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Department of Physics

IIT Kanpur

PHY 102 - HW6
Aug-Dec 2014

a

b

Figure 1: Figure for various problems

1. For small oscillations the period of a pendulum is approximately T ≈ 2π
dent of the amplitude, θ0 .

p
l/g, indepen-

(a) For finite oscillations, use dt = dx/v to show that the exact expression for T is
s Z
8l θ0

T =
.
g 0
cos θ − cos θ0
(b) Find an approximation to this T , unto second order in θ0 (i.e. upto θ02 ). The final
s  

θ02
l
1+
+ ... .
T = 2π
g
16
Hint if needed: Make use of the identity, cos(θ) = 1 − 2 sin2 (θ/2), to write T
in terms of the of sines (which go to 0 as θ → 0). Then make a substitution
sin(x) ≡ sin(θ/2)/ sin(θ0 /2). Finally expand your integrand in powers of θ0 , and
evaluate the integral.
2. The equation of motion of a particle (of unit mass), which starts from rest at x = 0, is
given by
x¨ = 1 − x .
(a) Identify x at which the velocity will again become zero. How long would it take to
reach there.
(b) Consider the phase space of the particle. Identify the fixed points of the system.
Which of them is are stable and which of them are unstable.
(c) Write down the equation for the phase space trajectories and sketch the phase space
trajectories.
3. A small ping-pong ball of mass m, is placed on top of a basketball of mass M , of
diameter d [see Fig. 1a)]. The bottom of the basketball is at a height h above the
ground. How high does the small ball rise after the collision. Assume that the balls
bounce off elastically, and that m  M . To make the problem ‘clean’, assume that the
balls are separated by a small distance, and that they bounce off instantaneously.

Phy102: Introduction to Mechanics