Classical mechanics refers to the classical (i.e., non-relativistic, non-quantum) study of physics. Three major formulations of classical mechanics are newtonian mechanics, lagrangian mechanics, and hamiltonian mechanics. The latter two are rather useful in extensions to Classical Mechanics; ...

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Force applied to an inclined plane

Below is a picture of the problem. Any guidance would be helpful. This problem isn't actually from any assignment, per se. I'm hoping that, by understanding this, it'll help me to understand a ...
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How can one diagonalize the second variation of action?

Suppose we have action $S[q]$ and its stationary path $q_s$, I want to find the orthonormal paths $\psi_n$ that can diagonalize the second variation of the action $S[q]$. How to do that? Thanks
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D'Alembert's Principle: Necesssity of virtual displacements

Why is the D'Alembert's Principle $$\sum_{i} ( {F}_{i} - m_i \bf{a}_i )\cdot \delta \bf r_i = 0$$ stated in terms of "virtual" displacements instead of actual displacements? Why is it so necessary ...
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104 views

How can I derive this Hamiltonian?

I have a Lagrangian $L$, a momentum $p$ and a Hamiltonian $H$: $$L=\frac m 2(\dot z + A\omega\cos\omega t)^2 - \frac k 2 z^2$$ $$p=m\dot z + mA\omega\cos\omega t$$ $$H=p\dot z - L=\frac m 2 \dot ...
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92 views

Configuration manifolds and constraints

In Classical Mechanics there's this notion of configuration manifold. Although I've heard about that a lot and although I often use that concept, I'm not sure I really understand them well because ...
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1answer
82 views

Could the center of the combined mass of the entire galaxy change if there were no external forces acting on that galaxy?

Everything in the galaxy orbits the center of the combined mass of the entire galaxy. So could the center of the combined mass of the entire galaxy change if there were no external forces acting on ...
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133 views

Story about a mathematician, a dinner party, and the three-body problem

I remember dimly hearing a story, coincidentally also at a dinner party, and I was trying recently to track the details down with no success. I was hoping someone here might have also heard this story ...
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1answer
64 views

Understanding action reaction in an example

When I move an object that object should move me as well. I tried standing on a skateboard to reduce friction, and holding a heavy barbell, move myself away from it (while still holding it) but I ...
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1answer
109 views

“A Crash Course in Lagrangian Dynamics”. Is it still available online?

In an Amazon review of "Schaum's Outline of Lagrangian Dynamics" I found this: I recommend that you type "Lagrangian Dynamics" into Google and look at some of the excellent sets of lecture notes ...
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Can the Lorentz force stabilize the Hydrogen atom?

I've recently been working on relative equilibria for some systems of particles. (ie. studying equilibrium solutions in a rotating frame. Saturn's rings for example.) This has evolved into some ...
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4answers
970 views

what energies do the wheels of a moving car posses?

I saw this question in a test. I would have answered kinectic energy due to rotation and translation. It that correct. Else what is the answer? Oh no, i forgot to mention it was objective type ...
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27 views

Requesting some research study problems on Classical Mechanics [duplicate]

Someone please tell (advice) me some research study problems on Classical Mechanics that can be tackled with Undergraduate level knowledge.
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32 views

Young elasticity modulus anisotropic media

Im studying anisotropic system composed by a elastic matrix (Young modulus $E_m$) filled with oriented rods. Given this filler orientation, the material is elastic-anisotropic, with Young elastic ...
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3answers
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How do crocodiles jump?

In a video (Here), I saw crocodiles jump vertically about three meters without using any solid surface. The wonderful thing is that when they start to jump, their vertical velocity is approximately ...
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6answers
2k views

What's the difference between running up a hill and running up an inclined treadmill?

Clearly there will be differences like air resistance; I'm not interested in that. It seems like you're working against gravity when you're actually running in a way that you're not if you're on a ...
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0answers
79 views

Interesting Hamiltonian System

The definition of a Hamiltonian system I am working with is a triple $(X,\omega, H)$ where $(X,\omega)$ is a symplectic manifold and $H\in C^\infty(X)$ is the Hamiltonian function. I am wondering if ...
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3answers
437 views

What exactly is a virtual displacement in classical mechanics?

I'm reading Goldstein's Classical Mechanics and he says the following: A virtual (infinitesimal) displacement of a system refers to a change in the configuration of the system as the result of any ...
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2answers
184 views

A confusion about notation in Goldstein

On treating systems of particles, Goldstein starts with the consideration that whenever there are $k$ particles on a system, the $i$-th one obeys the relation $$\dfrac{d}{dt}{\bf p}_i = {\bf ...
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278 views

Virtual displacement and generalized coordinates

I have a doubt regarding the expression of a virtual displacement using generalized coordinates. I will state the definitions I'm taking and the problem. The system is composed by $n$ points with ...
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45 views

point-particle vs rigid-body [closed]

As pointed out here point-particle-based modeling can lead to very inaccurate predictions. Could you give an example where point-particle-based model describes reality accurately enough and one where ...
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23 views

Indicate if objects after collision will stick

Is it possible to indicate if objects after collision will stick together knowing their properties(materials,hardness,etc)?
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1answer
2k views

Why does dry spaghetti break into three pieces as opposed to only two?

You can try it with your own uncooked spaghetti if you want; it almost always breaks into three when you snap it. I am asking for a good physical theory on why this is along with evidence to back it ...
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1answer
619 views

Need for a side book for E.Soper`s Classical Theory Of Fields.

I am reading now E Soper Classical Theory Of Fields now and sometimes it is very hard to follow the equations.So I need a side book to read it comfortably.Landau`s book is not helping as its content ...
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2answers
103 views

Pendulum with changing length over time. What's wrong?

I tried to find the equation of this pendulum, but I think I did something wrong. I know I have to get the Bessel's equation but I can't see it. It's a simple 2-D pendulum, without any dissipation. ...
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3answers
428 views

Classical analogue of Heisenberg and Schrödinger pictures?

What do the Heisenberg and Schrödinger pictures in quantum mechanics correspond to in classical mechanics (if they correspond to anything)? It's kind of weird, because (if I understand it well) in ...
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96 views

Link between Quantum and Classical Mechanics [duplicate]

In classical mechanics we have momentum as generator of translation by following definition: $$f(x+\delta x)=f(x)+[f(x),p]\delta x+....$$ I was wondering whether using this relation and commutation ...
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149 views

Naive questions on the concept of effective Lagrangian and equations of motion?

Let us consider a LC circuit containing an electric dipole moment, the quantum system (electric field $E$ coupled with a dipole moment) can be described by the path integral $$Z=\int DEDxe^{i\int ...
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2answers
306 views

Pendulum Hits a Mass and Spring

I think this problem’s solution is on the web but after a few days of searching, I can not find it. Can anyone give me a reference? Thanks in advance. A mass and spring are resting on a frictionless ...
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62 views

Lagrangian Systems

Given a manifold $M$, Arnold's "Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics" defines a Lagrangian system as a pair $(M,L)$ where $L$ is some smooth function on the tangent bundle $TM$. The function ...
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1answer
69 views

Is Gravitational Red shift equal to $mgh$

Is gravitational shift - $\frac{gh}{c^2}$ (according to pound-rebka experiment) always equal to $PE=mgh$? because assume the gravitational pull, $g$, is equal to $1$ then we can say $g = 1$ similarly ...
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22 views

Canonical transformation that contains the time as an explicit parameter

On the Page 385 of Goldstein's Classical Mechanics book (third edition), it starts to talk a bout the canonical transformation with time as an explicit parameter. But I don't quite under understand ...
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2answers
97 views

Cartesian Coordinates to Polar Coordinates

I apologize if this question is trivial, but I am new to physics and am struggling with some of the basic concepts. Working in $\mathbb{R}^2$ with standard coordinates $(x,y)$, suppose we have a ...
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1answer
43 views

Interaction of solid objects and change of trajectory

I have two solid objects. Each of them has an arbitary complex surface, which is discribed by set of vertices. The aim is to describe their interaction, result of which is the change in trajectory of ...
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3answers
687 views

Spontaneous symmetry breaking in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics and quantum field theory

I wondered if someone could help me understand spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB) in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. Consider a Higgs-like potential, with a local ...
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1answer
40 views

hydraulic scissor jack lifting capacity

Can you please assist with a really simple question? I have a hydraulic scissor jack table with the following: 2 hydraulic cylinders, each with a cylinder stroke of 240mm, a cylinder bore of 50mm ...
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1answer
86 views

Macroscopic Forces from QED

In QED the carrier for electromagnetic interaction is a photon, while macroscopic forces are due to electromagnetic interaction (by macroscopic forces I mean: normal force, object collision, friction ...
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1answer
68 views

What could cause an asymmetric orbit in a symmetric potential?

My question can be summarized as: Given a potential with a symmetry (e.g. $z\rightarrow-z$), should I expect orbits in that potential to exhibit the same symmetry? Below is the full motivation for ...
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1answer
204 views

Classical Rutherford scattering (partial) derivation

I am having trouble answering the following question, please could you help! Thank you in advance for any assistance you can give. Consider classical Rutherford scattering of a particle with mass $m$ ...
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2answers
74 views

Where does energy go when performing a useless effort?

I went to school one day, so I thought I was able to get this simple one.. but it looks like I'm not anymore. :( One lonely little spaceship is resting into space. It has a small fuel capacity that ...
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1answer
29 views

How do I calculate motor efficiency from voltage, current and RPM?

I have a setup where a motor is spinning at a constant (known) RPM, under no load. I know the power going into the motor (voltage * current), and I can find out the rotational kinetic energy of the ...
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1answer
41 views

Why the involution condition is imposed in the definition of integrability?

For an $N$-degree-of-freedom system to be integrable, the usual definition imposes the existence of $N$ independent conserved quantities, which must be in involution to each other, i.e., $$\{ F_i, ...
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2answers
61 views

Sea surfer position displacement

Waves are means by which the energy propagates through a medium (e.g., sea water). This is not associated with a net movement of water in the direction of wave propagation. If this is the case, then ...
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2answers
347 views

A sphere rolling down a rough wedge which lying on a smooth surface

A sphere of mass $m$ and radius $r$ rolls down from rest on an inclined (making an angle $\phi$ with the horizontal ) and rough surface of a wedge of mass $M$ which stays on a smooth horizontal floor. ...
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1answer
65 views

Landau's derivation of a free particle's kinetic energy- expansion of a function?

I was reading a bit of Landau and Lifshitz's Mechanics the other day and ran into the following part, where the authors are about to derive the kinetic energy of a free particle. They use the fact ...
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5answers
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Are water waves (i.e. on the surface of the ocean) longitudinal or transverse?

I'm convinced that water waves for example: are a combination of longitudinal and transverse. Any references or proofs of this or otherwise?
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2answers
81 views

Could two identical stars revolve around each other in a common orbit if we only account for Newtonian physics?

Both a parent star and its planet revolve around the center of mass of the system, the reason we see stellar wobble. But if we take this to be true, which it is, there can be a configuration in which ...
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0answers
66 views

About the derivation of the Hamilton-Jacobi equation

It is an old question for me. In Goldstein's book, the H-J equation is derived in this way. We want to find a generating function $F(q,P,t)$ such that the transformed Hamiltonian vanishes identically, ...
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1answer
51 views

Can all canonical transformation be obtained through generation function approaches?

The question can be formulated as following: Suppose $$\delta \int_{t_1}^{t_2}{[p\cdot \dot{q} - H(p,q,t) ]dt} = 0$$ $$\delta \int_{t_1}^{t_2}{[P\cdot \dot{Q} - K(P,Q,t) ]dt} = 0$$ in which $$P = ...
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5answers
1k views

Force as change in momentum vs. change in velocity

Is there ever a situation where the distinction between $F = m \frac{dv}{dt}$ and $F = \frac{dp}{dt}$ is important? I can't think of a situation where one is true and not the other (assuming only ...
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4answers
787 views

Is there a physical system whose phase space is the torus?

NOTE. This is not a question about mathematics and in particular it's not a question about whether one can endow the torus with a symplectic structure. In an answer to the question What kind of ...