You are on page 1of 16

# PC235 Winter 2013

Classical Mechanics

Assignment #9 Solutions
#1 (10 points) JRT Prob. 11.2
A massless spring (force constant k1 ) is suspended from the ceiling,
with a mass m1 hanging from its lower end. A second massless spring (force
constant k2 ) is suspended from m1 , and a second mass m2 is suspended from
the second springs lower end. Assuming that the masses move only in a
vertical direction and using coordinates y1 and y2 measured from the masses
equilibrium positions, show that the equations of motion can be written in
the matrix form M
y = Ky, where y is the 2 1 column made up of y1
and y2 . Find the matrices M and K.
Solution
Let y1 and y2 be the extensions of the two springs from their unstretched
lengths and y10 and y20 be their values at equilibrium. The displacements
from equilibrium are
y1 = y1 y10

and y2 = y2 y20 .

(1)

## The net downward forces on the two masses are

F1 = m1 g k1 y1 + k2 (
y2 y1 ) and F2 = m2 g k2 (
y2 y1 ),

(2)

## and thus the conditions for equilibrium are

m1 g = k1 y10 = k2 (y20 y10 ) and m2 g = k2 (y20 y10 ).

(3)

Now, applying Newtons 2nd law and using eq. (1) to eliminate y1 and y2
from eq. (2), we find that
m1 y1 = F1 = m1 g k1 (y1 + y10 ) + k2 [y2 y1 + (y20 y10 )]
= k1 y1 + k2 (y2 y1 )

(4)
(5)

(the equilibrium condition is used to eliminate several terms in the last line.)
Similarly,
m2 y2 = F2 = m2 g k2 (
y2 y1 ) = k2 (y2 y1 ).
(6)
1

## The last two results combine to give the matrix equation M

y = Ky, where




k1 + k2 k2
m1 0
and K =
M=
.
(7)
k2
k2
0 m2
#2 (15 points) JRT Prob. 11.10
(a) Write down the equations of motion corresponding to eq. (11.2) for
the case of two equal-mass carts with three identical springs, but with
each cart subjected to a linear resistive force bv (same coefficient b
for both carts).
(b) Show that if you change variables to the normal coordinates 1 = 12 (x1 +
x2 ) and 2 = 12 (x1 x2 ), the equations of motion for 1 and 2 are
uncoupled.
(c) Write down the general solutions for the normal coordinates and hence
for x1 and x2 (assume that b is small, so that the oscillations are underdamped.)
(d) Find x1 (t) and x2 (t) for the initial conditions x1 (0) = A and x2 (0) =
v1 (0) = v2 (0) = 0, and plot them for 0 t 10 using the values
A = k = m = 1, b = 0.1.
Solution
(a) As in section 5.4, we define = b/2m and 02 = k/m. Then, the
equations of motion are
x1 = 2 x 1 202 x1 + 02 x2
x2 = 2 x 2 + 02 x1 202 x2 .

(8)

(b) If you take first the sum and then the difference of these two equations,
you will get the uncoupled equations
1 = 2 1 02 1

and 2 = 2 2 302 2 .

(9)

(c) The equation for 1 is exactly the equation (5.28) that we found for
a single damped oscillator, and has the solution (5.37), which we can
rewrite as
q
t
1 (t) = e (B1 cos 1 t + C1 sin 1 t), where 1 = 02 2 (10)
2 (t) = et (B2 cos 2 t + C2 sin 2 t), where 2 =

q
302 2 . (11)

The expressions for x1 (t) and x2 (t) follow at once by adding and subtracting these expressions for 1 (t) and 2 (t).
(d) The given initial conditions imply that 1 (0) = 2 (0) = A/2, with
both derivatives zero. Therefore, B1 = B2 = A2 , C1 = A/21 , and
C2 = A/22 , from which we can write down



A t
cos 1 t +
e
sin 1 t
(12)
1 (t) =
2
1


A t

2 (t) =
cos 2 t +
e
sin 2 t .
(13)
2
2

0.5

0.5

x1

The sum and difference of these two functions give us x1 (t) and x2 (t),
which are plotted below.

0.5
1

0
0.5

10

15

20

25

30

10

15

20

25

30

t
Fig. 1: x1 (t) and x2 (t) for question #2

## #3 (15 points) JRT Prob. 11.18

Two equal masses m are constrained to move without friction, one on the
positive x axis and one on the positive y axis. They are attached to two
identical springs (force constant k) whose other ends are attached to the
origin. In addition, the two masses are connected to each other by a third
spring of force constant k . The springs are chosen so that the system is
3

## in equilibrium with all three springs relaxed (length equal to unstretched

length). What are the normal frequencies? Find and describe the normal
modes. Consider only small displacements from equilibrium.

y
L

k
k

k
O

## Fig. 2: Geometry for Question #3

Solution
Let the equilibrium length of the
first 2 springs be L and that of the one
that connects the two masses be 2L. Let x and y be the displacements
of the two masses from their equilibrium positions; these will be our two
generalized coordinates. The total KE is T = 12 m(x 2 + y 2 ) and the total PE
is U = 12 k(x2 + y 2 ) + 12 k z 2 , where z is the extension of the diagonal spring
(which is a function of x and y; that will take a bit of work to figure out).
Since we are interested only in small oscillations, we can write
p
p

z = (L + x)2 + (L + y)2 2L
2L2 + 2L(x + y) 2L (14)

p
=
2L
1 + (x + y)/L 1 (15)

1
(16)

2L (x + y)/L,
2
where for the last expression on the first line we dropped terms higher than
1st order in x and y and for the final expression we used the binomial expansion for the square root. Therefore, we can write z 2 = (x + y)2 /2, and the
4

total PE is





1
1
k
k
1
2
2
2
2
2

k+
x + k+
y + k xy .
U = k(x + y ) + k (x + y) =
2
4
2
2
2
(17)
Writing down Lagranges equations for x and y leads to





k
k + k2
m 0
2
and K =
M=
.
(18)

k
0 m
k + k2
2
Next, we set det(K 2 M) = 0, or (m 2 k)(m 2 k k ) = 0. Thus, the
normal frequencies are
r
r
k
k + k
1 =
.
(19)
and 2 =
m
m
For the first normal mode, solving (K 12 M)a = 0 gives a1 = a2 ; the
masses oscillate with equal amplitudes but out of step. In this mode, the
diagonal springs length remains constant (at least in the small-oscillation
approximation), which is why k is irrelevant to 1 . For the second normal
mode, we have a1 = a2 . Here, the masses move with equal amplitudes and
both in step (both x and y increase together and decrease together). In this
mode, the diagonal spring does stretch and compress; this extra contribution
to the PE increases the frequency of oscillations.

## #4 (10 points) JRT Prob. 11.26

A bead of mass m is threaded on a frictionless circular wire hoop of radius R
and mass m. The hoop is suspended at the point A and is free to swing in its
own vertical plane as shown in Fig. 11.20 of the text. Using the angles 1 and
2 as generalized coordinates, solve for the normal frequencies of small oscillations, and find and describe the motion in the corresponding normal modes.
Solution
The moment of inertia of the hoop about its edge is I = 2mR2 , so its kinetic
energy is
1
(20)
T1 = I 21 = mR2 21 .
2
The velocity of the bead is (for small oscillations) the sum of the velocity of
the bead relative to the hoops center and the velocity of the hoops center
5



relative to the pivot point. Thus, the beads speed is equal to R 1 + 2 .
The total kinetic energy is therefore


1
(21)
T = mR2 3 21 + 2 1 2 + 22 .
2
The total potential energy is

U = U1 + U2
= mgR (1 cos 1 ) + mgR [(1 cos 1 ) + (1 cos 2 )]

1

mgR 221 + 22
2

(22)
(23)
(24)

(we attribute the entire mass of the hoop to a point at its CM). Therefore,
the matrices are




2 0
3 1
2 2
2
,
(25)
and K = mR 0
M = mR
0 1
1 1
where 02 = g/R. Setting the determinant of K 2 M to zero, we find the
normal frequencies
1
1 = 0
2

and 2 =

20 .

(26)

The first leads to the normal mode where the angles oscillate in phase with
equal amplitudes. The second leads to the normal mode where the angles
oscillate 180 degrees out of phase with the amplitude of 2 twice that of 1 .

## #5 (10 points) JRT Prob. 11.31

Consider a frictionless rigid horizontal hoop of radius R. Onto this hoop I
thread three beads with masses 2m, m, and m, and, between the beads, three
identical springs, each with force constant k. Solve for the three normal frequencies and find and describe the three normal modes.
Solution
This problem is best solved using Lagrangian methods. The masses are constrained to move along a circular arc of radius R. Therefore, the speed of
6

## mass i is R i , and the total kinetic energy is



2

2

2 
1

2m R1 + m R2 + m R3
T =
2


1
=
mR2 2 21 + 22 + 23 .
2
The three springs contribute to the potential energy. We have

1 2
kR (1 2 )2 + (2 3 )2 + (3 1 )2
U =
2

= kR2 21 + 22 + 23 1 2 2 3 3 1 .

(27)
(28)

(29)
(30)

## The Lagrangian is then

L = T U
(31)



1
=
mR2 2 21 + 22 + 23 kR2 21 + 22 + 23 1 2 2 3 3 (32)
1 .
2
This leads to the Lagranges equations
L
d L
=
= kR2 (21 2 3 ) = 2mR2 1
1
dt 1
d L
L
=
= kR2 (1 + 22 3 ) = mR2 2
2
dt 2
L
d L
=
= kR2 (1 2 + 23 ) = mR2 3 .
3
dt 3

(33)
(34)
(35)

We can immediately cancel out the R2 terms from all equations. Then, the
= K, where
equations become M

2k k k
2m 0 0
(36)
M = 0 m 0 and K = k 2k k .
k k 2k
0 0 m
We then need to find all such that det(K 2 M) = 0. We start by dividing
this matrix by m and making the substitution k/m = 02 = 1:

2k 2m 2
k
k

k
2k m 2
k
(37)
K 2M =
2
k
k
2k m

2
2(1 )
1
1
1
2 2
1 .
(38)
=
1
1
2 2
7

## The characteristic equation is found by setting the determinant of this matrix

to zero. The algebra proceeds as follows:






det(K 2 M) = (2 2 2 ) (2 2 )2 1 + 1 (2 2 ) 1 1 1 + (2 2 )


= (2 2 2 ) 3 4 2 + 4 (2 2 ) 1 1 (2 2 )


= (2 2 2 ) 3 4 2 + 4 6 + 2 2
= 2( 6 5 4 + 6 2 )
=0
(39)
This produces the characteristic equation 6 5 4 + 6 2 = 0. Since there is
no constant term on the left-hand side, one obvious normalized frequency
is 1 = 0. Factoring this solutionpout gives us the p
quadratic equation 4
5 2 + 6 = 0, which gives us 2 = 2k/m and 3 = 3k/m. By substituting
1 = 0 into the equation (K 2 M)a = 0, we find that a1 = a2 = a3 . That
is, the masses move with constant speed around the hoop at their equilibrium
separation (and hence none of the springs are ever stretched or compressed thus the zero frequency). For 2 , we find that a1 = a2 = a3 ; here, mass 1
oscillates in one direction while the other two oscillate in the other direction
(all amplitudes being equal). For 3 , a1 = 0 and a2 = a3 . Here, the heavier
mass is stationary while the other two oscillate with equal amplitudes and
completely out of phase. These solutions are similar to those found for the
linear triatomic molecule in the class notes.
#6 (5 points) JRT Prob. 10.15
(a) Write down the integral for the moment of inertia of a uniform cube of
side a and mass M , rotating about an edge, and show that it is equal
to 23 M a2 . (1 point)
(b) If I balance this cube on an edge in unstable equilibrium on a rough
table, it will eventually topple and rotate until it hits the table. By
considering the energy of the cube, find its angular velocity just before
it hits the table. (4 points)
Solution
(a) This is example 10.2 from the text. For a uniform solid cube rotating
around its edge, I = 23 M a2 .
8

(b) The initial energy of the cube is pure PE, since there is no motion.
Recall that we calculate the PE of a continuous body by the equivalent
notion that its entire mass is located
at its CM. The CM of a cube is
at its center, which is a height a/ 2 above the table when the cube is
at equilibrium on its edge. Just before it hits the table, its CM is a/2
above the table. Thus, the change in PE is


a
M ga
a
U = M g
(40)
=
( 2 1).
2
2 2
This energy has all been converted into rotational kinetic energy, T =
1
I 2 . Therefore,
2
1 2 1
M ga
I = M a2 2 =
( 2 1)
2
3
2

(41)

=

3g
( 2 1).
2a

(42)

## #7 (10 points) JRT Prob. 10.16

Find the moment of inertia for a uniform cube of mass M and edge
a as in Problem 10.15, and then do the following: The cube is sliding with
velocity v along a flat horizontal frictionless table when it hits a straight very
low step perpendicular to v, and the leading edge comes abruptly to rest.
(a) By considering which quantities are conserved before, during, and after the brief collision, find the cubes angular velocity just after the
collision.
(b) Find the minimum speed v for which the cube rolls over after hitting
the step.
Solution
(a) The moment of inertia for this cube as it rotates about its edge is
shown in example 10.2 (and required in the previous problem); it is
I = 32 M a2 . During the collision, it is incorrect to assume that kinetic
9

energy is conserved (it might be an inelastic collision). However, angular momentum is always conserved; in particular the component of L
about the edge of the step, which we call Ly (see attached figure). We
find that

 

X
5
M av
a
=
(43)
Ly =
m r v = M Rv = M v sin
4
2
2
(the negative sign simply indicates that L is directed into the page).
Immediately after the collision, the cube is rotating, and we have
2
Ly = I0 = M a2 0 ,
3

(44)

## where the subscript on 0 indicates that this is the angular velocity

immediately after the collision; will decrease over time as the cube
tips. Equating these two expressions for Ly (that is, conserving angular
3v
momentum), we find that 0 = 4a
. This tells us the angular frequency
of the initial rotation as a function of the initial velocity of the cube.
(b) To continue this problem, realize that we are running problem JRT1015 in reverse. There, we balanced the cube on its edge (with = 0
initially), and calculated at the point where it fell on its side. Here,
we wish to start with an (unknown) angular velocity that results in
= 0 at the tipping point. Therefore,
q we rewrite our velocity as a

3g( 21)
from that assignment
function of 0 , and substitute 0 =
2a
solution. The resulting velocity is
s

8ga( 2 1)
v=
.
(45)
3

## #8 (5 points) JRT Prob. 10.23

Consider a rigid plane body or lamina, such as a flat piece of sheet
metal, rotating about a point O in the body. If we choose axes so that the
lamina lies in the xy plane, which elements of the inertia tensor are automatically zero? Prove that Izz = Ixx + Iyy .
Solution
10

## Fig. 3: Geometry of question #7

Since the whole body lies in the plane z = 0, the four products of inertia
involving z are all zero: Ixz = Iyz = Izx = Izy = 0. For the same reason,
X
X
X
Ixx +Iyy =
m (y2 +z2 )+
m (z2 +x2 ) =
m (x2 +y2 ) = Izz . (46)
#9 (10 points)
A rectangular brick of mass M is positioned with one corner at the origin
and with side lengths a, b, and c in the x, y, and zdirections, respectively.
(a) Calculate the inertia tensor I with respect to the origin. (10 points)
(b) Suppose that the brick is rotating with angular velocity , about the
yaxis. Find the resulting angular momentum L. (3 points)
, y
, and z constitute a set of principal axes
(c) Discuss whether or not x
for the brick. (2 points)
Solution
(a) Note that this is essentially Example 10.2 from the text. We just need
to change the limits of integration to account for the fact that we hae
a rectangular brick and not a cube. Well start with Ixx . Noting that

11

## = M/V = M/(abc), we have

Ixx =
=
=
=
=
=
=

dz y 2 + z 2
dy
dx
0
0
0
Z b Z c

Ma
dy
dz y 2 + z 2
abc 0
c
0
Z
1 3
Ma b
2
dy y z + z
abc 0
3
0
Z b
Ma
1
dy cy 2 + c3
abc 0
3

b
M ac 1 3 1 2
y + cy
abc 3
3
0

M ac 1 3 1 2
b + cb
abc 3
3

M 2
b + c2 .
3

(47)
(48)
(49)
(50)
(51)
(52)
(53)

The other two moments of inertia are Iyy = M3 (a2 + c2 ) and Izz =
M
(c2 + a2 ), as can be found using the same equation (or by observing
3
the symmetries inherent to the problem).

12

## As for the products of inertia, we have

Z
Z b
Z a Z b Z c
Mc a
dx
dy xy (54)
Ixy =
dx
dy
dzxy =
abc 0
0
0
0
0
b



Z
Z
Mc a
Mc a
1 2
1 2
=
(55)
xb
dx xy
dx
=
abc 0
2
abc 0
2
0
a



1
Mc 1 2 2
Mc 1 2 2
xb
=
a b = M ab.
(56)
=
abc 4
abc 4
4
0
By observing the symmetries inherent to the problem (and by recalling that the inertia matrix must be symmetric), we find that Iyx =
M ab/4, Ixz = Izx = M ac/4, and Iyz = Izy = M bc/4. Therefore,
the inertia matrix can be written

4 (b2 + c2 )
3ab
3ac
M
.
3ab
4 (a2 + c2 )
3bc
I=
(57)
12
2
2
3ac
3bc
4 (a + b )

## It is easy to verify that if the brick is changed to a cube - that is, if

a = b = c, I takes the same form as in example 10.2 of the text.
(b) This particular angular momentum can be written = (0, , 0). Therefore,


M ab M (a2 + c2 ) M bc
.
(58)
L = I =
,
,
4
3
4
(c) Since rotation about the yaxis does not produce an angular momen, y
, and z do not constitute a set
tum L parallel to , it is clear that x
of principal axes for the brick. You can also claim that this is the case
because of the non-zero off-diagonal elements of I.

## #10 (10 points) JRT Prob. 10.27

Find the inertia tensor for a uniform, thin hollow cone, such as an
ice-cream cone, of mass M , height h, and base radius R, spinning about its
pointed end.
Solution
Since this is a thin cone, it has an areal mass density (mass/area). All
13

points on the cone can be described by the two cylindrical coordinates and
(you can use z and instead, but its very slightly less convenient). Refer
to the figure below, and imagine dividing the surface into strips as shown,
and then dividing the strips into small increments of angle d. Then, the
element of area is dA = (d/ sin )( d), where is the half-angle of the
cone. The moment about the z axis is therefore
Z
Z R Z 2
d d
R4
2
2
Izz = (x + y )dA =
2
=
,
(59)
sin
2 sin
0
0
since the integral evaluates to 2 and the integral evaluates to R4 /4.
2
The area of the cone
can check this by performing
R is A = R / sin (you
2
the integral A =
dA). Therefore, R / sin = M , the total mass. All
together, we have Izz = M R2 /2.
The other two moments, Ixx and Iyy , must be identical by symmetry. For
the first of these,
Z
Ixx = (y 2 + z 2 )dA.
(60)

The first term here is the same as the second term in Izz . Since the two terms
in Izz are equal (again, by symmetry), we conclude that the first term in Ixx
is equal to Izz /2. In the second term of Ixx we can replace z by h/R, from
which we see that the second term in Ixx is h2 /R2 times Izz . All together,
we find that


1
1
h2
Ixx = Iyy =
(61)
+ 2 Izz = M (R2 + 2h2 ).
2 R
4

## Finally, all of the off-diagonal terms in I are zero by rotational symmetry

about the z axis (as was the case with the solid cone). Therefore,

(R2 + 2h2 )
0
0
M
0 (R2 + 2h2 )
0 .
I=
(62)
4
0
0 2R2
#11 (10 points) JRT Prob. 10.36
A rigid body consists of three equal masses (m) fastened at the positions (a, 0, 0), (0, a, 2a), and (0, 2a, a).
(a) Find the inertia tensor I.
14

## Fig. 5: Geometry of question #10

(b) Find the principal moments and a set of orthogonal principal axes.
Solution
(a) The three masses are equal (m1 = m2 = m3 = m) and their positions
are r1 = a(1, 0, 0), r2 = a(0, 1, 2), r3 = a(0, 2, 1). Therefore,
X
Ixx =
m (y2 + z2 ) = ma2 (0 + 5 + 5) = 10ma2
(63)
X
Iyy =
m (x2 + z2 ) = ma2 (1 + 4 + 1) = 6ma2
(64)
X
Izz =
m (x2 + y2 ) = ma2 (1 + 1 + 4) = 6ma2
(65)
X
Ixy =
m x y = ma2 (0 + 0 + 0) = 0
(66)
X
Ixz =
m x z = ma2 (0 + 0 + 0) = 0
(67)
X
Iyz =
m y z = ma2 (0 + 2 + 2) = 4ma2 .
(68)
That is,

5
0
0
3 2 .
I = 2ma2 0
0 2
3

15

(69)

## (b) The characteristic equation is

det(I 1) = (10ma2 )2 (2ma2 ) = 0.

(70)

## Therefore, the principal moments are 1 = 2 = 10ma2 and 3 = 2ma2 .

If we set = 10ma2 , the equation (I1) = 0 yields three equations:
0 = 0, 2 + 3 = 0, and 2 + 3 = 0. This tells us that 2 = 3 , and
that the two normalized eigenvectors corresponding to = 10ma2 are
e1 = (1, 0, 0),

1
and e2 = (0, 1, 1)
2

(71)

## (note that any two perpendicular directions in the plane defined by e1

and e2 are also suitable principal axes.)
Setting = 2ma2 , the equation (I 1) = 0 yields three equations,
1 = 0, 2 3 = 0, and 2 + 3 = 0. When normalized, this defines
the principal axis
1
e3 = (0, 1, 1).
(72)
2

16