Eliminating'the n-1 ratios A1:A2: . .:A, , we obtain the
determinantal equation

A(<f“)=0, (5)

where

A(¢T2) = Cn -021111, C21 -031121, - -1 Cm -0'2¢Z»1 512 -021112, C22 "Gian, - - 1 Cnz -Uzllnz () 7

cm-again, cz”-ozazn, . ., cm.-o'a, ,, . The quadratic expression for T is essentially positive, and the same holds with regard to V in virtue of the assumed stability. It may be shown algebraically that under these conditions the n roots of the above equation in <12 are all real and positive. For any particular root, the equations (5) determine the ratios of the quantities Al, A2, . . A, ., the absolute values being alone arbitrary; these quantities are in fact proportional to the minors of any one row in the determinate A(a2) By combining the solutions corresponding to a pair of equal and opposite values of <1 we obtain a solution in real form: q, -=Ca, - cos (ut+e), (8)

where al, ag . U., are a determinate series of quantities having to one another the above-mentioned ratios, whilst the constants C, e are arbitrary. This solution, taken by itself, represents a 0 motion in which each particle of the system (since its displacements parallel to Cartesian co-ordinate 5 axes are linear functions of the q' s) executes a simple 0; vibration of period 21r/a. The amplitudes of oscillation of the various particles have definite ratios to one another, and the phases are in agreement, a

the absolute amplitude (depending on C) and the !', phase-constant (e) being alone arbitrary. A E M vibration of this character is called a normal mode ¢;.. of vibration of the system; the number n of such

- 6 modes is equal to that of the degrees of freedom

I possessed by the system. These statements require 2 some modification when two or more of the roots

- M of the equation (6) are equal. In the case of a

multiple root the minors of A(U2) all vanish, and g the basis for the determination of the quantities a, £16 85 disappears. Two or more normal modes then become to some extent indeterminate, and elliptic vibrations of the individual particles are possible. An example is furnished by the spherical pendulum (§ 13). As an example of the method of determination of the normal modes we may take the “double pendulum.” A mass M hangs from a fixed point by a string of length a, and a second mass m hangs from M by a str1ng of length b. For simplicity we will suppose that the motion is confined to one vertical plane. If 6, d> be the inclinations of the two strings to the vertical, we have, approximately, 2T = Ma'6” +m(aé +bd3)2,

sv = Mga.e=+mg<aa2+b¢>2) i (9)

The equations (3) take the forms

°Q+»l? <i9+g0=<>, } (Io)

00+ b¢ + g4> =0.

where p =m/(M -l-m). Hence

(02-g/a 110-l-;4a2l7¢> =O,

o2a0+ a*-g/b)b¢=o.l “Il

The frequency equation is therefore

(<f'-K/¢1)(<f'-g/b) -/w* =0- (12)

The roots of this quadratic in rr” are easily seen to be' real and positive. If M be large compared with m, p. is small, and the roots are g/a and g/b, approximately. In the normal mode corresponding to the former root, M swings almost like the bob of a simple pendulum of length a, being comparatively uninfluenced by the presence of m, whilst m executes a “ forced " vibration (§ I2) of the corresponding period. In the second mode, M is nearly at rest [as appears from the second of equations (lllly whilst m swings almost like the bob of a simple pendulum of length b. Whatever the ratio M/m, the two values of U' can never be exactly equal, but they are approximately equal if a, b are nearly equal and it is very small. A curious phenomenon is then to be observed; the motion of each particle, being made up (in general) of two superposed simple vibrations of nearly equal period, is seen to fluctuate greatly in extent, and if the amplitudes he equal we have periods of approximate rest, as in the case of “ beats ” in acoustics. The vibration then appears to be transferred alternately from m to M at regular intervals. If, on the other hand, M is smal compared with m, y is nearly equal to unity, and the roots of (12) are a'=g/(a+b) and o* ==mg/M.(a+b)/ab, approximately. The former root makes 0=¢>, nearly; in the corresponding normal mode m oscillates like the bob of a simple pendulum of length a-l-b. In the second mode a0+b4>=0, nearly, so that m is approximately at rest. The oscillation of M then resembles that of a particle at a distance a from one end of a string of length a-Hz fixed at the ends and subject to a tension mg.

The motion of the system consequent on arbitrary initial conditions may be obtained by superposition of the n normal modes with suitable amplitudes and phases. We have then of=0»f0+¢¢'0'+wf"0"+ - - -» (I3l

where

0=C cos(ot~|-e), 6'=C' cos(¢'l+e), 0”=C" cos(¢r"t-l-e), . . . (14) provided 02, o'“, o”2, . . are the n roots of (6). The coefficients of10, 0', B", in (13) satisfy the conjugate or orthogonal re ations

Gi1d1¢11"l'1122¢12U-2', 'l" - - - 'l'lli2('11U-2'-l~¢12G1')~'l* - - - =0, (15) 61iU~if-11'-i'Czz0b2¢1-2"l' - - - 'l'612(¢11¢l2"i*0-z¢11')'|' - ~ - =0, (16) provided the symbols a., , a, ' correspond to two distinct roots az, a'2 of (6). To prove these relations, we replace the symbols A1, A2, .... A., in (5) by ai, az, . . . an respectively, multiply the resulting equations by a, ', a/2, . . a', ., in order, and add. The result, owing to its symmetry, must still hold if we interchange accented and unaccented Greek letters, and by comparison we deduce (15) and (16), provided 02 and a'2 are unequal. The actual determination of C, C', C", . . and e, e', e”, . in terms of the initial conditions isas follows. If we Write

Ccos e=H, -C sin e=K, (17)

we must have

U1H+Uf/H'+ar”H/, 'i' ~ ~ .Y =lqfl0r}

¢1v»fH +v'wf'H'+¢1”¢1f"H”+ - - - =léiflo, » where the zero suffix indicates initial values. These equations can be at once solved for H, H', H”, . and K, K', K", . by means of the orthogonal relations (15). Byasuitable choice of the generalized co-ordinates it is possible to reduce T and V simultaneously to sums of squares, The transformation is in fact effected by the assumption (13), in virtue of the relations (15) (16), and we may write 2T=afl2+a'd”+a"§ ”2+. , p

2V=¢e2+¢'a'2+¢"o"2+. ..§ , (19)

The new co-ordinates 0, l9', 0” . . are called the normal co-ordinates of the system; in a normal mode of vibration one of these varies alone. The physical characteristics of a normal mode' are that an impulse of a particular normal type generates an initial velocity of that type only, and that a constant extraneousiforce of a particular normal type maintains a displacement of that type only. The normal modes are further distinguished by an important “ stationary” property, as regards the frequency. If we imagine the system reduced by frictionless constraints to one degree of freedom, so that the co-ordinates 0, H', 0”, . have prescribed ratios to one another, we have, from (19), c0'+c'6'2=c"6"'-l- C

5 "' = '2°l

This shows that the value of er” for the constrained mode is intermediate to the greatest and least of the values c/a, c'/a', 0"/a”, . . . proper to the several normal modes. Also that if the constrained mode differs little from a normal mode of free vibration (e.g. if 0', H", . are small compared with 0), the change in the frequency is of the second order. This property can often be utilized to estimate the frequency of the gravest normal mode of a system, by means of an assumed approximate type, when the exact determination would be difficult. It also appears that an estimate thus obtained is necessarily too high.

From another point of view it is easily recognized that the equations (5) are exactly those to which we are led in the ordinary process of finding the stationary values of the function V (01, 02, - Un),

T (qi, qi. Q10

where the denominator stands for the same homogeneous quadratic function of the q's that T is for the Q's. It is easy to construct in this connexion a proof that the n values of rr' are all real and positive.