Analog solution of central force problem.
McLaughlin, Dean N.
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Electronic analog computers have been used extensively for the solution and display of many dynamics problems. The majority of the problems worked with have been those involving linear differential equations with constant coefficients. In cases involving non- linear differential equations fewer solutions have been developed. This has been due mainly to the need of using non- linear elements in the computer circuits when setting up the solutions. One such problem, that of a mass moving under the action of a first power central force, is treated in some detail. The differential equation is derived, the problem is scaled, and the circuitry developed. Solutions obtained by the use of the electronic analog computer are displayed and compared with solutions obtained by numerical methods and errors and their sources are discussed. Finally there is an overall evaluation of the usefulness of analog computers to this sort of problem. In an appendix, a second practical dynamics problem is discussed, but a solution was not obtained due to lack of time available.
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