A primer on elliptic functions with applications in classical mechanics
Abstract
The Jacobi and Weierstrass elliptic functions used to be part of the standard mathematical arsenal of physics students. They appear as solutions of many important problems in classical mechanics: the motion of a planar pendulum (Jacobi), the motion of a forcefree asymmetric top (Jacobi), the motion of a spherical pendulum (Weierstrass), and the motion of a heavy symmetric top with one fixed point (Weierstrass). The problem of the planar pendulum, in fact, can be used to construct the general connection between the Jacobi and Weierstrass elliptic functions. The easy access to mathematical software by physics students suggests that they might reappear as useful tools in the undergraduate curriculum.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 November 2007
 arXiv:
 arXiv:0711.4064
 Bibcode:
 2007arXiv0711.4064B
 Keywords:

 Physics  Classical Physics
 EPrint:
 17 pages, 20 figures