The mathematics of pendulums are in general quite complicated. Simplifying assumptions can be made, which in the case of a simple pendulum allow the equations of motion to be solved analytically for small-angle oscillations.
Figure 1. Force diagram of a simple gravity pendulum.
Consider Figure 1 on the right, which shows the forces acting on a simple pendulum. Note that the path of the pendulum sweeps out an arc of a circle. The angle θ is measured in radians, and this is crucial for this formula. The blue arrow is the gravitational force acting on the bob, and the violet arrows are that same force resolved into components parallel and perpendicular to the bob's instantaneous motion. The direction of the bob's instantaneous velocity always points along the red axis, which is considered the tangential axis because its direction is always tangent to the circle. Consider Newton's second law,
where F is the sum of forces on the object, m is mass, and a is the acceleration. Because we are only concerned with changes in speed, and because the bob is forced to stay in a circular path, we apply Newton's equation to the tangential axis only. The short violet arrow represents the component of the gravitational force in the tangential axis, and trigonometry can be used to determine its magnitude. Thus,
where g is the acceleration due to gravity near the surface of the earth. The negative sign on the right hand side implies that θ and a always point in opposite directions. This makes sense because when a pendulum swings further to the left, we would expect it to accelerate back toward the right.
This linear acceleration a along the red axis can be related to the change in angle θ by the arc length formulas; s is arc length:
The change in kinetic energy (body started from rest) is given by
Since no energy is lost, the gain in one must be equal to the loss in the other
The change in velocity for a given change in height can be expressed as
Using the arc length formula above, this equation can be rewritten in terms of dθ/dt:
where h is the vertical distance the pendulum fell. Look at Figure 2, which presents the trigonometry of a simple pendulum. If the pendulum starts its swing from some initial angle θ0, then y0, the vertical distance from the screw, is given by
Similarly, for y1, we have
Then h is the difference of the two
In terms of dθ/dt gives
This equation is known as the first integral of motion, it gives the velocity in terms of the location and includes an integration constant related to the initial displacement (θ0). We can differentiate, by applying the chain rule, with respect to time to get the acceleration
which is the same result as obtained through force analysis.
Small-angle approximation for the sine function: For θ ≈ 0 we find sin θ ≈ θ.
The differential equation given above is not easily solved, and there is no solution that can be written in terms of elementary functions. However adding a restriction to the size of the oscillation's amplitude gives a form whose solution can be easily obtained. If it is assumed that the angle is much less than 1 radian (often cited as less than 0.1 radians, about 6°), or
The error due to the approximation is of order θ3 (from the Maclaurin series for sin θ).
Given the initial conditions θ(0) = θ0 and dθ/dt(0) = 0, the solution becomes
The motion is simple harmonic motion where θ0 is the amplitude of the oscillation (that is, the maximum angle between the rod of the pendulum and the vertical). The period of the motion, the time for a complete oscillation (outward and return) is
which is known as Christiaan Huygens's law for the period. Note that under the small-angle approximation, the period is independent of the amplitude θ0; this is the property of isochronism that Galileo discovered.
If SI units are used (i.e. measure in metres and seconds), and assuming the measurement is taking place on the Earth's surface, then g ≈ 9.81 m/s2, and g/π2 ≈ 1 (0.994 is the approximation to 3 decimal places).
Therefore, a relatively reasonable approximation for the length and period are,
where T0 is the number of seconds between two beats (one beat for each side of the swing), and l is measured in metres.
The animations below depict the motion of a simple (frictionless) pendulum with increasing amounts of initial displacement of the bob, or equivalently increasing initial velocity. The small graph above each pendulum is the corresponding phase plane diagram; the horizontal axis is displacement and the vertical axis is velocity. With a large enough initial velocity the pendulum does not oscillate back and forth but rotates completely around the pivot.
Initial angle of 0°, a stable equilibrium
Initial angle of 45°
Initial angle of 90°
Initial angle of 135°
Initial angle of 170°
Initial angle of 180°, unstable equilibrium
Pendulum with just barely enough energy for a full swing
A compound pendulum (or physical pendulum) is one where the rod is not massless, and may have extended size; that is, an arbitrarily shaped rigid body swinging by a pivot. In this case the pendulum's period depends on its moment of inertiaI around the pivot point.
Physical interpretation of the imaginary period
The Jacobian elliptic function that expresses the position of a pendulum as a function of time is a doubly periodic function with a real period and an imaginary period. The real period is of course the time it takes the pendulum to go through one full cycle. Paul Appell pointed out a physical interpretation of the imaginary period: if θ0 is the maximum angle of one pendulum and 180° − θ0 is the maximum angle of another, then the real period of each is the magnitude of the imaginary period of the other. This interpretation, involving dual forces in opposite directions, might be further clarified and generalized to other classical problems in mechanics with dual solutions.
Two identical simple pendulums coupled via a spring connecting the bobs.
Coupled pendulums can affect each other's motion, either through a direction connection (such as a spring connecting the bobs) or through motions in a supporting structure (such as a tabletop). The equations of motion for two identical simple pendulums coupled by a spring connecting the bobs can be obtained using Lagrangian Mechanics.
The kinetic energy of the system is:
where is the mass of the bobs, is the length of the strings, and , are the angular displacements of the two bobs from equilibrium.
^Adlaj, S. (2012), "Mechanical interpretation of negative and imaginary tension of a tether in a linear parallel force field", Selected papers of the International Scientific Conference on Mechanics "Sixth Polyakhov Readings", Saint Petersburg, pp. 13–18
In physics, classical mechanics is one of the two major sub-fields of mechanics, along with quantum mechanics. Classical mechanics is concerned with the set of physical laws describing the motion of bodies under the influence of a system of forces. The study of the motion of bodies is an ancient one, making classical mechanics one of the oldest and largest subjects in science, engineering and technology. Classical mechanics describes the motion of objects, from projectiles to parts of machinery, as well as astronomical objects, such as spacecraft, planets, stars. Within classical mechanics are fields of study that describe the behavior of solids, liquids and gases, Classical mechanics also provides extremely accurate results as long as the domain of study is restricted to large objects and the speeds involved do not approach the speed of light. When both quantum and classical mechanics cannot apply, such as at the level with high speeds. Since these aspects of physics were developed long before the emergence of quantum physics and relativity, however, a number of modern sources do include relativistic mechanics, which in their view represents classical mechanics in its most developed and accurate form. Later, more abstract and general methods were developed, leading to reformulations of classical mechanics known as Lagrangian mechanics and these advances were largely made in the 18th and 19th centuries, and they extend substantially beyond Newtons work, particularly through their use of analytical mechanics. The following introduces the concepts of classical mechanics. For simplicity, it often models real-world objects as point particles, the motion of a point particle is characterized by a small number of parameters, its position, mass, and the forces applied to it. Each of these parameters is discussed in turn, in reality, the kind of objects that classical mechanics can describe always have a non-zero size. Objects with non-zero size have more complicated behavior than hypothetical point particles, because of the degrees of freedom. However, the results for point particles can be used to such objects by treating them as composite objects. The center of mass of a composite object behaves like a point particle, Classical mechanics uses common-sense notions of how matter and forces exist and interact. It assumes that matter and energy have definite, knowable attributes such as where an object is in space, non-relativistic mechanics also assumes that forces act instantaneously. The position of a point particle is defined with respect to a fixed reference point in space called the origin O, in space. A simple coordinate system might describe the position of a point P by means of a designated as r. In general, the point particle need not be stationary relative to O, such that r is a function of t, the time
Newton's laws of motion
Newtons laws of motion are three physical laws that, together, laid the foundation for classical mechanics. They describe the relationship between a body and the forces acting upon it, and its motion in response to those forces. More precisely, the first law defines the force qualitatively, the second law offers a measure of the force. These three laws have been expressed in different ways, over nearly three centuries, and can be summarised as follows. The three laws of motion were first compiled by Isaac Newton in his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Newton used them to explain and investigate the motion of many physical objects and systems. For example, in the volume of the text, Newton showed that these laws of motion, combined with his law of universal gravitation. Newtons laws are applied to objects which are idealised as single point masses, in the sense that the size and this can be done when the object is small compared to the distances involved in its analysis, or the deformation and rotation of the body are of no importance. In this way, even a planet can be idealised as a particle for analysis of its orbital motion around a star, in their original form, Newtons laws of motion are not adequate to characterise the motion of rigid bodies and deformable bodies. Leonhard Euler in 1750 introduced a generalisation of Newtons laws of motion for rigid bodies called Eulers laws of motion, if a body is represented as an assemblage of discrete particles, each governed by Newtons laws of motion, then Eulers laws can be derived from Newtons laws. Eulers laws can, however, be taken as axioms describing the laws of motion for extended bodies, Newtons laws hold only with respect to a certain set of frames of reference called Newtonian or inertial reference frames. Other authors do treat the first law as a corollary of the second, the explicit concept of an inertial frame of reference was not developed until long after Newtons death. In the given mass, acceleration, momentum, and force are assumed to be externally defined quantities. This is the most common, but not the interpretation of the way one can consider the laws to be a definition of these quantities. Newtonian mechanics has been superseded by special relativity, but it is useful as an approximation when the speeds involved are much slower than the speed of light. The first law states that if the net force is zero, the first law can be stated mathematically when the mass is a non-zero constant, as, ∑ F =0 ⇔ d v d t =0. Consequently, An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless a force acts upon it, an object that is in motion will not change its velocity unless a force acts upon it. This is known as uniform motion, an object continues to do whatever it happens to be doing unless a force is exerted upon it. If it is at rest, it continues in a state of rest, if an object is moving, it continues to move without turning or changing its speed
Continuum mechanics is a branch of mechanics that deals with the analysis of the kinematics and the mechanical behavior of materials modeled as a continuous mass rather than as discrete particles. The French mathematician Augustin-Louis Cauchy was the first to formulate such models in the 19th century, research in the area continues till today. Modeling an object as a continuum assumes that the substance of the object completely fills the space it occupies, Continuum mechanics deals with physical properties of solids and fluids which are independent of any particular coordinate system in which they are observed. These physical properties are represented by tensors, which are mathematical objects that have the required property of being independent of coordinate system. These tensors can be expressed in coordinate systems for computational convenience, Materials, such as solids, liquids and gases, are composed of molecules separated by space. On a microscopic scale, materials have cracks and discontinuities, a continuum is a body that can be continually sub-divided into infinitesimal elements with properties being those of the bulk material. More specifically, the continuum hypothesis/assumption hinges on the concepts of an elementary volume. This condition provides a link between an experimentalists and a viewpoint on constitutive equations as well as a way of spatial and statistical averaging of the microstructure. The latter then provide a basis for stochastic finite elements. The levels of SVE and RVE link continuum mechanics to statistical mechanics, the RVE may be assessed only in a limited way via experimental testing, when the constitutive response becomes spatially homogeneous. Specifically for fluids, the Knudsen number is used to assess to what extent the approximation of continuity can be made, consider car traffic on a highway---with just one lane for simplicity. Somewhat surprisingly, and in a tribute to its effectiveness, continuum mechanics effectively models the movement of cars via a differential equation for the density of cars. The familiarity of this situation empowers us to understand a little of the continuum-discrete dichotomy underlying continuum modelling in general. To start modelling define that, x measure distance along the highway, t is time, ρ is the density of cars on the highway, cars do not appear and disappear. Consider any group of cars, from the car at the back of the group located at x = a to the particular car at the front located at x = b. The total number of cars in this group N = ∫ a b ρ d x, since cars are conserved d N / d t =0. The only way an integral can be zero for all intervals is if the integrand is zero for all x, consequently, conservation derives the first order nonlinear conservation PDE ∂ ρ ∂ t + ∂ ∂ x =0 for all positions on the highway. This conservation PDE applies not only to car traffic but also to fluids, solids, crowds, animals, plants, bushfires, financial traders and this PDE is one equation with two unknowns, so another equation is needed to form a well posed problem
Kinematics as a field of study is often referred to as the geometry of motion and as such may be seen as a branch of mathematics. The study of the influence of forces acting on masses falls within the purview of kinetics, for further details, see analytical dynamics. Kinematics is used in astrophysics to describe the motion of celestial bodies, in mechanical engineering, robotics, and biomechanics kinematics is used to describe the motion of systems composed of joined parts such as an engine, a robotic arm or the human skeleton. Kinematic analysis is the process of measuring the quantities used to describe motion. In addition, kinematics applies geometry to the study of the mechanical advantage of a mechanical system or mechanism. The term kinematic is the English version of A. M, ampères cinématique, which he constructed from the Greek κίνημα kinema, itself derived from κινεῖν kinein. Kinematic and cinématique are related to the French word cinéma, particle kinematics is the study of the trajectory of a particle. The position of a particle is defined to be the vector from the origin of a coordinate frame to the particle. If the tower is 50 m high, then the vector to the top of the tower is r=. In the most general case, a coordinate system is used to define the position of a particle. However, if the particle is constrained to move in a surface, all observations in physics are incomplete without those observations being described with respect to a reference frame. The position vector of a particle is a vector drawn from the origin of the frame to the particle. It expresses both the distance of the point from the origin and its direction from the origin, the magnitude of the position vector |P| gives the distance between the point P and the origin. | P | = x P2 + y P2 + z P2, the direction cosines of the position vector provide a quantitative measure of direction. It is important to note that the vector of a particle isnt unique. The position vector of a particle is different relative to different frames of reference. The velocity of a particle is a quantity that describes the direction of motion. More mathematically, the rate of change of the vector of a point