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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

5
votes
2answers
3k views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
188 views

Why does a cyclic coordinate reduce the dimension of the cotangent manifold by 2?

Our professor's notes read, "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 dynamics." ...
5
votes
3answers
335 views

What are some mechanics examples with a globally non-generic symplecic structure?

In the framework of statistical mechanics, in books and lectures when the fundamentals are stated, i.e. phase space, Hamiltons equation, the density etc., phase space seems usually be assumed to be ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Finding the creation/annihilation operators

Using Minkowski signature $(+,-,-,-)$, for the Lagrangian density $${\cal L}=\partial_{\mu}\phi\partial^{\mu}\phi^{\dagger}-m^2\phi \phi^{\dagger}$$ of the complex scalar field, we have the field ...
5
votes
4answers
452 views

Other application of Liouville's theorem besides thermodynamics

Are there any other important practical and theoretical consequences of Liouville's theorem on the conservation of phase space volume besides the calculation of the microcanonical potential in ...
5
votes
1answer
350 views

formal framework for talking about 'minimal couplings'

usually on physical theories one would have Lagrangians or Hamiltonians with multiple fields; say, a vector $A_{\mu}$ and a scalar $\phi$ and one would postulate ad hoc a coupling between the fields ...
5
votes
1answer
249 views

Symplectic leaves, tori and Poisson manifolds

For classical systems we can define a configuration manifold, whose cotangent bundle is a momentum phase space equipped with a closed, non-degenerate 2-form. Upon the commutative algebra of smooth ...
5
votes
1answer
582 views

Non-integrability of the 2D double pendulum

Context: For a system with $n$ degrees of freedom (DOF), one has to deal with $2n$ independent coordinates ($2n$ dimensional phase space), of position $q$ and $\dot{q}$ in Lagrangian formulation, ...
5
votes
1answer
869 views

Connection between conserved charge and the generator of a symmetry

I'm trying to understand the connection between Noether charges and symmetry generators a little better. In Schwartz QFT book, chapter 28.2, he states that the Noether charge $Q$ generates the ...
5
votes
2answers
397 views

Questions about the degree of freedom in General Relatity

I'm confused about the number of degrees of freedom in General Relatity. There are two ways to count it. However, they are contradictory. For simplicity, we consider vacuum solution. First, ...
5
votes
2answers
448 views

$p\ dq$ 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
247 views

Yang Mills Hamiltonian: why do we use the Weyl's temporal gauge?

Do you know why in the quantization of SU(2) Yang Mills Gauge Theory, it is always chosen the Weyl (temporal) gauge to derive the Hamiltonian? Is it possible to fix another gauge?
5
votes
1answer
121 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
709 views

What is Maupertuis' principle good for?

The strength of Hamilton's principle is obvious to me and I see the advantage. Now, for conservative systems we also have Maupertuis' principle that says: $$ \delta \int p dq =0$$ and I am not sure ...
5
votes
2answers
510 views

What would happen if energy was conserved but phase space volume wasn't? (and vice-versa)

I'm trying to understand the relationship between the two conservation laws. As I understand, Liouville's result is a weaker condition: it relies merely on the particular form assumed by Hamilton's ...
5
votes
1answer
423 views

Potential Energy tends to infinity on the N-Body Problem

I need help to solve this problem related with the N-Body problem, i dont understand quite well what I need to define or to express in order to solve it. We assume a particular solution to the N-Body ...
5
votes
1answer
143 views

Chaos and integrability in classical mechanics

An Liouville integrable system admits a set of action-angle variables and is by definition non-chaotic. Is the converse true however, are non-integrable systems automatically chaotic? Are there any ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between configuration space and phase space?

What is the difference between configuration space and phase space? In particular, I notices that Lagrangians are defined over configuration space and Hamiltonians over phase space. Liouville's ...
5
votes
1answer
287 views

Is there useful information about normal modes/frequencies in the Hamiltonian matrix of a coupled system?

Single mode Suppose I have two $LC$ oscillators, one with $L_1$ and $C_1$, and the other with $L_2$ and $C_2$. If uncoupled, each oscillator has resonant frequency $\omega \equiv 1/\sqrt{LC}$. Using ...
5
votes
2answers
281 views

Can we explicitly solve the Hamilton–Jacobi equation for a particle in a uniform magnetic field?

HJE for nonrelativistic charged particle in an electromagnetic field is $$\frac{1}{2m}\left(\nabla S - q\mathbf{A}\right)^2 + q\phi + \frac{\partial S}{\partial t} = 0.$$ For a uniform magnetic ...
5
votes
1answer
182 views

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 ...
5
votes
0answers
177 views

What exactly is the relationship between the symplectic 2-form and the frequency of leaves of integrable systems in classical mechanics?

In classical mechanics we equip a differential manifold with a closed symplectic 2-form $\omega$. The symplectic leaves of integrable systems also have a unique frequency, in literature denoted ...
5
votes
0answers
64 views

Hamiltonian System Outside Physics [closed]

What are good examples of Hamiltonian systems outside physics? I heard there are financial systems that can be described by a Lagrangian, and was interested to see some examples
5
votes
0answers
509 views

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 ...
5
votes
0answers
93 views

The consistency conditions of constrained Hamiltonian systems

I am studying the Hamiltonian description of a constrained system. There are some questions puzzled me for days, which I have been stuck on it. From the lagrangian, we can obtain the primary ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

How to find out whether a transformation is a canonical transformation?

We had a couple of examples where we were supposed to calculate the Canonical Transformation (CT), but we never actually talked about a condition that decides whether a transformation is a canonical ...
4
votes
4answers
585 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
283 views

Quantum and Classical Liouville operators

In the Heisenberg picture of Quantum Mechanics, for an observable $\hat{A}$, we have the famous Heisenberg equation giving the time evolution of the operator: ($\hat{H}$ is the Hamiltonian operator) ...
4
votes
3answers
459 views

Writing $\dot{q}$ in terms of $p$ in the Hamiltonian formulation

In the Hamiltonian formulation, we make a Legendre transformation of the Lagrangian and it should be written in terms of the coordinates $q$ and momentum $p$. Can we always write $dq/dt$ in terms of ...
4
votes
3answers
353 views

Constructing Lagrangian from the Hamiltonian

Given the Lagrangian $L$ for a system, we can construct the hamiltonian $H$ using the definition $H=\sum\limits_{i}p_i\dot{q}_i-L$ where $p_i=\frac{\partial L}{\partial \dot{q}_i}$. Therefore, to ...
4
votes
1answer
993 views

Why does Quantum Field Theory use Lagrangians rather than Hamiltonains? [duplicate]

Why does Quantum Field Theory use usually Lagrangians rather than Hamiltonains? I heard many reasons, but I'm not sure which is true. Some say it's just a matter of beauty, so Lagrangians are more ...
4
votes
3answers
711 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 $x,t,s$ ...
4
votes
2answers
130 views

Does the conservation of the Wronskian follow from Noether's principle?

Noether's principle is the paradigm that symmetries of Hamiltonian and Lagrangian systems correspond to conservation laws of various kinds. Consider a one-dimensional harmonic oscillator $$\tag{*} ...
4
votes
3answers
682 views

Probability density in Hamiltonian Mechanics

I am currently studying Liouville's theorem compare wikipedia and there this mysterious probability density $\rho$ appears and I was wondering how one can determine this quantity analytically for a ...
4
votes
2answers
407 views

The string Poisson bracket

Where does the factor $\frac{1}{T}$ ($T$ is the string tension) in this Poisson bracket come from? $$ \{X^{\mu}(\tau,\sigma),\dot{X}^{\nu}(\tau,\sigma')\} ~=~ ...
4
votes
2answers
604 views

Relativistic Hamiltonian Formulations [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Hamiltonian mechanics and special relativity? The Hamiltonian formulation is beautifully symmetric. It's a shame that the explicit time derivatives in Hamilton's ...
4
votes
2answers
404 views

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} = ...
4
votes
1answer
505 views

How to explain the different forms of the Hamilton-Jacobi equation?

In Arnold's Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics, he derives the Hamilton-Jacobi equation (HJE) using a generating function $S_1(Q, q)$ to get $$ H\left(\frac{\partial S_1(Q, q)}{\partial q}, ...
4
votes
2answers
199 views

Is the Legendre transformation a unique choice in analytical mechanics?

Consider a Lagrangian $L(q_i, \dot{q_i}, t) = T - V$, for kinetic energy $T$ and generalized potential $V$, on a set of $n$ independent generalized coordinates $\{q_i\}$. Assuming the system is ...
4
votes
2answers
949 views

Counting degrees of freedom in presence of constraints

In a $N$ dimensional phase space if I have $M$ 1st class and $S$ 2nd class constraints, then I have $N-2M-S$ degrees of freedom in phase space. How can I calculate the degrees of freedom in ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

Analytic proof that Lyapunov exponents in Hamiltonian systems pairwise sum to zero

I have read that in Hamiltonian systems, Lyapunov exponents come in pairs $(\lambda_i, \lambda_{2N-i+1})$ such that their sum is equal to zero. Is there a way of proving this analytically? EDIT: ...
4
votes
1answer
170 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
511 views

Why is the Hamiltonian the Legendre transform of the Lagrangian?

So, as the title says, why is the Hamiltonian the Legendre transform of the Lagrangian? I know that from quantum mechanics, one can start with the Hamiltonian defined as the generator of time ...
4
votes
1answer
910 views

How do you derive Lagrange's equation of motion from a Routhian?

Given a Routhian $R(r,\dot{r},\phi,p_{\phi})$, how do you derive Lagrange's equation for $r$? Do you just solve the following for $r$? $$\frac{d}{dt}\frac{∂R}{∂\dot{\phi}}-\frac{∂R}{∂\phi}=0$$ And ...
4
votes
3answers
537 views

Generalizing Heisenberg Uncertainty Priniciple

Writing the relationship between canonical momenta $\pi _i$ and canonical coordinates $x_i$ $$\pi _i =\text{ }\frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial \left(\frac{\partial x_i}{\partial t}\right)}$$ ...
4
votes
1answer
598 views

Mathematica to help for an Hamiltonian problem

I have an Hamiltonian problem whose 2D phase space exhibit islands of stability (elliptic fixed points). I can calculate the area of these islands in some cases, but for other cases I would like to ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

Equilibrium in Stat Mech and Phase space density

I was wondering if there is any relationship between equilibrium in Stat Mechanics and the phase space density of a system? This does not seem to be completely independent, as Entropy is maximized in ...
4
votes
1answer
181 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 = ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Lagrangian mechanics vs Hamiltonian mechanics [duplicate]

First of all, what are the differences between these two: Lagrangian mechanics and Hamiltonian mechanics? And secondly, do I need to learn both in order to study quantum mechanics and quantum field ...