On potential energies and constraints in the dynamics of rigid bodies and particles Academic Article uri icon


  • A new treatment of kinematical constraints and potential energies arising in the dynamics of systems of rigid bodies and particles is presented which is suited to Newtonian and Lagrangian formulations. Its novel feature is the imposing of invariance requirements on the constraint functions and potential energy functions. These requirements are extensively used in continuum mechanics and, in the present context, one finds certain generalizations of Newton's third law of motion and an elucidation of the nature of constraint forces and moments. One motivation for such a treatment can be found by considering approaches where invariance requirements are ignored. In contrast to the treatment presented in this paper, it is shown that this may lead to a difficulty in formulating the equations governing the motion of the system.

published proceedings

  • Mathematical Problems in Engineering

author list (cited authors)

  • O'reilly, O. M., & Srinivasa, A. R.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • O'reilly, Oliver M||Srinivasa, Arun R

publication date

  • June 2002