# How to model the movement of a mass over a dome?

I'm trying to replicate the graphs and animation found in this page that studies the movement of a mass over a dome solving numerically the differential equation r*θ''[t] == g*Sin[θ[t]] but Mathematica gets a wrong result

z = NDSolve[{r*θ''[t] == g*Sin[θ[t]],
θ' == ω0, θ == θ0}, θ, {t, 0, 10}]
Plot[Evaluate[θ[t] /. z], Evaluate[Flatten[{t, θ["Domain"] /. z}]]]


even if I change Method of solution in NDSolve.

As you can see, the MATLAB used there gives an adequate model of the situation. I used the code here trying to replicate MATLAB's code but I get the same wrong solution.

DOPRIamat = {{1/5}, {3/40, 9/40}, {44/45, -56/15, 32/9},
{19372/6561, -25360/2187, 64448/6561, -212/729},
{9017/3168, -355/33, 46732/5247, 49/176, -5103/18656},
{35/384, 0, 500/1113, 125/192, -2187/6784, 11/84}};
DOPRIbvec = {35/384, 0, 500/1113, 125/192, -2187/6784, 11/84, 0};
DOPRIcvec = {1/5, 3/10, 4/5, 8/9, 1, 1};
DOPRIevec = {71/57600, 0, -71/16695, 71/1920, -17253/339200, 22/525, -1/40};
DOPRICoefficients[5, p_] := N[{DOPRIamat, DOPRIbvec, DOPRIcvec, DOPRIevec}, p];

l := NDSolve[
{r*θ''[t] == g*Sin[θ[t]], θ' == ω0, θ == θ0,
WhenEvent[θ[t] >= Pi/4, "StopIntegration"]},
θ, {t, 0, 10},
Method -> {"ExplicitRungeKutta", "DifferenceOrder" -> 5,
"Coefficients" -> DOPRICoefficients,
"StiffnessTest" -> False}
]

Plot[
Evaluate[θ[t] /. l], Evaluate[Flatten[{t, θ["Domain"] /. l}]],
AxesLabel -> {"t en s", "θ en rad"}]

• Please edit your question to include the Mathematica code you tried as appropriately formatted text, together with any definitions of symbols you used. Jun 4, 2020 at 20:46

With your first attempt, there are a number of warnings issued due to $$r, g, \omega 0, \theta 0$$ being undefined. NDSolve is a numerical solver, and must be able to resolve the functions to numerical values at all steps.

Looking at the page you showed, they define $$r = 1$$, $$g = 9.8$$, and I'm not sure about these next two but it looks like $$\theta 0 = 0.01$$ and $$\omega 0 = \sqrt{9.8/1}* 2* \sin(0.01/2) = 0.0313048$$. If we provide these values to NDSolve, it has no issues solving it. I'm pretty confident in Mathematica's capabilities, particularly for such a simple equation, and I would be very surprised to find out that it's wrong.

r = 1;
g = 9.8;
θ0 = 0.01;
ω0 = Sqrt[9.8/r]*2*Sin[0.01/2];
sol = θ /. First@NDSolve[{
r θ''[t] == g Sin[θ[t]],
θ == θ0,
θ' == ω0
},
θ,
{t, 0, 10}
]
Plot[
sol[t]/Degree,
{t, 0, 1.5},
AxesLabel -> {"Time (s)", "θ (Degrees)"}
] As far as I can tell, this graph agrees exactly with the one on the page you linked. At $$t=1$$, I get 13.0981 degrees, which looks pretty much like what the Matlab graph shows.

• Thanks so much, I forgot setting values for those variables here. Also, I would like to know what's the difference between using /.First@ instead of replacing later Jun 4, 2020 at 22:03
• @EdgarCastro There isn't really any difference most of the time, I just like to do it when I'm getting the solution to get it out of the way early. That way I can just use sol directly without having to perform the replacement all the time. Sometimes I find it more elegant to do the replacement during the plotting, like I did in this question, though that was mostly because I was using Cartesian coordinates for plotting. Jun 4, 2020 at 22:15
• You can also use NSolveValue to get the solution directly.
• @tad NDSolveValue, but yes, you're right. In this case, that's probably the easiest way to do it. Jun 5, 2020 at 4:14