Tutorial: Rotation

A REALLY BIG (long download time) tutorial on how to describe rotation. Topics include coordinate transformations, tensor transformations, converting an axis and angle of rotation into a rotation tensor, Euler angles, quaternions, and generating a uniformly random rotation tensor. This document also discusses the common numerical problem of “mixing” rotations in such a way that the mixed rotation is physically reasonable. The pages in the document that deal with random rotations contain some complicated figures, so don’t worry if your pdf reader pauses for a while on those pages. As a matter of fact, watching the pdf viewer render the figures is like an informative movie because it draws the random dots in the same order as I computed them. By watching the rendering, you can see the nonuniform clustering quite clearly.] (Last posted here 020509, but a formal publication is anticipated)

You may download the rest of the document here.