## Exact Analytic Solutions for the Rotation of an Axially Symmetric Rigid Body Subjected to a Constant Torque

Marcello Romano
2012
16 Apr 2012
##### Abstract
New exact analytic solutions are introduced for the rotational motion of a rigid body having two equal principal moments of inertia and subjected to an external torque which is constant in magnitude. In particular, the solutions are obtained for the following cases: (1) Torque parallel to the symmetry axis and arbitrary initial angular velocity; (2) Torque perpendicular to the symmetry axis and such that the torque is rotating at a constant rate about the symmetry axis, and arbitrary initial angular velocity; (3) Torque and initial angular velocity perpendicular to the symmetry axis, with the torque being fixed with the body. In addition to the solutions for these three forced cases, an original solution is introduced for the case of torque-free motion, which is simpler than the classical solution as regards its derivation and uses the rotation matrix in order to describe the body orientation. This paper builds upon the recently discovered exact solution for the motion of a rigid body with a spherical ellipsoid of inertia. In particular, by following Hestenes' theory, the rotational motion of an axially symmetric rigid body is seen at any instant in time as the combination of the motion of a "virtual" spherical body with respect to the inertial frame and the motion of the axially symmetric body with respect to this "virtual" body. The kinematic solutions are presented in terms of the rotation matrix. The newly found exact analytic solutions are valid for any motion time length and rotation amplitude. The present paper adds further elements to the small set of special cases for which an exact solution of the rotational motion of a rigid body exists.
##### Description
"Errata Corridge Postprint" version of the journal paper. The following typos present in the Journal version are HERE corrected: 1) Definition of \beta, before Eq. 18; 2) sign in the statement of Theorem 3; 3) Sign in Eq. 53; 4)Item r_0 in Eq. 58; 5) Item R_{SN}(0) in Eq. 62 Subjects: Classical Physics (physics.class-ph); Dynamical Systems (math.DS); Exactly Solvable and Integrable Systems (nlin.SI)
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10569-008-9155-4