- #1

ajayguhan

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Thanks in advance.

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- Thread starter ajayguhan
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- #1

ajayguhan

- 153

- 1

Thanks in advance.

- #2

DrClaude

Mentor

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So the total information needed is 3 coordinates and 2 angles, hence 5 degrees of freedom.

- #3

ajayguhan

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- #4

DrClaude

Mentor

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I doens't matter. You don't even have to have cartesian coordinates to start with. The same situation can be described using spherical coordinates for the first particle. You just usually use the simplest representation for the problem: the physical equations are equally valid whichever system you use. It just happens that most of the time, some representations lead to simpler equations.

It is common for n-body problems to separate the centre of mass motion from the relative motion of the bodies. If the centre of mass is rotating, it makes more sense to describe it using spherical coordinates, while the relative motion can be described with cartesian coordinates or spherical coordinates or cylindrical coordinates or anything else.

Also, some constraints are difficult to work with in certain coordinate systems. In your example, keeping the distance fixed between the two particles, I wouldn't even know how to write the equations of motion preserving that distance in cartesian coordinates, whereas they are very simple in spherical coordinates.

- #5

ajayguhan

- 153

- 1

Got it, thanks.

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