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1/19/2016

MohrCirclesandConicSections

MohrCirclesandConicSections
StevenDutch,NaturalandAppliedSciences,UniversityofWisconsinGreenBay
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Whatistheformulafortheradiusroftheellipseat
left?ThefamiliarCartesiancoordinateformulais
shownbelowtheellipse.
Webeginbynotingthat:
x=rcosA
y=rsinA
andsubstitutingthoseformulasintotheCartesian
equation.
Whenwedothatsubstitution,weget:
r2cos2A/a2+r2sin2A/b2=1,fromwhichwecanisolatertoget:
cos2A/a2+sin2A/b2=1/r2
Wecaneliminatethesquaredtrigonometrictermsbyrecallingthat:
(cos2Asin2A)=(2cos2A1)=(12sin2A)=cos2Aandtherefore:
cos2A=(1+cos2A)/2
sin2A=(1cos2A)/2
Pluggingthesevaluesbackintotheformulafor1/r2,weget:
(1/a2)(1+cos2A)/2+(1/b2)(1cos2A)/2=1/r2
Wecannowisolatethecos2Atermstoget:
(1/b2+1/a2)/2(1/b21/a2)(cos2A)/2=1/r2
ThislookssurprisinglylikeourMohrCirclederivationforstress,exceptwederivedthatstrictlyfromvector
analysiswithoutthinkingofellipsesatall(It'snoaccident).Theonlyslightlypuzzlingfeatureisthatwe've
reversedtheaandbtermsandthereisaminussigninfrontofthetrigonometricterm.

Thereasonforthechangesisclearatleft.InthisMohr
Circlespace,allradiiaremappedastheirinverse
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squares(calledquadraticextensions).Sinceaisbigger,
itsinversesquareissmaller.AlltheotherrulesofMohr
Circlesstillapply.
Now,whatdoesh(red)represent?Theradiusofthe
MohrCircleis(1/b21/a2)/2,soh=((1/b2
1/a2)/2)sin2A.Whatdoesthatrepresentonthe
ellipse?

Wemightsuspect(rightly,itturnsout)thathhassomethingtodowithshear,asthecorresponding
coordinatedoesontheMohrCircleforstress.Let'sbeginwithacircleanddeformitintoourellipseas
shownbelow:

OntheleftwehaveacirclewithatangentlineP'Q'.Onthecircletheradiusisperpendiculartothe
tangent.Ontherightthediagramhasbeenflattenedbyafactorb/a.Allthetrianglesontheleftaresimilar,
butnotontheright.Alsotheradiusisnolongerperpendiculartothetangent.TheangleC,thechangein
angleduetoflattening,isameasureofshear.Dimensionsinthehorizontaldirectionareunchanged.We
havetodoatediousbitoftrigmanipulationbutit'sperfectlystraightforward.
TanB'=OQ'/OPandTanB=OQ/OP=(b/a)OQ'/OP=(b/a)TanB'
TanA=y/x=(b/a)y'/x=(b/a)TanA'
TanC=Cot(A+B)=(1TanATanB)/(TanA+TanB)
Now:
TanB=(b/a)TanB',
TanB'=CotA'=1/TanA',and
TanA'=(a/b)TanA.Therefore:
TanB=(b2/a2)/TanA.Thus,
TanC=
(1TanATanB)/(TanA+TanB)=
(1(b2/a2)TanA/TanA)/(TanA+(b2/a2)/TanA)=
(1(b2/a2)/(TanA+(b2/a2)/TanA)=
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(a2b2)/(a2TanA+b2/TanA)=
(a2b2)TanA/(a2Tan2A+b2)=
(a2b2)(SinA/CosA)/(a2Sin2A/Cos2A+b2)=
(a2b2)(SinACosA)/(a2Sin2A+b2Cos2A)
Werecallthatcos2A/a2+sin2A/b2=1/r2.Thebottomtermintheformulaisthusequaltoa2b2/r2.Sowe
cannowwrite:
TanC=(a2b2)(SinACosA)/(a2b2/r2)
=r2(a2b2)/a2b2)(SinACosA)
=r2(1/b21/a2)(SinACosA)NowSin2A=2SinACosA,sowehave:
=(r2(1/b21/a2)/2)Sin2A
=r2h

So:h=TanC/r2=(1/r2)TanC.
Writingitthiswayallowsustoseethatthe
geometricalrelationshipatleftmusthold.

HyperbolasandMohrCircles
Theequationofahyperbolaissimilartothatofanellipse,differingonlyinonesign:
x2/a2y2/b2=1
Noteacoupleofsignificantfacts:
Whenx=0,y2=b2.Inotherwords,thereisnoyintercept.
Wheny=0,x2=a2.Thexinterceptsarex=aandx=a.
Whenxandyapproachinfinity,y/xapproachesb/a.Inotherwords,thehyperbolaapproachesthelines
y=xb/aandy=xb/a.Theselinesarecalledasymptotes.
Wecanproceedexactlyaswedidfortheellipse,andgetthepolarequation
r2cos2A/a2r2sin2A/b2=1,fromwhichwecanobtain
(1/a21/b2)/2+(1/b2+1/a2)(cos2A)/2=1/r2

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ThisformulaleadstotheMohr
Circleshownhere.
WheretheMohrCirclecrossesthe
verticalaxis,1/r2iszeroandris
infinite.Thesepointscorrespondto
theasymptotesofthehyperbola.

TheMohrCircleaboveisalittledifferentfromtheellipseonlybecausewechosetheellipseorientationso
thelongaxiswasalwayshorizontalandlabelleda.Forboththeellipseandhyperbola,theratiob/aaffects
therelativeproportionsinthexandydirections.Itdoesn'tmakesensetospeakofa"long"or"short"axis
ofahyperbola,andtheratiob/acanhaveanyvalue.Thelargerb/ais,themoreopenthehyperbolas.
IftheMohrcirclepassesthroughtheorigin,theconicsectionisontheborderlinebetweenanellipseanda
hyperbola,aparabola.However,itcan'tbedrawn.AMohrCirclethroughtheoriginmeans1/b2=0orb
infinite.Theequationforanellipsereducesfromx2/a2+y2/b2=1tox2/a2=1orx=+/a.Theequationfor
ahyperbolareducesfromx2/a2y2/b2=1tox2/a2=1andagaintox=+/a.Inthecaseoftheellipse,we
imagineweareinthemiddleofanellipsewithaninfinitelylongbaxis.

Stress,Strain,andConicSections
Acircledeformeduniformlybecomesanellipse,soit'seasytoseetheconnectionbetweenstrainand
ellipses.ButwhydoMohrCirclesworkforstress?WesaidnothingaboutellipsesinderivingtheMohr
Circleforstress.Becausethere'saconnectionbetweenstressandellipses,too.Infact,alltensorquantities
(ofwhichstressandstrainaretwoexamples)canbedescribedintermsofconicsections.
Ifwehavetwoprincipalstresses,S1andS2,wecandrawanellipsewithaxes1/S12and1/S22,anddraw
theellipsex2/S12+y2/S22=1.Foranygivenplane,weplotthepoletotheplane.Thenormalstressisthe
inversesquareoftheradiusoftheellipse(1/r2)alongthepoledirection.TheshearstressisTanC/r2.This
ellipseiscalledthestressellipse.Forsituationswhereonestressistensionalandonecompressional,the
Mohrcirclecorrespondstoahyperbolaratherthananellipse,sothepropernameforstressellipsesor
hyperbolasisstressconic.
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