A stability analysis is developed for gas journal bearings having externally pressurized pads, symmetrically spaced along the circumference. Simplifying assumptions are made and equations of flow and motion are stated in terms of perturbation quantities. The case considered is when the journal, initially in an eccentric equilibrium position, begins to move in an arbitrary direction under the influences of a small, random disturbance. Methods of factorizing and simplifying the characteristic determinants are shown, with the objective of reducing the work of examining the roots of characteristic equations. Special cases, such as the bidirectional thrust bearing and that of the journal initially in concentric position are discussed. Numerical and semiexperimental procedures of determining the coefficients of characteristic equations are outlined. Stability tests are suggested. Bearing parameters affecting stability are discussed.

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