Conservative Motion of Tops and Gyroscopes

  • Donald Greenspan
Part of the Modeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering & Technology book series (MSSET)


Rigid body motion is of fundamental interest in mathematics, science and engineering. In this chapter we will introduce a simplistic approach to this area of study in the spirit of modern molecular mechanics. We will consider first a discrete tetrahedral body and simulate its motion when it spins like a top whose contact point with the XY plane is allowed to move in the plane. The approach will not require the use of special coordinates, Cayley—Klein parameters, tensors, dyadics, or related concepts (Goldstein (1980)). All that will be required is Newtonian mechanics in three-dimensional XYZ space.


Geometric Center Complete Cycle Point Trajectory Circular Trajectory Conservative Motion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald Greenspan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of Texas at ArlingtonArlingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations