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The second part of the question asks: The system is started with the initial conditions (x1, x2, x3) = (2a, a, 0). From the results of part 1, solve for the subsequent motion for x1. Under what condition is the motion periodic?

It occurred to me that possibly this question has to do with the normal coordinates of the system. I understand how to derive them in a two pendulum system, but I can't figure out how I would do that in a triple system.

However, perhaps I'm looking at this the wrong way. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I would go about solving this?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Cheers,

W. =)