A new approach to the vakonomic mechanics

Jaume Llibre, Rafael Ramírez, Natalia Sadovskaia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. The aim of this paper was to show that the Lagrange–d’Alembert and its equivalent the Gauss and Appel principle are not the only way to deduce the equations of motion of the nonholonomic systems. Instead of them we consider the generalization of the Hamiltonian principle for nonholonomic systems with non-zero transpositional relations. We apply this variational principle, which takes into the account transpositional relations different from the classical ones, and we deduce the equations of motion for the nonholonomic systems with constraints that in general are nonlinear in the velocity. These equations of motion coincide, except perhaps in a zero Lebesgue measure set, with the classical differential equations deduced with the d’Alembert–Lagrange principle. We provide a new point of view on the transpositional relations for the constrained mechanical systems: the virtual variations can produce zero or non-zero transpositional relations. In particular, the independent virtual variations can produce non-zero transpositional relations. For the unconstrained mechanical systems, the virtual variations always produce zero transpositional relations. We conjecture that the existence of the nonlinear constraints in the velocity must be sought outside of the Newtonian mechanics. We illustrate our results with examples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2219-2247
JournalNonlinear Dynamics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Chapligyn system
  • Constrained Lagrangian system
  • Equation of motion
  • Generalized Hamiltonian principle
  • Newtonian model
  • Transpositional relations
  • Vakonomic mechanic
  • Variational principle
  • Vorones system
  • d’Alembert–Lagrange principle


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