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MECH 220: Mechanics 2

**9 - Rigid Body Dynamics, Courtesy of Xavier
**

Note: I only copied the hand-written notes of Prof. Lee. It is very possible that I made some mistakes during the transcription process, so please don’t blame me :) Oh and I’m sorry about the crappy graphs and free body diagrams...but creating good-looking vector drawings looked like it would take even more time.

1

Introduction to Rigid Body Dynamics

A rigid body is a collection of mass elements distributed continuously over a ﬁnite volume of a certain geometrical shape. There is no relative motion between the mass elements. The motion of a rigid body can be thought of as a combination of translation plus rotation. For convenience, the linear motion can be thought of as the motion of the center of mass and the rotational motion is about an axis through the center of mass:

The linear momentum of the body is → − → − − P = pi = mi → vi → − → → − ˙ ˙ P = mi − r− cm + ri

− − where → vi = → r˙i . We can also write

→ − → − → − − → mi − ri mi − ri mi Vcm − − → However, the center of mass is deﬁned as rcm = , or Vcm = + . Thus, mi M M − → ˙ → − → − − − → mi r = 0 and P = M Vcm . The total momentum of the rigid body is P = M Vcm and about the → − center of mass, the momentum is zero, ie mi − r˙ mi → vi = 0. i = The time rate of change of momentum of mi is: − → − − − → − → d→ pi = F = Fext + Fik dt

k

1

→ − L = = − − → → − → → − (− r− cm + ri ) × mi Vcm + Vi → − − → − − − − → → − → − → → − − r− mi Vi − Vcm × mi − ri + ri × mi → ri cm × M Vcm + rcm × → − − → − − → − where we wrote mi − ri × Vcm as −Vcm × mi → ri . For a rigid body. From the deﬁnition of the center of mass. → − − → − → − dL d→ p − − = → r × =→ r ×F = T dt dt Hence. For the rotational motion. the angular momentum is the moment of the linear momentum. we get: − − → → − → − − → → − ˙ However. the sum of dt − → − → − → internal forces vanishes. Hence. i k Fik = 0. we → → − note that mi − ri = 0 and mi Vi = 0. ie.Winter 2010 MECH 220: Mechanics 2 So. where Fext is the sum of the external forces acting on the body. → − − − → − − → dP d → dVcm − pi = Fext =M = dt i dt dt i − − → − − → − − → dVcm or M = Fext . → ri = − r− cm + ri and ri = Vcm + Vi : → − and T is the torque. → − − − → → − → L =− r− cm × M Vcm + L 2 . since Fik = −Fki . → − − dL d→ p → − → − → − ˙ = r × p + r × . or the moment of the force. dt dt − − ˙ ×→ Since → r p = 0. Thus. and → − − − it is deﬁned by L = → r ×→ p . the total angular momentum is deﬁned as: − → − → → − − L = Li = ri × → pi .

ie. 2 Kinetic Energy The kinetic energy of a system of mass elements can be written as: 3 . The second term can be written as: − − → → − d m V i cm mi Vi → − → − ri × d − ri × . The spin angular momentum is the internal angular momentum of the rigid body. the internal angular momentum is constant. we get: → − − − → − − → dL → − = ri × Fiext = Text dt → − − − → − → dmi Vi = Fiext + Fik . the rigid − − → → − body).Winter 2010 MECH 220: Mechanics 2 → → − − − where L = r i × mi → ri is the angular momentum of the body about an axis through the center of − − → → − → − mass. We called r × Vcm as the orbital angular momentum and L as the spin angular momentum. If Text = 0. The second term vanishes since Thus. Since Fik = −Fki . then L = constant. the ﬁrst term can be written as: − − − → → → − r × F + F i iext ik k since − → − → − → Fik are the lateral forces when the k th particle acts on the ith particle. cm + ri . hence. dt k − − → where Text is the total torque due to external forces acting on all the ith particles (ie. dt dt i → → − − − → → − − → → − Since → ri = − r− mi − ri = 0. The time → − rate of change of L is written as: → − → − → − mi Vi dL − → − = Vi × mi → vi + ri × d . dt dt i i The ﬁrst term on the right vanishes. Vi = Vcm + Vi .

the kinetic energy is composed of the kinetic energy of translation of the center of mass 1 2 2 M Vcm and the kinetic energy of the mass elements relative to the center of mass. we get: mi − − → → − − − → → − KE = Vcm + Vi · Vcm + Vi 2 or. the kinetic energy is written as: 1 1 2 2 M Vcm + mi (Vi ) 2 2 Thus. KE = Since → − − − → 1 1 2 2 mi Vcm + mi (Vi ) + mi Vi · Vcm . 2 → − mi Vi = 0. Thus. − − − If the body about an axis through the center of mass. we can also write the kinetic energy as KE = → − 1 1 − mi Vi2 = mi (ω × → ri ) · V i 2 2 4 . we get: 1 i 2 mi (Vi ) 2 = = = 1 − − − − mi (→ ω ×→ ri ) · ( → ω ×→ ri ) 2 i 2 2 2 1 mi ri sin θ ω 2 I ω2 Alternatively. 2 2 KE = KE = mi 2 vi = mi → − → − Vi · Vi .Winter 2010 MECH 220: Mechanics 2 2 → − − − → → − − → → − Since → ri = − r− cm + ri and Vi = Vcm + Vi . rotates 2 since I = mi (ri sin θ) . we can write → vi = → ω ×→ ri .

we write: → − − − − − − − L = mi ( → ri · → ri ) → ω − mi ( → ri · → ω)→ ri − − r i × mi ( → ω ×→ ri ) 5 . the mass element mi → − − − by dm and → ri by → r . we can write the angular momentum L alternatively as: → − − − − − − − L = dm (→ r ·→ r )→ ω − dm (→ r ·→ ω)→ r. → → − → − → − − → − → − → − → − → − Using the vector identity for the triple cross product A × B × C = A · C B − A · B C .Winter 2010 MECH 220: Mechanics 2 − → − → − → − → − → − → and interchanging the dot and the cross product using the identity A · B × C = B · C × A . we write: mi → − → − 1− → − − ri × mi Vi (ω × → ri ) · V i = → ω · 2 2 i = → − 1→ − ω · L 2 The moment of inertia of a rigid body can be derived as follows: → − L = = → − → − ri × mi V i → − If we decompose the components of L in Cartesian coordinates. we can replace the two summations by an integral. we obtain: Lx Ly Lz = = = Ixx ωx + Ixy ωy + Ixz ωz Iyx ωx + Iyy ωy + Iyz ωz Izx ωx + Izy ωy + Izz ωz For a continuous body. Thus.

Thus. For principal axes. 3 Moments of Inertia Most of the problems we will be doing are two-dimensional problems where the rotation is in the xy. We also note that the − angular momentum in the x-direction involves not only the component of f → ω in the x-direction. For a continuous distribution of mass elements.Winter 2010 MECH 220: Mechanics 2 This notation incorporates the notion of tensor. If we are interested in the diagonal components of the inertia tensor (ie. Iyy . Let’s obtain the moment of inertia for simple shaped objects. the axis is called the principal axis. the angular momentum vector will be Lz = Izz ωz (or Lx = Ixx ωx . Izz ). ie. Ixx . Ixy = Iyx . 6 . the oﬀ-diagonal term vanishes. If we choose the orientation of the axis such that the oﬀ-diagonal term vanishes. the components of the inertia tensor Iij in the previous equations are: Ixx Ixy Ixz Iyx Iyy Iyz Izx Izy Izz = = = = = = = = = 2 2 mi yi + zi − mi xi yi − mi xi zi − mi yi xi 2 mi x2 i + zi − mi yi zi − mi zi xi − mi zi yi 2 mi x2 i + yi Thus. if the body is symmetrical about the axis of rotation. Iij has 9 components and is a second order tensor quantity. but also in the y.directions. Note that the inertia tensor is symmetrical.and z. the angular momentum reduces to: → − − − − L = Ixx ωx → ex + Iyy ωy → ey + Izz ωz → ez . yz or zx plane and the rotational axis is perpendicular to the plane of rotation. or Ly = Iyy ωy ). we replace the summation by an integral. Also.

If the rotation is about an axis at one end of the rod. ie. x2 + y 2 dm = L 2 r2 ρdr = −L 2 ρL 3 M L2 = 12 12 then the moment of inertia about that axis will be: Izz = L 0 3 L ρr M L2 x2 + y 2 ρdr = = 3 o 12 7 .Winter 2010 MECH 220: Mechanics 2 3.1 Uniform Rod Consider an uniform rod of length ”L” and density ρ per unit length. Let’s assume the rotation is in the xy-plane: Izz = Where M = ρL is the mass of the rod.

The moment of inertia about the z-axis is: Izz = 2π 0 dθR x2 + y 2 ρ = 2ρπ R3 = M R2 3.2 Hula Hoooooop Consider next a hula hoop.3 Simple Disc Consider a simple disc: The moment of inertia about an axis through the center is: Izz = 2π dθ 0 R 0 2πρR4 M R2 ρ x2 + y 2 rdr = = 4 2 8 .Winter 2010 MECH 220: Mechanics 2 3.

4 Plain Sphere dm 2 y : 2 For a sphere.Winter 2010 MECH 220: Mechanics 2 where M = πρR2 is the mass of the disc. 3 9 . we can calculate the moment of inertia about an axis going through the sphere’s center: Izz = where M = +R 2 −R 2 2 2 +R 2 R − x2 πρy 2 8 2 dx y 2 = πρ dx = πρR5 = M R2 R 2 2 15 5 −2 4 3 π R ρ is the mass of the sphere. we consider a thin disc where the moment of inertia is Since dm = πρy 2 dx. 3.

which states that the moment of inertia about any arbitrary axis is equal to the moment of inertia about an axis parallel to it passing through the center of mass of the body. the moment of inertia about an axis at the rim is: 2 L M L2 = 2 3 Iaxis = ICM + M D2 = M R2 3 + M R2 = M R2 2 2 10 . plus.Winter 2010 MECH 220: Mechanics 2 3.5 Parallel Axis Theorem There is a theorem called the parallel axis theorem. the mass of the body times the square of the perpendicular distance between the two axes: Applying this theorem to a thin rod. the moment of inertia about an axis at one end coud be: Iaxis = ICM M L2 + MD = +M 12 2 For a disc.

Winter 2010 MECH 220: Mechanics 2 Similarly. consider a thin uniform rectangular plate of dimensions a × 3a spinning about an axis through the diagonal: → − → − − − ω has components ωx → ex and ωy → ey . To do so.6 Rectangular Plate Finally. The angular momentum vector L can be written as: Lx Ly = = Ixx ωx + Ixy ωy Iyx ωx + Iyy ωy The components of the moment of inertia can be evaluated readily: 11 . we want to demonstrate that the angular momentum vector is not generally in the same → − direction as the angular √ velocity vector ω . the moment of inertia about an axis at the surface is: I = ICM + M D2 = 2M R2 7 + M R2 = M R2 5 5 3. for a sphere.

12 . tan φ = = and φ = 29. we can write the angular 2a 2 2a 2 momentum components as: √ √ 1 3 3 M a2 ω Ma ω − = 2 4 2 8 √ √ √ 31 1 3 3M a2 ω M a2 ω − + = 2 2 3 2 24 2 Lx Ly = = √ √ Ly 3 − Thus. The angular momentum can thus be written as: 2 √ − 3M a 2 Lx = Ixx ωx + Ixy ωy = M a ωx − ωy 4 √ − 3M a2 M a2 Ly = Iyx ωx + Iyy ωy = ωx + ωy 4 3 √ √ ωa ω 3a ω 3 Since ωx = ω cos θ = = and ωy = ω sin θ = ω = .98◦ 30◦ . → ω and L are not in the same direction: → − − If we consider a square plate of size (a × a). Thus. For → − linear motion. the linear momentum vector P is always in the same direction as the linear velocity → − → − → − V since P = m V . However.Winter 2010 MECH 220: Mechanics 2 Ixx Ixy Iyy Iyx where M = √ = = = = a 0 − a 0 sqrt3a 0 0 a sqrt3a 0 sqrt3a 0 ρy 2 dydx = M a2 √ − 3M a2 ρxydydx = 4 ρx2 dydx = M a2 3 Ixy √ − 3M a2 = 4 3ρa2 is the mass of the plate. we can readily show that → ω and L coincide. → ω makes an angle θ = arcsin 23 = Lx 3 → − − 60◦ .

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