Adjoint symmetries and the generation of first integrals in non-holonomic mechanics

Sarlet, W.; Saunders, D. J. and Cantrijn, F. (2005). Adjoint symmetries and the generation of first integrals in non-holonomic mechanics. Journal of Geometry and Physics, 55(2) pp. 207–225.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomphys.2004.12.006

Abstract

We discuss a general mechanism by which first integrals of mechanical systems, in particular systems that satisfy non-holonomic constraints, can be obtained from a systematic search for adjoint symmetries. Such an approach has already been used in our earlier work and is re-advocated here in the context of a recent analysis by Giachetta, in which first integrals are generated by vector fields which are not symmetries. Further advantages of our approach are: the fact that an essential projection operator associated to the constraints need not be related to some given fibre metric on the full evolution space, and the specific selection of a connection, which is naturally associated to this projection and the second-order dynamics on the constraint submanifold. The computational aspects of the method are illustrated by some simple examples.

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