Symmetry, Integrability and Geometry: Methods and Applications (SIGMA)

SIGMA 8 (2012), 019, 22 pages      arXiv:1204.1123

Tippe Top Equations and Equations for the Related Mechanical Systems

Nils Rutstam
Department of Mathematics, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

Received October 21, 2011, in final form March 27, 2012; Published online April 05, 2012

The equations of motion for the rolling and gliding Tippe Top (TT) are nonintegrable and difficult to analyze. The only existing arguments about TT inversion are based on analysis of stability of asymptotic solutions and the LaSalle type theorem. They do not explain the dynamics of inversion. To approach this problem we review and analyze here the equations of motion for the rolling and gliding TT in three equivalent forms, each one providing different bits of information about motion of TT. They lead to the main equation for the TT, which describes well the oscillatory character of motion of the symmetry axis $\mathbf{\hat{3}}$ during the inversion. We show also that the equations of motion of TT give rise to equations of motion for two other simpler mechanical systems: the gliding heavy symmetric top and the gliding eccentric cylinder. These systems can be of aid in understanding the dynamics of the inverting TT.

Key words: tippe top; rigid body; nonholonomic mechanics; integrals of motion; stability; gliding friction.

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