Frames of Reference

  • Nicholas M. J. WoodhouseEmail author
Part of the Springer Undergraduate Mathematics Series book series (SUMS)


The solution to a mechanical problem begins with the kinematic analysis, the analysis of how a system can move, as opposed to how it actually does move under the influence of a particular set of forces. In this first stage, the essential step is the introduction of coordinates to label the configurations of the system. These might be Cartesian coordinates for the position of a particle, or angular coordinates for the orientation of a rigid body, or some complicated combination of distances and angles. The only conditions are that each physically possible configuration should correspond to a particular set of values of the coordinates; and that, conversely, the coordinates should be independent, which can be understood informally to mean that each set of values of the coordinates should determine a unique configuration. The number of coordinates is called the number of degrees of freedom of the system.


Angular Velocity Rigid Body Analytical Dynamics Euler Angle Inertial Frame 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mathematical Institute University of OxfordOxfordUnited Kingdom

Personalised recommendations