Classical mechanics refers to the classical (i.e., non-relativistic, non-quantum) study of physics. Three major formulations of classical mechanics are newtonian mechanics, lagrangian mechanics, and hamiltonian mechanics. The latter two are rather useful in extensions to Classical Mechanics; ...

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Transfer between translative KE and rotational KE in a rigid body

I have been inspired by some sci-fi cannons that seem to operate by initially spinning up a projectile inside the cannon, and then suddenly firing the projectile out at high speed. Now, I am wondering ...
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219 views

Advantages/Disadvantages of “hanging off” a motorcycle when leaning

The closest question I could find with regards to this subject was this one: Countersteering a motorcycle However, it does not address the specific physics of what I would like to know. There are 3 ...
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36 views

Terminal conditions and boundary terms in Lagrangian formulations: what do different choices mean?

For the sake of having compact expressions: $$ \left\langle f,g\right\rangle=\int^T_0 f(t)g(t)\,\text{d}t $$ Given some functional: $$ F=\frac{1}{2}m\!\left\langle ...
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137 views

Heuristic equation for Friction force between materials

I'm programming a game where different types of objects will be sliding over different types of terrains (Top-down in two dimensions). At my current level of physics education we are given the ...
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23 views

Unilateral Torque Constraint on the foot-ground interface

I was studying the basics of legged locomotion and came across the unilateral force and torque constraints at the foot-ground interface. I understood the implication of the unilateral constraint on ...
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360 views

Does the $\frac12mv^2$ law apply to quantum mechanics?

Consider the classical Hamiltonian for a spring: \begin{equation} H = \frac{1}{2}\frac{p^2}{m} + \frac{1}{2}kx^2 \end{equation} This is one of those simple cases where when you work out the math we ...
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73 views

Coupled wheel and rod (analytical mechanics)

I am struggling with formulating the equations of motion. Consider a coordinate system with origin in $O$ ($y$ upwards and $x$ to the right), label the center of mass of rod $AB$ with $G$ then: ...
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43 views

Euler-Lagrange equation with torsion, question on derivatives

Consider a mechanical system, the Lagrangian of which is: $$-L(u,\dot u)=\int\left(\dfrac{\partial^2 u}{\partial x^2}\right)^2\mathrm{d}x$$ This would correspond to a system in torsion, for example. ...
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117 views

Non-conservative Derivation of Lagrangian [closed]

I was previously led to a recent paper by a SE member that did an alternative derivation of the Lagrangian as an initial value problem with two paths rather than the traditional boundary value method. ...
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1answer
25 views

Is there a curve for which a particle restricted to move within it under the gravitational force will always exhibit a pure harmonic motion?

A simple pendulum, for example, is not isochronous for large amplitudes (that is, the frequency will depend on the amplitude). So a particle confined in a circumference will not always exhibit a ...
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46 views

A problem about harmonic oscillators

A ball with mass $m$ and radius $r$ rolls without sliding inside a cylinder with radius $R (R>>r)$, with $\theta <<1$. Find the angular frequency $\omega$ What I Know: There are ...
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117 views

Symplectic geometry in thermodynamics

There seems to be analogues between Hamiltonian dynamics and thermodynamics given the Legendre transforms between Lagrangian and Hamiltonian functions and all of Maxwell's relations. Poincarè tried to ...
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149 views

When can phase trajectories cross?

It's said in elementary classical mechanics texts that the phase trajectories of an isolated system can't cross. But clearly they can, for example for the pendulum, the trajectories look like this: ...
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340 views

Hamiltonian Noether's theorem in classical mechanics

How does one think about, and apply, Noether's theorem in the classical mechanical Hamiltonian formalism? From the Lagrangian perspective, Noether's theorem (in 1-D) states that the quantity ...
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1answer
292 views

Vibrational anharmonic coupling and noise-induced spontaneous symmetry breaking in a hexagonal finite mechanical lattice

Happy holidays, everyone! The following is part question, part visual gallery, and part classical mechanics problem. Inspired by snow over the weekend I began simulating the vibrations of the ...
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94 views

Is the strength of a muscle proportional to its cross-sectional area?

I have a question that is partially related to at least a couple of old questions: this one and this other. My question is specifically focused on the following point: why should the strength of a ...
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2answers
31 views

Physical meaning of non differentiatiability of $y(t)$ at a point of an elastic medium

Consider two waves $y_1,y_2$ travelling in opposite directions with equations $$y_1(x,t) = A \sin(\omega t - kx) \\ y_2(x,t) = A \sin(\omega t + kx) $$ That create the following standing wave ...
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24 views

Explanation of force amplification inside a solenoid

For a system being actuated by a motor, the force can be amplified by gearing. The energy is being used for force instead of distance, so it produces more torque but moves slower. For a system being ...
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3answers
38 views

Where is the energy stored in destructively-interfering waves?

Let's say we have two waves moving along a string. One of them is represented by the function: $$f_1(t)=\sin(\omega t)$$ The other one is represented by a function: $$f_2(t)=-\sin(\omega (\tau-t))$$ ...
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origin of the major symmetry property of the elasticity tensor

In linear elasticity theory the stress tensor $\sigma$ is related to the strain tensor $\epsilon$ via the elastic tensor $C$. Specifically $$ \sigma_{ij} = C_{ijkl} \epsilon_{kl} $$ Because $\sigma$ ...
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151 views

Approximations in simple pendulum

In the approximation $$-(g/ \ell) \sin \theta \approx -(g/ \ell) \theta $$ we make an error $R$ which is $O(\theta ^3)$. If i did well my calculations it is estimated by $$R\leq|(g / ...
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46 views

Independence of position and velocity in Lagrangian from the point of view of physics?

I would like to continue discussion from my previous post on time dependence of lagrangian Time dependence of the Lagrangian of a free particle?. I have also read this old post Why does calculus of ...
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130 views

Does the superposition principle affect the space of quantum states?

I am confused about the set of quantum states. I have seen it written that in classical physics, the set of all states is a simplex. (I think this refers to the probability simplex.) In quantum ...
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3answers
75 views

Time dependence of the Lagrangian of a free particle?

I am working through Landau's book on Classical Mechanics. I understand the logic and physics of isotropy and homogeneity of space-time behind the derivation of the Lagrangian for a free particle, but ...
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34 views

Pendulum point in polar coordinates for Lagrangian

So I'm really stumped with this. I have a particle in a cone, like pictured. The particle orbits the z axis on the dotted line for $r$. So knowing that $\alpha$ and $r$ remain constant in this ...
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101 views

Idea of integrable systems

I do not quite understand the idea an integrable dynamical system. Does it mean that the EOMs are analytically and exactly solvable? What are the necessary and sufficient conditions such that a system ...
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2answers
124 views

How to formulate variational principles (Lagrangian/Hamiltonian) for nonlinear, dissipative or initial value problems?

Although this questions is very much math related, I posted it in Physics since it is related to variational (Lagrangian/Hamiltonian) principles for dynamical systems. If I should migrate this ...
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169 views

Help understanding what the Hamiltonian signifies for the action compared with the Euler-Lagrange equations for the Lagrangian?

Consider the Lagrangian for a simple harmonic oscillator \begin{equation} L (x,\dot{x}) = \frac{1}{2}m\dot{x}^2 - \frac{1}{2}kx^2 \end{equation} Obviously we have \begin{align} \frac{\partial ...
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41 views

Is there a typology of different fundamental physical objects?

As I understand it (and of course, I may be wrong!).... In classical mechanics, all objects are basically the same in the sense that They are composed of atoms bunched together. These atoms occupy ...
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Torque vs Moment

I was wondering, why in Newtonian physics torque is called "torque" while in static mechanics they call it "moment"? I prefer by far the term "torque", for not only it sounds strong, but also ...
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1answer
32 views

Given an initial push, is work done on an object infinite in a hypothetical empty universe?

Consider a hypothetical empty universe containing a single object. Given an initial push, will the work done by the forever moving object be infinite?
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55 views

Definition of generalised coordinates?

I think the definition of generalised coordinates is something along the following lines: A set of parameters that discribe the configuration of a system with respect to some refrence ...
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181 views

Why does deflating baloon spurting through the air make circular motion? [duplicate]

When you inflate a balloon and then let it go again, it will fly through the air in an unpredictable motion. My kids (1 and 3 year old) love watching this. At some point my oldest asked how it worked ...
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25 views

Calculating/estimating heat transfer losses for hot air balloon (lantern)

I'm trying to build a flying lantern / hot air balloon that flies as close to hovering as possible (as opposed to up-up and awaaay). To see if this is feasible I'm trying to simulate as much as I can ...
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1k views

Integrals of Motion

Landau & Lifshitz write on the first page of chapter 2 of their Mechanics book (p.13) The number of independent integrals of motion for a closed mechanical system with $s$ degrees of freedom ...
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27 views

What justification is necessary for convolutional variational principles to be considered legitimate?

I recently asked a related question and was interested in why/or why we cannot use convolutional variational principles in practice or in theory. Summarizing the points I made in the earlier post: ...
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1answer
43 views

Can individual forces be regarded as momentum flows? [closed]

Net force on an object can be defined in two ways equivalently (from a classical point of view): $$\vec{F} = m\frac{d\vec{v}}{dt}=\frac{d\vec{p}}{dt}$$ Looking at the last expression (definition in ...
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1answer
21 views

A central force which enables a torque on a sphere - is it still conservative?

Consider the following example: Two spheres (one big, other small) standing vertically on ground. At first, the small sphere is on top of the big sphere. Then, it starts to roll w/o slipping to ...
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Google interview riddle and scaling arguments

I am puzzled by a riddle to which I have been told the answer and I have loads of difficulties to believe in the result. The riddle goes as follows: "imagine you are shrunk to the size of a coin ...
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2answers
41 views

Understanding incompressibility (of rubber or viscoelastic material)

Literature gives a lot of explanation why rubber is incompressible. However, I still need some thinking to understand physical behavior of rubber or any such material. Often, incompressibility is ...
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1answer
25 views

Velocities of points along an inextensible string

It is a well known constraint that velocities of points along an inextensible taut string or rod is constant. This is, for instance of use in the following problem: If a rod slides along the wall ...
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2answers
47 views

How does the earth do a negative work on a static body? [closed]

If a body is in rest and the earth acts with a force on it 10 N Is there a negative work done by the earth though the body doesn't move? how? does it have a common thing with potential energy?
3
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1answer
68 views

Is it possible to eliminate Van der Waals interactions?

I came to know that the friction force actually depends on the surface contact area due to weak interactions (adhesion due to Van der Waals forces) between the atoms of both materials increasing in ...
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How to reconstruct the dependence of the potential from a coordinate?

What is known is that an ion sent along the X-axis of a black box with a speed $V$ returns in a time: $$T=a V^b$$ $a$ and $b$ are some known constants. Having this, can we reproduce the dependence of ...
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1answer
68 views

spinning a water bottle quickly

When we spin a water bottle so quickly, why don't the water inside the bottle come out ? It has to do with the normal force and the apparent weight , i think . but plz someone explain for me how does ...
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1answer
42 views

Potential Energy of Interaction Between a Sphere and a Particle Formula Derivation [closed]

A sphere of radius R has density described by ρ=ρ(r). Derive equation for pontetial energy of interaction between the sphere and some point particle of mass m which is at distance r from the center of ...
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2answers
104 views

Pulling on a weakened rope - where will it tear?

Let's say I have a rope of 10m length and it is weakened in 3 spots: at 2.5m, at 5m and at 7.5m. Weakened means that if enough tension is applied it will tear at these points (all points are equally ...
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1answer
132 views

Langevin equations in translational and rotational direction

I want to describe the following system. A bead is connected with a tether. There is a force $\vec{F}_{up}=F_{up}\hat{y}$ that acts on the bead. The tether acts with a force on the bead, this force ...
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2answers
504 views

Why does weak equivalence principle say gravity is equivalent to acceleration?

I am told that the weak equivalent principle, that $m_i=m_g$ (inertial and gravitational masses are equivalent) is equivalent to the statement that in a small system you can't tell whether you are in ...
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1answer
43 views

Computing the gravitational force on a planet in a particular system [closed]

I have a system of four planets moving in a 2D plane. I'm trying to write some code (C++) to find the positions of these planets at time t=3. I'm probably going to attempt this via a leapfrog ...