In preceding chapters we used Lagrange’s equations principally to formulate problems, not to determine the motion of physical systems. In that formulation the generalized forces occurred merely as the symbols Q s (s = 1, 2, …, n); they were, in general, functions of all coordinates, of their time derivatives, and of time or perhaps they arose as partial derivatives of a potential function, but the precise functional form of the Q s or of the potential energy V was of no importance in the formulation. However, when one wants to solve the equations of motion, the forces must be specified; in fact, the problem is not fully described until the forces are given.


Contact Point Nonholonomic System Knife Edge Potential Energy Versus Street Vendor 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reinhardt M. Rosenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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