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On the Damping-Induced Self-Recovery Phenomenon in Mechanical Systems
Start Date: 4/22/2014Start Time: 2:00 PM
End Date: 4/22/2014End Time: 3:00 PM

Professor Dong Eui Chang
Associate Professor
Department of Applied Mathematics
The University of Waterloo, Canada

801 22nd Street NW
Phillips Hall 736

Hosted by: Dr. Taeyoung Lee (

The falling cat problem has been very popular in control, mechanics and mathematics since Kane and Sher published a paper on this topic in 1969. A cat, after released upside down, executes a 180-degree reorientation, all the while having a zero angular momentum. It makes use of angular momentum conservation that is induced by rotational symmetry in the dynamics. In general, however, the angular momentum would not be not conserved in the presence of a symmetry-breaking force on the system. In this talk, I will discuss the effect   of external damping forces on the motion of mechanical systems with symmetry.   I will give a "dynamic" explanation of the famous experiment by G.I. Taylor on the "kinematic" reversibility of low-Reynolds-number flows. This talk is accessible to third-year undergraduate students.

Dong Eui Chang received his PhD in control & dynamical systems from Caltech under the supervision of Jerrold Marsden, and is associate professor in the department of applied mathematics at the University of Waterloo, Canada. His research interests include control, mechanics and dynamical systems. 
Cindy Fields Arnold
(202) 994-7216
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