Rolling Systems and Their Billiard Limits


Billiard systems, broadly speaking, may be regarded as models of mechanical systems in which rigid parts interact through elastic impulsive (collision) forces. When it is desired or necessary to account for linear/angular momentum exchange in collisions involving a spherical body, a type of billiard system often referred to as no-slip has been used. In recent work, it has become apparent that no-slip billiards resemble nonholonomic mechanical systems in a number of ways. Based on an idea by Borisov, Kilin and Mamaev, we show that no-slip billiards very generally arise as limits of nonholonomic (rolling) systems, in a way that is akin to how ordinary billiards arise as limits of geodesic flows through a flattening of the Riemannian manifold.

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Correspondence to Christopher Cox or Renato Feres or Bowei Zhao.

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Cox, C., Feres, R. & Zhao, B. Rolling Systems and Their Billiard Limits. Regul. Chaot. Dyn. 26, 1–21 (2021).

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  • no-slip billiards
  • nonholonomic systems