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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Which transformations are canonical?

Which transformations are canonical? Why do canonical transformations preserve the measure of integration in phase space?
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How to find full energy of field of an arbitrary half-integer spin?

Let's have arbitrary half-integer spin $n + \frac{1}{2}$ representation: $$ \Psi_{\mu_{1}...\mu_{n}} = \begin{pmatrix} \psi_{a, \mu_{1}...\mu_{n}} \\ \kappa^{\dot {a}}_{\quad ...
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Formalism to deal with discontinuous potentials in classical mechanics (hard wall, hard spheres)

It seems to me that Hamiltonian formalism does not suit well for problems involving instantaneous change of momentum, like particle collisions with hard wall or hard sphere gas model. At least I could ...
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Lagrangian to Hamiltonian

I'm having some problems with an assignment where I have to state the Hamiltonian from the kinetic energy $T$ and potential energy $U$. These are as follows: ...
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Hamilton formalism for Dirac spinors

Let's have the Dirac free lagrangian: $$ L = \bar {\Psi} (i\gamma^{\mu}\partial_{\mu} - m) \Psi . $$ I can rewrite it as $$ L = i\Psi^{\dagger}\partial_{0}\Psi - H_{d}, \quad H_{d} = ...
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Are the Hamiltonian and Lagrangian always convex functions?

The Hamiltonian and Lagrangian are related by a Legendre transform: $$ H(\mathbf{q}, \mathbf{p}, t) = \sum_i \dot q_i p_i - \mathcal{L}(\mathbf{q}, \mathbf{\dot q}, t). $$ For this to be a Legendre ...
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Why don't we use Hamilton-Jacobi method in QM?

In classical mechanics, we usually try to find a set of coordinates by Hamilton-Jacobi method to transform the Hamiltonian to zero such that the coordinates are conservations. However, we never try ...
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The average value of the the square of Dirac velocity operator

Let's have Dirac velocity operator (the case of the free particle: $$ \hat {\mathbf v} = i [\hat {H}, \hat {\mathbf r}] = \hat {\alpha}, \quad \hat {H} = (\hat {\alpha} \cdot \hat {\mathbf p}) + \hat ...
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What makes an abstract physical system describable by a “fluid” equations of motion?

We can describe (some of) the dynamics of many systems using fluid mechanics. Of course these include classical fluids like water, more exotic fluids like photon gases and the universe as a whole and ...
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Hamiltonian formalism in quantum electrodynamics

I need to compute $\frac{d}{dt}\hat{\mathbf P} = \frac{d}{dt}(\hat{\mathbf p} - q\hat{\mathbf A})$ for the solutions of $$ (i\gamma^{\mu}\partial_{\mu} + q\gamma^{\mu}A_{\mu} - m)\Psi = 0. $$ May I ...
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Conservation of phase space volume in Rindler space-time

Let us consider Rindler space-time, i.e. Minkowski space-time as seen by a constantly accelerating observer. My question is, does Liouville's theorem, i.e. the conservation of phase space volume in ...
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181 views

Calculate integral of motion condition with Poisson brackets

Problem statement: The Hamiltonian of a system is given by the formula: \begin{equation*} H = \frac{p_r^2}{2m} + \frac{p_\theta^2}{2mr^2} + V(r,\theta). \end{equation*} Under what condition is ...
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EQUAL TIME commutation relations

Why is equal time commutation relation used in canonical quantization of free fields?
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Canonical transformations in Hamiltonian mechanics

How to prove that in the new Hamiltonian, which is formed by any of the generator function will not contain $Q$ (transformed from $q$)? I.e. new Hamiltonian will only be a function of $P$ (transformed ...
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Gauge Invariance of the Hamiltonian of the electromagnetic field

The Hamiltonian for an electron of mass $m$ and charge $e$ in an exterior electromagnetic field is $$H=\frac{1}{2m}(p-(e/c)A)^2+e\varphi.$$ The corresponding (via canonical quantization) quantum ...
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How to find zero-point oscillations for this system?

Consider the following Hamiltonian which is absolutely relativistic literally: only sensitive to absolute pairwise relative phase space variables of objects for a system of $N$ objects moving in one ...
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Hamiltonian for forced systems

I am trying to learn Hamiltonian mechanics. While many textbooks treat closed systems, I have a hard time finding references for forced systems. For example, if I consider simple systems of masses ...
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Liouville's theorem on integrable Hamiltonian systems is a let down

I read a proof of Liouville’s theorem on integrable Hamiltonian systems. According to the theorem, an autonomous Hamiltonian system can be integrated in quadratures, given $n$ involutive first ...
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206 views

Time dependence of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian?

I am reading a online tutorial about Lagrangian mechanics. In one section, it states that if the kinetic term in Lagrangian has no explicit time dependence, the Hamiltonian does not explicitly depends ...
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Missing terms in Hamiltonian after Legendre transformation of Lagrangian

Short question Given any Lagrangian density of fields one could possibly conceive, is it the case that after one has performed a Legendre transformation, if the Hamiltonian is then expressed in terms ...
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Some questions about spacetime topology, causality structures and other GR businesses

1) What are the exact conditions required for the canonical transformation? Most papers just assume away with global hyperbolicity, but is there a more general condition for it? "Quantum gravity in ...
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Classical Mechanics & Coordinates [closed]

What is the meaning generalised coordinates in Classical Mechanics? How is Lagrangian formalism different from Hamiltonian formalism? How are they related to Hamilton's Principle? How are they ...
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259 views

The most general procedure for quantization

I recently read the following passage on page 137 in volume I of 'Quantum Fields and Strings: A course for Mathematicians' by Pierre Deligne and others (note that I am no mathematician and have not ...
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Calculate Hamiltonian from Lagrangian for electromagnetic field

I am unable to derive the Hamiltonian for the electromagnetic field, starting out with the Lagrangian $$ \mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{4}F^{\mu\nu}F_{\mu\nu}-\frac{1}{2}\partial_\nu A^\nu \partial_\mu A^\mu ...
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Transforming a lagrangian to hamiltonian and vice versa

I am not refering to Legendre transform, but to something more simple. In analytical mechanics, the Lagrangian can be described as $L=T-V$, and the Hamiltonian is if the Lagrangian doesn't explicitly ...
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Do we have a fundamental Hamiltonian for the system of H$_2$O molecules?

From the quantum mechanics(QM) viewpoint, does there exist a Hamiltonian $H$ for the system of H$_2$O molecules? Assume that the number of H$_2$O molecules is fixed. Imagine that by calculating the ...
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Hamiltonian conservation

Lagrangian formalism does not involve forces that doesn't come from a potential and Hamiltonian formalism says that even though energy is not conserved due to a force like this, the Hamiltonian is ...
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Canonical equal time commutation relations in QED

I understand that to quantize the classical electromagnetic field one needs to impose commutation relations and express the field in terms of creation and annihilation operators. I notice that the ...
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Constraints of massive relativistic point particle in hamiltonian mechanics

I try to understand constructing of Hamiltonian mechanics with constraints. I decided to start with the simple case: free relativistic particle. I've constructed hamiltonian with constraint: ...
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Collection of histories vs. collection of momentary configurations

For a given Hamiltonian, is the space of histories of a classical system the same as the symplectic manifold? Do I have to take care of gauge equivalences and if so, is this only an issue for fields ...
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Is there a Hamiltonian for the (classical) electromagnetic field? If so, how can it be derived from the Lagrangian?

The classical Lagrangian for the electromagnetic field is $$\mathcal{L} = -\frac{1}{4\mu_0} F^{\mu \nu} F_{\mu \nu} + J^\mu A_\mu.$$ Is there also a Hamiltonian? If so, how to derive it? I know how ...
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Why does a cyclic coordinate reduce the dimension of the cotangent manifold by 2?

Our professor's notes say that "In general, in Hamiltonian dynamics a constant of motion will reduce the dimension of the phase space by two dimensions, not just one as it does in Lagrangian ...
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Canonical transformation problem

(Apologies if HW questions are not allowed -- I couldn't really find a definite answer on this) Question Let $Q^1 = (q^1)^2, Q^2 = q^1+q^2, P_{\alpha} = P_{\alpha}\left(q,p \right), \alpha = 1,2$ ...
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What's the point of Hamiltonian mechanics?

I've just finished a Classical Mechanics course, and looking back on it some things are not quite clear. In the first half we covered the Lagrangian formalism, which I thought was pretty cool. I ...
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Question about canonical transformation

I was going through my professor's notes about Canonical transformations. He states that a canonical transformation from $(q, p)$ to $(Q, P)$ is one that if which the original coordinates obey ...
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$p\ dq$ is the “tautological” one-form?

The one-form $$\theta=\sum_i p_i\, \text dq^i$$ is a central object in hamiltonian mechanics. It has a bunch of applications: $\omega=\text d\theta$ is the symplectic structure on phase space, ...
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What's the physical intuition for symplectic structures?

I always thought about symplectic forms as elements of areas in little subspaces because of the Darboux theorem, however I cannot get the physical intuition for it and for the hamiltonian vector ...
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Phase Space Flow

Phase space flow shares characteristics with fluid flow such as incompressibility by Liouville's theorem. Extending the similarities one might be curious, does phase space flow have a characteristic ...
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Something between Lagrangian and Hamiltonian called Routhian

So, in my mechanics class, the teacher mentioned there is a special function which is kind of a midpoint between the Lagrangian and the Hamiltonian, called the Routhian. Now, I wanted to give it a ...
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Conservation of Hamiltonian vs Conservation of Energy

What is the difference between conservation of the Hamiltonian and conservation of energy?
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Why does a particle fall in a straight line?

In Lagrangian Mechanics we choose the path of least action. Given a uniform gravitational field, and a particle of finite mass; and fixing two points the start & end-point we consider all paths ...
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Lagrangian with vanishing conjugate momentum, independent variables

Given a Lagrangian density $\mathcal L(\phi_r,\partial_\mu\phi_r,\phi_n,\partial_\mu\phi_n)$, for which we find out that for some $\phi_n$ its conjugate momentum vanishes: ...
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Why not formulate Quantum Mechanics using Lagrangians? [duplicate]

As the title implies, why is it that the most common formalisms we use in quantum mechanics prefer to describe systems in the terms of a Hamiltionian instead of a Lagrangian? Is there some ...
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Is Feynman talking about the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics?

In Volume 1 Chapter 39 of the Feynman Lectures on Physics, Feynman derives the ideal gas law from Newton's laws of motion. But then on page 41-1, he puts a caveat to the derivation he has just ...
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Hamiltonian function for classical hard-sphere elastic collision

I'm trying to find the Hamiltonian function for a system consisting of a single particle in one dimension colliding elastically with a wall at x = 0. Everything I've read on the topic (e.g. this ...
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1answer
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Partial and total time derivatives of the Hamiltonian

When does the total time derivative of the Hamiltonian equal the partial time derivative of the Hamiltonian? In symbols, when does $\frac{dH}{dt} = \frac{\partial H}{\partial t}$ hold? In Thornton ...
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Why are we living in the $q$ part of the phase space?

In Hamilton mechanics and quantum mechanics, $p$ and $q$ are almost symmetric. But in the real world, the $p$ space isn't as intuitive as the $q$ space. For example, We can uniquely identify a person ...
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Does the inverse of the Dirac conjecture hold?

In the theory of constrained Hamiltonian systems, one differentiates between primary and secondary constraints, where the former are constraints derived directly from the Hamiltonian in question and ...
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Does a Lagrangian imply a well-defined quantum Hamiltonianian with a Hilbert space?

The question is about: (1) whether giving a Lagrangian is sufficient enough to (uniquely) well-define a Hamiltonianian quantum theory with a Hilbert space? The answer should be Yes, or No. If ...
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How to get Hamiltonian of QED from lagrangian?

I have the QED lagrangian: $$ L = \bar {\Psi}(i \gamma^{\mu }\partial_{\mu} + q\gamma^{\mu}A_{\mu} - m)\Psi + \frac{1}{16 \pi}F_{\alpha \beta}F^{\alpha \beta} . $$ I tried to get hamiltonian by ...