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Geometric Interpretation for Virtual Velocity

  1. Nov 18, 2009 #1
    I am having hard time giving a geometric interpretation for the virtual velocity in classical mechanics, defined as:
    [tex]\delta \dot{x} = \frac{d}{dt} \delta x[/tex]
    where [tex]\delta[/tex] is the virtual differential operator, and [tex]\delta \dot{x}[/tex] denotes the virtual velocity of [tex]x[/tex]. I think having a geometric interpretation would make it much easier to understand the intuition behind the virtual velocity. I found one explanation in Rosenberg's Analytical Dynamics book, Section 9.5 on page 140, but I am not very satisfied with it since it just illustrates why the time derivative of virtual displacement should exist, which I can already understand.

    Any comments, books or other resources on this is greatly appreciated!

    I am new here, and I just wanted to say that I love the ability to type latex into the posts!

  2. jcsd
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