Please explain what an axis of inertia or principle axis of inertia is!

  1. Please explain what an "axis of inertia" or "principle axis of inertia" is!

    I have confronted these terms in a paper about molecular quantum mechanics, and they are completely unfamiliar to me. Can someone help?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. tiny-tim

    tiny-tim 26,041
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Hi AxiomOfChoice! :smile:

    Basically, a principal axis of a body is a direction along which the simple Iω and 1/2 Iω2 formulas work.

    All axes of rotational symmetry are principal axes, but other axes (usually) aren't (which is why things wobble :rolleyes:) …

    see the PF Library on moment of inertia for details :wink:
     
  4. Re: Please explain what an "axis of inertia" or "principle axis of inertia" is!

    Sounds like parallel axis theorem and moment of inertia to me. Used to find the inertia of things that are not point particals.
     
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