Billiard Systems as the Models for the Rigid Body Dynamics

  • Victoria V. FokichevaEmail author
  • Anatoly T. FomenkoEmail author
Part of the Studies in Systems, Decision and Control book series (SSDC, volume 69)


Description of the rigid body dynamics is a complex problem, which goes back to Euler and Lagrange. These systems are described in the six-dimensional phase space and have two integrals the energy integral and the momentum integral. Of particular interest are the cases of rigid body dynamics, where there exists the additional integral, and where the Liouville integrability can be established. Because many of such a systems are difficult to describe, the next step in their analysis is the calculation of invariants for integrable systems, namely, the so called Fomenko–Zieschang molecules, which allow us to describe such a systems in the simple terms, and also allow us to set the Liouville equivalence between different integrable systems. Billiard systems describe the motion of the material point on a plane domain, bounded by a closed curve. The phase space is the four-dimensional manifold. Billiard systems can be integrable for a suitable choice of the boundary, for example, when the boundary consists of the arcs of the confocal ellipses, hyperbolas and parabolas. Since such a billiard systems are Liouville integrable, they are classified by the Fomenko–Zieschang invariants. In this article, we simulate many cases of motion of a rigid body in 3-space by more simple billiard systems. Namely, we set the Liouville equivalence between different systems by comparing the Fomenko–Zieschang invariants for the rigid body dynamics and for the billiard systems. For example, the Euler case can be simulated by the billiards for all values of energy integral. For many values of energy, such billard simulation is done for the systems of the Lagrange top and Kovalevskaya top, then for the Zhukovskii gyrostat, for the systems by Goryachev–Chaplygin–Sretenskii, Clebsch, Sokolov, as well as expanding the classical Kovalevskaya top Kovalevskaya–Yahia case.


Rigid Body Dynamic Elementary Domain Singular Leaf Billiard Trajectory Billiard System 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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