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Homework 5

Classical Mechanics (Phys701) Due: October 10, 2011

Problem 1-7
Show that Lagranges equations can also be written as T T 2 = Qj . q j qj These are sometimes known as the Nielsen form of the Lagrange equations. (Hint: start with ). writing a formula for T Solution: First, calculate d T T T T (q i , qi , t) = q i + q i + . dt q i qi t Consequently 2T dT 2T T 2T = . q i + q i + + q j dt q j q i q j qi qj q j t Then the Nielsen equation reads: 2T 2T 2T T q i + q i + =0. q j q i q j qi q j t qj However, the rst three terms here can be identied as 2T 2T 2T d T q i + q i + = q j q i q j qi q j t dt q j (check it directly) and we get d T T =0, dt q j qj i.e., the Lagrange equation.

Problem 1-9
The electromagnetic eld is invariant under a gauge transformation of the scalar and vector potentials given by A A + (r, t) , 1 , c t

where is an arbitrary (but dierentiable). What eect does this gauge transformation have on the Lagrangian of a particle moving in the electromagnetic eld? Is the motion aected?

Solution.

veff

Eeff

r_

r+

Figure 1: Dependence Vef f (r) and the graphic solution for the values of r .

Problem 1-21
Two mass points of mass m1 and m2 are connected by a string passing through a hole in a smooth table so that m1 rests on the table surface and m2 hangs suspended. Assuming m2 moves only only in a vertical line, what are the generalized coordinates for the system? Write the Lagrange equations for the system and, if possible, discuss the physical signicance any of them might have. Reduce the problem to a single second-order dierential equation. What is its physical meaning? (Consider motion only until m1 reaches the hole.) Solution: The position of the mass m on the plane will be determined by the radius r and angle . Since the total length of the thread is l = const, the vertical position of the second mass M is given by y = r l < 0 (we dene the y -axis as pointing up). The kinetic energy is given by T = The potential energy is V = M gy = M gr + const and the Lagrangian is m + M 2 m 2 2 r + r M gr + const 2 2 Lagrange equations are now written down as L= 2 r + M gr = 0 mr m d ) = 0 (mr2 dt The second equation simply expresses the angular momentum conservation: the total angular momentum = const. We can express now = L/mr2 and substitute that into the rst equation. Then we L = mr2 get L2 (M + m) r + Mg = 0 mr3 which can be re-written as ( ) d 2L2 (M + m) r= M gr + (1) dr mr2 This equation is the same as the one for a one-dimensional motion of the eective particle with mass M + m in the eective potential Vef f = M gr + 2L2 /mr2 . This means that the eective energy r2 + M gr + 2 2L2 mr2 m 2 m + M 2 m 2 2 2) + M y (r + r2 2 = r + r 2 2 2 2

is conserved. Mathematically, Eef f is the rst integral of (1). Eective potential is shown in the gure. We see that the eective particle will perform non-linear oscillatory motion. The actual solution r(t) of (1) is complicated. However, the end-points r of the oscillations are easily determined from the initial value of Eef f since r = 0 holds at the end-points. This gives Eef f = Vef f (r ) = M gr + 2L2 2 , mr (2)

(0). where Eef f and L are determined by the initial conditions r(0), r (0) and A graphic solution of (2) is shown in the gure. Solution r is always positive for L = 0. This means that mass M can never pull mass m down through the hole, except when L = 0. The opposite process of pulling M up through the hole can happen is r+ > t holds. For r+ < t the system will perform oscillations with M going up and down. The second term in (2) is called a centripetal potential and is often encountered in problems with rotational symmetry.

Problem 2-22
Suppose a particle moves in space subject to a conservative potential V (r) but is constrained to always move on a surface whose equations is (r, t) = 0. (The explicit dependence on t indicates that the surface may be moving.) The instantaneous force of constraint is taken as always perpendicular to the surface. Show analytically that the energy of the particle is not conserved if the surface moves in time. What physically is the reason for non-conservation of the energy under this circumstance? Solution: The Lagrangian of the free particle in external potential equals L= 2 mr V (r) . 2

The modied Lagrangian L = L + (t) (r, t) with yet unknown Lagrange multiplier (t) will describe the particle constrained to the surface. From L we get the following system of dierential equations mr i (r, t) = = 0 V + , ri ri i = x, y, z

for unknown functions ri (t) and (t). Energy non-conservation. Suppose we found a trajectory r(t). The change of the particle energy 2 /2 + V (r) on the trajectory will be given by E = mr dE V = ( mr i )r i + r i . dt ri Substituting (mr i ) from the rst Lagrange equation we get dE = r i . dt ri Vector /ri is directed perpendicular to the = 0 surface. The velocity r i is not completely arbitrary but has to be compatible with the second Lagrange equation. From (ri (t), t) = 0 we get r i + =0. ri t Using the above we can rewrite dE = , dt t 3 (3)

which shows that E is not conserved when the surface is moving. Physical reason for energy non-conservation. For the moving surface the velocity of the particle is not tangential to the surface (see Eq. (3)). Therefore the reaction force can have a non-zero scalar product = 0. That means that the reaction force performs some work which changes the total with the velocity, N r energy of the particle. For example, in the case of = z vt, V = mgz one simply lifts the particle in the gravitational eld. The energy is obviously increased.

Problem 2-23
Consider two particles of masses m1 and m2 . Let m1 be conned to move on a circle of radius a in the z = 0 plane, centered at x = y = 0. Let m2 be conned to move on a circle of radius b in the z = c plane centered at x = y = 0. A light (massless) spring of spring constant k is attached between the particles. (a) Find the Lagrangian of the system and write down the Lagrange equations of motion. Solution: (a) We choose to polar angles 1,2 of the particles on the circles as the coordinates. Then x1 y1 z1 and x2 y2 z1 = a cos 2 = a sin 2 = c = a cos 1 = a sin 1 = 0

The distance l between the particles is given by l(1 , 2 ) = c2 + a2 [(cos 1 cos 2 )2 + (sin 1 sin 2 )2 ] i . This gives The speeds of the particles are vi = a a2 2 ) k (l l0 )2 , 2 + m2 (m1 2 1 2 2 where l0 is the length of the unstrained spring. Lagrange equations read L= l =0 1 2 + k (l l0 ) l = 0 m2 a2 2 1 + k (l l0 ) m1 a2 The derivatives of l(1 , 2 ) are calculated as l 1 l 2 = = a2 sin(1 2 ) l a2 l sin(2 1 ) = l 1

Substituting them into the Lagrange equations we get ( ) k l0 1 + 1 sin(1 2 ) = 0 , m1 l(1 , 2 ) ( ) l0 2 + k 1 sin(2 1 ) = 0 . m2 l(1 , 2 )