Conservative Motion of Tops and Gyroscopes
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.
KeywordsGeometric Center Complete Cycle Point Trajectory Circular Trajectory Conservative Motion
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