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Superposition of position functions

  1. Feb 28, 2008 #1
    If I have two forces, [itex]F_1[/itex] and [itex]F_2[/itex], such that, if a body 'a' is applied only one of the two forces, either [itex]F_1[/itex] and [itex]F_2[/itex] for a given experiment and it is determined that.. if only [itex]F_1[/itex] acts on 'a', then the position of 'a' is given by: [itex]r_1(t)[/itex] where '[itex]r_1[/itex]' is a position vector as a function of time and if only [itex]F_1[/itex] acts on 'a', then the position of 'a' is given by [itex]r_2(t)[/itex], where '[itex]r_2[/itex]' is a position vector as a function of time.

    Now, the body is subjected to both the forces [itex]F_1[/itex] and [itex]F_2[/itex] and the position of 'a' is given is by [itex]r_c[/itex]. Then, does this relation hold true:

    [tex]
    r_c = r_1 + r_2
    [/tex]
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 28, 2008 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    Surely that is not always the case: rigid body rotation, nonlinear optics, fluid flow...
     
  4. Feb 28, 2008 #3

    Claude Bile

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    Yes, the principle of superposition is applicable in this case. Of course, once your system becomes non-linear, then it no longer holds.

    Claude.
     
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