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Particles, Rigid Bodies and Real Bodies

In the study of dynamics, real bodies will be idealized either as particles or as rigid bodies.
A particle is a body of negligible dimensions. When the dimensions of the body are unimportant to the description of its motion, we will idealize the body as a particle. The use of
the word particle does not mean that our study will be restricted to small bodies; rather, it
indicates that the motion of bodiespossibly as large as cars, rockets, or airplaneswill be
considered without regard of their size. By saying that the bodies are analyzed as particles,
we mean that only their motion as an entire unit will be considered; any rotation about their
own mass center will be neglected.
A rigid body is a body that has a finite size but it does not deform. This will be a useful
approximation when the deformation of a body is negligible compared to the overall motion.
For instance, we may consider an aircraft as being a rigid body when considering the behavior
of the aircraft along its flight path, even though under some specific conditions the deflection
of the wing tips may be considerable. In describing the motion of a rigid body, we need to
be concerned with its position but also with its orientation.
On the other hand, real bodies have a finite size and are always deformable under loading. In
some situations it will be required to consider the deformation of the body when considering
its dynamic behavior, but this is outside the scope of this course.
Kinematics and Kinetics
Kinematics is the study of the geometry of motion. Kinematics is used to relate displacement,
velocity, acceleration, and time, without reference to the cause of the motion.
Kinetics is the study of the relation existing between the forces acting on a body, the mass
of the body, and the motion of the body. Kinetics is used to predict the motion caused by
guiven forces or to determine the forces required to produce a given motion.

Chapter 11 KINEMATICS
Position coordinate of a particle in rectilinear motion
We start by analyzing the rectilinear motion of a particle, i.e., the motion of a particle along a straight line.
To define the position P of the particle on that line, we
choose a fixed origin O and a positive direction (Fig. 1).
The distance x from O to P , with the appropriate sign,
completely defines the position of the particle on the
line and is called the position coordinate of the particle
in rectilinear motion.

The m
O
straigh
motio
x
x
of the
choos
Figure 1:
positive direction. The distance x fro
appropriate sign, completely defines
on the line and is called the positio
particle.
P

Velocity and acceleration in rectilinear motion

The (instantaneous) velocity v of the particle is equal to the time derivative of the position
coordinate x,
dx
(1)
v=
dt
and the acceleration a is obtained by differentiating v with respect to t,
a=

dv
dt

(2)

or

d2 x
a= 2
dt
Applying the chains rule to (2), the acceleration a can also be expressed as
a=

(3)

dv
dv dx
=v
dx dt
dx

(4)

We observe that the velocity v and the acceleration a are represented by algebraic numbers
which can be positive or negative. A positive value for v indicates that the particle moves
in the positive direction, and a negative value that it moves in the negative direction. A
positive value for a, however, may mean that the particle is truly accelerated (i.e., moves
faster) in the positive direction, or that it is decelerated (i.e., moves more slowly) in the
negative direction. A negative value for a is subject to a similar interpretation in rectilinear
motion.
Determination of the velocity and acceleration by integration
In most problems, the conditions of motion of a particle are defined by the type of acceleration
that the particle possesses and by the initial conditions. The velocity and position of the
particle can then be obtained by integrating two of the equations (1) to (4). Which of these
equations should be selected depends upon the type of acceleration involved. Let us consider
three common classes of motion:
1.- a = f (t). The acceleration is a given function of t.
Z v
Z t
Z t
dv = a dt = f (t)dt
dv =
f (t)dt v v0 =
f (t)dt
v0
0
0
Z t
dx = v dt x x0 =
v(t)dt
0

2.- a = f (x). The acceleration is a given function of x.

From Eq. (4),
Z

v dv = a dx = f (x)dx
vdv =
v0
Z x
dx
dx
dt =
t=
v
x0 v(x)

x0

1
1
f (x)dx v 2 v02 =
2
2

f (x)dx
x0

Z v
dv
dv
dv
=
t=
dt =
a
f (v)
v f (v)
Z t0
v(t)dt
dx = v dt x x0 =
0

v dv
v dv
dx =
=
x x0 =
a
f (v)

v0

v dv
f (v)

Uniform rectilinear motion and uniformly accelerated rectilinear motion

Two types of motion are frequently encountered: the uniform rectilinear motion, in which
the velocity v of the particle is constant and
x = x0 + vt

(5)

and the uniformly accelerated rectilinear motion, in which the acceleration a of the particle
is constant and we have
v = v0 + at
1
x = x0 + v0 t + at2
2
v 2 = v02 + 2a (x x0 )

(6)

Position vector and velocity in curvilinear motion

When a particle moves along a curve other than a straight
line, we say that the particle is curvilinear motion. The
position A of the particle at a given time is defined by the
position vector r joining the origin of coordinates O and
point A (Fig. 2). The average velocity of the particle over
the time interval t is defined as the quotient of r and t.
The (instantaneous) velocity v of the particle is obtained by
taking the limit t 0:
v=

dr
dt

(7)

and is a vector tangent to the path of the particle and of

magnitude v (called the speed of the particle) equal to the
time derivative of the length s of the arc described by the
particle:
ds
(8)
v=
dt

fig_02_05

Figure 2:

Acceleration in curvilinear motion

The acceleration a of the particle is defined by
the relation
dv
(9)
a=
dt
and we note that, in general, the acceleration is
not tangent to the path of the particle (Fig. 3).
Derivative of a vector function
Before proceeding to the consideration of the
components of velocity and acceleration, we are
going to review the formal definition of the derivative of a vector function and to establish a few
rules governing the differentiation of sums and
products of vector functions.

fig_02_05

Figure 3:

The standard rules for the differentiation of the sums and products of scalar functions can
be extended to vector functions. Consider first the sum of two vector functions P(u) and
Q(u) of the same scalar variable u. The derivative of the vector P + Q is


d (P + Q)
(P + Q)
P Q
P
Q
= lim
= lim
+
= lim
+ lim
u0
u0
u0 u
u0 u
du
u
u
u
so

d (P + Q)
dP dQ
=
+
du
du
du

(10)

Lecture 1 / Kinematics of a particle

The product of a scalar function f (u) and a vector function P(u) of the same scalar variable
u will now be considered. The derivative of the vector f P is


(f + f ) (P + P) f P
f
d (f P)
P
= lim
= lim
P+f
u0
u0
du
u
u
u
or recalling the properties of the limits of sums and products
d (f P)
df
dP
=
P+f
du
du
du

(11)

The derivatives of the scalar product and the vector product of two vector functions P(u)
and Q(u) can be obtained in a similar way. We have
dP
dQ
d (P Q)
=
Q+P
du
du
du

(12)

d (P Q)
dP
dQ
=
Q+P
du
du
du

(13)

The properties established above can be used to determine the rectangular components of the
derivative of a vector function P(u). Resolving P into components along fixed rectangular
axes x, y, z, we write
P = Px i + P y j + Pz k
(14)
where Px , Py , Pz are the rectangular scalar components of the vector P, and i, j, k the unit
vectors corresponding, respectively, to the x, y, z axes. The derivative of P is equal to the
sum of the derivatives of the terms in the right-hand side. Since each of these terms is the
product of a scalar and a vector function, we should use (11). But the unit vectors i, j, k
have a constant magnitude (equal to 1) and fixed direction. Their derivatives are therefore
zero, and we write
dPx
dPy
dPz
dP
=
i+
j+
k
(15)
du
du
du
du
so we conclude that the rectangular scalar components of the derivative dP/du of the vector
function P(u) are obtained by differentiating the corresponding scalar components of P.
Rectangular components of velocity and acceleration
Denoting by x, y, and z the rectangular coordinates of a particle P , we find that the rectangular components of the velocity and acceleration of P equal, respectively, the first and
second derivatives with respect to t of the corresponding coordinates:
vx = x

vy = y

vz = z

(16)

ax = x

ay = y

az = z

(17)

Lecture 1 / Kinematics of a particle

Component motions
When the component ax of the acceleration depends only upon t, x, and/or vx , and when
similarly ay depends only upon t, y, and/or vy , and az upon t, z, and/or vz , Eqs. (17)
can be integrated independently. The analysis of the given curvilinear motion can thus be
reduced to the analysis of three independent rectilinear component motions. This approach
is particularly effective in the study of the motion of projectiles.

It is sometimes convenient to resolve the velocity and acceleration of a particle P into components other than the
rectangular x, y, and z components. For a particle P
moving along a path contained in a plane, we can attach
to P a unit vector et tangent to the path of the particle
and pointing in the direction of motion (Fig. 4). Let e0t
be the unit vector corresponding to the position P 0 of the
particle at a later instant. Drawing both vectors from the
same origin O0 , we define the vector et = e0t et (Fig. 5).
Since et and e0t are of unit length, their tips lie on a circle of radius 1. Denoting by the angle formed by et
and e0t , we find that the magnitude of et is 2 sin(/2).
Considering now the vector et /, we note that as
approaches zero, this vector becomes tangent to the unit
circle of Fig. 5, i.e., perpendicular to et , and that its magnitude approaches

Ninth
Edition

Ninth
Edition

Tangential and Normal Co

Velocity ve
Vel
particle.
In
Wish to par
exp
tangential
Wia

tan

a
particle pat

respect to th
par
is the a

res

Figure 4:

2 sin(/2)
sin(/2)
= lim
=1
0
0

/2
lim

Ninth
Edition

Thus, the vector obtained in the limit is a unit vector along the
normal to the path of the particle, in the direction toward et turns.
Figure 5:Companies, Inc. All rights res
Denoting this vector by en , we have
2010 The McGraw-Hill
et
det
=
0
d

en = lim

(18)

With the v
the particl

We can then express the velocity and acceleration of the

particle in terms of tangential and normal components.
We write
v = vet
(19)
and
a=
But

dv
det
et + v
dt
dt

det
det d ds
=
dt
d ds dt

but

(20)

After subs
Figure 6:

Tangentia
change of
change of

7 With the v

Lecture 1 / Kinematics of a particle

the particl
Recalling from (8) that ds/dt = v, from (18) that det /d = en , and from elementary calculus
that d/ds is 1/, where is the radius of curvature of the path at P (Fig. 6), we have
det
v
= en
dt

but

(21)

After subs
Substituting into (20), we obtain
a=

dv
v2
et + en
dt

(22)

We conclude from the above that the tangential component of the acceleration reflects a change in the speed of
the particle, while its normal component reflects a change
in the direction of motion of the particle. The tangential
component dv/dt may be positive or negative (depending if the speed of the particle increases or decreases).
The normal component always points toward the center
of path curvature (Fig. 7).

Tangentia
change of
change of

Tangentia
negative.
toward ce

Figure 7:

Motion along a space curve

Ninth
Edition

For a particle P moving along a space curve, we define the plane which most closely fits the
curve in the neighborhood of P as the osculating plane. This plane contains the unit vectors
et and en which define, respectively, the tangent and principal
normal to the curve.
Tangential
andSince
Normal

Com

d(et et )
det
= 2 et
,
ds
ds
the vector det /ds is perpendicular to et , and points in
the direction of the principal normal to the curve. Its
magnitude is the inverse of the radius of curvature

Relation
also app

det
1
= en
ds

Plane co
vectors

0=

(23)

The unit vector eb = et en which is perpendicular to the

osculating plane and completes the right-handed triad et ,
en , eb , defines the binormal (Fig. 8).

Normal
Figure 8:

Acceler

Ninth
Edition

When partic
it is conveni
with compo

When the position of a particle P moving in a plane is defined

by its polar coordinates r and , it is convenient to use radial
and transverse components directed, respectively, along the
position vector r of the particle and in the direction obtained
by rotating r through 90o counter-clockwise. We attach to
P unit vectors er and e directed, respectively, in the radial
and transverse directions (Fig. 9). A derivation similar to
the one used to obtain (18) leads to the relations

The particle

Similarly, th

Figure 9:
der
= e
d

de
= er
d

(24)

de d
de
=
= er
dt
d dt

(25)

Using the chain rule,

der d
der
=
= e
dt
d dt

We then express the velocity and acceleration of the particle in terms of radial and transverse
components
d

v=
(rer ) = re
r + re
(26)
dt

d 

= (
r r2 )er + (r + 2r )e
(27)
re
r + re
a=
dt
The scalar components of the velocity and acceleration in the radial and transverse directions
are therefore
vr = r
ar = r r2

v = r
a = r + 2r

(28)

It is important to note that ar is not equal to the time derivative of vr , and that a is not
equal to the time derivative of v .