3) Here k. dt with x(0) = x0 . . (13. x. and recover the form (13. n−1 = G t. . which is due to Verhulst. dtn dt dt . In (13. also ‘natural systems’ of §10. . We will not be concerned further with this matter here. .1) is not as special as it appears. σ are positive control parameters. . it is immediately apparent that any non-autonomous system may be made autonomous through the substitution xn+1 = t. since any system having higher-order derivatives can be put into this standard form by a suitable change of variables. and the system is then said to be autonomous. Simple examples of this technique (for n = 2) will be given below.2 First-order Systems — the Phase Line (n = 1) Let us consider the logistic differential equation for the dynamic state variable x(t): x≡ ˙ dx = kx − σx2 . . If we have dn−1 x dx dn x . Evidently the phase portrait for a particular dynamical system may look very different for different values of the control parameters c in (13. n. 13. . .Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 309 It is important to note that the first-order system (13. but will concentrate almost exclusively on autonomous systems [cf.

Now here we have been fortunate to be able to arrive at the complete solution of (13. It is evident from (13.4) This solution may be plotted as a function of t as in Fig.4) and of Fig. The equilibrium population x(t) ≡ 0 is unstable. for x0 > 0. However. So x(t) ≡ 0 is a repeller . for x0 = 0. Fig. however small. for all x0 > 0. For x0 > k/σ there is steady decay of the population towards the value k/σ. Any positive change in x0 . 13.2 . [σx0 + (k − σx0 ) exp(−kt)] x(t) ≡ 0.3) by considering the phase space and the phase portrait.2 that. Since x → k/σ as t → ∞ in each case. The comments detailed above result from interpretation of (13. 13. the evolution of x with t is such that x → k/σ. the important qualitative behaviour of the solutions is obtainable more directly from (13.310 Classical Mechanics Now this equation (13.4).2 derived from it. results in explosive growth until the overcrowding takes effect and x is attracted towards k/σ.3) in the form (13.4) and from Fig.3) is first-order separable and it may be solved explicitly to give x(t) = kx0 . as above. 13.2. For 0 < x0 < k/σ the ‘sigmoid’ curves obtained represent the way in which the exponential growth (which would be present if σ = 0) is inhibited by overcrowding. 13. then the equilibrium population x(t) ≡ k/σ is said to be asymptotically stable and it is an attractor . in that it is only realizable if x0 = 0. (13.

The arrow directions are those of the phase velocity ˙ and. then we find that ˙ ξ = −kξ (13. If we write x(t) = k/σ + ξ(t). the complete portrait can be found by testing just a single x value away from the equilibria. The phase space is here one-dimensional (a phase line). §2. Note that this solution of (13. or critical points. are the only values of x at which x can change sign. 13. Fig.Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 311 Example: Phase portrait of the logistic system Find the qualitative features of the logistic system by considering the phase portrait.2. for example. 13.3).3. by the local behaviour on the phase line near to them and through the strong geometrical requirement that x ˙ cannot change sign at any other value of x. confirming of course that x = k/σ is an attractor.5) is consistent with our assumption that quadratic terms in ξ could be neglected. We might consider the equation x = kx − σx2 − f. but with an eye to developments for higher-order systems we can consider a small-amplitude approximation near to each critical point.6) . It is important to note ˙ that these equilibria. ˙ (13.5) to first order in ξ and ξ(t) → 0 exponentially as t → ∞. (See Fig. where ξ(t) is small enough for quadratic terms involving it to be neglected. x = k/σ are found by putting x ≡ 0 in (13. The other critical point x = 0 may be treated similarly and confirmed as a repeller. From this we see immediately that x = k/σ is an attractor and x = 0 is a repeller.3 The above is sufficient argument. since k is positive. An important point to note here is that for this system and for other such first-order systems the qualitative behaviour is completely determined by the position of the critical points.) In constructing the phase portrait for this example the equilibria x = 0. very similar to the analysis carried out in. here.

The oscillator equation (2. For example. 13. 13. the extra control parameter f which has been introduced can be varied and predictions made about the evolution of x from resulting changes in the phase portrait. The exact solution is now rather more awkward to obtain and the use of the one-dimensional phase space provides clear advantage.312 Classical Mechanics where f represents a positive constant extraction rate.7) which is in the form (13.1) as x = y. with A2 constant. Example: Simple harmonic oscillator Determine the phase-space trajectories of the simple harmonic oscillator. (See Problem 1.2) and which may be converted to the form (13. ˙ y = −ω 2 x. (13. (13. ˙ (13. dx x ˙ y which may be solved easily to give ω 2 x2 + y 2 = A2 . Naturally for many biological systems a discrete.3 Second-order Systems — the Phase Plane (n = 2) Again let us proceed by considering a particular and familiar example.8) The trajectories of this autonomous system in the (x. ¨ ω= k/m. x(t) could be the population of fish in a lake and f the rate of fishing this population.13) may be written x = −ω 2 x. along each trajectory the energy E of the oscillator is . (See Fig.4. model is more appropriate [see Appendix D].10) (13. In particular.) The analysis given above will be generalized in following sections to deal with higher-order systems. y) phase plane are evidently given by the solutions of dy y ˙ ω2x ≡ =− .) Here.9) The phase portrait is a family of ellipses centred at the origin. rather than continuous.

y0 ) = 0 = G(x0 . In this case. y). It is apparent that the equation G dy = dx F (13. y0 ) is an equilibrium solution of the system and trajectories can only intersect at such points and nowhere else. G are suitable functions. 0) is a critical 2 point of the system (13. 13. Evidently (x. y). concerns the fate of the system when it is displaced slightly from such a critical point.9). or possible. for general small displacements: . The system could. y0 ). The interesting question to ask. y0 ). we were able to find the trajectories by direct integration of (13. Each trajectory is closed and is therefore a periodic orbit. except by numerical computation. for which F (x0 . from the physical point of view.Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 313 Fig. The general second-order autonomous system with which we are presented is x = F (x. y) = (0. ˙ where F.12) (13.4 constant and given by E = 1 mA2 . Each such (x0 .11) certainly determines the slope of the unique trajectory in the phase plane at each point except at the critical points (x0 .8) and any small perturbation leads to the system traversing an elliptical trajectory around this equilibrium point. ˙ y = G(x. In the case of a general system this may well not be easy.

the signs of the real parts of these roots are crucial in determining whether trajectories near to (x0 . G(x. 3.13) + G1 (ξ. so that the roots of the quadratic characteristic equation for λ need not be real. y0 ) go inwards towards this critical point or go outwards from it. In nearly all cases the correct behaviour of the almost linear system near ξ = 0 = η is given by the behaviour of the linear system which is obtained by neglecting the higher-order terms F1 . The analysis appears similar to that involved in the calculation of the frequencies of the normal modes in §11. in each of which ξ. η=ξ ˙ +η 0 0 Here the partial derivatives are evaluated at the critical point (x0 . We seek a solution of the linear system which is a linear combination of ‘modes’. y0 ) as t → ∞. We obtain ˙ ξ=ξ ∂F ∂x ∂G ∂x +η 0 ∂F ∂y ∂G ∂y + F1 (ξ. In matrix notation.314 Classical Mechanics 1. y0 ) without necessarily tending towards (x0 . η. y0 ) as t → ∞. but we are dealing with matrices M which are not necessarily symmetric. y ≡ x = 0 — ˙ hardly a surprising conclusion! The behaviour of the trajectories near to each critical point (x0 . y0 ) in the phase plane can be found by an analysis similar to that introduced in §13. in which case we say the system is asymptotically stable. y) locally. The behaviour near (x0 . y0 ) of the linear system may be classified using the eigenvalues λ of M .3. η). The simple harmonic oscillator is therefore stable at x = 0. G1 are generally quadratic in ξ.14) and the 2 × 2 Jacobian matrix M has constant entries which are special to each critical point. in which case we say it is stable. Move in an arbitrarily small neighbourhood of (x0 . in which ξ. Evidently. η are constant multiples of eλt . G1 in the above. y). η are small and we expand functions F (x. Move increasingly away from (x0 . 2. y0 ) and F1 . η η ˙ dt η (13. y = y0 + η. y0 ). 0 (13. these equations are ˙ d ξ ξ ξ ≡ =M + higher-order terms. Move so as to tend towards (x0 . . in which case we say it is unstable.2 using x = x0 + ξ. η).

11) is that we can usually obtain a qualitative picture of the full phase portrait of the system by this means. dx (13. i. and (x0 . if required. y) = 0. 0) for the simple harmonic oscillator is a centre.15) and we find the trajectories are given by 2 1 2 my + V (x) = E. y) = 0. nearby trajectories form closed curves around it.) The importance of the local behaviours near critical points of system (13.12) may be integrated in straightforward fashion to give the curve family f (x. 0) is a centre. m (13.16) at equilibria (x0 .6. 13. The fate of particular initial states becomes apparent from the phase portrait. y) = constant.5. since V (x0 ) is positive. y0 ) = (0. which is stable. they correspond directly and are tangent to one another. y axes respectively when crossing the curves G(x. C. in the linear and almost linear systems.) Since ⎡ ⎤ 0 1 M = ⎣ V (x0 ) ⎦ − 0 m . F (x. We note that the critical point (x0 . Apart from systems for which (13. Detailed quantitative information can. local maxima of V (x) lead to saddles in the phase When the potential V (x) is known the phase portrait may be sketched immediately. The trajectories are constrained in that they cannot intersect elsewhere and they are locally parallel to the x. there are some special cases of particular interest in mechanics. Similarly. 0). the eigenvalues of M when V (x) is a local minimum are pure imaginary. ˙ y= ˙ F .e.Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 315 Details of the classification of critical points in the various cases are given in Appendix C. be obtained from exact computational plots. m with F =− dV (x) . The curves which go directly in and directly out of a critical point are called the stable and unstable manifolds respectively and. Conservative systems with one degree of freedom For the systems considered in §2. (See Fig. Fig. y=± 2 [E − V (x)].1 we have x = y. (See Appendix C.

13.6. (See Fig. it is necessary that E < 2mgl for these . C.316 Classical Mechanics Fig. (See Appendix C. From the 2π-periodic potential function V (θ) sketched in Fig. Fig.1. 13.2. most trajectories approach the critical point. The simple oscillatory motions corresponding to closed orbits around (0.1 we can sketch the phase portrait. Example: Simple pendulum Determine the possible types of motion of a simple pendulum by considering the phase portrait. but then turn away.) The phase portrait is also 2π-periodic. 0) are called librations and.e.5 portrait and these are unstable. since V (θ) = mgl(1 − cos θ).) An important physical example is provided by the simple pendulum of §2. i. 2.

they are orthogonal trajectories of the level curves (contours) of U . ∂x y=− ˙ ∂U (x. The trajectories in the phase plane are everywhere perpendicular to the curves U (x.Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 317 Fig. Here . are Hamiltonian systems with one degree of freedom. 2. (π.6 to occur (E(1) in Fig. If E > 2mgl (E(2) in Fig.1) the pendulum makes complete revolutions or rotations. y) . 0). y) . ∂y (13. i. 2. 13. and corresponds to motions of the pendulum in which it is vertically above the point of support at t → ±∞. and hence the simple harmonic oscillator and simple pendulum in particular. The period of libration motion of the pendulum increases with increasing amplitude and becomes infinite as the phase-plane trajectory corresponds more and more closely to the separatrices from the inside. In the special case E = 2mgl the trajectory is a separatrix connecting the saddles (−π. It should be noted that (13. either in the positive or negative sense.1). For such systems the critical points in the phase plane are either centres or saddles — spirals and nodes do not occur! Gradient systems These systems have equations of the form x=− ˙ ∂U (x.1) F takes the form −∇U .17) so that in (13. 0).e.15) in general. y) = constant.

b. which is deceptively simple.7 13. c. leads to the equations x = ax − bxy. y) and away from local maxima. ˙ (13. For these systems the critical points in the phase plane are nodes and saddles — spirals and centres do not occur. 13. 13. An interesting example. A physical example of a gradient system is the ‘runoff’ problem of water flowing downhill through surface soil.3 finds very wide application. These equations have been used by Volterra (1926) to model biological populations and by Lotka (1920) to model chemical reactions. . d are positive constants.4 Prey–Predator. ˙ y = −cy + dxy.) Fig.318 Classical Mechanics almost all trajectories tend towards local minima of the function U (x. Competing-species Systems and War The general method of analysis in the phase plane introduced in §13.18) where a.7 and Problem 5. (See Fig. They are usually known as the Lotka–Volterra system.

b. disadvantageous to the prey.18) leads to dy y(−c + dx) = . rabbits. • (0. (13. y co-ordinate axes. but the consequences of idealized models prove useful as a basis for more extensive investigations. predators respectively (e. with M = ⎣ ad d ⎦. 13.Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 319 The biological application is to a simple ecological model of population dynamics. while the predators would die out. Example: Lotka–Volterra system Find the critical points and their nature for the Lotka–Volterra system. is. The ecology. the biological interest is confined to the first . y). of course.g. where x.20) (13. y) ≡ −c ln |x| + dx − a ln |y| + by = constant. d are therefore rates of growth.19) The phase portrait may be sketched as the set of contours of f (x. dx x(a − by) which is separable. ⎡ ⎤ bc 0 − ⎥ c a ⎢ . so that the eigenvalues are imaginary: • d b 0 b √ λ1. 0) with M = The question arises as to whether the centre is a true centre for the full system in this case (see Appendix C and Problem 6). so that it may be integrated to give f (x. Without the interactions the prey would proliferate exponentially in time. decay and competitive efficiency. foxes) and the terms proportional to xy model the effect of interaction between these species through encounters — advantageous to the predators. That it is such is demonstrated by the realization that (13. y are prey. not this simple. We have a centre. so that the eigenvalues are λ1 = a.8.2 = ±i ac. 0 −c We have a saddle with eigenvectors parallel to the x.18): a 0 . (See Fig. λ2 = −c. c. In the local linear analysis there are two critical points for the system (13. The parameters a. even of such isolated sets of species.) Naturally.

Small oscillations around the point of stable equilibrium have frequency √ √ ac and period T = 2π/ ac. (13. since T 0 x ˙ x T dt = 0 (a − by) dt = ln x(t) T 0 = 0. ¯ . a/b).8 quadrant (x ≥ 0. y ≥ 0) and the trajectories are closed curves around the critical point at (c/d. However. so confirming the local linear analysis that this is indeed a centre.21) we find that y= ¯ 1 T T y dt = 0 a .320 Classical Mechanics Fig. b so that the mean value of y around any periodic orbit is given by the equilibrium value a/b. 13. Similarly x = c/d. which increases with the size of the orbit. although an explicit analytic demonstration of this is not easy and will not be given here.

For example x = k1 x − σ1 x2 − α1 xy. H is a conserved quantity. y = eq in order to obtain the Hamilton canonical form q = −c + d ep = ˙ q ∂H . 0). The effect here of a proportional extraction rate is to reduce a and increase c. p = a−be = − ˙ ∂q (13. The influence of the parameters is crucial.9. The Origin of Species (1859)]. y. α2 are positive control parameters. 1 ).20) and it is an ‘energy’. ∂p ∂H .) In the original variables x.22) where H(q. σ2 . for which the parameters have been 1 chosen to be k1 = σ1 = α1 = 1.2.23) where k1 . k2 . models logistic behaviour (see (13. ˙ y = k2 y − σ2 y 2 − α2 xy. ˙ (13. (See Problem 7 for 4 4 the details. which are not in phase. (0. y) in (13. but not mechanical energy. and changes in parameter values can be investigated. as detailed in Chapter 12. (See §12. so that the mean populations of prey/predators respectively increase/decrease — the paradoxical advantage to the prey of this extraction is due to the removal of some natural predators. in effect. An example of such a portrait is given in Fig. but the phase portrait is accessible by the local linear analysis near the critical points. . For this autonomous system. For the first quadrant we may substitute x = ep . k2 = 2 .) Here there are two asymptotically stable nodes at (1. α1 .Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 321 There are ecological consequences of this model in that there are cyclic variations in x. y with similarly destructive interactions. of which there may be four. a Hamiltonian system. σ2 = 1 .3)) for each of x. an un1 stable node at (0. 2). p) becomes equivalent to f (x. More complicated systems involving interactions are very common and the outcomes are even less intuitively transparent. Nearly all initial 2 conditions lead to extinction for one or other species and this is an example of the ‘Principle of Competitive Exclusion’ [Charles Darwin. 0) and a saddle (unstable) at ( 2 . σ1 . p) = −cp + d ep − aq + b eq . This system is certainly not usually Hamiltonian. The model has one further interest for us in that it is. and is known as Volterra’s principle. α2 = 3 . y the function H(q. 13.

˙ y = −bx. .23) and where there is a critical point in the first quadrant. 13. models the attrition rates of each force on the other. k2 σ1 < k1 α2 (so that σ1 σ2 < α1 α2 ). an extinction is inevitable when k1 σ2 < k2 α1 . Example: Combat model The simple system x = −ay. The simplest such model involves forces x(t). On the other hand. In human conflict there are mathematical theories of war.9 In the general case (13. peaceful coexistence via an asymptotically stable node in the first quadrant is guaranteed when these inequalities are all reversed (again. see Problem 7).24) where a. Determine how the final outcome of a conflict depends on the initial conditions in this model. ˙ (13. b are positive constants. y(t) which are effectively isolated apart from the confrontation between them.322 Classical Mechanics Fig.

g. . One interesting feature is that the trajectories diverge — the discrepancy between the two sides becomes more marked as time progresses. the general success of the empirical rule ‘Divide and conquer!’ is confirmation of the effect of this simple qualitative law. 0 (13. since in this case the forces were initially perfectly balanced.Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 323 Evidently (0. so the likely outcome becomes clearer and the weaker party may be induced to surrender. 2 The measure of fighting effectiveness of e. quadratic in numerical strength. Through the ages. 13. is Lanchester’s Law of Conventional Combat (1916). y K>0 K<0 K = 0 O Fig. The most damaging conflicts are those that start near the line K = 0 which leads to a ‘draw’ in which both sides are completely annihilated.e. 0) is the only critical point and it is a saddle. Indeed the trajectories are given by 2 ay 2 − bx2 = ay0 − bx2 ≡ K.10). These are hyperbolic arcs in general (see Fig.10 x Of course x ‘wins’ if K < 0 and y ‘wins’ if K > 0. y0 are the initial strengths at t = 0.25) where x0 . i. force y as ay0 at t = 0. 13.

Richardson (1939) introduced such a model in the form x = a2 y − c1 x + g 1 . a2 ) are response parameters to the armament of the opponent (note that in contrast to the example above. (c1 . has been used to model various selfexcited oscillations.5 Limit Cycles So far we have looked at phase portraits in which the attractors and repellers have been equilibria which are isolated critical points. 13. (a1 . ˙ (13. where a block is acted upon by a spring and by a dry frictional force at contact with a belt.11.28) . 13. Rayleigh’s equation (1883) x − x(1 − x2 ) + x = 0. ¨ ˙ ˙ (13.27) in the form x = y.27) where is a positive control parameter. g2 basic grievances. We may write Fig. By reference to the damped oscillator of §2.27) has positive or negative damping respectively according as |x| > 1 or |x| < 1. for example the bowing of a violin string.11 (13. c2 ) are cost deterrents and g1 . which is itself moving uniformly. ˙ Here x(t). these coefficients enter with positive sign). ˙ y = −x + y(1 − y 2 ).26) y = a 1 x − c2 y + g 2 . (See Problem 8.) 13.5 it is evident that (13.324 Classical Mechanics One may also model not the conflict itself but the arms race leading up to it. ˙ (13. y(t) are war potentials/armaments of two nations/coalitions. The sort ˙ ˙ of physical system modelled by this equation is illustrated schematically in Fig. For some systems there are other possibilities.

13.12(a) to a markedly non-symmetrical oscillation in Fig. the variation of x with time t changes from essentially sinusoidal in Fig.12(c). 13. The phase portraits for progressive values are sketched in Fig. There is then a sharp rise and fall in x as t varies (see Fig. .12 In each case there is a periodic orbit attractor. there is a mechanical analogy in the seesaw mechanism (see Fig. 13.Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 325 The only critical point is at (0. For this type of oscillation. 13. which is an asymptotically stable limit cycle.12. 13. which is called a relaxation oscillation. so that the reservoir is emptied suddenly and the cycle can be repeated. 0) and is always unstable (spiral or node). 13. Here liquid is added at a constant rate to the reservoir on the right-hand side and periodically tips the balance. As increases.13(a)). Fig. However trajectories come inwards from large values of x and y. Other trajectories tend towards this cycle as t → ∞ and the form of the cycle depends crucially on the parameter .13(b)).

5 m in the bridge deck. Hopf bifurcation At the end of §13.13 There are many mechanical and electrical examples of Rayleigh’s equation and of another which may be derived from it by the substitution √ x = v/ 3. up to 1. at least up to its spectacular collapse on 7 November 1940.1 we referred to the way in which critical points and phase portraits may have very different character when control parameters are varied.29) This equation was studied by Van der Pol (1926) in order to model various electrical circuits and in his study of the heartbeat. ¨ ˙ (13. A spectacular example of a limit cycle was in the behaviour of the Tacoma Narrows bridge near Seattle. both attractors and repellers.326 Classical Mechanics Fig. Analytic demonstration of the existence of limit cycles. Consider now that the stability of a focus can change as a control parameter c is varied. in such a way that the system dynamics ‘gives birth’ to a limit cycle. Relaxation oscillations have also been used to model natural phenomena. The equation for v is then (see Problem 10) ˙ v − v(1 − v 2 ) + v = 0. drew its energy from a constant wind flow across it. The cycle of torsional oscillations. is beyond our scope here. but it is important to note that some systems exhibit bifurcation phenomena as a control parameter is varied. 13. This is usually known as a Hopf bifurcation and it is . The bridge became known as ‘Galloping Gertie’. fortunately and memorably recorded on film. like geysers and earthquakes.

(See Fig.14(a). 13.Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 327 Fig.) The effect of a supercritical Hopf bifurcation is relatively benign (‘soft’) in that the change results in the system remaining very much in the same neighbourhood of the phase plane when it is subject to a perturbation. 13. For the supercritical bifurcation an asymptotically stable focus becomes unstable at a critical value c0 at which an attracting limit cycle appears. at which a repelling limit cycle appears.) For the subcritical bifurcation an unstable focus becomes asymptotically stable at the critical value of c. (See Fig. The ‘Brusselator’ is a simple model of chemical oscillation proposed by Prigogine and Lefever (1968). 13. .14 termed supercritical or subcritical respectively according as the resulting limit cycle is an attractor or repeller. near a subcritical Hopf bifurcation even a small perturbation can take the system outside the repelling limit cycle and then far away in the phase plane.14(b). despite the asymptotic stability of the critical point in the linear analysis — the effect is ‘hard’. However.

so that the unstable critical point is accompanied by a limitcycle attractor (see Fig.328 Classical Mechanics Example: The ‘Brusselator’ The chemical concentrations x(t). b = 3). where a = 1.30) Here a. Find the nature of the attractors for this model. When b > 1 + a2 the critical point is unstable (a spiral or node according as b < or > (1 + a)2 ). −b −a2 In consequence the critical point is asymptotically stable when b < 1+a2 . y 4 3 2 1 0 Fig. 13. At b = 1 + a2 there is a supercritical Hopf bifurcation. y(t) of two particular reactants are related by the equations: x = a − (1 + b)x + x2 y. b both positive. ˙ (13. are kept constant. once chosen. with Jacobian matrix b − 1 a2 . . with a. There is only one critical point. ˙ y = bx − x2 y.15 1 2 3 4 x Brusselator limit cycle attractor (a = 1.15. b = 3). at (a. b/a). 13. b are concentrations of other reactants which.

T constant. When the rotation is about the centre of mass and external forces have zero moment we may. The result holds.32) with J. J2 . for convenience. the existence of constants of the motion. since the saddle-point geometry leading to instability is at the axis of the intermediate principal moment of inertia. Many higher-order systems are special. 2.6 Systems of Third (and Higher) Order We have seen that. of course.41) in terms of angular momentum components (J1 . through.31) and two similar equations obtained by cyclic interchange of 1. 2 J2 J2 J1 + 2 + 3 = 2T. The first of these relations expresses the constancy of the magnitude of the angular momentum vector J and the second expresses the constancy of the kinetic energy T . in that their dynamical behaviour is effectively lower-dimensional.) If we take J to be fixed and look at the critical points on the corresponding phase sphere. J2 . but in this section we will consider third-order systems which exhibit certain properties typical of systems of order higher than second.16 confirms the results obtained in §9. while the centres are at the axes of the largest and the smallest moment.Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 329 13. J3 ) ≡ (I1 ω1 . for example. it is evident that Fig 13. for all rigid bodies (from a match-box to a space station). I2 ω2 . Some important specific examples of this will be given in Chapter 14 for systems of fourth order and beyond. . 13. which were introduced in §9.8. with principal moments of inertia such that I1 < I2 < I3 . but it is often known as the tennis racquet theorem. Rigid-body rotation Consider the equations of rotational motion of a rigid body. (See Fig. for second-order systems. I3 ω3 ) to obtain ˙ J1 − I2 − I3 I2 I3 J2 J3 = 0 (13. there are point attractors and repellers and. there may also be limit cycles. In the (J1 .8. J3 ) phase space each trajectory is then the intersection of two surfaces (see Problem 12) sphere: ellipsoid: 2 2 2 J1 + J2 + J3 = J 2 . I1 I2 I3 (13. 3. for first-order systems.16. choose to express the equations (9.

while the precession rate is about 1 Ω for a 2 spun pass with an American football and about 2Ω for a spun coin. once per day). 13. (See Fig. there is similar symmetry in the phase space. the aerospace industry. for example.17. as in §9. with principal moments of inertia such that I1 = I2 < I3 .9. In Ω then this precession rate is given approximately by the case ω1 . ω2 (I3 /I1 )Ω. 13.) In this case J3 is constant so that J3 = I3 Ω (say). while the components J1 . can be very complicated. Relative to axes fixed in space J is itself fixed and the angular velocity vector ω precesses around J in the way described in §9. J2 of angular momentum are simple harmonic with frequency [(I3 − I1 )/I1 ]Ω.16 When there is axial symmetry of the rigid body.9. Hence the precession rate for the Chandler wobble of the Earth is about Ω (i.330 Classical Mechanics Fig. discus or dinner plate! The problem of rotational motion.e. . although it is of course an important one for many feedback control problems in. Some of the complexity which may result is indicated by the following examples of other physical systems. when the external force moment G is not special.

13. • ρ quantifies the temperature difference applied across the slab of fluid. The parameters have the following physical meaning.17 The Lorenz system The system of equations x = σ(y − x). β are positive control parameters. 13. is an important system which was originally put forward by Lorenz in 1963 to provide a very simple and idealized model of convection in a slab of fluid. (See Fig. UCL Press (1993). • β quantifies the slab geometry through an aspect ratio. ˙ (13. The Essence of Chaos. see Lorenz.33) where σ. ˙ z = −βz + xy. ρ.18. .) For a general discussion of the origins of this system.Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 331 Fig. after scaling: • σ quantifies the ratio of diffusion rates of momentum and heat in the fluid (σ ≡ kinematic viscosity/thermal conductivity). ˙ y = ρx − y − xz. The aim was to gain insight into the dynamics of weather systems.

However the characteristic equation is now a cubic. still apply. β are indeed fixed the behaviour of the system (13.33) and its wide range of behaviours have been the subject of extensive study. ± β(ρ − 1). When σ. y.19(a)). 13. say with σ. and it is a point attractor. This corresponds physically to the case of no motion and steady heat conduction across the slab (see Fig. z) phase space can be summarized as follows (see Problem 14): • 0 < ρ < 1: The origin P1 ≡ (0. P3 ≡ ± β(ρ − 1).332 Classical Mechanics Fig. P2 .33) in the (x. 0) is the only critical point of the system.3 and Appendix C. We can find the critical points of the system and examine their local character through the methods of §13. particularly because the system finds application in other physical contexts.18 Despite its geophysical origin the system (13. y. z) phase space. β fixed and with a sequence of different values of ρ. (ρ − 1) . * 1 < ρ < ρcrit = (σ − β − 1) . for example in the study of lasers. 0. with regard to stable and unstable manifolds according to the sign of real eigenvalues. although the general principles. It can be shown that when: σ(σ + β + 3) in the practical case σ > β + 1. • 1 < ρ: The origin P1 is now unstable and two new critical points appear. so that there are three eigenvalues. 13. It is instructive (from both a practical and a theoretical point of view) to look at the (x. suitably extended.

13. such that for ρ < ρ there ¯ ¯ is a highly disordered motion.19 We can show that trajectories are attracted towards a bounded region containing the points P1 .34) everywhere. P3 are point attractors. * ρcrit < ρ. P3 can be shown to be via a subcritical Hopf bifurcation. This corresponds physically to steady convection rolls in either of the two senses (see Fig. so that a single point attractor does not exist. P3 and there should be an attractor. it turns out that there is a value ρ.) In fact. which corresponds physically to turbulent convection. P2 .24). (See §12.19(b)). so that P2 . which means that the phase-space volume elements are reduced ˙ progressively in volume by the flow x. the points P1 . P3 are all unstable.Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 333 all the eigenvalues in the analysis of P2 . Trajectories in the phase space tend asymptotically towards a structure which is multi-leaved on a hierarchy of scales (a ‘fractal ’) and . Fig. In fact the loss of asymptotic stability of P2 . P3 are negative real or have negative real part. 13.5 and relation (A. P2 . since ˙ ∇·x= ∂x ∂y ∂z ˙ ˙ ˙ + + = −(σ + 1 + β) < 0 ∂x ∂y ∂z (13.

54. 13. (Lecture Notes in Mathematics. β chosen here a strange attractor of this general type is found to occur when ρ > ρ = 24. on account of its peculiar properties. β = 8 and ρ = 28.06. The strange attractor has zero phase-space volume on account of (13.20 in which σ = 10. 114. 3 Fig. P3 . Fig 13.34) above. and a fractal geometric structure. The Rikitake two-disc dynamo In order to model irregular reversals of the Earth’s magnetic field Rikitake put forward (in Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society.20 Lorenz attractor [Lanford.7). This is called a chaotic or strange attractor. 615. Springer 1977)] For the particular values of σ. Evidently in a (here) ¯ small range ρ < ρ < ρcrit there are actually three attractors — two points ¯ (steady convection) and one strange (turbulent convection). However. states which are close initially are stretched out along the attractor exponentially with time. so that the attractor which is observed to occur depends on the initial state of the system. The latter property is characteristic of chaotic systems and there is more discussion of this property in the following section (§13.74). so that ρcrit = 24. In practice each of these will have its own basin of attraction of states attracted to it. (See for example.334 Classical Mechanics looped around the unstable critical points P2 . 89– .

35) where Y ≡ Y1 = Y2 + A and A. Y2 are scaled rotation rates of the discs. the apparent centre behaviour associated with the pure imaginary pair of eigenvalues is here not carried through for the full system. of course. (See Problem 15. X2 . to have occurred at irregular intervals during more than the last 160 million years. ±i k 2 + 1/k 2 .21 If X1 . 13.21. from the interpretation of geological records. which are driven by a constant external torque. (13. µ are control parameters.) Although the three eigenvalues in the local linear approximation are −2µ. where A = µ(k 2 − 1/k 2 ). There is. ˙ Y = 1 − X 1 X2 . Then the equations may be written ˙ X1 = Y X2 − µX1 . with µ positive. The critical points correspond to senses of North/South magnetic polarity and the irregular reversals which are associated with this model (see Fig.22) mimic the field reversals of the Earth’s magnetic field which are known. 13. (See Fig. 1958) a system containing two identical coupled disc dynamos which does mimic this type of behaviour. ˙ X2 = (Y − A)X1 − µX2 . µk 2).Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 335 105. Y ) phase space. the current in each disc feeds the coil of the other. For this system there are two critical points in the (X1 . no suggestion that the two-disc dynamo provides other than an interesting analogy for features of the magnetohydrodynamic . at (±k. X2 are scaled currents and Y1 . ±1/k. 13.) Fig.

(13. 547–569. l. K = 2 [Cook and Roberts (Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society.336 Classical Mechanics Fig. B. λ.37) where A. ω = −Aω − sin θ + B cos φ. Ω are control parameters.36) where m. This equation may be scaled suitably. so that we study the equivalent third-order autonomous system ˙ θ = ω.1 and §13. . Ω are control parameters.22 Projection on the (X2 . 1970)] motions in the Earth’s core — it is a ‘toy’ system. The forced damped pendulum If the simple pendulum of §2. The nonlinearity of this system. (13. g. Y ) plane of a trajectory in phase space for µ = 1. cos φ terms. through the sin θ. B. 13. ˙ ˙ φ = Ω. 68. Ω are changed.3 is subjected to damping and forcing we may write the equation of motion in the form ¨ ˙ mlθ + λθ + mg sin θ = F cos Ωt. makes for a very rich variety of behaviour as A. F.

whose trajectories remain in a bounded region and do not intersect one another.7 Sensitivity to Initial Conditions and Predictability An important consequence of the effective order of a dynamical system is in the way that the resulting dimension of the phase space can restrict the evolution along trajectories of states which may be initially close together. (See Fig. constants of the motion. Fig. the period along each closed orbit is the same and it can be shown that the (‘Pythagorean’) distance in phase space between P and Q remains bounded in time. if Fig. if the system is the simple harmonic oscillator (see §13. but systems have to be ‘special’ in order to be effectively reducible to lower order via. 13.Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 337 The variety of behaviours instanced in this whole section is common for third. typically.23 . move apart at a rate which is at most essentially uniform. 13. for example. y0 + ∆y0 ). Systems need to be of at least third order if they are to exhibit chaotic behaviour.and higher-order continuous systems. on average. In the line and plane. If we examine a dynamical system with closed trajectories in phase space. 13.23.) Q ≡ (x0 + ∆x0 . we can examine the evolution of two neighbouring initial states P ≡ (x0 . in this special case. states which are initially close. This behaviour is not typical and. 13.23 Now. y0 ).3) then.

) This geometrical behaviour is central to the ‘strangeness’ of a strange attractor to which we referred in §13. They can do this by wrapping over and under one another in a complex tangle. The strong divergence is called sensitivity to initial conditions and it is the prime property which identifies the irregular behaviour now called chaos. 13. For this.338 Classical Mechanics is taken to represent. for example. as measured along the orbit. The states which are initially close move apart. it is evident that dynamical evolution will result. in general. We can evidently test flows in phase space for this divergence property. the more typical situation.6. the distance between P and Q increases broadly linearly with time. 17). leading to a set of Lyapunov exponents. in such a way that the distance d in phase space between them increases with time. 13. on average. (See Fig.20 and Fig.and higher-dimensional phase spaces the neighbouring trajectories can diverge exponentially from one another within a bounded region.22. Each of the positive exponents leads to a corresponding strong divergence of initial states. libration motions of a simple pendulum. which may still have a layered structure. When a typical small volume of initial states in phase space is considered.24 The parameter λ in the exponent is called a Lyapunov exponent . with λ positive. in stretching and squeezing of this volume. it should be evident that different orbits have different periods. like eλt . 13.) Fig. A useful analogy is to consider runners travelling at slightly different rates in neighbouring lanes of a running track (see Problems 16. There will be a number of principal deformations. .24. In three. (See Fig. which is equal to the dimension of the phase space. without crossing one another. 13.

very like the normal probability distribution.25) where small spheres of lead shot fall through a regular array of scattering pins. leads to a loss of predictability. A direct attack is made on the long-standing philosophical idea of determinism and on the concept of a ‘clockwork universe’. The sensitivity to initial conditions. There is. so that outcomes can be predicted only as a matter of probability. in this world view. can have an essentially stochastic (‘random’) output. The Laplacian point of view identifies the initial state of a system as the cause. or into the past. 13. (See Problem 18. In this way predictability of the fate of an individual piece of lead shot gives way to a collective predictability for many pieces in the form of chance. where the mechanisms may be known completely and precisely. because of the sensitivity of the collisions at individual pins. leads later to a vastly greater imprecision in its predicted fate. which was first put forward by Lorenz in an address to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in December 1972 — ‘Predictability: Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?’ — printed in his book The Essence of Chaos referred to above in the description of the Lorenz system (13. However the typical outcome for the resulting distribution of shot along the channels at the base is. The point he was making is that chaotic regimes in weather systems can render predictions of them utterly useless. which falls through such an array of pins. It is in this way that deterministic systems. The term ‘butterfly effect’ has become a much used metaphor for describing chaos. no room for chance or free will.Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 339 The effect on the global behaviour of dynamical systems produced by sensitivity to initial conditions is often called the butterfly effect . A good illustration of this apparent paradox is provided by the Galton board (see Fig. however small this may be. except on a very short time scale. The consequences for all dynamical systems and for the real situations they model are immense. The path of an individual piece of lead shot. which is typical of many. systems and is made very apparent by the geometrical approach pioneered by Poincar´. which has experienced an explosive growth in application. if not most.33). is impossible to predict. from which (if it is known precisely) the effects may be calculated with infinite precision indefinitely far into the future.) . This comes about because the e inevitable imprecision in the initial description of even a classical system. in this case.

8 Summary The analysis of the geometry of dynamical systems in phase space is a very powerful way of investigating their behaviour for all possible initial conditions.340 Classical Mechanics Fig. This has profound implications for our view . the character of critical points and limit cycles may change. The dynamics is dependent crucially on attractors and on their stability. 13. for the latter. the divergence will be essentially exponential and this leads to a breakdown of predictability. In systems of third (or higher) order additional attractors may arise which can have a fractal and sensitive structure — strange (chaotic) attractors. so that there is a corresponding change in the phase portraits and in the behaviour of the system. As control parameters are varied. In the phase plane the system trajectories are constrained such that the divergence of initial states takes place essentially at a uniform rate.25 13. The consequence is that deterministic systems can produce effectively stochastic output. in systems of third or higher order. limit cycles. For systems which are dynamically one-dimensional or two-dimensional the only attractors are critical points (equilibria) in the phase line and the phase plane and. at most. For a strange attractor.

α = constant and ω = g/l. The relativistic equivalent of the simple harmonic oscillator equation for a spring with constant k and a rest mass m0 attached is d dt m0 y 1 − y 2 /c2 + kx = 0 with x = y. (b) If the fish population is initially in stable equilibrium (with f = 0 ¯ and fishing commences at a rate f > f . y). in the phase plane (x. show that x → 0 and in a finite time t0 (which need not be found explicitly!). of which only one is asymptotically stable.6). ˙ where c is the speed of light. 4. Show that the phase trajectories are given by m0 c2 / 1 − y 2 /c2 + 1 kx2 = constant 2 and sketch the phase portrait for this system. [Hint : Use the 1 substitution u = tan 4 {θ − (2n + 1)π}. Show that on the separatrices θ(t) = (2n + 1)π ± 4 arctan[exp(ωt + α)]. where ¨ ˙ . where n is an integer. ¯ ¯ (a) Show that there is a critical fishing rate f such that for f < f there are two equilibrium fish populations. Draw the phase portrait of the damped linear oscillator. The population x(t) of fish in a pond is a function of time t and when the fish are removed at a constant rate f the function x(t) satisfies equation (13.] 3. Problems 1.Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry 341 of physical and other dynamical systems. Why would it not be prudent to fish at a rate f which is only just less ¯ than f? ¨ 2. For the pendulum equation θ + (g/l) sin θ = 0 find the equations of the trajectories in the phase plane and sketch the phase portrait of the system. it can also be expected to affect the relationship between classical physics and its quantum counterpart. whose displace2 ment x(t) satisfies x + µx + ω0 x = 0.


Classical Mechanics

y = x. Distinguish the cases ˙ (a) under- (or light) damping (b) over-damping (c) critical damping 0 < µ < 2ω0 , µ > 2ω0 , µ = 2ω0 .

5. Consider the gradient system (13.17) in the case U (x, y) = x2 (x−1)2 +y 2 . Find the critical points and their character. Sketch the phase portrait for the system. 6. For the Lotka–Volterra system (13.18) show that the trajectories in the phase plane are given by f (x, y) = constant as in (13.20). In the first quadrant x ≥ 0, y ≥ 0, the intersections of a line y = constant with a trajectory are given by −c ln x + dx = constant. Hence show that there are 0, 1 or 2 such intersections, so that the equilibrium point (c/d, a/b) fore this system is a true centre (i.e. it cannot be a spiral point). Using the substitution x = ep , y = eq , show that the system takes on the Hamiltonian canonical form (13.22). 7. Consider the ‘competing species’ system (13.23). For the case k1 = 1 σ1 = α1 = 1, k2 = 2 , σ2 = 1 , α2 = 3 find the critical points and their 4 4 character in order to confirm all the features of Fig. 13.9. What happens in the case k1 = 1, σ1 = 2, α1 = 1 , k2 = 3, σ2 = 2, α2 = 4? 2 8. For the Arms-Race model system (13.26) with all parameters positive show that there is an asymptotically stable coexistence or a runaway escalation according as c1 c2 > a1 a2 or c1 c2 < a1 a2 . 9. *A simple model for the dynamics of malaria due to Ross (1911) and Macdonald (1952) is x = abM y(1 − x) − rx, ˙ N y = ax(1 − y) − µy, ˙ where: x, y are the infected proportions of the human host, female mosquito populations, N, M are the numerical sizes of the human, female mosquito populations, a is the biting rate by a single mosquito, b is the proportion of infected bites that result in infection, r, µ are per capita rates of recovery, mortality for humans, mosquitoes, respectively. Show that the disease can maintain itself within these populations or

Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry


must die out according as R= M a2 b > 1 or < 1. N µr

10. Show that Rayleigh’s equation in the form (13.28) has a single critical point at (0, 0) and that this is always unstable. Making use of substitu√ tion x = v/ 3 show that v satisfies the Van der Pol equation (13.29). ˙ 11. Show that the origin is the only critical point for the system x = −y + αx(β − x2 − y 2 ), ˙ y = x + αy(β − x2 − y 2 ), ˙ where α, β are real parameters, with α fixed and positive and β allowed to take different values. Show that the character of the critical point and the existence of a limit cycle depend on the parameter β, so that the system undergoes a supercritical Hopf bifurcation at β = 0. (Hint : Make the change from Cartesian co-ordinates to plane polars.) 12. *For the rotation of a rigid body about its centre of mass with zero torque the equations for the angular momentum components J1 , J2 , J3 are given by (13.31).
2 2 2 (a) Show that J1 + J2 + J3 = J 2 (constant), so that the angular momentum J must lie on a sphere in (J1 , J2 , J3 ) phase space. (b) When I1 < I2 < I3 show that there are six critical points on this phase sphere and show that, in local expansion, four of these are centres and two are saddles. (Hence the tennis racquet theorem of §13.6.) (c) Show that when I1 = I2 = I3 then J3 is constant (≡ I3 Ω) and that J1 , J2 are simple harmonic (with frequency [|I3 − I1 |/I1 ]Ω). (d) A space station with I1 < I2 < I3 is executing a tumbling motion with ω1 , ω2 , ω3 nonzero. It is to be stabilized by reducing ω to 0 with an applied torque −|µ|ω, with µ constant, so that the righthand side of (13.31) becomes −|µ|ω1 , etc. About which of its axes does the space station tend to be spinning as ω → 0?

13. *The simple SIR model equations for the transmission of a disease are ˙ S = −aSI, ˙ I = aSI − bI, ˙ R = bI,


Classical Mechanics

where S(t), I(t), R(t) are respectively susceptibles, infectives, removed/recovered and a, b are positive constants. (a) Show that the overall population N = S +I +R remains constant, so that we may consider (S, I) in a projected phase plane. Hence show that a trajectory with initial values (S0 , I0 ) has equation I(S) = I0 + S0 − S + (b/a) ln(S/S0 ). (b) Using the function I(S) show that an epidemic can occur only if the number of susceptibles S0 in the population exceeds the threshold level b/a and that the disease stops spreading through lack of infectives rather than through lack of susceptibles. (c) For the trajectory which corresponds to S0 = (b/a) + δ, I0 = with δ, small and positive, show that, to a good approximation, there are (b/a) − δ susceptibles who escape infection [the Kermack– McKendrick theorem of epidemiology (1926/27)]. 14. *Consider the Lorenz system (13.33). (a) Show that the origin P1 (0, 0, 0) is a critical point and that its stability depends on eigenvalues λ satisfying the cubic (λ + β)[λ2 + (σ + 1)λ + σ(1 − ρ)] = 0. Hence show that P1 is asymptotically stable only when 0 < ρ < 1. (b) Show that there are two further critical points P2 , P3 ≡ [± β(ρ − 1), ± β(ρ − 1), (ρ − 1)],

when ρ > 1, and that their stability depends on eigenvalues λ satisfying the cubic λ3 + λ2 (σ + β + 1) + λβ(σ + ρ) + 2σβ(ρ − 1) = 0. (c) Show that when ρ = 1 the roots of the cubic in (b) are 0, −β, −(1+σ) and that in order for the roots to have the form −µ, ±iν (with µ, ν real) we must have ρ = ρcrit = σ(σ + β + 3) > 0. (σ − β − 1)

(d) By considering how the roots of the cubic in (b) change continuously with ρ (with (σ, β kept constant), show that P2 , P3 are asymptotically stable for 1 < ρ < ρcrit and unstable for ρ > ρcrit .

Dynamical Systems and Their Geometry


(e) Show that if z = z − ρ − σ, then ¯
1 2

d 2 1 (x + y 2 + z 2 ) = −σx2 − y 2 − β[¯ + 2 (ρ + σ)]2 + 4 β(ρ + σ)2 , ¯ z 1 dt

¯ so that (x2 + y 2 + z 2 )1/2 decreases for all states outside any sphere which contains a particular ellipsoid (implying the existence of an attractor). 15. *For the Rikitake dynamo system (13.35): (a) Show that there are two real critical points at (±k, ±1/k, µk 2) in the (X1 , X2 , Y ) phase space, where k is given by A = µ(k 2 − 1/k 2 ). (b) Show that the stability of these critical points is determined by eigenvalues λ satisfying the cubic (λ + 2µ) λ2 + k 2 + 1 k2 = 0,

so that the points are not asymptotically stable in this approximation. (For the full system they are actually unstable.) (c) Show that the divergence of the phase-space flow velocity is negative, so that the flow causes volume to contract. ¯ √ (d) Given that Y = 2(Y − A/2), show that
1 2

√ ¯ d 2 2 2 ¯ (X 2 + X2 + Y 2 ) = −µ(X1 + X2 ) + 2Y dt 1

and use this result to determine in which region of the space the trajectories all have a positive inward component towards X1 = 2 2 ¯ ¯ X2 = Y = 0 on surfaces X1 + X2 + Y 2 = constant. 16. For the simple harmonic oscillator system (13.8) we may solve for the equation of the trajectory which passes through x(x0 , y0 , t), y(x0 , y0 , t). If we now consider perturbations ∆x0 , ∆y0 in the initial data (x0 , y0 ) at t = 0, find the resulting changes ∆x, ∆y in x, y and show that they remain bounded in time, so that the Pythagorean distance d ≡ (∆x)2 + (∆y)2 then remains bounded. 17. *In contrast to Problem 16, consider the perfectly elastic bouncing of a ball vertically under gravity above the plane x = 0. We have x = y, y = ˙ ˙ −g and we can solve for x(x0 , y0 , t), y(x0 , y0 , t) in terms of the initial data (x0 , y0 ) at t = 0. Show that in this case the resulting perturbations ∆x, ∆y essentially grow linearly with time t along the trajectory when we make perturbations ∆x0 , ∆y0 in the initial data. That is to say the


Classical Mechanics

distance along the trajectory d ≡ (∆x)2 + (∆y)2 ∼ κt when t is large and κ is a suitable constant. 18. For the Galton board of Fig. 13.25 we may arrange things so that each piece of lead shot has an equal chance of rebounding just to the left or to the right at each direct encounter with a scattering pin at each level. Show that the probabilities of each piece of shot passing between the pins along a particular row n are then given by n ( 1 )n where the binomial r 2 coefficient n = n!/[(n − r)!r!] and r = 0, 1, . . . , n. Use the result r n n+1 n r+1 = r + r+1 to generate the probability distribution for row n = 16. (For large numbers of pieces of shot and large n the distribution of shot in the collection compartments approximates the standard normal error curve y = k exp(−x2 /2s2 ) where k, s are constants.)

Chapter 14

Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems

In this chapter we consider the geometrical aspects of the particular class of dynamical systems which have the Hamiltonian structure described in Chapter 12. The dynamics of these systems depends crucially on the number of symmetries which they possess, leading to conserved quantities. It will become apparent that the larger the number of symmetries the greater is the restriction in the freedom of a trajectory in the corresponding phase space and the more ordered is the motion. In contrast a deficit in the number of such symmetries allows the development of irregularity, or chaos, in the evolution of states along the system trajectories. 14.1 Integrability

In §12.6 we discussed the direct relation between symmetries and conservation laws, indicating that conserved quantities (constants of motion) may be used to reduce progressively the effective order of a system. If there are enough symmetries and independent conserved quantities, then the reduction may be complete, in that it leads to the full solution of the system of equations (‘integrability’). For a system with n degrees of freedom the Hamiltonian H may depend on the co-ordinates q1 , . . . , qn , momenta p1 , . . . , pn and on time t. While there is no unique definition of integrability, it turns out that, for the complete solution to be obtainable via a sequence of integrations, we need n independent functions Fi (i = 1, . . . , n) of the same variables, which are themselves constants of the motion. That is to say, we require the same number of symmetries as there are degrees of freedom in the system and the system is then said to be ‘integrable (in the sense of Liouville)’. If there is not such a full set of n conserved quantities then the system is said to be non-integrable.


Classical Mechanics

Recalling (12.33), dFi ∂Fi = + [Fi , H] = 0. dt ∂t (14.1)

We will confine our discussion here to autonomous systems, for which H and other Fi have no explicit dependence on t, and we then have n Poisson-bracket relations [Fi , H] = 0 from (14.1). Of course H itself can be taken as one of the functions Fi and the invariance of H corresponds to symmetry with respect to time translation. An additional technical condition required of the Fi is that for each pair of them we require [Fi , Fj ] = 0 for i, j = 1, . . . n. (14.2)

The functions Fi are then said to be in involution. Each of the n functions Fi = constant confines a particular trajectory to a (2n−1)-dimensional subspace of the full 2n-dimensional phase space of the system. So the complete set of these restrictions confines a trajectory to the n-dimensional intersection M of these subspaces. That this is a strong dimensional restriction on the way that a trajectory can move in the full phase space is indicated by Table 14.1.
Table 14.1 Number of degrees of freedom Dimension of: phase space surface Fi = constant M 1 2 1 1 2 4 3 2 3 6 5 3 n 2n 2n − 1 n

Naturally the values of co-ordinates and momenta at a given initial time determine the n values of the Fi constants and hence pick out the particular M to which the trajectory having these initial values is then confined for all time. Now at each point on a particular (2n − 1)-dimensional surface Fi = constant, the normal to the surface is in the direction given by the 2ncomponent gradient vector (∇q Fi , ∇p Fi ). (See §A.5.) The Poisson-bracket relation (14.2) is a scalar-product relation and it expresses the orthogonality conditions between members of a set of n vector fields v j = (∇p Fj , −∇q Fj ), j = 1, . . . , n and the above gradient vector. It is apparent therefore that the vector fields v j at a particular point in the phase space are all parallel to the surface M which contains that point. The

Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems


fields v j allow us to define a co-ordinate grid continuously over the surface M and without any singularity. The topology of M is then necessarily that of a torus — an n-dimensional ‘ring doughnut’ embedded within the full 2n-dimensional phase space. For a system of one degree of freedom each M is a 1-torus F1 ≡ H = constant, i.e. a one dimensional loop in the two-dimensional phase space. (See Fig. 14.1(a).) Evidently v 1 here is tangent to the curve at each point of M . For different values of F1 we obtain different loops M , members of a set of ‘nested’ tori, as for example in Fig. 13.4. For a system of two degrees of freedom each M is a 2-torus, i.e. a two-dimensional ‘ring doughnut’ surface embedded in the four-dimensional phase space. (See Fig. 14.1(b).) In this case we can take v 1 , v 2 everywhere parallel to distinct loops which can parametrize the surface. It is the case that M cannot have, for example, the topology of a sphere, because all v 1 , v 2 parametrizations of such a surface are necessarily singular, at least somewhere. In Fig. 14.1(c) the attempt to use a grid of lines of latitude and longitude is singular at the poles. That all such attempts for a sphere are bound to be singular is a consequence of the ‘hairy ball theorem’ of topology; this theorem also implies, among other things, the existence of at least one crown parting in the combing of a head of hair, and that a spherical magnetic bottle must leak!

Fig. 14.1

The n-tori for an integrable system of n degrees of freedom in its 2ndimensional phase space are often called invariant tori because a trajectory (orbit) which is initially on one of them (M ) remains on it for ever. Different initial conditions then lead to tori which are nested within the phase space.


Classical Mechanics

On a particular torus M the separate vector fields correspond to n independent types of linking circuit (see Fig. 14.1(a),(b)), and the integrable motion is then exactly equivalent to the combination of n separate corresponding periodic motions, one for each type of linking circuit. Each of these periodic motions of an integrable system is a nonlinear normal mode, similar to those detailed in §11.3, but now with an analysis which is exact — no approximation has been made for small oscillations. This makes integrability a very special property. The separate normal modes have associated natural frequencies ω i , i = 1, . . . , n on a particular torus M and any trajectory on M has n associated natural periods 2π/ωi . The trajectory is then said to be multiply periodic. If the trajectory on M is closed (see Fig. 14.2(a)) then it does not fill M and is exactly periodic. For closure it is required that the frequencies of the the modes are rationally related, i.e. ωi /ωj is rational for all i, j. This degeneracy is the exception rather than the usual case, so that closure is a special property. If the trajectory on M is not closed, because of irrational ωi /ωj , then typically the trajectory covers M densely eventually (see Fig. 14.2(b)) — we have quasiperiodicity and the trajectory is said to be ergodic on M .

Fig. 14.2

Two important examples are given by: Example: Double harmonic oscillator and central force motion Find suitable independent constants F1 , F2 for (a) the double harmonic oscillator, (b) central force motion.

When a full complement of constants of the motion does not exist. so that [Fi . they do.7. H] = 0. F2 = pθ .8) and we can take F1 = H. 14. F2 to be any pair of H. (b) Central-force motion was discussed in Chapter 4. H] = 0. They are ellipses in general.3 all bounded trajectories are closed. leading to the familiar Lissajous figures. The oscillator describes an ellipse with centre at the origin and the frequencies of radial and transverse motions are related by ωr = 2ωθ . So. with the centre of force at a focus and ωr = ωθ . H2 .1 we can take ω1 = ω2 in (14. since then [Fi . so that all trajectories are closed. Here we may take F1 . For the isotropic harmonic oscillator of §4. That the isotropic harmonic oscillator and the inverse square law of attraction are the only such force laws for which all bounded orbits are closed is known as Bertrand’s theorem. F2 and so they reside on different tori. so that we have a system which is not integrable.Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems 351 Are trajectories closed? (a) For the double harmonic oscillator we have H= 1 2 2 2 2 2 (p + p2 ) + 1 m(ω1 q1 + ω2 q2 ) ≡ H1 + H2 2 2 2m 1 (14.2 Surfaces of Section If we consider two dynamical states which are initially close in the phase space of an integrable system. H2 the Hamiltonians for the two separate oscillators. then trajectories have much less restriction on their room to manoeuvre and sensitivity to initial . The Hamiltonian takes the form (12. there is for an integrable system no exponential divergence of states with time and no sensitivity to initial conditions — the motion is ordered. ω2 and this evidently leads to closed trajectories (periodicity) only when ω1 /ω2 is rational. so that the distance between the states increases essentially linearly with time t. H1 .3) with H1 . For the inverse square law attractive force of §4. in general. The frequencies are ω1 .3) above. have different values of F1 . just as for the discussion of the libration motions of a simple pendulum in §13. The evolution of these states along their respective trajectories takes place with slightly different frequencies.

p1 ) points using different trajectories we develop a Poincar´ return map of the section to itself. In Fig.3 we have H(q1 . then we can consider taking a ‘slice’ through the space. 14. p1 ) plane successively. The successive points P are twisted around the curve C. If the motion is only quasiperiodic. q2 .1) then we have a periodic motion and the map has the property that after N steps.352 Classical Mechanics conditions is certain in at least some regions of the phase space — there is then inevitably chaotic behaviour. then P2 . however.3 When we map different (q1 . with three-dimensional surfaces of constant ‘energy’ (H = constant). there is no such . so that we have a four-dimensional phase space. and so on. e For integrable systems we may take a section through the nested tori of §14. p2 ) = constant and we have chosen a section q2 = 0 (with p2 > 0) to demonstrate how a trajectory maps points in the (q1 .1. If e we consider an autonomous system with two degrees of freedom. 14. p1 . it carries P0 back to P0 . Fig. A method of detecting these ordered and chaotic behaviours was put forward by Poincar´ and involves the concept of a surface of section. 14. for some integer N .4) and a particular point P0 on this curve is mapped successively by the trajectory through it to P1 .7. as indicated in §13. If the trajectory is closed (see §14. and this may or may not be planar according to convenience. If we look at a particular trajectory of the system and identify the points at which this intersects the section (in the same sense) then the dynamics induces a map of the section to itself. For two degrees of freedom the section through a 2-torus (ring doughnut) is a closed curve C (see Fig.

7) whose effects balance. Systems which are non-integrable are characterized by area-filling in the surface of section.5. For systems which are not Hamiltonian the concept of a Poincar´ return e map for a surface of section is still useful. positive and negative Lyapunov exponents (see §13. For systems which are not integrable the full torus structure does not exist. Integrable systems are characterized by a finite set of discrete points or by curve-filling in the surface of section. Despite the equal-area property.6 — and here the effect of a negative Lyapunov exponent overcomes the effect of one which is positive. It should be noted that the Poincar´ return map for a Hamiltonian e system can be shown to be area-preserving. The section return map is then generally two-dimensional and is not confined to points and lines. (There is some reference to the properties of discrete maps in Appendix D. For two degrees of freedom we expect the system to explore the full three-dimensional ‘energy’ surface. respectively. it is clear that the divergence of neighbouring trajectories leading to the sensitivity to initial conditions of chaos can then typically occur. treated in §12. although it is not derivable from it. the map induced by a particular dynamical system typically involves stretching and squeezing of finite and infinitesimal area elements. When the dynamics involves dissipation the equal-area property is replaced by area reduction at each iteration of the map — this would be the case e. This property is related to Liouville’s theorem. associated with. When these effects are combined with a folding of trajectories.Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems 353 Fig.) .g. necessitated by confinement to a bounded region of phase space.4 exact repetition and the successive points P eventually fill the whole curve C. for the Lorenz system of §13. 14.

Ij ) (j = 1. where ωj . βj are constants. I) preserves areas. pi ) ∂H qi = ˙ ∂pi ∂H pi = − ˙ ∂qi New description (φj . 14. . . p) → (φ. Table 14. For Hamilton’s equations to be preserved in form it is necessary that the change of variables (q. . in such a way that • the Hamiltonian form of the equations of motion is preserved.) We need to choose the action I to be a suitable function of H. .3 Action/Angle Variables Quite often the initial choice of variables qi . We recall that these systems have n distinct constants of the motion (Fi = constant) and we can transform to a new set of co-ordinates φi and momenta Ii .354 Classical Mechanics 14. n) H(qi . apparent that the new momenta Ij are all constants of the motion and that the evolution of each φj is given by φj = ωj t+βj . • the new momenta Ii are functions of the Fi . pi (i = 1. Evidently the angle variables evolve at a uniform rate. pi ) (i = 1. . Although these are general results. . let us consider how the change of variables may be effected for a system of one degree of freedom (n = 1). n) K(Ij ) ≡ H ∂K ˙ ≡ ωj (Ii ) φj = ∂Ij ∂K ˙ =0 Ij = − ∂φj It is. n) used to describe a system of n degrees of freedom may not be the best. such that the phase plane in the new description is as given in Fig. For integrable systems there is a natural set of co-ordinates and momenta which is particularly convenient and useful.3). of course. For a suitable choice the φi are angle variables and the Ii are the corresponding canonically conjugate action variables (see Table 14. so that a suitable choice for I is derived from the area within the corresponding trajectory in . . .2). .5(b). representing libration motions.5(a).2 Old description (qi . . • the new co-ordinates φi are all ignorable (as in §12. . For such an autonomous system we have H = constant (‘energy’) closed trajectories in the phase plane. 14. . (See Fig.

5) It also follows from the preservation of area that the defining relation for φ is given by φ= ∂ ∂I q 0 p dq ≡ ω ∂ ∂H q p dq. (14. 14. 0 (14.) For the oscillator problems of §2. Naturally I depends directly on H. where R = 2I in order to maintain the preservation of area property.7) 2m[H − V (q)] and √ 1 2 2m I= p dq = 2π 2π q2 q1 H − V (q) dq. 14. 2m (14. (See Fig. The ‘angle’ nature of the φ variable can be emphasized by a further change of variables √ to polars (R.2) ω(I) = ∂H ∂K ≡ .5(c).6) again as indicated by the equality of the shaded areas \\\\ in Fig. and the natural frequency of the system for the corresponding trajectory is then given by (see Table 14.3 we have H(q. ∂I ∂I (14.8) .(b) for small changes ∆H. p) = so that p = ± p2 + V (q) = E.4) as indicated by the equality of the shaded areas //// in Fig.Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems 355 Fig. (14.5(a). 14. I respectively. φ). p) phase plane by I= 1 2π p dq. ∆I in H.1 and §13. 14.5(a).(b).5 the (q.

Evidently ω= and action I= with the angle variable φ= ∂ ∂I q ∂H = ω0 ∂I (here) (14. where ω0 = k/m. (14.356 Classical Mechanics Example: Simple harmonic oscillator Find action/angle variables for the simple harmonic oscillator.6 For the simple harmonic oscillator we have action ≡ energy/frequency. so that 2 I = H/ω0 .9) 2H/k and since p dq is the area within an ellipse with semi-axes √ 2mH. Here V (q) = 1 kq 2 . 14.10) p2 + kmq 2 .12) 0 = mω0 = arcsin q ≡ ω0 t + β.6.11) p dq = 0 2mω0 I − kmq 2 dq dq 2mω0 I − kmq 2 mω0 2I (14. 14.) Fig. 2mω0 ∂ ∂I q 0 q (14. (See Fig. .

p can be found in terms of φ. p variables. I in the form q= 2I sin φ. the original variables q.7) the Hamiltonian is H = p2 /2m ≡ E = 1 mv 2 .7 The results are hardly very surprising for these two cases.) . but the method provides a powerful means of obtaining the frequency (and so the period) of a general nonlinear libration oscillation. Here the ac2 √ tion I = 2mH L/π so that ω = π 2 I/mL2 ≡ πv/L and the period of this ‘oscillation’ is τ = 2π/ω = 2L/v (of course). 14. The elastic bouncer For a perfectly elastic ball bouncing normally between two walls (see Fig.13) These relations. which we will not consider further here. So we have the following: Central force motion (See Chapter 4. and to deal with systems which have two or more degrees of freedom. Fig. mω0 p= 2mω0 I cos φ. 14. together with the linear evolution of φ with time give the evolution of the original q. The method may be extended to deal with rotations.Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems 357 Of course. (14.

τ (14.32).16) Show that in this case the nonlinear normal mode frequencies are the same. and the corresponding angle variables are ignorable. 2mr2 (14. F2 = pθ . We can then calculate the action variables as I2 = 1 2π pθ dθ = pθ .358 Classical Mechanics We may write the Hamiltonian in plane polars in the form H= p2 p2 r θ + + V (r) ≡ E. so that the orbits are closed. In fact this is just Kepler’s third law of planetary motion (4. Evidently H=E=− mk 2 .17) The Hamiltonian depends only on the action variables. .3 and Problem 9) we obtain I1 = −I2 + |k| 2 2m . −H (14. 2(I1 + I2 )2 (14.18) Note that important results for this system have been obtained without explicit calculation of the form of the angle variables: • The equality of the natural frequencies of the radial and transverse modes of oscillation. by design. 2m 2mr2 (14.30)). which leads to orbital closure. The natural frequencies for this system are then given by ω1 = ω2 = mk 2 m ≡ (I1 + I2 )3 |k| − 2E m 3/2 ≡ 2π . (See §14.15) 1 I1 = 2π Example: Inverse square law For the inverse square attractive force law V (r) = −|k|/r (see §4.14) with constants of the motion F1 = H. 2m pr dr = 2π √ p2 θ H− − V (r) dr.1. since the semi-major axis a of the elliptical orbit of negative energy E is given by a = −|k|/2E (as in (4.) where τ is the period.

5. by going to centre-of-mass co-ordinates. in general.Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems 359 • The relation between the period of oscillation and the energy E of a bound orbit. i. this problem. Problem 15). We may reduce this to order twelve by making use of the conservation of linear momentum. This is the best that can be done in general. Again the system must also then have fewer symmetries (leading to conservation laws) than are required to give integrability and order. The three-body problem has nine degrees of freedom and so gives rise to a system of differential equations of order eighteen. is integrable. was the strong motivation for Poincar´ e in his general considerations for dynamical systems.2 we indicated that the central force problem of Chapter 4.) Less intuitively apparent is that the motion of a particle in a plane under the inverse square law of attraction to two fixed centres may also be integrated. 14. Orbital motion — n-body problem In §§14. together with the extension to more bodies. Even after all these reductions the problem is still extremely complicated and has kept mathematicians busy for several hundred years. with a fixed centre of force and two degrees of freedom. By making use of conservation of energy and conservation of angular momentum we can reduce the order to eight. As an indication we can consider the equations of the planar circular restricted three-body problem (Chapter 10. even when it is restricted (as in Chapter 10. However the three-body problem is. Problem 15). so that it cannot exhibit the property of sensitivity to initial conditions characteristic of chaos.1.2. the order can be reduced to four. (See §7. 14. A further important property of the action variables will be indicated later in §14.e. By further device and restricting our consideration to motions which are planar. This is also true for the two-body problem in the centre-of-mass frame.4 Some Hamiltonian Systems which Exhibit Chaos We have seen in Chapter 13 and in previous sections of this current chapter that a system must have at least two degrees of freedom in order to have a phase space of large enough dimension to exhibit any chaotic behaviour. not integrable. In the frame of .

14. Problem 12) there are also motions which are highly chaotic.e. While there are some stable equilibria for this system (depending on the mass ratio M1 /M2 . so that 2 (x2 + y 2 ) + V is a constant. The primaries .) Interest in the restricted problem reflects the hierarchical nature of our Solar System and an increasing interest in space missions. the Hamiltonian 1 ˙ ˙ itself. However.360 Classical Mechanics reference rotating with the primary masses M1 . i. the equations for the third (small mass m) body can Fig. the motion with given initial conditions is restricted by the curves of zero velocity at which x = 0 = y. 14. ˙ ˙ (See Problem 12 of this Chapter. r2 = (x − a2 )2 + y 2 .8). see Chapter 12.8 be written in the form x − 2ω y = − ¨ ˙ ∂V ∂x ∂V . GM1 GM2 − . r1 r2 (14.19) This system can be expressed in Hamiltonian form with two degrees of freedom and there is only a single conserved quantity. M2 about their centre of mass (see Fig. which is known as the Jacobi integral. y + 2ω x = − ¨ ˙ ∂y with V = − 1 ω 2 (x2 + y 2 ) − 2 and r1 = (x + a1 )2 + y 2 .

Problem 16 are apparent in these applications — as sites for orbiting observatories and as staging points for more extended missions by NASA and ESA. m3 has a relative equilibrium (with the masses not in a straight line) if and only if the triangle formed by the masses is equilateral and find the rotation rate Ω. together with Gm1 m2 (r 2 − r1 ) Gm1 m3 (r 3 − r 1 ) + = −m1 Ω2 r1 . Earth–Moon (Problem 12) and so on. It is apparent that the masses remain in a plane. 3 3 r12 r31 (14. The five relative equilibria referred to in Chapter 10.Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems 361 are variously Sun–Jupiter (Chapter 12. Fig.21) .9 Note that the origin in this figure is at the centre of mass. m2 . The Lagrangian equilateral triangle rotating in its plane about its centre of mass is actually a relative equilibrium for the three-body problem with general masses. 14. Example: Three-body problem Show that the three-body problem with three general masses m1 . Then we have m1 r 1 + m2 r 2 + m3 r3 = 0. Problem 13).20) (14.

stability of this configuration is quite another matter — in general it is surely unstable and. From (14. a ‘many-body’ Hamiltonian and exhibits chaos. which then leads to r12 = r31 = a (say). If the weak magnetic field approximation is not made. the system will separate. 2m r (14. Since r 2 . We assumed there that the magnetic field was sufficiently weak for the quadratic term in B to be neglected. In general the vast majority of n-body systems are chaotic. typically. particularly on account of close two-body encounters in their evolution. Naturally.362 Classical Mechanics and two similar equations for m2 . 2000).22) Here the constant B field defines the z axis and ρ2 = r2 − z 2 . Charged particle in a magnetic field In §5. and by substitution we obtain Ω2 = G(m1 + m2 + m3 )/a3 . Annals of Mathematics. m3 . 881–901. r 3 are by hypothesis not parallel.20) and (14. This broken symme- . we must have α = β = 0. While this solution is extremely special. in effect. it is exact and extensive searches have uncovered further exotic n-body solutions. visiting in turn each of the Euler three-body straight-line equilibria with one mass at the mid-point of the line joining the other two (see Chenciner and Montgomery. Of course the similar equations give r23 = a also. 152. β are scalars. The search for exact periodic solutions of the three-body problem has resulted in an astonishing solution for the case of three equal masses — the masses follow one another round a ‘figure of eight’ in a plane.5 as an example of rotating frames of reference we considered the effect of a magnetic field B on a charged particle moving in an orbit around a fixed charge. then the equation of motion of the moving charge can be written relative to the frame which rotates about the magnetic field with the Larmor frequency in terms of the Hamiltonian H= |k1 | 1 p2 − + 2 |k2 |ρ2 .21) we obtain a relation αr 2 + βr 3 = 0 where α. so that the Kepler inverse square law force of attraction towards the origin (having full rotational symmetry about all three axes) is supplemented by a Hooke attraction towards the B field axis (having rotational symmetry only about this axis). leading to the Larmor precession of the Kepler elliptical orbit around the magnetic field vector. As a result the Hamiltonian system is not integrable — it is.

3.10) and bouncing perfectly on the wall. pψ . 2. various asymmetric ‘tops’ appear to exhibit ordered and chaotic motion regimes and this is common for systems which are modelled by the Euler equations of §9. 1981) we can consider the motion of a point ‘ball’ moving within a closed boundary (see Fig. Billiard systems After Berry (European Journal of Physics. Friedrich and Wintgen. The problem has three degrees of freedom and there are three independent conserved quantities H.g.Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems 363 try of e. We assume motion in a straight line between collisions with the wall. we assume that the Hamiltonian is H = p2 /2m within the enclosure. 14.e. For example.4 we indicated the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian descriptions of the symmetric top. More complicated systems abound when the equations of rotational motion of an asymmetric body are considered. i. simple reflection at each bounce and no dissipation. 1989). Fig.10 . The ball follows a path just like that of a light ray with a boundary wall which is a perfect mirror. 37–79. 91–102. 183.3 and in §§12. Tops In §10.12. Physics Reports. pϕ . so that it is non-holonomic.g.8 with general torques G. but very important in its implications for the quantum mechanical treatment of the same problem (see e. pivoted at a point on its axis of symmetry. so that the system is integrable and the motions detailed are regular and ordered. or where the system involves rolling motion. the classical hydrogen atom is complex. 14.

14. p.11). pn ) → (sn+1 . circular (see Fig. .364 Classical Mechanics Despite its apparent simplicity.12) there is in each case another conserved quantity leading to integrability and order. with dynamics depending particularly on the shape of the enclosure. 14. s.) This leads to a successive bounce map (sn . 14. For some special enclosure shapes e. (c) two closed orbits. this system turns out to be very rich and instructive. For motion in a planar region of this kind the system has two degrees of freedom and H is a constant of the motion. Example: Circular billiard Fig. elliptical (see Fig.g. pn+1 ) which preserves area and leads to a Poincar´ section for the dynamics — the slice through the overall dynamical e space is the (non-planar) boundary shape. where s is the distance measured along the boundary and p = cos α. |p|. (b) typical orbit (never closing). (Note that p here is not the magnitude of the linear momentum. (d) phase-space trajectories for orbits in (b) and (c).11 Billiards in a circle: (a) basic orbit geometry. where α is the angle of incidence (and reflection) at the wall. The dynamics can be examined using natural canonical variables. Show that there is a second conserved quantity (independent of H) for the circular billiard.

12 Orbits in an ellipse: (a) repeatedly touching a confocal ellipse.) Fig.Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems 365 Evidently the billiard trajectory for a circular enclosure is a succession of chords. The angular momentum is the second conserved quantity and is evidently independent of the Hamiltonian H. (See Problem 10. (c) ellipse billiard mapping. each at the same perpendicular distance from the centre of the circle. So the angular momentum of the ball about the centre √ (= a 2mH p. 14. where a is the radius and p = cos α) remains constant through successive bounces at the boundary. . Note that when a chord meets the circular boundary the angle α between it and the tangent to the circle is the same at each bounce — the bounce map for a particular trajectory therefore consists of a finite number of points or a line (each at p = cos α) according as the trajectory is closed or is not closed. (b) repeatedly touching confocal hyperbolae. For the elliptical enclosure the second conserved quantity is the product of the angular momenta of the ball measured about the two foci of the ellipse.

When the shape of the boundary is not so special.7).13 Oval billiard mapping: 25 orbits followed through 200 bounces. However. without any air resistance. Whereas billiards (see above) involve a regular object bouncing on an irregular boundary.e. when moving and rotating through space. as well as regions where ordered motion predominates. so that for typical shapes the motion can be highly chaotic. i.366 Classical Mechanics In these cases the bounce map (Poincar´ section) is made up of points e and lines characteristic of integrability. 14. whether any dissipation which may be present is very small or if it is such as to lead to rapid energy decay. For each of these types of system the effects of small changes in physical geometry can be large in the statistical properties of the outcomes (see §13. Dice and coins The motion when dice and coins are thrown is regular when there are no external torques. . there are impulsive forces which act at each bounce. 14. Fig.13. the bounce map has regions in which there is area filling. leading to chaos. dice (and coins) are a sort of ‘dual’ in that they are irregular objects bouncing on a regular surface.) Billiard systems with various different properties have been used to model other types of physical behaviour. (See Fig.

) Fig. when a regular cubical die is subject to a small change ∆ in aspect ratio (away from 1 for the perfect cube).Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems 367 For example. In the case µ > 1 we can show that the motion of m is always bounded by a curve of zero velocity (p = 0). The swinging Atwood’s machine A simple physical system which exhibits a variety of dynamical behaviours is the swinging Atwood’s machine. which consists of two masses M.14. m connected by a light inextensible string which passes over a small pulley and through a small hole in a smooth vertical plane. which is an ellipse whose shape depends on the mass ratio µ and on the energy H. each 1% change in this geometric measure leads to a 3. 14. (14. 14. The Hamiltonian for the system is H= p2 p2 r θ + + mgr(µ − cos θ). a change modelled locally by √ ∆2 2/π(4 2/3 − 3) (Berkshire. integrable. 2m(1 + µ) 2mr2 with µ = M/m. in general. (See Fig. Abbott and Griffiths (American Journal of Physics. 895–903. approximately.14 This system was introduced first by Tufillaro. British Association for the Advancement of Science. since H is usually the only constant of the motion. so that the mass m can rotate in this plane. 1985). The string is such that collisions of masses with pulley or hole can be discounted.23) and the motion is not.4% change. (See . 1984) and has been the subject of various subsequent papers. 52. in the probabilities associated with the faces displayed.

g. 14. The H´non–Heiles system e From the previous examples it should be apparent that a paradigm of chaotic dynamics is provided by a Hamiltonian system with two degrees of freedom which has only one conserved quantity. pr = (p2 /mr3 ) − mg(3 − cos θ).7.) When µ ≤ 1 the motion is not. 69. r = pr /4m. the Hamiltonian itself. pθ = −mgr sin θ. 2 2 (14. with the analogy of a small ball rolling under gravity in an asymmetric bowl. For all other mass ratio values there are at least pockets of highly irregular and chaotic motion. it is independent of the Hamiltonian H. When µ = 3 the motion is completely ordered. pθ . in general.24) From Hamilton’s equations. 1964) in order to model the motion of a star in a galaxy which has a simple smoothed-out gravitational potential to represent the attraction of the other stars. bounded for any energy and eventually the mass M passes over the pulley.368 Classical Mechanics Problem 11. e. 73–79.15) so that its Hamiltonian is H= where V = 1 (x2 + y 2 ) + x2 y − 1 y 3 2 3 ≡ 1 r2 + 1 r3 sin 3θ 2 3 1 2 (p + p2 ) + V (x. Under these circumstances the system dynamics can show all the features of sensitivity to initial conditions and loss of predictability indicated in §13. ˙ ˙ θ ˙ = pθ /mr2 .25) in plane polars. there is a second conserved quantity given by J= pθ 4m pr cos θ θ 2pθ − sin 2 r 2 + mgr2 sin θ θ cos2 . In that special case. This system. The system is integrable in the case µ = 3 and apparently only for this particular value of the mass ratio. y). We ˙ ˙ θ note that while J is also quadratic in the momenta pr . As a final example consider the motion of a particle of unit mass in a two-dimensional asymmetric potential well (see Fig. It is certainly not yet clear what ‘physical’ property is represented by this ‘hidden symmetry’. y 2m x (14. . was introduced by H´non and Heiles (Astronomical e Journal. one can show by brute force that J = 0.

Of course the motion for small energies is just that of the isotropic oscillator of §4. on a scale of many basic oscillation periods. so let us consider by way of illustration the simple harmonic oscillator of §2. There are very similar consequences for many other such systems. when we now allow θ. e.5 Slow Change of Parameters — Adiabatic Invariance Let us suppose that in a cyclic system (librating or rotating) we allow some of the control parameters to change on a very long time scale.1. while I stays as near constant as we want. provided that the change of parameters is made slowly enough.Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems 369 Fig. in the sense that we can change the parameters by as large an amount as we may want.g. Now a general proof of this property is beyond our scope here.15 H´non–Heiles potential contours of V near the local minimum at (0. For larger energies corresponding to larger displacements away from the potential minimum at the origin the motion becomes highly irregular. 0). i. the double pendulum system of §11. consisting as it does of a combination of normal modes as obtained by the methods of Chapter 11.1. but . e For small energies the cubic terms in V are insignificant when compared with the quadratic terms and in that limit the motion is integrable. 14. Then it emerges that the change in an action I is then also very slow.e. 14. ϕ not to be restricted to be small. The change of parameters is then said to be carried out adiabatically and the action variables are then called adiabatic invariants.2.

30) so that E /ω is essentially constant. be brought about by a spring constant k which varies on a time scale which is very long compared with the natural period τ = 2π/ω. and this now changes with time at the slow rate ˙ E = m(x¨ + ω 2 xx + ω ωx2 ) = mω ωx2 . so that e.370 Classical Mechanics now with a frequency which is slowly-varying. Example: Pendulum with slowly varying length Find how the amplitude of (small) oscillation of a simple pendulum changes as the length is varied slowly. (See (14. This is. where ω/ω ˙ ω. for example. Over a single period (during which ω does not change appreciably) we may write x(t) = a cos[ω(t)t − θ]. . Particular physical applications are very common and valuable conclusions can be drawn about the variations of other variables on the assumption of the applicability of the principle of adiabatic invariance.31) 1 τ τ 0 (14.20). ¨ (14. The energy of the oscillation is 1 ˙ E = 2 m(x2 + ω 2 x2 ) ≡ 1 mω 2 a2 . ≡ ω We obtain immediately d dt E ω = ω ˙ 1 d E − 2 E = 0. of course. our measure of the action I of this oscillator. as in (2. ω dt ω (14.) For more general systems the demonstration is carried out via the definition (14. The variation in ω could. 2 (14.29) E dτ = (14.27) (14.4) of the action variable. ˙x ˙ ˙ ˙ By averaging over a period of the oscillation.26) with ω = k/m.9). That is to say x + [ω(t)]2 x = 0. E = E (above) we obtain d E = mω ω x2 = 1 mω ωa2 ˙ ˙ 2 dt ω ˙ E .g.28) essentially.

but now with length l(t) changing slowly with time.32) since a = lθmax here. respectively. If the walls are now moved either towards or away from one another very slowly√ (‘adiabatically’). particularly with regard to the dangers of spaghetti sauce! The elastic bouncer In §14. on the assumption that the change in l is effected sufficiently slowly. although this is not usually a simple pendulum and politeness may well rule out the necessary long time scale for consumption! However. of the Sun. We can note here that we can model a monatomic gas with elastic molecules bouncing in a cubical box and. Again it should be noted that v. under reasonable assumptions. maximum acceleration of the pendulum bob change as l is changed. a long time. while the action I remains essentially constant.1. e. H are. A practical problem to contemplate when considering this matter is the consumption of a piece of spaghetti. possibly by orders of magnitude. would diminish as its mass decreases over what is.3 we considered a perfectly elastic ball bouncing √ normally between two walls and the action I for that case was found to be 2mH L/π where m. for us. In this case the action I is given by 1 I = E/ω = 2 mωa2 = 1m 2 gl3 (θmax )2 . We then need only put x = lθ in the above analysis of the simple harmonic oscillator. H can change by orders of magnitude. Attractive central force problem with varying strength Evidently the force of attraction.Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems 371 We can consider the simple pendulum of §2. then the principle of adiabatic invariance tells us that L H should be essentially constant. The assumption that I is invariant leads to θmax ∝ l−3/4 (see Problem 13) and we can find from this how the energy. the mass and energy of the ball and L is the distance between the walls. so that v ∝ 1/L and energy H ∝ 1/L2 (see Problem 14). obtain the relationship that pressure ∝ (density)5/3 for adiabatic change.g. together with ω = g/l. displacement. It has also been suggested . and we can simplify considerably by confining ourselves to small oscillations. (14. the general principle is the same.

as the strength |k| of the attracting force decreases. . that. In either case we can look to the action/angle formulation in §14. in fact. in the classical formulation as control parameters are changed very slowly. although they generally work well elsewhere. The perturbation expansions break down in this neighbourhood. but it turns out that the only real difficulty with the perturbation expansions (as power series in ) is associated with attempting to expand near where the basic frequency ω0 of the unperturbed system H0 is zero. makes the action variables the prime candidates for quantization. The effective constancy of the action variables by the principle of adiabatic invariance.3. when the foundations of quantum mechanics were being laid. so that its dynamics are regular and ordered. but which is close by. (See Problem 16. we can ask what happens for a system which is not itself integrable. p) and integrable. The expansions for the n = 1 case contain denominators ω0 . change on a long time scale.6 Near-integrable Systems When we have a system which is Hamiltonian with H = H0 (q. where I2 is an exact invariant and I1 can be taken now as an adiabatic invariant. but that (rather unexpectedly) the eccentricity of the orbit remains constant and the orbit retains its shape. A simple remedy would seem to suggest itself strongly — avoid separatrices! For systems with at least two degrees of freedom (n ≥ 2) the perturbation analysis seems to be plagued by a similar difficulty. 14. When there is only one degree of freedom (n = 1) there is a welldeveloped perturbation theory. An example of this is provided by the simple pendulum and the libration/rotation orbits which are situated close to the separatrices (at which ω0 = 0). As a consequence we can show. which allows us to find out how the action/angle variables for the H0 system are changed by the perturbation H1 . The pendulum with slow variation in length was a discussion problem for Lorentz and Einstein in 1911. We won’t detail this here. but much worse in implication. in particular.372 Classical Mechanics by Dirac that the gravitational ‘constant’ may. the period and the semimajor axis of the Kepler elliptical orbit of a planet both increase (as we might expect). That is to say this latter system has Hamiltonian H = H0 + H1 where is very small.) The adiabatic invariance of the action variables has enormous importance in the transition to quantum mechanics.

then the torus destruction with a perturbed system is progressive as the size of the perturbation increases. would cause the torus structure of an integrable system to collapse irretrievably. This is important. we can apparently make choices of N components in order to make ω 0 · N as close as we might (not) like to zero — thus destroying the usefulness of our expansion. but the trouble is that.Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems 373 so that the expansions become non-uniformly valid near ω0 ∼ 0. however small. . is the phase space torus structure itself preserved. in that some of the normal frequencies have rational ratios. i. in Poincar´ e sections (like e. KAM showed that.1) about which we are trying to expand our series solution. This is usually called the problem of small denominators and it seems to imply that. Especially noteworthy is a tour de force by Delaunay for the Sun–Earth–Moon system (‘lunar theory’) undertaken in the middle of the nineteenth century. but all such efforts seemed doomed to failure. although distorted. Fig. and with convergent perturbation expansions. This is bad enough. which involved about twenty years of endeavour. 14.g. Very elaborate methods have been developed in an attempt to patch up the expansions in the general case. These are ‘self-similar’ structures in maps. Now when this denominator is actually zero we have a degeneracy (or resonance).13) and in full phase space. This work has led to an explosion of research. because the torus breakdown grows with the perturbation around the resonant (ω 0 with rational ratios) tori. and its consequences. For the = n ≥ 2 case we find in the expansions denominators like ω 0 · N where the lattice vector N has integer components and ω 0 is the vector of normal frequencies of the particular torus (see §14. by the following: • Rational approximation. Arnol’d and Moser (KAM) in work originating between 1954 and 1963. Properties of maps are explored briefly in Appendix D. as long as the perturbation introduced to a smooth system is itself smooth enough. even for ω 0 not exactly resonant in this manner. This means the closeness by which real numbers can be approximated by rationals. results and applications. only if the perturbation H1 to our Hamiltonian H0 is such that H = H0 + H1 is still integrable through the preservation of a sufficient number of conserved quantities. Key roles are played in the theory. That this is not in fact the case was demonstrated by Kolmogorov.e. • Fractals. It seemed that the slightest perturbation.

stable and unstable regimes may well be closely interwoven. i.e.374 Classical Mechanics • Divergence of trajectories. leading to ‘extreme sensitivity to initial conditions’ (see §13. We have effectively stochastic output resulting even from strictly deterministic systems.g. which has non-intuitive and useful consequences for the way in which other quantities of physical interest may change. Examples have been given of simple/important Hamiltonian systems which have regimes which exhibit chaos and a resulting breakdown of predictability. This principle of adiabatic invariance is a general result.7) and to chaotic behaviour. • Lack of predictability. so that in an idealized system we might not be able to tell from (necessarily) imprecise observations quite what regime we are in! However we should find the hierarchical nature of our system. planet/planet interactions is of lower order than the planet/Sun interactions which produce Kepler ellipses. which allow us to detail the nonlinear normal modes of such a system. 14. The action variables are effectively constant when system control parameters are changed very slowly. possibly by orders of magnitude on these long time scales. so that the effect of e. . To the big question ‘Is the Solar System stable?’. Integrability of the system leads to a natural formulation in terms of action/angle variables. For large configurations. The Solar System is an n-body problem. the theory provides the answer ‘a (definite) maybe’. For this reason the broad structure of the system is robust (fortunately for the human race!).7 Summary In this chapter the importance of the number of symmetries of a Hamiltonian system (leading to conservation laws) has been shown in the restrictions they impose on the freedom of the system trajectories in the appropriate phase space. to be reassuring apart from the possibility of asteroid impact — in practice the fate of the whole Solar System is actually rather likely to be determined largely by dissipative and other non-gravitational forces. Breakdown of the torus structure gives freedom to system trajectories to diverge strongly from their neighbours. so that we lose knowledge of the connection between cause and effect. which has motivated a lot of work in Mechanics. with a strong central Sun. which is markedly hierarchical. modes which are exact and involve no approximations for small-amplitude motions.

Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems 375 The adiabatic invariance of action variables identifies them as prime candidates to be quantized in the transition from classical to quantum mechanics. by no means the least of which is the question of how to quantize a system which is classically chaotic! As we said in the Preface. There are other routes to chaos.14) show that we may take F = p θ as the second constant. the limit cycles of Chapter 13. A particle of mass m is projected outward radially from the surface (q = R) of a spherical planet.e.g. 2. distinguishing between trajectories which correspond to the particle returning and not returning to the planet’s surface. For an autonomous Hamiltonian system with two degrees of freedom the Hamiltonian H is a constant of the motion and such a system is integrable if another constant F (independent of H) can be found — i. p) phase plane for q ≥ R. However it is very much alive! Problems 1. |k|/m. . Show that the Hamiltonian is given by H = p2 /2m − |k|/q (with k constant). so that H is a constant of the motion (≡ energy E). can go through a periode doubling cascade to chaos (see Appendix D) as parameters are changed. Classical Mechanics is a very old subject. |E| Evaluate this integral to find t0 in terms of h. When the particle does return show that the time taken to do this is t0 = √ 2m h R dq . It is fitting that this book should end with the mention of results (KAM) which point the way to a whole host of future developments. (Hint : the substitution q = h sin2 θ is helpful!) By considering the limit R/h → 0 show that the result is in accord with Kepler’s third law (4. squeezed and folded then chaos and ‘mixing’ typically result. E + |k|/q where h = |k| . Sketch the phase portrait in the (q. 1 2 (b) For central force motion (14. such that [F. each with a single-point Poincar´ section. (a) For the double harmonic oscillator (14. H] = 0.32). R.3) show that we may take 2 2 F = p2 /2m + 1 mω1 q1 as the second constant. Indeed e. When trajectories are stretched.

Consider this projection in the light of the discussion of surfaces of section in §14. Consider again the particle sliding on the inside of a smooth cone. 4m 2mr2 where (r. 6. For central force motion with an inverse square law force of attraction the Hamiltonian is (14. A string of length l with a mass m at each end passes through a hole in a frictionless horizontal plane.14). J respectively linear. 4.4 that it has magnitude given by the eccentricity e of the conicsection orbit and is directed from the centre of force along the major axis towards the position of closest approach (‘perihelion’). One mass moves horizontally on the plane and the other mass hangs vertically downwards. and that the period of small oscillations about this motion is 2π 2r0 /3g. H= p2 |k| p2 r θ + (≡ energy E). i. Problem 1. pr ) projection of the full four-dimensional phase space for this system. Show that when a stable circular√ motion is disturbed the resulting small oscillations are only closed if 3 sin α is a rational number. 5. − 2m 2mr2 r If we fix pθ . Show that a steady motion with r = r0 is possible (for any r0 > 0).e. as in Chapter 12. Identify two constants of the motion. Show that a suitable Hamiltonian for the system is H= p2 p2 r θ + − mg(l − r). Sketch the curves H = constant in the (r. It can be shown using the results in §4. z) plane on a smooth cycloid curve given paramet- . A particle of mass m is constrained to move under the action of gravity in the vertical (x. θ) are the polar co-ordinates of the particle on the plane and pr . if pθ is chosen suitably. angular momentum) are constants of the motion. (A is the Laplace–Runge–Lenz vector. show that the components of the vector A= p∧J r − m|k| r with p. pθ are the corresponding momenta. show that r is bounded (r1 ≤ r ≤ r2 ) only when −k 2 m/2p2 ≤ E < 0 and that the energy minimum corresponds to θ an orbit in physical space which is a circle.376 Classical Mechanics (c) *When the potential V (r) = −|k|/r.) 3.2.

Show that a suitable Hamiltonian is H= 4ml2 (1 p2 θ + mgl(1 − cos θ). + cos θ) Use action/angle variables to show that the frequency of oscillation of the particle is independent of its amplitude. Explain briefly where I is the action. √ k/m. Sketch the potential and the phase portrait. What happens in the (separate) limits of small and large energies E? 8.1. If the particle always moves in a straight line. Show that the energy E and action I are related by √ E = kλ + 2I k/m and that the period is then independent of amplitude. Discuss how the dependence of q on the angle variable φ may be found and then the dependence of q on the time t. This tautochrone property of 2 the cycloid was known to Huygens in the seventeenth century and.Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems 377 rically by x = l(θ + sin θ). where k. *For central force motion with an inverse square law force of attraction (see Problem 5) confirm the result of (14. it leads to some quite accurate clock mechanisms. Ω = (without detailed calculation) how the angle variable φ conjugate to the action may be found in the form φ(x) and how x may be found as a function of the time t. Problem 15. q > 0.) 7. z = l(1 − cos θ).e. but otherwise moves in a 1 potential V (x) = 2 k(|x| − l)2 for |x| > l. *A particle of mass m is attached to the origin by a light elastic string of natural length l. λ. *A particle of mass m moves in a one-dimensional potential V (q) = 1 2 2 2 (kq + λ/q ). (The substitution s = sin 1 θ is useful. β = 2k l/π. i. (This one-dimensional problem models the purely radial part of the motion of the isotropic harmonic oscillator of §4.16) that the radial action I1 = . Show that E = ( IΩ + β 2 − β)2 . it is the same for all initial conditions with |θ| < π. Contrast the tautochrone property with the brachistochrone property of Chapter 3. sketch the potential and the phase-plane trajectories for different values of the energy E. The integral x2 x1 (x2 − x)(x − x1 ) √ dx = 1 π(x1 + x2 ) − π x1 x2 2 x where x2 > x1 > 0 and x = q 2 will prove useful!) 9. so that it is able to move freely along the x-axis if its distance from the origin is less than l. in principle at least.

(a) Show that when µ > 1 the motion of m is always bounded by a zero-velocity curve which is an ellipse.15) the result given at the end of Problem 8 will prove similarly useful!) 10.14) for various different values of the mass ratio µ = M/m. (Hint : The results of §B. [Closure for such a trajectory implies closure for all trajectories tangent to the same inner ellipse — an example of a general result due to Poncelet (1822). 14. (b) Show that when µ ≤ 1 the motion is not in general bounded for any E by sketching the zero-velocity curves for mass m in the r.19) for the restricted threebody problem may be put into Hamiltonian form using the substitution ˙ ˙ px = x − ωy. Using elliptical co-ordinates (see Chapter 3. 1 (x2 + y 2 ) + V = C. Problem 2 to show that the product Λ of the angular momenta of the ball measured about the two foci of the ellipse is preserved through each bounce. y plane.12) use the result of Appendix B. (In order to evaluate the integral in (14. For the billiard in an elliptical enclosure (Fig. *Consider the motion of the swinging Atwood’s machine (see Fig. θ plane (in various cases). so that it is conserved and therefore a constant of the motion. where I2 = pθ . py = y + ωx. show that Λ = (cosh2 λ − cos2 θ)−1 (sinh2 λ p2 − sin2 θ p2 ) and that H = θ λ [2mc2 (cosh2 λ − cos2 θ)]−1 (p2 + p2 ).] 11.) 12. Problem 24). *Show that the equations of motion (14. 14. ˙ ˙ 2 Hence sketch the regions V ≤ C of possible motions in the x. since the system is autonomous.378 Classical Mechanics 1 −I2 + 2 |k| 2m/(−E). whose shape depends on µ and on the constant energy E. considering particularly those values of C corresponding to the three ‘equilibria’ on the x axis and to the two Lagrangian equilateral triangle ‘equilibria’ — see Chapter 10. for various values of C and of the mass ratio M1 /M2 . (Note that for the Earth/Moon system with M1 /M2 = 81. so that the natural frequencies of radial and transverse motions of the system are the same. Hence show that the reflected traλ θ jectory from the boundary x2 /a2 + y 2 /b2 = 1 is necessarily tangent (when Λ > 0) to the ellipse λ = arcsinh Λ/2mc2H.3 there is in consequence a value of C below which an Earth–Moon transfer is not possible.2 will prove helpful in identifying the zerovelocity curves.) . Show that. where C is a constant of the motion (Jacobi). Problem 16.

an increasing risk for spaghetti eaters from sauce detachment!) 14. so satisfying the ideal gas law: (pressure)×(volume) ∝ (temperature). Assuming that the kinetic energy of the molecules gives a measure of temperature and that the gas is ‘ideal’. by assuming that each molecule has the same speed v and that one third of the molecules move normally to each pair of faces of the box! If intermolecular collisions do not affect these assumptions then L can be changed very slowly. A particle of mass m moves smoothly up and down a smooth inclined plane (inclined at an angle α to the horizontal). For the elastic bouncer (see Fig. τ increases). Show that the energy E and action I for this oscillator are related by E = [(9π 2 /8)g 2 m sin2 α]1/3 I 2/3 and find the frequency ω of small oscillation in terms of g. The particle Hamilto˙ nian is H = p2 /2m + mgq sin α (= E) where p = mq. as l decreases slowly. see Problem 5) varies so that τ ∝ k −2 (i. 15. Hence show that the maximum sideways displacement from the vertical is ∝ l1/4 and that the maximum acceleration is ∝ l −3/4 . being measured upwards along the plane from a fixed point q = 0 at which the particle is perfectly elastically reflected at each impact. Given that the angle α now decreases very slowly use the principle of adiabatic invariance to show that during the long time in which α decreases from π/3 to π/6 the energy of the system decreases by about 31% and the amplitude and period increase by about 20% and 44% respectively. α and q0 (the amplitude of the motion). |k|) decreases slowly (‘tired sun’).e. 14. the co-ordinate q ≥ 0. obtain the relationship (pressure) ∝ (volume)5/3 for adiabatic change of a monatomic gas.Order and Chaos in Hamiltonian Systems 379 13.17). *For central force motions with an inverse square law force of attraction the relation between energy E and actions I1 . If the strength of the force (i. use the principle of adiabatic invariance to show that the period τ of a bounded orbit (an ellipse. 16. Find how the semi-major axis of the ellipse varies with k and show that the eccentricity of the ellipse remains constant.e.7) between two walls whose separation is being changed slowly (‘adiabatically’) show that the bouncer speed v ∝ 1/L. demonstrated in Problem 9. For the small oscillations of a pendulum whose length l is varying very slowly show that the maximum angular displacement θmax ∝ l−3/4 . I2 is (14. (Note that this last result implies. confined within a cubical box of side L. We can model (crudely) a monatomic gas. .

380 Classical Mechanics .

1. written a or |a|. k r z j O x y i Fig. A. and a direction in space. the position of a point P with respect to a given origin O may be specified by the position vector r drawn from O to P as in Fig. A. A. we give a summary of the properties of vectors which are used in the text. It is to be contrasted with a scalar. The vector a may be represented geometrically by an arrow of length a drawn from any point in the appropriate direction. In particular.1 Definitions and Elementary Properties A vector a is an entity specified by a magnitude. which is specified by a magnitude alone.1 381 .Appendix A Vectors In this appendix.

A. ay . A. z are the components of r. (See Fig. and say that x. If x.2. if c = 1/a.) We often speak of P as ‘the point r’. az + bz ).1. y. where ax . and of length |c|a. if c < 0. its position vector is the zero vector 0 = (0. 0) of length 0 and indeterminate direction. y. then we write r = (x.382 Classical Mechanics Any vector can be specified. az − bz ). with O as origin. cay . A. with respect to a given set of Cartesian axes. ay . 0.2 a+ b b is defined similarly by Fig. we write a = (ax . az are its components. a a−b b Fig. it is a vector in the same direction as a. In terms of components. When P coincides with O. (This is the ‘parallelogram law’ for addition of forces — or vectors in general. If c > 0. a = a/a. For a general vector. az ). z). In particular. y.3 a + b = (ax + bx . Addition of two vectors a and b may be defined geometrically by drawing one vector from the head of the other. by three components. ay − by . it is in the opposite direction.3. ay + by . a − b = (ax − bx . we ˆ obtain the unit vector in the direction of a. and of length ca. A. caz ). as in Fig. . The product of a vector a and a scalar c is ca = (cax .) Subtraction a b θ a Fig. z are the Cartesian co-ordinates of P . A.

however. It is important to realize.4): j′ j r ϕ ϕ x x′ y′ y i′ i Fig. r = xi + yj + zk. y .1) Mathematically. j. or equivalently x = x cos ϕ + y sin ϕ. that when we say that some physical quantity is a vector we mean more than just that it needs three numbers to specify it. (A. consider a new set of axes i . k. For example. then.1 that any vector r can be written as a sum of three vectors along the three axes. a vector a is an object represented with respect to any set of axes by three . What we mean is that these three numbers must transform in the correct way under a change of axes. etc.Vectors 383 It is often useful to introduce three unit vectors i. A. A.4 i = i cos ϕ + j sin ϕ. z-axes. k by a rotation through an angle ϕ about the z-axis (see fig. (A. They form what is known as an orthonormal triad — a set of three mutually perpendicular vectors of unit length. Physically. any set of three quantities may be grouped together and regarded as the components of a vector. A. It is clear from Fig. y-. etc. j = −i sin ϕ + j cos ϕ. Substituting (A. k related to i.2) and comparing with (A. respectively. z of P with respect to the new axes are defined by r =xi +y j +z k . j.1). k = k.2) The co-ordinates x . pointing in the directions of the x-. j . we see that x = x cos ϕ − y sin ϕ.

similarly. z). A. (See Fig. (A. the square of the difference is (a − b)2 = a2 + b2 − 2a · b.2 The Scalar Product If θ is the angle between the vectors a and b. i. then by elementary trigonometry the length of their sum is given by |a + b|2 = a2 + b2 + 2ab cos θ. ay . It is useful to define their scalar product a · b (‘a dot b’) as a · b = ab cos θ. in matrix notation.5 a In particular.3) az az 0 0 1 A. and.e. (A. ⎡ ⎤ ⎡ ⎤⎡ ⎤ cos ϕ sin ϕ 0 ax ax ⎣ay ⎦ = ⎣− sin ϕ cos ϕ 0⎦ ⎣ay ⎦ . y. A. .384 Classical Mechanics components (ax .4) as (a + b)2 = a2 + b2 + 2a · b.. or vice versa.4) Note that this is equal to the length of a multiplied by the projection of b on a.5.5) (A. az ) which transform under rotations in the same way as (x. Thus we can write (A.) b θ a⋅b Fig. the square of a is a2 = a · a = a2 .

(A.6. It is useful to define the vector product a∧b (‘a cross b’. A. but we can find two non-zero vectors a and b for which a · b = 0. In fact.7) (A. . j. if a ⊥ b. j · r = y. k are i · j = j · k = k · i = 0. A. taking the scalar product of each in turn with (A. and the other laws can be deduced from appropriate figures. we introduce a convention: the direction of a ∧ b is that in which a right-hand screw would move when turned from a to b. we find a · b = a x b x + ay b y + az b z .1). More generally.2. that is. A.) To distinguish between the two opposite directions along the axis. save one.6) Any two non-parallel vectors a and b drawn from O define a unique axis through O perpendicular to the plane containing a and b. we find i · r = x.8) (See Fig. this is the case if θ = π/2. the commutative law of addition. if we take the scalar product of two vectors a and b. r 2 = r2 = x2 + y 2 + z 2 . k · r = z. a + b = b + a is obvious from Fig.) The one exception is the following: for two scalars. |a ∧ b| = ab sin θ. and in particular. The scalar products of the unit vectors i. sometimes also written a × b) to be a vector along this axis whose magnitude is the area of the parallelogram with edges a and b. of course.Vectors 385 All the ordinary rules of algebra are valid for the sums and scalar products of vectors. Thus. both).3 The Vector Product (A. ab = 0 implies that either a = 0 or b = 0 (or. (For example. These relations express the fact that the components of r are equal to its projections on the three co-ordinate axes. if the vectors are orthogonal: a·b =0 i2 = j 2 = k2 = 1.

the vector product of a vector with itself is the zero vector.9) It is essential to remember this fact when manipulating any expression involving vector products. as opposed to an ordinary. (A. j ∧ i = −k. but angular velocity is an axial vector (see §5. and would be reversed by changing from a right-hand to a left-hand convention. A. we reverse the sign of the vector product: b ∧ a = −a ∧ b. property. The vector product has one very important. a ∧ a = 0. or polar. k are i ∧ i = j ∧ j = k ∧ k = 0. k ∧ j = −i. (A.386 Classical Mechanics a∧b b A £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ θ a Fig. In particular. is called an axial vector. If we choose our co-ordinate axes to be right-handed. j ∧ k = i. For example. i ∧ j = k. . If we interchange a and b. a ∧ b vanishes if θ = 0 or π: a∧b=0 if a b. velocity and force are polar vectors.1). vector. More generally. j. The vector product of two polar vectors is thus an axial vector. but unfamiliar. then the vector products of i.6 A vector whose sense is merely conventional.10) i ∧ k = −j. k ∧ i = j.

We find ax ay az (a ∧ b) · c = bx by bz . c. A. we can form the scalar triple product (a ∧ b) · c. For example. c form a right-handed triad. The volume is reckoned positive if a. In terms of components. For. bx by bz (A. cx cy cz (A. (i ∧ j) · k = 1.11). This relation may conveniently be expressed in the form of a determinant i j k a ∧ b = ax ay az . and h = c cos ϕ is the height. A.7). we obtain a ∧ b = i(ay bz − az by ) + j(az bx − ax bz ) + k(ax by − ay bx ). but (i ∧ k) · j = −1. c (see Fig.11) From any three vectors a. we can evaluate the scalar triple product by taking the scalar product of c with (A. when we form the vector product of two arbitrary vectors a and b. Geometrically. or from its geometric interpretation.12) Either from this formula. b. b. we see that the scalar triple product is unchanged by any cyclic permutation of ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ a ¤ ¤ ¤ A ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ c ϕ h b ¤ ¤ . and negative if they form a left-handed triad.7 and a ∧ b. it represents the volume V of the parallelepiped with adjacent edges a. where A is the area of the base. then (a ∧ b) · c = |a ∧ b|c cos ϕ = Ah = V. b.Vectors 387 Thus. if ϕ is the angle between c a∧b ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ Fig.

More generally. r(t). b. (A. It is useful to note that in both of these formulae the term with the positive sign is the middle vector times the scalar product of the other two. is sometimes used. Similarly.8.13) (For this reason. and must therefore be a linear combination of these two vectors.16) (A. b. ˙ r= ∆r dr = lim .388 Classical Mechanics a.14) (A.17) . it must lie in the plane of a and b. c. Moreover. The vector distance travelled by the particle in a short time interval ∆t is ∆r = r(t + ∆t) − r(t). b. a ∧ (b ∧ c) = (a · c)b − (a · b)c.15) Note that these vectors are unequal. for example the position vector of a particle as a function of time. [a. so that we cannot omit the brackets in a vector triple product.4 Differentiation and Integration of Vectors We are often concerned with vectors which are functions of some scalar parameter. From three vectors we can also form the vector triple product (a ∧ b) ∧ c. is defined just as for scalars. but changes sign if any pair is interchanged: (a ∧ b) · c = (b ∧ c) · a = (c ∧ a) · b = −(b ∧ a) · c = −(c ∧ b) · a = −(a ∧ c) · b. or parallel. ∆t→0 ∆t dt (A. It is not hard to show by writing out the components.) Note that the scalar triple product vanishes if any two vectors are equal. it vanishes if a. a more symmetrical notation.) The velocity. we may interchange the dot and the cross: (a ∧ b) · c = a · (b ∧ c). or derivative of r with respect to t. that (a ∧ b) ∧ c = (a · c)b − (b · c)a. A. (See Fig. as the limit of a ratio. c are coplanar. Since this vector is perpendicular to a ∧ b. A. c]. (A.

dt dt dt though in this particular case one must be careful to preserve the order of the two factors. z). ˙ ˙ ˙ Derivatives of other vectors are defined similarly. In terms of co-ordinates. so that r = 0. because of the antisymmetry of the vector product. A. the direction of this vector is that of the tangent to the path of the particle. . For example. For example. we can ¨ differentiate again to form the acceleration vector r = d2 r/dt2 .18) d 2 d ˙ (r ) = (r 2 ) = 2r · r.Vectors 389 r(t+∆t) ∆r v r(t) Fig. In fact. ˙ r = (x. da db d (a ∧ b) = ∧b+a∧ . but clearly |r| is ˙ not zero. ˙ ˆ ˙ (A. |dr/dt|. dt dt Thus the rate of change of the distance r from the origin is equal to the radial component of the velocity vector. if the ˙ particle is moving in a circle. It is easy to show that all the usual rules for differentiating sums and products apply also to vectors. is not the same thing as the magnitude of the derivative. Note that the derivative of the magnitude of r. and its magnitude is the speed in the usual sense.8 In the limit. y. dr/dt. r is constant. In particular. applying the rule for differentiating a scalar product to r 2 . we obtain 2rr = ˙ which may also be written r = r · r.

for example. a vector field is a vector function A(x. To show that they really are the components of a vector. Now let us consider the three partial derivatives of a scalar field. or occasionally ‘nabla φ’). y. z). We note that if r and r + dr are two neighbouring points. ∂x ∂y ∂z (A. A. we have to show that it is defined in a manner which is independent of the choice of axes. (A. if the distance |dr| is fixed. or ∇φ (‘del φ’. gravitational potential. z) of position in space. and written grad φ.19) This is equivalent to three scalar equations for the components. r(t0 ). then the difference between the values of φ at these points is dφ = φ(r + dr) − φ(r) = ∂φ ∂φ ∂φ dx + dy + dz = dr · ∇φ. . ∂φ/∂x. ∂φ/∂z. then the position at any later time is given by the definite integral t1 r(t1 ) = r(t0 ) + t0 v(t) dt. We can also indicate the position in space by the position vector r and write φ(r) or A(r). Such quantities are known as fields.5 Gradient. then we also write r= v dt. ∂φ/∂y. that the integral in (A. known as the gradient of φ. then this scalar product takes on its maximum value when dr is in the direction of ∇φ. for example. and say that r is the integral of v. y. temperature. or electric field. If v = dr/dt. exactly as for scalars. If we are given v(t) as a function of time. A scalar field is a scalar function φ(x.20) Now. and the initial value of r. t1 x(t1 ) = x(t0 ) + t0 vx (t) dt.19) may be expressed as the limit of a sum. They form the components of a vector field. One can show. Hence we conclude that the direction of ∇φ is the direction in which φ increases most rapidly. Divergence and Curl There are many quantities in physics which are functions of position in space.390 Classical Mechanics We can also define the integral of a vector.

vx . (A. at its two ends are slightly different. ∂x ∂y ∂z We can also apply it to a vector field A. Let us consider a small volume of fluid. over a short time interval dt. given by ∇=i ∂ ∂ ∂ +j +k .22) and the curl of A to be the vector field i j k ∂ ∂ ∂ .Vectors 391 Moreover. and try to find its rate of change as it moves with the fluid.) Clearly. δV = δx δy δz.20) it follows that the rate of change of φ is dφ(r(t)) ˙ = r · ∇φ. which are independent of any choice of axes. it is helpful to think of the velocity field in a fluid: v(r) is the fluid velocity at the point r. ∂x ∂y ∂z (A.23) (Instead of curl A. We are often interested in the value of the scalar field φ evaluated at the position of a moving particle. φ(r(t)).21) The symbol ∇ may be regarded as a vector which is also a differential operator (like d/dx). curl A = ∇ ∧ A = ∂x ∂y ∂z Ax Ay Az This latter expression is an abbreviation for the expanded form ∇∧A=i ∂Az ∂Ay − ∂y ∂z +j ∂Az ∂Ax − ∂z ∂x +k ∂Ax ∂Ay − ∂x ∂y . (This is the reason for the name ‘gradient’. the velocity components in the y and z directions are irrelevant. the alternative notation rot A is sometimes used. dt (A. its magnitude is the rate of increase of φ with distance in this direction. Consider first the length δx. To a first approximation. by . From (A. therefore. particularly in non-English-speaking countries. the length δx changes because the x components of velocity. The divergence of A is defined to be the scalar field div A = ∇ · A = ∂Ay ∂Az ∂Ax + + .) To understand the physical significance of these operations. we could define ∇φ by these properties.

24) ∂vx ∂vy ∂vz + + ∂x ∂y ∂z δx δy δz. called the vorticity. represents the local angular velocity of rotation (times 2. whence ∂vx d δx = δx. This vector. In particular. Thus in a time dt. dt (A. ∇ ∧ (φA) = φ(∇ ∧ A) − A ∧ (∇φ). Thus ∇ · v represents the proportional rate of increase of volume: positive ∇ · v means expansion. But. we have to remember that the order of the factors as a product of vectors cannot be changed without affecting the signs. equivalently. then ∇ · v = 0. d δV = (∇ · v) δV. the change in δx is d δx = (∂vx /∂x) δx dt. ∇ · (A ∧ B) is a sum of two terms. negative ∇ · v compression. similarly. in one of which ∇ acts on A only and in the other on B only. and similarly ∇ · (φA) = A · ∇φ + φ∇ · A. see Problem 10). when vector products are involved. dt ∂x Taking account of similar changes in δy and δz.392 Classical Mechanics an amount (∂vx /∂x) δx. we have d (δx δy δz) = dt or. For example. if the fluid is incompressible. It is possible to show in a similar way that a non-zero ∇ ∧ v means that locally the fluid is rotating. The rule for differentiating products can also be applied to expressions involving ∇. . Thus we have ∇ · (A ∧ B) = B · (∇ ∧ A) − A · (∇ ∧ B). The gradient of a product of scalar fields can be written ∇(φψ) = ψ∇φ + φ∇ψ. and.

For example.27) An important identity. (A.26) Similarly. running from r 0 to r1 (see Fig. The divergence of the gradient of a scalar field φ is called the Laplacian of φ. A. (A. its z component is ∂ ∂x ∂φ ∂y − ∂ ∂y ∂φ ∂x = 0. dx First.6 Integral Theorems There are three important theorems for vectors which are generalizations of the fundamental theorem of the calculus. x1 x0 df dx = f (x1 ) − f (x0 ). where of course ∇2 A = ∂2A ∂2A ∂2A + + .28) It may easily be proved by inserting the expressions in terms of components. Just as a ∧ a = 0.16). the change in φ along this element of length is . we find that the curl of a gradient vanishes. gives the curl of a curl.25) Some operations always give zero.20). ∇2 φ = ∇ · ∇φ = ∂2φ ∂2φ ∂2φ + 2 + 2. then according to (A.9). ∂x2 ∂y 2 ∂z 2 (A. analogous to the expansion of the vector triple product (A. consider a curve C in space. one can show that the divergence of a curl vanishes: ∇ · (∇ ∧ A) = 0.Vectors 393 We may apply the vector differential operator ∇ twice. ∇ ∧ ∇φ = 0. ∂x2 ∂y ∂z (A. Let the directed element of length along C be dr. A. ∇ ∧ (∇ ∧ A) = ∇(∇ · A) − ∇2 A. If φ is a scalar field.

31) C for all closed loops C. Conversely. Physically. where V is chosen to vanish. this means that no work is done in taking a particle round a loop which returns to its starting point. it is often more convenient to place the differential symbol dr to the left of the integrand. A. and the force must be conservative. The integral round a closed loop is usually denoted by the symbol C . as here. If one side of S is chosen to be the ‘positive’ side. Consider a curved surface S. then the . Thus we require dr · F = 0. This condition may be simplified by using the second of the integral theorems — Stokes’ theorem.394 Classical Mechanics dr r r0 r + dr r1 Fig. then r V (r) = − r0 dr · F .29) The integral on the left is called the line integral of ∇φ along C. we can define V by (A. to r. (Note that.30). and not on the path C chosen between them. (A.) This theorem may be used to relate the potential energy function V (r) for a conservative force to the work done in going from some fixed point r 0 . integrating from r 0 to r 1 . bounded by the closed curve C. (A. we obtain the first of the integral theorems. (A. Thus. Thus.9 dφ = dr · ∇φ. if F = −∇V .30) should be equal whenever their end-points coincide may be restated by saying the the line integral round any closed path should vanish. this integral depends only on its end-points. The condition that two line integrals of the form (A. r1 r0 dr · ∇φ = φ(r 1 ) − φ(r 0 ).30) When F is conservative. if this condition is satisfied.

They therefore contribute Ax (y) dx − Ax (y + dy) dx = − ∂Ax dx dy.33) We shall not prove Stokes’ theorem.10). then dS · (∇ ∧ A) = dr · A. So the condition for a force to be conservative is ∇ ∧ F = 0. (A. But this is only possible if the integrand vanishes identically. then the surface integral must vanish for all surfaces S.32) S C The application of this theorem to (A. it is easy to verify for a small rectangular surface. Then the directed element of area is defined to be dS = n dS. If the line integral round C is required to vanish for all closed curves C. Stokes’ theorem states that if A is any vector field. of area dS. and let n dS S C ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥ Fig. A.34) The line integral consists of four terms.Vectors 395 positive direction round C may be defined by the right-hand-screw convention (see Fig. Then dS = k dx dy. of area dx dy.10 n be a unit vector normal to the element. ∂y . and directed towards its positive side. Take a small element of the surface. one from each edge. A. so the surface integral is k · (∇ ∧ A) dx dy = ∂Ax ∂Ay − ∂x ∂y dx dy. The two terms arising from the edges parallel to the x-axis involve the x component of A evaluated for different values of y. (The proof proceeds by splitting up the surface into small sub-regions. However.31) is immediate.) Suppose S is a rectangle in the xy-plane. (A. (A.

dV ∇ · B = dS · B. It is again easy to verify Gauss’ theorem for a small rectangular volume. (A. B = ∇ ∧ A. Consider the faces parallel to the xy-plane. . (S closed) S and then use the third of the integral theorems.396 Classical Mechanics Similarly. the other pair of edges yields the first term of (A. one for each face.37) The surface integral consists of six terms. ∂z Similarly. By (A. (A. One can also find a necessary and sufficient condition for a field B(r) to have the form of a curl. then for any vector field B. dV = dx dy dz. with directed surface elements k dx dy and −k dx dy. such a field must satisfy ∇ · B = 0.35) The proof that this is also a sufficient condition (which we shall not give in detail) follows much the same lines as before. and the positive side of S is taken to be the outside. (A.27). Their contributions involve k · B = Bz .36) V S where dV denotes the volume element dV = dx dy dz.34). evaluated for different values of z. Gauss’ theorem. One can show that it is sufficient that the surface integral of B over any closed surface should vanish: dS · B = 0.37) come from the other pairs of faces. The volume integral is ∂By ∂Bz ∂Bx + + ∂x ∂y ∂z dx dy dz. This states that if V is a volume in space bounded by the closed surface S. Thus they contribute Bz (z + dz) dx dy − Bz (z) dx dy = ∂Bz dx dy dz. the other terms of (A.

7 Electromagnetic Potentials An important application of these theorems is to the electromagnetic field. Maxwell’s equations separate into a pair of electrostatic equations.41) These potentials are not unique.38) and a second pair involving also the electric charge density ρ and current density j.35). ∂t ∇ · B = 0. There is one pair of homogeneous equations.43) In the static case. (A. ∂t 0∇ · E = ρ. This is called a gauge transformation. ∂t A = A − ∇Λ (A.40) Then. The basic equations of electromagnetic theory are Maxwell’s equations.38). we find that ∇ ∧ (E + ∂A/∂t) = 0.Vectors 397 A. (A. where all the fields are time-independent. The second equation in (A.38) is just the condition (A. and a magnetostatic pair. It follows that there must exist a scalar potential φ such that E = −∇φ − ∂A .39) in which µ0 and 0 are universal constants. then the potentials φ =φ+ ∂Λ . ∂t (A.42) define the same fields E and B as do φ and A. for example the radiation gauge (or Coulomb gauge) condition ∇ · A = 0. they may be expressed in terms of two fields. (A. (A. In the absence of dielectric or magnetic media. ∇∧E+ ∂B = 0. satisfying . It follows that there must exist a vector potential A such that B = ∇ ∧ A. µ−1 ∇ ∧ B − 0 0 ∂E = j. substituting in the first of the equations (A. If Λ is any scalar field. the electric field E and the magnetic field B. We may eliminate this arbitrariness by imposing an extra condition. Then φ becomes the ordinary electrostatic potential.

q3 ) and (q1 +dq1 .43). Then the difference between the values of ψ at these points is ∂ψ dq1 = dψ = dr · ∇ψ = h1 dq1 (∇ψ)1 .15). we may calculate the potentials φ and A. divergence and curl in terms of curvilinear co-ordinates. Consider a set of orthogonal curvilinear co-ordinates (see §3. q2 .48). For example. and hence the fields E and B. Using (A. hϕ = r sin θ. q2 . namely A(r) = µ0 4π j(r ) 3 d r. A. |r − r | (A. and imposing the radiation gauge condition (A.398 Classical Mechanics Poisson’s equation (6. The solution is of the same form as (6. in cylindrical polars hρ = 1. hθ = r.44) This is the analogue of Poisson’s equation.39) and (A.48) . hz = 1. (A. h2 dq2 . by (A. q2 .8 Curvilinear Co-ordinates Another use of the integral theorems is to provide expressions for the gradient. given any static distribution of charges and currents.40) satisfies ∇ ∧ (∇ ∧ A) = µ0 j. q3 ). (A. The vector potential. and two neighbouring points (q1 .47) hϕ = ρ. we find ∇2 A = −µ0 j. q3 . ∂q1 where (∇ψ)1 is the component of ∇ψ in the direction of increasing q1 .45) Thus.28). h1 ∂q1 (A. (A. h3 dq3 .5) q1 . Let us denote the elements of length along the three co-ordinate curves by h1 dq1 .46) Now consider a scalar field ψ. Hence we find (∇ψ)1 = 1 ∂ψ . while in spherical polars hr = 1.

Thus in cylindrical and spherical polars. bounded by curves of constant q1 and of q2 . The volume integral is (∇ · A) h1 dq1 h2 dq2 h3 dq3 . In the surface integral. ∂q3 Adding the terms from all three pairs of faces. Then the surface integral is (∇ ∧ A)3 h1 dq1 h2 dq2 . Let us consider a small element of a surface q3 = constant. . and comparing with the volume integral. we use Gauss’ theorem. (A.Vectors 399 with similar expressions for the other components. we have ∇ψ = and ∇ψ = 1 ∂ψ ∂ψ 1 ∂ψ . we use Stokes’ theorem in a similar way.52) To find the curl. we obtain ∇·A= 1 h1 h2 h3 ∂(h2 h3 A1 ) ∂(h3 h1 A2 ) ∂(h1 h2 A3 ) + + ∂q1 ∂q2 ∂q3 . ∇·A= and ∇·A= 1 ∂(sin θ Aθ ) 1 ∂Aϕ 1 ∂(r2 Ar ) + + . (A. r2 ∂r r sin θ ∂θ r sin θ ∂ϕ (A. (A.50) ∂ψ 1 ∂ψ ∂ψ . ∂r r ∂θ r sin θ ∂ϕ . ∂ρ ρ ∂ϕ ∂z .53) ∂Az 1 ∂(ρAρ ) 1 ∂Aϕ + + . the terms arising from the faces which are surfaces of constant q3 are of the form A3 h1 dq1 h2 dq2 . in cylindrical and spherical polars. . They therefore contribute ∂ (h1 h2 A3 ) dq1 dq2 dq3 . ρ ∂ρ ρ ∂ϕ ∂z (A. applied to a small volume bounded by the co-ordinate surfaces.49) To find an expression for the divergence. evaluated for two different values of q3 .51) In particular. .

ρ2 ∂ϕ2 ∂z 2 (A.56) . Thus. (A. (A. In cylindrical polars.400 Classical Mechanics In the line integral around the boundary. r sin θ ∂θ ∂ϕ 1 ∂(rAϕ ) 1 ∂(rAθ ) ∂Ar 1 ∂Ar − . and so contribute − ∂ (h1 A1 ) dq1 dq2 . Finally. − ρ ∂ϕ ∂z ∂z ∂ρ ρ ∂ρ ∂ϕ .55) (A.54) with similar expressions for the other components. we obtain (∇ ∧ A)3 = 1 h1 h2 ∂(h2 A2 ) ∂(h1 A1 ) − ∂q1 ∂q2 .57) . in spherical polars. ∂q2 Hence. adding the contribution from the other pair of edges. we can find the Laplacian of a scalar field. It is ∇2 ψ = ∂ 1 h1 h2 h3 ∂q1 h2 h3 ∂ψ h1 ∂q1 + ∂ ∂q2 h3 h1 ∂ψ h2 ∂q2 ∂ h1 h2 ∂ψ + ∂q3 h3 ∂q3 (A. combining the expressions for the divergence and gradient. − . ∇2 ψ = 1 ∂ r2 ∂r r2 ∂ψ ∂r + ∂ 1 r2 sin θ ∂θ sin θ ∂ψ ∂θ + ∂2ψ 1 . the two edges of constant q2 involve A1 h1 dq1 evaluated for different values of q2 . (A.58) .59) r2 sin2 θ ∂ϕ2 1 ∂ ρ ∂ρ ρ ∂ψ ∂ρ + ∂2ψ 1 ∂2ψ + . in particular. − r sin θ ∂ϕ r ∂r r ∂r ∂θ 1 ∂Az ∂Aϕ ∂Aρ ∂Az 1 ∂(ρAϕ ) ∂Aρ − . in cylindrical and spherical polars ∇∧A= and ∇∧A= 1 ∂(sin θ Aϕ ) ∂Aθ − . ∇2 ψ = and.

where I is the inertia tensor. 3. Note that in general this is not the same as a · T · c. but there is then a possibility of confusion with a different usage of the same word in matrix theory. . obtaining a scalar.Vectors 401 A.9 Tensors Scalars and vectors are the first two members of a family of objects known collectively as tensors. respectively. Tensors occur most frequently when one vector b is given as a linear function of another vector a.e. (A. We shall use the word ‘tensor’ in this restricted sense. c. we shall be concerned with the next member of the family.) In this section. components. (A.60) are the components of a tensor. 9. It is a linear relation and so may be . By an obvious extension of the dot product notation for the scalar product of two vectors. and described by 1. We can go on to form the scalar product of (A. j. The nine elements of the 3 × 3 matrix in (A. or Tji = −Tij for all i. ˜ The tensor T is called symmetric if T = T.g. if Tji = Tij for all i. . Txy = Tyx .17) may be written J = I · ω.. ˜ It is antisymmetric if T = −T.60) bz Tzx Tzy Tzz az An example is the relation (9. (Sometimes the word rank is used instead of ‘valence’. e. we may write (A.60) as b = T · a. the tensors of valence 2. j. ˜ a · T · c = c · T · a.62) ˜ where T is the transposed tensor of T. (A. c · T · a.17) between the angular momentum J and angular velocity ω of a rigid body. An interesting example of an antisymmetric tensor is provided by the relation (5.61) with another vector. which we shall denote by the sans-serif capital T. (9. often called dyadics. to mean a tensor of valence 2.61) For example. 27. In fact..2) giving the velocity v as a function of position r in a body rotating with angular velocity ω. i. obtained by reflecting in the leading ˜ diagonal. Scalars and vectors are called tensors of valence 0 and valence 1. . according to the matrix equation ⎤⎡ ⎤ ⎡ ⎤ ⎡ Txx Txy Txz ax bx ⎣by ⎦ = ⎣Tyx Tyy Tyz ⎦ ⎣ay ⎦ .

For example.63) as may easily be verified by writing out the components. where the inertia tensor I is given explicitly by . vz −ωy ωx 0 z There is an important special tensor. Tij = ai bj . I= m(r2 1 − rr). written T = ab. we may write the relation (9.402 Classical Mechanics written in the form (A. for any vector a. with no dot or cross. If we symbolize (A. We can deduce the correct transformation law of a tensor under a rotation of axes: its components transform just like the products of components of two vectors.60). whence ii + jj + kk = 1. (This denotes a product of three 3 × 3 matrices.e.) The use of the tensor product allows us to write some old results in a new way. Similarly. 1 · a = a = i(i · a) + j(j · a) + k(k · a) = (ii + jj + kk) · a.16) between angular momentum and angular velocity in the form J= m(r2 ω − rr · ω) = I · ω. while the scalar product (or inner product ) a · b is the row a times the column b.. Note that T·c = (ab)·c = a(b ·c). In matrix notation. so the brackets are in fact unnecessary. specifically as ⎤⎡ ⎤ ⎡ ⎤ ⎡ 0 −ωz ωy x vx ⎣vy ⎦ = ⎣ ωz 0 −ωx ⎦ ⎣y ⎦ .2) formally as a = R·a. (A. ab is the product of the column vector a and the row vector b. i. ⎡ ⎤ 1 0 0 1 = ⎣0 1 0⎦. 0 0 1 called the unit tensor or identity tensor. From any two vectors a and b. then the correct ˜ transformation law of a tensor is T = R · T · R. we can form a tensor T by multiplying their elements together (without adding). This is the tensor product (or dyadic product or outer product ) of a and b. with the property that 1 · a = a for all vectors a.

(Compare (11. where λ∗ denotes the complex conjugate of λ. To see this. Hence the right-hand sides must be equal too. a∗ . Thus we have shown that there are three real eigenvalues. a∗ ). λ must be real. However. a3 . whose components may also be complex. we discuss a theorem that has very wide applicability. A. then T = ba. a1 . equivalently (T − λ1) · a = 0. Multiplying x y z these two equations by a∗ and a respectively. (We consider the case where two eigenvalues are equal below. Diagonalization of a Symmetric Tensor In this section. which is also an eigenvalue equation.. taking the complex conjugate of T · a = λa. by (A. A vector a is called an eigenvector of T. Since a∗ · a = |ax |2 + |ay |2 + |az |2 = a · a∗ . suppose that λ is a complex eigenvalue. .) Next. we obtain a∗ · T · a = λa∗ · a. For.62).15). λ2 . and let a be the corresponding eigenvector. this means that λ∗ = λ. ˜ Note that if T = ab. det(T − λ1) = Txz Txx − λ Txy = 0. Its three roots are either all real. whence in particular the inertia tensor I is symmetric. if T · a = λa. we obtain T · a∗ = λ∗ a∗ . and a∗ = (a∗ . if T · a1 = λ1 a1 . (A. a2 . the left-hand sides of these equations are equal. with eigenvalue λ. Let T be a symmetric tensor. T · a2 = λ2 a2 . for a symmetric tensor T with real elements the latter possibility can be ruled out. It is easy to check that the nine components of this equation reproduce the relations (9. i. and three corresponding real eigenvectors. we show that the eigenvectors are orthogonal. But since T is symmetric. or else one real and one complex conjugate pair.10 Eigenvalues. and a · T · a∗ = λ∗ a · a∗ .e. λ3 .) The condition for the existence of a non-trivial solution is that the determinant of the coefficients vanishes. say λ1 .17).Vectors 403 Note the difference between the unit tensor 1 and the inertia tensor I. Tyx Tyy − λ Tyz Tzx Tzy Tzz − λ This is a cubic equation for λ.64) or. Now.

and this must be λ1 e1 = (λ1 . This was the result we used for the inertia tensor in Chapter 9. 0 0 λ3 For. e2 . Then the three normalized eigenvectors form an orthonormal triad. this does happen for non-symmetric tensors. 0. is essentially the same. because without the consequent orthogonality of eigenvectors we could not exclude the possibility that two eigenvectors that are distinct for = 0 have the same limit as → 0. multiplying the first equation by a2 and the second by a1 .65) T = ⎣ 0 λ2 0 ⎦ . therefore. it is the potential energy function that is brought to ‘diagonal’ form. So long as = 0. If we choose these as axes. the tensor must have three orthonormal eigenvectors. then so is any multiple of a. discussed in §11. 0. that any symmetric tensor may be diagonalized by a suitable choice of axes. since e1 = (1. to make the eigenvalues slightly different. and again using the symmetry of T. defining e1 = a1 /a1 . In that case. using the tensor-product notation. and the eigenvalues the principal moments of inertia. (The symmetry of T is important here. 0).) We have shown. as will be seen in a different context in Appendix C. in a co-ordinate-independent form. If all three eigenvalues are distinct.2. Similarly for the other columns. Eigenvalue equations also appear in the . The procedure for finding normal co-ordinates for an oscillating system. so that we may choose to normalize it. namely T = λ1 e1 e1 + λ2 e2 e2 + λ3 e3 e3 . then T must take the diagonal form ⎡ ⎤ λ1 0 0 (A. By continuity. This relationship between T and the eigenvectors may also be expressed. we have to show that these results still hold if two or three eigenvalues coincide. The simplest way to do this is to add a small quantity to one of the diagonal components of T. 0). we obtain λ1 a2 · a1 = λ2 a1 · a2 . e3 . Thus if λ1 = λ2 . then a1 · a2 = 0. Moreover. e1 . the eigenvectors are the principal axes. then the three eigenvectors are orthogonal. this must still be true in the limit → 0. (A. In that case.404 Classical Mechanics then. it is clear that if a is an eigenvector.66) Finally. T · e1 is simply the first column of T. Indeed.

(a ∧ b) · c and (a ∧ c) · b. find: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) a · b. Show that c = (ab + ba)/(a + b) bisects the angle between a and b. and between a ∧ c and b. a · (b + c) = a · b + a · c. (a · c)b − (b · c)a and (a · b)c − (b · c)a. 1. Show that (a ∧ b) · (c ∧ d) = a · c b · d − a · d b · c. Hence show that (a ∧ b)2 = a2 b2 − (a · b)2 .Vectors 405 analysis of dynamical systems in Chapter 13 and in many other branches of physics. where a and b are any two vectors. 1) and c = (2. c are as in Problem 1. (Hint : On v = 0 only two coordinates can vary independently. and show that they are always orthogonal. a ∧ c and a ∧ (b + c). and evaluate ∇2 φ. (b) Describe the contour curves of u and v in the xy-plane. b = (0. −1). a · c and a · (b + c). 10. 4. If the vector field v(r) is defined by v = ωk ∧ r. (a) Find the gradients of u = x + y 2 /x and v = y + x2 /y. 9. Draw appropriate figures to give geometric proofs for the following laws of vector algebra: (a + b) + c = a + (b + c). Interpret this equation geometrically. λ(a + b) = λa + λb. What does (a) tell you about these curves? 6. where a. We require that δu should vanish for . and evaluate the vorticity ∇ ∧ v. b. Given a = (3. the maxima and minima of u on the surface v = 0 are points where ∇u = λ∇v for some value of λ. verify that ∇ · v = 0. Verify that ∇ ∧ ∇φ = 0. c need not be coplanar. −1. Problems 1. 2). 3. 5. 2. Find the angles between the vectors a ∧ b and c. (a ∧ b) ∧ c and (a ∧ c) ∧ b. (Note that a. *Show that. Find ∇φ if φ = x3 − xyz. in particular playing a big role in quantum mechanics.) 7. Thus δz for example can usually be expressed in terms of δx and δy. a ∧ b. 8. Express ∇ ∧ (a ∧ b) in terms of scalar products. 2. b. if u and v are scalar fields.

0.28). What is the role of the equation ∂w/∂λ = 0? *Evaluate the components of ∇2 A in cylindrical polar co-ordinates by using the identity (A. k? Show that R · R = 1.406 Classical Mechanics 11. 15. 17. y. *Calculate the vector potential due to a short segment of wire of directed length ds.) *Given u = cos θ and v = ln r. where the tensor R is R = i i+ j j + k k. What is the tensor corresponding to the ˜ rotation which takes i .) *The trace of a tensor T is the sum of its diagonal elements. carrying current I . Express the results in terms of the magnetic moment µ. *The double dot product of two tensors is defined as S:T = tr(S · T) = i j Sij Tji .) Show that this problem is equivalent to finding the unrestricted maxima and minima of the function w(r. (To preserve the law of conservation of momentum. 12. Find the force on another segment. a vector normal to the loop. j. *Find the radiation-gauge vector potential at large distances from a circular loop of radius a carrying an electric current I. all infinitesimal variations satisfying this constraint. one must assume that. (To compute the force. Show that they are not the same as the scalar Laplacians of the components of A. of length ds . j . Then express your answer in spherical polars. of magnitude µ = πa2 I. 14. carrying a current I. and expand the integrand in powers of a/r. (Such tensors are said to be orthogonal. j . z). Show that 1 (3r r − r 2 1) : (rr − 3 r2 1) = 3(r · r)2 − r 2 r2 . λ) = u − λv as a function of the four independent variables x. at r. placed at the origin. some momentum is transferred to the electromagnetic field. keeping only the linear term. and that the determinant det(T) is equal to the product of the eigenvalues. k may be specified by r → r = R ·r. k into i .] Hence find the magnetic field — the field of a magnetic dipole. . tr(T) = i Tii . Write down the matrix of components of R if the rotation is through an angle θ about the y-axis. Evaluate the corresponding magnetic field. 13. 16. *Show that the rotation which takes the axes i. j. k back into i. Evaluate 1 : 1 and 1 : rr. [Hint : Consider first a point (x. Show that the trace is equal to the sum of the eigenvalues. Here λ is called a Lagrange multiplier.) Show that this force does not satisfy Newton’s third law. z and λ. Find the divergence and curl of A. and verify that ∇ · A = u∇2 v − v∇2 u and that ∇ ∧ A = 2∇u ∧ ∇v. while this force is acting. treat the current element as a collection of moving charges. evaluate A = u∇v − v∇u.

where Q is the quadrupole moment defined in Chapter 6. the force across a small area may have both a normal component (of compression or tension) and transverse components (shearing stress). What physical significance attaches to its eigenvectors? . − 2 Q. These are the components of the stress tensor T. Q. Show that tr(Q) = 0. show that the force across area A with normal in the direction of the unit vector n is F = T · nA. Show also by considering the equilibrium of a small rectangular volume that T is symmetric.3I.19) of the potential may be written φ(r) = 1 4π 0 rr − 1 r2 1 r 1 3 + ··· q + d · 3 + 1Q : 2 r r r5 . *In an elastic solid in equilibrium. Denote the ith component of force per unit area across an area with normal in the jth direction by Tij . Show also that the gravitational quadrupole tensor is related to the inertia tensor I by Q = tr(I)1 . By considering the equilibrium of a small volume. and that in the axially symmetric case it has diagonal el1 1 ements − 2 Q. 18.Vectors 407 Hence show that the expansion (6. and write down an expression for the quadrupole tensor Q.

408 Classical Mechanics .

10.3 and §A.. where A. . The quadratic part of the equation is then reduced to a sum of squares. We then forget about the original co-ordinates.g. A x 2 + C y 2 .1 Cartesian Form The most general conic would have an equation of the form Ax2 + 2Bxy + Cy 2 + 2Dx + 2Ey + F = 0. but by choosing the axes appropriately we can reduce this to a simpler form. B. First. B. Let us assume for the moment that A and C are both non-zero (we will come back later to the special case where that isn’t true). are most simply defined as curves in a plane whose equation in Cartesian co-ordinates is quadratic in x and y.Appendix B Conics Conic sections. It is always possible by rotating the axes to eliminate the constant B. . e. It may be useful to gather together the relevant mathematical information. The name derives from the fact that they can be obtained by making a plane section through a circular cone. . we can move it to the other side of the equation. particularly in the theory of orbits under an inverse square law force. Then we can choose to shift the origin (adding constants to x and y. x = x + D/A) so as to remove D and E. Ax2 + 2Bxy + Cy 2 . F are real constants. to get the standard form of the 409 . . If F is also non-zero. The nature of the curve is largely determined by the ratio A/C of the new constants. This is another example of the diagonalization process described in §11. They turn up in several physical applications. and divide by −F . or conics for short. we look at the quadratic part. and drop the primes.

defining A = 1/a2 and C = −1/b2 . we have a circle of radius a. Both A and C are positive. (In the special case y b a x Fig. B. Here a ≥ b.1 a = b. y = ± −A/C x.1) to be negative. 2 a b (B. B. x2 y2 + 2 = 1.2). and so represents a pair of straight lines. So.) Defining new positive constants a and b by A = 1/a2 and C = 1/b2 .) 2. We cannot allow both A and C in (B. the only solution is x = y = 0.3) the equation of a hyperbola (see Fig. we finally arrive at the canonical form of the equation. if they are of opposite sign. (B. we get y2 x2 − 2 = 1. Again.1). we can assume that A > 0 and C < 0. B. So we can distinguish two cases: 1. A and C have opposite signs. a and b are still called the semi-major axis and the semi-minor axis respectively. Note that this curve has two . (If A > C.410 Classical Mechanics equation.1) F = 0 is a degenerate case: if A and C have the same sign. we simply interchange the x and y axes. the equation factorizes.2) This is the equation of an ellipse (see Fig. although it is no longer necessarily true that a is the larger. the equation would then have no solutions at all. Ax2 + Cy 2 = 1. without loss of generality. a2 b (B. Without loss of generality we can assume that A ≤ C. a is the semi-major axis and b is the semi-minor axis.

(They cannot both vanish.Conics 411 y b a x Fig. defining l = −D/C.) Without loss of generality. it asymptotically approaches the two straight lines y = ±(b/a)x shown on the figure. As before. This time. we can shift the origin in the y direction to eliminate E. we arrive at the canonical form y 2 = 2lx.2 separate branches on opposite sides of the origin. On the other hand. we can choose the origin y l l/2 x Fig. Finally. representing a straight line. which is the equation of a parabola (see Fig. D cannot be zero (otherwise x doesn’t appear at all in the equation). (B.4) . We still have to consider the special case where one of the constants A and C vanishes. B.3 in the x direction to make F = 0 (by setting x = x + F/2D). B. we may assume that A = 0 and C = 0.3). otherwise we have simply a linear equation. At large distances. B.

2 1−e 1 − e2 (B.412 Classical Mechanics Areas are easy to compute using the Cartesian form of the equation.9) . it is usually convenient to use polar co-ordinates. 2 a b an ellipse with centre at (−ae.4 was r(e cos θ ± 1) = l.7) is equivalent to y2 (x + ae)2 + 2 = 1. 1 − e2 (B.5) and square it.8) The only difference is that the origin is not at the centre of the ellipse: (B. respectively). 0). we can ‘complete the square’ in (B. which one depends on the value of e. If e < 1. this reduces almost to the form (B. For example. It is interesting to see how this form is related to the Cartesian form above.2 Polar Form When we are looking for orbits under the action of a central force.) B. we can solve (B. I. we obtain for both signs the equation x2 + y 2 = (l − ex)2 . where a= l . (B. the result. (In fact. which generalizes the familiar πr 2 for a circle.2) for y and integrate to find the area of the ellipse.7) Dividing by l 2 /(1 − e2 ). is πab. The form of the equation that emerged from the discussion in §4.5) where e and l are constants satisfying e ≥ 0. l > 0 (the upper and lower signs refer to the attractive and repulsive cases. 1 − e2 l b= √ .6) This can easily be put into one of the canonical forms above. (B. the ellipse may be thought of as a circle of radius a which has been squashed uniformly in the y direction in the ratio b/a.2). If we rearrange (B.6) and write it as (1 − e2 )x2 + 2elx + l2 e2 l 2 + y2 = . (B.

Similarly. 0). intersecting the x-axis at (ae − a. a source at the focus of a parabolic mirror generates a parallel beam. The left-hand branch. for the parabola. and hence that the sum of the two distances is a constant. the position of the origin is one focus of the conic. In cases I and II there is a second focus symmetrically placed on the other side of the centre. a2 b where now a= e2 l . corresponds to an orbit under an attractive inverse square law force.12) which is a parabola with its apex at (l/2. −1 l . In all these cases. (B. (The plural of focus is foci. corresponds to the repulsive case. The equation (B. If e > 1. meeting it at (ae + a. 0). (This result provides a commonly used method of drawing an ellipse. 0). y = b sin ψ. if e = 1. III.) . Problems 1.4). 0). by tying a string between two pegs at the foci.) The reason for the name is an intriguing geometric property (see Problem 2): if we have a perfect mirror in the shape of an ellipse light from a source at one focus will converge to the second focus.11) (B. Show [using the identity b2 = (1 − e2 )a2 )] that the distances between the point labelled ψ and the two foci. b= √ 2−1 e (B. Finally. while the right-hand one. the reflected light will appear to come from a virtual image at the second focus.Conics 413 II. the equation can be written y 2 = l2 − 2lx. For a hyperbolic mirror with a source at one focus. 0). and drawing a curve while keeping the string taut. obtaining y2 (x − ae)2 − 2 = 1. we complete the square in the same way and divide by l2 /(e2 − 1).2) of an ellipse can be written in parametric form as x = a cos ψ. the second focus is at infinity. are a(1 ∓ e cos ψ). which makes parabolic mirrors ideal for certain applications.10) This is a hyperbola with centre at (ae. (±ae. stretching it round a pencil. and oriented in the opposite direction to (B.

414 Classical Mechanics 2. 2 imply that all radiation originating at one focus of an ellipse at a particular time is then reflected to the other focus with the same time of arrival — a consequence with many applications.) [The results stated in Problems 1. This result provides a proof of the focussing property: light from one focus converges to the other. both peaceful and otherwise. (One way is to find the scalar products between the unit vector tangent to the curve and the unit vectors from the two foci. show that the slope of the curve is given by dy/dx = −(b/a) cot ψ. Hence show that the angles between the curve and the two lines joining it to the foci are equal.] . *Using the parametrization of the previous question.

1 Linear Systems and their Classification We saw in §13. the key to the local behaviour and to the stability of the equilibrium at the critical point is. in the local expansion near a critical point (x0 . η = 0.3 that. For the critical point itself. G(x. If this condition is not satisfied. y). the behaviour of the linear system ˙ d ξ ξ ξ ≡ =M . we do not consider this case further here. y) evaluated at the critical points (x0 .3. 415 .10)] has constant entries. Consider M= a b . which are found as derivatives of the functions F (x. then there is at least a critical line through ξ = 0. d are real constants. rather than just the single point. y0 ). normally. to be an isolated critical point it is necessary that the determinant of M is non-zero. C. That is to say ad − bc = 0 and M then has an inverse. η η η ˙ dt (C. as in (13. as indicated in §13. at which ξ = 0. so that M is singular. η = 0.14) by neglecting higher-order terms in the expansion.1) which is obtained from (13. (13. c d where a. c.Appendix C Phase Plane Analysis near Critical Points In this appendix we give a summary of the types of behaviour exhibited by a general autonomous dynamical system near critical points in the phase plane (n = 2). b. y0 ).11).13). The 2 × 2 Jacobian matrix M [a tensor of valence 2 (§A.

In this situation we can carry out a linear change of variables ¯ ξ ξ =S . we can write ξ(t) = c1 ξ 01 eλ1 t + c2 ξ 02 eλ2 t . η η ¯ .5) with c1 . because of the linearity of the system. (See §A. The eigenvalues λ1 . λ2 satisfy the quadratic equation λ2 − (a + d)λ + (ad − bc) = 0. In particular ξ 0 ≡ ξ(0) leads to the unique values of c1 .4) so that λ1 + λ2 = trM . c2 constants. although M may not now be symmetric. (C. There are various cases depending on the nature of the eigenvalues and we can consider separately the cases λ1 = λ2 and λ1 = λ2 . the determinant of M (see Appendix A.10.416 Classical Mechanics If we seek a solution to (C. since the matrix M is not necessarily symmetric we have eigenvalues which may not be real and a set of eigenvectors which may not be orthogonal or even complete. Problem 16). λ2 lead to corresponding eigenvectors ξ 01 .) Here the eigenvalues λ1 .1) in the form ξ(t) ≡ then we require M ξ0 = λξ 0 (C. that is λ2 − (trM )λ + (det M ) ≡ (λ − λ1 )(λ − λ2 ) = 0. 1. In this case. ξ02 respectively. c2 corresponding to given initial conditions. the trace of M and λ1 λ2 = det M . but. λ1 = λ2 . The vectors ξ 01 .2) and this is an eigenvalue/eigenvector problem.3) ξ ξ = 0 eλt ≡ ξ 0 eλt . η0 η (C. ξ02 are independent in this case and any vector can be expressed as a linear combination of them. (C. in principle.

in such a way that ¯ d ξ λ 0 = 1 0 λ2 ¯ dt η ¯ ξ .7) has the solution ¯ 1 λt 0 λt ξ e . The system (C. In this similarity transformation the 2 × 2 matrix S = [ξ 01 . It should be noted here that λi . 2) could be complex. where I is the unit matrix. S is a rotation matrix . in each case the directions of the arrows indicate evolution with time t along the trajectories. If the eigenvectors are normalized to have unit ˜ length then S −1 ≡ S.4.6) above then takes the form S −1 M S. c2 constants.Phase Plane Analysis near Critical Points 417 similar to the change to normal co-ordinates in §11. ξ 02 are orthogonal. η ¯ (C. λ2 there are then various possible cases to consider. In this case. The orientation and sense of rotation in these patterns depends on the system concerned. In the case when M is symmetric then the eigenvalues λ1 . λ1 = λ2 (≡ λ).6) . i. be possible: (a) If we can find two distinct eigenvectors corresponding to λ then the above machinery will go through trivially. ci (i = 1. λ2 are real and the eigenvectors ξ 01 .7) since the diagonal form is not now achievable. (C.e. λ is necessarily real and we may find that the matrix reduction to diagonal form indicated above may. or may not. ξ0i . . 2.8) . η ¯ (C. These are listed below together with sketches of typical patterns of local trajectories. ξ02 ] and the diagonal matrix in (C. and all non-zero vectors are eigenvectors! (b) If there are not two distinct eigenvectors corresponding to λ then the best that can be done by a linear transformation is to reduce the system to ¯ d ξ λ 0 = ¯ 1 λ dt η ¯ ξ . Depending on the eigenvalues λ1 . since the matrix M = λI in this case.5) is the formal expression of the solution for ξ. e + c2 = c1 t 1 η ¯ with c1 . However. but even then (C.

but with the sense of the arrows reversed. negative sign (Fig. λ2 is positive then the local structure is similar to that above.2 . equal or unequal magnitude. C. The critical point is then unstable. C. λ2 real.2). This type of critical point is always unstable. C.1). e.g. opposite sign =⇒ saddle (or hyperbolic point ) (Fig. Fig. same sign =⇒ (improper ) node.1 All trajectories except for one pair approach the critical point tangent to the same line. Fig. If the sign of λ1 . Case 2 λ1 . C.418 Classical Mechanics Case 1 λ1 . λ2 real. unequal. The critical point is asymptotically stable.

This critical point is asymptotically stable. C. we have an improper (or inflected ) node.3 If λ is positive then the local structure is similar to that above. source or sink as appropriate. 1. C. When M = λI we have a (proper ) node. e. When M may not be diagonalized. This critical point is asymptotically stable.g. Fig. C.3). λ negative (Fig. The critical point is then unstable.4 .Phase Plane Analysis near Critical Points 419 Case 3 λ1 = λ2 = λ (necessarily real). so that there is only a single eigenvector corresponding to λ. λ negative (Fig. (A proper node is sometimes called a star.4).g.) 2. C. focus. Fig. but with the sense of the arrows reversed. e.

5).4) for the eigenvalues λ1 . We may then represent the types of behaviour in the phase plane near a critical point schematically. C.2 = 2 (trM ± √ ∆). C. Case 4 λ1. but this type of critical point is always stable. We can solve equation (C. with µ = 0 =⇒ spiral (point ). The critical point is then unstable.420 Classical Mechanics If λ is positive then the local structure is similar to that above. but with the sense of the arrows reversed.9) where the discriminant ∆ = (trM )2 −4(det M ). Fig. The critical point is then unstable.2 a pure imaginary conjugate pair ±iν =⇒ centre (or elliptic point) (Fig. e. . µ negative (Fig.2 a complex conjugate pair µ ± iν. (A spiral is sometimes called a spiral source or spiral sink as appropriate. but with the sense of the arrows reversed.5 This critical point is asymptotically stable. (C.6). The sense of the arrows may be different. λ2 in terms of trM and det M obtaining 1 λ1. C.g. If µ is positive then the local structure is similar to that above.) Case 5 λ1.

1) in that it includes some higher-order terms.14) the classification of the corresponding linear system (C.1) .2 Almost Linear Systems We have seen that the local analysis near a typical critical point in the phase plane leads to (13.) Note that along the line det M = 0 the critical point is not isolated. Fig. C.Phase Plane Analysis near Critical Points 421 Fig. C.7.7 C. C.14) and this equation differs from the linear system (C. For the almost linear system (13.6 (See Fig.

So. where is small. the critical point is not isolated) or when the eigenvalues are pure imaginary (i. It is the case. For the linear system.e. for the systems we are considering. dt dy = −y + x2 . y = 0). only in the particular cases: Case 3 The equal real eigenvalues λ. λ (node) could split to give λ ± (node) or λ ± i (spiral ). the stability of the critical point would still be just that predicted by the linear system analysis.10) which has only one critical point (at the origin x = 0.1 predicts that a critical point is a centre that we need to be suspicious of the predictions of the exactly linear analysis. a centre) — this is guaranteed by a theorem due to Hartman and Grobman. Whether (13. we can examine the system dx = x. Naturally a centre would still indicate that the critical point is stable. in the expansion about the origin we have M= 1 0 . Case 5 The pure imaginary conjugate pair of eigenvalues ±iν (centre) could become ±i(ν + ) (centre) or ± iν (spiral ). If > 0 then the critical point is unstable. if at all. dt (C. the spiral would be crucially dependent for its stability on the sign of the new real part of the eigenvalue pair. For example. where is small. that the trajectories near a critical point in the phase plane have a topological equivalence in the linear and almost linear systems except when there is a zero eigenvalue (i.422 Classical Mechanics determines the local phase portrait and the type of stability in almost every case. Small changes produced by the higher-order terms are evidently going to be crucial. However. in fact. whereas if < 0 then the critical point is asymptotically stable. it is only when the exactly linear analysis of §C. 0 −1 .14) has a true centre or an unstable or asymptotically stable spiral has to be resolved by a closer scrutiny of the particular system in hand.e. However.

3 Systems of Third (and Higher) Order As we indicated in §13.8(b). Fig. (C.8 C.11) together with a second solution x = 0 (for all y). higher-order systems can be analyzed in a similar fashion to that carried out in §13. That is to say the critical points are found and local analysis effected about each of . For the exact nonlinear system (C. C. The trajectories near the origin. λ2 = −1 with eigenvectors 1 . 0 0 1 respectively.3 and earlier in this appendix. dx x so that y= x2 c + . C.Phase Plane Analysis near Critical Points 423 so that the eigenvalues are λ1 = 1. C. The exact family of trajectories near the origin is indicated in Fig.8(a). It should be noted that the trajectories which go directly into and directly out of the critical point O (respectively the stable and unstable manifolds) correspond directly at and near O for the exactly linear and almost linear systems — a general result usually known as the stable manifold theorem.6.10) we can write y dy = − + x. 3 x with c constant. which is a saddle. are indicated in Fig.

with the others either both real or a complex conjugate pair. We only note here that. Even if only one of the eigenvalues is positive or if the complex conjugate pair has positive real part.g. ˙ ˙ ω 2 −α−y 2 1+x2 (g) x = y. y) phase plane. The resulting eigenvalue/eigenvector problems determine the local stability of the critical points and the local phase portrait structures normally determine the global phase portrait for the complete system. then the critical point is unstable. y = ˙ ˙ x in the cases ω 2 < α and ω 2 > α. y = 4x − 2y. the matrix M for a particular critical point is 3 × 3 [again a tensor of valence 2 (§A. the Lorenz system of §13. ˙ ˙ ˙ x = 4 − 4x2 − y 2 . For the nonlinear oscillator equation x + x = x3 . Integrate the equations of the system to obtain an ‘energy’ equation and use this to show that (a) the centre is a true centre for the full system. so that the three eigenvalues satisfy a cubic equation. . y = 2x + 2y. For a third-order system. then the critical point is asymptotically stable. ˙ 2. y = y 2 − x2 . if all the eigenvalues are negative real or have negative real part. Find the critical points of the following systems and classify them according to their local linear approximations: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) x = −3x + y. y = 3xy. This implies that at least one of the eigenvalues must be real. e. ˙ ˙ x = 3x + y. ˙ x = sin y. ˙ ˙ x = −6x + 2xy − 8. write x = y and show ¨ that there are two saddle points and one centre in the linear approximation about the critical points in the (x.424 Classical Mechanics them by linearization. ˙ ˙ x = −2x − y + 2. (b) the equation of the separatrices through the saddles is 2y 2 = x2 (x2 − 2) + 1.10)]. y = x + x3 .9. y = xy.6. Problems 1.

in their own right. for each n.2 the concept of a Poincar´ return map. will give insight into mechanisms of chaotic breakdown in continuous systems as well. . and consider possible behaviours of xn for suitable initial values x0 . (D. We can expect to find any fixed points X as solutions of X = F (X).1 One-dimensional Maps We consider a map given by xn+1 = F (xn ). etc.2) To examine the stability of the fixed point X. we can expand F (xn ) in (D. (D. where the e evolution of a system through its dynamics induces a map of a Poincar´ e section onto itself. for example. D. Also we saw in §14. which are not necessarily equal — this is. . 1. and. when n is small. Examining properties of maps. and with F a known function.Appendix D Discrete Dynamical Systems — Maps In this appendix we consider discrete dynamical systems in which a space is effectively mapped onto itself repeatedly. . often the case for biological systems. . we may write xn + n = X.3) 425 . . (D. as we iterate to find successively x1 = F (x0 ). 2. x2 = F (x1 ) ≡ F F (x0 ) ≡ F (2) (x0 ). .1) in the form F (xn ) = F (X − n) = F (X) − nF (X) + 1 2 2 nF (X) + .1) for n = 0. We recognized in Chapter 13 that for some systems it is appropriate and useful to observe at discrete time intervals.

etc. The logistic map A simple nonlinear map. (D. If this were a biological model. n (D. In a biological context the rate constant r. then the rate constant r is crucial in determining the fate of any initial population x0 . We note that the case |F (X)| > 1 leads to instability of X. Here there are various behaviours depending on r: • 0 ≤ r < 1: xn → 0 for all x0 [asymptotic stability of X = 0]. • F (X) = 0. which quantifies the effect of overcrowding. derived from (D. non-negative). the key criterion is that stated above for |F (X)|. A familiar example of what is normally second-order convergence is the Newton–Raphson iteration process to find roots of a single equation f (x) = 0. of e. A fixed point X is asymptotically stable (and therefore an attractor) if |F (X)| < 1.g. and that the case |F (X)| = 1 depends more specifically on the function F (X). We may consider different cases (where n → 0): • 0 < |F (X)| < 1 =⇒ n+1 first-order convergence. and it is evident that xn = rn x0 in this case. The very simplest map is the linear map: xn+1 = rxn . is balanced by the parameter s. quantifying the ability of the population to reproduce. • r > 1: xn = x0 exp(n ln r) [exponential growth]. • r = 1: xn = x0 for all x0 [steady state].3). say. is xn+1 = rxn − sx2 . and we have 2 n 1 − 2 F (X) as n → ∞.4).4) with r constant (and. so that we can find all the roots by judicious choices of x0 .5) which is called the logistic map and has apparent similarity with the logistic differential equation (13. F (X) n+1 n as n → ∞. Here xn+1 = xn − f (xn )/f (xn ) and each root has a basin of attraction. This model formed the centrepiece of what has become a very influential paper — ‘Simple . a seasonal breeding population xn . and we While this sequence may be continued. F (X) = 0 =⇒ have second-order convergence.426 Classical Mechanics where F (X) = [dF (x)/dx]x=X .

and it is ¯ evident that the overbar may then be dropped. Despite the apparent similarity with the continuous system (13. Naturally the primary physical/biological interest is in the case where the x interval [0. 1976. (D.6) — at X = 0. in order to find the map xn+1 = rxn (1 − xn ). It is helpful for maps to consider [see Fig. D. and thus see whether or not it might converge.3) the maps (D. (D. which requires 0 ≤ r ≤ 4 — for other applications this r restriction might well be absent. . D. [X = 1 − 1/r is a point attractor — . .Discrete Dynamical Systems — Maps 427 mathematical models with very complicated dynamics’. D. 459–467.1 The behaviours of the map (D. Nature.1(a) for example.6) have some very different and complex properties.6) for different values of r can be summarized as follows: • 0 ≤ r < 1: X = 0 is asymptotically stable and X = 1 − 1/r is unstable. We see immediately that there are two fixed points of (D. ¯ x ¯ A simple scaling xn = sxn /r leads to xn+1 = r¯n (1 − xn ). with r the single key parameter.6) which is the logistic map in standard form. 1].5). [X = 0 is a point attractor — if the corresponding linear model population cannot sustain itself then overcrowding makes it worse!] • 1 < r < 3: X = 0 is unstable and X = 1 − 1/r is asymptotically stable — see Fig.6) onto [0. . X = 1 − 1/r — and. 261. Fig. 1] is mapped by (D. May. in each case. F (X) = r(1 − 2X).1(a)] a plot of y = x and y = F (x) so that by tracing the vertical and horizontal lines between the two we can follow the sequence x0 → x1 → x2 → .

544 09 · · · < r < 3. give 4-cycles arising through a different process). the period-3 cycle in Fig. until * r = 3.g. four more roots are the trivial solutions 0. The logistic map attractors are shown in Fig.1(b)].449 48 · · · : xn → an asymptotically stable 2-cycle (or period-2 solution). The numbers along the top are the cycle periods.564 40 · · · : xn → an asymptotically stable 8cycle. . * 3. An intriguing fact is that odd-period cycles only appear for r > 3. Here the r-intervals ∆i between bifurcations and the measures di of width in X of successive cycles .569 94 · · · : Accumulation point of 2∞ -cycle. X2 . are roots of the quadratic r2 X 2 − r(r + 1)X + (r + 1) = 0. F (X2 ) = X1 [see Fig. √ for positive r. . D. X1 . and so on (each time in a shorter interval in r) .449 48 · · · < r < 3. when real. * 3. in that the period-doubling cascade is broadly repeated as other-period asymptotically stable cycles become unstable — e. As r increases successive ‘period-doubling bifurcations’ occur as asymptotic stability is exchanged between lower. in an apparently random fashion.544 09 · · · : xn → an asymptotically stable 4cycle found from an equation of degree 16.2.] • 3 < r ≤ 4: X = 0 and X = 1 − 1/r are now both unstable. That the period-doubling proceeds broadly in geometric fashion in the limit was discovered by Feigenbaum in 1975. Of course X = 0. in very similar fashion to the behaviour of the logistic differential equation (13. The nontrivial solutions X1 .678 57 · · · .3). 1 − 1/r. D. but for others the xn values range seemingly over a whole continuous interval. * 3.and higher-order cycles (termed a supercritical flip bifurcation): √ * 3 < r < 1 + 6 = 3. It should be noted that this figure has an approximate self-similarity at higher magnification. X2 (the other roots.2. If we examine xn+2 = F (xn+1 ) = F (2) (xn ). 3 < r < 1 + 6. X = 1 − 1/r are two of the roots of this equation. then we obtain an equation of degree 4 for the fixed points of this iterated mapping.569 94 · · · < r ≤ 4: For some values of r there are asymptotically stable cycles of different lengths. For asymptotic stability it is necessary (see Problem 1) that |4 + 2r − r 2 | < 1 or equivalently. such that F (X1 ) = X2 . D.428 Classical Mechanics exponential growth is stabilized by overcrowding.

. . (D. 1979). D. Feigenbaum noted that essentially all ‘humped’ mapping functions F (x) lead to intersections of y = x with y = F (x).8) (see Feigenbaum. Journal of Statistical Physics. di /di+1 → α = 2. so describing this universal property: g(x) = −αg g −x α (D. which is self-reproducing under such rescaling and iteration.7) in each case in the limit as i → ∞. . . .2 are such that (see Figs.669 201 6 . . . The universality leads to δ.Discrete Dynamical Systems — Maps 429 Fig. 21.2. D.502 907 8 . 669–706. D. . y = F (4) (x). . In a process of ‘renormalization’ the precise form of F (x) is lost and in 1976 Feigenbaum discovered a universal function g(x).3) ∆i /∆i+1 → δ = 4. . α as universal constants and δ is usually identified as the Feigenbaum number . which are similar up to a rescaling. y = F (2) (x).

3 · · · ⇐ 2 .5 ⇐ 2 .7 ⇐ 2 . However it says nothing about stability of these cycles.3 3.5 ⇐ 2 . the existence of a 3-cycle implies the existence of cycles of all the other periods! Naturally the odd periods cannot arise from period-doubling. The vast majority of these cycles are unstable when all are present. there is a theorem. due to Sarkovskii (1964). or the ranges of r (in our logistic example) for which they may be observed.7 ⇐ 2.3 r As to the onset of cycles with other periods. which is as follows: If a mapping function F (x) has a point xp which is cyclic of order p.5 ⇐ 2.3 9⇐ 7⇐ 5⇐ ······ 2 ······ ······ m ······ · · · ⇐ 2n ⇐ m ······ m ······ ··· ······ 2 ······ 2 ······ 2 ······ ··· ⇐ · · · ⇐ 2.9 ⇐ 2.9 ⇐ 2 .7 ⇐ 2 . for every q which precedes p in the sequence: 1⇐ 2⇐4 ⇐ m · · · ⇐ 2 . and it is this which leads to a brief summary statement in the form ‘Period 3 .9 ⇐ 2 .56995 Fig.44949 3. D. This theorem can be proved using a continuity/intermediate value theorem argument. but do so via a rather different process which may be examined by similar methods to those employed above. For example.54409 3.430 Classical Mechanics X Schematic attractor diagram 2 ∞ accumulation ‘Chaos’ and stable windows 1 2 d1 d2 ∆1 ∆2 d3 ∆3 0 1 3 3. then it must also have a point xq of period q.

rather than to asymptotically stable cycles? Analytically this is a tough problem. it happens that there are two positive values of r for which a formal exact solution of (D. Indeed x has a probability distribution given by P (x) = 1/[π x(1 − x)] (see Figs. with period 1. since each digit in the binary expansion of θ0 could be chosen with equal likelihood to be a 0 or a 1. The former (r = 2) allows (1 − 2xn+1 ) = (1 − 2xn )2 leading to xn = 1 1 2n 2 [1 − (1 − 2x0 ) ]. . as essentially random behaviour of iterates xn occurs (Li and Yorke.4.Discrete Dynamical Systems — Maps 431 implies chaos’. . Then θ1 = 0. P(x) = 1/ [π√x(1−x)] 0 Fig. D.110 1 . D. What can be said about values of r in the logistic map which lead to distributions of iterates. Here θ is evidently periodic. .101 101 . 1]. since the integer part may be cancelled at each stage on account of the periodic property. etc. . . then x is not. the term chaos was first introduced!). This is not especially interesting. . . 82. Thus we may write any θ0 we choose in a binary representation just using negative powers of 2 — for example. since xn → 2 as we should expect. For almost all choices of θ0 then the θn will be uniformly distributed on the interval [0. As a consequence of θ being uniformly distributed. American Mathematical Monthly. in which.2).011 01 . However.6) is known — r = 2 and r = 4. in that the same x is generated by θ and by θ + 1. 985–992. . D. θ2 = 8 0. 1 1 1 θ0 = 2 + 1 + 16 + 64 + · · · = 0. However the latter possibility (r = 4) allows us to substitute xn = 2 1 2 [1 − cos(2πθn )] ≡ sin (πθn ) and this leads us to θn+1 = 2θn and then n θn = 2 θ0 . incidentally. 1975. .4 1 x .

.9) = lim n→∞ Values of λ can be found by numerical computation.236)]. If we choose to examine x0 and x0 + 0 .432 Classical Mechanics We note that P (x) itself is the attractor here for r = 4. we allow n to become large enough so that our estimate of λ can settle down to a steady value.693 147 . • r = 4: since P (x) = 1/[π x(1 − x)] so we have 1 1 λ= 0 (ln |F (x)|)P (x) dx = ln |4(1 − 2x)| dx π x(1 − x) = ln 2 = 0. with 0 very small. λn Since we have F (n) (x0 + 0 ) − F (n) (x0 ) 0 e . . in order to avoid an atypical result through a single unfortunate choice. . and we have divergence or convergence of iterates according as λ > 0 or λ < 0. While there are other measures of the complexity/disorder of the iterates in these cases — . so that we expect: • 0 < r < 1: λ = ln r. D. The distribution attractors are also characterized by an exponential divergence of iterates. We also average over various different x0 . • 1 < r < 3: λ = ln |2 − r| (leading to an infinite spike when r = 2). leading to the sensitivity to initial conditions characteristic of chaos. in the sense that for almost all choices of x0 the distribution of xn will approach P (x) for large n. For the logistic map Fig. then we have λ n→∞ lim 1 ln n 1 n n−1 i=0 d (n) F (x) dx ln |F (xi )| . In measuring λ empirically in a particular practical case. 0 In any event. then n 0 exp(λn) on average. It is called an invariant probability distribution. Here F (x) = r(1 − 2x). Here λ is a Lyapunov exponent (see §13. but no slick result like that above for r = 4. For other values of r there are theoretical results for the corresponding probability distribution attractors (via an equation for the distribution function — Perron–Frobenius).7). (D. the regions of r for which there are positive values of λ indicate the sensitivity to initial conditions at these r values.5 shows a plot of λ as r varies. √ 1 • 3 < r < 1 + 6: λ = 2 ln |r(1 − 2X1 )| + 1 ln |r(1 − 2X2 )| [leading to an 2 √ 1 infinite spike when X1 = 2 (requiring r = 1 + 5 = 3.

i. as the iteration process proceeds in a chaotic regime.6 — exhibit a similar period-doubling in their dynamics. yn+1 = G(xn . 4 possible xn−2 . is associated with the non-invertibility of the mapping function F (x). (D. together with other similar maps. e. Hence system memory of initial conditions becomes blurred! Many continuous systems — for example the Lorenz system of §13. D. We may write our generic map in the form xn+1 = F (xn . involves stretching and folding.e. Cambridge University Press.5 1996)] [Baker and Gollub (Chaotic Dynamics. each xn can come from 2 possible xn−1 . The logistic map (D. D. while xn+1 is uniquely determined from xn . The loss of information about initial conditions.2 Two-dimensional Maps For two-dimensional maps any new universality has proved harder to find! However. yn ). However. so that states diverging exponentially are still broadly confined to a bounded region.g. yn ). 2nd ed. and eventually from 2n possible x0 .10) ..Discrete Dynamical Systems — Maps 433 Fig. etc. there are interesting phenomena. the system ‘entropy’ — these will not be pursued further here. see Problem 4 for another (and simpler) example of a chaotic map.6).

n yn+1 = bxn . Y ) if and only if the eigenvalues of the matrix M all have modulus less than 1. we obtain xn+1 − X yn+1 − Y M xn − X .y)=(X1 .11) By a Taylor expansion. Y ) as solutions of X = F (X. yn ) → (X. The H´non map e Probably the most celebrated example is the H´non map (H´non.y)=(X. This map was constructed to exhibit some behaviours similar to those of the Lorenz system of §13. b real parameters. Y )]. Y ). Again we may seek fixed points (X. G(X. near X. and where the normal physical interest is in |b| ≤ 1.12) (x.6. Y ). with M = yn − Y ∂F ∂x ∂G ∂x ∂F ∂y ∂G ∂y .11). this is needed to force M n → the zero matrix as n → ∞. G known functions. Y2 ) and where these points have a 2-cycle to examine with (X1 . (D. Y and similar to that carried out in §13.y)=(X2 .15) ∂F ∂x ∂G ∂x ∂F ∂y ∂G ∂y ∂F ∂x ∂G ∂x ∂F ∂y ∂G ∂y . G(X. Commue e nications in Mathematical Physics. (D. 1976): xn+1 = 1 − ax2 + yn .Y1 ) with a.434 Classical Mechanics for integer n and with F.3 and in Appendix C. When instability sets in as parameters are changed.13) other than the fixed points of (D.14) (x. The asymptotic stability of this 2-cycle depends on the eigenvalues of the matrix product M1 M2 = and so on. 69–77. we then typically (X2 . Y )]. Y = G(X. (D. Geometrically the map may be considered .Y ) It now follows that (xn . Y ). 50. Y1 ) are the solutions of X = F [F (X. Y = G[F (X. (x. Y ).10) found earlier and which satisfy (D. (D.Y2 ) (D.

(D. There are two fixed points given by X = X± ≡ [−(1 − b) ± Y = Y± ≡ bX± . 4-cycle. The period-doubling cascade then continues (see Fig. s one unstable tabl et fixed point w 3 a1 = 4 −(1−b) 2 o-c yc ∞ le a0 a1 a(2 ) −1. One of the fixed points is then always unstable and the other is asymptotically 3 stable if a < a1 = 4 (1 − b)2 (see Problem 7).3 −1 1 a0 = − 4 −(1−b) 2 * 0 1 Henon chaotic attractor 2 3 4 5 6 a −1 b a2 one stable. (1 − b)2 + 4a]/2a. The two-cycle stability is determined through (D. D.6 .6). a contraction |b| in the x direction.Discrete Dynamical Systems — Maps 435 to be a composition of three separate simple maps — an area-preserving fold.3675 a(*) 1. both fixed points are unstable and we get period-doubling to a 2-cycle.06 0 0.1225 0.75 −0. For a > a1 .25 0. D.14) by the eigenvalues of the matrix product M1 M2 = 4a2 X1 X2 + b −2aX1 .16) 1 and these are real and distinct if and only if a > a0 = − 4 (1 − b)2 . an area-preserving rotation.40 −1. −2abX2 b This leads to asymptotic stability of the 2-cycle only when a1 < a < a2 1 with a2 = (1 − b)2 + 4 (1 + b)2 .40 b=0 corresponds to the one-dimensional logistic map (see Problem 2) Fig.3 −0. b 1 0. etc.

436 Classical Mechanics Beyond the cascade.4.g. squeezing and folding onto the original region is characteristic of a technical construct — the Smale ‘horseshoe’ (1960) — which is now known to be a trademark of chaotic systems.7 Here there is stretching along the strands of the attractor and squeezing across them — with associated Lyapunov exponents which are respectively positive (along) and negative (across) (see Problem 8). where a = 1. Smale ‘stretched’ the unit square in one co-ordinate direction and ‘squeezed’ it in the other direction. b) values where the attractor is very complex (see. Fig. then placing the resulting strip (with one ‘fold’) over the original square — with inevitable overlap. proving its existence for a particular system may be very tough. b = 0.20. and embedded among other-period cycles. This chaotic attractor — termed ‘strange’ — has some similar features to the Lorenz attractor of Fig. 13. Infinite repetition of this sequence of operations leads to the identification of an attractor consisting of all the points which remain within the original square indefinitely.. while it guarantees the ‘sensitivity to initial conditions’ of chaos.3). Fig. D. This attractor has great topological complexity and. .7. The repetition of stretching. there are (a. It also has a fractal character in that it has a broad similarity in features and relative scale at all magnifications. e. D.

The intersection points e of a trajectory with its own particular one of these circles (of radius r) will necessarily be twisted successively around the origin (the centre of the circle) through an angle 2πα. Equal-area maps are of special interest since the Poincar´ return map for a section through a Hamiltonian e system (see §14. We can then introduce the notion of a twist map. If we make use of action/angle variables. as e a slice through the dynamical structure. (D. The n-tori corresponding to the range of initial conditions are ‘nested’ in the phase space. 14. 133. In §14. For the H´non e map this is the case only when |b| = 1. as described in §14. 1991).4). then the closed curves of the Poincar´ section can be taken as concentric circles. in polars: rn+1 θn+1 rn θn + 2πα(rn ) rn θn = ≡T .2 we introduced the concept of a Poincar´ surface of section.3 and particularly in the polar form of Fig.3.3 Twist Maps and Torus Breakdown In §14. In passing (and for reference in §D. Some consequences are explored briefly in §D.17) When a perturbation Hamiltonian is introduced. Here α is the rotation number .3) we note that a map which preserves area would have | det M | = 1 in (D. which is the ratio of normal frequencies characterizing the particular torus concerned — it therefore depends on r.5(c).Discrete Dynamical Systems — Maps 437 A formal demonstration of chaotic dynamics for the H´non map is cone tained in a paper by Benedicks and Carleson (Annals of Mathematics. 14.12) and then the stretching and squeezing exactly compensate each other (see Problem 11). D.6. T [Moser (1973)].1 we noted that each trajectory of an integrable Hamiltonian system with n degrees of freedom is confined to the surface of an n-torus in the 2ndimensional phase space. we can . 73–169. each one of which is intersected by one of its own torus trajectories in a sequence of points (see Fig. as in §14. For n = 2 degrees of freedom this section of the nested torus structure is a continuum of closed curves.2) has the equal-area property.

T : rn+1 θn+1 = rn + f (rn . with k. the circle undergoes some distortion (perturbation) but is certainly not destroyed. α+ are irrational the circles C− . in such a way that area is still preserved.9.8) is to map the circles to themselves. (D. anticlockwise respectively — this is so since 2πsα− < 2πk and 2πsα+ > 2πk. Let us examine the twist map (D.17). This result is in accord with the KAM theory referred to in §14. This is also true for the corresponding torus in the full phase space.17) for three neighbouring circles C− . anticlockwise respectively — see Fig. D. In fact the answer to this question depends on the rotation number α corresponding to our particular circle chosen.6. g known smooth functions. C+ corresponding respectively to α− < k/s. (We have here chosen to take α to be an increasing function of radius r. Since α− . θn ) θn + 2πα(rn ) + g(rn . α+ > k/s (say). All points of C are fixed under the iterated mapping T (s) . so that progressive overlap occurs. when we (s) iterate to consider the effect of T . D. The rational α are ‘scanty. corresponding to rational α. As in the discussion of the problem of small denominators in §14.18) with small and positive and with f. as the integrable system T becomes a near-integrable system T .e. leading eventually to complete breakdown of the torus structure. As the perturbation grows with . C. the breakdown associated with each such rational α broadens. it is circles for (D. α+ irrational. C+ twisted ‘rigidly’ clockwise.e. C+ are only mildly distorted when we apply the map T successively s times instead — i. However. θn ) ≡T rn θn . and their tori. C+ are still twisted clockwise. the sensitivity to initial conditions is strongest for the rational α = k/s with small values of s. . As we shall see. leading to sensitivity to initial conditions and chaos.) Then applying the twist map T successively s times we find that the effect of T (s) (see Fig. which break down under perturbation. We can now ask what happens to a circle of a particular radius. the inner and outer circles C− . s positive integers and with α− . which is mapped to itself (with a twist) by T . with C invariant and with C− . If α is an irrational number then.438 Classical Mechanics model the modified situation using a perturbed twist map. α = k/s. but dense’ among the real numbers (see Problem 12) and these α correspond to resonances in the system. for small enough.6. as the perturbation quantified by in T grows from zero — i.

T For the map T to model a section of a Hamiltonian dynamical system (s) — must be one (as. By considering all possible radius arms we construct the closed curve C consisting of all such points P which are mapped only radially by (s) ¯ — to C. D.2. as reflected in §14. D. by continuity.Discrete Dynamical Systems — Maps 439 C+ O C− C Invariant circles under the twist map Fig. of course. . does T itself) the map T — and hence T of equal-area.9 Moving outwards radially from O in any direction we can. find a point on that radius arm which undergoes no net twist when the (s) is applied — P is mapped only radially (to Q) by this iterated map T process.8 (s) T ε C+ E H (s) T ε C− H P Q E O C E H C The action of the perturbed twist map Fig.

The resulting instability at all scales leads inevitably to sensitivity to initial conditions.2) for neighbouring such points in the same family cross to form what are called homoclinic intersections.11). of their multiplicity and their alternating stability is a result known as the Poincar´–Birkhoff e Theorem (1927). where the iterated mapping sense of flow is indicated. This results in the stretching.v. of course. The statement of existence of these fixed points. to fixed points of the iterated map T . We now note that the fixed points are of ¯ alternating type as we move around C (or C) — see Fig. squeezing and folding associated with the Smale horseshoe referred to in §D. in that trajectories of the system have to twist and turn. These points are all that remains fixed from the original invariant circle C of the unperturbed iterated map T (s) .2 and this forces a dense interweaving of ordered and chaotic motions within Hamiltonian systems (Fig. while maintaining the equal-area property of the return map. (s) . (a) Elliptic point (E) stable (b) Hyperbolic point (H) unstable Fig. D. D. forming a homoclinic tangle. For the hyperbolic fixed points H the unstable and stable manifolds (q. It turns out that the elliptic fixed points E are themselves surrounded (at higher scales) by elliptic and hyperbolic fixed points corresponding to even higher-order frequency resonances. D.10 There are evidently in all 2ns such fixed points of the iterated map T . Recognition by Poincar´ of the existence of such tangles was e the first mathematical realization of the presence of what we now call chaos.440 Classical Mechanics ¯ Since the areas contained within the curves C and C must be equal. in order not to self -intersect. where n is a positive integer (usually 1). there is in general an even number of intersections of these curves.10. also in §C. which (s) correspond.

] 3. e For further exploration of breakdown to chaos under parameter change. Show that the map yn+1 = 1 − ayn is just the logistic map (D.6) can be obtained by a suitably chosen linear relation between yn and xn . *Allowing r and xn to be complex in the logistic map (D. . (c) Sketch the corresponding regions when these results are expressed in terms of the complex a plane for the yn map of Problem 2. s can be found such that yn satisfies the logistic map with parameter s (= r) and xn = a + byn . see Problem 13. (b) a 2-cycle attractor.6) for xn 1 with xn . (c) Show that a. For the logistic map (D. 14. yn related linearly by yn = α + βxn and a = 4 r(r − 2).13). √ (b) Show that there is a two-cycle attractor for 3 < r < 1 + 6. (d) Hence determine the principal period-doubling bifurcation points for the logistic map on the range −2 ≤ r ≤ 4. find regions of the complex r plane for which the map has (a) a point attractor. Problems 1.11 An example of a map in which some of the breakdown to chaos in a Poincar´ section is apparent is that for the oval billiard map (Fig. 2 2. b. D. in that (D. [This is 2 an example of the fact that all quadratic maps yn+1 = A + Byn + Cyn are essentially just the logistic map.6).Discrete Dynamical Systems — Maps 441 KAM torus Schematic chaotic breakdown KAM torus Hyperbolic point H Elliptic point E Fig.6) with r non-negative: (a) Show that there is a point attractor for 0 ≤ r < 3.

15). y) = bx.15) show that: e 1 (a) when − 4 (1 − b)2 < a < 3 (1 − b)2 there are two real fixed points. To determine stability. it is useful to consider a sketch of the function f (λ) ≡ b/λ − λ and look for points where f (λ) = 2aX in order to find (a. there is an asymptotically stable fixed point X = 0 and that. Y ) becomes a small ellipse under a single iteration of the H´non map (D. For the cubic map xn+1 = axn − x3 . xn+1 = a sin xn . b) such that both the eigenvalues satisfy |λi | < 1. Further interesting examples are xn+1 = exp[a(1 − xn )]. λ1 + λ2 = −2aX. when n |a| < 1. 4 one of which is asymptotically stable. show that. where a is real. For the H´non map (D. in that an uncertainty 0 in x0 is rapidly magnified. *Show that a small circle of radius centred at any (X. What happens when a becomes > 2? 6. where a. 1]. Explore the two-dimensional maps of Problems 7–9 using a computer. (b) Find the 2-cycle when |b| < 1 and a > 1 − b and determine its stability. show that there is one asymptotically stable fixed point. 9. b are real parameters.442 Classical Mechanics 4. y) = 1 + y − a|x|. −2aX 1 the eigenvalues of M are λ1 . √ when 1 < a < 2 there are two such fixed points at X = ± a − 1. λ2 and show that λ1 + λ2 = ln |b| with λ1 > 0 > λ2 . 10. 2(1 − xn ). The tent map xn+1 = 2xn . Show that this map exhibits extreme sensitivity to initial conditions. λ2 with b 0 λ1 λ2 = −b. implying simultaneous ‘stretch’ and ‘squeeze’. Explore the one-dimensional maps of Problems 1–5 using a programmable calculator or (better) a computer. 7. Estimate the number of iterations after which the range of uncertainty in the iterates is the complete interval [0. [Hint : Since M = (a) When |b| < 1 and |a| < 1 − b.10) with F (x. . G(x. 1 (b) *when 3 (1 − b)2 < a < (1 − b)2 + 4 (1 + b)2 there is an asymptotically 4 stable 2-cycle.] 8. Explain e how the semi-axes of the ellipse are related to Lyapunov exponents λ1 . 5. *The Lozi map is (D. ( 1 < xn ≤ 1) 2 1 (0 ≤ xn ≤ 2 ) has unstable fixed points.

Show that for numbers on the real line: (a) between any two irrationals we can certainly find a rational. 1979. when the integrable case (K = 0) is expressed in action/angle variables (I. y ≤ 1): (a) Arnold’s cat map xn+1 = xn + yn . although it is still the case that for any irrational ω1 /ω2 there are rationals arbitrarily close by. 2 (0 ≤ xn < 1 ). φ).) 13. This emphasizes that for most systems periodicity (closure) is relatively rare. there are vastly more irrationals than rationals — unlike the former the latter are ‘countable’.2 and in more detail in §D. (Note: This equal-area map models the twist around a Poincar´ section e by the dynamics (as in §14. despite (a). 263–379. yn+1 ) = (2xn .) .1. ω2 in the light of the discussion of periodicity and degeneracy in §§14.3). 1 2 (yn + 1)) ( 1 ≤ xn ≤ 1). As K increases there appear resonance zones.Discrete Dynamical Systems — Maps 443 11. By calculating Lyapunov exponents examine sensitivity to initial conditions of the equal-area maps of the unit square (0 ≤ x.6 and the real ratio ω1 /ω2 . so that the rationals are ‘scanty. but dense’. (b) between any two rationals we can certainly find an irrational.14. Physics Reports. 2 12. 52. 1 yn ) 2 (2xn − 1. (b) The baker’s transformation (xn+1 . *As an exercise on near-integrable systems explore the ‘standard map’ (Chirikov–Taylor) analytically/computationally: In+1 = In + K sin φn . φn+1 = φn + In+1 . yn+1 = xn + 2yn (each modulo 1). periodic orbits and bands of chaos as tori I = constant undergo progressive breakdown. (Note that. Consider a system of two degrees of freedom with two natural frequencies ω1 . See Chirikov.

444 Classical Mechanics .

12 m. x = ±a. arcsin 0. 2GM (R−1 − a−1 ). |x| < a. 5. 400 N.62◦ W of S. 9. (a) no turning points. 6. 8 km s−1 . F = −mk. 1 6.6 min.9. 2.2 m. 5. 3v/4. F = kx. 445 .Answers to Problems CHAPTER 1 1. 1. t = 0. F ij = F ij . oscillation between two turning 1 points if k < 0 and E < 0. 7 N.214) = Re[(−3 − 4i)e2it ]. ω = k/m.6.107 s. 11. F = mk. −0. 4.135 = 7. (2.2 mm. (b) 1 turning point. otherwise no turning points.322 s. 8. x = c/k. 10. 2 2a/k. r 0.2).66◦ sin πt = 10◦ cos(πt + π/3).9 . r = (m2 r2 + m3 r 3 )/(m2 + m3 ).447 s. rij = r ij . 10 N. 8. 3. m1 /m2 = r2 /r1 . θ = 5◦ cos πt − 8. 15. mA /mB = 3. (±0. |x| > a.7◦ s−1 . t in s) x = −3 cos 2t + 4 sin 2t = 5 cos(2t − 2. 1 7. 2. 7 N.2 × 10−3 )◦ = 7. 8. c/2m a2 . 1. 4. pi = pi − mi v. Earlier by (2a/v) − (2/ω) arctan(ωa/v). 7. CHAPTER 2 1. oscillation. V = 2 kx2 − c ln x. 3. −1. V = 4 cx4 . 10. V = −GM m/x. 14. (c) 1 or 2 turning points. 300 N. (0. −1. 130 km. F = 0. 0.4.76◦ E of N.2). z = −(mg/k)(1 − cos ωt). 2m¨ = F = F 21 + F 31 . 1 turning point if k > 0 and E < 2 ka2 . 0. ω = 2k/m. (x in m. 60.

¨ 19. 23.446 Classical Mechanics 12. (c) V = −ar2 sin θ sin ϕ. α = π/4 + β/2.3◦ . Fr = 2c cos θ/r3 . γ = k/m. z → −g/γ. 5.5 J. 14.89 km. z = (mg/k)[−1 + (1 + γt)e−γt ]. 2 3. . (a) |v| < c/ma. 20. 883 m. 1 2 2 ¯ 26. 17. T = 364. θ = θ0 cos( g/l t). (b) 0. (gk)−1/2 ln(ekh − e2kh − 1). π/ω. √ 16. 10. 202 m. Fϕ = 0. 6. an = c/mω 2 n(1 + n2 ). g/k. 29. 3 10. α = (g/l)α. G(t) = (e−γ− t − e−γ+ t )/m(γ+ − γ− ). final velocities: −6 m s−1 . F0 = 0. 11. 2. 22. a2 + v 2 /4ω 2 ± v/2ω. (c) v > 2c/ma. 382 m. (a) V = − 2 ax2 − ayz − bxy 2 − 1 bz 3 . 3. ω1 = ω0 + γ 2 ± γ. 4ka/3m.7 s. 1. c/m(a2 − x2 ). 10 m s−1 . F may be conservative. 18. 7. v 2 = 4ka2 /3m.33◦ . 5. 7. CHAPTER 3 1 1.17◦.362 mg. 6. (1/2k) ln(1 + ku2 /g). √ 15.18 km. 21. W = 2πmγω1 a2 . x = a tanh( c/m at). x = −a. (i) 0. √ 28. 0. 7. F = c[3(k · r)r − r2 k]/r5 . gk arctan( k/g u). z = x tan α − gx2 /2v 2 cos2 α. θ = 2F/ma − (g/a) sin θ. 2π s−1 . 2 4.017 × 2π l/g. −5ka/6m.2 s. F not conservative. mω 3 l4 /r3 . 823 m. 31. 30◦ . For θ = π − α. 2π 2ma3 /c. 1. Fθ = c sin θ/r3 . 2 25. x= c m 1 γ+ −γ− 1 −γ− t 2 e γ− − 1 −γ+ t 2 e γ+ − 2γ 4 ω0 + t 2 ω0 . 32. z = (g/γ 2 )(1 − e−γt ) − gt/γ. ¨ ˙ 12. E = 4 ma2 (ω1 + ω0 ). 8. (a) πa2 . 4ω. 2π l/g. ± 2(g/l)(cos θ − cos θ0 ). 42. x = a.006 s. θ2 = 4F θ/ma − (2g/a)(1 − cos θ).95 s.05 s. 3 1 (f) V = − 2 (a · r)2 . 17. τ = 1. (ii) 1 a. (b) v < − c/ma or c/ma < v < 2c/ma.35 km. 8. 9. t > 0. z = wx/u − gx2 /2u2 − γgx3 /3u3. v/2. 1 1 27. ∆T = 2 mω 2 l2 . x = (v/ω)e−γt sin ωt → vte−γt . 1 a + b. ˙ 13. vn = en 2gh. 7 m s−1 . 16 mm.

1.1 km s−1 . θ = (1 − sin θ)g/3a. 9.0 × 1011 MS (assuming that the mass distribution is spherical — this is the mass inside the radius of the Sun’s orbit). ¨ 1 ˙ ˙ ˙˙ 24. ei · p = mhi qi . 25. T = 2 m i h2 qi . b.4 km s−1 . θ = 0.4 min. 7. a. 2 2 2 ˙ ˙ ˙˙ ¨ − 1 sin 2θ(λ2 − θ2 ) + sinh 2λ λθ] = Fθ . 2. ˙ 1 15. 1/r2 = mE/J 2 + (mE/J 2 )2 − mk/J 2 cos 2(θ − θ0 ). 2. θ = 7π/6. 6.2 km s−1 . 5. z = c−2 sin2 θ. α = arcsin(2/3) = 41. 26.176 au = 2.62 m s−2 . 134. (2/3π) yrs = 77. CHAPTER 4 1.6 km s−1 .22 × 104 km. ∂eϕ /∂ϕ = −(er sin θ + eθ cos θ). 1. m 4 ξ+η ξ ¨ ξ − 1η 2 ˙ ξ ξ − η ˙ η 2 = Fξ . 17. unstable.38 km s−1 .8◦ .9 yrs. r = a. u = (M + m)g sin α/(M + m sin2 α). 8. mc [(cosh λ − cos θ)θ 2 25. 4. 108 min. r = (¨ − ρϕ )eρ + (ρϕ + 2ρϕ)eϕ + z k = (¨ − rθ2 − r sin2 θ ϕ2 )er + ρ ˙ ˙˙ ¨ ¨ ˙ ˙ (rθ + 2r θ − r sin θ cos θ ϕ2 )eθ + (r sin θ ϕ + 2r cos θ θϕ + 2r sin θ ϕ)eϕ . ϕ0 constants). a. thereafter the two bodies move independently until string tautens. 1 U = J 2 /2mr2 + 2 k(r − a)2 . ˙ i ˙ i ˙ 2 ˙ ¨ ¨ ˙˙ ¨ r ˙ 21. y = λ + a cosh[(x − b)/a]. r2 = 2 a2 (3 + 2 cos α ± 5 + 4 cos α).61 × 105 km.8 m s−2 . cot θ = cot θ0 cos(ϕ − ϕ0 ). ∂eθ /∂θ = −er . 18. 0. ∂er /∂θ = eθ . 12. others zero. 38. 1. ω = 5/2 ω0 . 7. (a) only: r = k/(c − g). 14. θ2 = (θ − 1 + cos θ)2g/3a. 4. pi = mh2 qi . 1 2 20. mc2 [(cosh2 λ − cos2 θ)λ + 2 sinh 2λ(λ2 − θ2 ) + sin 2θ λθ] = Fλ . ˙˙ ˙ 23. ω = 1/2 ω0 . F = mg(1 + 2 sin θ)/6. Ratio is 1. A circle. x = c−2 (θ − 2 sin 2θ). 10.013. 0. x2 + y 2 − 2by = a2 . 19. λ constants. 84. m 4 ξ+η η η − 1ξ ¨ 2 ˙ ξ ξ − η ˙ η 2 = Fη . 2. 2. 11.5 days.24 radial oscillations per orbit. r = 2a. . stable. ˙ v = mg sin α cos α/(M + m sin2 α). 5. (a) and (b): r = k/(c + g).33.64 × 107 km.46 yrs. ∂eθ /∂ϕ = eϕ cos θ. θ = π. 13. 60. 3. 173 min.Answers to Problems 447 ¨ ˙ 13. 13. √ 1 k/m a. (θ0 . b constant. ∂er /∂ϕ = eϕ sin θ. 11.

77 days. 14. 60◦ . 5.26RE. t = (abm/J)(e sinh ψ − ψ). E = 0 : re±nθ = r0 .013 mbar km−1 . x = a(e − cosh ψ). 2.20 mm.0 s. 20 kg wt. r = eJ sin θ/ml.45 km s−1 . 19. 16. 3. = −J 2 /m2 lr2 . J 2 + mk < 0. 15. E > 0 : r cos n(θ − θ0 ) = b. 8.3 km s−1 . J 2 + mk < 0. 1. 7. 26. 465 m s−1 . 9. ω = (−ka2 + c)/ma5 . E > 0 : r sinh n(θ − θ0 ) = ±b. Hyperbola with origin at the centre.3 km s−1 . 29.155◦. 0.87 yrs.8 au. 4. 23RJ . 5. 4.4 mm. 12. 18. With n2 = |1 + mk/J 2 |. 8. cos θ = (1 − l/R)/ 1 − l/a. 3. b2 = J 2 /2m|E|: J 2 + mk > 0. 28. 0. ˙ ¨ CHAPTER 5 2. (a) 99. 4.448 Classical Mechanics 14.2 au. 1. 3. r = a(e cosh ψ − 1). decreasing weight and a Coriolis force of 79 N. GM m/2a. 82◦ ahead of Jupiter. (b) 187 m s−1 . 27. 2. 6. (c) 743 m s−1 .9 × 106 km = 56RJ . 25.6 au.1 × 103 s−1 . 22. 2. (b) 100. ω = (−ka2 − c)/ma5 .3 km s−1 at 23. J 2 + mk < 0. 8. 0. 21.1 × 10−3 m s−2 = 1. 7. 78 mm. (c) 99. 10. opposite to Jupiter’s orbital motion. 2. 15.46 × 10−3 N up. 6. 30. 100 kg wt.29 t wt. .123 m.8 km s−1 . dσ/dΩ = kπ 2 (π − θ)/mv 2 θ2 (2π − θ)2 sin θ.4◦ .46 t wt.9 × 10−5 gS . 38.5 au. 24.88 t wt. (a) 542 m s−1 . accel. 16.44 m.2 m s−2 = 0. −GM m/a.13 × 10−11 m.7 km s−1 . 5. 5. at 23.53 × 10−3 N to south.5◦ to orbital direction. E > 0 : r(θ − θ0 ) = ±b. 7.5◦ to Jupiter’s orbital direction. y = b sinh ψ. rad. r = eJ 2 cos θ/m2 lr2 . 23. 97◦ ahead of Earth. 0. 17. 14.2 yrs. 5. E < 0 : r cosh n(θ − θ0 ) = b. 1.7 km s−1 .086 gJ.2 yrs. J 2 + mk = 0.3 s−1 . 47. 9.7 km s−1 . 16. in plane normal to Jupiter’s orbit. 20.

(ME /MM )2 (RM /RE )4 = 35. 6. 3 2 1 2 5 (q /4π 0 a). G = 2G. (c) F = −F = 3i(dd /4π 0 r4 ). 14. g = (Gm/2a3 )(x. 29. (b) F = −F = 3k(dd /4π 0 r4 ). y = (mv/qB)[cos(qBt/m) − 1].76 × 1011 s−1 .Answers to Problems 449 11. E = (3d · rr − r2 d)/4π 0 r5 . 2. φ = (q/2π 0 a2 )( a2 + z 2 − |z|). 11. 15. 3.9 mins. 10. G = G = 0. E = (3qa2 /4π 0 r7 ) (3x2 − 7y 2 − 2z 2 )x. T = 2 m(r + ω ∧ r)2 . 1. When d is in same direction as E. depends only on m/q. 2 2 2 3qa (x − y )/4π 0 r5 . 9. z∗ 0 0 1 z 1 ˙ 20. l = 0. 0.5. 78 RE . . ⎡ r∗ = − ⎤⎡ ⎤ x cos ωt − sin ωt 0 x 19. − √ z a2 +z 2 .8 km. − (8πGρ0 a3 /3)(r−1 − a−1 ). E → k(σ/2 0 )(z/|z|). r x = (mv/qB) sin(qBt/m). −Gm/a + (Gm/4a3 )(2z 2 − x2 − y 2 ). 3. 1 Q = − 2 qa2 . 5(x2 − y 2 )z . 5. 6. 5 4. ∼ 105 T.28 J m−2 .3 × 1016 s−1 . ⎣y ∗ ⎦ = ⎣ sin ωt cos ωt 0⎦ ⎣y ⎦. V = (r2 d · d − 3d · r d · r)/4π 0 r5 . 14. (d) F = F = 0. 1 V = 2 i=j (qi qj /4π 0 rij ).0. z = qEt2 /2m.5 × 10 C. 2 (q /4π 0 a). (7x2 − 3y 2 + 2z 2 )y. 2 8πσ0 a4 /5. 17. G = −G = −k(dd /4π 0 r3 ). (a) F = −F = −6k(dd /4π 0 r4 ). 13. F = m¨ = q(E + v ∧ B) with E = Ek. 18.1 × 1016 s−1 . 4. 12. φ ≈ (q/4π 0 )(1/z − a2 /4z 3). 2πσ0 a3 /25 0. m¨ ⎤ F ⎡ ma. 14. 15. l = πmv/qB.089 m. 1/9.5 mins. 8.0 × 1040 J. 7. 4. −2z). −6Gm/r + (7Gma4 /4r5 )[3 − 5(x4 + y 4 + z 4 )/r4 ]. CHAPTER 6 √ 1. E = (qk/2π 0 a2 ) 2. 16. y. −3. z |z| 5. G = −j(dd /4π 0 r3 ). z = (2mE/qa2 B 2 )y 2 .7 × 106 yrs. 79 m. B = Bk. for θ = 0. −Gm/r + (Gma2 /r3 )(3 cos2 θ − 1). 12. E = 2 × 106 V m−1 . 124 m. G = G = 0. 13.

91 km s−1 . 1 2 z2 = m1 vt/M − 2 gt − (m1 v/M ω) sin ωt.4 × 105 km from centre of Sun.7 Mbar. 3.8 MeV. (0.13 t. 6. 6 ln 10 / ln 2 ≈ 20. √ √ If u1 = (v. T2 = m1 Q/M . 0). 143 kg. → 1 or 0.8 × 106 kg. Φ = −kρ. 7. −q. 5. with ω = k/µ and v < lω. just outside the Sun. 3. 10. T ∗ /T = m2 /M .07 − 0.9 km. 45◦ . 258 days.13. 24. 22. 0). 12. 12. same for both. m1 /m2 = 1. +2. 2. 5.15v. 25. a2 cos θ(1/ sin4 θ + 1/ cos4 θ). 8. (8π/5)ρ0 d0 r4 .43 × 10−6 s−1 . 15.2 km s−1 .7 × 1011 Pa =1. 1. 1 ¨ r 2mR = 0. 14. 17. 0. −0. i. (0.44 + 1.071.3 km s−1 . m1 ≥ 0.2 MeV. CHAPTER 8 1. 0)v/5. 7.65v. qµ2 e−µr /4π 0 r. 19.5 m.6 km. (The second term comes from recoiling target particles. 4. 2. 1. 11. ∗ ∗ T1 = m2 Q/M. 6.4 min. 1 z1 = l + m1 vt/M − 2 gt2 + (m2 v/M ω) sin ωt.00125 M0 .e. 45◦ . 1 2 −v/u ).74 km s−1 . 26. 51 days.6 yrs).07 =) 3. (2.99 km s−1 . 164 kg. 13. 3.35v.9 yrs (should be 18. 2πGρ2 R2 /3 = 1. 2. (|v 2 | = 2 3v/5). z = 2qE/mω 2 . 3 stages.) 1. . 2. 0. 33.06 km s−1 . 6. 10. 640 keV.00125 M0. 16.15v.7◦. 62.41b. 9.8 × 103 s−1 . 0): (−1. CHAPTER 7 1. where a = e2 /2π 0 mv 2 . 7. 0. a = πk/4G. 2 m¨ = qE − (q 2 /4π 0 r3 )r.. ± 3)v/5. 17. 0. +450 km. 0. 55.0◦ . (3. 2.450 Classical Mechanics 18. 4. 12.48 =) 3. 9.0 km s−1 . 3 × 10−6 . 23.28◦ . 4. 90◦ . −1. (3. 8. 0. 2 M0 u (1 − e 44.48 × 105 kg.

25 × 10−6 kg m2 .6 s−1 ). (1. 11..44.Answers to Problems 451 10. 12mg/7.m. 6. 12. 24mg/7.83 m. 5. 3bX/4M a2. (3M g/2)(− sin 2ϕ. 2)M a2/3. 64 r. g/7. 25. 1.9 km. (a) (8. 17. √ [16( 2 − 1)ga/3]1/2 . A = πr2 .37 s. −3.50 × 10−12 s−1 = 16. 8. 3g/7. da/dt = dl/dt = −2ρAva/m.031 s. b = 4a/3. 4. 0. CHAPTER 10 1. (a) E. 15. 3bX/4a. I3 = I3 . 4mgl/(M + 2m)a2 . 11. I3 = 3M a2 /10. (b) 1. 1 + cos 2ϕ). (a) 6.44 Hz (Ω = 21. Z = 3h/4. −5g/7. (b) (M g/8)(−9 sin 2ϕ. (b) 3. 40. 2. (b) 3. (a) 2. (3 2g/4a)1/2. 112 s. 1/2. 7. 2. 13. because scattering is isotropic. M 2 mg/k(M + 2m)2 . −16. 21. 60◦ .3 × 10−6 J from work done by insect. 10. M mg/(M + 2m). 0) × 10−4 kg m2 s−1 . 9 × 10−6 kg m2 . (b) J about leading edge. 11 + 9 cos 2ϕ).85 d. CHAPTER 9 √ √ 1. 20. I1 = I2 = 3M (a2 + 4h2 )/20.3 × 10−3 N.2 h.64 Hz (Ω = 16. 2)M a2 /3. 2. 1. 14.3 yr−1 . P . 4. 11. (b) (11. ±g/4. 2M (a5 − b5 )/5(a3 − b3 ).4 d. −2. 4a/3. 12. (a) 1. 8. 13. 3. δa = −2(I/m) (1 + e)a3 /GM (1 − e).78 km. . 14. dissipated to heat. −20.9 s.3 s. (a) 3M g cos ϕ. 8. (c) E.55 s. 18. 5/8. 1. 1. 22.011 s. 16 × 10−6 kg m2 .15 d.6 s−1 ).6 s.08. 5.p. 3. 6. 9. 4 2a/3. ∗ ∗ ∗ I1 = I2 = 51M a2 /320. −ρAv 2 . 3v/8a. 7.244 s−1 . 6.097 × 103 J.

27t − 0.m.2 = 2 (ω+ ± ω− ) and ω± = (2 ± 2)g/l. γ2 = (α + 2β)/2m. A1. 2.0399 sin 63. √ 14.3◦ . 2. l/c) = −y(x. α > 3k/ω0 . 371. √ 1 where ω1.5025 mm.347 s−1 (cf. 4. 4. ω 2 = ω0 . 3√ y = a(2 cos ω1 t cos ω2 t + 2 2 sin ω1 t sin ω2 t).p. I3 = I3 . 3 3 15. 1. ω 2 = (3 ± 5)k/2m. x = a(cos ω1 t cos ω2 t + 2 2 sin ω1 t sin ω2 t). 8. x − 2ω y − ω 2 x = −GM1 (x + a1 )/r1 − GM2 (x − a2 )/r2 . 1 : 0 : −1.2 − ω 2 + 2iγ1. 1. ω1 = q 2 /4π 0 a3 m. √ 12. −m/M . no. small Ω is slightly smaller. g/l.0t) mm. 6. with ¨ ˙ 2 2 r1 = (x + a1 )2 + y 2 . (M + m sin2 θ)lθ + mlθ2 cos θ sin θ + (M + m)g sin θ = 0. large Ω is bigger. ¨ ˙ 9. ∗ ∗ 11. √ 2 2 2 2 2 2 13. 3k/m. I1 .40 s−1 . y = a − 2act/l.). 14. 3g/l. 0). I3 are replaced by I1 < I1 . 2 2 2 11.401 sin 6. CHAPTER 12 √ 1. AX /Ax = 1. 5. a. 62. ω2 = ω0 + 2ωs . I1 ϕ = I3 ω3 Ω sin λ cos ϕ − I1 Ω2 sin2 λ sin ϕ cos ϕ. φ = (q/4π 0 )[14/a + (4x2 + y 2 )/2a3 ]. ω 2 = 4k/3m. 0. 3(1 − a/l)k/m.5 s−1 (3548 r. (a) as at t = 0 except that for l/2 − ct < x < l/2 + ct. with ω1 = ω0 . 2M a/(M + m). ω 2 = GM/a3 . x = x0 − y/4. (b) y = 0.065 s−1 ). ¨ 10. t = 1 s.3◦ . ω 2 = g/l. (c) y(x. ϕ0 /5. √ γ1 = α/2m. arcsin(1/ 3) = 35. (I1 /I3 )Ω sin λ. x0 = 2mg/k. ω0 + 3ωs . .099 75 s. 2 2 2 2 2 4. ω 2 = g cos α/r sin2 α.0025 s. 9. r2 = (x − a2 )2 + y 2 . 1 3. 2a/3. (0. y y = mg(1 − cos ωt)/k. 10.2 ω). Ω2 = ω 2 − g 2 /l2 ω 2 . √ 3. CHAPTER 11 1√ 1. y0 = 3mg/k. 0.2 = (F/ 2m)(ω1.62 s−1 . arcsin(1/ 3) = 35. ω2 = 4ω1 . g/l + k/M + k/m. θ = (ϕ0 /10)(cos 2πt − cos 3πt) (t in s). ω = g/l. (b) ω 2 = (1 − a/l)k/m. ω 2 = (M + m)g/ma.452 Classical Mechanics 8. (t in s). q2r+1 = (−1)r 4 2la/π 2 (2r + 1)2 . 7. g/2a. Ax : Ay : Az = 1 : 1 : 1. H = (px − py )2 /6m + p2 /2m + 2 ky 2 − mgy. 2 12. east and west. ¨ ˙ 2 3 3 y + 2ω x − ω y = −GM1 y/r1 − GM2 y/r2 . ω0 + ωs . q2r = 0. 1 : −2 : 1. (a) ω 2 = k/m.

H = X + 2 ∗ ∗ 2M 2(I1 + M R2 sin θ) 2I1 sin2 θ 2 pψ 2 ∗ 2 ∗ + ∗ + M gR cos θ. (0. 3). − 2 with (1. (pϕ − pψ z)2 − 2I1 (1 − z 2 )(E − M grz − p2 /2I3 ) = 0. H = (p − qA)2 /2m + qφ. 2 2 13. y). f 1 ˙ 2. ( 1 . 2 4. ϕ θ (lpx − pθ cos θ)2 p2 θ + + mgl(1 − cos θ). 2 with eigenvectors (1. (0. − 9. (b) x ≤ f − f < 0 =⇒ t0 ≤ k/σ(f − f ). f (x) = −c ln x + dx has a single minimum and f → +∞ when x → 0+ and when x → +∞. 11. (0. p2 p2 q 2 B 2 ρ2 qq ϕ ρ + + . ϕ = ˙ mρ2 ∂ρ mρ3 mρ ∂z mρ CHAPTER 13 ¯ 1. 11. = .min = 4I1 M gR/I3 . 2 [Note that the nodes are local minima of U (x. (ii) (improper ) asymptotically stable node. 2 Nearly all initial conditions lead to extinction for one or other species in Fig. 1 3 (1. reduced by a factor I1 /I1 . Second set of parameters =⇒ (0. 3 ) and ( 1 . practice. √ 1 12.4 yrs.9 =⇒ no stable coexistence. 1): asymptotically stable node. M1 /M2 > 2 (25 + 621) = 24. 0): saddles. 0). (0. 0) has λ1. 2) has λ1. 3ωL . y = −ω0 x − µy. 1): 2 2 4 . ( 2 . 1 + λi ): saddle. (1. 13. Trajectories 2 θ2 − (g/l) cos θ = constant (= g/l on separatrices). 5. H = 2 2ml 2(M + m sin2 θ)l2 p2 p2 + p 2 (pϕ − pψ cos θ)2 Y θ + 6. 0) which is (i) asymptotically ˙ ˙ stable spiral. J2 qJBρ ∂U qJBz ∂U J =− . 2I3 7. Critical point (0. 0) is a saddle. 0) are asymptotically stable nodes. ψ 8. q m/π 0 qB 2 .2 = −1. a2 /4b. 0) and (1. equilibria x± = (k ± k 2 − 4f σ)/2σ. 2 147. 1 7. 0) has λ1.Answers to Problems 453 4. 1 (0.96. (0. . 0).90 yrs. 0): unstable node. Ω = −p = 1 ω 2 {1 ± 1 − 27M1 M2 /(M1 + M2 )2 }. 2 ) has λ1.2 = −1. − 14.2 = 1. (iii) (inflected ) asymptotically stable node. ( 1 . H = 2 2m 2mρ 4π 0 ρ 2m √ 10. x+ is ¯ ¯ asymptotically stable. x = y. (a) f = k 2 /4σ. J 2 = p2 + p2 / sin2 θ. 0 < b < a. 1): unstable node.] 6. − 4 ): asymptotically stable √ 1 1 1 node. In ˙ ¯ is not precisely known or constant. − 4 with (1. ω3.2 = (−5 ± 57)/16 with (− 2 . 5.

coexistence in first quadrant. J1. ˙ r → 0. 12. 13. ˙ ˙ (a) dN/dt ≡ 0 and dI/dS = I/S = −1 + b/aS.2.2. in this case there is asymptotically stable coexistence. At (0. ω → rotation about axis with the largest moment of inertia. 1.3 = −|µ|/I1. 9. so S+ is arbitrarily close to b/a − δ and these susceptibles escape infection.2 = ( ± 2 − 4)/2.2 satisfy Ji + [(I1 − I3 )/I1 ]2 Ω2 Ji = 0. Write S = b/a + ξ and expand =⇒ trajectory passes through (b/a − δ. I0) 0 S+ b/a S− S . unstable spiral (β > 0) or centre (β = 0). 11. (0. then integrate to get |J | = constant. λ1. I0 = . √ At (0. Since S0 can be made arbitrarily close to S− .2 = αβ ± i. ¨ ˙ (c) J3 = 0 =⇒ J3 = I3 Ω. when β < 0. R < 1: asymptotically stable node. (b) (±J. 0). 0). (d) Critical point (0. so maximum. −c1 a2 =⇒ λ2 + (c1 + c2 )λ + (c1 c2 − a1 a2 ) = 0. ˙ ˙ ˙ (a) J1 J1 + J2 J2 + J3 J3 = 0. asymptotically stable node. Then M= a1 −c2 c1 c2 > a1 a2 =⇒ λ1 . 0. R > 1: saddle. 0) are saddles. 0. (0. with λ1. (b) dI/dS = 0 when 2 2 S = b/a and d I/dS = −b/aS 2 < 0. ±J. In polars. (c) S0 = b/a + δ. 1). opposite sign: saddle in third quadrant and trajectories run away → +∞. negative: asymptotically stable node. (0. 0. R(a+µ) . λ2 real. so we have an asymptotically stable spiral ˙ (β < 0). 0). 10. µ(R−1) a(R−1) Critical points at (0. θ = 1 √ 2 and r = αr(β − r ). 0).454 Classical Mechanics 8. unstable spiral ( < 2) or node ( ≥ 2). saddle. λ2 real. I t (S0. for β > 0. 0). S+ . As ω → 0. 0. 0. ±J) are centres on the sphere. 0). asymptotically stable node. I3 . 0). r → β as t and θ → ∞. Disease maintains itself only when R > 1. and c1 c2 < a1 a2 =⇒ λ1 . I = 0 at S = S− . λ1. (0. (µR+a) . ).3 and eigenvectors (1.

in successive rows. µν 2 = 2σβ(ρ − 1) =⇒ result for ρcrit . Evidently. Trajectories in the xy-plane are parabolic arcs in x ≥ 0. For a critical point (X. 1 ). β ⎡ 15. Y X −β 1 (a) λ1 = −β < 0. Trajectories move towards smaller C values 2 2 √ ¯ ¯ whenever (X1 . ∆x = ∆x0 + ∆y0 t. z) ¯ from O ≡ (0. y. the matrix ⎡ ⎤ −µ Y X2 M = ⎣Y − A −µ X1 ⎦. (e) Evidently RHS = 0 is an ellipsoid and the distance of (x.e. (c) ρ = 1 =⇒ cubic becomes λ(λ + β)(λ + σ + 1) = 0. and bounces don’t affect this result. 2 2 4 2 4 ( 1 )n × (row of Pascal’s triangle). (b) For a critical point (X1 . i. the matrix M = ⎣ρ − Z −1 −X ⎦. so that (∆x)2 + (∆y)2 ∼ κt for t increasing.. we have 2 . The higher the energy the longer the period of oscillation (between successive bounces). (d) X1 + X2 + Y 2 = C. Between bounces.3 are real and are both negative only when 0 < ρ < 1. ρ + σ) decreases where RHS < 0. Y ) is below the paraboloid Y = µ(X1 + X2 )/ 2. X2 .Answers to Problems 455 ⎤ −σ σ 0 14. When n = 16. ∆x = ∆x0 cos ωt + (∆y0 /ω) sin ωt. λ2. etc.. Z).e. If the cubic has the form (λ + µ)(λ2 + ν 2 ) = 0 then µ = σ + β + 1. i. ( 1 . 17. outside the ¯ ellipsoid and so a fortiori outside any sphere centred at O which contains it. Y ). ∆y = −ω ∆x0 sin ωt + ∆y0 cos ωt. where C > 0.3 = − 2 (σ + 1) ± 1 (σ + 1)2 − 4(1 − ρ)σ. −X2 −X1 0 2 2 ¯ ˙ (c) ∇ · (x) = −2µ < 0. X2 . so that 2 λ2. 16. Each is bounded and so is (∆x)2 + (∆y)2 . ∆y = ∆y0 . ( 1 . 1 ). we have (1). is an ellipsoid (oblate). ν 2 = β(σ + ρ). (d) Write ρ = 1 + (with σ. small) and find changes in eigenvalues by putting λ = λi + ξ( ) and performing a linear analysis of the cubic in (b). Y. 1 . 18. constant. 0.

Steady r = r0 when 2 pθ = mr0 Ω0 with Ω0 = ± g/r0 . (r. 2. θ) hyperbolae. CHAPTER 14 1. E ≥ 0 curves stretch to r → ∞. Oscillation√ between x = ±[l + √2E/k]. parabola. θ) ellipses. Small oscillations √ r = r0 + ∆ =⇒ SHM for ∆ with frequency ≡ 3(ω sin α).560. √ q 1 8.456 Classical Mechanics 1 ( 2 )16 [1.560.8008. the vector A may be considered using Cartesians or polars. We always have closure for this system — given E. Evaluating φ(q) gives q(t) = E + E k−λk sin(ωt + β) . For the isotropic k oscillator there are two radial oscillations for each complete elliptical trajectory.e. 6. Closure √ for rational 3 sin α. Return trajectories have −|k|/R ≤ E < 0. (Note. 1820.4368. major axis h in this limit. 5. Explicitly. φ(q) = (∂/∂I) p dq ≡ ωt + β. Poincar´ section is a single point on an (r. a different point for each choice of θ section.4368. [F.) √ 2 (R/h)(1 − R/h) → 1/2 . T = 2π/ω.1820. Effective potential p2 /2mr2 − |k|/r =⇒ minimum −k 2 m/2p2 when θ θ r = r0 = p2 /m|k|.) 3.. In (c). Small oscillations r = r0 + ∆ =⇒ SHM for ∆ with frequency 3g/2r0 .16. pr ) e curve. circle.11440.30). Small E =⇒ T → ∞ as E −1/2 . i. Action I = 2E l/g =⇒ E = 1 g/l I. corresponding to (r. H] = 0 in each case. Kepler’s third law for a flat ellipse.8008.1].120. x φ(x) = (∂/∂I) p dx with φ = ω(I)t + constant. t0 = h3 m/2|k| π 2h3 m/|k| π/2 − arcsin R/h + as R/h → 0.11440. H (≡ E) and pθ are constants of the motion. 2 7. with ω = ∂E/∂I = 2 k/m. ω = g cos α/r0 sin2 α.16. H ≡ E here. large E =⇒ T → 2π/Ω. rotation rate at r0 . consistent with (4.120. I = 2 mk[E/k − λ/k] =⇒ E(I). and frequency 2 ω = ∂H/∂I = 1 g/l. pr ) curves closed (around r = r0 ) when θ E < 0. 4. (r. √ √ ω = Ω E/( E + β). Action I = (2l/π) 2mE + E/Ω =⇒ E = IΩ + β 2 − β. (Then the orientation of the orbit may be specified using α = arctan(Ay /Ax ) and |A|2 = 1 − (2J 2 |E|/mk 2 ). 12870.

4. Maximum acceleration |ω 2 lθmax | ∝ l−3/4 . 15.30)).2◦. Action I ∝ L H and H ∝ v 2 =⇒ v ∝ 1/L. 164. Action I1 = ( −2mE/π) r12 (r2 − r)(r − r1 )(dr/r). 2. I = constant =⇒ E ∝ (sin α)2/3 . Evidently. System autonomous. . H ˙ from Chapter 3.31)). Since eccentricity 2 e = 1 + 2EI2 /mk 2 (see (4.20.2◦ . −3. 3. (d) (−3. 7. 10. 3. (a) Motion within curve (E/mgµr) = 1 − (1/µ) cos θ (ellipse). (b) (−3. 0). √ r 9. py = −ωpx − ω 2 y + ∂U/∂y and H = 2 (px + ωy)2 + ˙ 1 2 2 (py − ωx) − U .44. 4. (3x2 − yz. Action I = (2m/3π) 2gq0 sin α and E = mgq0 sin α =⇒ result. −xz. 8). So E(I1 . (−6. ˙ 1 ˙ y = py − ωx. APPENDIX A 1. ω1 /ω2 = 1. a increases. (2x/y. 3 15. Problem 24 using pλ = mc2 (cosh2 λ − cos2 θ)λ. 5. Evidently E ∝ k 2 and τ ∝ k −2 . (a) 1. 11. respectively.or y-axes. U ≥ C for possible motion and for the Earth/Moon system the critical C is that corresponding to the ‘equilibrium’ point between Earth and Moon. period 2π/ω ∝ (sin α)−2/3 . Consider the lines from a bounce point to the foci and the angles they make with the trajectory just before and just after the bounce. 16.18)).69. µ < 1: curve as in (a) — hyperbola for E = 0. q0 ∝ (sin α)−1/3 . Hamilton’s equations: x = px + ωy. 2 2 2 ˙ Turning value for λ is when pλ = 0 =⇒ pθ = mc (cosh λ − cos θ)θ. Temperature ∝ 1/L2 =⇒ pressure ∝ 1/L5 =⇒ pressure ∝ (density)5/3 . q02 /q01 = 1. (c) −15. (a) (1 − y 2 /x2 . 13. (b) µ = 1: bounding curve E = 2mgr sin2 (θ/2). 16. ˙ 12. Action I = E/ω.Answers to Problems 457 tangency condition. −3). px = ωpy − ω 2 x + ∂U/∂x. 6x. Maximum sideways displacement = lθmax ∝ l1/4 . 0). H = constant. 2y/x. 3). 2. a ∝ 1/|k| =⇒ k decreases. (e) as (d). 3. Λ = [(x + ae)py − px y][(x − ae)py − px y]. Change to λ. (−1. θ variables. √ 14. 11). so E ∝ ω ∝ l −1/2 . e remains constant. So E2 /E1 = 0. where 2 r1 + r2 = −|k|/E and r1 r2 = −I2 /2mE =⇒ result. (−3. Since τ ∝ a3 /|k| (see (4. −xy). I2 ) and ω1 = ∂E/∂I1 ≡ ω2 (see (14. Frequency ω = 2π g sin α/8q0 . (b) circles passing through the origin with centres on x. two straight lines for E = 0. 1 − x2 /y 2 . 0). intersecting at right angles.

Br = µ0 µ cos θ/2πr3 . Aϕ = 0. centre (∴ stable). ρ ∂ϕ 1 ∂Aρ (∇2 A)ϕ = ∇2 (Aϕ ) − 2 Aϕ − 2 . 0) λ1. 2r−2 sin θ). B = (µ0 /4πr5 )(3µ · rr − r2 µ). λ1. Bθ = µ0 µ sin θ/4πr3 . ⎣ 0 1 0 ⎦. ρ ∂ϕ 12. r−2 (1 + 2 ln r) cos θ. (b) (0. scalar products are t · n1. −1). 2. 0. λ1. −2). unstable spiral. √ (e) (0. Ar = Aθ = 0. Bϕ = 0. eigenvectors (−2. λi + 2). 1 ∂Aϕ 11. centre (∴ stable). (1.2 = 4. √ (4.2 = 1.2 = (1 ∓ e cos ψ)−1 (cos ψ ∓ e. 1. Aθ = r−1 ln r sin θ. b cos ψ). √ (c) (−1. 9. 2).2 = − 2 ± 1 17.2 = ±i2 6. λ1. B = (µ0 I/4πr3 )ds ∧ r. APPENDIX B 1.2 = (a cos ψ ∓ ae)2 + (b sin ψ)2 = a2 (1 ∓ e cos ψ)2 . asymptotically 2 stable node. √ (0. 13. 3 + λi ). Q = ρ(r )(3r r − r 2 1)d3 r . λ1.458 Classical Mechanics 8. 2). −2. unstable node. F + F = (µ0 II /4πr3 )r ∧ (ds ∧ ds ) = 0. 14. Distances r1. (∇2 A)z = ∇2 (Az ).2 are given by 2 r1. saddle (∴ unstable). Ar = r−1 cos θ. (b/a) sin ψ). 4). (0.2 = 5 ± i 55. Tangent vector is t = (−a sin ψ. unit vectors from two foci are n1. λ1.2 = ±ae sin ψ. 0).2 = −1 ± i. APPENDIX C √ 5 1. . 2ωk. asymptotically stable node. Aϕ = µ0 µ sin θ/4πr2 . (d) (0.2 = −5 ± 5. ⎡ ⎤ cos θ 0 sin θ 15. 0). (a) (0. A = (µ0 /4πr3 )µ ∧ r. λi + 8). F = (µ0 II /4πr3 )ds ∧ (ds ∧ r). eigenvectors (1. eigenvectors (1. (∇2 A)ρ = ∇2 (Aρ ) − 2 Aρ + 2 . a(∇ · b) + (b · ∇)a − b(∇ · a) − (a · ∇)b. eigenvectors (−1. asymptotically stable spiral . λ1. λ1. λi − 3).2 = ±i2 6. − sin θ 0 cos θ 17.

3.. √ (g) (0. nπ). −1).2 = 8. i. − x2 + 2c. centre. eigenvectors (1. symmetry about x axis rules out spirals. 0). 0). (1.57 −2 X 1 − 1/r 0 X1 (r). b = 2/r − 1. β = −2α = r/a. 0). 1).e. X2 (r) 2∞ accum.2 = ±1. (0. n even: λ1. resp.|r − 1 + 5| < 1 (two disjoint ovals). 0).. = 1 x4 − 1 x2 + c. saddle (∴ unstable).57 4 Y 0 1 − 1/s Y1 (s). saddles (∴ unstable). 0). s = 2 − r. λ1. resp. range limit √ 2. (b). 0). (a) X = 0 asymptotically stable in circle |r| < 1. (±1. r = 1 ± 1 + 4a. (b) asymptotically stable 2-cycle when | − r 2 + 2r + 4| < 1. Y2 (s) 2∞ accum.2 = ± ω 2 − α. 0). (f) (0. (b) dx F (2) (x) = F (x)F (F (x)) =⇒ asymptotically stable when √ |F (X1 )F (X2 )| < 1 =⇒ | − r2 + 2r + 4| < 1 =⇒ 3 < r < 1 + 6 (if r ≥ 0). λ1. λ1. n odd: λ1. resp.. centre (∴ stable). (0. (c) a = 1 − 1/r. (d) Applying (c) to (a). 4 2 APPENDIX D d 1. yields asymptotically stable points/cycles: s=2−r 0→1 1→3 √ 3→1+ 6 3. (Note: In each case. consider local sketches near the critical points and how these build into the global phase portrait. centres (∴ stable). . range limit r 2→1 1 → −1 √ −1 → 1 − 6 −1. y = x3 − x =⇒ (0. −3. 1). or √ √ |r − 1 − 5|.Answers to Problems 459 (1.2 = −8. X = 1 − 1/r asymptotically stable in circle |2 − r| < 1. x = y. etc. saddles. eigenvectors (1.2 = ±i.) 2. eigenvectors (1. saddle (∴ unstable). ˙ ˙ (a) dy/dx = (x3 − x)/y =⇒ y=± 1 4 2x 1 2 2y 1 (b) separatrices given by c = 4 .. 1). 3. (−1. saddle (∴ unstable) and ω 2 < α. so ω 2 > α.

The Beauty of Fractals. n Uncertainty n = 0 2 ≥ 1 when n ≥ ln(1/ 0 )/ ln 2. adding the regions of the complex r plane in which there are cycles of any finite length we arrive at the figure shown: (c) In the complex a plane. followed by a period-doubling cascade. there is period-doubling on each branch. X = 0 asymptotically stable if |a| < 1. √ 5. or 1 < a < 2. Note: n = 0 2n =⇒ Lyapunov exponent λ = ln 2 > 0. the circles become a heart-shaped region 1 1 with a cusp at a = − 4 . Fixed points at X = 0. The entire set yields the Mandelbrot ‘signature’ (see Peitgen and Richter. X = ± a − 1 asymptotically stable when |3 − 2a| < 1. Springer. the 2-cycles yield a circle |a − 1| = 4 . X = 3 have |F (X)| = 2 =⇒ instability. At a = 2. . 1986): 2 4.460 Classical Mechanics Note: If we continue in this way.

1 . (X− .2 = ± ln 2.2 = ln µ1. xn = X + ξ. Y− ) is 3 always unstable.9624 — stretch and squeeze.2 = bX2. (b) Nontrivial 2-cycle =⇒ Xi roots of a2 X 2 − a(1 − b)X + (1 − b)2 − a = 0. x 1 1 X +ξ ξn ξn+1 11. X1 . |λ2 | < 1 =⇒ |b| < 1 and also |2aX| < 1 − b.6931. µ2 = diagram: 1 2 =⇒ λ1.2 = (1 − b ∓ a)/[a2 + (1 − b)2 ].2 = 3 ± 1 5 =⇒ Lyapunov exponents λ1. b) if a > 1 − b.Answers to Problems 461 7. real 3 roots if a > 4 (1 − b)2 . Y1. P2 = (1 − a − b)−1 (1. Eigenvalues λ of M1 M2 satisfy 2 2 λ − (4a X1 X2 + 2b)λ + b2 = 0 =⇒ for asymptotic stability |b| < 1 1 and |4(1 − b)2 − 4a + 2b| < 1 + b2 =⇒ a < (1 − b)2 + 4 (1 + b)2 [using an argument similar to that in the Hint]. ¯ ¯ 8.2 = ± ln 2 = ±0. (a) Both |λ1 |. Hence X1. 9. Y2 ). (1 − µ1 )(1 − µ2 ) < 0 =⇒ 0 < µ1 < 1 < µ2 (say) =⇒ Lyapunov exponents λ1 > 0 > λ2 . See . yn+1 = bX + η . Y+ ) is asymptotically stable if a < 4 (1 − b)2 .618 = 2 2 ±0. b) if a > b − 1. yn = Y + η =⇒ xn+1 = 1 − aX 2 + Y + ξ. µ1 + µ2 = 1 + (1 + 4a2 X 2 )/b2 . Q2 = (X2 . λ − b/λ = −a =⇒ P1 asymptotically stable. (a) = =⇒ eigenvalues = =⇒ ηn+1 ηn y 1 2 Y +η √ µ1. X2 must (b) For nontrivial 2-cycle Q1 = (X1 . (X+ . If |b| < 1 and |a| < 1 − b only P1 exists. / µ2 η where µ1 µ2 = 1/b2 . with Y = b(1 − aX 2 )/(1 − b). ellipse with semi-axes / µ1 . (a) Fixed points P1 = (1 + a − b)−1 (1. Y1 ) be of opposite sign. η = bξ. See diagram: (b) eigenvalues µ1 = 2. ¯ with ξ = −2aXξ + η. Area of ellipse = π|b| 2 =⇒ area reduction. Circle ξ 2 + η 2 = 2 becomes ¯ √ √ ¯ ¯ [ξ + (2aX/b)¯]2 + η 2 /b2 = 2 .

462 Classical Mechanics 12. See diagram: . √ √ (1 − 1/ 2)(p1 /q1 ) + (1/ 2)(p2 /q2 ) is irrational and lies between the rationals p1 /q1 and p2 /q2 .g. then e.. (b) Since 2 is irrational. 13. We may take both θ and I to be 2π-periodic here. then choose integer N such that > 1/N . (a) α. at least one is √ between α and β. mesh integer multiples of 1/N . β distinct irrationals with β − α > > 0.

Dynamical Systems. P. C. 2nd ed. 1996.C. P. K.: Chaos in Classical and Quantum Mechanics. 1989. and Shaw. R. 1998.L. 1992 [originally published by Aerial Press].P. V. vol.: Theoretical Mechanics of Particles and Continua. Chandrasekhar. J. S. Baker. 1983. Springer. Cambridge University Press. and Walecka. 1980.: Classical Mechanics. 1994. R.: Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics. Springer–Verlag.P.I. and Holmes. Abraham. 2nd ed. 1995. Guckenheimer.. McGraw–Hill.: Evolutionary Games and Population Dynamics. 1995. Adam Hilger/IOP Publishing. Cvitanovic.: Chaotic Dynamics — an Introduction. 2nd ed. and Sigmund. A.H. C. M. Arnol’d. Poole. V. and Bifurcations of Vector Fields. and Marsden. and Gollub.D. and Neishtadt. 2nd ed.: Newton’s “Principia” for the Common Reader.I.. J.. Fetter. V. 2nd ed.V. 1963.E. and Safko. J.I. Springer–Verlag.: Universality in Chaos — a reprint selection. R.: Mathematical Aspects of Classical and Celestial Mechanics..L. Addison–Wesley. Cambridge University Press.Bibliography The following is a short list of selected books which may be found helpful for further reading on classical mechanics and related subjects. 1990. 3rd ed. J. J. I.. Vogtmann and A.P.D. 2002.: Foundations of Mechanics. Goldstein. H. Gutzwiller. Kozlov.: Lectures on Physics. 463 . Benjamin/Cummings. J.. Feynman. Springer–Verlag. translated by K. G.L.. Addison–Wesley.. A.: Dynamics — the Geometry of Behavior. Abraham. Addison–Wesley. Arnol’d. Weinstein.: Nonlinear Oscillations. Hofbauer.. Clarendon. 2nd ed. 1996.

D. H. 3rd ed.: Chaos in Dynamical Systems.. 1997. E.: Introduction to Dynamics. 2nd ed.. Heinemann.M.: Stability and Complexity in Model Ecosystems. Park. Cambridge University Press. M.: Mechanics of Continuous Media.: Concepts of Force: A Study in the Foundations of Dynamics. Butterworth–Heinemann.464 Classical Mechanics Hunter.A. and Richards.: Mechanics (vol. 2nd ed.A. L. 1965 [reprinted by Oxbow Press].M.D.: Perspectives of Nonlinear Dynamics. 1992. E.N. 1993. 2002. Princeton University Press. . and Saupe. 2nd ed.: The Essence of Chaos. Lichtenberg. Percival.. L. R. UCL Press/University of Washington Press.. S.-O.: Concepts of Mass in Classical Mechanics.A. 1974 and 2001. Jammer. Cambridge University Press. D. M. Cambridge University Press. Lorenz. C. 1 of Course of Theoretical Physics). Murray. I.C. 1990.J. 1983. A. Pars. Landau.: Solar System Dynamics.: Regular and Stochastic Motion. and Lieberman. Cambridge University Press. Jammer. and Lifshitz.: Classical Dynamics and its Quantum Analogues. Springer–Verlag.D. Ellis Horwood. M. Dover.F. 1982. 1999. 1989. Peitgen.. and Dermott. S.: Chaos and Fractals. u Springer–Verlag. J¨rgens..: A Treatise on Analytical Dynamics. May. H. E. 2nd ed. Ott. Dover. D. Jackson. 1983. Springer. 1999. E. 1982.

144. 369–372 principle of. 354–359. 51. 258 of forced oscillation. 237 vector. 156. 183 and Euler angles. 183–188 of many-body system. 54. 96. 214. 105–106 and Euler angles. 185–186 of precession. 235 apparent gravity. 99. 161. 296–297 conservation of. 181–183 total. 130 in rotating frame. 190 action variable. 112. directed element of. 142 area of ellipse. 74. 121 as generator of rotation. 283. 65 about centre of mass. 123. 3 gravitational. 369 aircraft. 126 algebra of vectors. 296–297 of Earth–Moon system. 314. 167 amplitude. 395 area-filling map. 7 action integral. 28 angular momentum. 280. 265 angle variable. 353 . 354. 205–208. 87. 32 complex. 54 465 about an axis. 161. 23 at resonance. 293. 55. 127. 105. 31. 25. 222 instantaneous. accelerated frame. 218 of two-body system. 63. 65. 222 and Larmor effect. 379 adiabatic invariance. 145 acceleration.Index Note: Page numbers in italics refer to items in the problems. 181. 54. 103. 216–218 of Earth. 105 anomaly. 102 apparent force. 199. 304 action and reaction. 6 absolute nature of. 15. 203–204 rate of change. 197. 437 addition of vectors. 182 angular velocity. 354 angular frequency. 182. 385 almost linear system. 421–423 alpha particle. 111–112 polar components of. 3. 71 accelerator. 12 adiabatic change. 412 area. 66. 112–113. 101 antisymmetric tensor. 369 action/angle variables. 382 additivity of mass. 25 of damped oscillation. 292. 121. 401 aphelion. 76. 181–183 of rigid body. 370 adiabatic invariant. xv. 162 perpendicular components. xv.

84. 94 attractor. colliding. 419. 428 billiard balls. 383 axial vector. 178.466 Classical Mechanics area-preserving map. 424 centre of charge. 150. 382 catastrophe. 70 Bertrand’s theorem. 41 billiard systems. 4. 420. 124 bifurcation. 378 autonomous system. 88 rotation of. 310. 66. 72 cause and effect. 55. 159. 309. 198 centre. 87. 314 charge. 291 internal. 310. 233 canonically conjugate pairs. 337. 386 axioms of Euclid. 224 axis of symmetry. 61 brachistochrone. 301 Cartesian co-ordinates. 330 chaos. 313 axes of orbit. 334. 111 Chandler wobble. 114. 164. 441 body cone. 375 Hamiltonian for. 339 calculus of variations. 378 circular. 75. 5. 302 . 364. 426. 426 atmospheric drag. 8 centre of. 315. 169 Bernoulli. 283–284. 295. 45. 426 beam. 443 asteroid. 162–164 centrifugal force. 294. 279. 304 astronomical unit. 324 Arnold’s cat map. 224. 345 boundary conditions. 218 centre-of-mass frame. 137 centre of mass. 217. 338 Atwood’s machine. 357–359. 137 charge density. 422. 66 central force. 194 atmospheric pressure. 367–368. 59–62. 1 axioms of mechanics. 141. 121. 52. 76. 298–300 bounce map. 8. 175 Trojan. 249 potential energy of. 436 strange. 73–98. 159. 98. 70 broken symmetry. 224 Bohr orbit. 365. 422 true. 84. 314. 363–366. 338. 383 unit vectors along. 241–244. 309 catenary. 138. 334. 105. 350. 3 arms race. 181. 378 oval. 371 potential energy of. 397 charge-to-mass ratio. 347 routes to. 418. 309. 90 of varying strength. 339 central conservative force. 177 equation of motion of. xv atmospheric tides. 279 impulsive. 259. 189. 366 bouncing ball. 137 total. 126 boost. 363 Brusselator. 112. 364 elliptical. 207 baker’s transformation. 328 butterfly effect. 334. 375 chaotic attractor. 366. 187 atomic spectrum. 55–57 and angular momentum conservation. 101. 77. 235. 121 attenuation. 239 centripetal acceleration. 130 charged particle in electromagnetic field. 443 basin of attraction. 351 bicycle wheel. 415 general second-order. 353 Aristotle. 6. 98 asymptotically stable point. 11 axis of rotation. 334 characteristic equation. 105 instantaneous. 134.

79–80 Coulomb’s law. 172 total. 253–256. 18. 198. 398–400 elliptic. 393 vanishing. 14. 65. 4. 178 position of. 93. 231–232. 400 of curl. 394 conservative system. 74. 2. 318–322. 17–18. 125. 291–293. 40. 207 moments of inertia. 366 collision. 227 particle on. 79–80 co-ordinates Cartesian. 170 cube. 58. 331 Coriolis acceleration. 42 multiple. 265 components. 50. 40 internal. 9. 200–202 cone. 5. 49–51. 307. 81. 111 Coriolis force. 322–323 comet. 165–173 combat model. 50. 76. 415 cross-section. 393 of gradient. 46 critical line. 29. 412–413 conservation law in constrained system. 397 Coulomb scattering. 72. 172 inelastic. 39–42. 342 competitive exclusion principle. 166. 58. 182. 397 current loop. 25–26. 11. 282–285 normal. 296 conservation laws. 315–317 constraint equation. 94. 76–78 and symmetries.Index 467 chemical oscillation. 112. 409–413 Cartesian form. 296–297 of energy. 97. 26. 90–94. 364 circular orbit. 210 cubic map. 280–282. 391 in polar co-ordinates. 124 curvilinear co-ordinates. 99 competing species. 301 conics. 11. 51. 311. 63. moments of inertia. 8 coupled oscillators. 249 Coulomb gauge. 291–301. 178 compound pendulum. 90–97. 398 parabolic. 37 elastic. 55. 171. 66. 280. 283. 264–266 orthogonal. of vector. 239 and Lagrange multiplier. 83 clockwork universe. 347 for symmetric top. 14. 178 mass of. 178 force on. 398–400 . 169. 442 curl. 169. 25. 76. 71 polar. 239 of angular momentum. 327 circular billiard. 168–173 differential. 308 convection. 240 continuous dynamics. 382 composite body. 398–400 coefficient of restitution. 42 coins. 14. 39. 5. 229. 189 potential energy for. 295 of momentum. 114–120. 409–412 polar form. 415 critical point. 395 impulsive. 321 complex amplitude. 12. 410 velocity in. 188–190. 261–266 critical damping. 95 two-body. 74. 31. 18. 382 curvilinear. 394 current density. 165–173 hard-sphere. 339 closest approach distance. 160. 415–424 isolated. 78. 258 of forced oscillation. 312 control parameters. 76 conservative force. 86. 188–190 condition for. 41. 378 ignorable. 313. 57–59. 89. 58. 284 in polar co-ordinates. 178.

406 double pendulum. 339 diagonalization. 8 electric dipole. 403 Einstein. 129–131 elements. 150. 78. 379 elastic collision. 186 degeneracy. 241 electron. 207 moments of inertia. 131 electric field. 65 damped oscillator. 343 divergence. 171 in Lab frame. 260. 373 degrees of freedom. xv. 353 discrete systems. 110. 304 cylinder. 98. 282. 172 in CM frame. 214 angular velocity of. 93 for Rutherford scattering. 97 hard-sphere. 391 in polar co-ordinates. 167 electrostatic force. 406 dipole moment. 86 of Earth’s orbit. 255–257. 285. 132 electromagnetic field. 171 differentiation of vector. 288. 393 divergence of trajectories. 416 eigenvalues. of Jacobian matrix. xv. 72. 154. 140–144. 283 for constrained system. 314. 65. 112–113 orbit of. 378 . 232. 214 Earth–Moon distance. 80 for symmetric top. 3 ellipse. 100 precession of axis of. 241–244. 71 cycloid. 77. 163. 384 of tensors. 1. 87. 312 discrete map. 119 determinant. 336 escape velocity. 401 double dot product. 235 for central force. moments of inertia of. 214. 140–144. 8. 274. 132.468 Classical Mechanics unit vectors for. small. 373 depression. 258. 307. 425–441 disease. xv. xv. 366 differential cross-section. 119 cyclotron. 124. 3. 130 electrostatic potential. 373 denominators. 154. 399 of curl. 239 for inverse square law. xvi. 371. 314 eigenvector. 183–188. 397–398 particle in. 294 Delaunay. 82 magnetic field of. 57–59. 105. 341 day. 369 double star. 215 effective potential energy. 58 Lagrange’s equations in. xv. 412 ellipsoid. 224 shape of. 416 determinism. 398–400 kinetic energy in. 27–29. 403–404 dice. 376 cyclone. 241. 350. 185–186 core of. 334–336. 302 electromagnetic force. 235. 9. 334 motion near rotating. 109. 75. 163. 357. 71. 70. 109 cyclotron frequency. 14. 215 eccentric anomaly. 88. 101 eccentricity. 14. 84. 374 dot product. 81. 345 Earth. 131 magnetic. 165–173 electric charge. 163 Earth–Moon system. 10. 397 electric quadrupole. 110. 174 dyadic. 113. 41. 403. 210 elliptic co-ordinates. 137 discrete dynamics. 9. 401 dynamo. 93. 302 eigenvalue equation. 388 dipole electric. 88 ecliptic. 130. 105. 169. 258. 410. 258. 210 cylindrical polars. 192 elastic bouncer.

130 impulsive. 112. 50. 250 of centre of mass. 290. 130 equivalent simple pendulum. 397 electromagnetic. 253. 390 electric. 198. 188–190. 311 condition for. 66. 146 incompressible. 159. 40. 178 periodic. 226 inverse square law. 375 centrifugal. 241. 20–25. 40. 49. 55–57. 155 motion near. 148–152. 191. 234 gravitational. 413. 382 apparent. 18. 198 central conservative. 265 saw-tooth. 13. 350 escape velocity. 112. 227 focus. 82 Euclid’s axioms. 394. 1 Euclidean geometry. 129. 391 flux of particles. 397–398 gravitational. 426 fish population. 76. 151 field equations. 177 generalized. 394 total. 17–18. 14. 437 equations of motion for relative motion. 181. 283–284. 440 force. 13. 413. 130 external. 198 solution. 419 of charged-particle beam. 253–271 of rigid body. 47 . 429 field. 37. 362 first-order convergence. 428 Feigenbaum number. 178. 280 transferred in elastic collision. 18. 226 ergodic behaviour. 218 of rigid body. 110. 147 equivalence principle. 132. 14. 6. 189. 50. 436. 75. 169 flywheel. 126 of conic. 259 equipotential surface. 414 folding. 392 velocity field in. 108 on composite body. 90. 295 conservation of. 77. 433 equal-area map. 18. 30–36. 26 electromagnetic. 86–87 elliptic point. 201. 241. 433. 242. 161. 49–51. 82–83. 235 conservative. 141. 189. 162. 198 extinction. 74. 202. 177 external potential energy. 280–282. 6. 321 Feigenbaum. 110. 291 ergodic trajectory. 378 energy. 25–26 and time translation symmetry. 12 dissipative. 22. 341 fixed point. 17. 114–120 definition of. 425. 357–359. 112. 114. 130. 199. 312. 161. 256–257 equilibrium. 395 Coriolis. 9.Index 469 elliptic orbit. 190. 62 external forces. 353. 50. 440 elliptical billiard. 434. 358 Lorentz. 440 flow. 279. 256 hydrostatic. 42 potential. 99 from Earth. 8. 218 of small oscillations. 73–98. 188 lost in inelastic collision. 166 energy levels of hydrogen atom. 313 stability of. 235 as basic quantity. 202. 291 kinetic. 241 magnetic. 9. 10. 2 Euler angles. 86. 64. 397–398 figure of eight. 8. 12 addition of. 235. 221–223. 142. 241 electrostatic. 160 in electromagnetic field. 420. 188–190. 94. xv. 25–26. 114. 15 central. 84 entropy. 130. 9. 9. 308 fluid. 78–84. 365. 231 Euler–Lagrange equations. 61. 8. 150.

278 and total energy. 435 Fourier integral theorem. 105–125. 162–164 inertial. 24–25 damped. 8. 15. 73–76. 345 action/angle variables. 234 for stretched string. 292 geodesic. 35 step-function. 333. 7 tidal. 356–357 anisotropic. 234 for angular co-ordinate. 239. 398 in polar coordinates. 82 gravitational field. 27–29. 349 half-width of resonance. 223–225 freely falling body. 23 angular. 26 heat conduction. 115–117. 130 apparent. 1. 10 gravitational potential. 214. 10 Galton board. 191 gravitational force. 6 two-body. 90–94. 172 harmonic oscillator.470 Classical Mechanics square-wave. 228. 219. 129–131. 61. 295–301 Galileo. 436 frame. 150 Gauss’ theorem. 339. xv gravitational constant. 147. 51. 235. 312–313. 231–233 generalized force. 99. 280 for central conservative force. 184 total. 341 double. 212. 6. 280 Foucault’s pendulum. 369 Hartman–Grobman theorem. 390. 14. 342 gravitational acceleration. 99 Galilean transformation. 75 with varying frequency. 34. 232–233. 350 friction. 30–39 isotropic. 33 Hamilton’s equations. 112–113. 109 fundamental. 25 cyclotron. 36 Fourier series. 8. 169. 30–39. 39 three-body. 159–161. 145 centre-of-mass. 130. 346 gauge transformation. 64. 151 uniform. 317. 229. 397 Gauss law. 70 gradient. 117 four-cycle. 277–280 Hamilton’s principle. 302 for symmetric top. 4 accelerated. 73–76. 373. 144. 242 generating function. 399 general relativity. 396. 183. 130 gravitational mass. 2. 64. 279 for charged particle. 250. 177 work done by. 265–266 forced system. 250 hairy ball theorem. 277 in electromagnetic field. 63. 37 gyroscope. xv. 192 generalized co-ordinates. 142 of Earth. 49. 188. 152 Green’s function. 121 of normal mode. 96 . 218. 9 Galaxy. 239 transformation to moving. 271 fractal. 234 generalized momentum. 341. 270 Larmor. 14. 398 gradient system. 245 Hamiltonian function. 332 helium nucleus. 350. 295 laboratory. 3–4. 298–300 free motion of rigid body. 377 orbit of. 127 frequency. 100. 280 Hamiltonian system. 73 complex representation of. 127. 234 forced oscillation. 321 hard-sphere collision. 51. 165 rotating. 65. 284 rate of change of. 375 forced. 422 heat. 20–26. 3. 26.

290. 304 effect on Sun. 245 . 368 holonomic system. 418 improper transformations. 253 of forced system. 178 isotropic harmonic oscillator. 119 isolated critical point. 437. 438 Kepler’s first law. 235 for many-body system. 189 invariant circle. 181. 177 central. 103 Kepler’s second law. 406 Lagrange’s equations. 240. 234 for two-body system. 57. 438 integral theorems. 244 of two-body system. 339 inner product of vectors. 154. 79. 103 Kepler’s third law. 377 hydrogen atom. 37 velocity. 166 rate of change. 415 isolated system. 375 Kermack–McKendrick theorem. 42 inertia tensor. 169. 440 invariant probability distribution. 282–285 impact parameter. 418. 58. 126 hyperbola. 434. 233. 171. 235 homoclinic intersection. 165 differential cross-section in. 166 Kronecker’s symbol. 188. 10 infinite precision. 202. 440 ignorable co-ordinate. 233. 300 impulse. 193. 344 kinetic energy. 360 Jacobian matrix. 234 Lagrangian density. 3–4 transformation of. 89 improper node. 128. 161. 425 Jacobi integral. 88. 410 in polar form. 226 incompressible fluid. 163. 368–369 e hidden symmetry. 35 laboratory frame. 353. 442 e H´non–Heiles system. 79. 189. 198 conservative. 98. 413 hyperbolic point. 64–66. 26. 162. 72. 432 invariant torus. 174 KAM. 17. 226 integrability. 205. 343 Huygens. 172 Lagrange multiplier. 78–84. 392 inelastic collision. 348 isobars. 82. 83–84. 415 Jupiter. 103. 314. 125. 188 of natural system. 280 of particles on string. xv. 195. 6. 17. 358. 232. 402 insect. 37. 358 orbit. 49 and Euler angles.Index 471 helix. 254 near equilibrium. 199. 249. 188 in orthogonal co-ordinates. 85–89 inversion symmetry. 87. 349 inverse cube law. 440 Hopf bifurcation. 266 of rotating body. 390 internal force. 326–328. 40. 347–351 integrable system. 298–300 inertial mass. 100. 100 iteration. 347. 180 impulsive force. 49. 300 involution. 373. 161 in polar co-ordinates. 73–76. 190–192 for non-conservative force. 198 transferred. 231–248 for conservative system. 393–396 integration of vector. 51. 437. 109 H´non map. 102 inverse square law. 294. 207 of stretched string. 62–66. 401 inertial frame. 239 of many-body system. 223 in CM frame. 295.

441 attractors. 434 Lotka–Volterra system. 364. 94–96 Mercury.472 Classical Mechanics Lagrangian function. 303 laws of mechanics. 415–421 Liouville’s theorem. 301 Lorenz. 406 Larmor effect. 188–190 Lagrange’s equation for. 442 nonlinear. 236 for two-body system. 242 for coupled oscillators. 373. 353. 366 cubic. 426 Poincar´ return. 121. 199 Lanchester’s law. 108–109. 314. 124. 425–441 area-filling. 1 Legendre polynomial. 434. 151. 352. 353 e standard. 342 Lozi map. 114. 438 Maskelyne. 12 gravitational and inertial. 53 moment of inertia. 432. 427 Lorentz force. 353. 426. 6 additive nature of. 186 moment of force. 235 for charged particle. 381 malaria. 318–321. 443 bounce. 120–124 uniform. 373 Lyapunov exponent. rotating. 177–192 angular momentum of. 160 matchbox. 424. 443 tent. 126. 436 Lorenz system. 131 libration. 426 logistic. 191 Lagrangian points. 442 twist. 208–211 . 10 measurement of. 220 maximum scattering angle. 362 Larmor frequency. 15 mass. 378 lamina. 181–183 energy conservation in. 168 Maxwell’s equations. 331. 349 magnetic dipole. 144. 307. 324–328. 442 e linear. 199. 351 logistic equation. 375 line integral. 437. 426 logistic map. 275 Laplace–Runge–Lenz vector. 265 for many-body system. 338. 394 linear independence. 428 in standard form. 460 many-body system. 10 of composite body. 397 mean free path. 203 calculation of. 393. 442 lunar theory. 426. 62. 339 Lorenz attractor. 433. 406 magnetic field. 331–334. 351. 161 in uniform gravitational field. 178 reduced. 353 area-preserving. 316. 241. 426 linear system. 323 Laplace’s equation. 400 of vector field. 353 equal-area. 22 linear map. 64. 190–192 maps. 245 for symmetric top. 1–12. 353 Arnold’s cat. 191 for pendulum. 228. 241 Lorentz transformation. 437 H´non. 376 Laplacian. 432. 243 magnitude of vector. 12. 309–311. 442 Macdonald. 14 laws of nature. 303. 441 Lozi. 432. 238 for stretched string. 110. 334 particle in. 437. 344. 125 Lissajous figures. 342 Mandelbrot set. 354 limit cycle. 120–124. 289–291 liquid surface. 397 of Earth. 442 discrete. 251. 342 magnetic bottle. 393 in polar co-ordinates.

277 in CM frame. 88–89 in phase space. 270 non-holonomic system. 30–39. 296 conservation of. 232–233 condition for. 12. 98 of oscillator. 143 transfer. 437 natural system. 86–87. 144–148. 154 moving frame. 398 orthogonal tensor. 84 circular. 197 monopole. 308 in rotating frame. 65. 6. 11. 15. 178. 162 of many-body system. 154 one-dimensional maps. 8 Newton’s laws. 438 nested tori. 30–39. 280 nautical mile. 8. 99 of Earth. 232 non-integrable system. 5–10 Newton’s second law. 46 isotropic. 143. 208 momentum. 96 oblateness. 264–266 for stretched string. 183–188 precession of orbit. 98. 422 improper. 100. 89. 70 Newton’s first law. 261–266 of double pendulum. 312–313. 269–271 nucleus. 64. 102 inverse square law. forced. 403 orthonormal triad. 253–256. 101 hyperbolic. 82 Newton’s law of gravity. 120. 377 with varying frequency. 160. 85–89 of comet. 419 nodes on stretched string. 406 orthogonality. 261–266 . 418 proper. xvi. 298–300 multiple collisions. 4. 348 of eigenvectors. 100. 356–357 complex representation of. 102 neap tides. 369 oscillators. 75 of satellite. 266–269 of stretched string. 6. 345 action/angle variables.Index 473 principal. 159. 178 Newton’s gravitational constant. 39. 58. 350 of coupled oscillators. 163. 193 orientation of rigid body. 235. 426 node. 274 forced. 51. 178 Newton’s third law. 426 normal co-ordinates. 73–76. 156 precession of. 341. 265–266 oscillator. coupled. 258–271 nonlinear. 84–89 Bohr. 11. 140. 157 tides due to. 221 orthogonal co-ordinates. 359–362. 178. 353 non-invertibility. 374 n-torus. 206 shift of origin. 197 rate of change. 132. 88. 9. 2. 260 of particles on string. 24–25 damped. 146 near-integrable system. 404 oscillation. 178 of rigid body. 433 nonlinear map. 383. 20–26. 139 of Earth. 99. 81 elliptical. 73–76. 141 of Jupiter. 137 Moon. 7. 347. 296 generalized. 372–374. 406 Newton–Raphson iteration. 274 normal modes. 95 multiply periodic trajectory. xv. 27–29. 103. 437 Newton. 178. 349. 100 of Jupiter. 6 as generator of translation. 120 inverse cube law. 350 n-body problem. 242. 425–433 orbit. 14.

46. 312–318. 6. 129–131. 309–312 phase of forced oscillation. 394 effective. 82. 411 in polar form. 64. 144 potential energy. 285. 288 external. 353 e Poincar´ section. 181. 293. 369 equivalent simple. 413 parabolic co-ordinates. 397 tidal. 308 pion. 370. 129–152 electrostatic. 137 gravitational. 117 hanging from trolley. 352. 143 Pluto–Charon system. 40 . 70 pendulum. 239. 90. 440 e point particle. shortest. 71 Lagrange’s equation in. 20. 175 planet. 18–19. 20. 112. 139 scalar and vector. 87. 307–309 local or global. 307. 71 paraboloid. 209 parallelepiped. 189 internal. 141. 48 perihelion. 227. 302 of varying length. 397 polar co-ordinates. 71 velocity in. 18. 238–241. 162. 382 parity. 339 e Poincar´ return map. 6. 226 forced damped. 415–424 phase portraits. 441. 437. 201. 66 of centrifugal force. 387 moments of inertia. 141 of dipole. 114 parallax. 129–131. 78. 140 of quadrupole. 265 periodic trajectory. 307–309 phase velocity. 441 parabola. 366. 428. 198 in many-body system. 114. 249. 289. 398–400 acceleration in. 31. 103. 437 phase line. 174 parallel axes theorem. 159. 151. 348 Poisson’s equation. 55. 74. 316–317. 161. 43. 299 potential. 182. 15. 152 of centrifugal force. 210 parallelogram law. 200 of rotation. 163 of oscillation. 239 of harmonic oscillator. 189. 386 position vector. 59. xv. 341 compound. 195 plumb line. 5 path. 151 expansion at large distances. 283. 163 Poincar´. 34 phase plane. e 443 Poincar´–Birkhoff theorem. 132 of spherical distribution. 260. 350 Perron–Frobenius equation. 50. 5 Poisson bracket. 191. 366. 77.474 Classical Mechanics outer product of vectors. 261–266 double. 336 Foucault’s. 50 of impulsive force. 45. 435 periodic force. 302 coupled. 432 perturbed twist map. 105 period-doubling. 226. 235. 379 period of. 5. 5. 364. 134 of spheroid. 178 relative. 241. 56 polar vector. 7. 428 period-doubling cascade. 64–66 unit vectors for. 304. 200–202 constrained. 33 at resonance. 255–257. 101. 23. 256 of central force. 80. 52. 402 oval billiard. 101 period of orbit. 381 of composite body. 132 of Earth. 57–59. 300 particle. 44. 78 near equilibrium. 126. 375 period-doubling bifurcation. 191 inverse square law. 424 phase space. 189. 30–36. 61.

52. 343 reaction on axis. 329–330. 143. 244 rate of change. 231 kinetic energy of. 222 rigid-body rotation. 205. 207. 53. 78 radiation gauge. 154. 211–215. 20. 67. 295–301 special. 32–34. 198. 181. 3 general. 301 relaxation oscillation. 236–237. 385 rigid body. 197–225 and Euler angles. 14. 103. 373 Rayleigh’s equation. 213. 102 range of tides. 187. 324–326. 77. 228 of symmetric top. 310 resonance. 374 pressure. 3. 155. 179–181. 68 projection of vector. 205–211 rotation about. 267 of simple pendulum. 160 reflection symmetry. 186 rocket. 68. 199. 133. 3–4. 109. 50 precession. 337–339 loss of. 28 renormalization. 342 . 218. 192 Ross. 19 of stretched string. 325 relaxation time. 226 rectangular plate moments of inertia. 108. 327 principal axes of inertia. 300 relative position. 68. 102 trajectory of. 330 Larmor. 7. 83. 228. 144 predictability. 192 principle of. 51–53. 140. 199. 203–208. 139 of Earth. 216–218 energy of. 334–336. 299 in elastic collision. 300 pulley. 397 range of projectile. 228 generalized co-ordinates for. 426 rate of particle detection. 132 quadrupole moment. 105. 33. 167 pseudoscalar. 182. 7. 299 relative velocity. 318–321 Prigogine and Lefever. 102. 159. 206. 324 right-hand rule. 419 proton. 52. 52. 229 of orbit. 301 quasiperiodic trajectory. 329 Principia.Index 475 of particles on string. 214–215. 210 reduced mass. 218–220 principal moment of inertia. 139 proper node. 92. 2. 162. 339. 147 rate constant. 330 of equinoxes. 33 Richardson. 9. 249 planetary. 1. 26. 218 angular velocity of. 432 product of inertia. 198 free motion of. 211–215 symmetric. 155 prey–predator system. 221 angular momentum of. 224. 28. 155 quadrupole tensor. 2 probability distribution attractors. 233 precession of. 207–208. in fluid. 120. 157 of rolling wheel. 362 of Earth’s axis. 280 for inverse square law. 41 relativity. 171 rational approximation. 144. 208 projectile. 384 prolate spheroid. 2. 148. 203 shift of origin. 200–203. 429 repeller. 68. 345 Roche limit. 127 range of. 10. 197. 373 half-width of. 223–225. 156. xv. 407 quality factor. 248 quadrupole. 82. 350 radial energy equation. 343 Rikitake dynamo. 47 quantum mechanics. 10.

89. 91 maximum. 440 stability and Laplace’s equation. 419 spring. 436. 288–289 structural. 86 semi-major axis. 2–4 space cone. 341. 430 satellite. 143. 317. 266–269 of pendulum. 300. 172 Rutherford. 106–108 rotation. 96–97. 96–97 saddle. 315 . 419 space. 13. 134 spheroid. 417 rotation number. 410 sensitivity to initial conditions. 76. 146 square of vector. 432. 65 volume element in. 4. 98 semi-minor axis. 193. 22. xv. 163 orbit of. 353. 228 spiral point. 251 sphere moments of inertia. 139. 291. 418 Sarkovskii. 168–173 hard-sphere. 239 of vertical top. 310 similarity transformation. 317 rotation about an axis. 218–220 rotation matrix. 180. 374 solid angle. 227 potential of. 244–248. 337–339. 58 Lagrange’s equations in. 87. 241. 209–211 runoff problem. 426 semi-axes. 71. 90–97. 253–271 of particles on string. 224 space translation. 207. 310 of equilibrium. 135 rolling on plane. 57–59. 15 second-order convergence. 381 scalar field. 165–173 by multiple targets. 437. 65. 194 synchronous. 318 Rutherford scattering. 156. 440 small denominators. 384 scalar triple product. 269–271 Solar System. 79–80 cross-section. 259 of Lagrangian points. 98. 417 SIR model. 220 of stretched string. 192 scalar. 397 scalar product. 218–220. 296 spacecraft. 134 spherical shell. 419. 440 separatrix. 398–400 kinetic energy in. 210. 90–94. 93 source or sink. 387 scattering. 69 spring tides. 292. 384 squeezing. 239 acceleration in. 251. 372 sidereal day. 309 stable manifold. 390 scalar potential. 95 Coulomb. 198–202 stability of. 205 and angular momentum conservation. 360. 111–112 rate of change of vector in. 105 sigmoid curve. 96–97 scattering angle. 410 semi-latus rectum. 88. 373 small oscillations. 100. 89. 296–297 Routh’s rule. 87. 168 Schiehallion. 383 rotational symmetry. 227. 101 Smale horseshoe. 75. 343 slingshot. 232 spherical charge distribution. 218. 90–94. 436. 353. 422 spiral source or sink. 410 of Earth’s orbit. 303 of rotation. 105–125. 275 asymptotic. 438 rotation of axes. 5. 200 of rotating body.476 Classical Mechanics rotating frame. 134–136 spherical polars.

174 effect on Earth’s rotation. 141 surface of section. 382 Sun. 433. 187 supercritical bifurcation. 144–148. 326 target particle. 250. 363 conservation laws for. 291–301. 220. 94 for hard-sphere scattering. 400–405. 309 subcritical bifurcation. 443 standing wave. 295 top. 213. xvi.Index 477 theorem. 406. closed. 304 angular position of. 222 angular momentum of. 155 spring and neap. 350 in phase space. 148. 401 symmetric. 424 turbulent convection. 352. 94 and mean free path. 424 inertia. 327 subtraction of vectors. 436. 94 for Rutherford scattering. 236–237. 207–208. 333 steradian. 402 tent map. 401 symmetric top. 32 translation symmetry. 159–173 Lagrangian for. 212. 304 true anomaly. 144–148. 236–237. 259 surface of rotating liquid. 223–225 kinetic energy of. 146 time. 284–289. 192 Tacoma Narrows bridge. 244 tensor. 251. 2–4 time translation. 205. 387–388 Trojan asteroids. 52. 222 free motion of. 343 supercritical flip bifurcation. 334. 403–404 tensor product of vectors. 437 total cross-section. 125. 415. 68 transient. 401. 422. 165 tautochrone. 284. 295–296 transposed tensor. 373 torus breakdown. 207. 419 steady convection. 236–237 vertical. 98. 184. 333 twist map. 329 tension in string. 338. 351–353 surface. 377 tennis racquet theorem. 236 precession of. 223. 353. 98. 401 triple product. 303 three-body system. 45 three-body problem. 195 atmospheric. 161 two-cycle. 416 trade winds. 12. 302 Hamiltonian for. 363 torus. 155 due to oceans. 14. 435 . 284–289. 440 structural stability. 165–173 two-body system. 394 strange attractor. 270 star. 314 standard map. 288–289 symmetries and conservation laws. 215 potential of. 205. 154. 428 superposition principle. 119 trajectory closed. 349. 136 tides due to. 244–248 normal modes of. 284 Lagrangian for. 11. 308 of projectile. 407 stretched string. 437. 436 stress tensor. 327. 233 symmetric tensor. 101 true centre. 438 two-body collision. 269–271 particles on. 423 stable point. 291 free to slide. 14 tides. 442 terminal speed. 228. 21. 154. 266–269 stretching. 396 symmetric rigid body. 187 due to Earth. 97 trace. 359–362 restricted. 205. 53. 39–42. 434. 114. 93 Stokes’ theorem. 347 synchronous satellite.

196 Volterra’s principle. of resonance. 326. 99 in rotating body. 322–324 wave equation. 55. 315 unstable point. 81 escape. 111 of centre of mass. 121 zero vector. 394 vector potential. 32 work done by force. 418. 9 wavelength. 406 line integral of. of tensor. 178. 160. 288–289 violin string. 393.478 Classical Mechanics two-dimensional maps. 106–108 in rotating frame. 419 valence. 58 relative. 56. 429 unstable manifold. 386 position. 233 vector. 390 Laplacian of. 55. 314. 397 vector product. 390 polar. 382 differentiation of. of integral. 246 polar components of. 180 Verhulst. 382 zero-velocity curve. 5. 299 velocity impulse. 5. 400 Van der Pol equation. 234 Zeeman effect. 7. 343 variation. 382 units. 367. 382 zero. 49. 392 war. 270 width. 299 of light. 382 vector field. xv of propagation. 241. 3 uncertainty principle. electromagnetic. 26. 6 circular orbital. 433–437 unaccelerated observer. 101. 378 . 105. 388 velocity. of normal mode of string. 183 uniform magnetic field. 360. 188. 4–5. 159–161. xvi universal function. 388 integration of. 310. 108–109. 246 wave. 105 axial. 5. 243 unit vector. 324 virial theorem. 82–83. 321 vorticity. 381 angular velocity. 386 components of. 385 vector triple product. 40. 381 unit. 61. 301 uniform gravitational field. 309 vertical top.

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