Level 3 Classical Mechanics 2011

Durham University Physics
Contents
1 Generalized Description of Mechanical Systems 1
1.1 Validity of Newton’s Laws . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2 Dynamical Variables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.3 Degrees of Freedom (DoF) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.4 Types of Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.5 Generalized coordinates q
k
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.6 Generalized Velocities ˙ q
k
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.7 Generalized forces T
k
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
HOMEWORK 1: LAGRANGIAN OF A SMALL BLOCK ON AN INCLINED PLANE 3
2 The Lagrangian 5
2.1 Kinetic Energy T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.2 Generalized Equations of Motion (EoM) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.3 Conservative Forces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.4 The Lagrangian L . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.5 Hamilton’s Principle of Least Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
EXAMPLE CLASS 1: APPLICATIONS OF THE LAGRANGIAN APPROACH 7
3 Linear Oscillators 9
3.1 Equilibrium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3.2 Lagrangian Near Static Equilibrium (1 DoF) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3.3 Simple Harmonic Oscillator (SHO) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3.4 Damping Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3.5 Damped Simple Harmonic Oscillator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3.6 Overdamped SHO: Q <
1
2
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3.7 Underdamped SHO: Q >
1
2
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3.8 Critically Damped SHO: Q =
1
2
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
EXAMPLE CLASS 2: DAMPED, DRIVEN PENDULUM 12
4 Driven Oscillators 13
4.1 Oscillator Driven by an External Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
4.2 Dirac δ-Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
4.3 Response to a q-Independent Impulsive Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
4.4 Time-Evolution Sequence of a SHO with an Impulsive Force . . . . . . . . . . 14
4.5 (Causal) Green’s Function G . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
i
4.6 General Driving Force F(t) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
4.7 Driving an Oscillator in Resonance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
5 Small Oscillations 16
5.1 Coupled Oscillators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
5.2 Small Oscillations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
5.3 Setting up the Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
HOMEWORK 2: DOUBLE PENDULUM 17
6 Normal Modes 20
6.1 Matrix Form of L . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
6.2 Equations of Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
6.3 Working Towards a Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
6.4 Normal Coordinates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
7 Central Forces 22
7.1 Two Interacting Bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
7.2 Translational Symmetry and Conservation of Momentum . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
7.3 Ignorable Centre of Mass (CoM) Motion and Conservation of Momentum . 23
7.4 Rotational Invariance and Conservation of Angular Momentum . . . . . . . 23
7.5 Motion Takes Place in a Plane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
7.6 Equal Areas are Swept out in Equal Times (Kepler’s Second Law) . . . . . . . 24
7.7 Equivalent 1D Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
HOMEWORK 3: DIATOMIC MOLECULE 25
8 Gravitational Attraction 26
8.1 Solving 1D Systems by Quadrature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
8.2 Gravitational Interaction Potential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
8.3 The u = 1/r Transformation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
8.4 Elliptical Orbits (Kepler’s First Law) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
8.5 Kepler’s Third Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
8.6 Kepler’s Equation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
9 Noether’s Theorem and Hamiltonian Mechanics 30
9.1 Invariance of L under Continuous Transformations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
9.2 Noether’s Theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
9.3 Legendre Transformations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
9.4 The Hamiltonian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
9.5 Hamilton’s Principle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
9.6 Hamilton’s Equations of Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
HOMEWORK 4: CANONICAL TRANSFORMATION OF THE SHO 32
10 Canonical Transformations and Poisson Brackets 33
10.1 Canonical Transformations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
10.2 Equivalence of Lagrangians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
10.3 The Generating Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
10.4 The Transformed Hamiltonian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
ii
10.5 Four Forms of Generating Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
10.6 Poisson Brackets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
10.7 Poisson Bracket Formulation of Hamilton’s Equations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
11 Rotating Reference Frames 37
11.1 Accelerating Reference Frames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
11.2 Rotated Reference Frames in 2D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
11.3 Finite Rotations in 3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
11.4 Infinitesimal Rotations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
11.5 Velocity and Acceleration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
11.6 Inertial Forces in a Rotating Frame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
EXAMPLE CLASS 3: FOUCAULT’S PENDULUM 40
12 Inertial Forces on Earth 41
12.1 Procedure for Determining a Local Coordinate Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
12.2 Inertial Forces in the Local Coordinate System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
12.3 Centrifugal Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
12.4 Effective Gravity on Earth’s Surface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
12.5 Deviation of a Plumb Bob . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
12.6 Coriolis Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
12.7 Loose Ends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
13 Rotational Inertia, Angular Momentum and Kinetic Energy 44
13.1 DoF of Rigid Bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
13.2 Displacement of a Rigid Body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
13.3 Moment of Inertia I about an Axis of Rotation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
13.4 Angular Momentum J and Rotational Kinetic Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
13.5 Definition of the Inertia Tensor
ˆ
I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
13.6 Generalized Description of the Rotational Kinetic Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
13.7 Centre of Mass (CoM) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
13.8 Separation off of the CoM Angular Momentum and Kinetic Energy . . . . . . 46
HOMEWORK 5: ROTATING BOOK 47
14 The Parallel and Principal Axis Theorems 48
14.1 Displaced Axis Theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
14.2 Parallel Axis Theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
14.3 Symmetric Nature of the Inertia Tensor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
14.4 Orthogonal Matrices and Orthogonal Diagonalization . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
14.5 Principal Axis Theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
14.6 Deducing the Principal Axes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
15 Rigid Body Dynamics and Stability 52
15.1 Euler’s Equations of Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
15.2 Torque-Free Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
iii
A Second-Order Ordinary Linear Differential Equations with Constant Coefficients I
A.1 Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I
A.2 Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I
A.2.1 Auxiliary Equation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I
A.2.2 General Solution (Roots not Repeated) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I
A.3 Possible Complications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . II
A.3.1 Repeated Roots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . II
A.3.2 Additional Constant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . II
A.4 Representing Position in a Plane by a Single Complex Number . . . . . . . . II
B Taylor Series III
B.1 Taylor’s Theorem of the Mean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . III
B.2 Taylor Series in One Variable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . III
B.3 Taylor Series in Two Variables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IV
B.4 Taylor Series in Three Variables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IV
C Determinants, Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors V
C.1 Symmetric Matrices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . V
C.2 Determinants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . V
C.3 The Conventional Eigenvalue Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . V
C.4 Generalized Eigenvalue Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VII
D Exam Questions and Solutions VIII
D.1 Coriolis Force (2006) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VIII
D.1.1 Question . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VIII
D.1.2 Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VIII
D.2 Small Oscillations (2007) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IX
D.2.1 Question . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IX
D.2.2 Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X
D.3 Stable and Unstable Rigid-Body Rotation (2007) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X
D.3.1 Question . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X
D.3.2 Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XI
D.4 Diatomic Molecule (2008) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XII
D.4.1 Question . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XII
D.4.2 Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XIII
D.5 Normal Coordinates (2008) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XIII
D.5.1 Question . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XIII
D.5.2 Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XIV
D.6 Block in a Bowl (2009, Question Only) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XV
D.7 Atom Falling through a Laser Standing Wave (2009, Question Only) . . . . . XV
D.8 Ice Sliding Between Glass Plates (2010, Question Only) . . . . . . . . . . . . . XVI
D.9 Double Pendulum (2010) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XVII
D.9.1 Question . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XVII
D.9.2 Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XVIII
iv
1 Generalized Description of Mechanical Systems
SEE ALSO HAND AND FINCH, 1.1–1.6
1.1 Validity of Newton’s Laws
• Newton’s second law
F = ˙ p (= m ˙ v = m¨ r for constant m) (1)
is valid in an inertial (non-accelerating) frame for objects moving at much less than
light speed, and with dimensions much larger than atoms or molecules.
1.2 Dynamical Variables
• These are any set of variables that describe completely the configuration (positions
of parts) of a mechanical system.
• They are usually positions and/or angles, e.g. cartesian, cylindrical, or spherical co-
ordinates for a point mass in free space.
• They can change under the action of forces — the motion of a system is determined
by specifying the dynamical variables as functions of time.
• Newton’s laws imply that these functions are found by solving second order differen-
tial equations — hence the initial positions/angles and velocities/angular velocities
(or equivalent information) must be known.
1.3 Degrees of Freedom (DoF)
• The motion of a point mass r(t) is described by 3 independent dynamical variables,
i.e., the point mass has N = 3 degrees of freedom (DoF).
• A system of M point masses has N = 3M DoF, but the existence of j independent
constraints reduces this number to N = 3M− j DoF.
M=3
j=3
M=3
j=2
(flexible joint)
M=2
j=1
N=5 DoF N=6 DoF N=7 DoF
• E.g., point masses connected by rigid massless rods. N.b. Any rigid body more com-
plicated than 2 point masses connected by a rigid rod has 6 DoF (or fewer, if there
are additional constraints).
1
1.4 Types of Constraints
• If constraints can be expressed in the form
f (r
1
, r
2
, . . . , r
M
, t) = 0 (e.g. constraints on M point masses), (2)
the constraints are called holonomic.
• Such constraints may have an explicit time dependence: Rheonomic (running law)
constraints. If not [i.e., f (r
1
, r
2
, . . . , r
M
) = 0]: Scleronomic (rigid law) constraints.
• Nonholonomic constraints involve:
– velocities (rolling without slipping on a surface),
– inequalities (particle sliding down the outside of a bowling ball),
– most velocity dependent forces (friction).
1.5 Generalized coordinates q
k
• The existence of j constraints means that the (cartesian) coordinates of e.g. M point
masses are no longer independent.
• We require only as many coordinates q
k
as there are DoF (N = 3M− j).
• We can express the position r
i
of each part of a system as
r
1
= r
1
(q
1
, . . . , q
k
, . . . , q
N
, t),
.
.
.
r
i
= r
i
(q
1
, . . . , q
k
, . . . , q
N
, t),
.
.
.
r
M
= r
M
(q
1
, . . . , q
k
, . . . , q
N
, t),
(3)
if the constraints are holonomic. There may be an explicit time dependence partic-
ularly if the constraints are rheonomic.
1.6 Generalized Velocities ˙ q
k
• The ˙ q
k
are the first time derivatives of q
k
.
• We regard q
k
and ˙ q
k
as independent variables (this is very important, and means for
example that ∂q
k
/∂ ˙ q
k
= ∂ ˙ q
k
/∂q
k
= 0).
• By the chain rule, one can derive the following identity, which can be a useful check:
v
i
= ˙ r
i
=

k
∂r
i
∂q
k
˙ q
k
+
∂r
i
∂t

∂˙ r
i
∂ ˙ q
k
=
∂r
i
∂q
k
“cancelling the dots,”
(4)
2
1.7 Generalized forces T
k
• If we “freeze” the motion of a mechanical system at a point in time, and displace
one DoF q
k
an infinitesimal amount δq
k
, the position of part r
i
of the system will
change by δr
i
=
∂r
i
∂q
k
δq
k
.
• Due to nonconstraint forces, virtual work is done by this virtual displacement. If
each q
k
is infinitesimally changed, the total virtual work δW is the sum of the
virtual work by each generalized coordinate variation:
δW =

i
F
i
δr
i
=

i
F
i


k
∂r
i
∂q
k
δq
k
=

k
_

i
F
i

∂r
i
∂q
k
_
. ¸¸ .
Generalized forces T
k
=
δW
δq
k
δq
k
. (5)
Homework 1: Lagrangian of a Small Block on an Inclined Plane
X
Y
M
m
α
frictionless surfaces
Consider the situation of a small block (SB) of mass m sliding on a frictionless inclined plane (IP)
of height h, which itself has a mass M and rests on a flat surface, without any friction between
this surface and the inclined plane. Consider a set of cartesian axes such that the Y axis points
up along the side of the initial location of the inclined plane, and the X axis points along the
underside of the inclined plane (we ignore the Z direction). Take (X
SB
, Y
SB
) and (X
IP
, Y
IP
) to be the
locations of the centre of mass of the SB, and the right-angled corner of the IP in this coordinate
system, respectively.
1. (Study up to section 1.4). Because the motion of the SB is constrained to remain on the upper
surface of the IP, the value for the dynamical variable Y
SB
can be determined exactly if the
values for the dynamical variables X
SB
, X
IP
are known. Derive an equation (a constraint
equation) describing this relationship.
2. (Study up to section 1.5). Consider an alternative dynamical variable d, the distance of the SB
centre of mass from the top of the IP. Determine expressions for X
SB
, Y
SB
in terms of X
IP
, d, h
and α. (Study up to section 1.6). Taking the time-derivative, determine equivalent expressions
for
˙
X
SB
,
˙
Y
SB
.
3
3. (Study up to section 2.1). Trivially, the IP is constrained not to move in the Y direction, and so
Y
IP
and
˙
Y
IP
can be neglected. (Study up to section 2.3). Determine an expression for the total
kinetic energy T of the SB and IP system in terms of
˙
X
IP
and
˙
d. Determine an expression for
the total potential energy V in terms of X
IP
and d.
4. (Study up to section 2.4). Write down the Lagrangian L using your expressions for T and
V. From the Lagrangian, derive Lagranges equations of motion for d(t) and X
IP
(t). Solve
the equations of motion, writing the solutions in terms of the initial positions and velocities
d(0), X
IP
(0),
˙
d(0),
˙
X
IP
(0).
5. From these solutions, derive an expression for the distance the IP has moved once the SB
has reached the bottom of the IP, and hence (assuming α = π/4 radians, that the small
block starts at the top of the inclined plane, and that both the small block and the inclined
plane are initially at rest) determine how large m must be relative to M for this distance to
be = h/2.
4
2 The Lagrangian
SEE ALSO HAND AND FINCH, 1.7–2.5
2.1 Kinetic Energy T
• The most general form for a holonomic system is
T =
1
2

i
m
i
˙ r
i
˙ r
i
= T(q
1
, . . . , q
N
, ˙ q
1
, . . . , ˙ q
N
, t). (6)
• T may have an explicit time dependence, particularly (although not necessarily)
for rheonomic constraints.
2.2 Generalized Equations of Motion (EoM)
• From the chain rule
∂T
∂q
k
=

i
m
i
˙ r
i

∂˙ r
i
∂q
k
=

i
p
i

∂˙ r
i
∂q
k
, (7)
∂T
∂ ˙ q
k
=

i
m
i
˙ r
i

∂˙ r
i
∂ ˙ q
k
=

i
p
i

∂r
i
∂q
k
[using Eq. (4)]. (8)
• From the product rule, the total time derivative
d
dt
_
∂T
∂ ˙ q
k
_
=

i
˙ p
i
.¸¸.
F
i

∂r
i
∂q
k
. ¸¸ .
T
k
+

i
p
i

∂˙ r
i
∂q
k
. ¸¸ .
∂T
∂q
k
. (9)
• Hence, the generalized equations of motion, below, follow:
T
k
=
d
dt
_
∂T
∂ ˙ q
k
_

∂T
∂q
k
. (10)
2.3 Conservative Forces
• If the nonconstraint forces are conservative, then by definition a potential energy
function V exists.
• A nonconstraint force on the ith point mass of the system is derived from such a
potential energy function by F
i
= −∇
i
V(r
1
, . . . , r
i
, . . . , r
M
). Correspondingly,
T
k
= −

i

i
V
∂r
i
∂q
k
= −
∂V
∂q
k
(follows from the chain rule). (11)
5
2.4 The Lagrangian L
• L = T −V (assumes V to be velocity independent).
• Substituting T = L +V into the generalized equations of motion [Eq. (10)], we obtain
the Euler-Lagrange equations:
d
dt
_
∂L
∂ ˙ q
k
_

∂L
∂q
k
= 0. (12)
• These are the fundamental equations of Lagrangian mechanics.
2.5 Hamilton’s Principle of Least Action
• Alternatively, we can derive the Euler-Lagrange equations by minimizing
(strictly speaking extremizing) the action functional S. For a single generalized
coordinate q
S[q] =
_
t
f
t
i
L(q(t), ˙ q(t), t)dt. (13)
[The argument of a function is a number, and a number is returned — the ar-
gument of a functional is a function, and a number is returned. (A functional
usually involves an integral)].
• Consider variations of S due to variations of q(t) with the end points q(t
i
), q(t
f
)
fixed.
δS = S[q + δq] −S[q] =
_
L(q + δq, ˙ q + δ ˙ q, t)dt −
_
L(q, ˙ q, t)dt. (14)
Hamilton’s principle asserts the physical path is that which minimizes (strictly
speaking extremizes) S, i.e., such that δS = 0.
• We Taylor expand the variation of L at a fixed value of t:
L(q + δq, ˙ q + δ ˙ q, t) = L(q, ˙ q, t) +
∂L
∂q
δq +
∂L
∂ ˙ q
δ ˙ q + higher-order terms in δq, δ ˙ q.
(15)
Hence, for infinitesimal variations, it follows that δS =
_
_
∂L
∂q
δq +
∂L
∂ ˙ q
δ ˙ q
_
dt.
• We Integrate the second term of δS by parts
_
note δ ˙ q =
d(δq)
dt
_
:
_
∂L
∂ ˙ q
d(δq)
dt
dt =
∂L
∂ ˙ q
δq
¸
¸
¸
¸
t
f
t
i
. ¸¸ .
vanishes — no variations at end points

_
d
dt
_
∂L
∂ ˙ q
_
δqdt. (16)
6
• Hence, as δq is an arbitrary infinitesimal variation, we derive the Euler-Lagrange
equations:
δS =
_
_
∂L
∂q

d
dt
_
∂L
∂ ˙ q
__
δqdt implies δS = 0
if and only if
d
dt
_
∂L
∂ ˙ q
_

∂L
∂q
= 0.
(17)
Example Class 1: Applications of the Lagrangian Approach
1. Consider a point mass (of mass m) falling in the Earth’s gravitational field (take the acceler-
ation = g to be constant, i.e., independent of the distance of the point mass from the Earth’s
surface, and ignore air resistance).
(a) What is the kinetic energy T of the point mass? What is the potential energy V? Hence,
determine the Lagrangian L = T −V.
(b) Use the Euler-Lagrange equation to determine the equation of motion for the vertical
motion (z direction) of the point mass.
(c) Solve the equation of motion, and express the solution in terms of the point mass’s
initial position z(0) and velocity ˙ z(0).
2. Consider a point mass (of mass m) attached to a spring (spring constant k), constrained
somehow to move only in the x direction, where x = 0 is taken to be the position of the
point mass when it is at rest. This is just a one-dimensional simple harmonic oscillator
(undamped), with characteristic oscillation frequency ω =

k/m.
(a) What is the kinetic energy T of the point mass? What is the potential energy V? Hence,
determine the Lagrangian L = T −V.
(b) Use the Euler-Lagrange equation to determine the equation of motion of the point
mass.
(c) The equation of motion is a linear, homogeneous, second-order differential equation.
The first step towards solving this is to find the roots of the auxiliary equation. Do this,
referring to Appendix A of these notes for guidance.
(d) Find the general solution of the equation of motion, in terms of the point mass’s initial
position x(0) and velocity ˙ x(0).
(e) Two independent real constants A and B can equally well be represented in terms of
two other real constants A
/
and φ
/
, through A = A
/
sin φ
/
, and B = A
/
cos φ
/
. Use this,
along with the trigonometric identity sin(θ + φ) = sin θ cos φ + cos θ sin φ, to show
your solution can also be expressed in the form
x(t) = A
/
sin(ωt + φ
/
), (18)
and express A
/
and φ
/
in terms of the initial position and velocity.
7
ADDITIONAL EXERCISE
3. Consider the situation of a plane pendulum, consisting of a pendulum bob of mass m con-
nected by a rigid massless rod of length R to a pivot at a point in space O. Let us set the
origin of our coordinate system at O. An upright connects the pivot, rigidly, to the centre of
a disc which is driven by a motor to spin around the z (vertical) axis with a constant angular
velocity ω, rotating the plane pendulum with it.
x
z
y
θ
O
m
(a) With this system it is more convenient to use spherical coordinates, i.e., r, the distance
of the pendulum bob from the pivot, θ, the angle of elevation of the pendulum (how
far the pendulum is from pointing straight up), and φ, the azimuthal angle describing
how far the whole apparatus is rotated about the z axis. Write down the expressions
for x, y, z, in terms of r, θ, φ, and hence determine expressions for ˙ x, ˙ y, ˙ z in terms of r,
˙ r, θ,
˙
θ, φ,
˙
φ.
(b) Consider a point mass of mass m moving in 3 dimensions. Using the expressions you
have derived for ˙ x, ˙ y, ˙ z, rewrite the standard expression for the kinetic energy T of the
point mass in spherical polar form (i.e., in terms of r, ˙ r, θ,
˙
θ,
˙
φ). Rewrite the expression
for the potential energy V = mgz in spherical polar form.
(c) Write down equations that express the two constraints (that the point mass is always a
fixed distance R from the origin, and that the azimuthal angle describing the location
of the point mass changes in time at a constant rate ω) in mathematical form. Use these
constraint equations to simplify the kinetic energy T and the potential energy V, and
hence determine the Lagrangian L for the spinning plane pendulum, where θ is the
only dynamical variable.
(d) Use the Euler-Lagrange equation to determine the equation of motion for θ. From the
equation of motion determine a condition for the existence of horizontal circular orbits,
i.e., motion of the pendulum bob such that the angle of elevation never changes. For
what range of angles are such orbits possible? (Do not consider θ = 0 or π).
8
3 Linear Oscillators
SEE ALSO HAND AND FINCH, 3.1–3.3
3.1 Equilibrium
• A mechanical system that remains at rest is in equilibrium. This occurs at points in
configuration space where all generalized forces T
k
vanish.
• For a conservative system, this corresponds to configurations where the potential
energy V(q
1
, . . . , q
N
) is stationary, i.e., its first derivatives with respect to the q
k
vanish.
3.2 Lagrangian Near Static Equilibrium (1 DoF)
• Carry out a 2nd order Taylor series expansion of some L(q, ˙ q) around q = q
S
[where q
S
is a stationary point, i.e., ∂V/∂q[
q=q
S
= 0] and ˙ q = 0. Hence,
L ≈ L
approx
=L(q
S
, 0) + q
∂L
∂q
¸
¸
¸
¸
q
S
,0
+ ˙ q
∂L
∂ ˙ q
¸
¸
¸
¸
q
S
,0
+
1
2
_
q
2

2
L
∂q
2
¸
¸
¸
¸
q
S
,0
+ 2q ˙ q

2
L
∂q∂ ˙ q
¸
¸
¸
¸
q
S
,0
+ ˙ q
2

2
L
∂ ˙ q
2
¸
¸
¸
¸
q
S
,0
_
= A + Bq + C ˙ q + Dq
2
+ Eq ˙ q + F ˙ q
2
.
(19)
• Substitute the resulting L
approx
into the Euler-Lagrange equation (n.b., B = 0 by
the definition of equilibrium)
d
dt
(
∂L
approx
∂ ˙ q
¸ .. ¸
C + Eq + 2F ˙ q) =
∂L
approx
∂q
¸ .. ¸
2Dq + E ˙ q . (20)
• This yields ¨ q −(D/F)q = 0, which is identical to the EoM for a particle of mass
m derived from
L =
m
2
_
˙ q
2
+
D
F
q
2
_
. (21)
3.3 Simple Harmonic Oscillator (SHO)
• If D/F < 0, Eq. (21) is the Lagrangian for a simple harmonic oscillator, which models
e.g. the oscillation of a mass on a spring with spring constant k = −m(D/F).
• Close to equilibrium one therefore observes simple harmonic motion with character-
istic frequency ω =

−D/F. Hence, the motion is described as stable (if D/F > 0, it
is unstable).
9
• ¨ q + ω
2
q = 0 is a linear, homogeneous differential equation, and can be solved to
give
q(t) = q(0) cos(ωt) +
˙ q(0)
ω
sin(ωt). (22)
3.4 Damping Force
• A frictional force F
d
, acts to suppress motion, i.e., it must act in opposition to motion,
and vanish when the motion ceases.
• The simplest such force is F
d
= −γ ˙ q = −(mω/Q) ˙ q (expressed in convenient form for a
damped SHO), where Q is the dimensionless quality factor of the oscillator.
3.5 Damped Simple Harmonic Oscillator
• We insert the SHOLagrangian L = (m/2)( ˙ q
2
−ω
2
q
2
) into the Euler-Lagrange equation
and incorporate the (non-conservative) damping force separately
d
dt
_
∂L
∂ ˙ q
_

∂L
∂q
= F
d
. (23)
[This corresponds to taking Eq. (10), grouping the conservative forces (in the form of
a potential energy function V) with T to make L, and keeping the non-conservative
forces separate].
• The result is a linear, homogeneous differential equation, ¨ q + (ω/Q) ˙ q + ω
2
q = 0.
3.6 Overdamped SHO: Q <
1
2
• The solution to the equation of motion is given by
q(t) = Qe
−ωt/2Q
_
q(0) cosh(ω
/
t) +
1
ω
/
_
ω
2Q
q(0) + ˙ q(0)
_
sinh(ω
/
t)
_
, (24)
where ω
/
= (ω/2Q)
_
1 −4Q
2
, or, equivalently
q(t) =
e
−ωt/2Q
2
_
e
ω
/
t
_
q(0)
_
1 +
ω/ω
/
2Q
_
+
˙ q(0)
ω
/
_
. ¸¸ .
if = 0, rapid decay
+ e
−ω
/
t
_
q(0)
_
1 −
ω/ω
/
2Q
_

˙ q(0)
ω
/
_
. ¸¸ .
if = 0, slow decay
_
.
(25)
10
3.7 Underdamped SHO: Q >
1
2
0 5 10 15 20
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
ω t
q
0 5 10 15 20
−0.8
−0.6
−0.4
−0.2
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
ω t
q
Figure 1: Plots of the coordinate q for the damped SHO. Left (overdamped): Q = 1/8, ˙ q(0) =
−q(0)(ω
/
+ ω/2Q), q(0) = 1 (solid line); Q = 1/8, ˙ q(0) = q(0)(ω
/
−ω/2Q), q(0) = 1 (dashed line).
Right (underdamped): Q = 4, q(0) = 1 , ˙ q(0) = −q(0)(ω/2Q) (solid line); q(0) = 0, ˙ q(0)/ω
/
= 1
(dashed line). is an arbitrary length unit, e.g. a metre, centimetre, etc..
3.8 Critically Damped SHO: Q =
1
2
• In this special case the solution is given by
q(t) = e
−ωt/2Q
_
q(0) +
_
ω
2Q
q(0) + ˙ q(0)
_
t
. ¸¸ .
grows initially, before decay takes over
_
. (26)
0 5 10 15 20
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
ω t
q
Figure 2: Plot of the coordinate q for the critically damped SHO. q(0) = 1 , ˙ q(0)/ω = −q(0)/2Q
(solid line); q(0) = 0, ˙ q(0)/ω = 1 (dashed line). is an arbitrary length unit.
11
Example Class 2: Damped, Driven Pendulum
θ
Consider a plane pendulum with an iron bob of mass m suspended from a pivot by a massless
rigid (non-magnetizing) rod of length l in a time-dependent magnetic field so that the pendulum
bob is driven, being alternatingly attracted to the left or right. We use the generalized coordinate
θ, the angle the pendulum makes with the vertical [for an xz cartesian coordinate system with its
origin at the pendulum pivot, x = l sin(q/l), z = −l cos(q/l)]. In the small angle approximation,
the Lagrangian (without the magnetic field) is that of a simple harmonic oscillator with frequency
ω =
_
g/l.
1. (Study up to section 3.5). There will inevitably be some friction, e.g. from the pivot. In-
corporate a model frictional generalized force F
d
= −(mωl
2
/Q)
˙
θ into the Euler-Lagrange
equation for θ and determine the equation of motion. (Study up to section 3.7). Solve the
equation of motion for the underdamped SHO (Q > 1/2) in terms of θ(0) and
˙
θ(0) [use the
shorthands ˜ ω = ω/2Q, and ω
/
= ˜ ω
_
4Q
2
−1 to describe the oscillation frequency, here
and from now on].
2. (Study up to section 4.3). At a given point in time t
/
the underdamped pendulum has velocity
˙
θ(t
/
) and position θ(t
/
), when the pendulum bob is struck sharply with a hammer. Mod-
elling the effect of this blow with an impulsive potential V
I
(t) = −Klδ(t −t
/
)θ, derive the
corresponding generalized force and determine the values of
˙
θ and θ immediately after the
hammer is applied.
3. (Study up to section 4.5). If we define G(t −t
/
) = θ(t)ml/K, and consider the underdamped
pendulum to be at rest (i.e., θ = 0,
˙
θ = 0) prior to being struck sharply by the hammer, what
are the values of G(t −t
/
) when t −t
/
≤ 0, and when t −t
/
≥ 0?
4. (Study up to section 4.6). We now include the effect of the time-dependent magnetic field
on the pendulum bob, modelled as a sinusoidal driving potential V
D
(t) = −F
0
l sin(ω
0
t)θ
applied from t = 0. Using a Green’s function technique, determine an integral expression
for θ(t) for the driven underdamped pendulum equivalent to Eq. (32) in the notes. (Study
up to section 4.7). Solve the integral [expanding the sine terms, i.e., using sin θ = e

/2i
+ complex conjugate] and show the evolution of θ(t) to be proportional to the solution
described by Eq. (35) and Eq. (36) in the notes.
See also the additional exercises to Homework 2.
12
4 Driven Oscillators
SEE ALSO HAND AND FINCH, 3.4–3.8
4.1 Oscillator Driven by an External Force
• We consider an (undamped) oscillator, driven by a time-dependent external force
F(t) (no spatial dependence).
• Whatever supplies the driving force is not considered to be part of the dynamical
system, in particular we do not consider any effect of forces the oscillator exerts on
the source of the external force.
• The corresponding Lagrangian is given by
L =
m ˙ q
2
2
.¸¸.
T

_

2
q
2
2
− F(t)q
_
. ¸¸ .
V
, (27)
which yields a linear, inhomogeneous differential equation: ¨ q + ω
2
q = F(t)/m.
4.2 Dirac δ-Functions
• It is instructive to first consider consider an impulsive (instantaneously applied
and infinitely intense) force, and for this we make use of δ-functions. For a func-
tion f (t), the effect of δ(t −t
/
) is defined (necessarily under an integral) as
f (t
/
) =
_

−∞
dtδ(t −t
/
) f (t). (28)
• δ(t −t
/
) is the zero-width limit of a function/distribution of t, sharply peaked at
t = t
/
, with unit area:
_
dtδ(t −t
/
) = 1 (dimensionless). Consequently, if t has
the dimension of time, δ(t − t
/
) must therefore have the dimension of inverse
time, i.e., frequency.
4.3 Response to a q-Independent Impulsive Force
• Consider an (impulsive) force of the form F(t) = Kδ(t − t
/
). Integrating the
EoM for the driven oscillator (section 4.1) around t = t
/
then yields
_
t
/
+
t
/

dt( ¨ q + ω
2
q) =
_
t
/
+
t
/

dt
K
m
δ(t −t
/
),
⇒ ˙ q(t
/
+ ) − ˙ q(t
/
−) + ω
2
_
t
/
+
t
/

dtq(t)
. ¸¸ .
→0 as →0, unless q(t
/
) →∞
=
K
m
.
(29)
13
• Hence, there is an instantaneous change in the velocity: ˙ q(t
/
+
) = ˙ q(t
/

) + K/m,
where t
/
±
= lim
→0
t
/
± (this is true in general; one can define an impulsive
force as having this effect).
• Note that q(t
/
+
) = q(t
/

), i.e., there is no instantaneous change in position when
the impulsive force is applied.
4.4 Time-Evolution Sequence of a SHO with an Impulsive Force
1. t < t
/
system evolves as a SHO, to position q(t
/

), velocity ˙ q(t
/

).
2. t = t
/
instantaneous jump in velocity: q(t
/
) = q(t
/

), ˙ q(t
/
) = ˙ q(t
/

) + K/m.
3. t > t
/
system evolves as a SHO:
q(t) = q(t
/

) cos(ω[t −t
/
]) +
˙ q(t
/

) + K/m
ω
sin(ω[t −t
/
]). (30)
4.5 (Causal) Green’s Function G
• Consider G(t −t
/
) = q(t)m/K [equal to G(0) when the impulsive force applied]. The
EoM of G is given by (see section 4.1)
¨
G(t −t
/
) + ω
2
G(t −t
/
) = δ(t −t
/
)
• We consider the oscillator to be at rest prior to application of the impulsive force.
Hence,
G(t −t
/
) =0, t −t
/
≤ 0,
G(t −t
/
) =
1
ω
sin(ω[t −t
/
]), t −t
/
≥ 0.
(31)
4.6 General Driving Force F(t)
• By definition of the δ-function [Eq. (28)] the equation of motion for the driven oscilla-
tor (section 4.1) can be written as ¨ q + ω
2
q = (1/m)
_

−∞
dt
/
F(t
/
)δ(t −t
/
).
• We can then eliminate δ(t −t
/
) by substituting in the EoM of the Green’s function G
(section 4.5): ¨ q + ω
2
q = (1/m)
_

−∞
dt
/
F(t
/
)[
¨
G(t −t
/
) + ω
2
G(t −t
/
)].
• Comparing terms, and substituting in the solution to G(t −t
/
) [Eq. (31)] it follows that
q(t) =
1
m
_
t
−∞
dt
/
F(t
/
)G(t −t
/
) =
1

_
t
−∞
dt
/
F(t
/
) sin(ω[t −t
/
]). (32)
14
4.7 Driving an Oscillator in Resonance
• Consider a driving force of the form F(t) = F
0
sin(ω
0
t), which is applied from
t = 0 (i.e., F(t) = 0 for t < 0). In general (when ω
0
,= ω) one observes oscillatory
behaviour
q(t) =
F
0

_
t
0
dt
/
sin(ω
0
t
/
) sin(ω[t −t
/
])
=
F
0

_
sin(ω
0
t) + sin(ωt)
2(ω
0
+ ω)

sin(ω
0
t) −sin(ωt)
2(ω
0
−ω)
_
.
(33)
• In resonance (when ω
0
= ω), the value of q grows without limit
q(t) =
F
0

_
t
0
dt
/
sin(ωt
/
) sin(ω[t −t
/
]) =
F
0

_
sin(ωt)

. ¸¸ .
oscillates

t cos(ωt)
2
. ¸¸ .
grows
_
. (34)
• If we consider an underdamped SHO subject to the same driving force, the equa-
tion of motion can be solved to give q(t) = q
s
(t) + q
t
(t), which has been conve-
niently divided into the steady state solution
q
s
(t) =
F
0
2mω
/
__
˜ ω
˜ ω
2
+ (ω
0
+ ω
/
)
2

˜ ω
˜ ω
2
+ (ω
0
−ω
/
)
2
_
cos(ω
0
t)
+
_
ω
0
+ ω
/
˜ ω
2
+ (ω
0
+ ω
/
)
2

ω
0
−ω
/
˜ ω
2
+ (ω
0
−ω
/
)
2
_
sin(ω
0
t)
_
,
(35)
and the transient solution
q
t
(t) =
F
0
e
− ˜ ωt
2mω
/
__
ω
0
+ ω
/
˜ ω
2
+ (ω
0
+ ω
/
)
2
+
ω
0
−ω
/
˜ ω
2
+ (ω
0
−ω
/
)
2
_
sin(ω
/
t)

_
˜ ω
˜ ω
2
+ (ω
0
+ ω
/
)
2

˜ ω
˜ ω
2
+ (ω
0
−ω
/
)
2
_
cos(ω
/
t)
_
,
(36)
where ω
/
= ˜ ω
_
4Q
2
−1, and ˜ ω = ω/2Q.
• The transient solution oscillates with the intrinsic oscillator frequency ω
/
, but
dies away for large t; the steady-state solution oscillates with the driving fre-
quency ω
0
, and remains.
• After the transient has died away, the dynamical behaviour is like that of a SHO,
but at the driving frequency. Note, however, that there is no singularity at reso-
nance — the effect of resonance has been softened by the presence of damping.
15
5 Small Oscillations
SEE ALSO HAND AND FINCH, 9.1–9.2
5.1 Coupled Oscillators
• The generic Lagrangian for two coupled oscillators (e.g. two objects of equal mass
m oscillating, with frequency ω, on identical springs, connected by a third identical
spring) is given by
L =
m
2
( ˙ q
2
1
+ ˙ q
2
2
) −

2
2
[q
2
1
+ q
2
2
+ (q
1
−q
2
)
2
] =
m
2
( ˙ q
2
1
+ ˙ q
2
2
) −mω
2
(q
2
1
+ q
2
2
−q
1
q
2
) (37)
• We now introduce the centre of mass q
C
= (q
1
+ q
2
)/2 and relative q
R
= q
2
− q
1
coordinates. Substituting these into the Lagrangian transforms it to
L = m
_
˙ q
2
C
+
˙ q
2
R
4
_
−mω
2
_
q
2
C
+
3q
2
R
4
_
, (38)
which yields two separated harmonic oscillator EoMs: ¨ q
C

2
q
C
= 0, ¨ q
R
+3ω
2
q
R
= 0.
5.2 Small Oscillations
• We consider motion around a stable equilibrium point of a mechanical system (small
oscillations). If this motion does not depart too far from a stable equilibrium point,
the mechanical system resembles a system of coupled oscillators.
• In a system of N coupled oscillators there always exist N generalized coordinates
that separate, yielding N independent, homogeneous, linear differential equations.
• Those generalized coordinates undergoing simple harmonic motion are called nor-
mal coordinates.
5.3 Setting up the Problem
• Find an equilibrium configuration, i.e., values of the generalized coordinates where
all generalized forces T
k
= −∂V/∂q
k
are = 0.
• Taylor expand the Lagrangian L to second order in the generalized coordinates and
velocities, around values for the generalized coordinates ˙ q
k
given by the equilibrium
configuration, and the values of the generalized velocities ˙ q
k
set = 0.
• For N DoF, the Taylor expansion must in principal be in 2N variables (all generalized
coordinates and velocities). In practice, expansions in fewer variables may be ade-
quate, e.g. if some terms are already in quadratic form.
16
Homework 2: Double Pendulum
1. Consider a double plane pendulum, consisting of a mass M attached to a pivot by a rigid
massless rod of length R, and a second mass m attached to a pivot on the first mass, also by
a rigid massless rod of length R.
φ
θ
m
M
(a) Consider a cartesian coordinate system with its origin located at the pivot to which the
mass M is attached. We consider Z to be the vertical axis, X the horizontal, and motion
to take place in the XZ plane; i.e., that motion is subject to the constraints y
M
= 0,
y
m
= 0, where y
M
, y
m
are the Y locations of the masses M, m. Determine equations
describing any other constraints the two masses are subject to, in terms of x
M
, x
m
, z
M
,
z
m
(the X and Z locations of the masses).
(b) Express the dynamical variables x
M
, x
m
, z
M
, z
m
in terms of the new dynamical vari-
ables θ and φ (which are the two angles shown in the diagram), and the corresponding
velocities ˙ x
M
, ˙ x
m
, ˙ z
M
, ˙ z
m
in terms of
˙
θ,
˙
φ, θ, φ. Use these expressions to determine
the Lagrangian L for this system in terms of
˙
θ,
˙
φ, θ, φ, assuming the case where M =
3m. [Hint: simplify your expression by using cos(θ) cos(θ + φ) + sin(θ) sin(θ + φ) =
cos(φ)].
(c) (Study up to section 5.3). Consider the limit of small oscillations, i.e., such that θ, φ, (and
therefore θ + φ) remain small during any dynamics. Hence, determine an approxima-
tion L
approx
to L which is in quadratic form. Write L
approx
in matrix form, and determine
the corresponding equations of motion for θ and φ (also in matrix form).
(d) (Study up to section 6.3). (You will need to determine such eigenvalues and eigen-
vectors associated with the matrix form of the approximate Lagrangian in or-
der to determine the normal coordinates. See Appendix C of these notes for
guidance on calculating these). (Study up to section 6.4). Determine the normal
coordinates of this system.
Note: This exercise involves solving a generalized eigenvalue problem, the eigenvectors of
which are orthogonal (and normalized) with regard to the metric ˆ τ. This means that, given
the 2 eigenvectors q
1
, q
2
, and the kinetic energy matrix ˆ τ, then q
T
j
ˆ τq
k
= 0 for j ,= k (and = 1
for j = k if the eigenvectors are normalized).
ADDITIONAL EXERCISES
2. The linear ion trap is at present probably the most promising experimental configuration for
a quantum computer. Its normal modes are therefore of considerable interest. Consider a
classical model of a linear ion trap, consisting of 3 charged spheres of mass m and charge c
sliding on a frictionless rod of length 4l propped between two charged parallel plates, also
of charge c.
17
1 3 2
x
(a) (Study up to section 5.2). Treat the 3 charged spheres as point charges, and the two
charged plates as immovable point charges. Use the Coulomb potential V
C
= [c
2
/(4π
0
)](1/r)
to model the interactions between the effective point charges (r is the distance between
the point charges). Hence, determine the total potential energy V(x
1
, x
2
, x
3
), where x
1
,
x
2
, x
3
are the distances of the leftmost, middle, and rightmost charged sphere from
the left-hand charged plate. To simplify matters, consider only interactions between
immediately neighbouring objects (plates or spheres).
(b) (Study up to section 5.3). Determine the equilibrium values of x
1
, x
2
, x
3
, hence showing
explicitly that the charges must be equally spaced at equilibrium (as one would expect).
(c) (Study up to section 5.3). Carry out a second-order Taylor series expansion of the Coulomb
potential V
c
about an arbitrary value r = a. Substitute this into V(x
1
, x
2
, x
3
) (with the
values of a determined by the equilibrium values of x
1
, x
2
, x
3
, as appropriate). (See
Appendix B of these notes for guidance on determining the appropriate Taylor
expansion).
(d) (Study up to section 6.1). Hence, determine the approximate second-order Lagrangian in
terms of new (shifted) generalized coordinates which all have equilibrium value = 0.
Write it down in matrix form.
(e) (Study up to section 6.3). (You will need to determine such eigenvalues and eigen-
vectors associated with the matrix form of the approximate Lagrangian in order
to determine the normal coordinates. See Appendix C of these notes for guid-
ance on calculating these). (Study up to section 6.4). Determine the (normalized)
normal coordinates of this system.
Check/hint: If r
1
, r
2
, r
3
are the normalized normal coordinates, the approximate Lagrangian
should take the form L = (m/2)(˙ r
2
1
+ ˙ r
2
2
+ ˙ r
2
3
) −(m/2)(ω
2
1
r
2
1
+ ω
2
2
r
2
2
+ ω
2
3
r
2
3
) −k, where ω
2
1
,
ω
2
1
, ω
2
3
are the eigenvalues associated with the normal coordinates, and k is an irrelevant
constant. (Finding a set of coordinates that separate in this way is the purpose of the whole
procedure).
3. Consider the motion of a length l rigid plane pendulum around its unstable equilibrium
point, i.e., with the (mass m) pendulum bob directly above the pivot.
(a) Derive the Lagrangian for this system in terms of a single appropriate generalized co-
ordinate (with its corresponding generalized velocity). Assume all the mass of the
pendulum to be concentrated in the pendulum bob (i.e., the moment of inertia = ml
2
).
(b) Carry out a second-order Taylor series expansion of this Lagrangian around the pen-
dulum’s unstable equilibrium point, and hence derive an approximate Lagrangian.
(c) Derive and solve the equation of motion produced by this approximate Lagrangian, in
terms of the initial values of the generalized coordinate and generalized velocity.
(d) Consider two possible initial conditions. In each case, the pendulum is initially at rest,
but the locations of the pendulum bobs are slightly different. Show that, according to
18
the approximate Lagrangian you have derived, for long times the difference in final
locations of the pendulum bobs always diverges exponentially in time.
(e) How accurately does the previous result reflect the complete dynamics of a plane pen-
dulum? Explain your answer.
4. Derive the general solution for the coordinate of a critically damped harmonic oscillator,
noting that the auxiliary equation in this case has only one root. Check that this is consistent
with the solution of the underdamped oscillator in the limit Q →1/2.
19
6 Normal Modes
SEE ALSO HAND AND FINCH, 9.2–9.4
6.1 Matrix Form of L
• If a
k
are the equilibrium values of an initially used set of generalized coordinates q
/
k
,
we then define a new set of generalized coordinates q
k
= q
/
k
−a
k
.
• These q
k
will have equilibrium values = 0, and L can then take the form
L = ˙ q
T
ˆ τ ˙ q
.¸¸.
T
−q
T
ˆ υq
.¸¸.
V
+c (a constant), (39)
where q is a column vector, and its transpose q
T
= (q
1
, . . . , q
N
) is a row vector.
• The matrices ˆ τ and ˆ υ are symmetric (i.e., equal to their transposes, so that e.g. τ
kj
=
τ
jk
), with matrix elements given by
τ
jk
=
1
2

2
T
∂ ˙ q
j
∂ ˙ q
k
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
˙ q
j
, ˙ q
k
=0
, υ
jk
=
1
2

2
V
∂q
j
∂q
k
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
q
j
,q
k
=0
. (40)
6.2 Equations of Motion
• We note that partial differentiation of the Lagrangian L with respect to the general-
ized coordinates and velocities yields
∂L
∂ ˙ q
j
= 2
N

k=1
τ
jk
˙ q
k
= 2( ˆ τ ˙ q)
j
,
∂L
∂q
j
= −2
N

k=1
υ
jk
q
k
= −2( ˆ υq)
j
, (41)
and that the Euler-Lagrange equations therefore yield a linear system of differential
equations: ˆ τ ¨ q + ˆ υq = 0.
6.3 Working Towards a Solution
• Inserting a trial solution q = q
0
e

0
t
into the EoM yields
(−ˆ τω
2
0
+ ˆ υ)q
0
= 0. (42)
We also know (due to a theorem from linear algebra) that, unless q
0
= 0, this can
only be fulfilled if the determinant of −ˆ τω
2
0
+ ˆ υ (also written as [ − ˆ τω
2
0
+ ˆ υ[) is = 0.
• Calculating the determinant will yield an Nth order polynomial in ω
2
0
. Hence, there
are N generalized eigenvalues ω
2
j
(possible values of ω
2
0
), each with its correspond-
ing eigenvector q
j
[specific q
0
which, with its associated specific value of ω
2
0
, will
solve Eq. (42)].
20
6.4 Normal Coordinates
• It is common to normalize the eigenvectors q
j
, i.e., to have q
T
j
= (b
j1
, b
j2
, . . . , b
jN
) such
that
_

N
k=1
b
2
jk
= 1. Using the eigenvector elements, we may define a new set of
separated generalized coordinates r
j
:
r
j
=
N

k=1
b
jk
q
k
. (43)
• If ω
2
j
> 0, the equilibrium configuration is stable, and the normal coordinate r
j
evolves as r
j
(t) = r
j
(0) cos(ω
j
t) + (˙ r
j
(0)/ω
j
) sin(ω
j
t). Such motion is called a normal
mode, with motion in general described by a superposition of normal modes.
• If ω
2
j
< 0, the equilibrium is unstable, and if ω
2
j
= 0, the motion is also not oscillatory,
usually corresponding to e.g. rotation or translation of the centre of mass.
• A normal mode is the motion of a normal coordinate.
21
7 Central Forces
SEE ALSO HAND AND FINCH, 4.3–4.4
7.1 Two Interacting Bodies
• Consider two bodies (with position vectors r
1
and r
2
) interacting via a central force,
defined as a force depending only on the distance r between the two bodies, di-
rected along the imaginary line between them.
• The potential energy V
12
from which such a force is derived is dependent only on r,
i.e., V
12
= V
12
(r
1
, r
2
) = V
12
([r
1
−r
2
[) = V(r) for such a force.
• If we consider the general case of 2 point masses interacting via a central force,
and both point masses subject to external forces, the Lagrangian is given by
L =
1
2
(m
1
˙ r
2
1
+ m
2
˙ r
2
2
) − V
1
(r
1
) −V
2
(r
2
)
. ¸¸ .
external potentials
− V
12
([r
1
−r
2
[).
. ¸¸ .
interaction potential
(44)
In the absence of external potentials (V
1
= V
2
= 0), this Lagrangian is translationally
invariant: L(r
1
, r
2
, ˙ r
1
, ˙ r
2
) = L(r
1
+ a, r
2
+ a, ˙ r
1
, ˙ r
2
).
7.2 Translational Symmetry and Conservation of Momentum
• Consider an infinitesimal translation a, and Taylor expand the Lagrangian L to
first order in :
L(r
1
+ a, r
2
+ a, ˙ r
1
, ˙ r
2
) = L(r
1
, r
2
, ˙ r
1
, ˙ r
2
) + a (∇
1
+∇
2
)L +O(
2
). (45)
• We neglect the O(
2
) term. Since a arbitrary, if L is to be translationally invari-
ant, then (∇
1
+∇
2
)L must = 0, i.e.,
∂L
∂x
1
+
∂L
∂x
2
= 0,
∂L
∂y
1
+
∂L
∂y
2
= 0,
∂L
∂z
1
+
∂L
∂z
2
= 0. (46)
• From the Euler-Lagrange equations for x
1
and x
2
(and equivalently for y and z):
d
dt
_
∂L
∂ ˙ x
1
_
+
d
dt
_
∂L
∂ ˙ x
2
_
=
∂L
∂x
1
+
∂L
∂x
2
= 0. (47)
∂L/∂ ˙ x
1
= p
1x
defines the canonically conjugate momentum p
1x
to x
1
(here this is
equal to the mechanical momentum m ˙ x
1
, but this need not in general be so).
Hence,
˙
P = ˙ p
1
+ ˙ p
2
= 0, and so the total momentum P is conserved.
22
7.3 Ignorable Centre of Mass (CoM) Motion and Conservation of Momentum
• Conservation of the total momentum P implies that the CoM[coordinate R = (m
1
r
1
+
m
2
r
2
)/(m
1
+ m
2
) moves like a free particle.
• We rewrite L In terms of R and the relative coordinate r = r
1
−r
2
:
L =
1
2
M
˙
R
2
+
1
2
µ˙ r
2
−V
12
(r), (48)
where M = m
1
+ m
2
(total mass) and µ = m
1
m
2
/(m
1
+ m
2
) (the reduced mass).
• R does not appear in the Lagrangian L. Such coordinates are called ignorable. For
any ignorable generalized coordinate q, it follows from the Euler-Lagrange equation
that d(∂L/∂ ˙ q)/dt ≡ ˙ p
q
= 0, and hence that P is conserved in this case.
7.4 Rotational Invariance and Conservation of Angular Momentum
• If we transform to the centre of mass frame (a frame moving with the CoM), R and
˙
R are both defined = 0, and L = (1/2)µ˙ r
2
−V
12
(r). We note that V
12
(r) is dependent
on distance only, not direction, and hence that L is rotationally invariant.
• In terms of spherical coordinates (x = r cos φ sin θ, y = r sin φ sin θ, z = r cos θ), we
deduce that ˙ r
2
= ˙ x
2
+ ˙ y
2
+ ˙ z
2
= ˙ r
2
+ r
2
˙
θ
2
+ r
2
˙
φ
2
sin
2
θ. Hence,
L =
1
2
µ[ ˙ r
2
+ r
2
˙
θ
2
+ r
2
˙
φ
2
sin
2
θ] −V
12
(r). (49)
• φ is ignorable, as it does not appear in L. Hence
p
φ

∂L

˙
φ
= µr
2
˙
φ sin
2
θ = constant ≡ J
z
.¸¸.
can show to be the z component of J = r µ˙ r
(50)
• If J
z
is the only nonzero component of J, the total angular momentum constant.
However, the orientation of the coordinate system is arbitrary, and therefore J is al-
ways constant.
7.5 Motion Takes Place in a Plane
• J = r µ˙ r implies that p ≡ µ˙ r and r must be perpendicular to J.
• Hence, p and r must be in a plane perpendicular to J, and remain in that plane
if J is to remain constant.
• If J is defined along the z direction, the angle of elevation θ = π/2,
˙
θ = 0, and
J = [J[ = J
z
= µr
2
˙
φ.
23
7.6 Equal Areas are Swept out in Equal Times (Kepler’s Second Law)

r
r+dr
dr
{
height h
Figure 3: The triangle swept out by changing the position vector r by the increment dr. The
incremental area of the triangle dA is deduced by the usual half-base-times-height.
• If the position vector changes incrementally from r to r + dr, with the angle
swept through the angle increment dφ, the area increment dA is given by the
area of the triangle formed by r, dr, and r + dr.
• By straightforward trigonometry dA = (1/2)[r + dr[[r[ sin(dφ). Noting that we
assume θ = π/2 throughout, and that we must have only first-order incremen-
tal terms, we deduce that dA = (1/2)r
2
dφ.
• It follows that
dA
dt
=
1
2
r
2
˙
φ =
J

, (51)
i.e., as J is conserved, that the rate at which area is swept out is constant, and
hence that equal areas are swept out in equal times.
• Kepler’s second law is therefore a consequence of angular momentum con-
servation, itself a consequence of considering a central force, and has nothing
specifically to do with gravity as such.
7.7 Equivalent 1D Problem
• It is straightforward to determine the total energy E = T + V from L = T −V as given
in Eq. (48). Hence, E = (1/2)µ[ ˙ r
2
+ r
2
˙
θ
2
+ r
2
˙
φ
2
sin
2
(θ)] + V
12
(r), which, if we make use
of
˙
θ = 0, θ = π/2,
˙
φ = J/µr
2
, simplifies to
E =
1
2
µ˙ r
2
+
J
2
2µr
2
+ V
12
(r).
. ¸¸ .
V
eff
(r)
(52)
• The effective potential V
eff
(r) combines the interaction potential with the so-called
angular momentum barrier (responsible for the centrifugal force).
• The total energy E is the same as that corresponding to an effective Lagrangian
L
eff
= (1/2)µ˙ r
2
−V
eff
, from which the Euler-Lagrange equation for r yields
µ¨ r =
J
2
µr
3

∂V
12
∂r
. (53)
24
Homework 3: Diatomic Molecule
1. A simple model for a diatomic molecule (such as H
2
) consists of two mass points connected
by a spring. We constrain the motion to a plane, considering two mass points, each of
mass m, connected by a spring of spring constant k and natural length d, sliding on a flat,
frictionless surface.
(a) Determine an expression for the kinetic energy in terms of the centre of mass (x
C
, y
C
)
and relative (x
R
, y
R
) coordinates.
(b) Drawa diagramto showwhat the generalized coordinates R and φ correspond to phys-
ically, where x
R
= Rcos(φ), y
R
= Rsin(φ), and R ≥ 0. Also indicate the location of the
centre of mass. Hence, determine an expression for the potential energy in terms of R
only.
(c) Consider the centre of mass to be fixed at the origin, and write the Lagrangian that
remains in terms of R and φ. Determine an expression for J
φ
, the canonically conjugate
momentum to φ. Use the Euler-Lagrange equations to show that J
φ
is conserved. Use
this result together with the Euler-Lagrange equation for R to determine an equation
of motion for R in closed form (i.e., independent of φ). Use this equation to determine
the equilibrium extension of the spring if the angular momentum J
φ
= 0.
(d) Is it in general possible to consider the motion of the two connected masses to take
place in a plane, even when this system is in free (three-dimensional) space? Explain
your answer.
ADDITIONAL EXERCISE
2. The purpose of this exercise is to derive Kepler’s equation, as outlined in “Central Forces,”
and “Gravitational Attraction” in the notes. Consider two bodies, of mass m
1
and m
2
, re-
spectively, in free space (i.e., there are no external potentials), interacting gravitationally
(potential energy V
G
(r) = −Gm
1
m
2
/r).
(a) Determine the Lagrangian describing the motion of the relative coordinate r = r
1
−r
2
.
Hence, determine an expression for the total energy E in the CoM frame.
(b) Define an effective 1D Lagrangian L
eff
which yields the same value of E, but with T =
(1/2)µ˙ r
2
(where r = [r[ and µ is the reduced mass). With the Euler-Lagrange equation,
derive from L
eff
the equation of motion for r.
(c) Express the energy in the centre of mass frame in terms of u ≡ 1/r and the azimuthal
angle φ, and solve the differential equation (of u, differentiated with respect to φ) re-
sulting from the expression for dE/dφ, to find a relationship between r and φ.
(d) Express this solution in terms of cartesian coordinates x and y rather than polar coordi-
nates r and φ, and hence show that bound states must take the form of ellipses, of the
general form (x + x
c
)
2
/a
2
+ y
2
/b
2
= 1, in the centre of mass frame.
(e) Use the identity cos
2
ϕ + sin
2
ϕ = 1 to parametrize x and y in terms of ϕ, and hence
determine an equivalently parametrized form of r. Use this to solve the effective 1D
problem by quadrature and determine Kepler’s equation.
25
8 Gravitational Attraction
SEE ALSO HAND AND FINCH, 4.1, 4.5–4.6
8.1 Solving 1D Systems by Quadrature
• If we consider a 1D system, for example of a point mass in an external potential, and
hence with Lagrangian L = (1/2)m ˙ q
2
−V(q), then it has energy E = (1/2)m ˙ q
2
+V(q).
One can then deduce
˙ q ≡
dq
dt
= ±
_
2[E −V(q)]
m
⇒dt = dq
_
±
_
m
2[E −V(q)]
_
. (54)
• The time t taken to move from q = 0 to q(t) is then
t =
_
m
2
_
q
0
dq
/
¸
1
E −V(q
/
)
. (55)
The time t(q) (elapsed time as a function of the coordinate) must then be inverted if
we wish to obtain the solution we are more used to, q(t) (this may have to be carried
out numerically).
• A problem “solved” as an integral [i.e., put into integral form, as in Eq. (55)] is said to
be solved by quadrature.
8.2 Gravitational Interaction Potential
• The potential energy between two gravitating bodies of masses m
1
and m
2
is V
12
(r) =
−k/r, where k = Gm
1
m
2
and G is the gravitational constant. The EoM is then
µ¨ r =
J
2
µr
3

k
r
2
(56)
8.3 The u = 1/r Transformation
• We choose to change the dependent variable from r to u = 1/r, and, from J =
µr
2
(dφ/dt), determine that dt = [µ/(Ju
2
)]dφ and hence that
d
dt
=
Ju
2
µ
d


dr
dt
= −
1
u
2
du
dt
= −
J
µ
du

. (57)
• Expressing the energy in the CoM frame [Eq. (52)] in terms of u and φ, we get
E =
J
2

_
_
du

_
2
+ u
2
_
−ku. (58)
26
• We differentiate E with respect to φ (note that E is constant, i.e., dE/dφ = 0) and
produce the differential equation
d
2
u

2
+ u =
µk
J
2
. (59)
This can be solved to give (1/r) ≡ u = (µk/J
2
) + Acos φ (A is an integra-
tion constant, and we have set a second integration constant, equivalent to an
arbitrary phase added to φ, to 0).
8.4 Elliptical Orbits (Kepler’s First Law)
• If we define p ≡ J
2
/µk and ≡ pA, the solution to Eq. (59) can be written as p =
r + r cos φ. Expressed in cartesian coordinates, this becomes p =
_
x
2
+ y
2
+ x, or
equivalently
(1 −
2
)x
2
+ 2px + y
2
− p
2
= 0. (60)
• Substituting the solution for u [Eq. (59)] into E [as given in Eq. (58)] yields E = (µk/2J
2
)(
2

1) = (k/2p)(
2
−1). If 0 ≤ < 1, the energy E is negative, implying a bound state.
• Restricting ourselves to 0 ≤ < 1, Eq. (60) describes an ellipse (Kepler’s first law):
1
a
2
_
x +
p
1 −
2
_
2
+
y
2
b
2
= 1, (61)
where the semimajor axis a = p/(1 −
2
) and the semiminor axis b = p/

1 −
2
(with
these quantities defined, the energy takes the simple form E = −k/2a).
8.5 Kepler’s Third Law
• From Kepler’s second law dA/dt = J/(2µ), where A is the swept-out area [Eq. (51)].
Hence, the period τ of an elliptical orbit follows from the total area A = πab of that
orbit , i.e., τ = A2µ/J. Elementary algebraic manipulation yields
τ = 2π
¸
1
G(m
1
+ m
2
)
a
3/2
(62)
• Kepler’s third law states that τ
2
∝ a
3
with the same proportionality constant for all the
planets. As the mass of the sun dominates the masses of the individual planets, this
is approximately true.
27
8.6 Kepler’s Equation
• From Eq. (61), we can use the identity cos
2
ϕ + sin
2
ϕ = 1 to introduce the
parametrization
x −
p
1 −
2
= a cos ϕ ⇒ x = a(cos ϕ −),
y = b sin ϕ ⇒y = a
_
1 −
2
sin ϕ,
(63)
from which it follows that r =
_
x
2
+ y
2
= a(1 − cos ϕ). Note that ϕ is a
different angle (the eccentric anomaly) to φ (the true anomaly), as illustrated in
Fig. 4.
a
r
φ
ϕ
Figure 4: Relationship of the eccentric anomaly ϕ to the true anomoly φ for an effective particle
placed a distance r and azimuthal angle φ from the CoM. The elliptical orbit, with semimajor axis
a, has been placed inside an imaginary circle of radius a.
• We can solve the effective 1D problem [Eq. (53)] by quadrature. From Eq. (55) it
follows that
_
dt
/
=
_
µ
2
_
dr
/
_
E + k/r
/
− J
2
/(2µr
/
2
)
. (64)
• We are considering elliptical orbits, i.e., E = −k/2a. We also use J
2
/(µk) ≡ p
and p = a(1 −
2
) to obtain
_
dt
/
=
_
µ
2k
_
r
/
dr
/
_
−r
/
2
/(2a) + r
/
−(a/2)(1 −
2
)
. (65)
28
• Finally, we use r = a(1 − cos ϕ) and dr = a sin ϕdϕ to obtain
_
dt
/
=
_
µa
3
k
_

/
(1 − cos ϕ
/
). (66)
• As written, the time integral measures the time elapsed between an initial and a
final value of ϕ
/
(the eccentric anomaly). It is customary to choose t
/
= 0 when
ϕ
/
= φ
/
= 0 (when the orbiting body is at its perihelion, i.e., closest to the sun
(which is almost at the position of the CoM as the mass of the sun generally
dominates the mass of the orbiting body).
• Hence, if t(ϕ) is the time elapsed from perihelion to when the eccentric anomaly
takes the value ϕ, we have Keplers equation:
t(ϕ) =
_
µa
3
k
(ϕ − sin ϕ). (67)
29
9 Noether’s Theorem and Hamiltonian Mechanics
SEE ALSO HAND AND FINCH, 5.2–5.5
9.1 Invariance of L under Continuous Transformations
• Consider a continuous family of transformations, i.e., transformations depend-
ing on one or more continuously variable parameters (e.g. translations along or
rotations about the z axis are single-variable families of transformations).
• When these parameters (e.g. translational distance, angle) are = 0, this should
yield the identity transformation, i.e., no change.
• Let s be a parameter characterizing a general transformation of coordinates.
If q
k
(t) is a solution of the original EoM for a Lagrangian L, let Q
k
(s, t) be a
solution for the Euler-Lagrange equations evaluated within a transformed set
of coordinates, where Q
k
(0, t) = q
k
(t).
• The Lagrangian L is invariant (independent of s) under this transformation if
L
/
≡L(Q
1
(s, t), . . . , Q
N
(s, t),
˙
Q
1
(s, t), . . . ,
˙
Q
N
(s, t), t)
=L(q
1
, . . . , q
N
, ˙ q
1
, . . . , ˙ q
N
, t).
(68)
• As the Lagrangian is independent of s, dL
/
/ds = 0, and therefore
dL
/
ds
=
N

k=1
_
∂L
/
∂Q
k
.¸¸.
=
d
dt
_
∂L
/

˙
Q
k
_
dQ
k
ds
+
∂L
/

˙
Q
k
d
˙
Q
k
ds
.¸¸.
=
d
dt
_
dQ
k
ds
_
_
=
d
dt
_


k=1
∂L
/

˙
Q
k
dQ
k
ds
_
= 0.
(69)
implies the existence of a constant of the motion I(q
1
, . . . , q
N
, ˙ q
1
, . . . , ˙ q
N
) ≡

N
k=1
p
k
(dQ
k
/ds)[
s=0
, which is evaluated at s = 0 for convenience.
• For multiple parameters s
1
, s
2
, . . ., the procedure can be repeated for each to find
associated constants I
1
, I
2
, . . ..
• This procedure effectively describes Noether’s theorem.
9.2 Noether’s Theorem
• If the Lagrangian is invariant under a continuous symmetry transformation, there
are conserved quantities associated with that symmetry, one for each parameter
of the transformation. These can be found by differentiating each coordinate with
respect to the parameters of the transformation in the immediate neighbourhood of
the identity transformation, multiplying by the conjugate momentum, and summing
over the degrees of freedom.
30
9.3 Legendre Transformations
• We assume a function A(x, y) of a passive variable x and an active variable y.
We then introduce a third variable z and define B(x, y, z) ≡ yz −A(x, y). Hence,
by application of the chain rule,
dB = zdy + ydz −
∂A
∂x
¸
¸
¸
¸
y
dx −
∂A
∂y
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
dy =
_
z −
∂A
∂y
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
_
. ¸¸ .
vanishes, as we define z = z(x, y) ≡
∂A
∂y
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
dy + ydz −
∂A
∂x
¸
¸
¸
¸
y
dx.
(70)
• By this chosen definition of z, it follows that B has no explicit y dependence,
and that therefore y can be written in terms of x and z, i.e., y = y(x, z), B =
B(x, y(x, z), z) = B(x, z) = yz − A(x, y). Furthermore, it follows from Eq. (70)
that
∂B
∂z
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
= y,
∂B
∂x
¸
¸
¸
¸
z
= −
∂A
∂x
¸
¸
¸
¸
y
. (71)
9.4 The Hamiltonian
• ALegendre transformation of a (time-independent, 1 DoF) Lagrangian L(q, ˙ q), where
the active variable is the velocity ˙ q, the passive variable is the coordinate q, and the
third variable is the canonically conjugate momentum p, yields the Hamiltonian H:
H(q, p) ≡ p ˙ q − L(q, ˙ q), where p ≡
∂L
∂ ˙ q
¸
¸
¸
¸
constant q
. (72)
• From dH [determined according to Eq. (70)] and the Euler-Lagrange equation, we
determine Hamilton’s equations.
∂H
∂p
¸
¸
¸
¸
q
= ˙ q,
∂H
∂q
¸
¸
¸
¸
p
= −
∂L
∂q
¸
¸
¸
¸
˙ q
= −
d
dt
∂L
∂ ˙ q
¸
¸
¸
¸
q
= − ˙ p, (73)
9.5 Hamilton’s Principle
• From Hamilton’s principle (section 2.5), we know that variations in the action
S =
_
Ldt are given by δS =
_
δLdt = 0. Using the relationship between L and
H given by the Legendre transformation [Eq. (72)] we calculate variations:
δL = ˙ qδp + pδ ˙ q −
∂H
∂q
δq +
∂H
∂p
δp
. ¸¸ .
δH
=
_
˙ q −
∂H
∂p
_
δp −
_
˙ p +
∂H
∂q
_
δq +
d
dt
(pδq).
(74)
31
• We note that d(pδq)/dt vanishes on integration, as δq = 0 at the endpoints of
the physical path, and that Hamilton’s equations mean the coefficients of δq, δp
in Eq. (74) also vanish.
• Hence, independent infinitesimal variations in δq, δp from the physical path in
coordinate-momentum space (called phase space as opposed to the configuration
space of Lagrangian mechanics) do not change the action. This is summarized
by stating that dH = ˙ qdp − ˙ pdq.
9.6 Hamilton’s Equations of Motion
• For N DoF, H ≡ ∑
N
k=1
p
k
˙ q
k
−L (where L may be explicitly time-dependent). We there-
fore include a time differential in dH = ∑
N
k=1
˙ q
k
dp
k
−∑
N
k=1
˙ p
k
dq
k
+ (∂H/∂t)dt. We can
also consider time as a passive variable in the Legendre transformation, which yields
∂H
∂t
¸
¸
¸
¸
q
1
,...,p
1
,...
= −
∂L
∂t
¸
¸
¸
¸
q
1
,..., ˙ q
1
,...

dH
dt
=
∂H
∂t
= −
∂L
∂t
(75)
• If there is no explicit time dependence in L, H is a constant of the motion. If T is also
a quadratic form in the ˙ q
k
, H is the total energy E = T + V.
• Finally, Hamilton’s equations of motion in complete generality are:
˙ q
k
=
∂H
∂p
k
, ˙ p
k
= −
∂H
∂q
k
,
dH
dt
= −
∂L
∂t
. (76)
Homework 4: Canonical Transformation of the SHO
Consider a one-dimensional simple harmonic oscillator (potential energy V = mω
2
q
2
/2, mod-
elling, for example, a point mass of mass m on a spring of spring constant = mω
2
.
1. (Study up to section 9.4). Determine the Hamiltonian H fromthe Lagrangian L for this system,
using a Legendre transformation. (Study up to section 9.6). What is the relationship between
H and the total energy E in this case? Is this expected? Explain your answer.
2. (Study up to section 10.3). Consider a generating function of the form F
1
(q, Q) = i[(mωq
2
+
kQ
2
)/2 −

2kmωqQ], where k is an arbitrary constant with the units of action (kgm
2
s
−1
).
Determine expressions for p and P (the canonically conjugate momenta to q and Q, respec-
tively) from the implicit transformation equations.
3. (Study up to section 10.4). Use the expressions you have calculated for p and P in terms of q
and Q to determine expressions for p and q in terms of P and Q, and hence determine the
transformed Hamiltonian H
/
(P, Q).
4. (Study up to section 10.4). Use Hamilton’s equations to determine the the equations of motion
for Q and P. From these, determine differential equations also for Q

and iP/k. Calculate
the general solution for Q as a function of time.
5. (Study up to section 10.6). Calculate the Poisson bracket ¦Q, Q

¦.
32
10 Canonical Transformations and Poisson Brackets
SEE ALSO HAND AND FINCH, 6.1–6.3
10.1 Canonical Transformations
• The Lagrangian formulation of mechanics makes coordinate transformations (com-
monly called point transformations), i.e., changing to new generalized coordinates
and their associated generalized velocities, fairly straightforward.
• Coordinate transformations take place in configuration space. In phase space one
can consider new coordinates Q and momenta P which are functions of the original
coordinates q and their momenta p (and possibly the time t):
Q = Q(q, p, t), P = P(q, p, t). (77)
These are commonly called contact transformations.
• A transformation is by definition canonical , if the structure of Hamilton’s equations
for all dynamical systems is preserved by it. Hence, for a specific dynamical system,
a new Hamiltonian H
/
which is a function of Q and P is produced, and Hamilton’s
equations for H
/
, P, and Q must describe the correct transformed dynamics.
10.2 Equivalence of Lagrangians
• Consider two Lagrangians L and L
/
such that L
/
(q, ˙ q, t) = L(q, ˙ q, t) −dF(q, t)/dt
(F is independent of ˙ q). Substituting L
/
into the Euler-Lagrange equation yields
d
dt
_
∂L
∂ ˙ q
_

∂L
∂q
=
d
dt
_

∂ ˙ q
_
dF
dt
__


∂q
_
dF
dt
_
=
d
dt
_

∂ ˙ q
_
˙ q
∂F
∂q
+
∂F
∂t
__


∂q
_
˙ q
∂F
∂q
+
∂F
∂t
_
=
d
dt
_
∂F
∂q
_

_
˙ q

2
F
∂q
2
+

2
F
∂q∂t
_
= 0,
(78)
i.e., the Euler-Lagrange equation derived from L. Hence, the descriptions of a
physical system provided by L and L
/
are equivalent.
• We now consider instead a starting Lagrangian L(q, ˙ q) and a transformed La-
grangian L
/
(Q,
˙
Q) related by a similar F which is a function of both q and Q,
and perhaps t, such that
L
/
(Q,
˙
Q, t) = λL(q, ˙ q, t) −
dF(q, Q, t)
dt
(79)
(λ ,= 1 is associated with a change of units or scale transformation. We will always
consider λ = 1)
33
• We next integrate Eq. (79) with respect to t (and with λ = 1):
_
t
2
t
1
L
/
dt =
_
t
2
t
1
Ldt + F(q(t
1
), Q(t
1
), t
1
) − F(q(t
2
), Q(t
2
), t
2
) (80)
Recalling Hamilton’s principle (section 2.5), if we take variations of Eq. (80)
[assuming that arbitrary variations δq(t) imply arbitrary variations δQ(t)] the
variation of
_
t
2
t
1
Ldt vanishes. If we further assume that δF = 0 at the end points,
then we can say that the variation of
_
t
2
t
1
L
/
dt vanishes, and it follows that the
two descriptions are equivalent.
10.3 The Generating Function
• F(q, Q, t) is called a generating function. From the chain rule, the time derivative for
the generating function is dF/dt = (∂F/∂q) ˙ q + (∂F/∂Q)
˙
Q + ∂F/∂t
• By construction, ˙ q does not appear explicitly in L
/
, and so, from Eq. (79)
0 =
∂L
/
∂ ˙ q
=
∂L
∂ ˙ q

∂F
∂q
⇒ p =
∂F
∂q
. (81)
Similarly
∂L
/

˙
Q
= −
∂F
∂Q
⇒ P = −
∂F
∂Q
. (82)
These are known as the implicit transformation equations.
• With the implicit transformation equations we have two equations and two unknowns.
To find an explicit form for the transformation, solve Eq. (81) to express Q = Q(q, p, t),
and then insert this relation into Eq. (82) to get P = P(p, q, t).
• Extension to N > 1 DoF is in principle straightforward, although in practice the task
of determining 2N unknowns from 2N equations may be formidable.
10.4 The Transformed Hamiltonian
• To find the new Hamiltonian H
/
(Q, P), we first return to the definition of H
/
in
terms of a Legendre transformation [Eq. (72)]. Hence,
H
/
(Q, P, t) ≡P
˙
Q− L
/
= −
∂F
∂Q
˙
Q− L +
∂F
∂q
˙ q +
∂F
∂Q
˙
Q +
∂F
∂t
= p ˙ q − L +
∂F
∂t
=H(q, p, t) +
∂F(q, Q, t)
∂t
(83)
where we have made use of both Eq. (82) and Eq. (81). Finally, p and q appearing
in the RHS of Eq. (83) must be expressed in terms of P and Q.
34
• If there is no explicit time dependence to F, then the new Hamiltonian H
/
is
simply the original Hamiltonian H, rewritten by inserting the inverse of the
transformation equations expressing P and Q in terms of p and q.
10.5 Four Forms of Generating Function
• The generating function need not be written in terms of q and Q. Any combination
of one original and one new dynamical variable may be employed, in conjunction
with appropriately modified implicit transformation equations:
F
1
(q, Q, t), p =
∂F
1
∂q
, P = −
∂F
1
∂Q
;
F
2
(q, P, t), p =
∂F
2
∂q
, Q =
∂F
2
∂P
;
F
3
(p, Q, t), q = −
∂F
3
∂p
, P = −
∂F
3
∂Q
;
F
4
(p, P, t), q = −
∂F
4
∂p
, Q =
∂F
4
∂P
.
(84)
• With some caveats, the different forms of generating function may be related via
Legendre transformations, or the implicit transformation equations can simply be
determined independently in a similar manner as in section 10.3.
10.6 Poisson Brackets
• For N DoF, a Poisson bracket for two arbitrary functions F and G is defined as
¦F, G¦ ≡
N

k=1
_
∂F
∂q
k
∂G
∂p
k

∂F
∂p
k
∂G
∂q
k
_
=
∂F
∂q
∂G
∂p

∂F
∂p
∂G
∂q
if N = 1. (85)
• Clearly, ¦q, p¦ = 1 (we consider 1DoF for brevity, but the result holds for N DoF). If
we consider a Poission bracket of q and p defined with respect to the canonically
transformed dynamical variables Q and P, then [using Eq. (84) and the chain rule]
∂q
∂Q
∂p
∂P

∂q
∂P
∂p
∂Q
=
∂q
∂Q

2
F
2
∂P∂q
+

2
F
4
∂P∂p
∂p
∂Q
=
∂Q
∂q
∂q
∂Q
+
∂Q
∂p
∂p
∂Q
=
∂Q
∂Q
= 1, (86)
i.e., the value of the Poisson bracket for q and p is independent of the representation.
Conversely, ¦Q, P¦ = 1 is a necessary and sufficient condition for a transformation to
be canonical.
• Using the result of Eq. (86), we see that any Poisson bracket is independent of the
representation in which it is calculated:
35
∂F
∂Q
∂G
∂P

∂F
∂P
∂G
∂Q
=
_
∂F
∂q
∂G
∂p

∂F
∂p
∂G
∂q
__
∂q
∂Q
∂p
∂P

∂q
∂P
∂p
∂Q
_
=
∂F
∂q
∂G
∂p

∂F
∂p
∂G
∂q
, (87)
We therefore do not need to specify a particular set of coordinates and conjugate
momenta when discussing Poisson brackets.
10.7 Poisson Bracket Formulation of Hamilton’s Equations
• Hamilton’s equations of motion can be reformulated in terms of Poisson brackets:
˙ q = ¦q, H¦, ˙ p = ¦p, H¦. For an arbitrary function F(q, p, t),
˙
F = ¦F, H¦ +
∂F
∂t
. (88)
36
11 Rotating Reference Frames
SEE ALSO HAND AND FINCH, 7.1–7.7
11.1 Accelerating Reference Frames
• One can only specify the position r
S
of a point mass with respect to a chosen refer-
ence frame S.
• One can equally choose another reference frame B to specify the position r
B
of the
same point mass, displaced by R from S. The positions of the point mass relative to
the two frames are then related by r
B
= r
S
−R.
• If S is an inertial frame, where Newton’s laws hold, but
¨
R ,= 0, then B is not an inertial
frame. Hence, in frame S, m¨ r
S
= F, but in frame B,
m¨ r
B
= m(¨ r
S

¨
R) = F
.¸¸.
true force
− m
¨
R.
.¸¸.
inertial force
(89)
11.2 Rotated Reference Frames in 2D
(a)
x
S

y
S

x
B

y
B

r
θ
(b)
x
B

y
B

r
(c)
x
y
r
S

r
B

θ
(a) A new reference frame B is defined with respect to an original reference frame S
by an anticlockwise rotation through angle θ. In frame S, the position vector r has
positive x and y components.
(b) In frame B, r has a positive x component and a negative y component.
(c) An observer in frame B, which has been rotated anticlockwise, does not perceive
that frame’s rotation, as his or her observations are with respect to that same frame.
Instead he or she observes that r appears to have rotated clockwise through an
angle θ, from r
S
to r
B
.
37
11.3 Finite Rotations in 3D
O
N
P
Q
n
θ
N
P
Q
r
S

n ×
V
θ
Figure 5: Left: Overall and Right: top views of a general clockwise rotation of a vector OP = r
S
through an angle θ about an axis defined by the unit vector n, to become OQ = r
B
. This is what
we would observe if the reference frame we were in rotated in an anticlockwise direction.
• We wish to determine OQ = ON + NV + VQ. Firstly,
ON = (n r
S
)n (component of r
S
in n direction). (90)
• Noting that OP = ON + NP ⇒ NP = r
S
−(n r
S
)n, and that NQ has the same
magnitude as NP, it follows that
NV =
NP
[NP[
[NQ[ cos(θ) = [r
S
−(n r
S
)n] cos(θ) (91)
• We note that r
S
n has direction perpendicular to r
S
= OP and n (as does VQ),
and magnitude [r
S
n[ = [NQ[. Hence,
VQ =
(r
S
n)
[r
S
n[
[NQ[ sin(θ) = (r
S
n) sin(θ). (92)
• Gathering the terms calculated above, we have
OQ
¸..¸
r
B
=
ON
¸ .. ¸
(n r
S
)n +
NV
¸ .. ¸
[r
S
−(n r
S
)n] cos(θ) +
VQ
¸ .. ¸
(r
S
n) sin(θ), (93)
which is generally rearranged slightly to obtain the rotation formula:
r
B
= r
S
cos(θ) + (n r
S
)n[1 −cos(θ)] + (r
S
n) sin(θ). (94)
38
11.4 Infinitesimal Rotations
• Letting r
S
= r, r
B
= r + dr (⇒ dr = r
B
−r
S
), θ = dθ, and taking the small-angle limit,
the rotation formula [Eq. (94)] transforms to r + dr = r + (r n)dθ.
• Hence, (noting that for any two vectors U V = −V U) the velocity of reference
frame B relative to reference frame S is given by:
dr
dt
= −
_
n

dt
_
r = − ω
.¸¸.
angular velocity
r. (95)
Note that even if r is constant in reference frame B, it is time dependent if viewed
from reference frame S.
11.5 Velocity and Acceleration
• If the vector r does have a time-dependence in reference frame S (e.g. represents
the position of a moving particle), then this must also be accounted for:
_
dr
dt
_
B
. ¸¸ .
velocity in B
=
_
dr
dt
_
S
. ¸¸ .
velocity in S
− ω r.
. ¸¸ .
velocity of B relative to S
(96)
This equation is completely general for any vector (not just position vectors).
• Having determined v
B
= v
S
−ω r, we take the time-derivative (in frame B)
and make use of Eq. (96) (with v substituted for r) to determine the acceleration
in frame B:
_
dv
B
dt
_
B
=
_
dv
S
dt
_
B
¸ .. ¸
_
dv
S
dt
_
S
−ω v
S

_

dt
_
B
r −ω v
B
=
_
dv
S
dt
_
S
−ω (v
B
+ ω r) −
_

dt
_
B
r −ω v
B
.
(97)
11.6 Inertial Forces in a Rotating Frame
• If considering motion of a point mass, then multiplying Eq. (97) by m and noting that
F = m(dv
S
/dt)
S
, we deduce that
m¨ r = F − 2mω ˙ r
. ¸¸ .
coriolis force
− mω (ω r)
. ¸¸ .
centrifugal force
− m ˙ ω r.
. ¸¸ .
Euler force
(98)
39
Example Class 3: Foucault’s Pendulum
1. A Foucault pendulum is a heavy weight suspended by a cable from a bearing that does
not restrict the motion (unlike e.g. a typical clock pendulum, the motion of which is con-
strained to a plane), thus making it sensitive to the earth’s angular velocity ω. The original
demonstration by Foucault in Paris was in 1851, and caused quite a sensation.
If the oscillation amplitude is small compared to the length of the pendulum l (small angle
approximation), we can neglect motion in the vertical (z) direction, and approximate the
relevant forces in the (x, y) plane tangential to the earth’s surface by F = −mω
2
0
(xˆ ı + yˆ ),
where ω
2
0
= g/l, at the earth’s surface.
(a) (Study up to section 11.6). Incorporating the force F, determine the relevant equations
of motion as perceived when standing on the (rotating with constant angular velocity
vector = ω) Earth.
(b) (Study up to section 12.2). Derive the specific form taken by these equations in the ap-
propriate local coordinate system (ˆ ı pointing east, ˆ  pointing north,
ˆ
k pointing out from
the centre of the earth).
(c) (Study up to section 12.3). In what follows we will neglect the centrifugal force terms.
This is acceptable if ω
0
is significantly larger than [ω[. Why?
(d) (Study up to section 12.6). Determine the general solution of the motion of the pendulum
bob in the plane tangential to the earth’s surface (to the assumed level of approxima-
tion) in terms of the initial position and velocity. The mathematics will be easier if you
consider the time evolution of the complex number ξ(t) = x(t) + iy(t) (see section
A.4 of the Appendix in these notes on linear differential equations). Make sure that you
consistently drop all terms of the same size or smaller than the neglected centrifugal
force terms (to do this you will need the approximate identity

1 + ≈ 1 + /2 for
small ).
(e) (Study up to section 12.7). The pendulum is allowed to start oscillating after being held
at an amplitude A due east from the origin. What is the position of the pendulum bob
after each complete oscillation? Determine how many such oscillations must elapse
before the pendulum bob (approximately) returns to its original position. How many
hours does this correspond to:
i. At the north pole;
ii. At the equator;
iii. In Durham ( latitude 54

47
/
north)?
ADDITIONAL EXERCISE
2. What angular velocity would be required for your effective weight at the equator to be half
that at the north pole? (Take the earth’s radius to be 6378 km). How many minutes would a
full rotation of the earth take?
40
12 Inertial Forces on Earth
SEE ALSO HAND AND FINCH, 7.7–7.10
12.1 Procedure for Determining a Local Coordinate Systems
x
z
y
ω
z
y
ω
θ
α
Figure 6: Left: Overall view of a local coordinate system in the region of a point on the surface of
the spherical earth. The positive x direction is east, the positive y direction is north, the positive z
direction is out from the centre of the earth. Right: Cross-sectional view, showing the local y and z
axes only (the x axis points perpendicularly into the page). α is the latitude, and θ the colatitude
(in spherical coordinates, the angle of elevation).
1. We model the Earth as a perfect, solid sphere, and require an appropriate coor-
dinate system to describe motion near a point on its surface. We first consider a
cartesian coordinate system with the z axis running through the poles, and the x
and y axes emerging through the equator [in this frame ω = (0, 0, ω)].
2. We then rotate the coordinate system around its x axis so that the z axis emerges at
a chosen point on the Earth’s surface [now ω = (0, ωsin(θ), ωcos(θ))].
3. Finally, we displace the origin of the coordinate system by R to point where the z
axis emerges from the Earth’s surface (where R = [R[ is the radius of the Earth).
12.2 Inertial Forces in the Local Coordinate System
• Note that the derivation of centrifugal, coriolis, and Euler force terms assumes r to
be defined with respect to a point on the axis of rotation.
41
• The final displacement of the local coordinate system origin means the associated
position vector r
/
does not begin on the axis of rotation.
• One must therefore substitute r = r
/
+ R into the inertial force terms, where r
/
is the
position vector associated with the local coordinate system.
12.3 Centrifugal Force −mω (ω r)
• The direction of the centrifugal force can be determined quite generally: ω r is
perpendicular to ω, r, and ω (ω r) is perpendicular to both ω and ω r.
• Hence, the centrifugal force −mω (ω r) points directly away from the axis of
rotation, meaning it can counteract gravity.
12.4 Effective Gravity on Earth’s Surface
(a) (b) (c)
(a) Direction and magnitude of the force due to earth’s gravitation on the surface of a
spherical earth model.
(b) Direction of the centrifugal force on the surface of a spherical earth model (magni-
tude relative to the gravitational force greatly exaggerated for effect).
(c) Effect of adding the gravitational and centrifugal forces together. The net force for
a static object does not point exactly to the centre of the earth except at the poles
and the equator.
12.5 Deviation of a Plumb Bob
• Setting r
/
= (0, 0, 0), one obtains −mω [ω (r
/
+ R)] =
−mω
2
R(0, sin(θ) cos(θ), −sin
2
(θ)). Incorporating the effect of gravity,
one obtains the EOM
m¨ r
/
= −m(0, ω
2
Rsin(θ) cos(θ), g −ω
2
Rsin
2
(θ)). (99)
42
• We now consider the deflection angle φ
d
, defined through
tan(φ
d
) =
ω
2
Rsin(θ) cos(θ)
g −ω
2
Rsin
2
(θ)

ω
2
Rsin(θ) cos(θ)
g
(g ¸ω
2
R). (100)
For θ = π/4, 3π/4, φ
d
is maximised at 1.7 milliradians. Buildings at colatitude
π/4 are therefore tilted by this amount from the true vertical if aligned with a
plumb bob or spirit level.
12.6 Coriolis Force −2mω ˙ r
• In the local coordinate system defined for the surface of the Earth, the coriolis force
is given by
−2mω ˙ r
/
= −2mω(sin(θ) ˙ z −cos(θ) ˙ y, cos(θ) ˙ x, −sin(θ) ˙ x) (101)
Note that it is proportional to velocities, and therefore only comes into play when
there is motion.
• One often considers phenomena when motion is effectively constrained to be “in
plane,” when we ignore the z dimension. In this case the coriolis force x component
→2mωcos(θ) ˙ y, and the coriolis force y component →−2mωcos(θ) ˙ x.
12.7 Loose Ends
• The Euler force is not zero on Earth, but is commonly taken to be negligible.
• In a rotating reference frame which is also accelerating translationally with acceler-
ation
¨
R, the general EOM is given by
m¨ r = F −2mω ˙ r −mω (ω r) −m ˙ ω r −m
¨
R. (102)
43
13 Rotational Inertia, Angular Momentum and Kinetic Energy
SEE ALSO HAND AND FINCH, 8.1–8.3
13.1 DoF of Rigid Bodies
• Arigid body is a systemof mass points (or a continuum) constrained so that distances
between all points are constant (e.g. connected by massless rigid rods). A system of
2(3) connected point masses has 5(6) DoF (see section 1.3).
• Connecting a further point mass to 3 “original” point masses fully specifies its position
relative to the rigid body, and contributes 3 coordinates −3 constraints = 0 DoF. Any
rigid body more complex than two connected point masses has 6 DoF.
13.2 Displacement of a Rigid Body
• Translating one point of a rigid body by R without changing the rigid body’s orien-
tation involves 3 DoF. A second point on the rigid body can then be rotated to any
location, specified by azimuthal and elevation angles (i.e., 2 DoF), on the surface of
an imaginary sphere with its centre at the location of the first point.
• Having specified the position of the second point, the whole rigid body can be
rotated about the axis formed by drawing a line through the first and second point
(1 DoF). The most general displacement of a rigid body is a translation plus a rotation
(Chasles’ theorem).
• Alternatively, subsequent to translation (3 DoF), specify an axis of rotation (2 DoF)
and a finite rotation about that axis (1 DoF). The most general displacement of a
rigid body with one point fixed is a rotation about some axis (Euler’s theorem).
13.3 Moment of Inertia I about an Axis of Rotation
• Consider N mass points, rotating with angular velocity ω anticlockwise about an axis
of rotation (assumed to pass through the origin), where the direction of the axis of
rotation is defined by the unit vector n (i.e., the angular velocity vector ω = ωn).
• For one mass point I is the square of its distance from the axis of rotation multiplied
by its mass m. For N mass points, I is the sum of such terms. Hence,
I =
N

k=1
m
k
[r
2
k
−(r
k
n)
2
] =


k=1
m
k
[(r
k
n)n −r
k
[
2
. (103)
13.4 Angular Momentum J and Rotational Kinetic Energy
• The angular momentum (about the origin) of a system of mass points is given by
J = ∑
N
k=1
r
k
p
k
= ∑
N
k=1
m
k
r
k
˙ r
k
, (if the point about which we calculate J is
R ,= 0, then we replace r
k
, ˙ r
k
by r
/
k
, ˙ r
/
k
, where r
/
k
= r
k
−R).
44
• If rigid body constraints are imposed, any velocity ˙ r
k
is due to rotation only.
• ω r
k
is the velocity of the kth mass point due to its anticlockwise rotation (in
contrast to the perceived velocity −ωr of objects appearing to rotate clockwise
due to the anticlockwise rotation of a reference frame).
• Using the vector identity a (b c) = (a c)b −(a b)c and recalling ω = ωn,
J =
N

k=1
m
k
[r
k
(ω r
k
)] =
N

k=1
m
k
[r
2
k
ω −(r
k
ω)r
k
]
⇒ J n = ω
N

k=1
m
k
[r
2
k
−(r
k
n)
2
] = ωI.
(104)
• The kinetic energy reduces to T =
1
2

N
k=1
m
k
˙ r
2
k
=
ω
2
2

N
k=1
m
k
[n r
k
[
2
. Noting
that [n r
k
[ = [(r
k
n)n −r
k
[, the rotational kinetic energy takes a simple form:
T =
ω
2
2
N

k=1
m
k
[(r
k
n)n −r
k
[
2
=

2
2
. (105)
13.5 Definition of the Inertia Tensor
ˆ
I
• From J = ∑
N
k=1
m
k
[r
2
k
ω −(r
k
ω)r
k
], we infer that
J
x
=
N

k=1
m
k
(r
2
k
−x
2
k

x
−m
k
x
k
y
k
ω
y
−m
k
x
k
z
k
ω
z
,
J
y
=
N

k=1
m
k
(r
2
k
−y
2
k

y
−m
k
y
k
x
k
ω
x
−m
k
y
k
z
k
ω
z
,
J
z
=
N

k=1
m
k
(r
2
k
−z
2
k

z
−m
k
z
k
x
k
ω
x
−m
k
z
k
y
k
ω
y
,
(106)
and use the linear transformation relating the angular velocity vector ω to the an-
gular momentum vector J to define the inertia tensor
ˆ
I:
_
_
J
x
J
y
J
z
_
_
. ¸¸ .
J
=
_
_
I
xx
I
xy
I
xz
I
yx
I
yy
I
yz
I
zx
I
zy
I
zz
_
_
. ¸¸ .
ˆ
I
_
_
ω
x
ω
y
ω
z
_
_
. ¸¸ .
ω
with I
αβ
=
N

k
m
k
(r
2
k
δ
αβ
−r
k,α
r
k,β
), where δ
αβ
=
_
1 if α = β
0 if α ,= β
(107)
For continuous bodies I
αβ
=
_
volume
dxdydzρ(x, y, z)(r
2
δ
αβ
−r
α
r
β
), (ρ is a mass density).
45
13.6 Generalized Description of the Rotational Kinetic Energy
• Using the vector identity a (b c) = b (a c) = c (a b), the rotational
kinetic energy can be phrased more generally in terms of the moment of inertia
tensor as
T =
1
2
N

k=1
m
k
˙ r
2
k
=
1
2
N

k=1
m
k
˙ r
k
(ω r
k
) =
1
2
ω
_
N

k=1
m
k
(r
k
˙ r
k
)
_
.
. ¸¸ .
J =
ˆ

(108)
• Hence T = (1/2)ω (
ˆ
Iω) = (ω
2
/2)n
T
ˆ
In, where n
T
ˆ
In is the moment of inertia
I about the axis defined by n.
13.7 Centre of Mass (CoM)
• The centre of mass position and velocity for a system of N mass points (mass of kth
point = m
k
) are defined by (total mass M = ∑
N
k=1
m
k
):
R
C
=

N
k=1
m
k
r
k
M
,
˙
R
C
=

N
k=1
m
k
˙ r
k
M
. (109)
It immediately follows that the total momentum P = ∑
N
k=1
m
k
˙ r
k
= M
˙
R
C
is equivalent
to the momentum of a single particle of mass M = ∑
N
k=1
m
k
moving with the CoM.
13.8 Separation off of the CoM Angular Momentum and Kinetic Energy
• The corresponding total angular momentum about some point (situated at the
origin of the coordinate system) is J = ∑
N
k=1
m
k
(r
k
˙ r
k
).
• We let r
k
= r
/
k
+ R
C
. Hence,
J =
N

k=1
m
k
(r
/
k
+ R
C
) (˙ r
/
k
+
˙
R
C
)
=
N

k=1
m
k
(r
/
k
˙ r
/
k
+ R
C
˙ r
/
k
+ r
/
k

˙
R
C
+ R
C

˙
R
C
)
=
N

k=1
m
k
(r
/
k
˙ r
/
k
) + MR
C


N
k=1
m
k
˙ r
/
k
M
+

N
k=1
m
k
r
/
k
M
. ¸¸ .
CoM velocity and position with respect to CoM, i.e., = 0
M
˙
R
C
+ MR
C

˙
R
C
.
(110)
• J = ∑
N
k=1
m
k
(r
/
k
˙ r
/
k
) + MR
C

˙
R
C
can be expressed as the angular momentum
about the CoM plus the angular momentum of the CoM about the origin.
46
• Similarly, the CoM kinetic energy, and the kinetic energy for motion with re-
spect to the CoM can be separated:
T =
1
2
N

k=1
m
k
˙ r
2
k
=
1
2
N

k=1
m
k
˙ r
k
˙ r
k
=
1
2
N

k=1
m
k
(˙ r
/
k
+
˙
R
C
) (˙ r
/
k
+
˙
R
C
)
=
1
2
N

k=1
m
k
˙ r
/2
k
+
˙
R
C

N

k=1
m
k
˙ r
/
k
. ¸¸ .
= 0
+
1
2
M
˙
R
2
C
.
(111)
• In general, if the only external forces acting on a rigid body act through the CoM
(e.g. gravity), the CoM motion can be considered separately.
Homework 5: Rotating Book
We consider the torque-free motion of a general right angled parallelepiped or cuboid (e.g., a
book), of uniform density.
1. (Study up to section 14.6). Derive the principal moments of inertia of a general cuboid of
height 2a, width 2b and depth 2c (all unequal), and having a uniform mass density ρ.
2. (Study up to section 15.1). Noting that there are no external Torques, show that the system is
in equilibrium (meaning that ω never changes) when ω
2
= ω
3
= 0, ω
1
,= 0. Determine the
other two equilibrium solutions.
3. (Study up to section 15.1). Consider a near equilibrium solution, ω = (ω
1
, δ
2
, δ
3
), such that,
as δ
2
and δ
3
are considered “small,” δ
2
δ
3
≈ 0. Employing this approximation, show that
¨
δ
2
= Ω
2
δ
2
, in the process deriving an expression for Ω
2
.
4. (Study up to section 15.2). What are the general solutions of the equation of motion
¨
δ
2
(t) =

2
δ
2
(t) in terms of δ
2
(0) and
˙
δ
2
(0), for the two separate cases where Ω
2
> 0, and where

2
< 0? (For convenience, use the parameter
˜
Ωin your answer, where
˜

2
= [Ω
2
[ is defined
positive).
5. (Study up to section 15.2). We say that the equilibrium solution is unstable if, when the initial
angular velocity vector ω(0) is very slightly different from the equilibrium solution and its
initial first time-derivative ˙ ω(0) = 0, then the subsequent time-evolution of ω(t) causes it to
move rapidly away from the equilibrium solution. When is the equilibrium solution under
consideration unstable?
47
14 The Parallel and Principal Axis Theorems
SEE ALSO HAND AND FINCH, 8.2
14.1 Displaced Axis Theorem
• In a similar fashion to the angular momentum and rotational kinetic energy, one
can insert the CoM position R
C
into the elements of the Inertia tensor I
αβ
:
I
αβ
=
N

k=1
m
k
(r
2
k
δ
αβ
−r
k,α
r
k,β
) =
N

k=1
m
k
[[r
/
k
+ R
C
[
2
δ
αβ
−(r
/
k,α
+ R
C,α
)(r
/
k,β
+ R
C,β
)]
=
N

k=1
m
k
[(r
/2
k
+ 2r
/
k
R
C
+ R
2
C

αβ
−(r
/
k,α
r
/
k,β
+ r
/
k,α
R
C,β
+ R
C,α
r
/
k,β
+ R
C,α
R
C,β
)]
=
N

k=1
m
k
(r
/2
k
δ
αβ
−r
/
k,α
r
/
k,β
) + M(R
2
C
δ
αβ
−R
C,α
R
C,β
)
+ 2R
C

N

k=1
m
k
r
/
k
δ
αβ
. ¸¸ .
=0
−R
C,α
N

k=1
m
k
r
/
k,β
. ¸¸ .
=0
−R
C,β
N

k=1
m
k
r
/
k,α
. ¸¸ .
=0
(112)
As before, we have let r
k
= r
/
k
+ R
C
, and used the fact that the CoM position
with respect to the CoM is = 0.
• Hence, the inertia tensor of a rigid body, defined with respect to rotations about
the origin can be related to the inertia tensor of the same rigid body, defined
with respect to rotations about its CoM,through
ˆ
I =
ˆ
I
CoM
+ M
ˆ
A, (113)
where
ˆ
A can be represented by a matrix, the elements of which are determined
by the elements of the CoM position vector: A
αβ
= R
2
C
δ
αβ
− R
C,α
R
C,β
. This is
the displaced axis theorem.
14.2 Parallel Axis Theorem
• Consider a moment of inertia I
COM
about an axis of rotation passing through the
CoM. This is equivalent to considering a diagonal element of some representation
of the inertia tensor.
• From the displaced axis theorem, the moment of inertia I about a parallel axis is
I = I
CoM
+ MR
2
C
, (114)
where R
C
is the distance of parallel axis from the axis of rotation passing through the
CoM. This is the parallel axis theorem.
48
14.3 Symmetric Nature of the Inertia Tensor
• The inertia tensor
ˆ
I is defined for a particular rigid body, and for rotations of that
body about a particular point (frequently the centre of mass).
• In any representation (e.g. for some set of cartesian axes, conveniently chosen with
the origin at the point of rotation) the inertia tensor is represented by a symmetric
matrix, i.e., I
αβ
= I
βα
. We say
ˆ
I is a symmetric tensor.
• The matrix elements depend on the chosen representation (the tensor is defined
representation free). We wish to know if there is a diagonal matrix representation of
the inertia tensor.
14.4 Orthogonal Matrices and Orthogonal Diagonalization
• The inverse
ˆ
P
−1
of a matrix
ˆ
P is defined such that
ˆ
P
−1
ˆ
P =
ˆ
P
ˆ
P
−1
=
ˆ
1, the
identity matrix. A matrix
ˆ
P for which an inverse
ˆ
P
−1
exists is called invertible.
• A real invertible square matrix
ˆ
P such that its inverse
ˆ
P
−1
=
ˆ
P
T
, its transpose, is
said to be an orthogonal matrix. (So-called because its rows form an orthonormal
set, and its columns form an orthonormal set).
• A general 2 2 orthogonal matrix has a single free parameter θ, and describes
a 2-dimensional rotation when acting on a 2-dimensional column vector:
ˆ
P =
_
cos θ −sin θ
sin θ cos θ
_
. (115)
The inverse matrix describes a rotation back in the opposite direction.
• Similarly, in 3 dimensions, one can consider separate rotations about each axis:
ˆ
P
x
=
_
_
1 0 0
0 cos θ −sin θ
0 sin θ cos θ
_
_
,
ˆ
P
y
=
_
_
cos φ 0 −sin φ
0 1 0
sin φ 0 cos φ
_
_
,
ˆ
P
z
=
_
_
cos ψ −sin ψ 0
sin ψ cos ψ 0
0 0 1
_
_
.
(116)
• (
ˆ
P
z
ˆ
P
y
ˆ
P
x
)
T
ˆ
P
z
ˆ
P
y
ˆ
P
x
=
ˆ
P
T
x
ˆ
P
T
y
ˆ
P
T
z
ˆ
P
z
ˆ
P
y
ˆ
P
x
=
ˆ
1, and the product
ˆ
P
z
ˆ
P
y
ˆ
P
x
is a way of
formulating a general 3 3 orthogonal matrix, describing a general rotation in
3-dimensions.
• A square matrix
ˆ
A is called orthogonally diagonalizable if there is an invertible
matrix
ˆ
P such that
ˆ
P
−1
ˆ
A
ˆ
P =
ˆ
P
T
ˆ
A
ˆ
P =
ˆ
D is diagonal;
ˆ
P is said to orthogonally di-
agonalize
ˆ
A. If
ˆ
Ais an NN matrix, then the following are equivalent. (a)
ˆ
Ais
orthogonally diagonalizable; (b)
ˆ
A has an orthonormal set of N eigenvectors;
(c)
ˆ
A is symmetric.
49
• Consider the 3 3 case. Let us say that a 3 3 matrix
ˆ
A has 3 orthonormal
eigenvectors p
1
= (p
11
, p
21
, p
31
), p
2
= (p
12
, p
22
, p
32
), p
3
= (p
13
, p
23
, p
33
) with
corresponding eigenvalues λ
1
, λ
2
, λ
3
.
• Let
ˆ
P be the matrix whose columns are these eigenvectors:
ˆ
P =
_
_
p
11
p
12
p
13
p
21
p
22
p
23
p
31
p
32
p
33
_
_
(117)
This implies that
ˆ
A
ˆ
P =
_
_
λ
1
p
11
λ
2
p
12
λ
3
p
13
λ
1
p
21
λ
2
p
22
λ
3
p
23
λ
1
p
31
λ
2
p
32
λ
3
p
33
_
_
=
_
_
p
11
p
12
p
13
p
21
p
22
p
23
p
31
p
32
p
33
_
_
. ¸¸ .
ˆ
P
_
_
λ
1
0 0
0 λ
2
0
0 0 λ
3
_
_
. ¸¸ .
ˆ
D
.
(118)
• Since the columns of
ˆ
P are orthonormal,
ˆ
P is an orthogonal matrix. Hence,
ˆ
A
ˆ
P =
ˆ
P
ˆ
D ⇒
ˆ
P
−1
ˆ
A
ˆ
P =
ˆ
P
T
ˆ
A
ˆ
P =
ˆ
D, i.e.,
ˆ
A is orthogonally diagonalizable.
• To help see that
ˆ
A must be symmetric, i.e., that
ˆ
A
T
=
ˆ
A, we use
ˆ
D =
ˆ
P
−1
ˆ
A
ˆ
P =
ˆ
P
T
ˆ
A
ˆ
P ⇒
ˆ
P
ˆ
D
ˆ
P
−1
=
ˆ
P
ˆ
D
ˆ
P
T
=
ˆ
A. Hence,
ˆ
A
T
= (
ˆ
P
ˆ
D
ˆ
P
T
)
T
=
ˆ
P
ˆ
D
T
ˆ
P
T
=
ˆ
P
ˆ
D
ˆ
P
T
=
ˆ
A. (119)
14.5 Principal Axis Theorem

ˆ
I is a symmetric tensor, and is always represented by a 3 3 symmetric matrix. There-
fore,
ˆ
I has three eigenvalues (which may be repeated). These are the principal
moments of inertia, called I
1
, I
2
, I
3
.

ˆ
I must also have three orthonormal eigenvectors (in the case of repeated eigenval-
ues, there is some freedom in choosing what form the corresponding eigenvectors
should take). The directions the eigenvectors point in determine the principal axes,
labelled 1, 2, 3.
• It is always possible to find a rotated coordinate system such that the representa-
tion of
ˆ
I is diagonal. The diagonal elements are the principal moments of inertia
(eigenvalues of
ˆ
I), the coordinate system is set by the principal axes (eigenvectors
of
ˆ
I), and a principal moment of inertia I
k
is the moment of inertia associated with
rotation about the principal axis k.
• Rotating the coordinate system such that the representation of
ˆ
I is diagonal is a
principal axis transformation, and that this is always possible is the principal axis the-
orem.
50
14.6 Deducing the Principal Axes
Figure 7: Principal axes of an asymmetric ellipsoid, and an asymmetric parallelepiped, for rotation
about the centre of mass. The principal moments of inertia have been chosen to be identical for
the two objects.
• For highly symmetric objects, it is often possible to guess a coordinate system for
which all off-diagonal elements of
ˆ
I are = 0.
• One can then deduce the principal moments of inertia directly, without having to
carry out a principal axis transformation.
51
15 Rigid Body Dynamics and Stability
SEE ALSO HAND AND FINCH, 8.4–8.5
15.1 Euler’s Equations of Motion
• We consider N mass points subject to rigid-body constraints, and take the time
derivative of the angular momentum vector J = ∑
N
k=1
m
k
(r
k
˙ r
k
), to get
˙
J =
N

k=1
m
k
(˙ r
k
˙ r
k
)
. ¸¸ .
= 0, as a a = 0 for any vector a
+
N

k=1
m
k
(r
k
¨ r
k
) =
N

k=1
r
k
F
k
.
. ¸¸ .
total torque N
(120)
• Hence, we can say, viewing the rigid body from outside (space axes/coordinate
system) (dJ/dt)
S
= N.
• Recalling Eq. (96) [that, for any vector a, (da/dt)
B
= (da/dt)
S
− ω a], viewing the
rigid body while travelling with its rotational motion (body axes/coordinate system)
we can say that (dJ/dt)
B
+ ω J = N.
• We assume a coordinate system defined by the principal axes, i.e., the decomposi-
tion J = (I
1
ω
1
, I
2
ω
2
, I
3
ω
3
), and thus derive Euler’s equations of motion:
I
1
˙ ω
1
−ω
2
ω
3
(I
2
− I
3
) = N
1
,
I
2
˙ ω
2
−ω
3
ω
1
(I
3
− I
1
) = N
2
,
I
3
˙ ω
3
−ω
1
ω
2
(I
1
− I
2
) = N
3
.
(121)
15.2 Torque-Free Motion
• If there are no external torques (e.g. a freely spinning object moving through the
Earth’s gravitational field), then we can set N
1
= N
2
= N
3
= 0.
• Note that the total angular momentum (about the CoM) and the total kinetic en-
ergy (associated with motion about the CoM) are both conserved.
• J
2
= J
2
1
+ J
2
2
+ J
2
3
describes a sphere in angular momentum space, and T = J
2
1
/2I
1
+
J
2
2
/2I
2
+ J
2
3
/2I
3
describes an ellipsoid.
• Where the sphere and ellipsoid intersect shows the possible trajectories for the an-
gular momentum components J
k
= ω
k
I
k
.
52
Figure 8: Left: Contours of constant T on a sphere described by J
2
= 1, for a system where
I
1
> I
2
> I
3
. Rotation about principal axis 2 is unstable, rotation about principal axes 1 and 3 is
stable. Right: Equivalent diagram for the case where I
1
= I
2
> I
3
. Principal axes 1 and 2 can be
rotated freely about principal axis 3, and there are no points on the J
2
= 1 sphere about which
the rotation is unstable.
53
A Second-Order Ordinary Linear Differential Equations with
Constant Coefficients
A.1 Definition
A second-order homogeneous ordinary linear differential equation with constant coefficients has
the form:
a
d
2
x
dt
2
+ b
dx
dt
+ cx = 0 (122)
This has been written to appear to be a differential equation of a position variable with respect to
time, as this is most obviously relevant for classical mechanics.
A.2 Solution
A.2.1 Auxiliary Equation
The recipe for solving such a linear differential equation begins by substituting e
λt
for x. Thus

2
e
λt
+ bλe
λt
+ ce
λt
= 0 (123)
which, cancelling e
λt
everywhere, becomes

2
+ bλ + c = 0. (124)
This is the auxiliary equation. One can then solve the auxiliary equation by finding the roots from
the quadratic formula:
λ
±
=
−b ±

b
2
−4ac
2a
. (125)
Thus
(x −λ
+
)(x −λ

) = 0, (126)
i.e., assuming the roots are not repeated, there are 2 distinct values of λ solving the auxiliary
equation, which may be complex or imaginary.
A.2.2 General Solution (Roots not Repeated)
The general solution is then a linear superposition of the two particular solutions e
λ
+
t
and e
λ

t
,
i.e.,
x(t) = A
+
e
λ
+
t
+ A

e
λ

t
(127)
where the A
+
, A

are arbitrary constants (because we are dealing with a second-order differential
equation, there must be two integration constants in its general solution), often determined by the
initial position:
x(0) = A
+
+ A

(128)
and the initial velocity, through
˙ x(t) = A
+
λ
+
e
λ
+
t
+ A

λ

e
λ

t
⇒ ˙ x(0) = A
+
λ
+
+ A

λ

. (129)
The roots λ
+
and λ

may be imaginary — if this is the case and x is a real quantity (such as po-
sition) then A
+
and A

must have (complex) values such that the overall imaginary contribution
is zero.
I
A.3 Possible Complications
A.3.1 Repeated Roots
If λ
+
= λ

= λ, then e
λt
solves the differential equation, and a second linearly independent
solution is given by te
λt
. The general solution is thus given by
x(t) = Ae
λt
+ Bte
λt
. (130)
A.3.2 Additional Constant
If the differential equation has the form
a
d
2
x
dt
2
+ b
dx
dt
+ cx + k = 0 (131)
then this can be rephrased as
a
d
2
x
dt
2
+ b
dx
dt
+ c
_
x +
k
c
_
= 0. (132)
One can then define a new variable ˜ x = x + k/c, for which it follows
a
d
2
˜ x
dt
2
+ b
d ˜ x
dt
+ c ˜ x = 0. (133)
One then finds the general solution for ˜ x(t), as shown above, and the general solution for x(t)
from it, by x(t) = ˜ x(t) −k/c.
A.4 Representing Position in a Plane by a Single Complex Number
If we have a situation where, for example, we have coupled motion in the x, y plane, i.e., the x
and y variables cannot be separated:
d
2
x
dt
2
+ a
x
dx
dt
+ b
x
dy
dt
+ c
x
x + d
x
y + k
x
= 0, (134)
d
2
y
dt
2
+ a
y
dx
dt
+ b
y
dy
dt
+ c
y
x + d
y
y + k
y
= 0, (135)
then we can try to simplify matters by considering the complex variable ξ = x + iy, and adding
the bottomequation multiplied by i to the top equation. We then consider the differential equation
given by
d
2
ξ
dt
2
+ =
d
2
x
dt
2
+ + i
_
d
2
y
dt
2
+
_
. (136)
In general, this will produce an equation containing terms proportional to both ξ and its complex
conjugate ξ

, as well as their first derivatives, which in no way simplifies anything! However, in
a number of cases of physical interest, the result takes the form
d
2
ξ
dt
2
+ α

dt
+ βξ + γ = 0, (137)
where α, β, γ are (in general) complex constant coefficients, i.e., there is no coupling to the complex
conjugate variable ξ

. If this is the case, then the general solution for ξ(t) is determined using
exactly the same methodology as described on the first two pages. Having determined the general
II
solution for ξ(t), one derives the general solution for x(t) by taking the real part of ξ(t), and the
general solution for y(t) by taking the imaginary part.
The very substantial simplification of the mathematics offered by such an approach means it is
at least worth considering. Otherwise it is necessary to use methods developed for linear systems
of equations; this will also be necessary if motion in the x, y, and z directions cannot be sepa-
rated. Extension to higher-order linear differential equations is straightforward. See essentially
any textbook on ordinary differential equations for further details, if interested.
B Taylor Series
B.1 Taylor’s Theorem of the Mean
We consider a function of N variables f (x
1
, x
2
, . . . , x
N
). This could, for example, be a Lagrangian
describing the motion of n objects, which would be considered a function of n generalized coor-
dinates and n generalized velocities (which are considered independent variables), making for a
total of N = 2n variables. Or it could be just the potential energy term of such a Lagrangian, with
N = n variables.
If, within a region (i.e., some volume of n-dimensional space) all possible partial derivatives
of f exist, Taylor’s theorem of the mean implies
f (x
01
+ a
1
, . . . , x
0N
+ a
N
) =f (x
01
, . . . , x
0N
)
+


k=1
1
k!
_
a
1

∂x
1
+ + a
N

∂x
N
_
k
f (x
1
, . . . , x
N
)
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
01
,...,x
0N
(138)
(Taylor’s theorem of the mean is in fact a more general result — see essentially any moderately
advanced calculus text if interested). It is also assumed that the function f is well-defined over
the region of interest (in particular, there should be no infinities), i.e., the above series converges
within this region. The vertical line at the right-hand-side of the derivative terms means that the
derivative is first calculated, and then evaluated at x
1
= x
01
, x
2
= x
02
, etc..
B.2 Taylor Series in One Variable
If we restrict ourselves to f being a function of just one variable f (x), then
f (x
0
+ a) =f (x
0
) +


k=1
1
k!
a
k

k
∂x
k
f (x)
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
.
(139)
If we write the above in a form where a = x −x
0
, then we get the usual form of a single-variable
Taylor series:
f (x) =f (x
0
) +


k=1
1
k!
_
_

k
∂x
k
f (x)
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
_
_
(x −x
0
)
k
. (140)
Note that, for example, the function f (x) = x
−1
cannot be expanded around x
0
= 0, as this point
is singular [ f (x) →∞ as x →0]. Any value of x
0
slightly different from zero is acceptable.
III
B.3 Taylor Series in Two Variables
It is not so easy to write down such a compact formulation for a Taylor series in two or more
variables, but the procedure is essentially the same. Bearing in mind that we are frequently only
interested in (at most) the first- and second-order derivative terms, we write down
f (x
0
+ a, y
0
+ b) =f (x
0
, y
0
) +
_
a

∂x
+ b

∂y
_
f (x, y)
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
,y
0
+
1
2
_
a
2

2
∂x
2
+ 2ab

2
∂x∂y
+ b
2

2
∂y
2
_
f (x, y)
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
,y
0
+ .
(141)
Similarly to the case for a single-variable Taylor series, we set a = x −x
0
and b = y −y
0
, yielding
f (x, y) =f (x
0
, y
0
) +
__

∂x
f (x, y)
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
,y
0
_
(x −x
0
) +
_

∂y
f (x, y)
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
,y
0
_
(y −y
0
)
_
+
1
2
__

2
∂x
2
f (x, y)
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
,y
0
_
(x −x
0
)
2
+ 2
_

2
∂x∂y
f (x, y)
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
,y
0
_
(x −x
0
)(y −y
0
)
+
_

2
∂y
2
f (x, y)
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
,y
0
_
(y −y
0
)
2
_
+ .
(142)
B.4 Taylor Series in Three Variables
Proceeding in an exactly analogous fashion, we determine for a function of three variables, f (x, y, z),
that
f (x, y, z) =f (x
0
, y
0
, z
0
)
+
__

∂x
f (x, y, z)
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
,y
0
,z
0
_
(x −x
0
) +
_

∂y
f (x, y, z)
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
,y
0
,z
0
_
(y −y
0
)
+
_

∂z
f (x, y, z)
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
,y
0
,z
0
_
(z −z
0
)
_
+
1
2
__

2
∂x
2
f (x, y, z)
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
,y
0
,z
0
_
(x −x
0
)
2
+
_

2
∂y
2
f (x, y, z)
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
,y
0
,z
0
_
(y −y
0
)
2
+
_

2
∂z
2
f (x, y, z)
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
,y
0
,z
0
_
(z −z
0
)
2
+ 2
_

2
∂x∂y
f (x, y, z)
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
,y
0
,z
0
_
(x −x
0
)(y −y
0
)
+ 2
_

2
∂x∂z
f (x, y, z)
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
,y
0
,z
0
_
(x −x
0
)(z −z
0
)
+2
_

2
∂y∂z
f (x, y, z)
¸
¸
¸
¸
x
0
,y
0
,z
0
_
(y −y
0
)(z −z
0
)
_
+ .
(143)
This can be extended to functions of more than three variables, and to include higher-order
derivatives, as desired, in a reasonably straightforward fashion.
IV
C Determinants, Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors
C.1 Symmetric Matrices
In classical mechanics, we can usually restrict ourselves to considering real, symmetric matrices,
i.e., matrices with real entries that are equal to their own transpose. Formally, we say a matrix
ˆ
A
is symmetric if
ˆ
A =
ˆ
A
T
. (144)
In the case of a general 2 2 matrix
ˆ
B
ˆ
B
T
=
_
a b
c d
_
T
=
_
a c
b d
_
. (145)
Hence, if
ˆ
B is to equal
ˆ
B
T
, it follows that b must equal c, i.e., the most general 2 2 symmetric
matrix has the form
ˆ
B =
_
a b
b d
_
. (146)
C.2 Determinants
The determinant of the matrix
ˆ
B is given by
det(
ˆ
B) =
¸
¸
¸
¸
a b
c d
¸
¸
¸
¸
= ad −bc. (147)
There is considerable freedom in the choice of steps to take when calculating the determinant of
a 3 3 matrix
ˆ
C. The most conventional formulation is
det(
ˆ
C) =
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
c
11
c
12
c
13
c
21
c
22
c
23
c
31
c
32
c
33
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
= c
11
¸
¸
¸
¸
c
22
c
23
c
32
c
33
¸
¸
¸
¸
−c
12
¸
¸
¸
¸
c
21
c
23
c
31
c
33
¸
¸
¸
¸
+ c
13
¸
¸
¸
¸
c
21
c
22
c
31
c
32
¸
¸
¸
¸
. (148)
We thus have a sum of 3 terms involving determinants of 2 2 matrices, which we already know
how to calculate.
Similarly, the determinant of an n n matrix
ˆ
D is given by a sum of n terms involving deter-
minants of (n −1) (n −1) matrices. These (n −1) (n −1) matrices are conventionally formed
by removing the 1st row and the kth column from the matrix
ˆ
D. In this case, the determinant is
formulated by
det(
ˆ
D) =
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
d
11
d
12
d
1n
d
21
d
22
d
2n
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
d
n1
d
n2
d
nn
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
=
n

k=1
(−1)
1+k
d
1k
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
d
2,k−1
d
2,k+1

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
d
n,k−1
d
n,k+1

¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
. (149)
C.3 The Conventional Eigenvalue Problem
If we take a matrix
ˆ
A, a vector v, and a scalar λ, such that
ˆ
Av = λv, (150)
V
we say that v is an eigenvector of the matrix
ˆ
A, with eigenvalue λ. It obviously follows that
ˆ
Av −λv = 0 ⇒(
ˆ
A −λ
ˆ
1)v = 0, (151)
where
ˆ
1 is the identity matrix [i.e., the matrix with ones down the main (top-left-to-bottom-right)
diagonal and zeros everywhere else]. It so happens that this can only be possible if the determi-
nant of the matrix (
ˆ
A −λ
ˆ
1) is zero, discounting the trivial solution v = 0.
The procedure for finding the eigenvalues associated with the matrix
ˆ
A then begins by calcu-
lating the determinant of (
ˆ
A − λ
ˆ
1), and setting it equal to zero. If
ˆ
A is a real, symmetric n n
matrix, this yields an nth-degree polynomial in λ which always has n real roots (although roots
may be repeated, or degenerate).
We will work this through for a real 2 2 symmetric matrix
ˆ
B =
_
a b
b d
_
. (152)
To determine the eigenvalues of
ˆ
B, we calculate
¸
¸
¸
¸
a −λ b
b d −λ
¸
¸
¸
¸
= (a −λ)(d −λ) −b
2
= λ
2
−(a + d)λ + (ad −b
2
) = 0. (153)
The values of λ that solve this equation can in this case be generally determined fromthe quadratic
formula. There are two solutions, λ
+
and λ

, given by
λ
±
=
(a + d) ±
_
(a −d)
2
+ b
2
2
. (154)
The eigenvector v
+
associated with the eigenvalue λ
+
can then be determined from
_
a −λ
+
b
b d −λ
+
__
v
1+
v
2+
_
=
_
0
0
_
(155)
which implies

+
−a)v
1+
=bv
2+
(156)

+
−d)v
2+
=bv
1+
. (157)
It is common to choose v
1+
= 1, and then normalize the result. Hence, from Eq. (157)
v
+
=
1
_
1 + (λ
+
−d)
2
/b
2
_
1

+
−d)/b
_
, (158)
and equivalently, for the determining of v

. Because the polynomial (a −λ
+
)(d −λ
+
) −b
2
= 0
fixes a relationship between the matrix components a, b, d, and the eigenvalue λ
+
, Eq. (156) and
Eq. (157) are not independent. This is why we have ignored Eq. (156) when determining v
+
.
When considering 3- and higher-dimensional vectors, some more involved algebraic manip-
ulation is usually required to produce isolated expressions for the eigenvector components. For
an n n matrix, we will end up with n equations like Eq. (156) and Eq. (157), and we can always
ignore one of them as being not independent.
If, for example two roots in the characteristic polynomial are identical (repeated roots), then we
can determine two independent (i.e., orthogonal) eigenvectors with the same eigenvalue. As any
linear combination of the two will also be an eigenvector with the same eigenvalue, there is some
freedom in choosing what form the two orthogonal eigenvectors should take. See essentially any
linear algebra text for more details and proofs of the above results.
VI
C.4 Generalized Eigenvalue Problem
It can happen (for example when determining normal modes) that we have a situation which is
expressed more like
(
ˆ
A −λ
ˆ
B)v = 0. (159)
where
ˆ
B is a matrix which is not necessarily proportional to the identity (although it will still be
symmetric, in the case of determining normal modes). It is still the case that the determinant of
(
ˆ
A −λ
ˆ
B) must be zero for this equation to be nontrivially solvable.
This is a generalized eigenvalue problem, and the eigenvalues and eigenvectors are deter-
mined in much the same way, i.e., setting the determinant = 0, finding the roots of the resulting
polynomial in order to determine the eigenvalues, then using the calculated values of the eigen-
values to determine the relationships between the components of their corresponding eigenvec-
tors, and finally (usually) normalizing the eigenvectors.
VII
D Exam Questions and Solutions
D.1 Coriolis Force (2006)
D.1.1 Question
The general expression for the coriolis force in a frame of reference rotating with angular velocity
ω, acting on an object of mass m moving with velocity ˙ r is −2mω ˙ r
(a) With the aid of a diagram or diagrams, show that in a local coordinate system oriented
with respect to a point on the surface of the earth (x-axis points east, y-axis points north,
z-axis points out from the centre of the earth), the angular velocity vector takes the form
(0, ωsin(θ), ωcos(θ)) (ω is the magnitude of the angular velocity and θ the colatitude). [4
marks]
(b) Within such a local coordinate system, derive the equations of motion in the x and y direc-
tions for a shell of mass m fired horizontally from large gun. Neglect both the centrifugal
force, and vertical motion (motion in the z direction). [6 marks]
(c) Where ξ(t) = x(t) + iy(t), show that the solution to the combined equation of motion is [6
marks]
ξ(t) = ξ(0) +
i
˙
ξ(0)
2ωcos(θ)
[exp(−i2ωcos(θ)t) −1]. (160)
(d) Recalling that the centrifugal force has magnitude mω
2
Rsin(θ) (R is the radius of the earth),
explain briefly the justification for neglecting the centrifugal force, while retaining the cori-
olis force. Express ξ(t) in a form which is consistent with this approximation. [4 marks].
D.1.2 Solution
(a) See Lecture 12, specifically 12.1 and 12.2.
(b) m¨ r = −2mω ˙ r, where
ω ˙ r =
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
ˆ ı ˆ 
ˆ
k
0 ωsin(θ) ωcos(θ)
˙ x ˙ y ˙ z
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
. (161)
Hence, ¨ x = −2ω[sin(θ) ˙ z −cos(θ) ˙ y], which is = 2ωcos(θ) ˙ y if ˙ z = 0, and ¨ y = −2ωcos(θ) ˙ x.
(c) (There are a number of equally correct ways to answer this question. A typical method is as
follows).
Hence, ¨ x + i ¨ y =
¨
ξ = −i2ωcos(θ)
˙
ξ. If we replace ξ with the trial solution e
λt
, this yields
λ
2
= −i2ωcos(θ)λ ⇒λ[λ + i2ωcos(θ)] = 0. (162)
Thus, λ = 0 or −i2ωcos(θ), and the general solution is given by
ξ(t) = αe
−i2ωcos(θ)t
+ β, (163)
where α and β are two integration constants. It immediately follows that ξ(0) = α + β, and
from
˙
ξ(t) = −i2ωcos(θ)αe
−i2ωcos(θ)t
(164)
VIII
that
˙
ξ(0) = −i2ωcos(θ)α. Hence
α =
i
˙
ξ(0)
2ωcos(θ)
, β = ξ(0) −
i
˙
ξ(0)
2ωcos(θ)
, (165)
from which the solution follows.
(d) One neglects the centrifugal force (∝ ω
2
) as being small compared to the coriolis force (∝ ω)
if ω can be considered small on the relevant timescales. Thus, to be consistent, we must
neglect all terms ∝ ω
2
, ω
3
, . . .. Expanding the exponential in the solution,
ξ(t) =ξ(0) +
i
˙
ξ(0)
2ωcos(θ)
[1 −i2ωcos(θ)t −2ω
2
cos
2
(θ)t
2
+ (higher order terms in ω) −1]
=ξ(0) +
˙
ξ(0)[t −iωcos(θ)t
2
].
(166)
D.2 Small Oscillations (2007)
D.2.1 Question
Consider a small block of mass m (considered to be a mass point), sliding without friction on
the inside of a parabolic bowl of curvature c and mass M. The bowl slides without friction on a
horizontal surface. Consider a coordinate system such that the origin is at the initial position of
the bottom of the bowl. We consider side-to-side and vertical (x
S
and y
S
) motions of the small
block, and side-to-side (x
B
) motion of the bowl only.
(a) Using the generalized coordinates x
B
, x
R
= x
S
− x
B
and the constraint y
S
= cx
2
R
/2, show
that the Lagrangian can be written
L =
m
2
( ˙ x
2
R
+ 2 ˙ x
R
˙ x
B
+ c
2
x
2
R
˙ x
2
R
) +
m + M
2
˙ x
2
B

mgc
2
x
2
R
, (167)
where g is the gravitational acceleration. [4 marks]
(b) We will neglect the quartic term c
2
x
2
R
˙ x
2
R
. For what kind of motion is this approximation
justified? [2 marks]
(c) Showthat the centre of mass coordinate (for side-to-side motion) x
C
= x
B
+ [m/(m+ M)]x
R
.
[2 marks]
(d) Rewrite the approximate Lagrangian L (i.e., neglecting the quartic term) in terms of x
R
, x
C
,
˙ x
R
, ˙ x
C
, and in separated form (i.e., without cross-terms combining the different coordinates
or their velocities). From this, determine the equations of motion for x
R
and x
C
using the
Euler-Lagrange equations:
d
dt
_
∂L
∂ ˙ q
_

∂L
∂q
= 0 (168)
(q = x
R
or x
C
in this case). From the solutions to these equations, determine the position of
the bowl x
B
(t) when both the bowl and the small block are initially at rest, in terms of x
C
(0)
and x
R
(0). [10 marks]
(e) Your equation of motion for the side-to-side centre of mass coordinate should show that its
velocity never changes. Is this expected? Give a physical explanation for your answer. [2
marks]
IX
D.2.2 Solution
(a)
L = T −V =
m
2
( ˙ x
2
S
+ ˙ y
2
S
) +
M
2
˙ x
2
B
−mgy
S
. (169)
Note y
S
= cx
2
R
/2 ⇒ ˙ y
S
= cx
R
˙ x
R
, and x
R
= x
S
− x
B
⇒ x
S
= x
R
+ x
B
⇒ ˙ x
S
= ˙ x
R
+ ˙ x
B
.
Hence,
L =
m
2
[( ˙ x
R
+ ˙ x
B
)
2
+ c
2
x
2
R
˙ x
2
R
] +
M
2
˙ x
2
B

mgc
2
x
2
R
(170)
which can be rearranged to give the desired result.
(b) This is a small oscillations approximation, hence is justified when motion does not stray
“too far” from an equilibrium point.
(c) By definition,
x
C
=
Mx
B
+ mx
S
M + m
. (171)
Substituting in x
S
= x
R
+ x
B
then gives the desired result.
(d) Neglecting the quartic term and using ˙ x
B
= ˙ x
C
−m ˙ x
R
/(M + m),
L =
m
2
˙ x
2
R
+ m ˙ x
R
_
˙ x
C

m ˙ x
R
m + M
_
+
(m + M)
2
_
˙ x
C

m ˙ x
R
m + M
_
2

mgc
2
x
2
R
=
mM
m + M
˙ x
2
R
2
+ (m + M)
˙ x
2
C
2

mgc
2
x
2
R
.
(172)
The Euler-Lagrange equations then yield ¨ x
C
= 0,, ¨ x
R
= −[(m + M)/M]gcx
R
. Therefore
x
C
(t) = x
C
(0) + ˙ x
C
(0)t, and
x
R
(t) = x
R
(0) cos
_
_
m + M
m
gct
_
+ ˙ x
R
(0)
_
m
(m + M)gc
sin
_
_
m + M
m
gct
_
. (173)
If initially at rest, ˙ x
C
(0) =
˙
X
R
(0) = 0, and hence
x
B
(t) = x
C
(t) −
m
m + M
x
r
(t) = x
C
(0) −
m
m + M
cos
_
_
m + M
m
gct
_
x
R
(0) (174)
(e) This is expected because there are no external forces acting in the x direction on the small
block and bowl system as a whole.
D.3 Stable and Unstable Rigid-Body Rotation (2007)
D.3.1 Question
Consider the torque-free motion of an asymmetric top rotating about its centre of mass, for exam-
ple a (non-square) book spinning while falling freely in Earth’s gravitational field.
(a) Euler’s equations of motion for rigid bodies are in this case given by
I
1
˙ ω
1
−ω
2
ω
3
(I
2
− I
3
) =0, (175)
I
2
˙ ω
2
−ω
3
ω
1
(I
3
− I
1
) =0, (176)
I
3
˙ ω
3
−ω
1
ω
2
(I
1
− I
2
) =0, (177)
X
where I
1
, I
2
, I
3
, are the principal moments of inertia and ω
1
, ω
2
, ω
3
are the components of
the angular velocity vector ω. How is the coordinate system in which these quantities are
defined related to our “outside” view (watching the book spinning while it is falling to the
Earth’s surface)? [2 marks].
(b) Show that the system is in equilibrium (meaning that ω never changes) when ω
2
= ω
3
= 0,
ω
1
,= 0. Determine the other two equilibrium solutions. [4 marks]
(c) Consider a near equilibrium solution, ω = (ω
1
, δ
2
, δ
3
), such that, as δ
2
and δ
3
are considered
“small,” δ
2
δ
3
≈ 0. Employing this approximation, show that
¨
δ
2
= Ω
2
δ
2
, where

2
= ω
2
1
(I
1
− I
2
)(I
3
− I
1
)
I
3
I
2
. (178)
Note that Ω
2
< 0 means that Ω is pure imaginary. [4 marks]
(d) Solve the above equation of motion for δ
2
(t) in terms of δ
2
(0) and
˙
δ
2
(0) for the two separate
cases where Ω
2
> 0, and where Ω
2
< 0. [6 marks]
(e) We say that the equilibrium solution is unstable if, when the initial angular velocity vec-
tor ω(0) is very slightly different from the equilibrium solution and its initial first time-
derivative ˙ ω(0) = 0, then the subsequent time-evolution of ω(t) causes it to move rapidly
away from the equilibrium solution. For which of the following relative magnitudes of the
principal moments of inertia
I
1
> I
2
> I
3
, I
1
> I
3
> I
2
, I
2
> I
1
> I
3
, I
2
> I
3
> I
1
, I
3
> I
1
> I
2
, I
3
> I
2
> I
1
,
(179)
is the equilibrium solution under consideration unstable, and for which is it stable? [4
marks]
D.3.2 Solution
(a) The coordinate system rotates with the book, and has as its origin the (moving) centre of
mass of the book.
(b) Substituting ω = (ω
1
, 0, 0) into Euler’s equations of motion, we see that I
1
˙ ω
1
= I
2
˙ ω
2
=
I
3
˙ ω
3
= 0, hence ω never changes. The other equilibriumsolutions are ω = (0, ω
2
, 0), (0, 0, ω
3
).
(c) Taking the time derivative of the second Euler equation (for I
2
˙
δ
2
), we get I
2
¨
δ
2
= (
˙
δ
3
ω
1
+
δ
3
˙ ω
1
)(I
3
− I
1
). However, looking at the first Euler equation, we see that I
1
˙ ω
1
= δ
2
δ
3
(I
2

I
3
) = 0 ⇒ ˙ ω
1
= 0. Hence I
2
¨
δ
2
=
˙
δ
3
ω
1
(I
3
−I
1
). Finally, substitute in the third Euler equation
(for I
3
˙
δ
3
) to get
¨
δ
2
= ω
2
1
(I
1
− I
2
)(I
3
− I
1
)
I
3
I
2
δ
2
⇒Ω
2
= ω
2
1
(I
1
− I
2
)(I
3
− I
1
)
I
3
I
2
.
(d) We define
˜

2
= [Ω
2
[ as a convenient shorthand. For Ω
2
< 0, the differential equation is
that for a harmonic oscillator
¨
δ
2
= −
˜

2
δ
2
, which is solved by δ
2
(t) = Acos(
˜
Ωt) +Bsin(
˜
Ωt),
where δ
2
(0) = A and
˙
δ
2
(0) =
˜
ΩB. Hence,
δ
2
(t) = δ(0) cos(
˜
Ωt) + (
˙
δ(0)/
˜
Ω) sin(
˜
Ωt).
XI
For Ω
2
> 0 (when the differential equation becomes that for an “inverted” oscillator,
¨
δ
2
=
˜

2
δ
2
), then δ
2
(t) = Ae
˜
Ωt
+ Be

˜
Ωt
, where δ
2
(0) = A + B and
˙
δ
2
(0) =
˜
Ω(A−B), from which
A = (δ
2
(0) +
˙
δ
2
(0)/
˜
Ω)/2, B = (δ
2
(0) −
˙
δ
2
(0)/
˜
Ω)/2. Hence
δ
2
(t) =
δ
2
(0) +
˙
δ
2
(0)/
˜

2
e
˜
Ωt
+
δ
2
(0) −
˙
δ
2
(0)/
˜

2
e

˜
Ωt
,
with a possible alternative given by
δ
2
(t) = δ(0) cosh(
˜
Ωt) + (
˙
δ(0)/
˜
Ω) sinh(
˜
Ωt). (180)
(e) The dynamics are unstable when the linearized dynamics are “inverted oscillator” like, i.e.,
when Ω
2
> 0. This occurs when I
2
> I
1
> I
3
, or when I
3
> I
1
> I
2
(1 mark), i.e., when I
1
is
intermediate in value between I
2
and I
3
. Otherwise the dynamics are stable.
D.4 Diatomic Molecule (2008)
D.4.1 Question
A simple model for a diatomic molecule (such as H
2
) consists of two mass points connected by
a spring. We constrain the motion to a plane, considering two mass points, each of mass m,
connected by a spring of spring constant k and natural length d, sliding on a flat, frictionless
surface. The cartesian coordinates of the two mass points on the plane are x
1
, y
1
, and x
2
, y
2
,
respectively.
(a) Using the centre of mass x
C
= (x
1
+ x
2
)/2, y
C
= (y
1
+ y
2
)/2, and relative x
R
= x
2
− x
1
,
y
R
= y
2
−y
1
, coordinates, show that the kinetic energy can be written
T = m( ˙ x
2
C
+ ˙ y
2
C
) +
m
4
( ˙ x
2
R
+ ˙ y
2
R
).
[2 marks]
(b) Drawa diagramto showwhat the generalized coordinates R and φ correspond to physically,
where x
R
= Rcos(φ), y
R
= Rsin(φ), and R ≥ 0. Also indicate the location of the centre of
mass. Hence, explain how the potential energy of the system is given by V = k(R −d)
2
/2.
[4 marks]
(c) Consider the centre of mass to be fixed at the origin, and write the Lagrangian that remains
in terms of R and φ. Show that the total angular momentum is given by J = mR
2
˙
φ/2, and
use the Euler-Lagrange equation:
d
dt
_
∂L
∂ ˙ q
_

∂L
∂q
= 0
(for q = φ), to show that J is conserved. Use this result together with the Euler-Lagrange
equation (for q = R) to determine an equation of motion for R in closed form (i.e., inde-
pendent of φ). Use this equation to determine the equilibrium extension of the spring if the
angular momentum J = 0. [10 marks]
(d) It is in general possible to consider the motion of the two connected masses to take place in
a plane, even when this system is in free (three-dimensional) space. Explain why this is so.
[4 marks]
XII
D.4.2 Solution
(a) ˙ x
C
= ( ˙ x
1
+ ˙ x
2
)/2, ˙ y
C
= ( ˙ y
1
+ ˙ y
2
)/2, ˙ x
R
= ˙ x
2
− ˙ x
1
, ˙ y
R
= ˙ y
2
− ˙ y
1
, inserting all this into
T = (m/2)( ˙ x
2
1
+ ˙ y
2
1
) + (m/2)( ˙ x
2
2
+ ˙ y
2
2
) yields the answer.
(b) Diagram clearly showing R to be the distance between the two mass points, φ to be the
angle of a line, drawn between the two mass points, from the horizontal, and the centre of
mass to be halfway along this line. The potential energy is proportional to the square of the
extension of the spring from its natural length d, i.e., (R −d)
2
. Multiplying this by half the
spring constant then gives the potential energy.
(c) x
R
= Rcos(φ) ⇒ ˙ x
R
=
˙
Rcos(φ) − R
˙
φ sin(φ), y
R
= Rsin(φ) ⇒ ˙ y
R
=
˙
Rsin(φ) + R
˙
φ cos(φ)
[1 mark]. Hence, ˙ x
2
R
+ ˙ y
2
R
=
˙
R
2
+ R
2
˙
φ
2
, and L = T −V = (m/4)(
˙
R
2
+ R
2
˙
φ
2
) −(k/2)(R −
d)
2
.
By definition, for this system, with the centre of mass at the origin, J = m(x
1
˙ y
1
− y
1
˙ x
1
+
x
2
˙ y
2
− y
2
˙ x
2
). According to the above diagram, x
1
= −x
2
⇒ ˙ x
1
= −˙ x
2
, y
1
= −y
2

˙ y
1
= −˙ y
2
, and hence J = 2m(x
2
˙ y
2
− y
2
˙ x
2
) = (m/2)¦Rcos(φ)[
˙
Rsin(φ) + R
˙
φ cos(φ)] −
Rsin(φ)[
˙
Rcos(φ) −R
˙
φ sin(φ)]¦ = (m/2)R
2
˙
φ.
From the Euler-Lagrange equation for φ,
d
dt
_
m
2
R
2
˙
φ
_
= 0,
from which it follows that J = (m/2)R
2
˙
φ does not change with time, i.e., is conserved.
From the Euler-Lagrange equation for R,
¨
R − R
˙
φ
2
+ (2/m)k(R −d) = 0. We can then sub-
stitute in J to get
¨
R − J
2
/[R
3
(m/2)
2
] + (2/m)k(R −d) = 0. If we then set
¨
R = 0 and J = 0,
we get R −d = 0, so the equilibrium extension of the spring is d.
(d) In three dimensions, as in two, there will be no angular dependence to T or V, and hence
L, that is, the system may be arbitrarily rotated without there being any effect on the La-
grangian; formally, the Lagrangian is rotationally invariant (or any other suitable explana-
tion leading to the conclusion that angular momentum is conserved). Because of this, the
angular momentum vector will be conserved. A consequence of this is that the system dy-
namics take place in a plane, because moving “out-of-plane” would involve a change in
angular momentum.
D.5 Normal Coordinates (2008)
D.5.1 Question
Consider two identical small beads (mass m), sliding without friction on a straight horizontal rod
propped between two walls. The left-hand bead (distance from equilibrium position x
1
) is con-
nected to the left-hand wall by a spring of spring constant k
1
, and the right-hand bead (distance
from equilibrium position x
2
) is connected to the right-hand wall by a spring of spring constant
k
2
. Finally, the two beads are connected to each other by a spring of spring constant k
12
.
(a) Draw a diagram of this system, and show that the Lagrangian can be written in matrix form
as L = ˙ x
T
ˆ τ ˙ x −x
T
ˆ υx, where x is a column vector, its transpose x
T
= (x
1
, x
2
) is a row vector,
and the ˆ τ and ˆ υ matrices are given by
ˆ τ =
m
2
_
1 0
0 1
_
, ˆ υ =
m
2
_
ω
2
1
−ω
2
12
−ω
2
12
ω
2
2
_
.
XIII
(To simplify the mathematics, the frequencies ω
1
, ω
2
, ω
12
, defined through mω
2
1
= k
1
+ k
12
,

2
2
= k
2
+ k
12
, mω
2
12
= k
12
, have been introduced). [6 marks]
(b) (i) Using the Euler-Lagrange equation
d
dt
_
∂L
∂ ˙ q
_

∂L
∂q
= 0,
determine the equation of motion for x in matrix form [2 marks].
(ii) Explain how setting the determinant of (2/m)(−ˆ τω
2
0
+ ˆ υ) equal to zero and solving
for ω
2
0
yields the normal mode frequencies, and hence show that they are given by

±
0
)
2
=
_

2
1
+ ω
2
2
) ±
_

2
1
−ω
2
2
)
2
+ 4ω
4
12
_
/2 [6 marks].
(iii) For the particular case where k
1
= 2k
12
and k
2
= k
12
/2, determine the normal coordi-
nates. [4 marks]
(c) Briefly explain the significance of normal coordinates, for example when considering a sys-
tem of coupled oscillators. [2 marks]
D.5.2 Solution
(a) Diagram clearly indicating the springs, the walls, and the beads.
V = (k
1
/2)x
2
1
+ (k
2
/2)x
2
2
+ (k
12
/2)(x
1
−x
2
)
2
[1 mark] = [(k
1
+k
12
)/2]x
2
1
+ [(k
2
+k
12
)/2]x
2
2

k
12
x
1
x
2
[1 mark] Hence, L = T −V = (m/2)[ ˙ x
2
1
+ ˙ x
2
2
] −(m/2)[ω
2
1
x
2
1
+ ω
2
2
x
2
2
−2ω
2
12
x
1
x
2
].
One can then see that T = (m/2)[ ˙ x
2
1
+ ˙ x
2
2
] = ˙ x
T
ˆ τ ˙ x [1 mark] and V = ω
2
2
x
2
2
−2ω
2
12
x
1
x
2
] =
x
T
ˆ υx [1 mark] from which the answer follows.
(b) (i) ˆ τ ¨ x + ˆ υx = 0.
(ii) If one inserts a trial solution x = x
0
e

0
t
into the equation of motion, then (−ˆ τω
2
0
+
ˆ υ)x
0
= 0 results [2 marks]. This is only nontrivially true if the determinant of the
matrix acting on x
0
is = 0. (Multiplying through by the constant factor 2/m makes no
difference to this argument).
¸
¸
¸
¸
ω
2
1
−ω
2
0
−ω
2
12
−ω
2
12
ω
2
2
−ω
2
0
¸
¸
¸
¸
= ω
4
0
−(ω
2
1
+ ω
2
2

2
0
+ (ω
2
1
ω
2
2
−ω
4
12
) = 0,
the roots of which can be found using the quadratic formula:

±
0
)
2
=

2
1
+ ω
2
2
) ±
_

2
1
+ ω
2
2
)
2
−4(ω
2
1
ω
2
2
−ω
4
12
)
2
.
The answer appears as given following some elementary manipulation.
(iii) In this case ω
2
1
= 3ω
2
12
, ω
2
2
= 3ω
2
12
/2, and hence ω
±
0
2
= [(9/2)ω
2
12
±(5/2)ω
2
12
]/2, i.e.,
ω
+
0
2
= (7/2)ω
2
12
, ω

0
2
= ω
2
12
. Substituting these values into the matrix (2/m)(−ˆ τω
2
0
+
ˆ υ),
ω
2
12
_
−1/2 −1
−1 −2
__
a
+
b
+
_
= 0 ⇒ a
+
= −2b
+

_
a
+
b
+
_
=
1

5
_
−2
1
_
ω
2
12
_
2 −1
−1 1/2
__
a

b

_
= 0 ⇒b

= 2a


_
a
+
b
+
_
=
1

5
_
1
2
_
XIV
(normalization not required) hence, the normal coordinates are r
+
= (x
2
−2x
1
)/

5,
r

= (x
1
+ 2x
2
)/

5.
(c) In a system of coupled oscillators (for example), the normal coordinates are a set of coordi-
nates that separate, such that the time-evolution of each normal coordinate can be consid-
ered separately from all the other normal coordinates.
D.6 Block in a Bowl (2009, Question Only)
Consider a small block of mass m sliding without friction on the surface of an immovable radially
symmetric parabolic bowl of curvature c. Consider first a cartesian coordinate system such that
the origin is at the bottom of the bowl.
(a) Using the generalized coordinates r, θ, defined implicitly through x = r cos θ and y = r sin θ,
and the constraint z = cr
2
/2, show that the Lagrangian can be written
L =
m
2
(˙ r
2
+ r
2
˙
θ
2
+ c
2
r
2
˙ r
2
) −
mgcr
2
2
,
where g is the gravitational acceleration. [5 marks]
(b) Show that the component of the angular momentum vector oriented in the vertical direction
is given by J
z
= mr
2
˙
θ, and, using the Euler-Lagrange equations
d
dt
_
∂L
∂ ˙ q
_

∂L
∂q
= 0
(q can be r or θ for the above Lagrangian L), show that J
z
is a conserved quantity. Are the
other components of the angular momentum vector conserved quantities? Explain your
answer. [6 marks]
(c) Using L and the Euler-Lagrange equations, determine the equation of motion for r. From
this equation of motion, show that (if moving with the correct velocity) the block’s motion
can describe a circular orbit around the bowl at a fixed height above the ground. In the
process, show that the magnitude of the block’s velocity must be directly proportional to
the block’s radial distance from the origin. [6 marks]
(d) Determine an expression for the total energy of this system, and use this to explain how the
system can be considered to be effectively one-dimensional, and hence solved by quadra-
ture. [3 marks]
D.7 Atom Falling through a Laser Standing Wave (2009, Question Only)
Consider a classical model of an atom falling freely through an off-resonant laser standing-wave.
Do this by considering the vertical motion of a classical point particle of mass m under the influ-
ence of forces, due to gravity and also derived from a sinusoidal potential U cos(kz).
(a) Show that the Lagrangian can be written
L =
m˙ z
2
2
−mgz −U cos(kz),
XV
where g is the gravitational acceleration. Now, determine p, the canonically conjugate mo-
mentum to z, and use the Legendre transformation H = p ˙ z −L to determine that the Hamil-
tonian is
H =
p
2
2m
+ mgz + U cos(kz).
[5 marks]
(b) With respect to the dynamical variables z and p, the Poisson bracket for this system may be
defined
¦F, G¦ =
∂F
∂z
∂G
∂p

∂F
∂p
∂G
∂z
,
where F and G are two arbitrary functions of z and p. Determine ¦z, p¦, explaining how
this can confirm that z and p are canonically conjugate, as well as ¦z, H¦ and ¦p, H¦. Hence,
solve the coupled Hamilton’s equations of motion defined by
˙ z = ¦z, H¦, ˙ p = ¦p, H¦,
for z(t) and p(t) in terms of the initial momentum and position, for the particular case where
U = 0. [7 marks]
(c) It is often convenient to work with a Hamiltonian that is spatially periodic, and so we wish
to transform the term mgz away. To do this, we employ the generating function F
2
(z, P, t) =
(P −mgt)z, together with the implicit transformation equations
p =
∂F
2
∂z
, Z =
∂F
2
∂P
,
˜
H = H +
∂F
2
∂t
,
where Z is the new coordinate, P the new canonically conjugate momentum, and
˜
H the
new Hamiltonian subsequent to the transformation. Now, determine expressions for p, z,
and hence
˜
H in terms of P and Z. Using these results, determine Hamilton’s equations of
motion for Z and P. [7 marks]
(d) Do you expect ¦Z, P¦ to be different to ¦z, p¦? Explain your answer. [1 mark]
D.8 Ice Sliding Between Glass Plates (2010, Question Only)
The general expression for the Coriolis force in a frame of reference rotating with (constant) an-
gular velocity ω, acting on an object of mass m moving with velocity ˙ r is −2mω ˙ r.
(a) With the aid of a diagram or diagrams, show that in a local coordinate system oriented
with respect to a point on the surface of the earth (x-axis points east, y-axis points north,
z-axis points out from the centre of the earth), the angular velocity vector takes the form
(0, ωsin(θ), ωcos(θ)) (ω is the magnitude of the angular velocity and θ the colatitude). [4
marks]
(b) Within such a local coordinate system, consider the motion of a block of ice of mass m which
is allowed to fall to the earth with local gravitational acceleration g, by sliding frictionlessly
between two glass plates oriented exactly along the east-west axis, preventing any north-
south motion of the block.
(i) Write down a constraint equation describing this restriction of motion, and state what
this implies about the block’s velocity. [2 marks]
XVI
(ii) Derive equations of motion for the block, where you may neglect the centrifugal force
(the equations will therefore necessarily be approximate). [6 marks]
(iii) Where ζ(t) = x(t) + iz(t), show that the exact solution to the combined approximate
equation of motion is
ζ(t) = ζ(0) +
i(1 −e
i2 ˜ ωt
)
2 ˜ ω
[
˙
ζ(0) + g/2 ˜ ω] −(g/2 ˜ ω)t,
where ˜ ω = ωsin θ. (Hint — first solve the differential equation for χ =
˙
ζ + g/2 ˜ ω). [6
marks]
(c) Truncate the exact solution to the approximate equation of motion for ζ such that it is only
to first order in ˜ ω, and comment on the validity of taking this step. [2 marks]
D.9 Double Pendulum (2010)
D.9.1 Question
Consider a double plane pendulum, consisting of a mass M attached to a pivot by a rigid massless
rod of length R, and a second mass m attached to a pivot on the first mass, also by a rigid massless
rod of length R.
φ
θ
m
M
(a) Consider a cartesian coordinate system with its origin located at the pivot to which the mass
M is attached. We consider Z to be the vertical axis, X the horizontal, and motion to take
place in the XZ plane; i.e., that motion is subject to the constraints y
M
= 0, y
m
= 0, where
y
M
, y
m
are the Y locations of the masses M, m. Determine equations describing any other
constraints the two masses are subject to, in terms of x
M
, x
m
, z
M
, z
m
(the X and Z locations
of the masses). [4 marks]
(b) (i) Express the dynamical variables x
M
, x
m
, z
M
, z
m
in terms of the new dynamical vari-
ables θ and φ (which are the two angles shown in the diagram), and the corresponding
velocities ˙ x
M
, ˙ x
m
, ˙ z
M
, ˙ z
m
in terms of
˙
θ,
˙
φ, θ, φ. [5 marks]
(ii) Consider the case where M = 2m. Show that the Lagrangian for this system can then
be written, in terms of the generalized coordinates θ, φ, and velocities
˙
θ,
˙
φ, as
L =
mR
2
2
[3
˙
θ
2
+ (
˙
θ +
˙
φ)
2
+ 2
˙
θ(
˙
θ +
˙
φ) cos(φ)] + mgR[cos(θ + φ) + 3 cos(θ)]
[where we take cos(θ) cos(θ + φ) + sin(θ) sin(θ + φ) = cos(φ)]. [6 marks]
(c) (i) Consider the limit of small oscillations, i.e., such that θ, φ, (and therefore θ + φ) remain
small during any dynamics. Hence, determine an approximation L
approx
to L which is
in quadratic form. [3 marks]
XVII
(ii) Write L
approx
in matrix form, and determine the corresponding equations of motion for
θ and φ (also in matrix form), where the Euler-Lagrange equation for a generalized
coordinate q is
d
dt
_
∂L
∂ ˙ q
_

∂L
∂q
= 0.
[2 marks]
D.9.2 Solution
(a) The two constraint equations are: x
2
M
+ z
2
M
= R
2
, and (x
m
−x
M
)
2
+ (z
m
−z
M
)
2
= R
2
.
(b) (i) x
M
= Rsin(θ), z
M
= −Rcos(θ). Similarly, x
m
− x
M
= Rsin(θ + φ), z
m
− z
M
=
−Rcos(θ + φ), and so x
m
= R[sin(θ + φ) + sin(θ)],
z
m
= −R[cos(θ +φ) +cos(θ)]. The generalized velocities are therefore ˙ x
M
= R
˙
θ cos(θ),
˙ z
M
= R
˙
θ sin(θ), ˙ x
m
= R[(
˙
θ +
˙
φ) cos(θ + φ) +
˙
θ cos(θ)], z
m
= R[(
˙
θ +
˙
φ) sin(θ + φ) +
˙
θ sin(θ)].
(ii) First consider the kinetic energy T = m( ˙ x
2
M
+ ˙ z
2
M
) + m( ˙ x
2
m
+ ˙ z
2
m
)/2. Substituting in
expressions for the velocities,
T =mR
2
˙
θ
2
+
m
2
R
2
¦
˙
θ
2
+ (
˙
θ +
˙
φ)
2
+ 2
˙
θ(
˙
θ +
˙
φ)[cos(θ) cos(θ + φ) + sin(θ) sin(θ + φ)]¦
=
mR
2
2
[3
˙
θ
2
+ (
˙
θ +
˙
φ)
2
+ 2
˙
θ(
˙
θ +
˙
φ) cos(φ)]
where we have used cos
2
(a) + sin
2
(a) ≡ 1 and cos(a) cos(b) + sin(a) sin(b) ≡ cos(a −
b) ≡ cos(b −a). Next, consider the potential energy V = 2mgz
M
+mgz
m
= −MgR[cos(θ +
φ) + 3 cos(θ)]. Taking L = T −V then yields the answer.
(c) (i) Using cos() ≈ 1 −
2
/2 (for small ), an approximate Lagrangian, keeping only terms
of up to quadratic order is given by (discounting irrelevant constant terms)
L
approx
=
MR
2
2
[3
˙
θ
2
+ (
˙
θ +
˙
φ)
2
+ 2
˙
θ(
˙
θ +
˙
φ)] −
MgR
2
[(θ + φ)
2
+ 3θ
2
]
=
MR
2
2
[6
˙
θ
2
+ 4
˙
θ
˙
φ +
˙
φ
2
] −
MgR
2
[4θ
2
+ 2θφ + φ
2
]
or anything algebraically equivalent.
(ii) Hence, in matrix form,
L
approx
= (
˙
θ,
˙
φ)
_
mR
2
2
_
6 2
2 1
__ _
˙
θ
˙
φ
_
−(θ, φ)
_
mgR
2
_
4 1
1 1
__ _
θ
φ
_
and the equations of motion, in matrix form, are
__
6 2
2 1
__ _
¨
θ
¨
φ
_
+
_
g
R
_
4 1
1 1
__ _
θ
φ
_
= 0.
XVIII

4.6 General Driving Force F (t) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.7 Driving an Oscillator in Resonance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Small Oscillations 5.1 Coupled Oscillators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.2 Small Oscillations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.3 Setting up the Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . H OMEWORK 2: D OUBLE P ENDULUM 6 Normal Modes 6.1 Matrix Form of L . . . . . . . 6.2 Equations of Motion . . . . 6.3 Working Towards a Solution 6.4 Normal Coordinates . . . .

14 15 16 16 16 16 17 20 20 20 20 21 22 22 22 23 23 23 24 24 25 26 26 26 26 27 27 28 30 30 30 31 31 31 32 32 33 33 33 34 34

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7 Central Forces 7.1 Two Interacting Bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.2 Translational Symmetry and Conservation of Momentum . . . . . . . . . . . 7.3 Ignorable Centre of Mass (CoM) Motion and Conservation of Momentum 7.4 Rotational Invariance and Conservation of Angular Momentum . . . . . . 7.5 Motion Takes Place in a Plane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.6 Equal Areas are Swept out in Equal Times (Kepler’s Second Law) . . . . . . 7.7 Equivalent 1D Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . H OMEWORK 3: D IATOMIC M OLECULE 8 Gravitational Attraction 8.1 Solving 1D Systems by Quadrature 8.2 Gravitational Interaction Potential . 8.3 The u = 1/r Transformation . . . . . 8.4 Elliptical Orbits (Kepler’s First Law) . 8.5 Kepler’s Third Law . . . . . . . . . . . 8.6 Kepler’s Equation . . . . . . . . . . .

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9 Noether’s Theorem and Hamiltonian Mechanics 9.1 Invariance of L under Continuous Transformations 9.2 Noether’s Theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.3 Legendre Transformations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.4 The Hamiltonian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.5 Hamilton’s Principle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.6 Hamilton’s Equations of Motion . . . . . . . . . . . H OMEWORK 4: CANONICAL T RANSFORMATION
OF THE

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SHO

10 Canonical Transformations and Poisson Brackets 10.1 Canonical Transformations . . . . . . . . . . 10.2 Equivalence of Lagrangians . . . . . . . . . 10.3 The Generating Function . . . . . . . . . . . 10.4 The Transformed Hamiltonian . . . . . . . . . ii

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10.5 Four Forms of Generating Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.6 Poisson Brackets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.7 Poisson Bracket Formulation of Hamilton’s Equations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Rotating Reference Frames 11.1 Accelerating Reference Frames . . 11.2 Rotated Reference Frames in 2D . 11.3 Finite Rotations in 3D . . . . . . . . . 11.4 Infinitesimal Rotations . . . . . . . . 11.5 Velocity and Acceleration . . . . . 11.6 Inertial Forces in a Rotating Frame . E XAMPLE C LASS 3: F OUCAULT ’ S P ENDULUM 12 Inertial Forces on Earth 12.1 Procedure for Determining a Local Coordinate Systems 12.2 Inertial Forces in the Local Coordinate System . . . . . . 12.3 Centrifugal Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.4 Effective Gravity on Earth’s Surface . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.5 Deviation of a Plumb Bob . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.6 Coriolis Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.7 Loose Ends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

35 35 36 37 37 37 38 39 39 39 40 41 41 41 42 42 42 43 43 44 44 44 44 44 45 46 46 46 47 48 48 48 49 49 50 51 52 52 52

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13 Rotational Inertia, Angular Momentum and Kinetic Energy 13.1 DoF of Rigid Bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.2 Displacement of a Rigid Body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.3 Moment of Inertia I about an Axis of Rotation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.4 Angular Momentum J and Rotational Kinetic Energy . . . . . . . . . ˆ 13.5 Definition of the Inertia Tensor I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.6 Generalized Description of the Rotational Kinetic Energy . . . . . . . 13.7 Centre of Mass (CoM) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.8 Separation off of the CoM Angular Momentum and Kinetic Energy . H OMEWORK 5: R OTATING B OOK 14 The Parallel and Principal Axis Theorems 14.1 Displaced Axis Theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14.2 Parallel Axis Theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14.3 Symmetric Nature of the Inertia Tensor . . . . . . . . . . 14.4 Orthogonal Matrices and Orthogonal Diagonalization 14.5 Principal Axis Theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14.6 Deducing the Principal Axes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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15 Rigid Body Dynamics and Stability 15.1 Euler’s Equations of Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15.2 Torque-Free Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

iii

. . . . . . . . . . . .1 Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C Determinants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Representing Position in a Plane by a Single Complex Number . . . . .2 Determinants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Coriolis Force (2006) . . . . . . . . . . . D Exam Questions and Solutions D. . . . . . . . . A. . . . . . . . . . . iv . . . . . . .1 Symmetric Matrices . . . . . Question Only) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Question Only) . . . . . D. . . . . . . .5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2. . .2 Taylor Series in One Variable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Ice Sliding Between Glass Plates (2010. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Generalized Eigenvalue Problem . . . . D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Question .1 Question . . .9. . . . . . . .3 Stable and Unstable Rigid-Body Rotation (2007) . . . . . .9 Double Pendulum (2010) . .4 Diatomic Molecule (2008) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A Second-Order Ordinary Linear Differential Equations with Constant Coefficients A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Auxiliary Equation .2. . . . . . . .4 Taylor Series in Three Variables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Question . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D. . . . . . A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Solution . . . . . . . . .3 The Conventional Eigenvalue Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Atom Falling through a Laser Standing Wave (2009. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D. . . . . . . .3.2 Solution . . . .1 Repeated Roots . . . . . . A. . . . D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C. . A. . . . I I I I I II II II II III III III IV IV V V V V VII VIII VIII VIII VIII IX IX X X X XI XII XII XIII XIII XIII XIV XV XV XVI XVII XVII XVIII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Question . . .2 Solution . . . . . A. D. . . . . . .2. C. . D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Taylor’s Theorem of the Mean B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D. . . . . . . . . . . . . D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Question . . . . . . . . .1. . . . . . . .3 Possible Complications . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Question . . . . . . . . . . B Taylor Series B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D. . . . D. . . . . . . . . A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Question Only) D.2 Small Oscillations (2007) . .6 Block in a Bowl (2009. D. . .3 Taylor Series in Two Variables . . . . . . . . . . .1. . . . . . .2 Solution .9. .5 Normal Coordinates (2008) . .4. . . . . . . . . D. . . . A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D. . . . . . . .3. . . .2 General Solution (Roots not Repeated) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Additional Constant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D. . . . . . . . . B. . . . D. .2 Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4. . D. . . . . . . . . D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B. . . . . . . C. . . .2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5. . . . . . .3.2 Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

g. 1. point masses connected by rigid massless rods. N. • They are usually positions and/or angles. • Newton’s laws imply that these functions are found by solving second order differential equations — hence the initial positions/angles and velocities/angular velocities (or equivalent information) must be known.2 Dynamical Variables • These are any set of variables that describe completely the configuration (positions of parts) of a mechanical system. and with dimensions much larger than atoms or molecules. 1 .1 S EE Generalized Description of Mechanical Systems ALSO H AND AND F INCH . cylindrical. i. the point mass has N = 3 degrees of freedom (DoF). 1. or spherical coordinates for a point mass in free space.1–1.. M=2 j=1 M=3 j=2 (flexible joint) M=3 j=3 N=5 DoF N=7 DoF N=6 DoF • E.6 1. • They can change under the action of forces — the motion of a system is determined by specifying the dynamical variables as functions of time.3 Degrees of Freedom (DoF) • The motion of a point mass r (t) is described by 3 independent dynamical variables..g. but the existence of j independent constraints reduces this number to N = 3M − j DoF. Any rigid body more complicated than 2 point masses connected by a rigid rod has 6 DoF (or fewer. 1. cartesian. if there are additional constraints). • A system of M point masses has N = 3M DoF.1 Validity of Newton’s Laws • Newton’s second law ˙ F=p ˙ (= mv = m¨ for constant m) r (1) is valid in an inertial (non-accelerating) frame for objects moving at much less than light speed.b.e. e.

. .1. . t ). . . . q k . (3) ˙ 1. . – most velocity dependent forces (friction).e.g. . If not [i. which can be a useful check: i ˙ ∑ ∂qk qk + k ˙ vi = r i = ∂r ∂ri ∂t ⇒ ˙ ∂r i ∂r = i ˙ ∂qk ∂qk “cancelling the dots. one can derive the following identity. . • Such constraints may have an explicit time dependence: Rheonomic (running law) constraints. f (r1 . . q N . .5 Generalized coordinates qk • The existence of j constraints means that the (cartesian) coordinates of e. t ). q N .” (4) 2 . .g. . ˙ • We regard qk and qk as independent variables (this is very important. r M = r M ( q1 . q k . . . M point masses are no longer independent.4 Types of Constraints • If constraints can be expressed in the form f (r1 . . . and means for ˙ ˙ example that ∂qk /∂qk = ∂qk /∂qk = 0). r2 . constraints on M point masses). t ). • We can express the position ri of each part of a system as r 1 = r 1 ( q1 . . . . . . . . – inequalities (particle sliding down the outside of a bowling ball). • Nonholonomic constraints involve: – velocities (rolling without slipping on a surface). . . r M ) = 0]: Scleronomic (rigid law) constraints. . . . . .6 Generalized Velocities qk ˙ • The qk are the first time derivatives of qk . r i = r i ( q1 . . . (2) 1. the constraints are called holonomic. if the constraints are holonomic. . . r M . • By the chain rule. q N . t) = 0 (e. . q k . . r2 . There may be an explicit time dependence particularly if the constraints are rheonomic. • We require only as many coordinates qk as there are DoF (N = 3M − j). . .

Determine expressions for XSB .7 Generalized forces Fk • If we “freeze” the motion of a mechanical system at a point in time. Derive an equation (a constraint equation) describing this relationship. which itself has a mass M and rests on a flat surface. Consider a set of cartesian axes such that the Y axis points up along the side of the initial location of the inclined plane. d. YIP ) to be the locations of the centre of mass of the SB. and the X axis points along the underside of the inclined plane (we ignore the Z direction). determine equivalent expressions ˙ ˙ for XSB . ∂qk • Due to nonconstraint forces. the position of part ri of the system will ∂r change by δri = i δqk . 3 .1. (Study up to section 1. the total virtual work δW is the sum of the virtual work by each generalized coordinate variation: i ∑ Fi · δri = ∑ Fi · ∑ ∂qk δqk = ∑ i i k k δW = ∂r i ∑ Fi · ∂qk i ∂r δqk . respectively. (Study up to section 1. (Study up to section 1. 1. XIP are known. Take ( XSB . YSB .5). Consider an alternative dynamical variable d. and displace one DoF qk an infinitesimal amount δqk . YSB in terms of XIP .4). Taking the time-derivative. If each qk is infinitesimally changed. without any friction between this surface and the inclined plane. virtual work is done by this virtual displacement. the distance of the SB centre of mass from the top of the IP. the value for the dynamical variable YSB can be determined exactly if the values for the dynamical variables XSB .6). h and α. and the right-angled corner of the IP in this coordinate system. δW δqk (5) Generalized forces Fk = Homework 1: Lagrangian of a Small Block on an Inclined Plane m frictionless surfaces Y M α X Consider the situation of a small block (SB) of mass m sliding on a frictionless inclined plane (IP) of height h. 2. Because the motion of the SB is constrained to remain on the upper surface of the IP. YSB ) and ( XIP .

(Study up to section 2. Determine an expression for the total ˙ ˙ kinetic energy T of the SB and IP system in terms of XIP and d. Trivially. and so ˙ YIP and YIP can be neglected. From these solutions. derive Lagranges equations of motion for d(t) and XIP (t). and hence (assuming α = π/4 radians. XIP (0). From the Lagrangian.3. derive an expression for the distance the IP has moved once the SB has reached the bottom of the IP.3). Determine an expression for the total potential energy V in terms of XIP and d. 5. (Study up to section 2. 4 . XIP (0). 4.1). Write down the Lagrangian L using your expressions for T and V. (Study up to section 2.4). writing the solutions in terms of the initial positions and velocities ˙ d(0). and that both the small block and the inclined plane are initially at rest) determine how large m must be relative to M for this distance to be = h/2. d˙(0). that the small block starts at the top of the inclined plane. Solve the equations of motion. the IP is constrained not to move in the Y direction.

. ∂qk ∂qk i ∂T ∂qk (9) Fi Fk • Hence. .2 Generalized Equations of Motion (EoM) • From the chain rule ∂T = ∂qk ∂T = ˙ ∂qk i ˙ ∑ mi ri · ∂qk i i ˙ ∑ mi r i · ∂ q k ˙ i ˙ ∂r ˙ ∂r = ∑ pi · i ˙ ∂r i . . . q N . t ).7–2.2 S EE The Lagrangian ALSO H AND AND F INCH . the total time derivative d dt ∂T ˙ ∂qk ˙ = ∑ pi · i ˙ ∂ri ∂r + ∑ pi · i . 2∑ i i i i (6) • T may have an explicit time dependence. follow: Fk = d dt ∂T ˙ ∂qk − ∂T . r M ).3 Conservative Forces • If the nonconstraint forces are conservative. . 1. Fk = − ∑ i iV · ∂ri ∂V =− ∂qk ∂qk (follows from the chain rule). the generalized equations of motion. . . particularly (although not necessarily) for rheonomic constraints. .1 Kinetic Energy T • The most general form for a holonomic system is T= 1 ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ m r · r = T ( q1 . . q N . q1 . (7) (8) = ∑ pi · i • From the product rule. ∂qk ∂ri ∂qk [using Eq. 2. then by definition a potential energy function V exists. ri . ∂qk (10) 2.5 2. Correspondingly. (4)]. (11) 5 . . . . below. . . • A nonconstraint force on the ith point mass of the system is derived from such a potential energy function by Fi = − i V (r1 . . .

For a single generalized coordinate q S[q] = tf ti ˙ L(q(t). and a number is returned. q(t f ) fixed. such that δS = 0. t)dt − ˙ L(q. ∂qk (12) • These are the fundamental equations of Lagrangian mechanics. q. we obtain the Euler-Lagrange equations: d dt ∂L ˙ ∂qk − ∂L = 0. • We Taylor expand the variation of L at a fixed value of t: ∂L ∂L ˙ ˙ δq + δq + higher-order terms in δq. it follows that δS = δq + δq dt. t)dt.2. (10)]. q + δq. (16) − ti vanishes — no variations at end points 6 .5 Hamilton’s Principle of Least Action • Alternatively. q + δq.4 The Lagrangian L • L = T − V (assumes V to be velocity independent). and a number is returned — the argument of a functional is a function. we can derive the Euler-Lagrange equations by minimizing (strictly speaking extremizing) the action functional S. t)dt. δq. for infinitesimal variations. • Consider variations of S due to variations of q(t) with the end points q(ti ). ˙ ∂q ∂q ˙ ˙ ˙ L(q + δq.. 2. ˙ ∂q ∂q (15) ∂L ∂L ˙ Hence. (14) Hamilton’s principle asserts the physical path is that which minimizes (strictly speaking extremizes) S. • Substituting T = L + V into the generalized equations of motion [Eq. q. q(t). δS = S[q + δq] − S[q] = ˙ ˙ L(q + δq. (A functional usually involves an integral)]. t) + • We Integrate the second term of δS by parts ∂L d(δq) dt = ˙ ∂q dt ∂L δq ˙ ∂q tf ˙ note δq = d dt ∂L ˙ ∂q d(δq) : dt δqdt.e. (13) [The argument of a function is a number. t) = L(q. i.

(c) The equation of motion is a linear. to show your solution can also be expressed in the form x (t) = A sin(ωt + φ ).e. (a) What is the kinetic energy T of the point mass? What is the potential energy V? Hence. (d) Find the general solution of the equation of motion. with characteristic oscillation frequency ω = k/m. (b) Use the Euler-Lagrange equation to determine the equation of motion of the point mass. constrained somehow to move only in the x direction. referring to Appendix A of these notes for guidance. 2. along with the trigonometric identity sin(θ + φ) = sin θ cos φ + cos θ sin φ. and B = A cos φ . (e) Two independent real constants A and B can equally well be represented in terms of two other real constants A and φ . (18) 7 . homogeneous. This is just a one-dimensional simple harmonic oscillator √ (undamped). (a) What is the kinetic energy T of the point mass? What is the potential energy V? Hence. in terms of the point mass’s initial ˙ position x (0) and velocity x (0). Consider a point mass (of mass m) attached to a spring (spring constant k).. determine the Lagrangian L = T − V. as δq is an arbitrary infinitesimal variation.• Hence. i. Use this. and express A and φ in terms of the initial position and velocity. second-order differential equation. where x = 0 is taken to be the position of the point mass when it is at rest. Do this. and ignore air resistance). we derive the Euler-Lagrange equations: δS = d ∂L − ∂q dt ∂L ˙ ∂q δqdt implies δS = 0 d dt (17) ∂L ˙ ∂q ∂L = 0. The first step towards solving this is to find the roots of the auxiliary equation. − ∂q if and only if Example Class 1: Applications of the Lagrangian Approach 1. through A = A sin φ . independent of the distance of the point mass from the Earth’s surface. determine the Lagrangian L = T − V. and express the solution in terms of the point mass’s ˙ initial position z(0) and velocity z(0). Consider a point mass (of mass m) falling in the Earth’s gravitational field (take the acceleration = g to be constant. (c) Solve the equation of motion. (b) Use the Euler-Lagrange equation to determine the equation of motion for the vertical motion (z direction) of the point mass.

Let us set the origin of our coordinate system at O. (d) Use the Euler-Lagrange equation to determine the equation of motion for θ. y. y. in terms of r. rewrite the standard expression for the kinetic energy T of the ˙ ˙ ˙ point mass in spherical polar form (i. An upright connects the pivot. z. r. For what range of angles are such orbits possible? (Do not consider θ = 0 or π). (b) Consider a point mass of mass m moving in 3 dimensions. i. ˙ φ. the azimuthal angle describing how far the whole apparatus is rotated about the z axis. in terms of r. where θ is the only dynamical variable. θ. and hence determine the Lagrangian L for the spinning plane pendulum. Consider the situation of a plane pendulum.A DDITIONAL E XERCISE 3. θ. ˙ ˙ r. Use these constraint equations to simplify the kinetic energy T and the potential energy V. Using the expressions you ˙ ˙ ˙ have derived for x. φ. consisting of a pendulum bob of mass m connected by a rigid massless rod of length R to a pivot at a point in space O. r.e. and φ.e. 8 . the angle of elevation of the pendulum (how far the pendulum is from pointing straight up). z y O θ x m (a) With this system it is more convenient to use spherical coordinates. θ. rigidly. φ. θ. θ. θ. z. motion of the pendulum bob such that the angle of elevation never changes. Rewrite the expression for the potential energy V = mgz in spherical polar form.. φ). to the centre of a disc which is driven by a motor to spin around the z (vertical) axis with a constant angular velocity ω. z in terms of r... i. y. (c) Write down equations that express the two constraints (that the point mass is always a fixed distance R from the origin. From the equation of motion determine a condition for the existence of horizontal circular orbits.e. and that the azimuthal angle describing the location of the point mass changes in time at a constant rate ω) in mathematical form. rotating the plane pendulum with it. Write down the expressions ˙ ˙ ˙ for x. the distance of the pendulum bob from the pivot. and hence determine expressions for x.

which models e. Eq. • For a conservative system.3 Simple Harmonic Oscillator (SHO) • If D/F < 0. L ≈ Lapprox = L(qS .0 2 ∂2 L ˙ ∂q∂q ˙ + q2 qS . Hence. B = 0 by the definition of equilibrium) ∂Lapprox ˙ ∂q ∂Lapprox ∂q (20) d ˙ ˙ (C + Eq + 2F q) = 2Dq + Eq .0 ˙ ˙ ˙ = A + Bq + C q + Dq + Eqq + F q .g.b.. this corresponds to configurations where the potential energy V (q1 .0 2 ∂2 L ˙ ∂ q2 (19) qS . the motion is described as stable (if D/F > 0. .e. 0) + q ∂L ∂q ˙ +q qS . the oscillation of a mass on a spring with spring constant k = −m( D/F ). Hence. it is unstable). 3. (21) is the Lagrangian for a simple harmonic oscillator. ∂V/∂q|q=qS = 0] and q = 0.1–3. q) around q = qS ˙ [where qS is a stationary point.3 3.. • Close to equilibrium √ therefore observes simple harmonic motion with characterone istic frequency ω = − D/F. . dt ¨ • This yields q − ( D/F )q = 0. . • Substitute the resulting Lapprox into the Euler-Lagrange equation (n.3 S EE Linear Oscillators ALSO H AND AND F INCH .1 Equilibrium • A mechanical system that remains at rest is in equilibrium.e.2 Lagrangian Near Static Equilibrium (1 DoF) ˙ • Carry out a 2nd order Taylor series expansion of some L(q. which is identical to the EoM for a particle of mass m derived from m D ˙ L= q2 + q2 . 3. . This occurs at points in configuration space where all generalized forces Fk vanish. 9 .0 ∂L ˙ ∂q qS . its first derivatives with respect to the qk vanish.. i.0 + 1 2 q2 ∂2 L ∂q2 ˙ + 2qq qS . q N ) is stationary. (21) 2 F 3. i.

ω (22) 3.¨ • q + ω 2 q = 0 is a linear. grouping the conservative forces (in the form of a potential energy function V) with T to make L.6 Overdamped SHO: Q < 1 2 • The solution to the equation of motion is given by q(t) = Qe−ωt/2Q where ω = (ω/2Q) q(t) = q(0) cosh(ω t) + 1 ω ω ˙ q(0) + q(0) sinh(ω t) .5 Damped Simple Harmonic Oscillator ˙ • We insert the SHO Lagrangian L = (m/2)(q2 − ω 2 q2 ) into the Euler-Lagrange equation and incorporate the (non-conservative) damping force separately d dt ∂L ˙ ∂q − ∂L = Fd . q + (ω/Q)q + ω 2 q = 0. (10). 2Q (24) 1 − 4Q2 . where Q is the dimensionless quality factor of the oscillator. 3. and can be solved to give q(t) = q(0) cos(ωt) + ˙ q (0) sin(ωt). homogeneous differential equation. homogeneous differential equation. acts to suppress motion. rapid decay + e−ω t ω/ω q (0) 1 − 2Q if = 0. or. if = 0. 3. ˙ ˙ • The simplest such force is Fd = −γq = −(mω/Q)q (expressed in convenient form for a damped SHO).4 Damping Force • A frictional force Fd . i. and keeping the non-conservative forces separate]. it must act in opposition to motion. ¨ ˙ • The result is a linear. slow decay 10 .. equivalently ω/ω e−ωt/2Q ω t e q (0) 1 + 2 2Q + ˙ q (0) ω (25) ˙ q (0) − ω .e. and vanish when the motion ceases. ∂q (23) [This corresponds to taking Eq.

9 0. q(0) = 1 . q(0) = ˙ −q(0)(ω + ω/2Q).6 0.2 0.4 0.8 0. q(0) = 0.5 0. q(0)/ω = −q(0)/2Q ˙ (solid line).6 −0. before decay takes over 1 0. Left (overdamped): Q = 1/8.3.6 0. q(0)/ω = 1 (dashed line). q(0)/ω = 1 (dashed line).1 0 0 5 10 15 20 q q 0 −0. Q = 1/8..5 0. q(0) = 0. q(0) = 1 (dashed line).8 0 5 10 15 20 ωt ωt ˙ Figure 1: Plots of the coordinate q for the damped SHO.2 0. is an arbitrary length unit.7 Underdamped SHO: Q > 1 0. (26) grows initially. centimetre.9 0.4 0.8 Critically Damped SHO: Q = 1 2 • In this special case the solution is given by q(t) = e−ωt/2Q q(0) + ω ˙ q (0) + q (0) t 2Q . ˙ ˙ Right (underdamped): Q = 4. q(0) = q(0)(ω − ω/2Q).7 0. 11 . a metre.1 0 0 5 10 15 20 q ωt ˙ Figure 2: Plot of the coordinate q for the critically damped SHO.4 0. e.7 0.2 −0. 3. is an arbitrary length unit.8 0. q(0) = 1 (solid line).3 0.6 1 2 1 0. q(0) = 1 .8 0. q(0) = −q(0)(ω/2Q) (solid line).4 −0. etc.2 0.g.3 0.

Solve the integral [expanding the sine terms.7). Driven Pendulum θ Consider a plane pendulum with an iron bob of mass m suspended from a pivot by a massless rigid (non-magnetizing) rod of length l in a time-dependent magnetic field so that the pendulum bob is driven. modelled as a sinusoidal driving potential VD (t) = − F0 l sin(ω0 t)θ applied from t = 0.e. We use the generalized coordinate θ. Modelling the effect of this blow with an impulsive potential VI (t) = −Klδ(t − t )θ. from the pivot. being alternatingly attracted to the left or right.6). In˙ corporate a model frictional generalized force Fd = −(mωl 2 /Q)θ into the Euler-Lagrange equation for θ and determine the equation of motion. determine an integral expression for θ (t) for the driven underdamped pendulum equivalent to Eq. See also the additional exercises to Homework 2. derive the ˙ corresponding generalized force and determine the values of θ and θ immediately after the hammer is applied. If we define G (t − t ) = θ (t)ml/K. (32) in the notes. 1. 3. Solve the ˙ equation of motion for the underdamped SHO (Q > 1/2) in terms of θ (0) and θ (0) [use the ˜ ˜ shorthands ω = ω/2Q. (Study up to section 4. z = −l cos(q/l )]. here and from now on]. 2..5). (35) and Eq.e. the angle the pendulum makes with the vertical [for an xz cartesian coordinate system with its origin at the pendulum pivot. We now include the effect of the time-dependent magnetic field on the pendulum bob. and when t − t ≥ 0? 4. (Study up to section 3. e. (Study up to section 4. There will inevitably be some friction.Example Class 2: Damped. In the small angle approximation. 12 . (Study up to section 3. Using a Green’s function technique. and consider the underdamped ˙ pendulum to be at rest (i..5).7). (Study up to section 4. θ = 0) prior to being struck sharply by the hammer. θ = 0. the Lagrangian (without the magnetic field) is that of a simple harmonic oscillator with frequency ω = g/l. using sin θ = eiθ /2i + complex conjugate] and show the evolution of θ (t) to be proportional to the solution described by Eq.3). At a given point in time t the underdamped pendulum has velocity ˙ θ (t ) and position θ (t ). (Study up to section 4. when the pendulum bob is struck sharply with a hammer. what are the values of G (t − t ) when t − t ≤ 0. x = l sin(q/l ).g. i. and ω = ω 4Q2 − 1 to describe the oscillation frequency. (36) in the notes.

δ(t − t ) must therefore have the dimension of inverse time.3 Response to a q-Independent Impulsive Force • Consider an (impulsive) force of the form F (t) = Kδ(t − t ). i.4 S EE Driven Oscillators ALSO H AND AND F INCH . sharply peaked at t = t . unless q(t ) → ∞ 13 .8 4. m K dtq(t) = . with unit area: dtδ(t − t ) = 1 (dimensionless). Consequently. 4. inhomogeneous differential equation: q + ω 2 q = F (t)/m.4–3. driven by a time-dependent external force F (t) (no spatial dependence). • Whatever supplies the driving force is not considered to be part of the dynamical system. (28) • δ(t − t ) is the zero-width limit of a function/distribution of t. and for this we make use of δ-functions. Integrating the EoM for the driven oscillator (section 4. 4. For a function f (t).1 Oscillator Driven by an External Force • We consider an (undamped) oscillator. if t has the dimension of time.1) around t = t then yields t+ t− ¨ dt(q + ω 2 q) = t+ t− t+ t− dt ˙ ˙ ⇒ q(t + ) − q(t − ) + ω 2 K δ ( t − t ). 2 2 T V (27) ¨ which yields a linear.. • The corresponding Lagrangian is given by L= ˙ m q2 mω 2 q2 − − F (t)q . the effect of δ(t − t ) is defined (necessarily under an integral) as f (t ) = ∞ −∞ dtδ(t − t ) f (t).2 Dirac δ-Functions • It is instructive to first consider consider an impulsive (instantaneously applied and infinitely intense) force. in particular we do not consider any effect of forces the oscillator exerts on the source of the external force.e. m (29) → 0 as → 0. 3. frequency.

(32) 14 ..1) can be written as q + ω 2 q = (1/m) −∞ dt F (t )δ(t − t ).4 Time-Evolution Sequence of a SHO with an Impulsive Force ˙ 1. t > t system evolves as a SHO: q(t) = q(t− ) cos(ω [t − t ]) + ˙ q(t− ) + K/m sin(ω [t − t ]). to position q(t− ).5 (Causal) Green’s Function G • Consider G (t − t ) = q(t)m/K [equal to G (0) when the impulsive force applied]. (31) 4. t < t system evolves as a SHO. ω (30) 4. q(t ) = q(t− ) + K/m.5): q + ω 2 q = (1/m) −∞ dt F (t )[ G (t − t ) + ω 2 G (t − t )]. there is no instantaneous change in position when the impulsive force is applied. t = t instantaneous jump in velocity: q(t ) = q(t− ). G (t − t ) =0. • We can then eliminate δ(t − t ) by substituting in the EoM of the Green’s function G ∞ ¨ ¨ (section 4.1) G (t − t ) + ω 2 G (t − t ) = δ(t − t ) • We consider the oscillator to be at rest prior to application of the impulsive force. ˙ ˙ 2. Hence. 4. where t± = lim →0 t ± (this is true in general. ω t − t ≥ 0. (31)] it follows that q(t) = 1 m t −∞ dt F (t ) G (t − t ) = 1 mω t −∞ dt F (t ) sin(ω [t − t ]). t − t ≤ 0. 1 G (t − t ) = sin(ω [t − t ]). The ¨ EoM of G is given by (see section 4. • Note that q(t+ ) = q(t− ). • Comparing terms.6 General Driving Force F (t) • By definition of the δ-function [Eq. there is an instantaneous change in the velocity: q(t+ ) = q(t− ) + K/m. and substituting in the solution to G (t − t ) [Eq. (28)] the equation of motion for the driven oscilla∞ ¨ tor (section 4. 3.˙ ˙ • Hence. i. one can define an impulsive force as having this effect).e. velocity q(t− ).

7 Driving an Oscillator in Resonance • Consider a driving force of the form F (t) = F0 sin(ω0 t). and remains. which is applied from t = 0 (i. however. which has been conveniently divided into the steady state solution qs (t) = F0 2mω ˜ ˜ ω ω − 2 cos(ω0 t) 2 ˜ + ( ω0 + ω ) ω + ( ω0 − ω ) 2 ω −ω ω0 + ω − 2 0 + sin(ω0 t) . In general (when ω0 = ω) one observes oscillatory behaviour q(t) = t F0 dt sin(ω0 t ) sin(ω [t − t ]) mω 0 F sin(ω0 t) + sin(ωt) sin(ω0 t) − sin(ωt) − = 0 . (34) 2ω 2 grows oscillates • If we consider an underdamped SHO subject to the same driving force. Note. mω 2 ( ω0 + ω ) 2 ( ω0 − ω ) (33) • In resonance (when ω0 = ω). the steady-state solution oscillates with the driving frequency ω0 . 2 + ( ω + ω )2 ˜ ˜ ω ω + ( ω0 − ω ) 2 0 ˜ ω2 (36) ˜ where ω = ω ˜ 4Q2 − 1.e. ˜ ˜ ω 2 + ( ω0 + ω ) 2 ω + ( ω0 − ω ) 2 ˜ ω2 (35) and the transient solution ˜ F0 e−ωt qt (t) = 2mω ω −ω ω0 + ω + 2 0 sin(ω t) 2 ˜ + ( ω0 + ω ) ω + ( ω0 − ω ) 2 ˜ ˜ ω ω − − 2 cos(ω t) . F (t) = 0 for t < 0). • After the transient has died away.. that there is no singularity at resonance — the effect of resonance has been softened by the presence of damping. and ω = ω/2Q. • The transient solution oscillates with the intrinsic oscillator frequency ω . the dynamical behaviour is like that of a SHO.4. the value of q grows without limit q(t) = F0 mω t 0 dt sin(ωt ) sin(ω [t − t ]) = F0 mω sin(ωt) t cos(ωt) − . but dies away for large t. but at the driving frequency. 15 . the equation of motion can be solved to give q(t) = qs (t) + qt (t).

1 Coupled Oscillators • The generic Lagrangian for two coupled oscillators (e. 5. (38) ¨ ¨ which yields two separated harmonic oscillator EoMs: qC + ω 2 qC = 0.e. e. on identical springs. • For N DoF. around values for the generalized coordinates qk given by the equilibrium ˙ configuration. with frequency ω. 16 . q R + 3ω 2 q R = 0. 5. the Taylor expansion must in principal be in 2N variables (all generalized coordinates and velocities). and the values of the generalized velocities qk set = 0. homogeneous. connected by a third identical spring) is given by m 2 mω 2 2 m ˙ ˙2 ˙ ˙2 ( q1 + q2 ) − [q1 + q2 + (q1 − q2 )2 ] = (q2 + q2 ) − mω 2 (q2 + q2 − q1 q2 ) (37) 2 2 1 2 2 2 1 L= • We now introduce the centre of mass qC = (q1 + q2 )/2 and relative q R = q2 − q1 coordinates.g.. Substituting these into the Lagrangian transforms it to L=m ˙C q2 + ˙R q2 4 − mω 2 q2 + C 3q2 R 4 . the mechanical system resembles a system of coupled oscillators. 9.2 5. • Taylor expand the Lagrangian L to second order in the generalized coordinates and ˙ velocities.1–9. i. two objects of equal mass m oscillating. • In a system of N coupled oscillators there always exist N generalized coordinates that separate. If this motion does not depart too far from a stable equilibrium point. if some terms are already in quadratic form.2 Small Oscillations • We consider motion around a stable equilibrium point of a mechanical system (small oscillations).g. expansions in fewer variables may be adequate.3 Setting up the Problem • Find an equilibrium configuration. • Those generalized coordinates undergoing simple harmonic motion are called normal coordinates. values of the generalized coordinates where all generalized forces Fk = −∂V/∂qk are = 0. linear differential equations.5 S EE Small Oscillations ALSO H AND AND F INCH . yielding N independent. In practice.

z M . z M . also of charge c.3).e.3). ym are the Y locations of the masses M. See Appendix C of these notes for guidance on calculating these). where y M . This means that. xm . zm in terms of θ. i. and a second mass m attached to a pivot on the first mass.Homework 2: Double Pendulum 1. φ. assuming the case where M = 3m. A DDITIONAL E XERCISES 2.. (c) (Study up to section 5. z M . φ. φ. given T τq = 0 for j = k (and = 1 ˆ the 2 eigenvectors q .. Consider a classical model of a linear ion trap. We consider Z to be the vertical axis. Determine equations describing any other constraints the two masses are subject to. The linear ion trap is at present probably the most promising experimental configuration for a quantum computer. zm (the X and Z locations of the masses). θ. i. X the horizontal. zm in terms of the new dynamical variables θ and φ (which are the two angles shown in the diagram). Its normal modes are therefore of considerable interest. φ. Consider a double plane pendulum.e. the eigenvectors of ˆ which are orthogonal (and normalized) with regard to the metric τ. and determine the corresponding equations of motion for θ and φ (also in matrix form). Determine the normal coordinates of this system. such that θ. (b) Express the dynamical variables x M . q . (and therefore θ + φ) remain small during any dynamics. then q ˆ 1 2 j k for j = k if the eigenvectors are normalized). (d) (Study up to section 6. consisting of a mass M attached to a pivot by a rigid massless rod of length R. also by a rigid massless rod of length R. xm . and the kinetic energy matrix τ. xm . Note: This exercise involves solving a generalized eigenvalue problem. and the corresponding ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ velocities x M . ym = 0. m. in terms of x M . that motion is subject to the constraints y M = 0. Write Lapprox in matrix form. (You will need to determine such eigenvalues and eigenvectors associated with the matrix form of the approximate Lagrangian in order to determine the normal coordinates. θ. φ. (Study up to section 6.4). [Hint: simplify your expression by using cos(θ ) cos(θ + φ) + sin(θ ) sin(θ + φ) = cos(φ)]. consisting of 3 charged spheres of mass m and charge c sliding on a frictionless rod of length 4l propped between two charged parallel plates. determine an approximation Lapprox to L which is in quadratic form. 17 . Consider the limit of small oscillations. and motion to take place in the XZ plane. θ M φ m (a) Consider a cartesian coordinate system with its origin located at the pivot to which the mass M is attached. Use these expressions to determine ˙ ˙ the Lagrangian L for this system in terms of θ. Hence.

with the (mass m) pendulum bob directly above the pivot. See Appendix C of these notes for guidance on calculating these). and rightmost charged sphere from the left-hand charged plate. where ω1 . In each case. To simplify matters.e. (e) (Study up to section 6.1).4). where x1 . according to 18 . x3 . 3. the approximate Lagrangian 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 ˙2 ˙2 ˙2 should take the form L = (m/2)(r1 + r2 + r3 ) − (m/2)(ω1 r1 + ω2 r2 + ω3 r3 ) − k. and k is an irrelevant constant.. ω3 are the eigenvalues associated with the normal coordinates.1 2 3 x (a) (Study up to section 5. x2 . x3 .3). x2 . (Finding a set of coordinates that separate in this way is the purpose of the whole procedure). x3 are the distances of the leftmost. determine the total potential energy V ( x1 . but the locations of the pendulum bobs are slightly different. x3 ) (with the values of a determined by the equilibrium values of x1 .2). as appropriate). Write it down in matrix form. consider only interactions between immediately neighbouring objects (plates or spheres). r2 . (c) (Study up to section 5.. in terms of the initial values of the generalized coordinate and generalized velocity. Check/hint: If r1 . (b) (Study up to section 5. (See Appendix B of these notes for guidance on determining the appropriate Taylor expansion). and the two charged plates as immovable point charges. x2 . 2 2 ω1 . Determine the equilibrium values of x1 . determine the approximate second-order Lagrangian in terms of new (shifted) generalized coordinates which all have equilibrium value = 0. x2 . x3 ). Determine the (normalized) normal coordinates of this system. (b) Carry out a second-order Taylor series expansion of this Lagrangian around the pendulum’s unstable equilibrium point. (c) Derive and solve the equation of motion produced by this approximate Lagrangian. (You will need to determine such eigenvalues and eigenvectors associated with the matrix form of the approximate Lagrangian in order to determine the normal coordinates. r3 are the normalized normal coordinates. Assume all the mass of the pendulum to be concentrated in the pendulum bob (i. hence showing explicitly that the charges must be equally spaced at equilibrium (as one would expect). (Study up to section 6. i.3). (d) (Study up to section 6. Hence. (a) Derive the Lagrangian for this system in terms of a single appropriate generalized coordinate (with its corresponding generalized velocity). (d) Consider two possible initial conditions. the pendulum is initially at rest. Use the Coulomb potential VC = [c2 /(4π 0 )](1/r ) to model the interactions between the effective point charges (r is the distance between the point charges). Consider the motion of a length l rigid plane pendulum around its unstable equilibrium point. the moment of inertia = ml 2 ). and hence derive an approximate Lagrangian. Hence. x2 . Carry out a second-order Taylor series expansion of the Coulomb potential Vc about an arbitrary value r = a.e. Substitute this into V ( x1 .3). Show that. Treat the 3 charged spheres as point charges. middle.

the approximate Lagrangian you have derived, for long times the difference in final locations of the pendulum bobs always diverges exponentially in time. (e) How accurately does the previous result reflect the complete dynamics of a plane pendulum? Explain your answer. 4. Derive the general solution for the coordinate of a critically damped harmonic oscillator, noting that the auxiliary equation in this case has only one root. Check that this is consistent with the solution of the underdamped oscillator in the limit Q → 1/2.

19

6
S EE

Normal Modes
ALSO

H AND

AND

F INCH , 9.2–9.4

6.1

Matrix Form of L

• If ak are the equilibrium values of an initially used set of generalized coordinates qk , we then define a new set of generalized coordinates qk = qk − ak . • These qk will have equilibrium values = 0, and L can then take the form ˆ ˙ ˆ˙ L = q T τ q − q T υq +c (a constant), T V (39)

where q is a column vector, and its transpose q T = (q1 , . . . , q N ) is a row vector. ˆ ˆ • The matrices τ and υ are symmetric (i.e., equal to their transposes, so that e.g. τkj = τjk ), with matrix elements given by τjk = 1 ∂2 T ˙ ˙ 2 ∂q j ∂qk ,
˙ ˙ q j ,q k =0

υ jk =

1 ∂2 V 2 ∂q j ∂qk

.
q j ,qk =0

(40)

6.2 Equations of Motion
• We note that partial differentiation of the Lagrangian L with respect to the generalized coordinates and velocities yields
N ∂L ˆ˙ ˙ = 2 ∑ τjk qk = 2(τ q) j , ˙ ∂q j k =1 N ∂L ˆ = −2 ∑ υ jk qk = −2(υq) j , ∂q j k =1

(41)

and that the Euler-Lagrange equations therefore yield a linear system of differential ˆ¨ ˆ equations: τ q + υq = 0.

6.3 Working Towards a Solution
• Inserting a trial solution q = q eiω0 t into the EoM yields
0

ˆ 2 ˆ (−τω0 + υ)q0 = 0.

(42)

We also know (due to a theorem from linear algebra) that, unless q = 0, this can 0 ˆ 2 ˆ ˆ 2 ˆ only be fulfilled if the determinant of −τω0 + υ (also written as | − τω0 + υ|) is = 0.
2 • Calculating the determinant will yield an Nth order polynomial in ω0 . Hence, there 2 are N generalized eigenvalues ω 2 (possible values of ω0 ), each with its correspondj 2 ing eigenvector q [specific q which, with its associated specific value of ω0 , will j 0

solve Eq. (42)]. 20

6.4

Normal Coordinates
j j N ∑k=1 b2 = 1. Using the eigenvector elements, we may define a new set of jk separated generalized coordinates r j :

• It is common to normalize the eigenvectors q , i.e., to have q T = (b j1 , b j2 , . . . , b jN ) such that

rj =

k =1

∑ bjk qk .

N

(43)

• If ω 2 > 0, the equilibrium configuration is stable, and the normal coordinate r j j ˙ evolves as r j (t) = r j (0) cos(ω j t) + (r j (0)/ω j ) sin(ω j t). Such motion is called a normal mode, with motion in general described by a superposition of normal modes. • If ω 2 < 0, the equilibrium is unstable, and if ω 2 = 0, the motion is also not oscillatory, j j usually corresponding to e.g. rotation or translation of the centre of mass. • A normal mode is the motion of a normal coordinate.

21

the Lagrangian is given by L= 1 ˙1 ˙2 (m1 r2 + m2 r2 ) − V1 (r1 ) − V2 (r2 ) − V12 (|r1 − r2 |).e.. 7.7 S EE Central Forces ALSO H AND AND F INCH .3–4. this Lagrangian is translationally ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ invariant: L(r1 .. r2 ) = V12 (|r1 − r2 |) = V (r ) for such a force. P 1 2 22 . r2 . and both point masses subject to external forces. r2 ) = L(r1 . but this need not in general be so). i. r2 ) = L(r1 + a. ∂x1 ∂x2 ∂L ∂L + = 0.4 7. ˙ = p + p = 0.e. r1 .1 Two Interacting Bodies • Consider two bodies (with position vectors r1 and r2 ) interacting via a central force. ∂L ∂L + = 0. ∂y1 ∂y2 ∂L ∂L + = 0. and Taylor expand the Lagrangian L to first order in : ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ L(r1 + a. Since a arbitrary. ˙ ˙ Hence.2 Translational Symmetry and Conservation of Momentum • Consider an infinitesimal translation a. r2 + a. if L is to be translationally invariant. and so the total momentum P is conserved. r1 . ∂z1 ∂z2 (46) • From the Euler-Lagrange equations for x1 and x2 (and equivalently for y and z): d dt ∂L ˙ ∂ x1 + d dt ∂L ˙ ∂ x2 = ∂L ∂L + = 0. r2 ). 4. r1 . • The potential energy V12 from which such a force is derived is dependent only on r. • If we consider the general case of 2 point masses interacting via a central force. defined as a force depending only on the distance r between the two bodies. ∂x1 ∂x2 (47) ˙ ∂L/∂ x1 = p1x defines the canonically conjugate momentum p1x to x1 (here this is ˙ equal to the mechanical momentum m x1 . r2 . (45) • We neglect the O( 2 ) term. directed along the imaginary line between them. r1 . V12 = V12 (r1 . r2 + a. 2 external potentials interaction potential (44) In the absence of external potentials (V1 = V2 = 0). r2 ) + a · ( 1 + 2 ) L + O( 2 ). then ( 1 + 2 ) L must = 0. i.

• In terms of spherical coordinates (x = r cos φ sin θ. and hence that P is conserved in this case. ˙ • If J is defined along the z direction.7. z = r cos θ). as it does not appear in L. Hence. it follows from the Euler-Lagrange equation ˙ ˙ that d(∂L/∂q)/dt ≡ pq = 0. and L = (1/2)µr2 − V12 (r ). • Hence. Such coordinates are called ignorable. and remain in that plane if J is to remain constant. • R does not appear in the Lagrangian L. R and ˙ ˙ R are both defined = 0. • We rewrite L In terms of R and the relative coordinate r = r1 − r2 : L= 1 ˙2 1 2 ˙ M R + µr − V12 (r ). 2 (49) • φ is ignorable. 7. Hence pφ ≡ ∂L ˙ = µr2 φ sin2 θ = constant ≡ Jz ˙ ∂φ ˙ can show to be the z component of J = r × µr (50) • If Jz is the only nonzero component of J. the angle of elevation θ = π/2. p and r must be in a plane perpendicular to J.5 Motion Takes Place in a Plane ˙ ˙ • J = r × µr implies that p ≡ µr and r must be perpendicular to J. and ˙ J = | J | = Jz = µr2 φ.3 Ignorable Centre of Mass (CoM) Motion and Conservation of Momentum • Conservation of the total momentum P implies that the CoM [coordinate R = (m1 r1 + m2 r2 )/(m1 + m2 ) moves like a free particle. We note that V12 (r ) is dependent on distance only. not direction. the orientation of the coordinate system is arbitrary. 2 2 (48) where M = m1 + m2 (total mass) and µ = m1 m2 /(m1 + m2 ) (the reduced mass). and therefore J is always constant. 23 . L= 1 2 ˙ ˙ ˙ µ[r + r2 θ 2 + r2 φ2 sin2 θ ] − V12 (r ). y = r sin φ sin θ. θ = 0. the total angular momentum constant. For any ignorable generalized coordinate q. and hence that L is rotationally invariant.4 Rotational Invariance and Conservation of Angular Momentum • If we transform to the centre of mass frame (a frame moving with the CoM). we ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ deduce that r2 = x2 + y2 + z2 = r2 + r2 θ 2 + r2 φ2 sin2 θ. However. 7.

dr. • By straightforward trigonometry dA = (1/2)|r + dr ||r | sin(dφ). with the angle swept through the angle increment dφ. and has nothing specifically to do with gravity as such.e. that the rate at which area is swept out is constant.7 Equivalent 1D Problem • It is straightforward to determine the total energy E = T + V from L = T − V as given ˙ ˙ ˙ in Eq. θ = π/2.6 Equal Areas are Swept out in Equal Times (Kepler’s Second Law) r+dr dφ height h r { dr Figure 3: The triangle swept out by changing the position vector r by the increment dr. which. and r + dr. and hence that equal areas are swept out in equal times. simplifies to ˙ of θ E= 1 2 J2 ˙ µr + + V12 (r ).. 7. we deduce that dA = (1/2)r2 dφ. Hence. itself a consequence of considering a central force. E = (1/2)µ[r2 + r2 θ 2 + r2 φ2 sin2 (θ )] + V12 (r ). • If the position vector changes incrementally from r to r + dr. and that we must have only first-order incremental terms. 3 ∂r µr (53) (52) 24 . as J is conserved. • It follows that 1 J dA ˙ = r2 φ = . from which the Euler-Lagrange equation for r yields µ¨ = r J2 ∂V − 12 . φ = J/µr2 . if we make use ˙ = 0.7. • Kepler’s second law is therefore a consequence of angular momentum conservation. the area increment dA is given by the area of the triangle formed by r. dt 2 2µ (51) i. The incremental area of the triangle dA is deduced by the usual half-base-times-height. Noting that we assume θ = π/2 throughout. 2 2µr2 Veff (r ) • The effective potential Veff (r ) combines the interaction potential with the so-called angular momentum barrier (responsible for the centrifugal force). (48). • The total energy E is the same as that corresponding to an effective Lagrangian ˙ Leff = (1/2)µr2 − Veff .

(b) Define an effective 1D Lagrangian Leff which yields the same value of E. Use this equation to determine the equilibrium extension of the spring if the angular momentum Jφ = 0. but with T = ˙ (1/2)µr2 (where r = |r | and µ is the reduced mass). sliding on a flat.Homework 3: Diatomic Molecule 1. derive from Leff the equation of motion for r. and solve the differential equation (of u. yC ) and relative ( x R . The purpose of this exercise is to derive Kepler’s equation. y R ) coordinates. Determine an expression for Jφ . the canonically conjugate momentum to φ. (b) Draw a diagram to show what the generalized coordinates R and φ correspond to physically. determine an expression for the potential energy in terms of R only. (a) Determine the Lagrangian describing the motion of the relative coordinate r = r1 − r2 . (a) Determine an expression for the kinetic energy in terms of the centre of mass ( xC . (d) Express this solution in terms of cartesian coordinates x and y rather than polar coordinates r and φ. 25 . and write the Lagrangian that remains in terms of R and φ. A simple model for a diatomic molecule (such as H2 ) consists of two mass points connected by a spring. (e) Use the identity cos2 ϕ + sin2 ϕ = 1 to parametrize x and y in terms of ϕ. in the centre of mass frame. Hence. of the general form ( x + xc )2 /a2 + y2 /b2 = 1. With the Euler-Lagrange equation. frictionless surface. and R ≥ 0. and hence determine an equivalently parametrized form of r. We constrain the motion to a plane. connected by a spring of spring constant k and natural length d. differentiated with respect to φ) resulting from the expression for dE/dφ. Also indicate the location of the centre of mass. to find a relationship between r and φ. as outlined in “Central Forces. y R = R sin(φ). determine an expression for the total energy E in the CoM frame. Hence.. considering two mass points.e. where x R = R cos(φ). respectively. Use the Euler-Lagrange equations to show that Jφ is conserved. interacting gravitationally (potential energy VG (r ) = − Gm1 m2 /r). Use this result together with the Euler-Lagrange equation for R to determine an equation of motion for R in closed form (i.. (c) Express the energy in the centre of mass frame in terms of u ≡ 1/r and the azimuthal angle φ. (c) Consider the centre of mass to be fixed at the origin. in free space (i. and hence show that bound states must take the form of ellipses. A DDITIONAL E XERCISE 2. (d) Is it in general possible to consider the motion of the two connected masses to take place in a plane. each of mass m. of mass m1 and m2 . there are no external potentials).” and “Gravitational Attraction” in the notes. even when this system is in free (three-dimensional) space? Explain your answer.e. Consider two bodies. independent of φ). Use this to solve the effective 1D problem by quadrature and determine Kepler’s equation.

as in Eq. q(t) (this may have to be carried out numerically). put into integral form.. 8.8 S EE Gravitational Attraction ALSO H AND AND F INCH . and. One can then deduce ˙ q≡ dq =± dt 2[ E − V (q)] ⇒ dt = dq ± m m 2[ E − V (q)] . (54) • The time t taken to move from q = 0 to q(t) is then t= m 2 q 0 dq 1 . 4.3 The u = 1/r Transformation • We choose to change the dependent variable from r to u = 1/r. The EoM is then J2 k µ¨ = 3 − 2 r µr r (56) 8. determine that dt = [µ/( Ju2 )]dφ and hence that d Ju2 d dr 1 du J du = ⇒ =− 2 =− . we get E= J2 2µ du dφ 2 + u2 − ku. (52)] in terms of u and φ. • A problem “solved” as an integral [i. for example of a point mass in an external potential. (58) 26 . 4. then it has energy E = (1/2)mq2 + V (q). E − V (q ) (55) The time t(q) (elapsed time as a function of the coordinate) must then be inverted if we wish to obtain the solution we are more used to.5–4. (55)] is said to be solved by quadrature.2 Gravitational Interaction Potential • The potential energy between two gravitating bodies of masses m1 and m2 is V12 (r ) = −k/r. where k = Gm1 m2 and G is the gravitational constant. dt µ dφ dt µ dφ u dt (57) • Expressing the energy in the CoM frame [Eq.1 Solving 1D Systems by Quadrature • If we consider a 1D system. and ˙ ˙ hence with Lagrangian L = (1/2)mq2 − V (q).1.6 8.e. from J = µr2 (dφ/dt).

the period τ of an elliptical orbit follows from the total area A = πab of that orbit .5 Kepler’s Third Law • From Kepler’s second law dA/dt = J/(2µ). i.• We differentiate E with respect to φ (note that E is constant. (51)].e. b2 2 (61) (with √ where the semimajor axis a = p/(1 − 2 ) and the semiminor axis b = p/ 1 − these quantities defined. As the mass of the sun dominates the masses of the individual planets..e.4 Elliptical Orbits (Kepler’s First Law) • If we define p ≡ J 2 /µk and ≡ pA. 8. dE/dφ = 0) and produce the differential equation µk d2 u +u = 2. the energy E is negative. Elementary algebraic manipulation yields τ = 2π 1 a3/2 G ( m1 + m2 ) (62) • Kepler’s third law states that τ 2 ∝ a3 with the same proportionality constant for all the planets. equivalent to an arbitrary phase added to φ. this is approximately true. (60) describes an ellipse (Kepler’s first law): 1 a2 x+ p 1− 2 2 + y2 = 1. • Restricting ourselves to 0 ≤ < 1. implying a bound state. to 0). If 0 ≤ < 1. τ = A2µ/J. (59)] into E [as given in Eq. (58)] yields E = (µk/2J 2 )( 1) = (k/2p)( 2 − 1). (60) 2− • Substituting the solution for u [Eq. where A is the swept-out area [Eq. or equivalently (1 − 2 ) x2 + 2 px + y2 − p2 = 0. the energy takes the simple form E = −k/2a). 27 . 8. the solution to Eq. Eq. i. this becomes p = x2 + y2 + x. Expressed in cartesian coordinates. and we have set a second integration constant. Hence. dφ2 J (59) This can be solved to give (1/r ) ≡ u = (µk/J 2 ) + A cos φ (A is an integration constant.. (59) can be written as p = r + r cos φ.

a r φ Figure 4: Relationship of the eccentric anomaly ϕ to the true anomoly φ for an effective particle placed a distance r and azimuthal angle φ from the CoM. • We can solve the effective 1D problem [Eq. (61). From Eq. (64) 2 E + k/r − J 2 /(2µr 2 ) • We are considering elliptical orbits. Note that ϕ is a different angle (the eccentric anomaly) to φ (the true anomaly). y = b sin ϕ ⇒ y = a from which it follows that r = x2 + y2 = a(1 − cos ϕ). has been placed inside an imaginary circle of radius a. (53)] by quadrature. E = −k/2a. as illustrated in Fig. 1− 2 sin (63) ϕ. i.6 Kepler’s Equation • From Eq. with semimajor axis a. We also use J 2 /(µk ) ≡ p and p = a(1 − 2 ) to obtain dt = µ 2k r dr .. The elliptical orbit. 2) (65) −r /(2a) + r − ( a/2)(1 − 2 28 .8. we can use the identity cos2 ϕ + sin2 ϕ = 1 to introduce the parametrization x− p 1− 2 = a cos ϕ ⇒ x = a(cos ϕ − ). 4.e. (55) it follows that µ dr dt = .

(66) • As written. closest to the sun (which is almost at the position of the CoM as the mass of the sun generally dominates the mass of the orbiting body). if t( ϕ) is the time elapsed from perihelion to when the eccentric anomaly takes the value ϕ. k (67) 29 . It is customary to choose t = 0 when ϕ = φ = 0 (when the orbiting body is at its perihelion.. the time integral measures the time elapsed between an initial and a final value of ϕ (the eccentric anomaly). • Hence.e. we use r = a(1 − cos ϕ) and dr = a sin ϕdϕ to obtain dt = µa3 k dϕ (1 − cos ϕ ). i. we have Keplers equation: t( ϕ) = µa3 ( ϕ − sin ϕ).• Finally.

. no change. q N . . Q N (s.e.5 9. t) ˙ ˙ = L ( q1 . and summing over the degrees of freedom. translational distance. there are conserved quantities associated with that symmetry.. multiplying by the conjugate momentum. Q N (s. .1 Invariance of L under Continuous Transformations • Consider a continuous family of transformations.. and therefore N dL =∑ ds k =1 (68) ∂L ∂Qk ∂L ˙ ∂ Qk ∂L dQk + ˙ ds ∂ Qk ˙ d Qk ds dQk ds d = dt ∂L dQk ˙ ds k =1 ∂ Q k ∑ ∞ = 0. Q1 (s. (69) d = dt d = dt ˙ ˙ implies the existence of a constant of the motion I (q1 .9 S EE Noether’s Theorem and Hamiltonian Mechanics ALSO H AND AND F INCH . . s2 . t) be a solution for the Euler-Lagrange equations evaluated within a transformed set of coordinates. which is evaluated at s = 0 for convenience. this should yield the identity transformation. . . t ). q1 . .2–5. angle) are = 0. If qk (t) is a solution of the original EoM for a Lagrangian L. 9. where Qk (0. . . . . • For multiple parameters s1 . i. • Let s be a parameter characterizing a general transformation of coordinates. These can be found by differentiating each coordinate with respect to the parameters of the transformation in the immediate neighbourhood of the identity transformation. . . . • As the Lagrangian is independent of s. q N ) ≡ N ∑k=1 pk (dQk /ds)|s=0 .. . . t). t). q1 . . • The Lagrangian L is invariant (independent of s) under this transformation if ˙ ˙ L ≡ L( Q1 (s. • This procedure effectively describes Noether’s theorem. let Qk (s. . . . I2 . q N . t) = qk (t). . . transformations depending on one or more continuously variable parameters (e. . 30 . one for each parameter of the transformation. . . i. . . the procedure can be repeated for each to find associated constants I1 .g. t). • When these parameters (e. .2 Noether’s Theorem • If the Lagrangian is invariant under a continuous symmetry transformation.e. 5. dL /ds = 0.g. .. . t). q N . translations along or rotations about the z axis are single-variable families of transformations).

z). We then introduce a third variable z and define B( x. Using the relationship between L and H given by the Legendre transformation [Eq. Furthermore.5). where p≡ ∂L ˙ ∂q . ∂H ∂p ˙ = q. and that therefore y can be written in terms of x and z. y). and the third variable is the canonically conjugate momentum p. z) = yz − A( x. i.3 Legendre Transformations • We assume a function A( x. (70) that ∂B ∂B ∂A = y. (72)] we calculate variations: ˙ ˙ δL = qδp + pδq − ∂H ∂H δq + δp = ∂q ∂p δH ˙ q− ∂H ∂p δp − ˙ p+ ∂H ∂q δq + d ( pδq).4 The Hamiltonian ˙ • A Legendre transformation of a (time-independent. (70)] and the Euler-Lagrange equation. Hence. yields the Hamiltonian H: ˙ ˙ H (q. (71) ∂z x ∂x z ∂x y 9. y( x. we determine Hamilton’s equations. as we define z = z( x. 1 DoF) Lagrangian L(q. it follows from Eq.e. q (73) 9. the passive variable is the coordinate q. we know that variations in the action S = Ldt are given by δS = δLdt = 0. q).5 Hamilton’s Principle • From Hamilton’s principle (section 2. z). y) ≡ ∂A ∂y x (70) • By this chosen definition of z. z) = B( x. y). y vanishes. y. dt (74) 31 . y = y( x.9. z) ≡ yz − A( x. =− . constant q (72) • From dH [determined according to Eq. q). p) ≡ pq − L(q. where ˙ the active variable is the velocity q.. it follows that B has no explicit y dependence. by application of the chain rule. q ∂H ∂q =− p ∂L ∂q =− ˙ q d ∂L ˙ dt ∂q ˙ = − p. dB = zdy + ydz − ∂A ∂x dx − y ∂A ∂y dy = x z− ∂A ∂y dy + ydz − x ∂A ∂x dx. y) of a passive variable x and an active variable y. B = B( x.

3. Use the expressions you have calculated for p and P in terms of q and Q to determine expressions for p and q in terms of P and Q. (Study up to section 9. • Hence. 2.. 1.. We can also consider time as a passive variable in the Legendre transformation.. Q) = i [(mωq2 + √ kQ2 )/2 − 2kmωqQ]. and hence determine the transformed Hamiltonian H ( P. Use Hamilton’s equations to determine the the equations of motion for Q and P. If T is also ˙ a quadratic form in the qk . a point mass of mass m on a spring of spring constant = mω 2 .. 5. ∂qk ∂L dH =− . We thereN N ˙ ˙ fore include a time differential in dH = ∑k=1 qk dpk − ∑k=1 pk dqk + (∂H/∂t)dt. for example. (Study up to section 10.q1 . Q∗ }. (Study up to section 10. H is a constant of the motion. δp in Eq. • Finally. (Study up to section 10. where k is an arbitrary constant with the units of action (kgm2 s−1 ). H ≡ ∑k=1 pk qk − L (where L may be explicitly time-dependent). (Study up to section 9.. ∂L ∂t ⇒ ˙ q1 . independent infinitesimal variations in δq.. dt ∂t (76) Homework 4: Canonical Transformation of the SHO Consider a one-dimensional simple harmonic oscillator (potential energy V = mω 2 q2 /2. respectively) from the implicit transformation equations..6)..3). 4. using a Legendre transformation.. and that Hamilton’s equations mean the coefficients of δq. (Study up to section 10. (74) also vanish... H is the total energy E = T + V..6 Hamilton’s Equations of Motion N ˙ • For N DoF. 9.4). This is summarized ˙ ˙ by stating that dH = qdp − pdq. ∂pk ˙ pk = − ∂H . Determine expressions for p and P (the canonically conjugate momenta to q and Q. δp from the physical path in coordinate-momentum space (called phase space as opposed to the configuration space of Lagrangian mechanics) do not change the action. Calculate the general solution for Q as a function of time. Calculate the Poisson bracket { Q. Hamilton’s equations of motion in complete generality are: ˙ qk = ∂H .• We note that d( pδq)/dt vanishes on integration.. as δq = 0 at the endpoints of the physical path. Determine the Hamiltonian H from the Lagrangian L for this system. determine differential equations also for Q∗ and iP/k.4). Q).6). Consider a generating function of the form F1 (q. What is the relationship between H and the total energy E in this case? Is this expected? Explain your answer. ∂H ∂L dH = =− dt ∂t ∂t (75) • If there is no explicit time dependence in L. 32 ..4). modelling. which yields ∂H ∂t =− q1 . From these.p1 .

Q. ˙ • We now consider instead a starting Lagrangian L(q.1 Canonical Transformations • The Lagrangian formulation of mechanics makes coordinate transformations (commonly called point transformations). the descriptions of a physical system provided by L and L are equivalent. a new Hamiltonian H which is a function of Q and P is produced. q.. Substituting L into the Euler-Lagrange equation yields d dt ∂L ˙ ∂q − ∂L d ∂ dF ∂ dF = − ˙ ∂q dt ∂q dt ∂q dt d ∂ ∂F ∂F ∂ ∂F ∂F ˙ ˙ = q + q + − ˙ dt ∂q ∂q ∂t ∂q ∂q ∂t 2F 2F d ∂F ∂ ∂ ˙ = − q 2+ = 0. Q. t) = L(q. • Coordinate transformations take place in configuration space. t) − dF (q. p.3 10. t)/dt ˙ (F is independent of q).. (77) These are commonly called contact transformations. for a specific dynamical system.e. and Hamilton’s equations for H . dt ∂q ∂q∂t ∂q (78) i.e. i. fairly straightforward. P.10 Canonical Transformations and Poisson Brackets S EE ALSO H AND AND F INCH . such that ˙ ˙ L ( Q.1–6. and perhaps t. and Q must describe the correct transformed dynamics. t). P = P(q. q. t) dt (79) (λ = 1 is associated with a change of units or scale transformation. • A transformation is by definition canonical. the Euler-Lagrange equation derived from L. t) − dF (q. p. if the structure of Hamilton’s equations for all dynamical systems is preserved by it. q. 10.2 Equivalence of Lagrangians ˙ ˙ • Consider two Lagrangians L and L such that L (q. Hence. t). Q) related by a similar F which is a function of both q and Q. changing to new generalized coordinates and their associated generalized velocities. In phase space one can consider new coordinates Q and momenta P which are functions of the original coordinates q and their momenta p (and possibly the time t): Q = Q(q. We will always consider λ = 1) 33 . q) and a transformed La˙ grangian L ( Q. 6. t) = λL(q. Hence.

• Extension to N > 1 DoF is in principle straightforward. (81). from Eq. the time derivative for ˙ ˙ the generating function is dF/dt = (∂F/∂q)q + (∂F/∂Q) Q + ∂F/∂t ˙ • By construction. t1 ) − F (q(t2 ).• We next integrate Eq. ˙ H ( Q. To find an explicit form for the transformation.5). q does not appear explicitly in L . t) ≡ P Q − L = − ∂F ˙ ∂F ∂F ˙ ∂F ∂F ˙ ˙ Q−L+ q+ Q+ = pq − L + ∂Q ∂q ∂Q ∂t ∂t (83) ∂F (q.3 The Generating Function • F (q. although in practice the task of determining 2N unknowns from 2N equations may be formidable. Finally. Q(t2 ). Q. we first return to the definition of H in terms of a Legendre transformation [Eq. Q. (79) with respect to t (and with λ = 1): t2 t1 L dt = t2 t1 Ldt + F (q(t1 ). P. t) is called a generating function. From the chain rule. Q(t1 ). and so. 1 then we can say that the variation of two descriptions are equivalent. P).4 The Transformed Hamiltonian • To find the new Hamiltonian H ( Q. (80) [assuming that arbitrary variations δq(t) imply arbitrary variations δQ(t)] the t variation of t 2 Ldt vanishes. (82) ∂L ∂F ∂F ∂L = − ⇒p= . t). 34 . If we further assume that δF = 0 at the end points. ˙ ˙ ∂q ∂q ∂q ∂q (81) 10. q. and then insert this relation into Eq. (83) must be expressed in terms of P and Q. t2 t1 L dt vanishes. (81) to express Q = Q(q. (79) 0= Similarly ∂F ∂L ∂F ⇒P=− . (72)]. (82) to get P = P( p. p. p and q appearing in the RHS of Eq. t) + ∂t where we have made use of both Eq. Hence. t) = H (q. p. and it follows that the 10. t2 ) (80) Recalling Hamilton’s principle (section 2. (82) and Eq. t). • With the implicit transformation equations we have two equations and two unknowns. if we take variations of Eq. solve Eq. =− ˙ ∂Q ∂Q ∂Q These are known as the implicit transformation equations.

the value of the Poisson bracket for q and p is independent of the representation. or the implicit transformation equations can simply be determined independently in a similar manner as in section 10. we see that any Poisson bracket is independent of the representation in which it is calculated: 35 . Conversely. Q. then the new Hamiltonian H is simply the original Hamiltonian H. 10.. t). a Poisson bracket for two arbitrary functions F and G is defined as { F. 10. Q = 4. {q. G } ≡ k =1 ∑ N ∂F ∂G ∂F ∂G − ∂qk ∂pk ∂pk ∂qk = ∂F ∂G ∂F ∂G − if N = 1. F2 (q. but the result holds for N DoF).• If there is no explicit time dependence to F.6 Poisson Brackets • For N DoF. P} = 1 is a necessary and sufficient condition for a transformation to be canonical. ∂q ∂Q ∂F2 ∂F2 p= . p} = 1 (we consider 1DoF for brevity. Q. in conjunction with appropriately modified implicit transformation equations: ∂F1 ∂F . (86).3. ∂q ∂p ∂p ∂q (85) • Clearly. rewritten by inserting the inverse of the transformation equations expressing P and Q in terms of p and q. (84) and the chain rule] ∂q ∂p ∂q ∂p ∂q ∂2 F2 ∂2 F4 ∂p ∂Q ∂q ∂Q ∂p ∂Q − = + = + = = 1. • Using the result of Eq. t). ∂q ∂P ∂F3 ∂F3 q=− . ∂Q ∂P ∂P ∂Q ∂Q ∂P∂q ∂P∂p ∂Q ∂q ∂Q ∂p ∂Q ∂Q (86) i. P. the different forms of generating function may be related via Legendre transformations. ∂p ∂P p= F1 (q.e. If we consider a Poission bracket of q and p defined with respect to the canonically transformed dynamical variables Q and P. F4 ( p. t).5 Four Forms of Generating Function • The generating function need not be written in terms of q and Q. Any combination of one original and one new dynamical variable may be employed. P. { Q. t). P = − 1. ∂p ∂Q ∂F ∂F q = − 4. (84) • With some caveats. then [using Eq. F3 ( p. P=− . Q= .

For an arbitrary function F (q. H }. t). ˙ p = { p.7 Poisson Bracket Formulation of Hamilton’s Equations • Hamilton’s equations of motion can be reformulated in terms of Poisson brackets: ∂F ˙ . H }. ∂q ∂p ∂p ∂q (87) We therefore do not need to specify a particular set of coordinates and conjugate momenta when discussing Poisson brackets.∂F ∂G ∂F ∂G − = ∂Q ∂P ∂P ∂Q ∂F ∂G ∂F ∂G − ∂q ∂p ∂p ∂q ∂q ∂p ∂q ∂p − ∂Q ∂P ∂P ∂Q = ∂F ∂G ∂F ∂G − . 10. H } + ∂t ˙ q = {q. 36 . p. (88) F = { F.

Instead he or she observes that r appears to have rotated clockwise through an angle θ. 7. inertial force (89) 11. Hence.2 Rotated Reference Frames in 2D (a) yB yS xB r θ (b) yB (c) y rS θ xS r x B x rB (a) A new reference frame B is defined with respect to an original reference frame S by an anticlockwise rotation through angle θ. does not perceive that frame’s rotation. r ¨ ¨ m¨ B = m(r S − R) = r F true force − ¨ m R.1 Accelerating Reference Frames • One can only specify the position r S of a point mass with respect to a chosen reference frame S. but in frame B. (b) In frame B. but R = 0. where Newton’s laws hold.11 Rotating Reference Frames S EE ALSO H AND AND F INCH . • One can equally choose another reference frame B to specify the position r B of the same point mass.7 11. the position vector r has positive x and y components. r has a positive x component and a negative y component. (c) An observer in frame B. which has been rotated anticlockwise. ¨ • If S is an inertial frame. then B is not an inertial frame. The positions of the point mass relative to the two frames are then related by r B = r S − R. m¨S = F. In frame S.1–7. 37 . from r S to r B . as his or her observations are with respect to that same frame. in frame S. displaced by R from S.

VQ = (r S × n ) | NQ| sin(θ ) = (r S × n) sin(θ ). which is generally rearranged slightly to obtain the rotation formula: r B = r S cos(θ ) + (n · r S )n[1 − cos(θ )] + (r S × n) sin(θ ).3 Finite Rotations in 3D N θ Q P N θ rS× n V P n O Q Figure 5: Left: Overall and Right: top views of a general clockwise rotation of a vector OP = rS through an angle θ about an axis defined by the unit vector n. it follows that NV = NP | NQ| cos(θ ) = [r S − (n · r S )n] cos(θ ) | NP| (91) • We note that r S × n has direction perpendicular to r S = OP and n (as does VQ). ON = (n · r S )n (component of r S in n direction). Firstly. (90) • Noting that OP = ON + NP ⇒ NP = r S − (n · r S )n. |r S × n | (92) • Gathering the terms calculated above. This is what we would observe if the reference frame we were in rotated in an anticlockwise direction. • We wish to determine OQ = ON + NV + VQ. to become OQ = r B . we have OQ ON NV VQ (93) r B = (n · r S )n + [r S − (n · r S )n] cos(θ ) + (r S × n) sin(θ ). (94) 38 . and that NQ has the same magnitude as NP.11. Hence. and magnitude |r S × n| = | NQ|.

(96) (with v substituted for r) to determine the acceleration in frame B: dvS dt dv B dt B = B = dvS dt dvS dt − ω × vS − S dω dt × r − ω × vB B (97) − ω × (v B + ω × r ) − S dω dt × r − ω × vB . (noting that for any two vectors U × V = −V × U) the velocity of reference frame B relative to reference frame S is given by: dr dθ =− n dt dt × r = − ω ×r. r B = r + dr (⇒ dr = r B − r S ). 11. we deduce that m¨ = F − r ˙ 2mω × r coriolis force ˙ − mω × (ω × r ) − mω × r. S (96) velocity in S velocity of B relative to S This equation is completely general for any vector (not just position vectors). represents the position of a moving particle). angular velocity (95) Note that even if r is constant in reference frame B. • Having determined v B = vS − ω × r. centrifugal force Euler force (98) 39 . we take the time-derivative (in frame B) and make use of Eq. it is time dependent if viewed from reference frame S. then multiplying Eq.5 Velocity and Acceleration • If the vector r does have a time-dependence in reference frame S (e.g. θ = dθ. (94)] transforms to r + dr = r + (r × n)dθ. • Hence. then this must also be accounted for: dr dt velocity in B = B dr dt − ω × r. and taking the small-angle limit. the rotation formula [Eq. B 11.6 Inertial Forces in a Rotating Frame • If considering motion of a point mass.4 Infinitesimal Rotations • Letting r S = r. (97) by m and noting that F = m(dvS /dt)S .11.

In what follows we will neglect the centrifugal force terms. If the oscillation amplitude is small compared to the length of the pendulum l (small angle approximation). Incorporating the force F. 2 = g/l. (e) (Study up to section 12. and approximate the 2 ı  relevant forces in the (x. How many minutes would a full rotation of the earth take? 40 . How many hours does this correspond to: i. A Foucault pendulum is a heavy weight suspended by a cable from a bearing that does not restrict the motion (unlike e. At the equator. The mathematics will be easier if you consider the time evolution of the complex number ξ (t) = x (t) + iy(t) (see section A.4 of the Appendix in these notes on linear differential equations).7). The original demonstration by Foucault in Paris was in 1851.6). thus making it sensitive to the earth’s angular velocity ω.  pointing north. iii. (b) (Study up to section 12.Example Class 3: Foucault’s Pendulum 1.3). Derive the specific form taken by these equations in the apˆ ˆ propriate local coordinate system (ˆ pointing east. What is the position of the pendulum bob after each complete oscillation? Determine how many such oscillations must elapse before the pendulum bob (approximately) returns to its original position. (c) (Study up to section 12. What angular velocity would be required for your effective weight at the equator to be half that at the north pole? (Take the earth’s radius to be 6378 km). ii.g. Determine the general solution of the motion of the pendulum bob in the plane tangential to the earth’s surface (to the assumed level of approximation) in terms of the initial position and velocity. The pendulum is allowed to start oscillating after being held at an amplitude A due east from the origin. In Durham ( latitude 54◦ 47 north)? A DDITIONAL E XERCISE 2. This is acceptable if ω0 is significantly larger than |ω |. the motion of which is constrained to a plane). where ω0 (a) (Study up to section 11. At the north pole. Why? (d) (Study up to section 12. determine the relevant equations of motion as perceived when standing on the (rotating with constant angular velocity vector = ω) Earth. and caused quite a sensation.6). y) plane tangential to the earth’s surface by F = −mω0 ( xˆ + yˆ).2). Make sure that you consistently drop all terms of the same size or smaller than the√ neglected centrifugal force terms (to do this you will need the approximate identity 1 + ≈ 1 + /2 for small ). at the earth’s surface. we can neglect motion in the vertical (z) direction. k pointing out from ı the centre of the earth). a typical clock pendulum.

ω cos(θ ))].7–7. 0. 41 .12 Inertial Forces on Earth S EE ALSO H AND AND F INCH . and the x and y axes emerging through the equator [in this frame ω = (0. 1.1 Procedure for Determining a Local Coordinate Systems ω ω y z y x z θ α Figure 6: Left: Overall view of a local coordinate system in the region of a point on the surface of the spherical earth. We first consider a cartesian coordinate system with the z axis running through the poles. ω )]. solid sphere. Finally. α is the latitude. and θ the colatitude (in spherical coordinates. showing the local y and z axes only (the x axis points perpendicularly into the page). 12. we displace the origin of the coordinate system by R to point where the z axis emerges from the Earth’s surface (where R = | R| is the radius of the Earth). and Euler force terms assumes r to be defined with respect to a point on the axis of rotation. We then rotate the coordinate system around its x axis so that the z axis emerges at a chosen point on the Earth’s surface [now ω = (0.2 Inertial Forces in the Local Coordinate System • Note that the derivation of centrifugal. 7. and require an appropriate coordinate system to describe motion near a point on its surface.10 12. the positive y direction is north. 3. coriolis. ω sin(θ ). We model the Earth as a perfect. the positive z direction is out from the centre of the earth. the angle of elevation). Right: Cross-sectional view. The positive x direction is east. 2.

ω 2 R sin(θ ) cos(θ ). sin( θ ) cos( θ ). 12. (c) Effect of adding the gravitational and centrifugal forces together. g − ω 2 R sin2 (θ )). the centrifugal force −mω × (ω × r ) points directly away from the axis of rotation. r. 0. − sin2 ( θ )). • One must therefore substitute r = r + R into the inertial force terms.4 Effective Gravity on Earth’s Surface (a) (b) (c) (a) Direction and magnitude of the force due to earth’s gravitation on the surface of a spherical earth model. −mω Incorporating the effect of gravity. where r is the position vector associated with the local coordinate system. • Hence. 12. The net force for a static object does not point exactly to the centre of the earth except at the poles and the equator. meaning it can counteract gravity. 12.5 Deviation of a Plumb Bob • Setting r = = (0. (b) Direction of the centrifugal force on the surface of a spherical earth model (magnitude relative to the gravitational force greatly exaggerated for effect). one obtains −mω × [ω × (r + R)] 2 R (0. one obtains the EOM m¨ = −m(0. and ω × (ω × r ) is perpendicular to both ω and ω × r. r (99) 42 .3 Centrifugal Force −mω × (ω × r ) • The direction of the centrifugal force can be determined quite generally: ω × r is perpendicular to ω.• The final displacement of the local coordinate system origin means the associated position vector r does not begin on the axis of rotation. 0).

7 Loose Ends • The Euler force is not zero on Earth. • In a rotating reference frame which is also accelerating translationally with acceler¨ ation R.7 milliradians. and therefore only comes into play when there is motion. (100) For θ = π/4. and the coriolis force y component → −2mω cos(θ ) x. • One often considers phenomena when motion is effectively constrained to be “in plane. the general EOM is given by ¨ ˙ ˙ m¨ = F − 2mω × r − mω × (ω × r ) − mω × r − m R. Buildings at colatitude π/4 are therefore tilted by this amount from the true vertical if aligned with a plumb bob or spirit level. 3π/4. φd is maximised at 1. 12. cos(θ ) x. defined through ω 2 R sin(θ ) cos(θ ) ω 2 R sin(θ ) cos(θ ) ≈ tan(φd ) = g g − ω 2 R sin2 (θ ) (g ω 2 R ). − sin(θ ) x ) (101) Note that it is proportional to velocities. In this case the coriolis force x component ˙ ˙ → 2mω cos(θ )y. r (102) 43 .6 Coriolis Force −2mω × r • In the local coordinate system defined for the surface of the Earth. the coriolis force is given by ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ − 2mω × r = −2mω (sin(θ )z − cos(θ )y.” when we ignore the z dimension. but is commonly taken to be negligible. ˙ 12.• We now consider the deflection angle φd .

connected by massless rigid rods). 13.3). Hence. where the direction of the axis of rotation is defined by the unit vector n (i. • For one mass point I is the square of its distance from the axis of rotation multiplied by its mass m.3 13. 2 DoF).. Any rigid body more complex than two connected point masses has 6 DoF.4 Angular Momentum J and Rotational Kinetic Energy • The angular momentum (about the origin) of a system of mass points is given by N N ˙ J = ∑k=1 r k × p = ∑k=1 mk r k × r k . I is the sum of such terms. ∞ (103) 13. 13. and contributes 3 coordinates −3 constraints = 0 DoF.. on the surface of an imaginary sphere with its centre at the location of the first point. where r k = r k − R).e. 8.3 Moment of Inertia I about an Axis of Rotation • Consider N mass points. rotating with angular velocity ω anticlockwise about an axis of rotation (assumed to pass through the origin). r k . the whole rigid body can be rotated about the axis formed by drawing a line through the first and second point (1 DoF). For N mass points. the angular velocity vector ω = ωn). then we replace r k .1–8. Angular Momentum and Kinetic Energy S EE ALSO H AND AND F INCH . • Having specified the position of the second point.e.g. I= k =1 ∑ N 2 m k [r k − (r k · n )2 ] = k =1 ∑ mk |(rk · n)n − rk |2. The most general displacement of a rigid body is a translation plus a rotation (Chasles’ theorem). subsequent to translation (3 DoF).13 Rotational Inertia. A system of 2(3) connected point masses has 5(6) DoF (see section 1. specified by azimuthal and elevation angles (i.1 DoF of Rigid Bodies • A rigid body is a system of mass points (or a continuum) constrained so that distances between all points are constant (e. • Connecting a further point mass to 3 “original” point masses fully specifies its position relative to the rigid body. r k by r k . • Alternatively. The most general displacement of a rigid body with one point fixed is a rotation about some axis (Euler’s theorem). (if the point about which we calculate J is k ˙ ˙ R = 0. 44 . specify an axis of rotation (2 DoF) and a finite rotation about that axis (1 DoF).2 Displacement of a Rigid Body • Translating one point of a rigid body by R without changing the rigid body’s orientation involves 3 DoF. A second point on the rigid body can then be rotated to any location.

J= k =1 N ∑ N mk [r k × (ω × r k )] = k =1 2 ∑ m k [r k ω − (r k · ω )r k ] N (104) ⇒ J·n = ω k =1 2 ∑ mk [rk − (rk · n)2 ] = ωI. Noting 2 that |n × r k | = |(r k · n)n − r k |. y. the rotational kinetic energy takes a simple form: 2 T= ω2 2 k =1 ∑ N mk |(r k · n)n − r k |2 = Iω 2 .α rk.β ).˙ • If rigid body constraints are imposed. k 2 ∑ m k (r k − z2 ) ω z − m k z k x k ω x − m k z k y k ω y . 45 . 2 (105) ˆ 13.5 Definition of the Inertia Tensor I N 2 • From J = ∑k=1 mk [rk ω − (r k · ω )r k ]. we infer that Jx = Jy = Jz = k =1 N 2 2 ∑ m k (r k − x k ) ω x − m k x k y k ωy − m k x k z k ωz . any velocity r k is due to rotation only. • Using the vector identity a × (b × c) = ( a · c)b − ( a · b)c and recalling ω = ωn. z)(r2 δαβ − rα r β ). For continuous bodies Iαβ = volume dxdydzρ( x. 2 ∑ m k (r k − y2 ) ω y − m k y k x k ω x − m k y k z k ω z . k N (106) k =1 N k =1 and use the linear transformation relating the angular velocity vector ω to the anˆ gular momentum vector J to define the inertia tensor I:      Jx Ixx Ixy Ixz ωx  Jy  =  Iyx Iyy Iyz   ωy  Jz Izx Izy Izz ωz J N k ˆ I ω where δαβ = 1 0 if α = β if α = β (107) with 2 Iαβ = ∑ mk (rk δαβ − rk. N 1 N ˙2 • The kinetic energy reduces to T = 2 ∑k=1 mk rk = ω ∑k=1 mk |n × r k |2 . • ω × r k is the velocity of the kth mass point due to its anticlockwise rotation (in contrast to the perceived velocity −ω × r of objects appearing to rotate clockwise due to the anticlockwise rotation of a reference frame). (ρ is a mass density).

J= ˙ ˙ ∑ m k (r k + R C ) × (r k + R C ) ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ∑ m k (r k × r k + R C × r k + r k × R C + R C × R C ) N k =1 N = N N ˙ ∑ k =1 m k r k ∑ k =1 m k r k ˙ ˙ ˙ = ∑ mk (r k × r k ) + MRC × + × M RC + MRC × RC .13. 46 . = 0 (110) N ˙ ˙ • J = ∑k=1 mk (r k × r k ) + MRC × RC can be expressed as the angular momentum about the CoM plus the angular momentum of the CoM about the origin. the rotational kinetic energy can be phrased more generally in terms of the moment of inertia tensor as 1 N 1 N 1 2 ˙ ˙ T = ∑ mk rk = ∑ mk r k · (ω × r k ) = ω · 2 k =1 2 k =1 2 ˙ ∑ m k (r k × r k ) ˆ J = Iω ˆ ˆ ˆ • Hence T = (1/2)ω · ( Iω ) = (ω 2 /2)n T In.8 Separation off of the CoM Angular Momentum and Kinetic Energy • The corresponding total angular momentum about some point (situated at the N ˙ origin of the coordinate system) is J = ∑k=1 mk (r k × r k ). Hence.7 Centre of Mass (CoM) • The centre of mass position and velocity for a system of N mass points (mass of kth N point = mk ) are defined by (total mass M = ∑k=1 mk ): RC = N ∑ k =1 m k r k . 13. where n T In is the moment of inertia I about the axis defined by n.6 Generalized Description of the Rotational Kinetic Energy • Using the vector identity a · (b × c) = b · ( a × c) = c · ( a × b). (108) k =1 13.e. M M k =1 k =1 N CoM velocity and position with respect to CoM.. i. • We let r k = r k + RC . M (109) N ˙ ˙ It immediately follows that the total momentum P = ∑k=1 mk r k = M RC is equivalent N to the momentum of a single particle of mass M = ∑k=1 mk moving with the CoM. M ˙ ∑N m r ˙ R C = k =1 k k . N .

ω1 = 0. then the subsequent time-evolution of ω (t) causes it to move rapidly away from the equilibrium solution. Derive the principal moments of inertia of a general cuboid of height 2a. ∑ C 2 k =1 2 k =1 = (111) =0 • In general. 2. of uniform density.6). (Study up to section 15. δ3 ). 5. ¨ 4. and having a uniform mass density ρ. where Ω2 = | Ω2 | is defined ˜ ˜ Ω positive). if the only external forces acting on a rigid body act through the CoM (e. δ2 . Homework 5: Rotating Book We consider the torque-free motion of a general right angled parallelepiped or cuboid (e. in the process deriving an expression for Ω2 . (Study up to section 15. gravity). When is the equilibrium solution under consideration unstable? 47 .2). and the kinetic energy for motion with respect to the CoM can be separated: T= 1 N 1 N 1 N ˙ ˙ ˙2 ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ∑ m k r k = 2 ∑ m k r k · r k = 2 ∑ m k (r k + R C ) · (r k + R C ) 2 k =1 k =1 k =1 N 1 N 1 ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ mk rk2 + RC · ∑ mk r k + M R2 .• Similarly. Noting that there are no external Torques.. Employing this approximation.1).” δ2 δ3 ≈ 0. (Study up to section 15. 1. show that the system is in equilibrium (meaning that ω never changes) when ω2 = ω3 = 0. 3. the CoM kinetic energy. for the two separate cases where Ω2 > 0. We say that the equilibrium solution is unstable if. and where 2 < 0? (For convenience. (Study up to section 15. Determine the other two equilibrium solutions.1). a book). What are the general solutions of the equation of motion δ2 (t) = ˙ Ω2 δ2 (t) in terms of δ2 (0) and δ2 (0). width 2b and depth 2c (all unequal). show that ¨ δ2 = Ω2 δ2 . as δ2 and δ3 are considered “small.2). ω = (ω1 . such that. when the initial angular velocity vector ω (0) is very slightly different from the equilibrium solution and its ˙ initial first time-derivative ω (0) = 0. use the parameter Ω in your answer. (Study up to section 14.g. the CoM motion can be considered separately. Consider a near equilibrium solution.g.

β )] N = = k =1 N k =1 ∑ mk [(rk2 + 2rk · RC + R2 )δαβ − (rk. defined with respect to rotations about its CoM.β k =1 ∑ mk rk. 8. the elements of which are determined by the elements of the CoM position vector: Aαβ = R2 δαβ − RC.β − RC.α RC. This is the parallel axis theorem.β )] C ∑ mk (rk2 δαβ − rk. This is equivalent to considering a diagonal element of some representation of the inertia tensor. one can insert the CoM position RC into the elements of the Inertia tensor Iαβ : Iαβ = k =1 N ∑ N 2 mk (rk δαβ − rk.14 The Parallel and Principal Axis Theorems S EE ALSO H AND AND F INCH . • From the displaced axis theorem. 48 . • Hence. and used the fact that the CoM position with respect to the CoM is = 0.β ) + M( R2 δαβ − RC. defined with respect to rotations about the origin can be related to the inertia tensor of the same rigid body.α rk. (113) ˆ where A can be represented by a matrix. 14. the inertia tensor of a rigid body.α )(rk.α RC. C (114) where RC is the distance of parallel axis from the axis of rotation passing through the CoM.2 Parallel Axis Theorem • Consider a moment of inertia ICOM about an axis of rotation passing through the CoM.α rk.β ) = k =1 ∑ mk [|rk + RC |2 δαβ − (rk.α =0 (112) N =0 =0 As before. the moment of inertia I about a parallel axis is I = ICoM + MR2 .β + rk.β .α k =1 ∑ N mk rk.β ) C k =1 + 2RC · ∑ N mk r k δαβ − RC.2 14.β + RC. we have let r k = r k + RC .α RC.through ˆ ˆ ˆ I = ICoM + M A.α RC.β + RC.α rk.β + RC. This is C the displaced axis theorem.α rk.1 Displaced Axis Theorem • In a similar fashion to the angular momentum and rotational kinetic energy.α + RC.

is said to be an orthogonal matrix. (So-called because its rows form an orthonormal set. We say I is a symmetric tensor. conveniently chosen with the origin at the point of rotation) the inertia tensor is represented by a symmetric ˆ matrix.g. 49 . A matrix P for which an inverse P ˆ ˆ ˆ • A real invertible square matrix P such that its inverse P−1 = P T . the −1 exists is called invertible.4 Orthogonal Matrices and Orthogonal Diagonalization ˆ ˆˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ • The inverse P−1 of a matrix P is defined such that P−1 P = P P−1 = 1. Px =  0 cos θ − sin θ  . Iαβ = Iβα . (115) The inverse matrix describes a rotation back in the opposite direction. • The matrix elements depend on the chosen representation (the tensor is defined representation free). and its columns form an orthonormal set). for some set of cartesian axes. then the following are equivalent. one can consider separate rotations about each axis:    1 0 0 cos φ 0 − sin φ ˆ ˆ . (a) A is ˆ has an orthonormal set of N eigenvectors. (b) A ˆ (c) A is symmetric. We wish to know if there is a diagonal matrix representation of the inertia tensor. 14.14. • In any representation (e. ˆ • A square matrix A is called orthogonally diagonalizable if there is an invertible ˆ ˆ ˆˆ ˆ ˆˆ ˆ ˆ matrix P such that P−1 A P = P T A P = D is diagonal. • A general 2 × 2 orthogonal matrix has a single free parameter θ. its transpose. in 3 dimensions. describing a general rotation in 3-dimensions. • Similarly. i. and describes a 2-dimensional rotation when acting on a 2-dimensional column vector: ˆ P= cos θ − sin θ sin θ cos θ . ˆ ˆ identity matrix. and for rotations of that body about a particular point (frequently the centre of mass).e. orthogonally diagonalizable. P 0 0 1  (116) ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆT ˆT ˆT ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ • ( Pz Py Px ) T Pz Py Px = Px Py Pz Pz Py Px = 1. If A is an N × N matrix. Py =  0 1 0 0 sin θ cos θ sin φ 0 cos φ   cos ψ − sin ψ 0 ˆz =  sin ψ cos ψ 0  .. and the product Pz Py Px is a way of formulating a general 3 × 3 orthogonal matrix.3 Symmetric Nature of the Inertia Tensor ˆ • The inertia tensor I is defined for a particular rigid body. P is said to orthogonally diˆ ˆ ˆ agonalize A.

The directions the eigenvectors point in determine the principal axes. i.e. p22 . p31 ).5 Principal Axis Theorem ˆ • I is a symmetric tensor. The diagonal elements are the principal moments of inertia ˆ (eigenvalues of I). ˆ • Rotating the coordinate system such that the representation of I is diagonal is a principal axis transformation. and is always represented by a 3 × 3 symmetric matrix. we use D = P−1 A P = T A P ⇒ P D P−1 = P D P T = A. p31 p32 p33 λ1 p31 λ2 p32 λ3 p33 0 0 λ3  ˆ P ˆ D (118) (117) ˆ ˆ • Since the columns of P are orthonormal. p33 ) with 1 2 3 corresponding eigenvalues λ1 . (119) 14. 50 . and a principal moment of inertia Ik is the moment of inertia associated with rotation about the principal axis k. ˆ • Let P be the matrix whose columns are these eigenvectors:  p11 p12 p13 ˆ P =  p21 p22 p23  p31 p32 p33  This implies that     p11 p12 p13 λ1 p11 λ2 p12 λ3 p13 λ1 0 0 ˆˆ A P =  λ1 p21 λ2 p22 λ3 p23  =  p21 p22 p23   0 λ2 0  . −1 A P = P T A P = D. p32 ). I3 . p = ( p13 . p = ( p12 . 2. A is orthogonally diagonalizable. Thereˆ fore. ˆˆ ˆ ˆˆ ˆ ˆ ˆˆ ˆ AP = PD ⇒ P ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆˆ • To help see that A must be symmetric. called I1 . p21 . I has three eigenvalues (which may be repeated). P is an orthogonal matrix. λ2 .. that A T = A. the coordinate system is set by the principal axes (eigenvectors ˆ of I).e.ˆ • Consider the 3 × 3 case. Hence. Let us say that a 3 × 3 matrix A has 3 orthonormal eigenvectors p = ( p11 .. and that this is always possible is the principal axis theorem. ˆ ˆ ˆˆ ˆ ˆˆ ˆ P ˆˆ ˆ ˆ ˆˆ ˆ ˆˆ ˆ ˆˆ ˆ A T = ( P D P T ) T = P D T P T = P D P T = A. These are the principal moments of inertia. I2 . λ3 . ˆ • I must also have three orthonormal eigenvectors (in the case of repeated eigenvalues. Hence. p23 . labelled 1. • It is always possible to find a rotated coordinate system such that the representaˆ tion of I is diagonal. i. there is some freedom in choosing what form the corresponding eigenvectors should take). 3.

it is often possible to guess a coordinate system for ˆ which all off-diagonal elements of I are = 0. • One can then deduce the principal moments of inertia directly. without having to carry out a principal axis transformation.6 Deducing the Principal Axes Figure 7: Principal axes of an asymmetric ellipsoid. • For highly symmetric objects. and an asymmetric parallelepiped. The principal moments of inertia have been chosen to be identical for the two objects.14. for rotation about the centre of mass. 51 .

(da/dt) B = (da/dt)S − ω × a].1 Euler’s Equations of Motion • We consider N mass points subject to rigid-body constraints. a freely spinning object moving through the Earth’s gravitational field). and thus derive Euler’s equations of motion: ˙ I1 ω1 − ω2 ω3 ( I2 − I3 ) = N1 . • We assume a coordinate system defined by the principal axes. • Where the sphere and ellipsoid intersect shows the possible trajectories for the angular momentum components Jk = ωk Ik . ˙ I3 ω3 − ω1 ω2 ( I1 − I2 ) = N3 .4–8. 52 . I2 ω2 . to get ˙ J= k =1 ∑ N ˙ ˙ m k (r k × r k ) + k =1 ∑ N ¨ m k (r k × r k ) = k =1 ∑ rk × Fk . 8.2 Torque-Free Motion • If there are no external torques (e. ˙ I2 ω2 − ω3 ω1 ( I3 − I1 ) = N2 .g. (96) [that. and T = J1 /2I1 + 2 2 J2 /2I2 + J3 /2I3 describes an ellipsoid. I3 ω3 ). then we can set N1 = N2 = N3 = 0. i.15 Rigid Body Dynamics and Stability S EE ALSO H AND AND F INCH . and take the time N ˙ derivative of the angular momentum vector J = ∑k=1 mk (r k × r k ). the decomposition J = ( I1 ω1 . (121) 15. • Recalling Eq. viewing the rigid body from outside (space axes/coordinate system) (dJ/dt)S = N.. as a × a = 0 for any vector a total torque N • Hence. for any vector a. • Note that the total angular momentum (about the CoM) and the total kinetic energy (associated with motion about the CoM) are both conserved. viewing the rigid body while travelling with its rotational motion (body axes/coordinate system) we can say that (dJ/dt) B + ω × J = N.5 15. we can say. N (120) = 0. 2 2 2 2 • J 2 = J1 + J2 + J3 describes a sphere in angular momentum space.e.

Rotation about principal axis 2 is unstable. Right: Equivalent diagram for the case where I1 = I2 > I3 .Figure 8: Left: Contours of constant T on a sphere described by J 2 = 1. and there are no points on the J 2 = 1 sphere about which the rotation is unstable. rotation about principal axes 1 and 3 is stable. Principal axes 1 and 2 can be rotated freely about principal axis 3. 53 . for a system where I1 > I2 > I3 .

(129) The roots λ+ and λ− may be imaginary — if this is the case and x is a real quantity (such as position) then A+ and A− must have (complex) values such that the overall imaginary contribution is zero. (125) 2a Thus ( x − λ+ )( x − λ− ) = 0.2. (124) (123) This is the auxiliary equation.e. (126) i. cancelling eλt everywhere.2 Solution A. through ˙ ˙ x ( t ) = A + λ + e λ + t + A − λ − e λ − t ⇒ x (0) = A + λ + + A − λ − . there must be two integration constants in its general solution).1 Definition A second-order homogeneous ordinary linear differential equation with constant coefficients has the form: dx d2 x a 2 + b + cx = 0 (122) dt dt This has been written to appear to be a differential equation of a position variable with respect to time.A Second-Order Ordinary Linear Differential Equations with Constant Coefficients A.1 Auxiliary Equation The recipe for solving such a linear differential equation begins by substituting eλt for x. often determined by the initial position: x (0) = A + + A − (128) and the initial velocity.. A. x ( t ) = A + e λ+ t + A − e λ− t (127) where the A+ .2.2 General Solution (Roots not Repeated) The general solution is then a linear superposition of the two particular solutions eλ+ t and eλ− t . there are 2 distinct values of λ solving the auxiliary equation. Thus aλ2 eλt + bλeλt + ceλt = 0 which. assuming the roots are not repeated.e. A− are arbitrary constants (because we are dealing with a second-order differential equation. I . which may be complex or imaginary. One can then solve the auxiliary equation by finding the roots from the quadratic formula: √ −b ± b2 − 4ac λ± = .. becomes aλ2 + bλ + c = 0. A. as this is most obviously relevant for classical mechanics. i.

A. We then consider the differential equation given by d2 ξ d2 x d2 y +··· = 2 +···+i +··· . A. this will produce an equation containing terms proportional to both ξ and its complex conjugate ξ ∗ .A. 2 dt dt (137) where α. β. (132) ˜ One can then define a new variable x = x + k/c..4 Representing Position in a Plane by a Single Complex Number If we have a situation where. i. γ are (in general) complex constant coefficients.. as well as their first derivatives. If this is the case.3 Possible Complications A. by x (t) = x (t) − k/c. as shown above.e. and the general solution for x (t) ˜ from it. in a number of cases of physical interest. then the general solution for ξ (t) is determined using exactly the same methodology as described on the first two pages. i. for example.e. Having determined the general II . which in no way simplifies anything! However. the x and y variables cannot be separated: d2 x dx dy + a x + bx + c x x + d x y + k x = 0. and a second linearly independent solution is given by teλt . 2 dt dt dt (134) (135) then we can try to simplify matters by considering the complex variable ξ = x + iy. and adding the bottom equation multiplied by i to the top equation. there is no coupling to the complex conjugate variable ξ ∗ . 2 dt dt dt 2y d dx dy + ay + by + cy x + dy y + k y = 0. we have coupled motion in the x. for which it follows a ˜ ˜ dx d2 x ˜ + b + c x = 0. y plane. (136) dt2 dt dt2 In general.3.2 Additional Constant (130) If the differential equation has the form a then this can be rephrased as a d2 x dx k +b +c x+ 2 dt c dt d2 x dx + b + cx + k = 0 2 dt dt (131) = 0. the result takes the form d2 ξ dξ + α + βξ + γ = 0. then eλt solves the differential equation.1 Repeated Roots If λ+ = λ− = λ. 2 dt dt (133) ˜ One then finds the general solution for x (t). The general solution is thus given by x (t) = Aeλt + Bteλt .3.

. within a region (i.x0N (138) (Taylor’s theorem of the mean is in fact a more general result — see essentially any moderately advanced calculus text if interested). . Otherwise it is necessary to use methods developed for linear systems of equations. . and then evaluated at x1 = x01 . . The very substantial simplification of the mathematics offered by such an approach means it is at least worth considering. (140) k! ∂x k =1 x0 Note that. If. then we get the usual form of a single-variable Taylor series:   ∞ k 1 ∂ f ( x ) = f ( x0 ) + ∑  k f ( x )  ( x − x0 ) k . . . some volume of n-dimensional space) all possible partial derivatives of f exist. . then f ( x0 + a ) = f ( x0 ) + 1 k ∂k ∑ k! a ∂xk f (x) k =1 ∞ . x0N ) 1 +∑ k! k =1 ∞ ∂ ∂ a1 + · · · + aN ∂x1 ∂x N k f ( x1 . The vertical line at the right-hand-side of the derivative terms means that the derivative is first calculated.2 Taylor Series in One Variable If we restrict ourselves to f being a function of just one variable f ( x ). . . . etc. It is also assumed that the function f is well-defined over the region of interest (in particular. Or it could be just the potential energy term of such a Lagrangian. .. if interested. . . Taylor’s theorem of the mean implies f ( x01 + a1 . one derives the general solution for x (t) by taking the real part of ξ (t). for example. . be a Lagrangian describing the motion of n objects.. Any value of x0 slightly different from zero is acceptable.. and z directions cannot be separated. as this point is singular [ f ( x ) → ∞ as x → 0]. and the general solution for y(t) by taking the imaginary part. x N ) x01 . x2 . B.. B Taylor Series B. this will also be necessary if motion in the x...e. y. which would be considered a function of n generalized coordinates and n generalized velocities (which are considered independent variables). x N ).e. i. Extension to higher-order linear differential equations is straightforward.solution for ξ (t). x0 (139) If we write the above in a form where a = x − x0 . with N = n variables. there should be no infinities).1 Taylor’s Theorem of the Mean We consider a function of N variables f ( x1 . This could. making for a total of N = 2n variables. the function f ( x ) = x −1 cannot be expanded around x0 = 0. x2 = x02 . the above series converges within this region. for example. See essentially any textbook on ordinary differential equations for further details. . III . x0N + a N ) = f ( x01 . . .

y) x0 . y0 + b) = f ( x0 . z) ∂y2 ( y − y0 )2 x0 . z) ∂z2 ( x − x0 )2 + x0 . as desired. z) ∂x∂z ∂2 f ( x. y.y0 .z0 +··· . y.y0 . y) = f ( x0 .B.y0 .y0 ∂2 f ( x.y0 +··· .y0 + + 1 2 ∂2 f ( x. that f ( x.and second-order derivative terms. z) ∂x ∂ f ( x. y0 . y) x0 . (143) This can be extended to functions of more than three variables. z) ∂z ( x − x0 ) + x0 .y0 ∂ f ( x. f ( x. Similarly to the case for a single-variable Taylor series. y. z) ∂y∂z ( x − x0 )(z − z0 ) x0 .z0 (y − y0 )(z − z0 ) x0 .y0 (142) ( y − y0 )2 x0 . y. z) ∂y ( y − y0 ) x0 .z0 ∂2 f ( x.4 Taylor Series in Three Variables Proceeding in an exactly analogous fashion.z0 ∂2 f ( x. we write down f ( x0 + a. y.z0 ( z − z0 )2 + 2 x0 .y0 . IV . z). we set a = x − x0 and b = y − y0 .z0 ∂2 f ( x. Bearing in mind that we are frequently only interested in (at most) the first.y0 . z) ∂x2 ∂2 f ( x. we determine for a function of three variables. y0 ) + 1 + 2 a 2 a ∂ ∂ +b ∂x ∂y ∂2 ∂x∂y f ( x. y.y0 . in a reasonably straightforward fashion.y0 .z0 ∂ f ( x. y. y. y) ∂x∂y ( x − x0 )(y − y0 ) x0 . y) ∂y ( y − y0 ) x0 .3 Taylor Series in Two Variables It is not so easy to write down such a compact formulation for a Taylor series in two or more variables. yielding f ( x.y0 .z0 ∂2 f ( x. z) = f ( x0 .y0 +··· . y) ∂x2 ∂2 f ( x. y. but the procedure is essentially the same. y. y) ∂y2 ( x − x0 )2 + 2 x0 . y0 ) + ∂ f ( x. B. and to include higher-order derivatives. y. y) ∂x ( x − x0 ) + x0 . z) ∂x∂y ( x − x0 )(y − y0 ) x0 .z0 ( z − z0 ) x0 .y0 . z0 ) + + + + +2 +2 1 2 ∂ f ( x.y0 ∂2 ∂x2 + 2ab +b 2 ∂2 ∂y2 (141) f ( x.

ˆ i.k+1 · · · (149) C. . (146) b d C. . . . (150) V . . if B is to equal B T . .e. ˆ Similarly. . . it follows that b must equal c. and a scalar λ.. These (n − 1) × (n − 1) matrices are conventionally formed ˆ by removing the 1st row and the kth column from the matrix D.e..k−1 d2. dn1 dn2 · · · d1n d2n . (145) ˆ ˆ Hence. In this case..1 Symmetric Matrices In classical mechanics. ··· d2. the determinant of an n × n matrix D is given by a sum of n terms involving determinants of (n − 1) × (n − 1) matrices. symmetric matrices. matrices with real entries that are equal to their own transpose. . we say a matrix A is symmetric if ˆ ˆ A = AT . . Formally. which we already know how to calculate. .3 The Conventional Eigenvalue Problem ˆ If we take a matrix A. . Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors C.C Determinants. i. The most conventional formulation is ˆ det(C ) = c11 c12 c13 c21 c22 c23 c31 c32 c33 = c11 c22 c23 c32 c33 − c12 c21 c23 c31 c33 + c13 c21 c22 . we can usually restrict ourselves to considering real. (144) ˆ In the case of a general 2 × 2 matrix B ˆ BT = a b c d T = a c b d . a vector v. . c31 c32 (148) We thus have a sum of 3 terms involving determinants of 2 × 2 matrices. dnn n ˆ det( D ) = = k =1 ∑ (−1) 1+ k d1k ··· . the most general 2 × 2 symmetric matrix has the form a b ˆ B= . . the determinant is formulated by d11 d12 · · · d21 d22 · · · .k+1 · · · . (147) There is considerable freedom in the choice of steps to take when calculating the determinant of ˆ a 3 × 3 matrix C. . such that ˆ Av = λv. dn. . .2 Determinants ˆ The determinant of the matrix B is given by ˆ det( B) = a b c d = ad − bc. .k−1 dn. . .

b. then we can determine two independent (i. some more involved algebraic manipulation is usually required to produce isolated expressions for the eigenvector components. When considering 3.. discounting the trivial solution v = 0. It so happens that this can only be possible if the determiˆ ˆ nant of the matrix ( A − λ1) is zero. VI . we will end up with n equations like Eq.. It is common to choose v1+ = 1. (152) = ( a − λ)(d − λ) − b2 = λ2 − ( a + d)λ + ( ad − b2 ) = 0. It obviously follows that ˆ ˆ ˆ Av − λv = 0 ⇒ ( A − λ1)v = 0. for example two roots in the characteristic polynomial are identical (repeated roots).ˆ we say that v is an eigenvector of the matrix A. and the eigenvalue λ+ . This is why we have ignored Eq. and setting it equal to zero. symmetric n × n matrix.e. (156) and Eq. (156) when determining v+ . the matrix with ones down the main (top-left-to-bottom-right) diagonal and zeros everywhere else]. For an n × n matrix. (151) ˆ where 1 is the identity matrix [i. and we can always ignore one of them as being not independent. ˆ The procedure for finding the eigenvalues associated with the matrix A then begins by calcuˆ ˆ ˆ lating the determinant of ( A − λ1). If A is a real. Eq. (157). 2 The eigenvector v+ associated with the eigenvalue λ+ can then be determined from λ± = ( a + d) ± (154) a − λ+ b b d − λ+ which implies v 1+ v 2+ = 0 0 (155) (λ+ − a)v1+ =bv2+ (λ+ − d)v2+ =bv1+ . λ+ and λ− . there is some freedom in choosing what form the two orthogonal eigenvectors should take. If. d. or degenerate). with eigenvalue λ. There are two solutions. orthogonal) eigenvectors with the same eigenvalue. As any linear combination of the two will also be an eigenvector with the same eigenvalue.e. (153) The values of λ that solve this equation can in this case be generally determined from the quadratic formula. Because the polynomial ( a − λ+ )(d − λ+ ) − b2 = 0 fixes a relationship between the matrix components a. (156) and Eq. this yields an nth-degree polynomial in λ which always has n real roots (although roots may be repeated. (157) are not independent. and then normalize the result. (158) and equivalently. for the determining of v− . we calculate a−λ b b d−λ a b b d . Hence. from Eq. We will work this through for a real 2 × 2 symmetric matrix ˆ B= ˆ To determine the eigenvalues of B.and higher-dimensional vectors. given by ( a − d )2 + b2 . See essentially any linear algebra text for more details and proofs of the above results. (157) v+ = 1 1 + (λ+ (156) (157) − d)2 /b2 1 (λ+ − d)/b .

and finally (usually) normalizing the eigenvectors. in the case of determining normal modes). (159) ˆ where B is a matrix which is not necessarily proportional to the identity (although it will still be symmetric. then using the calculated values of the eigenvalues to determine the relationships between the components of their corresponding eigenvectors.e. finding the roots of the resulting polynomial in order to determine the eigenvalues.4 Generalized Eigenvalue Problem It can happen (for example when determining normal modes) that we have a situation which is expressed more like ˆ ˆ ( A − λ B)v = 0. It is still the case that the determinant of ˆ ˆ ( A − λ B) must be zero for this equation to be nontrivially solvable. This is a generalized eigenvalue problem. setting the determinant = 0. i.C.. and the eigenvalues and eigenvectors are determined in much the same way. VII .

Express ξ (t) in a form which is consistent with this approximation. [6 marks] (c) Where ξ (t) = x (t) + iy(t). A typical method is as follows). ˙ (b) m¨ = −2mω × r. (160) 2ω cos(θ ) (d) Recalling that the centrifugal force has magnitude mω 2 R sin(θ ) (R is the radius of the earth).1 and 12.D D. derive the equations of motion in the x and y directions for a shell of mass m fired horizontally from large gun. (163) (162) where α and β are two integration constants. while retaining the coriolis force. Thus. x + i y = ξ = −i2ω cos(θ )ξ.1 Coriolis Force (2006) The general expression for the coriolis force in a frame of reference rotating with angular velocity ˙ ˙ ω. ω cos(θ )) (ω is the magnitude of the angular velocity and θ the colatitude). and from ˙ ξ (t) = −i2ω cos(θ )αe−i2ω cos(θ )t (164) VIII . It immediately follows that ξ (0) = α + β.2. and vertical motion (motion in the z direction). ω sin(θ ).1. ¨ ˙ ¨ ¨ Hence. and the general solution is given by ξ (t) = αe−i2ω cos(θ )t + β.1. z-axis points out from the centre of the earth). the angular velocity vector takes the form (0. ˙ ˙ ˙ x y z (161) ¨ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ¨ ˙ Hence. where r ˙ ω×r = ˆ ˆ ˆ ı  k 0 ω sin(θ ) ω cos(θ ) . this yields λ2 = −i2ω cos(θ )λ ⇒ λ[λ + i2ω cos(θ )] = 0. explain briefly the justification for neglecting the centrifugal force.1 Exam Questions and Solutions Question D. specifically 12. y-axis points north. [4 marks]. which is = 2ω cos(θ )y if z = 0. acting on an object of mass m moving with velocity r is −2mω × r (a) With the aid of a diagram or diagrams. (c) (There are a number of equally correct ways to answer this question. [4 marks] (b) Within such a local coordinate system. and y = −2ω cos(θ ) x.2 Solution (a) See Lecture 12. show that in a local coordinate system oriented with respect to a point on the surface of the earth (x-axis points east. Neglect both the centrifugal force. If we replace ξ with the trial solution eλt . λ = 0 or −i2ω cos(θ ). D. x = −2ω [sin(θ )z − cos(θ )y]. show that the solution to the combined equation of motion is [6 marks] ˙ i ξ (0) ξ ( t ) = ξ (0) + [exp(−i2ω cos(θ )t) − 1].

sliding without friction on the inside of a parabolic bowl of curvature c and mass M..e. [4 marks] (b) We will neglect the quartic term c2 x2 x2 . and side-to-side (x B ) motion of the bowl only.2.1 Question Consider a small block of mass m (considered to be a mass point). ω 3 . xC . without cross-terms combining the different coordinates or their velocities). x R = xS − x B and the constraint yS = cx2 /2. we must neglect all terms ∝ ω 2 . From this. [2 marks] IX . xC .. [2 marks] (d) Rewrite the approximate Lagrangian L (i. From the solutions to these equations.. The bowl slides without friction on a horizontal surface. For what kind of motion is this approximation R ˙R justified? [2 marks] (c) Show that the centre of mass coordinate (for side-to-side motion) xC = x B + [m/(m + M)] x R . to be consistent. . and in separated form (i. ˙ ˙ x R . determine the position of the bowl x B (t) when both the bowl and the small block are initially at rest. (166) D. in terms of xC (0) and x R (0). 2ω cos(θ ) β = ξ (0) − ˙ i ξ (0) . . We consider side-to-side and vertical (xS and yS ) motions of the small block. neglecting the quartic term) in terms of x R . ξ ( t ) = ξ (0) + ˙ i ξ (0) [1 − i2ω cos(θ )t − 2ω 2 cos2 (θ )t2 + (higher order terms in ω) − 1] 2ω cos(θ ) ˙ =ξ (0) + ξ (0)[t − iω cos(θ )t2 ]. R ˙R 2 2 2 R (167) where g is the gravitational acceleration. (d) One neglects the centrifugal force (∝ ω 2 ) as being small compared to the coriolis force (∝ ω) if ω can be considered small on the relevant timescales. Hence α= ˙ i ξ (0) .˙ that ξ (0) = −i2ω cos(θ )α. Consider a coordinate system such that the origin is at the initial position of the bottom of the bowl. 2ω cos(θ ) (165) from which the solution follows.e.2 Small Oscillations (2007) D. (a) Using the generalized coordinates x B . Thus. determine the equations of motion for x R and xC using the Euler-Lagrange equations: d ∂L ∂L =0 (168) − ˙ dt ∂q ∂q (q = x R or xC in this case). show R that the Lagrangian can be written L= m 2 m + M 2 mgc 2 ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ( x R + 2 x R x B + c2 x 2 x 2 ) + xB − x . Expanding the exponential in the solution. [10 marks] (e) Your equation of motion for the side-to-side centre of mass coordinate should show that its velocity never changes. Is this expected? Give a physical explanation for your answer. .

X (175) (176) (177) .2.3 Stable and Unstable Rigid-Body Rotation (2007) D. for example a (non-square) book spinning while falling freely in Earth’s gravitational field. m M mgc 2 ˙ ˙ ˙B L = [( x R + x B )2 + c2 x2 x2 ] + x2 − x (170) R ˙R 2 2 2 R which can be rearranged to give the desired result. xC = ˙ ˙ ˙ (d) Neglecting the quartic term and using x B = xC − m x R /( M + m). m (173) ˙ ˙ If initially at rest. Mx B + mxS . (c) By definition.D. ˙ I2 ω2 − ω3 ω1 ( I3 − I1 ) =0. L = T−V = (b) This is a small oscillations approximation. ˙ I3 ω3 − ω1 ω2 ( I1 − I2 ) =0. and x R (t) = x R (0) cos m+M gct m ˙ + x R (0) m sin (m + M) gc m+M gct . hence is justified when motion does not stray “too far” from an equilibrium point. Therefore ˙ xC (t) = xC (0) + xC (0)t. m+M 2 2 2 R ˙ mxR ˙ xC − m+M 2 (171) − mgc 2 x 2 R (172) ¨ ¨ The Euler-Lagrange equations then yield xC = 0.. ˙ m mxR (m + M) ˙R ˙ ˙ L = x2 + m x R xC − + 2 m+M 2 2 2 ˙ x ˙ mM x R mgc 2 = + (m + M) C − x . M+m Substituting in xS = x R + x B then gives the desired result.1 Question Consider the torque-free motion of an asymmetric top rotating about its centre of mass. (169) 2 2 B ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Note yS = cx2 /2 ⇒ yS = cx R x R . and x R = xS − x B ⇒ xS = x R + x B ⇒ xS = x R + x B . (a) Euler’s equations of motion for rigid bodies are in this case given by ˙ I1 ω1 − ω2 ω3 ( I2 − I3 ) =0. R Hence. x R = −[(m + M)/M] gcx R .2 (a) Solution m 2 M ˙ ˙S ˙ ( xS + y2 ) + x2 − mgyS .3. D. xC (0) = XR (0) = 0. and hence x B (t ) = xC (t ) − m m xr ( t ) = x C (0) − cos m+M m+M m+M gct m x R (0) (174) (e) This is expected because there are no external forces acting in the x direction on the small block and bowl system as a whole.

(a) The coordinate system rotates with the book. δ2 . ω2 . where 2 Ω 2 = ω1 ( I1 − I2 )( I3 − I1 ) . Finally.3.where I1 . 0. and where Ω2 < 0. I3 . we get I2 δ2 = (δ3 ω1 + ˙ ˙ δ3 ω1 )( I3 − I1 ). For Ω2 < 0. δ3 ). we see that I1 ω1 = I2 ω2 = ˙ I3 ω3 = 0. XI . then the subsequent time-evolution of ω (t) causes it to move rapidly away from the equilibrium solution. ˙ ¨ ˙ (c) Taking the time derivative of the second Euler equation (for I2 δ2 ). ˙ ˜ ˜ ˜ δ2 (t) = δ(0) cos(Ωt) + (δ(0)/Ω) sin(Ωt). Hence I2 δ ˙3 ) to get (for I3 δ 2 ( I − I2 )( I3 − I1 ) 2 ( I − I2 )( I3 − I1 ) ¨ δ2 = ω1 1 δ2 ⇒ Ω2 = ω1 1 . looking at the first Euler equation. I3 > I1 > I2 . (179) is the equilibrium solution under consideration unstable. I2 . I3 I2 I3 I2 ˜ (d) We define Ω2 = |Ω2 | as a convenient shorthand. show that δ2 = Ω2 δ2 . ω1 = 0. I2 > I1 > I3 . [4 marks] ˙ (d) Solve the above equation of motion for δ2 (t) in terms of δ2 (0) and δ2 (0) for the two separate 2 > 0. (0. when the initial angular velocity vector ω (0) is very slightly different from the equilibrium solution and its initial first time˙ derivative ω (0) = 0. Employing this approximation. [4 marks] (c) Consider a near equilibrium solution. How is the coordinate system in which these quantities are defined related to our “outside” view (watching the book spinning while it is falling to the Earth’s surface)? [2 marks]. the differential equation is ¨ ˜ ˜ ˜ that for a harmonic oscillator δ2 = −Ω2 δ2 . I3 I2 (178) Note that Ω2 < 0 means that Ω is pure imaginary. such that. (b) Show that the system is in equilibrium (meaning that ω never changes) when ω2 = ω3 = 0. [6 marks] cases where Ω (e) We say that the equilibrium solution is unstable if. as δ2 and δ3 are considered ¨ “small. ˙ ˙ (b) Substituting ω = (ω1 . However. 0) into Euler’s equations of motion.2 Solution I1 > I2 > I3 . For which of the following relative magnitudes of the principal moments of inertia I3 > I2 > I1 . ω2 . we see that I1 ω1 = δ2 δ3 ( I2 − ¨2 = δ3 ω1 ( I3 − I1 ). Determine the other two equilibrium solutions. I2 > I3 > I1 . are the principal moments of inertia and ω1 . and for which is it stable? [4 marks] D.” δ2 δ3 ≈ 0. 0. ω3 ). substitute in the third Euler equation ˙ ˙ I3 ) = 0 ⇒ ω1 = 0. hence ω never changes. ω3 are the components of the angular velocity vector ω. ˙ ˜ where δ2 (0) = A and δ2 (0) = ΩB. ω = (ω1 . Hence. which is solved by δ2 (t) = A cos(Ωt) + B sin(Ωt). The other equilibrium solutions are ω = (0. and has as its origin the (moving) centre of mass of the book. I1 > I3 > I2 . 0).

y1 . each of mass m.. i. yC = (y1 + y2 )/2. (a) Using the centre of mass xC = ( x1 + x2 )/2. considering two mass points. coordinates. respectively.4. explain how the potential energy of the system is given by V = k ( R − d)2 /2.. [10 marks] (d) It is in general possible to consider the motion of the two connected masses to take place in a plane. sliding on a flat. (180) (e) The dynamics are unstable when the linearized dynamics are “inverted oscillator” like.4 Diatomic Molecule (2008) D. 4 − ∂L =0 ∂q (for q = φ). Otherwise the dynamics are stable. when Ω2 > 0. and R ≥ 0.1 Question A simple model for a diatomic molecule (such as H2 ) consists of two mass points connected by a spring. and use the Euler-Lagrange equation: d dt ∂L ˙ ∂q m 2 ˙R ˙ ( x R + y2 ). then δ2 (t) = AeΩt + Be−Ωt . Hence δ2 (t) = ˙ ˙ ˜ ˜ ˜ δ2 (0) + δ2 (0)/Ω Ωt δ2 (0) − δ2 (0)/Ω −Ωt ˜ e + e . Hence. or when I3 > I1 > I2 (1 mark). [4 marks] XII . Use this result together with the Euler-Lagrange equation (for q = R) to determine an equation of motion for R in closed form (i. Use this equation to determine the equilibrium extension of the spring if the angular momentum J = 0. even when this system is in free (three-dimensional) space. y2 . We constrain the motion to a plane. y R = y2 − y1 . show that the kinetic energy can be written ˙2 ˙C T = m ( x C + y2 ) + [2 marks] (b) Draw a diagram to show what the generalized coordinates R and φ correspond to physically. δ2 = ˜ ˜ ˙ ˜ ˜ Ω2 δ2 ). connected by a spring of spring constant k and natural length d. D. frictionless surface. Explain why this is so.e. independent of φ). where δ2 (0) = A + B and δ2 (0) = Ω( A − B). and x2 . Also indicate the location of the centre of mass. Show that the total angular momentum is given by J = mR2 φ/2. [4 marks] (c) Consider the centre of mass to be fixed at the origin. 2 2 with a possible alternative given by ˙ ˜ ˜ ˜ δ2 (t) = δ(0) cosh(Ωt) + (δ(0)/Ω) sinh(Ωt). This occurs when I2 > I1 > I3 .. i. y R = R sin(φ). and write the Lagrangian that remains ˙ in terms of R and φ. from which ˙ ˙ ˜ ˜ A = (δ2 (0) + δ2 (0)/Ω)/2. The cartesian coordinates of the two mass points on the plane are x1 .e.¨ For Ω2 > 0 (when the differential equation becomes that for an “inverted” oscillator. B = (δ2 (0) − δ2 (0)/Ω)/2. to show that J is conserved. where x R = R cos(φ). when I1 is intermediate in value between I2 and I3 . and relative x R = x2 − x1 .e.

A consequence of this is that the system dynamics take place in a plane. the Lagrangian is rotationally invariant (or any other suitable explanation leading to the conclusion that angular momentum is conserved).4. We can then sub¨ − J 2 /[ R3 (m/2)2 ] + (2/m)k ( R − d) = 0. the angular momentum vector will be conserved. Finally. The potential energy is proportional to the square of the extension of the spring from its natural length d..e. Because of this. y R = y2 − y1 . the system may be arbitrarily rotated without there being any effect on the Lagrangian. from the horizontal. . its transpose x T = ( x1 . y R = R sin(φ) ⇒ y R = R sin(φ) + Rφ cos(φ) 2 + y2 = R2 + R2 φ2 .e. as in two. where x is a column vector. x R 2. Multiplying this by half the spring constant then gives the potential energy. d) ˙ ˙ By definition. ˆ ˆ and the τ and υ matrices are given by ˆ τ= m 2 1 0 0 1 . 2 ˙ from which it follows that J = (m/2) R2 φ does not change with time. ˆ υ= XIII m 2 2 2 ω1 −ω12 2 2 −ω12 ω2 . x R = x2 − x1 . so the equilibrium extension of the spring is d.5 Normal Coordinates (2008) D. and the centre of mass to be halfway along this line. that is. According to the above diagram. i. Hence. is conserved.5.2 Solution ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ (a) xC = ( x1 + x2 )/2.D. i. yC = (y1 + y2 )/2. with the centre of mass at the origin. d dt m 2 ˙ R φ = 0. φ to be the angle of a line. and hence L. J = m( x1 y1 − y1 x1 + ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ x2 y2 − y2 x2 ). for this system. there will be no angular dependence to T or V. (d) In three dimensions. D. and L = T − V = ( m/4)( R2 + R2 φ2 ) − ( k/2)( R − ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙R [1 mark]. because moving “out-of-plane” would involve a change in angular momentum. and show that the Lagrangian can be written in matrix form ˙ ˆ˙ ˆ as L = x T τ x − x T υx. inserting all this into ˙2 ˙1 ˙2 ˙2 T = (m/2)( x1 + y2 ) + (m/2)( x2 + y2 ) yields the answer. and the right-hand bead (distance from equilibrium position x2 ) is connected to the right-hand wall by a spring of spring constant k2 . R − Rφ2 + (2/m)k ( R − d) = 0. ¨ stitute in J to get R we get R − d = 0. (a) Draw a diagram of this system.1 Question Consider two identical small beads (mass m). drawn between the two mass points. (b) Diagram clearly showing R to be the distance between the two mass points. and hence J = 2m( x2 y2 − y2 x2 ) = (m/2){ R cos(φ)[ R sin(φ) + Rφ cos(φ)] − 2 φ. If we then set R = 0 and J = 0. sliding without friction on a straight horizontal rod propped between two walls.. ( R − d)2 . ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ (c) x R = R cos(φ) ⇒ x R = R cos(φ) − Rφ sin(φ). ¨ ˙ From the Euler-Lagrange equation for R. formally. the two beads are connected to each other by a spring of spring constant k12 . x1 = − x2 ⇒ x1 = − x2 . y1 = −y2 ⇒ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ y1 = −y2 . x2 ) is a row vector. ˙ ˙ R sin(φ)[ R cos(φ) − Rφ sin(φ)]} = (m/2) R ˙ From the Euler-Lagrange equation for φ. The left-hand bead (distance from equilibrium position x1 ) is connected to the left-hand wall by a spring of spring constant k1 .

The answer appears as given following some elementary manipulation. (a) Diagram clearly indicating the springs. have been introduced). 2 = k + k . determine the normal coordinates. 2 ω12 −1/2 −1 −1 −2 2 −1 −1 1/2 a+ b+ a− b− = 0 ⇒ a+ = −2b+ ⇒ = 0 ⇒ b− = 2a− ⇒ XIV a+ b+ a+ b+ 1 =√ 5 1 =√ 5 −2 1 1 2 2 ω12 .2 Solution 2 2 2 2 V = (k1 /2) x1 + (k2 /2) x2 + (k12 /2)( x1 − x2 )2 [1 mark] = [(k1 + k12 )/2] x1 + [(k2 + k12 )/2] x2 − 2 2 2 2 2 ˙2 ˙2 k12 x1 x2 [1 mark] Hence. for example when considering a system of coupled oscillators. then (−τω0 + ˆ υ) x0 = 0 results [2 marks]. the frequencies ω1 . [2 marks] D. ∂q determine the equation of motion for x in matrix form [2 marks].e. and the beads.. i. L = T − V = (m/2)[ x1 + x2 ] − (m/2)[ω1 x1 + ω2 x2 − 2ω12 x1 x2 ]. ˆ 2 ˆ (ii) Explain how setting the determinant of (2/m)(−τω0 + υ) equal to zero and solving 2 for ω0 yields the normal mode frequencies. (b) ˆ¨ ˆ (i) τ x + υx = 0. defined through mω1 = k1 + k12 . ω2 = 3ω12 /2. and hence ω0 = [(9/2)ω12 ± (5/2)ω12 ]/2.5.2 (To simplify the mathematics. This is only nontrivially true if the determinant of the matrix acting on x0 is = 0. mω 2 = k . and hence show that they are given by ± 2 2 ( ω0 ) 2 = ( ω1 + ω2 ) ± 2 2 4 (ω1 − ω2 )2 + 4ω12 /2 [6 marks]. ± 2 2 2 2 2 2 (iii) In this case ω1 = 3ω12 . (iii) For the particular case where k1 = 2k12 and k2 = k12 /2. Substituting these values into the matrix (2/m)(−τω0 + ˆ υ ). (Multiplying through by the constant factor 2/m makes no difference to this argument). 2 2 2 ω1 − ω0 −ω12 2 2 2 −ω12 ω2 − ω0 4 2 2 2 2 2 4 = ω0 − (ω1 + ω2 )ω0 + (ω1 ω2 − ω12 ) = 0. ω12 . ω0 = ω12 . the roots of which can be found using the quadratic formula: ± ( ω0 ) 2 = 2 2 ( ω1 + ω2 ) ± 2 2 2 2 4 (ω1 + ω2 )2 − 4(ω1 ω2 − ω12 ) 2 2 . the walls. [6 marks] mω2 2 12 12 12 (b) (i) Using the Euler-Lagrange equation d dt ∂L ˙ ∂q − ∂L = 0. 2 2 2 ˙2 ˙2 ˙ ˆ˙ One can then see that T = (m/2)[ x1 + x2 ] = x T τ x [1 mark] and V = ω2 x2 − 2ω12 x1 x2 ] = ˆ x T υx [1 mark] from which the answer follows. ω2 . [4 marks] (c) Briefly explain the significance of normal coordinates. ˆ 2 (ii) If one inserts a trial solution x = x0 eiω0 t into the equation of motion. 2 2 + − 2 2 ˆ 2 ω0 = (7/2)ω12 .

show that (if moving with the correct velocity) the block’s motion can describe a circular orbit around the bowl at a fixed height above the ground. show that the magnitude of the block’s velocity must be directly proportional to the block’s radial distance from the origin. 2 2 where g is the gravitational acceleration. [6 marks] (c) Using L and the Euler-Lagrange equations. show that the Lagrangian can be written m 2 mgcr2 2 ˙2 2 2 2 ˙ ˙ L = (r + r θ + c r r ) − . (a) Using the generalized coordinates r. (a) Show that the Lagrangian can be written L= ˙ m z2 − mgz − U cos(kz).7 Atom Falling through a Laser Standing Wave (2009. the normal coordinates are r+ = ( x2 − 2x1 )/ 5. [5 marks] (b) Show that the component of the angular momentum vector oriented in the vertical direction ˙ is given by Jz = mr2 θ. and use this to explain how the system can be considered to be effectively one-dimensional. Question Only) Consider a small block of mass m sliding without friction on the surface of an immovable radially symmetric parabolic bowl of curvature c. √ r− = ( x1 + 2x2 )/ 5. show that Jz is a conserved quantity. using the Euler-Lagrange equations d dt ∂L ˙ ∂q − ∂L =0 ∂q (q can be r or θ for the above Lagrangian L). and the constraint z = cr2 /2. Consider first a cartesian coordinate system such that the origin is at the bottom of the bowl. θ. Are the other components of the angular momentum vector conserved quantities? Explain your answer. determine the equation of motion for r. such that the time-evolution of each normal coordinate can be considered separately from all the other normal coordinates. the normal coordinates are a set of coordinates that separate. In the process. due to gravity and also derived from a sinusoidal potential U cos(kz). Do this by considering the vertical motion of a classical point particle of mass m under the influence of forces.6 Block in a Bowl (2009. and. (c) In a system of coupled oscillators (for example). [6 marks] (d) Determine an expression for the total energy of this system. and hence solved by quadrature. 2 XV . From this equation of motion. defined implicitly through x = r cos θ and y = r sin θ. Question Only) Consider a classical model of an atom falling freely through an off-resonant laser standing-wave. D.√ (normalization not required) hence. [3 marks] D.

∂z Z= ∂F2 . as well as {z. Now. ∂z ∂p ∂p ∂z where F and G are two arbitrary functions of z and p. we employ the generating function F2 (z. t) = ( P − mgt)z. ˜ and hence H in terms of P and Z. [7 marks] (d) Do you expect { Z. P the new canonically conjugate momentum. by sliding frictionlessly between two glass plates oriented exactly along the east-west axis. ω sin(θ ). and state what this implies about the block’s velocity. P} to be different to {z. determine Hamilton’s equations of motion for Z and P. H }. To do this. [7 marks] (c) It is often convenient to work with a Hamiltonian that is spatially periodic.where g is the gravitational acceleration. consider the motion of a block of ice of mass m which is allowed to fall to the earth with local gravitational acceleration g. acting on an object of mass m moving with velocity r is −2mω × r. explaining how this can confirm that z and p are canonically conjugate. preventing any northsouth motion of the block. together with the implicit transformation equations p= ∂F2 . solve the coupled Hamilton’s equations of motion defined by ˙ z = {z. y-axis points north. determine expressions for p. z-axis points out from the centre of the earth). z. P. Question Only) The general expression for the Coriolis force in a frame of reference rotating with (constant) an˙ ˙ gular velocity ω. (a) With the aid of a diagram or diagrams. Hence. ∂P ∂F2 ˜ H = H+ . determine p. and so we wish to transform the term mgz away. show that in a local coordinate system oriented with respect to a point on the surface of the earth (x-axis points east. p}. [4 marks] (b) Within such a local coordinate system. Using these results. G } = − . [1 mark] D. ω cos(θ )) (ω is the magnitude of the angular velocity and θ the colatitude). H }. p}? Explain your answer. for z(t) and p(t) in terms of the initial momentum and position. the angular velocity vector takes the form (0. H }. and use the Legendre transformation H = pz − L to determine that the Hamiltonian is p2 H= + mgz + U cos(kz). the Poisson bracket for this system may be defined ∂F ∂G ∂F ∂G { F. and H the new Hamiltonian subsequent to the transformation. (i) Write down a constraint equation describing this restriction of motion. the canonically conjugate mo˙ mentum to z. ˙ p = { p. H } and { p.8 Ice Sliding Between Glass Plates (2010. for the particular case where U = 0. ∂t ˜ where Z is the new coordinate. 2m [5 marks] (b) With respect to the dynamical variables z and p. [2 marks] XVI . Now. Determine {z.

9. z M . ym are the Y locations of the masses M. Show that the Lagrangian for this system can then ˙ ˙ be written. xm . where y M .(ii) Derive equations of motion for the block. Determine equations describing any other constraints the two masses are subject to. and the corresponding ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ velocities x M . φ. xm . m. zm in terms of θ. and velocities θ. and comment on the validity of taking this step. z M . also by a rigid massless rod of length R.e. in terms of the generalized coordinates θ. as mR2 ˙ 2 ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ L= [3θ + (θ + φ)2 + 2θ (θ + φ) cos(φ)] + mgR[cos(θ + φ) + 3 cos(θ )] 2 [where we take cos(θ ) cos(θ + φ) + sin(θ ) sin(θ + φ) = cos(φ)]. such that θ. [2 marks] D.1 Question Consider a double plane pendulum.. [4 marks] (b) (i) Express the dynamical variables x M . determine an approximation Lapprox to L which is in quadratic form. i. that motion is subject to the constraints y M = 0. [6 marks] (c) Truncate the exact solution to the approximate equation of motion for ζ such that it is only ˜ to first order in ω. and motion to take place in the XZ plane. X the horizontal. (and therefore θ + φ) remain small during any dynamics. (Hint — first solve the differential equation for χ = ζ + g/2ω). and a second mass m attached to a pivot on the first mass. where you may neglect the centrifugal force (the equations will therefore necessarily be approximate). ˜ 2ω ˙ ˜ ˜ where ω = ω sin θ.9 Double Pendulum (2010) D. consisting of a mass M attached to a pivot by a rigid massless rod of length R. φ. θ.. in terms of x M . zm in terms of the new dynamical variables θ and φ (which are the two angles shown in the diagram). φ. [6 marks] (c) (i) Consider the limit of small oscillations. Hence. [3 marks] XVII . zm (the X and Z locations of the masses). xm . θ M φ m (a) Consider a cartesian coordinate system with its origin located at the pivot to which the mass M is attached. φ.e. φ. [6 marks] (iii) Where ζ (t) = x (t) + iz(t). i. z M . show that the exact solution to the combined approximate equation of motion is ζ ( t ) = ζ (0) + ˜ i (1 − ei2ωt ) ˙ ˜ ˜ [ζ (0) + g/2ω ] − ( g/2ω )t. ym = 0. [5 marks] (ii) Consider the case where M = 2m. We consider Z to be the vertical axis.

˙ ˙ zm = − R[cos(θ + φ) + cos(θ )]. and so xm = R[sin(θ + φ) + sin(θ )]. in matrix form. − ˙ dt ∂q ∂q [2 marks] D. xm = R[(θ + φ) cos(θ + φ) + θ cos(θ )]. where the Euler-Lagrange equation for a generalized coordinate q is ∂L d ∂L = 0.2 Solution (a) The two constraint equations are: x2 + z2 = R2 . Next. xm − x M = R sin(θ + φ). ˙M ˙M ˙2 ˙m (ii) First consider the kinetic energy T = m( x2 + z2 ) + m( xm + z2 )/2. (c) (i) Using cos( ) ≈ 1 − 2 /2 (for small ). consider the potential energy V = 2mgz M + mgzm = − MgR[cos(θ + φ) + 3 cos(θ )]. ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ z M = Rθ sin(θ ). an approximate Lagrangian. M M (b) (i) x M = R sin(θ ). Taking L = T − V then yields the answer. Similarly. φ) mR2 2 6 2 2 1 ˙ θ ˙ φ − (θ. ˙ T =mR2 θ 2 + m 2 ˙2 ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ R {θ + (θ + φ)2 + 2θ (θ + φ)[cos(θ ) cos(θ + φ) + sin(θ ) sin(θ + φ)]} 2 = mR2 ˙ 2 ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ [3θ + (θ + φ)2 + 2θ (θ + φ) cos(φ)] 2 where we have used cos2 ( a) + sin2 ( a) ≡ 1 and cos( a) cos(b) + sin( a) sin(b) ≡ cos( a − b) ≡ cos(b − a). (ii) Hence.9. z M = − R cos(θ ).(ii) Write Lapprox in matrix form. ˙ ˙ Lapprox = (θ. and ( xm − x M )2 + (zm − z M )2 = R2 . in matrix form. keeping only terms of up to quadratic order is given by (discounting irrelevant constant terms) Lapprox = MR2 ˙ 2 MgR ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ [3θ + (θ + φ)2 + 2θ (θ + φ)] − [(θ + φ)2 + 3θ 2 ] 2 2 MR2 ˙ 2 MgR 2 ˙˙ ˙ = [6θ + 4θ φ + φ2 ] − [4θ + 2θφ + φ2 ] 2 2 or anything algebraically equivalent. φ) mgR 2 4 1 1 1 θ φ and the equations of motion. zm = R[(θ + φ) sin(θ + φ) + ˙ θ sin(θ )]. are 6 2 2 1 ¨ θ ¨ φ + g R 4 1 1 1 θ φ = 0. The generalized velocities are therefore x M = Rθ cos(θ ). XVIII . Substituting in expressions for the velocities. and determine the corresponding equations of motion for θ and φ (also in matrix form). zm − z M = − R cos(θ + φ).

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