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Modeling rotational motion with differential equations

  1. Nov 27, 2007 #1
    Hi all,

    I'm new to the forums, so forgive me if I'm posting in the wrong place.

    Strictly speaking, this isn't a "homework" question in that I'm not presenting a specific problem to be solved...But I have been assigned a project (due in a week...damn you, procrastination!) that involves some creativity. The professor asked us to present the material covered in the course in a new format, relating it to a personal interest. I've chosen to relate differential equations to ballet- specifically to modeling the way a dancer turns. Problem is, I have no idea where to start.

    So, I implore you:

    How could one model, using information such as the weight of the dancer, her center of mass, and the force she pushes off the ground with, how many pirouettes she could execute before coming to a stop? I assume the problem would work similarly to the mass-spring problem, although rather than oscillations there are turns, and factors like air resistance and friction would replace damping.

    So...any ideas where to start? Any web references that could help me out? Or should I scrap the project and pick something different?

    Please please please help :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2007 #2
    Why dont you read about the spinning top?
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