Classical irreversibility and mapping of the isosceles triangle billiard

Liboff, R.L.

International Journal of Theoretical Physics 35(1): 189-198


ISSN/ISBN: 1572-9575
Accession: 082433427

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Mapping of the two-dimensional isosceles triangle billiard onto the circular one-dimensional motion of two mass points is described. The singular nature of trajectories directly incident on an acute vertex is discussed in the framework of the present mapping. For an obtuse-angled isosceles triangle, dynamical equations in two-particle space applied to an orbit along a hypotenuse incident on the obtuse vertex suggests irreversible behavior at the critical angle ψ=2π/3. Thus it is found that the nonsingular motion of a finite smooth-walled disk on this trajectory exhibits irreversibility. A finite spherical smooth-walled particle moving in a uniform right cylinder whose cross section includes this critical vertex angle likewise exhibits irreversibility. Each such example comprises an irreversible orbit for a single-particle Hamiltonian.