Rotation around a fixed axis
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Rotation around a fixed axis or about a fixed axis of revolution or motion with respect to a fixed axis of rotation is a special case of
This article assumes that the rotation is also stable, such that no torque is required to keep it going. The
A rigid body is an object of finite extent in which all the distances between the component particles are constant. No truly rigid body exists; external forces can deform any solid. For our purposes, then, a rigid body is a solid which requires large forces to deform it appreciably.
A change in the position of a particle in three-dimensional space can be completely specified by three coordinates. A change in the position of a rigid body is more complicated to describe. It can be regarded as a combination of two distinct types of motion: translational motion and circular motion.
Purely rotational motion occurs if every particle in the body moves in a circle about a single line. This line is called the axis of rotation. Then the radius
Any displacement of a rigid body may be arrived at by first subjecting the body to a displacement followed by a rotation, or conversely, to a rotation followed by a displacement. We already know that for any collection of particles—whether at rest with respect to one another, as in a rigid body, or in relative motion, like the exploding fragments of a shell, the acceleration of the center of mass is given by
where M is the total mass of the system and acm is the acceleration of the center of mass. There remains the matter of describing the rotation of the body about the center of mass and relating it to the external forces acting on the body. The kinematics and dynamics of rotational motion around a single axis resemble the kinematics and dynamics of translational motion; rotational motion around a single axis even has a work-energy theorem analogous to that of particle dynamics.