95-495 Rupak Chatterjee, A.D. Jackson, and N.L. Balazs
Rigid Body Motion, Interacting Billiards, and Billiards on Curved Manifolds (320K, LaTex) Nov 20, 95
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Abstract. It is shown that the free motion of any three-dimensional rigid body colliding elastically between two parallel, flat walls is equivalent to a three-dimensional billiard system. Depending upon the inertial parameters of the problem, the billiard system may possess a potential energy field and a non-Euclidean configuration space. The corresponding curvilinear motion of the billiard ball does not necessarily lead to a decrease of the stable periodic orbits found in the analogous rectilinear system.

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