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Analytical Mechanics for Relativity and Quantum Mechanics$
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Oliver Johns

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780191001628

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780191001628.001.0001

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Kinematics of Rotation

Kinematics of Rotation

(p.152) 8 Kinematics of Rotation
Analytical Mechanics for Relativity and Quantum Mechanics

Oliver Davis Johns

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses and develops the techniques needed to define the location and orientation of a moving rigid body. Roughly speaking, rotation can be defined as what a rigid body does. For example, imagine an artist's construction consisting of straight sticks of various lengths glued together at their ends to make a rigid structure. As such a construction is turned in one's hands, or moved closer for a better look, one will notice that the lengths of the sticks, and the angles between them, do not change. Thinking of those sticks as vectors, their general motion can be described by a class of linear operators called rotation operators, which possess the special property that they preserve all vector lengths and relative orientations.

Keywords:   moving rigid body, rotation, vectors, linear operators, rotation operators

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