The Hamiltonian formalism is a formalism in Classical Mechanics. Besides Lagrangian Mechanics, it is an effective way of reformulating classical mechanics in a simple way. Very useful in Quantum Mechanics, specifically the Heisenberg and Schrodinger formulations. Unlike Lagrangian ...

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Finding the phase space density of $N$ harmonic oscillators

Consider a system of $N$ identical harmonic oscillators in 1d. The Hamiltonian will be given by $$\mathcal{H}_N=\sum_{i=1}^N \frac{p_i^2}{2m}+\frac{m\omega^2}{2}q_i^2$$ Now supposedly the Hamiltonian ...
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Hamiltonian flow?

I was wondering what the Hamiltonian flow actually is? Here is my idea, I just wanted to know if I am correct about this. So let $(x(t),p(t))' = X_{H}(x(t),p(t))$ are the Hamilton's equations and ...
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Can I Weyl-order the following Hamiltonian?

I am trying to perform a path integral but I am having trouble with the Weyl ordering of my Hamiltonian. The Lagrangian of the system in question is $$L~=~\frac{1}{2}f(q)\dot{q}^2,$$ where $f(q)$ ...
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Multiply creation operator by a phase factor

A basic question, but I'm not completely confident what I'm doing is legit. I can multiply a creation operator by an arbitrary phase factor and it doesn't change any physics. True? I have a ...
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What is the correct terminology for a “symplectic covariant” equation?

A Lorentz covariant equation is one that takes the same form even when a Lorentz transformation is applied to each variable. Lorentz covariance is generally made manifest by writing the equation with ...
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Advantages of having a first class system and possibility of transforming a system into a first class one

I have two questions regarding first class systems. What are the advantages of having a first class Hamiltonian (a Hamiltonian whose all constraints are first class) in a theory or having a first ...
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Poisson brackets in curved spacetime

The time evolution of any field $\phi$ is given in terms of the Poisson bracket with the Hamiltonian, $$ \frac{\partial\phi}{\partial t} = \{\phi, H\}. $$ How does this relation change in curved ...
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A couple of questions on the ADM formalism in general relativity

I've been reading up on the ADM formalism in general relativity and have been stuck on a couple of concepts. The first is to do with the foliation of spacetime into space-like hypersurfaces. I ...
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Total Hamiltonian of a system of two particles

In my QM class, we talked about the total Hamiltonian of a system of two spin $1/2$ particles: \begin{equation} H^T=H_1\otimes\mathbb{1}+\mathbb{1}\otimes H_2. \end{equation} It was suggested that ...
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What is the meaning of commuting Hamiltonians?

I have two quantum mechanical Hamiltonians such that \begin{equation} [\hat{H}_1,\hat{H}_2] = 0, \end{equation} where $\hat{H}_1$ and $\hat{H}_2$ act on the same set of states. What is there to ...
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Amplitude-phase decomposition as a canonical transformation

I am studying a classical dynamical system defined on $\mathbb{CP}^2$: the phase space is parametrized in terms of three complex coordinates $\psi_i$ ($i=1,2,3$) and Hamilton's equations of motion ...
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Classical Hydrogen Atom

I was wondering about the Hamiltonian description of the classical hydrogen atom (two point particles interacting through a Coulumb potential). In particular, I want to know if the fact that ...
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Can some one explain the types of constraints with easy and simple examples?

I have read different types of constraints like primary, secondary, 1st class and 2nd class. I have a little idea but not enough. wikipedia couldn't help here. It will be so nice if some one explains ...
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Are there other less famous yet accepted formalisms of Classical Mechanics?

I was lately studying about the Lagrange and Hamiltonian Mechanics. This gave me a perspective of looking at classical mechanics different from that of Newton's. I would like to know if there are ...
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Which of the Physics textbooks would you recommend I read this quarter (Analytical Mechanics)? [duplicate]

My Analytical Mechanics class this quarter has one required textbook: "Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems" by Thornton & Marion and three recommended readings: "Mechanics" by Landau ...
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Lagrangian/Hamiltonian mechanics at high school?

Has anyone developed an approach to teaching mechanics based on Lagrangian/Hamiltonian mechanics from the ground up. I mean from high school on up. This is akin to explicitly not talking about ...
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Momentum is a cotangent vector?

Imagine we have a particle described by $x \in M$, where $M$ is some manifold, then it is very intuitive I think that a velocity is an element of the tangent space at $x$, so $x' \in T_{x}M.$ Thus, by ...
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What is the physical interpretation of the Poisson bracket [duplicate]

Apologies if this is a really basic question, but what is the physical interpretation of the Poisson bracket in classical mechanics? In particular, how should one interpret the relation between the ...
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Non-relativistic QFT Lagrangian for fermions

Take the ordinary Hamiltonian from non-relativistic quantum mechanics expressed in terms of the fermi fields $\psi(\mathbf{x})$ and $\psi^\dagger(\mathbf{x})$ (as derived, for example, by A. L. Fetter ...
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Can I take the partial derivative of the Lagrangian with respect to a constant?

I've got a system where I know that the derivative of one of the generalized coordinates is constant. So to find the Hamiltonian of the system I need to take the partial derivative with respect to ...
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Hamiltonian linearly proportional to momentum

In this question, it is discussed why, in Lagrangians we usually stick to first derivatives and quadratic terms we never see higher derivatives. The selected answer shows that, if a Lagrangian $L(q, ...
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Phase space Lagrangian?

Reading out of this lecture series we define a phase space Lagrangian $\mathcal L$ to be a function of $4n+1$ variables namely $q,\dot q,p,\dot p,t$. My question is, what space is this function ...
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Hamiltonian field equations constraints

Let's consider the Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L}~=~-\frac{1}{2}(\partial_\mu\phi^\nu)^2+\frac{1}{2}(\partial_\mu\phi^\mu)^2+\frac{1}{2}m^2\phi_\mu \phi^\mu,$$ with Minkowski metric $\eta_{\mu\nu}={\rm ...
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Path integral in quantum mechanics

I am confused by the derivation in Srednicki QFT's chapter 6 from (6.8) to (6.9). In (6.8), we have $$<q'',t''|q',t'>~=~\int DqDp \exp[i\int_{t'}^{t''}dt(p\dot{q}-H(p,q))],\tag{6.8}$$ and ...
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When can an autonomous system be written using a Hamiltonian?

If I have an autonomous series of differential equations $$\tag{1} \frac{dx_i}{dt} ~=~ A_i(x_1,...,x_n)$$ with the condition that $$\tag{2} \sum_{i=1}^n\frac{\partial A_i}{\partial x_i}~=~0$$ in all ...
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When to use Hamiltonian vs Lagrangian?

I currently studying the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalisms in classical mechanics, but something I'm not seeing is how do I know which one to use in a given problem? After I find the Lagrangian, ...
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Spacetime in Loop quantum gravity

In LQG, does spacetime consist of interconnected loops? Are those loops real? If spacetime does not consist of the aforementioned loops, what it consists of?
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Is it possible to formulate a Hamiltonian for a damped system?

I recently found out that it is possible to formulate a Hamiltonian for a system with time-dependent coordinates such that the Hamiltonian is not the same as the energy When is the Hamiltonian of a ...
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Integrability in classical mechanics

An integrable system in classical mechanics is defined by action-angle variables and closed loop trajectories in phase space. I have also heard that the flow lines of an integrable system are ...
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Metric and the Lagrangian [duplicate]

Does the Lagrangian formalism require a metric on the configuration manifold $Q$ in order to define a Lagrangian $L$ on the tangent bundle $TQ$? Further, if we specify a metric on the tangent bundle ...
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Formulating a symplectic integrator for a non-local Hamiltonian

I recently asked two questions, Q. [1] and Q. [2], regarding reformulating non-local Lagrangians as Hamiltonians. In these questions, the Hamiltonian is formulated as an integral because of it's ...
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An inconsistency in Hamiltonian formulation for non-local Lagrangian: what am I doing wrong?

This question is based on a previous question I asked, Q. [1] In this question, I proposed an example of a non-local Lagrangian (functional), I'm revisiting it here: $$\mathbb{L}=\frac{1}{2}\int^t_0 ...
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Legendre transform for non-local Lagrangians, or Hamiltonian of non-local Lagrangian and their properties

This is sort of a multi-part question, mostly dealing with how to treat non-local Hamiltonians and how the corresponding properties of Hamiltonians work in a non-local framework. I proposed an example ...
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Geometry of Hamilton-Jacobi Equation

I'm trying to understand the geometry of the Hamilton-Jacobi equation (working from Gelfand + Fomin), but I'm stuck. I know that: If we define the function $S(t,y;t_0, y_0)$ as: $$S(t,y;t_0,y_0) = ...
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How to calculate the Hamiltonian from the Lagrangian for a non-relativistic charged point particle in an EM field?

I was given the equation of the Lagrangian: \begin{equation} L~=~\frac{1}{2}m \dot{x}^2+\frac{e}{c}\vec{\dot{x}}\cdot \vec{A}(\vec{x},t)-e\phi (\vec{x},t). \end{equation} I proceeded to use the ...
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Lapse and shift in ADM decomposition

Poisson in Relativist's Toolkit and also other authors in various papers state explicitly that after one does the 3+1 decomposition, the lapse and shift $N$ and $N^a$ are non-dynamical variables, and ...
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Hamiltonian from a Lagrangian with constraints?

Let's say I have the Lagrangian: $$L=T-V.$$ Along with the constraint that $$f\equiv f(\vec q,t)=0.$$ We can then write: $$L'=T-V+\lambda f. $$ What is my Hamiltonian now? Is it $$H'=\dot q_i p_i ...
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Does the additivity property of Integrals of motion and Lagrangians valid in all situations?

I would like to know if the additivity property of an integral (constant) of motion valid in all situations ? It works for energy but does it work for all other integrals of motion in all kinds of ...
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Interaction Hamiltonian in the interaction picutre

The Schrodinger and Heisenberg pictures make sense to me. But the interaction picture which is a hybrid of the two does not. Author of this text first splits the Hamiltonian up as ...
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Hamilton-Jacobi theory and initial value problem?

Having read through some recent posts regarding the Lagrangian formulation being interpreted into an initial value problem rather than the familiar boundary condition problem we are familiar with, I ...
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Does the $\frac12mv^2$ law apply to quantum mechanics?

Consider the classical Hamiltonian for a spring: \begin{equation} H = \frac{1}{2}\frac{p^2}{m} + \frac{1}{2}kx^2 \end{equation} This is one of those simple cases where when you work out the math we ...
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Energy of system in eigenstate of Hamiltonian

I know how to find the spectrum of the Hamiltonian to get the allowed energies for a system. If the spectrum is quantized, I can get definite values for each energy level. But when the system is in ...
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Hamiltonian mechanics really useful for numerical integration? Lagrangian can become 1st-order

(I'm talking about the classical mechanics.) Many texts say that Euler-Lagrange equations are difficult to treat numerically because they are second-order ODEs, ${f_i(\boldsymbol{q, \dot{q}, ...
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Quantization of a free field: Klein-Gordon case

I am a beginner and reading this course text on QFT. The author first introduces the KG equation: $$\partial_\mu\partial^{\mu}\phi+m^2\phi=0$$ [with Minkowski signature $(+,-,-,-)$]. Then the ...
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Help understanding what the Hamiltonian signifies for the action compared with the Euler-Lagrange equations for the Lagrangian?

Consider the Lagrangian for a simple harmonic oscillator \begin{equation} L (x,\dot{x}) = \frac{1}{2}m\dot{x}^2 - \frac{1}{2}kx^2 \end{equation} Obviously we have \begin{align} \frac{\partial ...
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What justification is necessary for convolutional variational principles to be considered legitimate?

I recently asked a related question and was interested in why/or why we cannot use convolutional variational principles in practice or in theory. Summarizing the points I made in the earlier post: ...
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According to Liouville's theorem, why is the measure on an energy-surface different from the measure on the phase space in general

I recently read Khinchin's derivation of Liouville's theorem. I was able to follow the math for the most part, however I was hoping for an intuitive understanding about why the form of the measure on ...
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Vanishing of conjugate momentum $\Pi^0$ and non-existence of propagator

We know that if we try to quantize the free electromagnetic field without a gauge fixing term added to the Lagrangian, then one of the conjugate momentum density $\Pi^0$ vanishes. We also find that ...
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Why are functional representations of systems important in physics or computational physics?

This was an addendum to a previous question I asked, but I figured I should make it it's own discussion. Assuming I am able derive a functional representation for any dynamical system (dissipative, ...
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How to formulate variational principles (Lagrangian/Hamiltonian) for nonlinear, dissipative or initial value problems?

Although this questions is very much math related, I posted it in Physics since it is related to variational (Lagrangian/Hamiltonian) principles for dynamical systems. If I should migrate this ...