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Inertial rotation of a rigid body

Eugene Butikov 2006 Eur. J. Phys. 27 913-922   doi:10.1088/0143-0807/27/4/022

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Eugene Butikov
St Petersburg State University, St Petersburg, Russia
E-mail: butikov@spb.runnet.ru

Abstract. A simple approach to the important problem of torque-free rotation of a symmetrical rigid body is suggested which is appropriate for teaching introductory mechanics and general physics to undergraduate students and is free from the difficulties of traditional treatment of the problem. A small simulation program (Java-applet) is developed that visualizes the investigated motion and illustrates its principal features. The program facilitates understanding of concepts behind rigid body dynamics. Simultaneously with simulating the rigid body motion, the program presents a clear geometrical interpretation of the inertial rotation.

Print publication: Issue 4 (July 2006)
Received 27 March 2006
Published 30 May 2006

PDF (268 KB) | References

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