A rigid body is defined as an object that maintains its shape and size when a force is applied to it. In other words, rigid bodies do not deform under the action of forces. The rigid body concept is an idealization because in reality nearly all objects suffer some deformation when subjected to forces, even if it is by a minute amount. However, when modeling the motion of many objects, it is frequently possible to ignore any such deformation and still obtain good results. This is the approach we'll adopt in this section.
Basic concepts of rigid body modeling
Before we can model the motion of rigid bodies, we need to review some relevant concepts from earlier chapters and introduce some new ones. These concepts will then be brought ...