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Nonholonomic Dynamics

Bloch, Anthony M. and Marsden, Jerrold E. and Zenkov, Dmitry V. (2005) Nonholonomic Dynamics. Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 52 (3). pp. 320-329. ISSN 0002-9920.

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Nonholonomic systems are, roughly speaking, mechanical systems with constraints on their velocity that are not derivable from position constraints. They arise, for instance, in mechanical systems that have rolling contact (for example, the rolling of wheels without slipping) or certain kinds of sliding contact (such as the sliding of skates). They are a remarkable generalization of classical Lagrangian and Hamiltonian systems in which one allows position constraints only. There are some fascinating differences between nonholonomic systems and classical Hamiltonian or Lagrangian systems. Among other things: nonholonomic systems are nonvariational—they arise from the Lagrange-d’Alembert principle and not from Hamilton’s principle; while energy is preserved for nonholonomic systems, momentum is not always preserved for systems with symmetry (i.e., there is nontrivial dynamics associated with the nonholonomic generalization of Noether’s theorem); nonholonomic systems are almost Poisson but not Poisson (i.e., there is a bracket that together with the energy on the phase space defines the motion, but the bracket generally does not satisfy the Jacobi identity); and finally, unlike the Hamiltonian setting, volume may not be preserved in the phase space, leading to interesting asymptotic stability in some cases, despite energy conservation. The purpose of this article is to engage the reader’s interest by highlighting some of these differences along with some current research in the area. There has been some confusion in the literature for quite some time over issues such as the variational character of nonholonomic systems, so it is appropriate that we begin with a brief review of the history of the subject.

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Additional Information:© 2005. Anthony M. Bloch is professor of mathematics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Research partially supported by NSF grants DMS 0103895 and 0305837. Jerrold E. Marsden is professor in Control and Dynamical Systems at the California Institute of Technology. Research partially supported by NSF grant DMS-0204474. Dmitry V. Zenkov is assistant professor of mathematics at North Carolina State University. Research partially supported by NSF grant DMS-0306017.
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NSFDMS 0103895
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:19061
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:04 Aug 2010 18:08
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 01:51

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