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ERIC Number: EJ843924
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
A Primer on Elliptic Functions with Applications in Classical Mechanics
Brizard, Alain J.
European Journal of Physics, v30 n4 p729-750 Jul 2009
The Jacobi and Weierstrass elliptic functions used to be part of the standard mathematical arsenal of physics students. They appear as solutions of many important problems in classical mechanics: the motion of a planar pendulum (Jacobi), the motion of a force-free asymmetric top (Jacobi), the motion of a spherical pendulum (Weierstrass) and the motion of a heavy symmetric top with one fixed point (Weierstrass). The planar pendulum can, in fact, be used to highlight an important connection between the Jacobi and Weierstrass elliptic functions. The easy access to mathematical software by physics students suggests that they might reappear as useful mathematical tools in the undergraduate curriculum. (Contains 1 footnote, 2 tables, and 11 figures.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A