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A 4-vector formalism for classical mechanics

Authors: J. Güémez, M. Fiolhais

Ref.: Revista Brasileira de Ensino da Física 35, 4310_1-13 (2013)

Abstract: We present a matrix formalism, inspired by the Minkowski four-vectors of special relativity, useful to solve classical physics problems related to both mechanics and thermodynamics. The formalism turns out to be convenient to deal with exercises involving non-conservative forces and production or destruction of mechanical energy. On the other hand, it provides a framework to treat straightforwardly changes of inertial reference frames, since it embodies the Principle of Relativity. We apply the formalism to a few cases to better show how it works.

DOI: http://www.sbfisica.org.br/rbef/pdf/354310.pdf