Translation (physics)


Translation (physics)

In physics, translation is movement that changes the position of an object, as opposed to rotation. For example, according to Whittaker:cite book |title=A Treatise on the Analytical Dynamics of Particles and Rigid Bodies |author=Edmund Taylor Whittaker |isbn=0521358833 |publisher=Cambridge University Press |year=1988 |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=epH1hCB7N2MC&pg=PA4&dq=rigid+bodies+translation&lr=&as_brr=0&sig=ACfU3U35vNtLy6utF2QKzYa82mGSyp_jYw#PPA1,M1 |edition=Reprint of fourth edition of 1936 with foreword by William McCrea |page=p. 1]

A translation is the operation changing the positions of all points "(x, y, z)" of an object according to the formula

:(x,y,z) o (x+Delta x,y+Delta y, z+Delta z)

where ( Delta x, Delta y, Delta z) is the same vector for each point of the object. The translation vector ( Delta x, Delta y, Delta z) common to all points of the object describes a particular type of displacement of the object, usually called a "linear" displacement to distinguish it from displacements involving rotation, called "angular" displacements.

A translation of space (or time) should not be confused with a translation of an object. Such translations have no fixed points.

References and notes

ee also

*Translation (geometry)


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