Rigid Body Trajectories in Different 6D Spaces

Carol Linton, William Holderbaum, James Biggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this paper is to show that the group
with an imposed Lie-Poisson structure can be used to determine the trajectory in a spatial frame of a rigid body in Euclidean space. Identical results for the trajectory are obtained in spherical and hyperbolic space by scaling the linear displacements appropriately since the influence of the moments of inertia on the trajectories tends to zero as the scaling factor increases. The semidirect product of the linear and rotational motions gives the trajectory from a body frame perspective. It is shown that this cannot be used to determine the trajectory in the spatial frame. The body frame trajectory is thus independent of the velocity coupling. In addition, it is shown that the analysis can be greatly simplified by aligning the axes of the spatial frame with the axis of symmetry which is unchanging for a natural system with no forces and rotation about an axis of symmetry.
Original languageEnglish
Article number467520,
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Scholarly Research Notices
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2012 Carol Linton et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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