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6
votes
4answers
699 views

Why can't we ascribe a (possibly velocity dependent) potential to a dissipative force?

Sorry if this is a silly question but I cant get my head around it.
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Would a pendulum swing indefinitely in a frictionless vacuum?

I am attempting to settle a friendly bet. Would a pendulum swing indefinitely in a hypothetical vacuum (i.e. no air resistance) having a hypothetical frictionless bearing (i.e. no energy lost due to ...
6
votes
1answer
153 views

Caldeira-Leggett Dissipation: frequency shift due to bath coupling

I am trying to understand the Caldeira-Leggett model. It considers the Lagrangian $$L = \frac{1}{2} \left(\dot{Q}^2 - \left(\Omega^2-\Delta \Omega^2\right)Q^2\right) - Q \sum_{i} f_iq_i + ...
3
votes
3answers
453 views

Liouville's theorem and conservation of phase space volume

It can be proved that the size of an initial volume element in phase space remain constant in time even for time-dependent Hamiltonians. So I was wondering whether it is still true even when the ...
5
votes
2answers
365 views

What physical processes may underly the collisional term in the Boltzmann equation, and how do they increase entropy?

Consider particles interacting only by long-range (inverse square law) forces, either attractive or repulsive. I am comfortable with the idea that their behavior may be described by the collsionless ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Lagrangian and Hamiltonian EOM with dissipative force

I am trying to write the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian for the forced Harmonic oscillator before quantizing it to get to the quantum picture. For EOM $$m\ddot{q}+\beta\dot{q}+kq=f(t),$$ I write the ...
6
votes
2answers
369 views

What are the reasons for leaving the dissipative energy term out of the Hamiltonian when writing the Lyapunov function?

I have a problem with one of my study questions for an oral exam: The Hamiltonian of a nonlinear mechanical system, i.e. the sum of the kinetic and potential energies, is often used as a Lyapunov ...