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Q & A: equipartition of freely jointed chain

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Most recent answer: 02/16/2013
Q:
Imagine you have a Freely Jointed Chain in 3D (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideal_chain)(FJC is a segments of same length which are consecutively connected with free joints.) I need to calculate the kinetic energy of that system, and mean kinetic energy per segment.
- Rafael (age 23)
Yerevan, Armenia,
A:
This sounds suspiciously like a homework problem, but in honor of your visit from Armenia we'll help point toward a solution.

How much energy does equipartition say there should be per degree of freedom?

How many degrees of freedom are there for the first free end? As you step over a fixed length to the next joint, how many degrees of freedom does it have? What about all the other joints? How about the last end, once you specified the location of the joint nearest it?

Mike W.

(published on 02/16/2013)

Follow-up on this answer.