Nonlinear Dynamics

, Volume 73, Issue 4, pp 2273–2290 | Cite as

Integrability of the constrained rigid body

  • Jaume Llibre
  • Rafael Ramírez
  • Natalia Sadovskaia
Original Paper


The integrability theory for the differential equations, which describe the motion of an unconstrained rigid body around a fixed point is well known. When there are constraints the theory of integrability is incomplete. The main objective of this paper is to analyze the integrability of the equations of motion of a constrained rigid body around a fixed point in a force field with potential U(γ)=U(γ 1,γ 2,γ 3). This motion subject to the constraint 〈ν,ω〉=0 with ν is a constant vector is known as the Suslov problem, and when ν=γ is the known Veselova problem, here ω=(ω 1,ω 2,ω 3) is the angular velocity and 〈 , 〉 is the inner product of \(\mathbb{R}^{3}\).

We provide the following new integrable cases.

(i) The Suslov’s problem is integrable under the assumption that ν is an eigenvector of the inertial tensor I and the potential is such that
$$U=-\frac{1}{2I_1I_2}\bigl(I_1\mu^2_1+I_2 \mu^2_2\bigr), $$
where I 1,I 2, and I 3 are the principal moments of inertia of the body, μ 1 and μ 2 are solutions of the first-order partial differential equation
$$\gamma_3 \biggl(\frac{\partial\mu_1}{\partial\gamma_2}- \frac{\partial\mu_2}{\partial \gamma_1} \biggr)- \gamma_2\frac{\partial \mu_1}{\partial\gamma_3}+\gamma_1\frac{\partial\mu_2}{\partial \gamma_3}=0. $$
(ii) The Veselova problem is integrable for the potential
$$U=-\frac{\varPsi^2_1+\varPsi^2_2}{2(I_1\gamma^2_2+I_2\gamma^2_1)}, $$
where Ψ 1 and Ψ 2 are the solutions of the first-order partial differential equation where \(p=\sqrt{I_{1}I_{2}I_{3} (\frac{\gamma^{2}_{1}}{I_{1}}+\frac{\gamma^{2}_{2}}{I_{2}}+ \frac{\gamma^{2}_{3}}{I_{3}} )}\).
Also it is integrable when the potential U is a solution of the second-order partial differential equation where \(\tau_{2}=I_{1}\gamma^{2}_{1}+I_{2}\gamma^{2}_{2}+I_{3}\gamma^{2}_{3}\) and \(\tau_{3}=\frac{\gamma^{2}_{1}}{I_{1}}+\frac{\gamma^{2}_{2}}{I_{2}}+ \frac{\gamma^{2}_{3}}{I_{3}}\).

Moreover, we show that these integrable cases contain as a particular case the previous known results.


Ordinary differential equation Invariant measure Mechanical systems Nonholonomic system Constraint Rigid body Suslov problem Veselova problem Integrability 



J. Llibre is partially supported by a MINECO/FEDER grant number MTM2009-03437, an AGAUR grant number 2009SGR-410, ICREA Academia and two FPZ-PEOPLE-2012-IRSES numbers 316338 and 318999. R. Ramírez was partly supported by the Spanish Ministry of Education through projects TSI2007-65406-C03-01 “E-AEGIS” and Consolider CSD2007-00004 “ARES”.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaume Llibre
    • 1
  • Rafael Ramírez
    • 2
  • Natalia Sadovskaia
    • 3
  1. 1.Departament de MatemàtiquesUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Departament d’Enginyeria Informàtica i MatemàtiquesUniversitat Rovira i VirgiliTarragonaSpain
  3. 3.Departament de Matemàtica Aplicada IIUniversitat Politècnica de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain

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