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 geodesics: Lagrangian vs Hamiltonian

I have a question referring to how to compute geodesics of a given spacetime (say, Kerr). I know that the direct way is via the geodesic equation $$\frac{d^{2}x^{\mu}}{d\lambda^{2}}+\Gamma^{\mu}_{\...
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31 views

kinetic energy in analytical mechanics

I have a question about the derivation of kinetic energy in analytical mechanics. What is the physical diffrence bettwen the 3 components (T0 T1 and T2), and when should we use those components ...
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3answers
730 views

Why Liouville's theorem is obvious?

In Florian Scheck's Mechanics, he stated the local form of Liouville's theorem as follows: Let $\Phi_{t,s}(x)$ be the flow of the differential equation $$-J\frac{d}{dt}x=H_{x}.$$ Then for all $x,t,s$ ...
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Motivation for covariant phase space

The covariant phase space idea, in one sentence, is that there is a natural symplectic structure on the space of the classical trajectories of a system and that the usual $(q,p)$ coordinates just ...
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1answer
439 views

Least Action Principle (Classical and Quantum Theory)

I) My first question would be "why should classical systems obey the principle of least action ?" When we find out the propagator in quantum physics, we find the amplitude to be equal to the sum over ...
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1answer
116 views

Classical particle in a box [closed]

I'm trying to work out some of the details for this system. A particle with mass $\mu$, initial velocity $v_0$ at $x_0$ and moving freely between two walls located at $\pm L/2$, with which it bounces ...
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1answer
56 views

Statistical Physics of a System with Friction inside a Hot Bath

If you have a classical system (i.e obeying Newton's equations of motion) with Hamiltonian $H(x,p) = \frac{p^2}{2m} + U(x)$ then the statistical behaviour of this system is described by the ...
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4answers
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Why is the Lagrangian approach preferred over the Hamiltonian approach in QFT? [duplicate]

Going from non-relativistic quantum mechanics(QM) to QFT there is a marked change in the approach used. QM almost exclusively uses Hamiltonains. Lagrangian based methods like the path-integrals are ...
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1answer
38 views

Why are the integrability conditions necessary and sufficient for the existence of a canonical transformation's generating function?

Consider a canonical transformation $(p,q) \rightarrow (P,Q)$ under a generating function $F$. The condition for form invariance of Hamiltonian equations of motion looks like : $$\sum_{s}P_s\dot{Q_s} ...
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1answer
29 views

Hamilton's equations of motion

One of hamilton's equations is $(\frac{\partial H}{\partial q} )_t = -(\frac{\partial p}{\partial t}) _q$. But isn't it $\frac{\partial L}{\partial q} = \frac{dp}{dt}$? If H = L(i.e. V = 0), what ...
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1answer
59 views

How does this quantisation relation come about?

I'm currently doing a course in string theory and in the lecture notes it is stated: $$ [x^-, p^+]~=~-i \tag{1}$$ I am fine with this. However, after trying (and failing) a question, I looked at ...
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1answer
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How to scale variables in a classical Hamiltonian?

So I looked at some research articles where one has a classical Hamiltonian $H(p,q,t) = p^{2}/2 + V(q,t)$. If one introduces the scaling transformation $$t \mapsto t/\sqrt{s}, \quad H \mapsto Hs, \...
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1answer
32 views

Phase Portraits Given Hamiltonian

Given a Hamiltonian say $$ H = 5p^2 $$ What is the correct procedure for producing a phase portrait. My initial thoughts were to solve the system of equations $\frac{dq}{dt} = 0$ and $\frac{dp}{dt} ...
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1answer
50 views

Counting number of degrees of freedom in constrained system

Following Counting degrees of freedom in presence of constraints, we know that there would be N-2M-S dofs if we have M 1st-class constraints and S 2nd-class constraints in N-dim phase space. I don't ...
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2answers
977 views

Weyl exponential form of the Canonical Commutation Relations

What is the physical meaning of the $c$-numbers $Q, P\in \mathbb{R}$ in the exponent of the Weyl system $\exp\left[\frac{i}{\hbar} Q \hat{p}\right]$ and $\exp\left[\frac{i}{\hbar}P\hat{q}\right]$? ...
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5answers
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Proof of Liouville's theorem: Relation between phase space volume and probability distribution function

I understand the proof of Liouville's theorem to the point where we conclude that Hamiltonian flow in phase-space is volume preserving as we flow in the phase space. Meaning the total derivative of ...
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0answers
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Canonical Transformation [duplicate]

How can I prove that the following transformation is canonical: $\begin{cases}\overline{q}_i=\dfrac{q_i}{Q} \\ \overline{p}_i=Qp_i-2Pq_i \end{cases},\ i\in\overline{1,n}$ where $Q=\sum_{i=1}^n q^2_i$...
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Recovering a symmetry transformation from a conserved charge

I'm going through some notes on how to apply the Hamiltonian formalism to systems with gauge invariance and I found a derivation of Noether's theorem I had never seen before. The idea is roughly that ...
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2answers
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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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2answers
439 views

Can one write down a Hamiltonian in the absence of a Lagrangian?

How can I define the Hamiltonian independent of the Lagrangian? For instance, let's assume that i have a set of field equations that cannot be integrated to an action. Is there any prescription to ...
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2answers
115 views

Find the error: If $L_x$ and $L_y$ are zero, then $L_z$ is conserved

From Goldstein's Classical Mechanics (2nd ed.), problem 38 of chapter 9 basically says the following: It's been shown that the Poisson bracket of two constants of the motion is also a constant of ...
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2answers
377 views

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 -L'~?...
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3answers
268 views

Time derivative of a function in Phase Space

Consider a function $\mathcal{H}(q_i,p_i;t)$ such that it obeys the equation: $$ \frac{d\mathcal{H}}{dt}=\frac{\partial\mathcal{H}}{\partial t}$$ What does this equation imply (read: mean), physically?...
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1answer
117 views

Hamilton's Equations

The last step of this derivation of Hamilton's Equations is what's making me doubt it. It is as follows: Assuming the existence of a smooth function $\mathcal{H}(q_i,p_i)$ in $(q_i(t), \,p_i(t))$ ...
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A physical system is described by the following Lagrangian: $ L = \frac{m}{2} (\dot{\rho}² + \rho ² \dot{\phi} ² + \dot{z} ²) + a \rho² \dot{\phi}$ [closed]

Where $a$ is a constant and $(\rho,\phi,z)$ are cylindrical coordinates. I found the following Hamiltonian $ H =\frac{m}{2}(\dot{\rho}² + \dot{z}² + \rho²\dot{\phi}²)$. The problem asked me to find ...
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1answer
34 views

Energy conservation Hamiltonian dependency

Suppose the a system has a Hamiltonian $H = H(q,p)$, and suppose $H$ does not depend explicitly on time. If $H\neq E$ the total energy of the system, does this necessarily say that $E$ is not ...
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1answer
164 views

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? The definition of real would be: they ...
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1answer
24 views

Hamiltonian form: inverting the general momenta

I am studying analytical mechanics and am confused with the part about Hamiltonian form. My textbook develops the whole theory of Legendre transforms, in order to invert the formula $$\mathbf{p}=\...
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1answer
45 views

Calculate lapse function from the metric

I have a technical question about the lapse function: Assume I have some given (Lorentzian) metric $g$. I have seen the following definition of the lapse function $\alpha^{-2}=-g(\nabla f, \nabla f)$...
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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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2answers
67 views

Deriving Hamilton's equation of motion

I am trying to derive Hamilton's equations of motion without using Lagrange's method but am left with an additional factor of $1/2$. Where am I going wrong? Please note this in not a homework ...
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1answer
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Are there fifth-kind and sixth-kind generating functions?

In Goldstein's Classical Mechanics (2nd ed.), Section 9-1, pgs. 382-385, the generating functions (hereafter denoted $F$) for canonical transformations are introduced. From here on out, I'll refer to ...
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4answers
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Hamiltonian is conserved, but is not the total mechanical energy

I wondering about the interpretation for the energy difference between the Hamiltonian and the total mechanical energy for systems where the Hamiltonian is conserved, but it is not equal to the total ...
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1answer
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Help using Hamiltonian mechanics [closed]

I didn´t understand how to use Hamiltonian for some mechanical problems, in particular in a two-body $(m_1, m_2)$ attached by a string $(k,l). First, calculating The lagrangian: $$L=T-U=\dfrac{1}{2}...
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1answer
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Is this field redefinition for free scalar field theory non-local?

The action of free scalar field theory is as follows: $$ S=\int d^4 x \frac{\dot{\phi}^2}{2}-\frac{\phi(m^2-\nabla^2)\phi}{2}. $$ I have been thinking to redefine field as $$\phi'(x)=\sqrt{m^2-\nabla^...
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54 views

Question about CSCO for identical 1/2 spin particles?

I have two, identical 1/2 spin particles which interact through the hamiltonian $$H = \frac{p_1^2}{2m} + \frac{p_2^2}{2m} + V(|\vec{r_1}-\vec{r_2}|) $$ and I have to determine the observables that ...
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2answers
2k views

Find generating function $F_1$ for canonical trasformation

I'd like to know the steps to follow to find the generating function $F_1(q,Q)$ given a canonical transformation. For example, considering the transformation $$q=Q^{1/2}e^{-P}$$ $$p=Q^{1/2}e^P$$ ...
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2answers
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How to describe time-shifts in Noether's theorem in Hamiltonian formalism

As was described in, for example, this post, one can formulate Noether's Theorem also in Hamiltonian Mechanics. Symmetries are then represented by vector fields generated by observables whose Poisson ...
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2answers
848 views

A kind of Noether's theorem for the Hamiltonian formalism

How can I (conveniently?) show that an invariance of the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian (i.e. the kinetic as well as the potential energy are independently invariant) will lead to a conservation law using ...
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1answer
197 views

How to show period is defined by $T=dS/dE$ (V.I. Arnold Mathemtical Physics)

I'm looking at a book by VI Arnold on mathematical physics and I've hit a roadblock pretty early on. I'll quote the question: "Let $S(E)$ be the area enclosed by the closed phase curve ...
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Relation between interaction Lagrangian and interaction Hamiltonian

I work with this interaction Lagrangian density $$\mathcal{L}_{int} = ia\bar{\Psi}\gamma^\mu\Psi Z_\mu +ib(\phi^\dagger\partial_\mu \phi - \partial_\mu\phi^\dagger \phi)Z^\mu,$$ where $Z^\mu$ is an ...
10
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3answers
492 views

When do phase space functions' Poisson brackets inherit the Lie algebra structure of a symmetry?

I've seen several examples of phase space functions whose Poisson brackets (or Dirac brackets) have the same algebra as the Lie algebra of some symmetry. For example, for plain old particle motion in ...
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176 views

Legendre Transformation for multiple variables

I need to show that for $F(x_1, .., x_n)$, the Legendre transformation is, $$G(s_1, ..., s_n) = \sum_{i}^{N} x_i s_i - F$$ where $$s_i = \frac{\partial F}{\partial x_i}$$ and has the property that $$...
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Derive statistical entropy from information entropy

I'm trying to compute the entropy of an Hamiltonian system with a fixed energy from the information entropy. Consider a random variable $X$ (state) to be uniformly distributed in a domain $\Omega$ (...
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1answer
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Birkhoff Method for Harmonic Oscillator Perturbation

Problem: Given Hamiltonian $$H = \frac12 (p^{2}+q^{2})+q^{3}-3qp^{2}$$ make a perturbative canonical transformation $(q,p) \rightarrow (Q,P)$ such that the new Hamiltonian, apart from terms of degree ...
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1answer
73 views

Constructing a Hamiltonian from a mass matrix?

I was solving some questions regarding the Hamiltonian, which required a lot of algebra, but as I finished and looked professor answer I saw that he constructed a matrix from the kinetic energy and ...
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Is time-1 map of a Hamiltonian vector field on a cylinder always twist?

I have a one degree of freedom analytic Hamiltonian $H(q,p)$ defined on a semi-infinite cylinder, i.e. $(q,p) \in \mathbb{T} \times \mathbb{R}^{+}$, such that all level sets $H(q,p)=c$ are closed ...
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0answers
63 views

Canonical transformation question

Let $(\vec{r},\vec{p})$ denote set of canonical variables. Assume a system is described by the following Hamiltonian $$H(r,p) = \frac{1}{2m}(p_1^2 + (p_2 - \beta*x_1)^2 + p_3^2),$$ where $\beta$ is ...
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1answer
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Hamilton's characteristic and principle functions and separability

Just hoping for some clarity regarding Hamilton's characteristic function (W). When we take a time independent Hamiltonian we can separate the Principle function (S) up into the characteristic ...
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1answer
65 views

Harmonic oscillator and cyclic coordinates

I am reading goldstein there is some comment I don't understand. Consider the following hamiltonian $$H = \frac{p^2}{2m} + \frac{kq^2}{2}$$, which can be rewritten as follows $$H = \frac{1}{2m}(p^2 +...