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Moment of inertia
inertia in beam bending, see Second moment of area.
Classical mechanics

Second law of motion

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Tightrope walker Samuel Dixon using the long rod's moment of inertia for balance while
crossing the Niagara River in 1890.

Flywheels have large moments of inertia to smooth out mechanical motion. This example
is in a Russian museum.

The moment of inertia, otherwise known as the angular mass or rotational inertia, of a
rigid body is a tensor that determines the torque needed for a desired angular acceleration
about a rotational axis. It depends on the body's mass distribution and the axis chosen, with
larger moments requiring more torque to change the body's rotation. It is an extensive
(additive) property: the moment of inertia of a rigid composite system is the sum of the
moments of inertia of its component subsystems (all taken about the same axis). One of its

definitions is the second moment of mass with respect to distance from an axis r, ,

integrating over the entire mass .

For bodies constrained to rotate in a plane, it is sufficient to consider their moment of
inertia about an axis perpendicular to the plane. For bodies free to rotate in three
dimensions, their moments can be described by a symmetric 3 × 3 matrix; each body has a
set of mutually perpendicular principal axes for which this matrix is diagonal and torques
around the axes act independently of each other.

Contents
• 1 Introduction
• 2 Definition
• 3 Simple pendulum
• 4 Compound pendulum
o 4.1 Center of oscillation
• 5 Measuring moment of inertia
• 6 Calculating moment of inertia about an axis
o 6.1 Example calculation of moment of inertia
• 7 Moment of inertia in planar movement of a rigid body
o 7.1 Angular momentum in planar movement
o 7.2 Kinetic energy in planar movement
o 7.3 Newton's laws for planar movement

For an extended body of a regular shape and uniform density. a torque must be applied to change its angular momentum.[3][4] .[1][2] and it is incorporated into Euler's second law.3 Inertia of an ellipsoid • 12 See also • 13 References • 14 External links Introduction When a body is rotating. around an axis. shape and total mass of the object. Comparison of this natural frequency to that of a simple pendulum consisting of a single point of mass provides a mathematical formulation for moment of inertia of an extended body. known as a compound pendulum.1 Angular momentum o 8. where r is the distance to the axis. The moment of inertia depends on how mass is distributed around an axis of rotation.[1] The term moment of inertia was introduced by Leonhard Euler in his book Theoria motus corporum solidorum seu rigidorum in 1765. the moment of inertia about some axis is given by mr2. For an extended rigid body. Moment of inertia plays the role in rotational kinetics that mass (inertia) plays in linear kinetics . or free to rotate. For a point-like mass.3 Resultant torque o 8.4 Parallel axis theorem • 9 The inertia matrix and the scalar moment of inertia around an arbitrary axis • 10 The inertia tensor o 10. • 8 The inertia matrix for spatial movement of a rigid body o 8. the moment of inertia is just the sum of all the small pieces of mass multiplied by the square of their distances from the axis in question.2 Kinetic energy o 8. and m is the mass. this summation sometimes produces a simple expression that depends on the dimensions. Moment of inertia may be expressed in units of kilogram metre squared (kg·m2) in SI units and pound-square feet (lb·ft2) in imperial or US units. and will vary depending on the chosen axis.1 Identities for a skew-symmetric matrix • 11 The inertia matrix in different reference frames o 11.2 Principal axes o 11. The amount of torque needed to cause any given angular acceleration (the rate of change in angular velocity) is proportional to the moment of inertia of the body. The natural frequency of oscillation of a compound pendulum is obtained from the ratio of the torque imposed by gravity on the mass of the pendulum to the resistance to acceleration defined by the moment of inertia. In 1673 Christiaan Huygens introduced this parameter in his study of the oscillation of a body hanging from a pivot.1 Body frame inertia matrix o 11.both characterize the resistance of a body to changes in its motion.

to conserve angular momentum.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13] . his moment of inertia decreases. pitch and yaw. Play media Video of rotating chair experiment.[7][8] that is If the angular momentum of a system is constant. called the inertia matrix or inertia tensor. The moment of inertia of an airplane about its longitudinal. while for spatial movement the same calculations yield a 3 × 3 matrix of moments of inertia. When the spinning professor pulls his arms. to spin faster. elevators and tail affect the plane in roll. This occurs when spinning figure skaters pull in their outstretched arms or divers curl their bodies into a tuck position during a dive. allowing them to spin faster due to conservation of angular momentum. horizontal and vertical axis determines how steering forces on the control surfaces of its wings. illustrating moment of inertia. his angular velocity increases. and in Newton's laws of motion for a rigid body as a physical parameter that combines its shape and mass.[5][6] The moment of inertia of a rotating flywheel is used in a machine to resist variations in applied torque to smooth its rotational output. Planar movement has a single scalar that defines the moment of inertia. Moment of inertia I is defined as the ratio of the angular momentum L of a system to its angular velocity ω around a principal axis. the angular velocity must increase. Definition Spinning figure skaters can reduce their moment of inertia by pulling in their arms. There is an interesting difference in the way moment of inertia appears in planar and spatial movement. then as the moment of inertia gets smaller. kinetic energy.Moment of inertia also appears in momentum.

For a simple pendulum this is found to be the product of the mass of the particle m with the square of its distance r to the pivot. an effective radius k can be defined for an axis through its center of mass. then its moment of inertia appears in Newton's law of motion as the ratio of an applied torque τ on a body to the angular acceleration α around a principal axis. the moment of inertia of the pendulum is the ratio of the torque due to gravity about the pivot of a pendulum to its angular acceleration about that pivot point. as defined by the distance r to the axis of rotation.If the shape of the body does not change. Simple pendulum Moment of inertia can be measured using a simple pendulum. In general. Here r is the distance vector perpendicular to and from the force to the torque axis. because it is the resistance to the rotation caused by gravity. Since the . that is This can be shown as follows: The force of gravity on the mass of a simple pendulum generates a torque around the axis perpendicular to the plane of the pendulum movement. or shape. This simple formula generalizes to define moment of inertia for an arbitrarily shaped body as the sum of all the elemental point masses dm each multiplied by the square of its perpendicular distance r to an axis S . that is For a simple pendulum. Thus. moment of inertia depends on both the mass m of a body and its geometry. . given an object of mass m. Associated with this torque is an angular acceleration. Here F is the tangential component of the net force on the mass. Mathematically. of the string and mass around this axis. with such a value that its moment of inertia is where k is known as the radius of gyration. this definition yields a formula for the moment of inertia I in terms of the mass m of the pendulum and its distance r from the pivot point as.

Compound pendulum . This angular momentum is given by using math similar to that used to derive the previous equation.) The quantity I = mr is the moment of inertia of this single mass around the pivot point. which is calculated from the velocity v = ω×r of the pendulum mass around the pivot. The moment of inertia of an arbitrarily shaped body is the sum of the values mr2 for all of the elements of mass in the body. Similarly.mass is constrained to a circle the tangential acceleration of the mass is . the kinetic energy of the pendulum mass is defined by the velocity of the pendulum around the pivot to yield This shows that the quantity I = mr2 is how mass combines with the shape of a body to define rotational inertia. Since the torque equation becomes: where e is a unit vector perpendicular to the plane of the pendulum. (The second to the last step occurs because of the BAC-CAB rule using the fact that is always perpendicular 2 to r. The quantity I = mr2 also appears in the angular momentum of a simple pendulum. where ω is the angular velocity of the mass about the pivot point.

A compound pendulum is a body formed from an assembly of particles of continuous shape that rotates rigidly around a pivot. is then calculated using the parallel axis theorem to be where is the mass of the body and is the distance from the pivot point to the centre of mass .[17]:516–517 Thus. then measure its natural frequency or period of oscillation ( ). and is the distance from the pivot point to the centre of mass of the object. where is the mass of the object. . is local acceleration of gravity. from 1897 scientific journal. The portable gravimeter developed in 1890 by Thomas C. Its moment of inertia is the sum of the moments of inertia of each of the particles that it is composed of. which is the radius of a ring of equal mass around the centre of mass of a body that has the same . The moment of inertia of the body about its centre of mass.Pendulums used in Mendenhall gravimeter apparatus. Moment of inertia of a body is often defined in terms of its radius of gyration. Mendenhall provided the most accurate relative measurements of the local gravitational field of the Earth. simply suspend it from a convenient pivot point so that it swings freely in a plane perpendicular to the direction of the desired moment of inertia. to obtain where is the period (duration) of oscillation (usually averaged over multiple periods). Measuring this frequency of oscillation over small angular displacements provides an effective way of measuring moment of inertia of a body.[14][15]:395–396[16]:51–53 The natural frequency ( ) of a compound pendulum depends on its moment of inertia. . to determine the moment of inertia of the body.

This is a period of two seconds. Measuring moment of inertia The moment of inertia of a complex system such as a vehicle or airplane around its vertical axis can be measured by suspending the system from three points to form a trifilar pendulum. can be computed to be Notice that the distance to the center of oscillation of the seconds pendulum must be adjusted to accommodate different values for the local acceleration of gravity. The length is determined from the formula.[20] . This point also corresponds to the centre of percussion. The radius of gyration is calculated from the body's moment of inertia and mass as the length[18]:1296–1297 Center of oscillation A simple pendulum that has the same natural frequency as a compound pendulum defines the length from the pivot to a point called the centre of oscillation of the compound pendulum. which provides the "tick" and "tock" of a grandfather clock. takes one second to swing from side-to-side.moment of inertia. and is called a gravimeter. In this case. . or a natural frequency of π radians/second for the pendulum. the distance to the center of oscillation. or The seconds pendulum.[19] The period of oscillation of the trifilar pendulum yields the moment of inertia of the system. Kater's pendulum is a compound pendulum that uses this property to measure the local acceleration of gravity. A trifilar pendulum is a platform supported by three wires designed to oscillate in torsion around its vertical centroidal axis.

The moment of inertia of a continuous body rotating about a specified axis is calculated in the same way. cylindrical ring (green) and solid cylinder (blue). . From back to front: spherical shell (red). The time for each object to reach the finishing line depends on their moment of inertia. solid sphere (orange). (This equation can be used for axes that are not principal axes provided that it is understood that this does not fully describe the moment of inertia.[21]) Consider the kinetic energy of an assembly of N masses mi that lie at the distances ri from the pivot point P.[17]:516–517[18]:1084–1085 [18]:1296–1300 This shows that the moment of inertia of the body is the sum of each of the mr2 terms. and the sum is written as follows: Another expression replaces the summation with an integral. moment of inertia is a physical property that combines the mass and distribution of the particles around the rotation axis. (OGV version) The moment of inertia about an axis of a body is calculated by summing mr2 for every particle in the body. Thus the limits of summation are removed.Calculating moment of inertia about an axis Four objects with identical masses and radii racing down a plane while rolling without slipping. where r is the perpendicular distance to the specified axis. that is Thus. which is the nearest point on the axis of rotation. it is convenient to consider a rigid assembly of point masses. except with infinitely many point particles. To see how moment of inertia arises in the study of the movement of an extended body. It is the sum of the kinetic energy of the individual masses. Notice that rotation about different axes of the same body yield different moments of inertia.

[18]:1301 Align the x-axis with the rod and locate the origin its centre of mass at the centre of the rod. Note on second moment of area: The moment of inertia of a body moving in a plane and the second moment of area of a beam's cross-section are often confused. the function ρ gives the mass density at each point (x. r is a vector perpendicular to the axis of rotation and extending from a point on the rotation axis to a point (x. The moment of inertia of a flat surface is similar with the mass density being replaced by its areal mass density with the integral evaluated over its area. then . and is the sum of the second moments about the x.and y-axes. Example calculation of moment of inertia Main article: List of moments of inertia The moment of inertia of a compound pendulum constructed from a thin disc mounted at the end of a thin rod that oscillates around a pivot at the other end of the rod. and the integration is evaluated over the volume V of the body Q.[18] • The moment of inertia of a thin rod with constant cross-section s and density ρ and with length ℓ about a perpendicular axis through its centre of mass is determined by integration. The moment of inertia of body with the shape of the cross-section is the second moment of this area about the z-axis perpendicular to the cross-section.Here.[22] The stresses in a beam are calculated using the second moment of the cross-sectional area around either the x-axis or y-axis depending on the load. y. This is also called the polar moment of the area. weighted by its density. begins with the calculation of the moment of inertia of the thin rod and thin disc about their respective centres of mass. y. z). z) in the solid.

where m = ρsℓ is the mass of the rod. • The moment of inertia of a thin disc of constant thickness s. This is determined by summing the moments of inertia of the thin discs that form the sphere. If the surface of the ball is defined by the equation[18]:1301 then the radius r of the disc at the cross-section z along the z-axis is . The parallel axis theorem is used to shift the reference point of the individual bodies to the reference point of the assembly. radius R. and density ρ about an axis through its centre and perpendicular to its face (parallel to its axis of rotational symmetry) is determined by integration.[18]:1301 Align the z-axis with the axis of the disc and define a volume element as dV = sr drdθ. As one more example. Notice that the parallel axis theorem is used to shift the moment of inertia from the centre of mass to the pivot point of the pendulum. A list of moments of inertia formulas for standard body shapes provides a way to obtain the moment of inertia of a complex body as an assembly of simpler shaped bodies. where L is the length of the pendulum. • The moment of inertia of the compound pendulum is now obtained by adding the moment of inertia of the rod and the disc around the pivot point P as. consider the moment of inertia of a solid sphere of constant density about an axis through its centre of mass. then where m = πR2ρs is its mass.

Pi. Note on the cross product: When a body moves parallel to a ground plane. the combination of mass and geometry benefits from the geometric properties of the cross . then the momentum of the system can be written in terms of positions relative to a reference point R. Planar movement is often presented as projected onto this ground plane so that the axis of rotation appears as a point. the trajectories of all the points in the body lie in planes parallel to this ground plane.. Introduce the unit vectors ei from the reference point R to a point ri . This means that any rotation that the body undergoes must be around an axis perpendicular to this plane. then the rotation of a body in the system occurs around an axis k perpendicular to this plane. But in the case of moment of inertia.n.. the angular velocity and angular acceleration of the body are scalars and the fact that they are vectors along the rotation axis is ignored.Therefore. the moment of inertia of the ball is the sum of the moments of inertia of the discs along the z-axis. In this case. This is usually preferred for introductions to the topic. i = 1. and the unit vector ti = k × ei so This defines the relative position vector and the velocity vector for the rigid system of the particles moving in a plane.. and absolute velocities vi where ω is the angular velocity of the system and V is the velocity of R. kinetic energy and Newton's laws for the planar movement of a rigid system of particles.[14][17][23][24] If a system of n particles. In this case. where m = 4/3 πR3ρ is the mass of the ball.. For planar movement the angular velocity vector is directed along the unit vector k which is perpendicular to the plane of movement. The definition of the polar moment of inertia can be obtained by considering momentum. the moment of inertia of the mass in this system is a scalar known as the polar moment of inertia. are assembled into a rigid body. Moment of inertia in planar movement of a rigid body If a mechanical system is constrained to move parallel to a fixed plane.

A figure skater is not. however. For a given amount of angular momentum. Figure skaters can change their moment of inertia by pulling in their arms.product. 1906). the angular velocity achieved by a skater with outstretched arms results in a greater angular velocity when the arms are pulled in. a rigid body. and the cross product operations are the same as used for the study of spatial rigid body movement. a decrease in the moment of inertia results in an increase in the angular velocity. because of the reduced moment of inertia. . in this section on planar movement the angular velocity and accelerations of the body are vectors perpendicular to the ground plane. Kinetic energy in planar movement This 1906 rotary shear uses the moment of inertia of two flywheels to store kinetic energy which when released is used to cut metal stock (International Library of Technology. For this reason. Angular momentum in planar movement The angular momentum vector for the planar movement of a rigid system of particles is given by[14][17] Use the centre of mass C as the reference point so and define the moment of inertia relative to the centre of mass IC as then the equation for angular momentum simplifies to[18]:1028 The moment of inertia IC about an axis perpendicular to the movement of the rigid system and through the centre of mass is known as the polar moment of inertia. Thus.

. The large moment of inertia of the flywheel smooths the operation of the tractor Newton's laws for a rigid system of N particles. can be written in terms of a resultant force and torque at a reference point R.. The kinematics of a rigid body yields the formula for the acceleration of the particle Pi in terms of the position R and acceleration A of the reference particle as well as the angular velocity vector ω and angular acceleration vector α of the rigid system of particles as. Newton's laws for planar movement A 1920s John Deere tractor with the spoked flywheel on the engine.The kinetic energy of a rigid system of particles moving in the plane is given by[14][17] This equation expands to yield three terms Let the reference point be the centre of mass C of the system so the second term becomes zero.. Pi. N. i = 1. to yield[14][17] where ri denotes the trajectory of each particle.. and introduce the moment of inertia IC so the kinetic energy is given by[18]:1084 The moment of inertia IC is the polar moment of inertia of the body..

which simplifies this acceleration equation. then the equation for the resultant torque simplifies to[18]:1029 The parameter IC is the polar moment of inertia of the moving body. n be located at the coordinates ri with velocities vi relative to a fixed reference frame.. and ei × ti = k is the unit vector perpendicular to the plane for all of the particles Pi .For systems that are constrained to planar movement. For a (possibly moving) reference point R. the acceleration vectors can be simplified by introducing the unit vectors ei from the reference point R to a point ri and the unit vectors ti = k × ei ... In this case.. so This yields the resultant torque on the system as where ei × ei = 0. The inertia matrix for spatial movement of a rigid body The scalar moments of inertia appear as elements in a matrix when a system of particles is assembled into a rigid body that moves in three-dimensional space. Use the centre of mass C as the reference point and define the moment of inertia relative to the centre of mass IC . This is discussed in the article on gyroscopic precession.[3][4][5][6][25] An important application of the inertia matrix and Newton's laws of motion is the analysis of a spinning top. A more detailed presentation can be found in the article on Euler's equations of motion. Let the system of particles Pi. the relative positions are and the (absolute) velocities are . kinetic energy and resultant torque of the rigid system of particles. the angular velocity and angular acceleration vectors are directed along k perpendicular to the plane of movement. i = 1. This inertia matrix appears in the calculation of the angular momentum.

.n be located at the coordinates ri with velocities vi. in the form Using this method. Let the system of particles Pi.bz) as its elements. by. i = 1. Angular momentum If the reference point R in the assembly. To define the inertia matrix... . then the kinetic energy is[3][6] where Δri = ri − C is the position vector of a particle relative to the centre of mass. construct the skew-symmetric matrix [Δri]= [ri-C] obtained from the relative position vector Δri=ri . and VR is the velocity of R. and use this skew-symmetric matrix to define.C. such that This matrix [B] has the components of b = (bx.[3][6] where the terms containing VR sum to zero by definition of the centre of mass.where ω is the angular velocity of the system. where [IC ] defined by is the symmetric inertia matrix of the rigid system of particles measured relative to the centre of mass C. is chosen as the centre of mass C. or body. let us first note that a skew-symmetric matrix [B] that performs the cross product operation could be constructed from a vector b. then its angular momentum takes the form.. Kinetic energy The kinetic energy of a rigid system of particles can be formulated in terms of the centre of mass and a matrix of mass moments of inertia of the system.

as well as the angular velocity vector ω and angular acceleration vector α of the rigid system as. Resultant torque The inertia matrix appears in the application of Newton's second law to a rigid assembly of particles. The resultant torque on this system is. Use the centre of mass C as the reference point. The kinematics of a rigid body yields the formula for the acceleration of the particle Pi in terms of the position R and acceleration A of the reference point. to obtain The calculation uses the identity . and introduce the skew-symmetric matrix [Δri]=[ri-C] to represent the cross product (ri . the kinetic energy of the rigid system of particles is given by where [IC] is the inertia matrix relative to the centre of mass and M is the total mass.C)x. Introduce the skew-symmetric matrix [Δri] so the kinetic energy becomes Thus.[3][6] where ai is the acceleration of the particle Pi.This equation expands to yield three terms The second term in this equation is zero because C is the centre of mass.

then where d is the vector from the centre of mass C to the reference point R. Expand this equation to obtain The first term is the inertia matrix [IC] relative to the centre of mass. Use this equation to compute the inertia matrix. given by Let C be the centre of mass of the rigid system. There is a useful relationship between the inertia matrix relative to the centre of mass C and the inertia matrix relative to another point R. . the resultant torque on the rigid system of particles is given by where [IC] is the inertia matrix relative to the centre of mass. And the last term is the total mass of the system multiplied by the square of the skew-symmetric matrix [d] constructed from d. The result is the parallel axis theorem.obtained from the Jacobi identity for the triple cross product as shown in the proof below: [show]Proof Thus. Parallel axis theorem Main article: Parallel axis theorem The inertia matrix of a body depends on the choice of the reference point.[3][6] Consider the inertia matrix [IR] obtained for a rigid system of particles measured relative to a reference point R. The second and third terms are zero by definition of the centre of mass C. This relationship is called the parallel axis theorem.

N. The magnitude squared of the perpendicular vector is .where d is the vector from the centre of mass C to the reference point R. introduce the skew-symmetric matrix [S] such that [S]y=S x y. to make this to work out correctly a minus sign is needed. which is similar to the mr2 that appears in planar movement. Pi. Choose R as a reference point and compute the moment of inertia around an axis L defined by the unit vector S through the reference point R. Note on the minus sign: By using the skew symmetric matrix of position vectors relative to the reference point. i = 1.. However... To relate this scalar moment of inertia to the inertia matrix of the body. have coordinates ri. This is derived as follows. if desired.. IL. The inertia matrix and the scalar moment of inertia around an arbitrary axis The scalar moment of inertia. the inertia matrix of each particle has the form −m[r]2. Let a rigid assembly of N particles. by using the skew-symmetry property of [r]. The moment of inertia of the system around this line L=R+tS is computed by determining the perpendicular vector from this axis to the particle Pi given by where [I] is the identity matrix and [S ST] is the outer product matrix formed from the unit vector S along the line L. This minus sign can be absorbed into the term m[r]T[r]. of a body about a specified axis whose direction is specified by the unit vector S and passes through the body at a point R is as follows:[6] where [IR] is the moment of inertia matrix of the system relative to the reference point R. then we have the identity which relies on the fact that S is a unit vector.

(the symbol is the tensor product) where ei. which consists of the same moments of inertia and products of inertia about the three coordinate axes. i = 1. Using this basis the inertia tensor is given by . 2. The inertia tensor The inertia matrix is often described as the inertia tensor.The simplification of this equation uses the identity where the dot and the cross products have been interchanged. Thus. This shows that the inertia matrix can be used to calculate the moment of inertia of a body around any specified rotation axis in the body. Expand the cross products to compute where [Δri] is the skew symmetric matrix obtained from the vector Δr=ri-R. 3 are the three orthogonal unit vectors defining the inertial frame in which the body moves. the moment of inertia around the line L through R in the direction S is obtained from the calculation or where [IR] is the moment of inertia matrix of the system relative to the reference point R.[6][23] The inertia tensor is constructed from the nine component tensors.

the inertia tensor is given by where E is the identity tensor In this case. The integral is taken over the volume V of the body..This tensor is of degree two because the component tensors are each constructed from two basis vectors. For a rigid system of particles Pk... The inertia tensor is symmetric because Iij = Iji. In this form the inertia tensor is also called the inertia binor. yk. k = 1. zk). . Alternatively it can also be written in terms of the hat operator as: The inertia tensor can be used in the same way as the inertia matrix to compute the scalar moment of inertia about an arbitrary axis in the direction n. the components of the inertia tensor are given by The inertia tensor for a continuous body is given by where r defines the coordinates of a point in the body and ρ(r) is the mass density at that point..N each of mass mk with position coordinates rk = (xk.

then the product in the inertia matrix becomes . The matrix [I'SST] in this equation subtracts the component of Δr = r − R that is parallel to S.where the dot product is taken with the corresponding elements in the component tensors. such as Ixx and Ixy. and z axes. y. y. the perpendicular vector from the mass to the axis is needed. It is common in rigid body mechanics to use notation that explicitly identifies the x. z). for the components of the inertia tensor. For the inertia tensor this matrix is given by. Recall that skew-symmetric matrix [S] is constructed so that [S]y = S x y. If the axis L is defined by the unit vector S through the reference point R. The components of tensors of degree two can be assembled into a matrix. Let [R] be the skew symmetric matrix associated with the position vector R = (x. The previous sections show that in computing the moment of inertia matrix this operator yields a similar operator using the components of the vector Δr that is It is helpful to keep the following identities in mind to compare the equations that define the inertia tensor and the inertia matrix. Identities for a skew-symmetric matrix To compute moment of inertia of a mass around an axis. A product of inertia term such as I12 is obtained by the computation and can be interpreted as the moment of inertia around the x-axis when the object rotates around the y-axis. then the perpendicular vector from the line L to the point r is given by where [I] is the identity matrix and [S ST] is the outer product matrix formed from the unit vector S along the line L.

In contrast. Body frame inertia matrix Let the body frame inertia matrix relative to the centre of mass be denoted [ICB]. Then. while [ICB] remains constant. where vectors y in the body fixed coordinate frame have coordinates x in the inertial frame. known as its trace. that where tr denotes the sum of the diagonal elements of the outer product matrix.[6][23] This means that as the body moves the components of the inertia matrix change with time. The inertia matrix in different reference frames The use of the inertia matrix in Newton's second law assumes its components are computed relative to axes parallel to the inertial frame and not relative to a body-fixed reference frame.This can be viewed as another way of computing the perpendicular distance from an axis to a point. and define the orientation of the body frame relative to the inertial frame by the rotation matrix [A]. given by . such that. because the matrix formed by the outer product [R RT] yields the identify where [I] is the 3×3 identity matrix. the inertia matrix of the body measured in the inertial frame is given by Notice that [A] changes as the body moves. Also notice. the components of the inertia matrix measured in a body-fixed frame are constant. A real symmetric matrix has the eigendecomposition into the product of a rotation matrix [Q] and a diagonal matrix [Λ]. Principal axes Measured in the body frame the inertia matrix is a constant real symmetric matrix.

I2 and I3 are called the principal moments of inertia. The moment of inertia matrix in body-frame coordinates is a quadratic form that defines a surface in the body called Poinsot's ellipsoid. Inertia of an ellipsoid An ellipsoid with the semi-principal diameters labelled a.where The columns of the rotation matrix [Q] define the directions of the principal axes of the body. to see that the semi-principal diameters of this ellipsoid are given by .[28] Let [Λ] be the inertia matrix relative to the centre of mass aligned with the principal axes. and c. This result was first shown by J.[26][27] For bodies with constant density an axis of rotational symmetry is a principal axis. Write this equation in the form. J. and is a form of Sylvester's law of inertia. Sylvester (1852). b. then the surface or defines an ellipsoid in the body frame. and the constants I1.

Thomson. qui in huiusmodi corpora cadere possunt. ISBN 0-387-00887-X. Retrieved November 21. • • Symon. the magnitude of a point x in the direction n on the inertia ellipsoid is See also • Central moment • Instant centre of rotation • List of moments of inertia • Rotational energy • Stretch rule • Tire balance References 1.. JB. Levinson." (Definition 7. A. • Mach. RA (2004). 422. Then the relationship presented above. p. si singula corporis elementa per quadrata distantiarum suarum ab axe multiplicentur. (1985).). 173–187. between the inertia matrix and the scalar moment of inertia In around an axis in the direction n. Rostock and Greifswald (Germany): A. ISBN 978-1-4297-4281-8. Röse. 2014. if the individual elements of the body are multiplied by the square of their distances from the axis. The Science of Mechanics. x=|x|n. D.Let a point x on this ellipsoid be defined in terms of its magnitude and direction. Classical dynamics of particles & systems (4th ed. accommodata [The theory of motion of solid or rigid bodies: established from first principles of our knowledge and appropriate for all motions which can occur in such bodies] (in Latin). ST (1995).) • • Marion. Theoria motus corporum solidorum seu rigidorum: Ex primis nostrae cognitionis principiis stabilita et ad omnes motus. F. Thornton. KR (1971). From page 166: "Definitio 7.). New York: McGraw-Hill. A body's moment of inertia with respect to any axis is the sum of all of the products. quae oriuntur. Dynamics. ISBN 0-03-097302-3. Springer. . 422. Fundamentals of Applied Dynamics. which arise. where n is a unit vector. Addison-Wesley. Ernst (1919). Theory and Applications. 166. T. • • Tenenbaum. Momentum inertiae corporis respectu eujuspiam axis est summa omnium productorum. R. • • Euler. ISBN 0-201-07392-7. pp. • • Kane. Leonhard (1765). Mechanics (3rd ed. yields Thus.

(2010). presented at the IMA Mathematics 2007 Conference. The Physics of Everyday Stuff. • • Sylvester. • • Hokin. ISBN 0983563330. Macmillan. p.). FL: CRC Press. David Halliday. Pergamon Press. 2002. Shigley. • • Wolfram.Mechanics. M. • • Walker. ISBN 0748743146. Vector mechanics for engineers: Dynamics (9th ed. Addison-Wesley. Stephen (2014). W. AuthorHouse. "A demonstration of the theorem that every homogeneous quadratic polynomial is reducible by real orthogonal substitutions to the form of a sum of positive and negative squares" (PDF). E.). Jr. • • Fullerton. Beer. 107.1080/14786445208647087. 64. Lifshitz. 1948 • • In that situation this moment of inertia only describes how a torque applied along that axis causes a rotation about that axis. ISBN 0970467028.P.. Physics for Scientists and Engineers. Cornwell (2010). J J (1852). Russell Johnston. Gordon R. • • L. Kinematics and Dynamics of Planar Machinery. 1: Mechanics. Fundamentals of physics (7th ed. Vol. ISBN 0-201-02918-9. doi:10. Will (2010). William. John-Wiley. ISBN 978-0077295493. ISBN 9780471216438. p. Wolfram Demonstrations Project. Hoboken. Retrieved September 30. Philosophical Magazine (Ser.• • Winn. 142–143. torques not aligned along a principal axis will also cause rotations about other axes. 2014. ISBN 978-0195371239. • • L.10. John Wiley. "Figure Skating Spins". 10. Pennock. (1999). • • French. "Spinning Ice Skater". Dan (2011). Joseph E. • • Tipler. But. Prentice Hall. Silly Beagle Productions. A. Benjamin (2003). Tsai. Robert Resnick. Samuel (2014). 1969. • • Breithaupt. Landau and E. D. • • Uicker. NJ: Wiley. Thermodynamics. • • Walter D. pp. Nelson Thomas. Burton (June 1979). Mathematica. p. Classical Mechanics (2nd ed. Theory of Machines and Mechanisms (4th ed. 4 (23): 138–142. New Understanding Physics for Advanced Level. Oscillations and Waves. Boston: McGraw-Hill. 4). • • Ferdinand P. 1629. • • Crowell. NACA Technical Note No. Boca Raton. Phillip J. Inc. Williams. • • Paul. Introduction to Understandable Physics: Volume I . Pilkey. 2014. ISBN 978-0135160626. Jim (2000).. John J. Jearl (2005). (1971). Paul A. • • Goldstein.. • • Gracey. ISBN 1449063330. H. Oxford University Press. The experimental determination of the moments of inertia of airplanes by a simplified compound-pendulum method. 304. Retrieved September 30. Robot Analysis: The mechanics of serial and parallel manipulators. Vol 1. • • H.. 2008.). Analysis and Design of Elastic Beams: Computational Methods. Vibrations and waves. Mechanics. 2nd Ed. Retrieved June 27.). Light and Matter. Conservation Laws. 1999. p. NY. Honors Physics Essentials. ISBN 9780748744473. (1980). ISBN 1572594918. . Measuring the inertia tensor.

External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to Moments of inertia. 28. • Angular momentum and rigid-body rotation in two and three dimensions • Lecture notes on rigid-body rotation and moments of inertia • The moment of inertia tensor • An introductory lesson on moment of inertia: keeping a vertical pole not falling down (Java simulation) • Tutorial on finding moments of inertia. • Mason. Matthew T. Retrieved November 21. Mechanics of Robotics Manipulation. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-262-13396-8. MIT Press. with problems and solutions on various basic shapes • Notes on mechanics of manipulation: the angular inertia tensor [show] • v • t • e Classical mechanics SI units [show] • v • t • e Tensors Categories: • Physical quantities • Rigid bodies • Rotation Navigation menu • Not logged in • Talk . (1986). ISBN 0-19-853248-2.• • Norman. 360– 361. Undergraduate algebra. (2001). C. 2014.W. pp.