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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How do I figure out the momentum of a water balloon when it reaches the person I am throwing it at?

Recently an experiment was performed in which myself and a partner filled a water balloon and threw it back and forth at each other without breaking it. We gradually increased the distance at which it ...
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53 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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44 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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43 views

Dimension agreement in canonical transformation

In this Physics.SE post, there is a transformation: $$Q = q,$$ $$P = \sqrt{p} - \sqrt{q}.$$ for Hamiltonian $H = \frac{p^2}{2}$. The post discusses the validity of this transformation as a canonical ...
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15 views

Resonance of a tube of air in case of more complex shapes

I've been thinking about posting this question on Music Performance stack, but finally I think it fits more here since I'm interrested in technical details. The subject of resonance of a tube of air ...
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50 views

Is static friction an impulsive force?

For example: let's consider a static sphere on an horizontal rough surface. I apply an impulse $J$ parallel to the ground and in the middle of the sphere. If, like my book says, the friction is not an ...
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38 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
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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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178 views

Vibrational anharmonic coupling and noise-induced spontaneous symmetry breaking in a hexagonal finite mechanical lattice

Happy holidays, everyone! The following is part question, part visual gallery, and part classical mechanics problem. Inspired by snow over the weekend I began simulating the vibrations of the ...
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4answers
722 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 ...
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1answer
47 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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1answer
31 views

Planar motion in central forces

In a two body problem under central force, corresponding to a potential $V(r)$(assume one body is massive compared to the other so that its motion is negligible), conservation of angular momentum ...
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67 views

In a 2-body problem, when is the moving path closed?

In a 2-body problem is it true that, in all situations, the moving path is closed? In which cases are the paths closed? Fixing the coordinate system or fixing one of the bodies gives us different ...
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147 views

Saturation of the Cauchy-Schwarz Inequality

Going to as little details as possible, here is a statement from Wald's text on QFT in curved spacetimes(I am not quoting the book) He considers two vector spaces ${\cal S}$ and ${\cal H}$. Note ...
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3answers
73 views

Is thermodynamic free energy and potential energy the same thing?

The equation for free energy $F$ and potential energy $E_{pot}$ are: $$ F=U-TS \\ E_{pot} = E_{tot} -E_{kin} $$ But the temperature $T$ is proportional to the average kinetic energy of a system. So ...
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Google interview riddle and scaling arguments

I am puzzled by a riddle to which I have been told the answer and I have loads of difficulties to believe in the result. The riddle goes as follows: "imagine you are shrunk to the size of a coin ...
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2answers
85 views

Action and Action integral: Different kinds of variational principles

What are the difference between: the action $\int_{t_{1}}^{t_{2}}(L+H) dt$ that we use in the principle of least action, and the action integral $\int_{t_{1}}^{t_{2}}L dt$ that we use in ...
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Invariance of canonical Hamiltonian equation when adding the total time derivative of a function of $q_i$ and $t$ to the Lagrangian

The following is exercise 8.2 in 3rd edition (and exercise 8.19 in 2nd edition) of Goldstein's Classical Mechanics. Adding the total time derivative of a function of $q_i$ and t to the Lagrangian ...
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149 views

Strain energy density in index notation

The strain energy density is defined as $$dU = \int_0^{\epsilon_{ij}} \sigma_{ij} d \epsilon_{ij}$$ (see Reddy "Energy Principles and Variational Methods in Applied Mechanics", 2nd Ed, 4.11). Assuming ...
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HDPE Used to slide heavy object [closed]

I am currently working to use high density polyethylene (HDPE) to slide a large object. A hald an inch slab will be placed under it and it will slide across metal and will be pulled in with a device. ...
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1answer
39 views

Physics of Snow Globe

What is the physics behind snow flakes inside a 3D snow globe? If I were to implement a snow globe in computer graphics what kind of model do I need to the flakes motion like a real snow globe? What ...
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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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187 views

Detecting absolute motion inside a box

This is not a contradiction and I know it is impossible but still consider a thought experiment by me and point out if something is wrong. See the following picture and then the explanation follows. ...
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1answer
65 views

How to prove that a hamiltonian system is not integrable?

To show that a system is integrable, we just need to find $N$ independent functions $f_j$ such that $\{ f_i, f_j \} = 0$. But how to prove that such a set of functions do not exist? For example, ...
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151 views

When is this integral zero?

I have a particle with total energy $E$ confined in a potential $$U(x) = -\frac{\cos^4x}{2} - m \cos x - f \sin x. $$ The constants $f$ and $m$ are both in the range (-2,2). The energy is such that ...
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How to transfer mechanical power from the inside of a vacuum chamber to the outside while maintaining a seal?

In a vacuum chamber how would one transfer mechanical power (either rotation or linear) from inside to the external environment? I'm working on an idea for a new/different type of motor that would ...
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72 views

Hamiltonian Noether's theorem in classical mechanics

How does one think about, and apply, Noether's theorem in the classical mechanical Hamiltonian formalism? From the Lagrangian perspective, Noether's theorem (in 1-D) states that the quantity ...
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45 views

Are there any hamiltonian systems without a periodic orbit?

Are there any hamiltonian systems without a periodic orbit? Can anyone give me an example? If such a system exists, does this fact have any implication on its quantum version?
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378 views

Small oscillations of heavy string

I'm solving problem in classical field theory and I have some difficulties. I'm trying to study small oscilations of heavy string with fixed points. First of all I wrote down this Lagrangian: ...
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75 views

Electrical force between two objects

I tried to solve the following problem: There are 2 objects . The object m1 with charge q and the object m2 with charge q.(same charge).The object m2 is connected with a rope to the ceiling. at the ...
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2answers
108 views

Antipodes are mostly ocean - so what happens after digging that hole through earth?

Digging a hole through earth is a common thought experiment, often used to explain effects of gravity. But what would happen if someone finally dug the hole? Sure, he took care to stabilize and ...
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102 views

I am learning Quantum Mechanics and I have some questions about some basic concept [closed]

What does a "STATE" exactly mean in quantum mechanics? What is the equivalence of "STATE" in classical mechanics? If we have a wave function $\Psi$ , its absolute square $|\Psi|^2$ is the ...
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Two boxes that are connected pushed by force - what happens between two boxes?

So when two boxes are connected together, and force is applied, two boxes move with the same acceleration. (assuming force is constant.) My question is, how are forces between two boxes get cancelled ...
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145 views

Classical vs. quantum energy of the hydrogen atom

If I have an electron and a proton and calculate the classical energy which I get by bringing the electron from infinity to the distance of a Bohr radius to the proton, I get 27.2 eV, but the electron ...
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2answers
350 views

Why does weak equivalence principle say gravity is equivalent to acceleration?

I am told that the weak equivalent principle, that $m_i=m_g$ (inertial and gravitational masses are equivalent) is equivalent to the statement that in a small system you can't tell whether you are in ...
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2answers
103 views

What's wrong with my calculation of gravitational potential for a uniform sphere?

This is really embarrassing, but I'm not quite sure where I'm going wrong here... Why is this calculation of the gravitational potential inside a sphere with uniform mass distribution incorrect? ...
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1answer
109 views

Does a simple double pendulum have transients?

Suppose, we have the most simple double pendulum: Both masses are equal. Both limbs are equal. No friction. No driver. Arbitrary initial conditions (no restriction to low energies) Does this ...
2
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1answer
168 views

Classical models with unbounded particle number

Is there any classical model which deals with the birth, life and death of particles? What application could it have? I am talking about a 'billiard-ball' kind of model, but the kind in which balls ...
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60 views

Naive questions on the classical equations of motion from the Chern-Simons Lagrangian

Consider a Chern-Simons Lagrangian $\mathscr{L}=\mathbf{e}^2-b^2+g\epsilon^{\mu \nu \lambda} a_\mu\partial _\nu a_\lambda$ in 2+1 dimensions, where the 'electromagnetic' fields are $e_i=\partial ...
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34 views

How do adhesive and cohesive forces affect surface tension? [closed]

Surface tension appears at the interface of two immiscible fluids if the cohesive force of attraction is more than adhesive force. What will be the physical effect if the adhesive force is more than ...
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3answers
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In what limit do we *really* get Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics from Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac?

Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein energy occupation number $n(\epsilon)$ in natural units ($[T]=[\epsilon]$) read $$n(\epsilon) = \frac{D(\epsilon)}{e^{(\epsilon-\mu)/T}\pm 1},$$ where $D(\epsilon)$ is ...
4
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CM: Need to recover the Hamiltonian, knowing conserved quantities and information about the EOM, possibly via action-angle coordinates

Statement of the problem: I have a system with 2 degrees of freedom and I have found two independent conserved quantities, without knowledge of the Hamiltonian. I'm looking for a method to recover a ...
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1answer
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From 1D problem to easier 2D problem

Here I describe an example how a 1D problem can be solved easier by considering a mathematically equivalent problem in 2D. Problem: Find the equation of motion of particle in 1D space with the ...
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1answer
64 views

Kinetic energy in Lagrangian formalism

In reading Goldstein's Classical Mechanics (2nd edition) I came across a confusing derivation. Goldstein (Eq. 1-71) derives the total kinetic energy of a system of (classical) particles as: $$ T = ...
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2answers
497 views

Potential energy from opposing magnets repelling each other with a gap of 1 mm

I have two powerful rare earth magnets, that are separated by a distance of 1 mm. I applied energy to bring them closer to each other, hence increasing the potential energy. Now, when one of the ...
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170 views

How should I throttle my rocket to reach highest altitude? [closed]

"Real world" problem. Suppose we want to launch a rocket equipped with an engine which can be throttled as we prefer. Suppose also that the amount of fuel burnt per time is directly proportional ...
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35 views

How coordinate system shifting is related to similarity transformations?

I know that coordinate system shifting can be represented using matrices. But how exactly are similarity transformations related to coordinate shifts ?
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70 views

Basic buoyancy question

If I have a cup of water filled with air at the bottom of a pool, then when the cup is "upside down" the air doesn't leave because the water pressure is pushing it up against the top of the container. ...
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Confusion regarding the principle of least action in Landau's “The Classical Theory of Fields”

Edit: The previous title didn't really ask the same thing as the question (sorry about that), so I've changed it. To clarify, I understand that the action isn't always a minimum. My questions are in ...
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Block on an inclined plane [closed]

If you take moments about the centre of mass of a block positioned on an inclined plane so that the gravitational force can be drawn from the centre of mass of the block to one corner of the block, ...