The study of the movements of a collection of connected bodies subject to external forces in the absence of deformation. This tag should be used for questions on the analysis of 2D/3D dynamics of rigid bodies, do NOT use this tag because your question contains a rigid structure.

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32
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1answer
3k views

Why does this object periodically turn itself?

See below gif image taken from here. Or see this Youtube video about 30 sec in. Is this a real effect? Why does it seem to turn periodically? Can it be explained by classical mechanics alone? ...
24
votes
4answers
22k views

Stability of rotation of a rectangular prism

I've noticed something curious about the rotation of a rectangular prism. If I take a box with height $\neq$ width $\neq$ depth and flip it into the air around different axes of rotation, some motions ...
20
votes
2answers
597 views

How to combine these equations of constraint?

I want to model a nonholonomic system of an arbitrary rotating disk in 3D, which rolls without slipping, and doesn't have to stay vertical. (think spinning a penny on the table) I want to use the ...
18
votes
12answers
5k views

How can the contact point of rolling body have zero velocity?

They say that for a rolling body, the velocity of the contact point is zero. I'm not getting this. How can it be zero when it's in continuous motion?
15
votes
10answers
29k views

What do people actually mean by “rolling without slipping”?

I have never understood what's the meaning of the sentence "rolling without slipping". Let me explain. I'll give an example. Yesterday my mechanics professor introduced some concepts of rotational ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the physics of a spinning coin?

When we spin a coin on a table, we observe 2 things: It slows down and stops after sometime. It does not stay at just one point on the table but its point of contact with table changes with time. ...
9
votes
1answer
537 views

How to determine the probabilities for a cuboid die?

Imagine we take a cuboid with sides $a, b$ and $c$ and throw it like a usual die. Is there a way to determine the probabilities of the different outcomes $P_{ab}, P_{bc}$ and $P_{ac}$? With $ab$, ...
9
votes
7answers
3k views

What is the proof that a force applied on a rigid body will cause it to rotate around its center of mass?

Say I have a rigid body in space. I've read that if I during some short time interval apply a force on the body at some point which is not in line with the center of mass, it would start rotating ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How fast does force propagate through matter? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it possible for information to be transmitted faster than light? Consider the following thought experiment. You have a long perfectly rigid beam (for the sake of ...
8
votes
1answer
818 views

Defy gravity torques with gyroscopes?

Context On the following drawing, a platform is hung from the ceiling not exactly from its centre of gravity. Because of this it can't sustain an arbitrary orientation for long; I want to increase ...
7
votes
3answers
104 views

Rotationally invariant body and principal axis

Suppose a rigid body is invariant under a rotation around an axis $\mathsf{A}$ by a given angle $0 \leq \alpha_0 < 2\pi$ (and also every multiple of $\alpha_0$). Is it true that in this case the ...
7
votes
2answers
265 views

Is there an equivalent of a scalar potential for torques?

For a given scalar potential $V$, it is known that the corresponding force field $\mathbf{F}$ can be computed from $$ \mathbf{F} = -\nabla V $$ Suppose a rigid body is placed inside this ...
7
votes
4answers
376 views

How to prove that any rotation can be represented by 3 Euler angles

How can one prove that any rotation of a rigid object in 3-dimensional (3D) space can be represented by a sequence of three rotations around pre-fixed axes by 3 Euler angles? I see this statement in ...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

Degree of freedom paradox for a rigid body

Suppose we consider a rigid body, which has $N$ particles. Then the number of degrees of freedom is $3N - (\mbox{# of constraints})$. As the distance between any two points in a rigid body is fixed, ...
6
votes
1answer
236 views

Intuitive Explanation of Tippe Top Effect?

A friend showed me a tippe top (a special kind of spinning top) lately and asked me about the physics behind it. I thought about it for a while but cannot quite figure it out. So I will throw the ...
6
votes
0answers
64 views

Why is this handle flipping back and forth? [duplicate]

This gif of some kind of handle being spun in zero gravity has been doing the rounds: Why is it flipping back and forth? It seems odd that it flips, then seems to rotate around one axis in a ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Paradox in the two block problem [closed]

UPDATE (regarding duplicate) : This question is not a duplicate of another question. Sure, the situation in both the questions is same and, yes, both questions ultimately provide a methodology to ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Can any physical rigid body be represented by an ellipsoid with the same angular dynamics?

According to wikipedia, the inertia tensor of an ellipsoid with semi-axes $a,b,c$ and mass $m$ is $$\left[\begin{array}{ccc} \frac{m}{5}(b^2+c^2)&0&0\\ 0&\frac{m}{5}(a^2+c^2)&0\\ ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Which is the axis of rotation?

This should be simple, but it keeps bothering me. If a rigid body has no fixed axis, and a torque (defined relative to a point $A$) is applied, it will rotate around $A$. But often I can also ...
5
votes
2answers
381 views

How is Chasles' Theorem true?

Chasles' Theorem in its strong form says: The most general rigid body displacement can be produced by a translation along a line (called its screw axis) followed (or preceded) by a rotation about ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Conservation of linear and angular momentum

Suppose I have two rigid bodies A and B and they are connected by a spring which is attached off-center (thus possibly causing torques). Due to the spring a force $f$ acts on A and a force $-f$ acts ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Elastic collision of rotating bodies

How would you explain in detail elastic collision of two rotating bodies to someone with basic understanding of classical mechanics? I'm writing simple physics engine, but now only simulating ...
5
votes
1answer
98 views

Why doesn't the 9th ball move in the break in the nine-ball pool game?

In the game of nine-ball pool, we break the rack like shown below: In the break, we hit the 1st ball with the cue ball. Many people familiar with pool games say that if the rack is constructed ...
5
votes
1answer
962 views

How do you combine two rigid bodies into one?

With respect to some fixed frame of reference, given the inertial tensors, positions, orientations, and angular and linear velocities of two rigid bodies, how do you combine them to make a single ...
4
votes
1answer
530 views

How to simulate rotational instability?

I'm trying to simulate (for an educational game) the well-known effect that rotating objects with three nonequal moments of inertia are unstable when rotated around the middle axis. Some explanations ...
4
votes
1answer
275 views

Understanding gyroscopes

Considering the typical situation of a rotating bicycle wheel held by one end of its axle by a rope tied to the ceiling: gravity torque is the time derivative of the angular momentum, and in this case ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Angular Velocity expressed via Euler Angles

On the top of the fourth page from here, the author trivially derives the components of angular velocity, expressed via Euler angles of the system. I fail to understand how the components of angular ...
3
votes
2answers
510 views

Is it better to build a space elevator from GEO down to the surface of the Earth?

Having just finished Arthur C. Clarke's "The Fountains of Paradise", Clarke seems to make a distinction between starting construction of a space elevator from geosynchronous orbit and working on our ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Equation of motion for the center of mass of a rigid body

The center of mass of a rigid body is given by: $$ \vec{r}_c = \frac{1}{M} \sum_i m_i \cdot \vec{r}_i $$ with $M = \sum_i m_i$ the total mass or $$ \vec{r}_c = \frac{1}{M} \int \vec{r}\ ' \cdot ...
3
votes
3answers
790 views

what make the bottom portion of a wheel in rolling motion move?

As I just learn about the rolling motion which is the combination of pure translation and pure rotation. The top portion of the rolling body has the speed of double speed at the center of the object ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Moment of inertia meaning?

Why is the formula for calculating the moment of inertia this integral $$ \int r^2 dm~? $$ I understand the way we derived this formula from looking at the distribution of kinetic energy of a ...
3
votes
4answers
133 views

Can a die be made unfair without changing the center of mass or the exterior?

This question came from trying to design some 3d printed dnd dice. I think it's possible to make a die unfair without changing the center of mass or affecting the exterior shape*, but I'm not sure ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Angular momentum with respect to the centre of mass

I have been told [Warning: I leave this because it's what I asked and allows to understand the dialogues in the comments, but Azad, whom I thank, has pointed that the formula does not hold in general ...
3
votes
2answers
737 views

Variable mass dynamics: Particle and Rigid Body

I'm encountering some issues in the understanding of some basic concepts about the dynamics of variable-mass particles and rigid bodies. For what I found, for example reading On the use and abuse of ...
3
votes
2answers
708 views

Consider a horizontal surface with or without friction. Ideally, will a wheel rolling without slipping roll forever in both cases?

Suppose a wheel is rolling smoothly on a horizontal plane i.e., it is rolling without slipping. Now let's take the two cases of the horizontal plane: It has friction It is frictionless In the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a bilateral constraint?

In the realm of mechanics/rigid body dynamics, can anyone tell me what a bilateral constraint is? Can't seem to find any information on the exact definition, just uses of it such as "considering only ...
3
votes
1answer
586 views

Euler's equations of rigid body motion from least action principle

I would like to derive Euler's equations of rigid body motion from least action principle. Suppose we are in free space so we have no gravity so Lagrangian is equal to kinetic energy. $$ L = T = ...
3
votes
2answers
334 views

Extension to continuous in proofs of rigid body mechanics

I'm studying rigid body mechanics and I've seen several proofs of properties related to total angular momentum, kinetic energy, etc. that all regard discrete set of points. For example, to show that ...
3
votes
2answers
594 views

Deriving $T = F\ r = I\alpha$ for a rigid body

For a single point mass : $\tau=F_{t}r=ma_tr=(m r^2)\alpha = I\alpha$ For multiple point masses bound together : $\sum \tau_i = (m_ir_i^2)\alpha = I\alpha$ But how do we go from that to $I\alpha = ...
3
votes
1answer
779 views

Intuitive explanation for why same force applied farther from a hinge causes larger angular acceleration than if applied closer?

A standard example of a problem involving torque is opening a door - the same force F applied far from the hinge causes a larger angular acceleration than if applied close to the hinge. I always had ...
3
votes
2answers
67 views

Why does a bowling ball hook in the shape of a parabola?

As an aspiring professional bowler, I'm attempting to understand all the factors that influence a bowling ball motion. The simplest case is when the bowling ball is a uniform sphere and the center of ...
3
votes
1answer
237 views

Tensor components change under rotation-translation

I am currently working on a research project in a non-physics field, where I would like to work on a very constrained 2nd order tensor (3x3, symmetric, traceless). The tensor represents probability of ...
3
votes
3answers
172 views

Uniqueness of the angular velocity

Let us consider the most general motion of a rigid body. Two arbitrary points of the body, $i$ and $j$ must not change their distance $d_{ij}$ during motion. Therefore,$$(\vec{r}_j - \vec{r}_i)^2 = ...
3
votes
2answers
655 views

conceptual doubt in method to find moment of inertia about an axis

I asked this question before about whether I can take a component of angular velocity along another axis and say that the body spins about that axis with that component. Now I have another doubt: ...
3
votes
1answer
347 views

A different proof for 6 degrees of freedom

I want a different proof of 6 degrees of freedom of a solid object made of $N$ particles. I am thinking along these lines: The definition of rigid body is $$\left\lvert \vec{r_i}-\vec{r_j} ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

In a rigid rotor, are there “elegant” orientation coordinates that are conjugate to angular momenta?

I just was looking at the big bag-of-math wikipedia article on rigid rotors, and the section on the Hamiltonian form bugs me a bit since they are using Euler angles to represent the orientation. As a ...
3
votes
4answers
626 views

Solving for motion of rotating rod using only Newton's laws?

I have a question that's been bothering me for years. Given a rod of uniform mass distribution with total mass $M$ and length $L$ that lies on a horizontal table (with one end fixed to the table ...
3
votes
0answers
88 views

Where this relation for general non rigid motion comes from?

In Goldstein's Classical Mechanics book in the chapter about the dynamics of rigid bodies the equation $$\dfrac{dL_i}{dt}+\epsilon_{ijk}\omega_jL_k = N_i$$ is presented. Now, in one exercise, we are ...
3
votes
1answer
355 views

How do I treat the Lagrangian in the case of a rigid body?

Here's Exercise 1.11 from Goldstein's Classical Mechanics 3rd edition (the first one after having derived the Lagrangian basically): Exercise 1.11: Consider a uniform thin disk that rolls without ...
3
votes
0answers
173 views

What kind of shape has the lowest flutter wind speed?

What kind of shape has the lowest flutter wind speed and is the most unstable? I mean for rigid body. Thanks Yes, I know many factors affect the flutter in a MSD system (for rigid body), however ...