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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Having Trouble With The Principle Of Conservation Of Momentum For a Multiparticle System

I'am reading John Taylor's Classical Mechanics chapter 1 page 20 where he proves the principle of conservation of momentum which states "If the net external force $F^{ext}$ on an $N$-particle system ...
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An example of non-Hamiltonian systems

I am preparing for the exam. And I need to know the answer to one question which I can't understand. "Give an example of non-Hamiltonian systems: in case of infinite number of particles; for a finite ...
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At same level do these two pipe lines give same pressure of water?

Provided that the two pipe lines are of same length, same material and in the same level, is the water pressure in both the layouts same or different? PS: In 1st pipeline the turns are not ...
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Is “Causality” the equivalent of a claim that the future is predictable based on the present and the past?

In classical (Newtonian) mechanics, every observer had the same past and the same future and if you had perfect knowledge about the current state of all particles in the universe, you could ...
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325 views

Entropy, flow of informations and fundamental theories

In the hierarchy of theories, first comes hamiltonian theory, from which one deduces kinetics theory, and at last thermodynamics and fluid theories. From a kinetics point of view, entropy and ...
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233 views

Finding the number of particles scattered by a certain angle

I'm trying to do the problem below, but it seems like there is incomplete information. PROBLEM STATEMENT: In a scattering experiment, $10^6$ $\alpha$ particles are scattered at an angle of ...
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219 views

On the Discretization of Energy Levels

We consider a system of "n" particles whose total energy E and net momentum $\vec{P}$ are fixed are fixed.There no net force on the system(assumed) $$\Sigma \epsilon_i= E$$ ...
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How does a car turn without any skidding?

The rear wheels of a car always face in the direction the car is moving. The front wheels are able to turn left or right and thus can point in the direction the car is moving towards. What I don't ...
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Why does a cuboid spin stably around two axes but not the third?

Let $C$ be a cuboid (rectangular parallelepiped) with edges of lengths $a < b < c$. Consider an axis that passes through the centers of two opposite faces of $C$. There are three such axes, ...
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Does effective potential for a gravitational force have a maximum below $E=0$?

The relevant figure is below (taken from Goldstein's Classical Mechanics). This figure plots the effective potential for a gravitational force. Does the effective potential $V'$ go flat below $E_2=0$? ...
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If a pendulum is on a rotating table, will a torque be generated?

Here is the set up. Very simple. A flat (i.e. horizontal table, there is no gravity) and rounded table that spins on its axis (through the center of the table). A spring mass system is now put on the ...
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296 views

Is it normal for physical functions to lack a 2nd derivative?

My question is about the appearance of a non-analytic function in the formula for the resistive force in air or other medium. Considering the 1-dimensional case as covered by Walter Lewin in his 8.01 ...
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137 views

How can one know if a theory allow action at a distance effects or not?

1-In general, if a theory has action at a distance effects, where can that appear exactly in the theory? 2-Does it appear in the dynamical law of the theory? (does it appear in Newton's 2nd law? ...
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75 views

Does reactive force require the two force involved have to have two different medium for reactive force to occur?

Does reactive force require the two force involved have to have two medium for reactive force to occur? I know the fuel-thruster is working on vacuum space, but we human could not use arm to swim in ...
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52 views

Is it possible to make use of paper/bill permeate by chemical compound to became a paper-made bullet-proof vest?

Is it possible to make use of paper/bill permeate by chemical compound to became a paper-made bullet-proof vest? This is inspired by Greece and Italy tend to have more riot than rest of the Europe ...
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510 views

Classical Limit of Commutator

In Dirac's book Principles of quantum mechanics (4th ed., pgs 87-88), he seems to give a very elementary argument as to how the commutator $[X,P]$ reduces to the Poisson brackets ${x,p}$ in the limit ...
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Classical Limit of Schrodinger Equation

There is a well-known argument that if we write the wavefunction as $\psi = A \exp(iS/\hbar)$, where $A$ and $S$ are real, and substitute this into the Schrodinger equation and take the limit $h \to ...
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453 views

Energy required to kick a planet orbiting the Sun from an elliptical to a parabolic path

I am trying to solve the following problem from Goldstein's Classical Mechanics: A planet of mass $M$ is in orbit of eccentricity $e=1-\alpha$ where $\alpha<<1$, about the Sun. Assume that the ...
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281 views

What does $\textbf{f} = -\boldsymbol{\nabla} u$ mean in practice and how is it computed?

In classical computer simulations such as molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, one integrates Newton's equations of motion to determine particle trajectories. If we think of Newton's Second Law as ...
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425 views

Scattering problem: Expression for angular momentum of particle

I'm reading Goldstein's Classical Mechanics, the part on "Scattering" in the "Central Force" chapter. In relation to the figure below, he says that angular momentum, $l$, is given by $$l=mv_0s$$ ...
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What is the difference between a bounded orbit and a closed orbit?

Goldstein's Classical Mechanics has a puzzling few sentences in his discussion of orbits. Referring to the case of orbit where the energy is low enough for the orbit to be bounded, he says :"This ...
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380 views

Ideal 2D Unicycle Kinematics

A particle is connected to a massive wheel by a rigid rod. The wheel can roll without slipping on a horizontal surface. The particle is free to rotate around the centre of the wheel. I believe the ...
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420 views

Question about units in Lagrangian dynamics (inertia matrix)

I have a 3 degree of freedom system and my equation of motion is like this: $$M(q)q_{dd} + C(q,q_d)q_d+G(q)~=~0$$ $M(q)$: inertia matrix $C(q,q_d)$: Coriolis-centrifugal matrix $G(q)$: potential ...
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Why are bricks typically constructed to have six faces at, or near right-angles to each the other?

Looking around it appears that bricks, through history, have been constructed in cuboid form i.e. with six faces at right-angles to each other. This is also apparently the case with stone construction ...
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Why does tension not do work in this pulley system? etc

I have a slight difficulty understanding the solution to the following problem: A light inextensible string with a mass $M$ at one end passes over a pulley at a distance $a$ from a vertically fixed ...
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The trajectory of a projectile launched from a hilltop

Here is the problem: A boy stands at the peak of a hill which slopes downward uniformly at angle $\phi$. At what angle $\theta$ from the horizontal should he throw a rock so that it has the greatest ...
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392 views

Poisson structure comes from hamiltonian?

I am interested in studying quantization, but it seems I am lacking the basics of classical mechanics. Any help would be appreciated. I would first like to ask what is necessary to have a ...
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1answer
989 views

Finding the tension in rope tied to ladder using the principle of virtual work

A ladder $AB$ of mass $m$ has its ends on a smooth wall and floor (see figure). The foot of the ladder is tied by an inextensible rope of negligible mass to the base $C$ of the wall so the ladder ...
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221 views

Working with $\delta$s to use principle of virtual work

I'm trying to do the following problem: A lever $ABC$ (see figure) has weights $W_1$ and $W_2$ at distances $a_1$ and $a_2$ from the fixed support $B$. Using the principle of virtual work, prove that ...
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What is the physical meaning of diffusion coefficient?

In Fick's first law, the diffusion coefficient is velocity, but I do not understand the two-dimensional concept of this velocity. Imagine that solutes are diffusing from one side of a tube to another ...
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Lagrangian of two particles connected with a spring, free to rotate

Two particles of different masses $m_1$ and $m_2$ are connected by a massless spring of spring constant $k$ and equilibrium length $d$. The system rests on a frictionless table and may both oscillate ...
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625 views

Why does vibration loosen screws?

I am trying to figure out why vibrations (say, from an engine) loosen screws. It seems to me that there is evident symmetry between loosening and tightening a screw. I am wondering what breaks this ...
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Showing $ \textbf{F} \cdot d\textbf{s} = -dV$ is equivalent to $ F_s = -\frac{\partial V}{\partial s}$

Can someone please explain how the following $$ \textbf{F} \cdot d\textbf{s} = -dV$$ is equivalent to $$ F_s = -\frac{\partial V}{\partial s}$$ using some intermediate steps. I don't follow this ...
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553 views

Standing wave and energy flux

Here is a problem I have been asked that I do not know the answer. Consider two ideal wave generators (it can be sound generator or whatever) separated by a distance L and facing each other. At t=0 ...
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Hamiltonian and the space-time structure

I'm reading Arnold's "Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics" but I failed to find rigorous development for the allowed forms of Hamiltonian. Space-time structure dictates the form of ...
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2answers
276 views

Is it possible to control a treadmill's tread speed such that a plane on the treadmill will be prevented from moving?

I've posed the question in this particular way to avoid the ambiguity usually found in the posing of the "airplane on a treadmill" puzzle, e.g. I'm not specifying how the treadmill is controlled but ...
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7answers
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What will happen if a plane trys to take off whilst on a treadmill?

So this has puzzled me for many a year... I still am no closer to coming to a conclusion, after many arguments that is. I don't think it can, others 100% think it will. If you have a plane trying to ...
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Hamilton-Jacobi Equation

In the Hamilton-Jacobi equation, we take the partial time derivative of the action. But the action comes from integrating the Lagrangian over time, so time seems to just be a dummy variable here and ...
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992 views

Classical Limit of the Feynman Path Integral

I understand that in the limit that h_bar goes to zero, the Feynman path integral is dominated by the classical path, and then using the stationary phase approximation we can derive an approximation ...
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5answers
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Classical limit of quantum mechanics

I have heard that one can recover classical mechanics from quantum mechanics in the limit the $\hbar$ goes to zero. How can this be done? (Ideally, I would love to see something like: as $\hbar$ ...
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1answer
487 views

Classical limit of the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics

It is well-known that if $S \gg \hbar$, then the classical path dominates the Feynman path integral. But is there some to show that if $S\gg\hbar$, then the particle's trajectory will approach the ...
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What are some mechanics examples with a globally non-generic symplecic structure?

In the framework of statistical mechanics, in books and lectures when the fundamentals are stated, i.e. phase space, Hamiltons equation, the density etc., phase space seems usually be assumed to be ...
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350 views

Is this a valid understanding of Newtonian mechanics?

This is a conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics. What the laws mean, how we know they're true, etc. I'm looking for criticism. I know this is really border line on the "don't ask questions ...
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3answers
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How does one quantize the phase-space semiclassically?

Often, when people give talks about semiclassical theories they are very shady about how quantization actually works. Usually they start with talking about a partition of $\hbar$-cells then end up ...
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3answers
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Rotational speed of a coil in a uniform magnetic field at equilibrium

I'm looking at the following problem from "Physics 3" by Halliday, Resnick and Krane (4th edition): The armature of a motor has 97 turns each of area 190 cm² and rotates in a uniform magnetic ...
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540 views

Angular momentum conservation in a central field through the Hamiltonian

In my teacher's notes there is a discussion of the Hamiltonian for a central force field with potential $V(r)$. The Hamiltonian is formulated in spherical polar coordinates: ...
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306 views

Calculating the period of a quasi-circular orbit

In solving an exercise I had to find the equation of the quasi-circular orbits of an object with the potential $V(r)=-\alpha r^{-1-\eta}$ and I expressed it as: $$r(\phi)=\frac{r_c}{1+\epsilon ...
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Phase space volume and relativity

Much of statistical mechanics is derived from Liouville's theorem, which can be stated as "the phase space volume occupied by an ensemble of isolated systems is conserved over time." (I'm mostly ...
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743 views

Instability of a thrown tennis racquet

Someone once mentioned to me that it's impossible to throw a tennis racquet (or similarly shaped object) into the air, perpendicularly to the string plane, in such a way that it won't turn. What is ...
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Angular momentum components as independent integrals of motion

I was told that in order to solve the Kepler problem (6 degrees of freedom in total) you have to proceed, step by step, to reduce those degrees of freedom using the integrals of motion. You do so ...