Chennai Mathematical Institute


Rigid Body in Classical Mechanics
Dr. Govind Krishnaswami
Utrecht University, The Netherlands.


This is an expository talk. The rigid body (top) is used to illustrate what a classical mechanical system is and what it means to solve one. A few different ways of formulating rigid body mechanics are presented. Also presented is the solution of the rigid body in terms of elliptic functions. This is perhaps the original physical context for Jacobi's development of the theory of elliptic functions.