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Note on the problem solved in the class

1 October 2007
In the class today, we solved the problem of a skier (represented using a point mass) slid­
ing on a semicircular mountain using Newton’s law and the work-energy principle. Using
the latter method we also found the angle at which the skier separates from the platform.
Here we do the same using the equations of motion obtained using Newton’s law.
We obtained the following equations:
·
–mg sinθ + N = –mρθ 2

(EQ 1)

··
–mg cos θ = mρθ

(EQ 2)

In order to find the angle at which the skier separates from the mountain, we set N = 0 .
Let θ o be that angle.
Thus,
·2
g sinθ o = ρθ o

(EQ 3)

··
–g cos θ o = ρθ o

(EQ 4)

The above two equations don’t tell us the value of θ o . We will integrate Equation 2
(which is valid for any θ as long as the skier is in contact with the surface) to obtain the
·
value of θ o and substitute it in Equation 3. Integrating Equation 2,
θo

θo

– ∫ g co θdθ =
π
--2

··

∫ ρθdθ

(EQ 5)

π
--2

θo

θo

θo

θo

·

π
--2

π
--2

π
--2

π
--2

0

θo
·2
·
θ
θ2
·
·
·
– ∫ g cos θdθ = ∫ ρ d θ ⋅ dθ = ∫ ρ d θ ⋅ θ dθ = ∫ ρ d ⎛⎝ -----⎞⎠ dθ = ρ ∫ d⎛⎝ ----­⎞⎠
2
dt

dθ 2

·
θo
θ 2
[–g sin θ] π = ρ ----2
--2

Note on the problem solved in the class

October 1, 2007

θo
0

1

Cite as: Sanjay Sarma, Nicholas Makris, Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi, and Peter So, course materials for 2.003J/1.053J

Dynamics and Control I, Fall 2007. MIT OpenCourseWare (http://ocw.mit.edu), Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Downloaded on [DD Month YYYY].

course materials for 2. and Peter So. Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi.mit. 2 sin θ o = --3 Note on the problem solved in the class October 1.053J Dynamics and Control I.edu). . 2007 (EQ 6) 2 Cite as: Sanjay Sarma. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.·2 θo 1 – g sinθ o = ρ ----­ 2 Substituting the above epression in Equation 3. g sin θ o = 2 ( 1 – g sinθ o ) Thus. MIT OpenCourseWare (http://ocw.003J/1. Nicholas Makris. Downloaded on [DD Month YYYY]. Fall 2007.