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com Lecture-2 (generalized coordinates)

1

Classical Mechanics:

The motion of a system can be described by the n -independent coordinates. These coordinates can be length, angle or anything in general. These coordinates are called generalized coordinates as the system can be described without the specific reference to a coordinate system. We go over from ( x, y, z ) or (r ,θ , φ ) to (q1 , q 2 , q3 ) , for example. This approach is called Lagrangian formulation. This has several advantages over Newtonian description. No reference of basis vectors is required. The position vector of the i -th particle can be written as the function of all the independent generalized coordinates: ri = ri (q1 , q 2 ,......q n , t )

•

The velocity, v i = r =

•

∂ ri dq1 ∂ r dq n ∂ ri + .......... + i + = ∂q1 dt ∂q n dt ∂t

∑ ∂q

l =1

n

∂ ri

l

ql +

•

∂ ri , ∂t

ql → The generalized velocity

**For no explicit dependence of time (scleoronomic constraint):
**

•

r=

∑ ∂q

l =1

n

∂ ri

l

ql

•• n

•

**Differentiating again, we get the acceleration, = r = ∑
**

l =1

d ∂ ri dt ∂ql

• ∂ ri •• ql + ql ∂ql

• = ∂ d ri = ∂ ∑ ∂ ri qm = ∂ql dt ∂ql m ∂qm •• ∂ 2 ri • • ∂ r •• ∴r= ∑ qm ql + ∑ i ql l ,m ∂qm ql l ∂ql

Now,

d ∂ ri dt ∂ql

∂ 2 ri • ∑ ∂q q qm m m l

**To calculate work done, we consider displacement, n ∂r d ri = ∑ i dql l =1 ∂q l
**

N N n ∂r ∴ Work done on the system, dW = ∑ Fi ⋅ d ri = ∑ ∑ Fi ⋅ i dql ∂ql i =1 l =1 i =1

**PBC Lecture Notes Series in Mechanics: by Dr. Abhijit Kar Gupta, e-mail: kg.abhi@gmail.com N ∂r = ∑ ∑ Fi ⋅ i dql = ∂ql l =1 i =1
**

n

2

∑ Q dq ,

l l l

where Ql = ∑ Fi ⋅

i =1

N

∂ ri , the generalized force. ∂ql

Note:

The particle index i goes from 1 to N whereas the generalized coordinates l run from 1 to n .

Since the generalized coordinates may have any dimension (not necessarily the length), the generalized force also can have any dimension (not necessarily the dimension of force). Again, let us consider that the work done W is a function of all the generalized coordinates. n ∂W ∴ We can write, dW = ∑ dq l = ∑ Ql dql . l =1 ∂q l l

∴

Ql =

∂W ∂ql

Therefore, the components of generalized force can be obtained by differentiating the work with respect to the corresponding generalize coordinate. Note: For a particle moving in one dimension, the work done dW = Fx ⋅ dx , wherefrom we dW write Fx = , the force along the x-direction. dx

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UsefulNot usefulLecture Notes on Classical Mechanics prepared to teach B.Sc (Phys. Hons.) students.
Comments are welcome.

Lecture Notes on Classical Mechanics prepared to teach B.Sc (Phys. Hons.) students.

Comments are welcome.

Comments are welcome.

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