Tagged Questions

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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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 ...
3
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1answer
464 views

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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3answers
212 views

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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0answers
100 views

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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1answer
149 views

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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1answer
265 views

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 ...
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1answer
135 views

Shouldn't the addition of angular momentum be commutative?

I have angular momenta $S=\frac{1}{2}$ for spin, and $I=\frac{1}{2}$ for nuclear angular momentum, which I want to add using the Clebsch-Gordan basis, so the conversion looks like: $$ \begin{align} ...
7
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2answers
190 views

Does Hamilton Mechanics give a general phase-space conserving flux?

Hamiltonian dynamics fulfil the Liouville's theorem, which means that one can imagine the flux of a phase space volume under a Hamiltionian theory like the flux of an ideal fluid, which doesn't change ...
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1answer
529 views

Hamiltonian matrix off diagonal elements?

I'm trying to understand how Hamiltonian matrices are built for optical applications. In the excerpts below, from the book "Optically polarized atoms: understanding light-atom interaction", what I ...
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0answers
115 views

Infinitesimal transformations and Poisson bracket for Dirac spinors

I apologize for the cumbersome calculations. Let's have $\Psi$, $i\Psi^{\dagger}$, which are canonical coordinate and impulse in space of solutions of Dirac equation. It can be showed that they have ...
3
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0answers
88 views

Do primary first class constraints change the electric field in the Hamiltonian form of Maxwell's theory?

In my understanding of Dirac's theory of constrained Hamiltonians, the primary (and also the secondary) first class constraints are generators of canonical transformations that do not change the ...
7
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1answer
359 views

In Path Integrals, lagrangian or hamiltonian are fundamental?

When studying path-integrals one question arose to my mind... Which presentation is more fundamental to calculate the propagator? The one based on the Hamiltonian (phase space)? $$K(B|A) = \int ...
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77 views

How to introduce generating function in Hamiltonian formalism for field theories?

Let's have hamiltonian $$ H(\psi , P ,\partial_{i}\psi ) = P\partial_{0}\psi - L(\psi , \partial_{\mu}\psi ), \quad P = \frac{\partial L}{\partial (\partial_{0}\psi)}. \qquad (.0) $$ I tried to ...
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2answers
427 views

Can we quantize Aristotelian physics?

Aristotelian physics, shorn of whatever the historical Aristotle actually believed, is pretty similar to Newtonian physics. Instead of "An object in motion stays in motion unless acted on by an ...
2
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1answer
263 views

Primary constraints for Hamiltonian field theories

I am currently trying to carry out the construction of the generalised Hamiltonian, constraints and constraint algebra, etc for a particular field theory following the procedure in Dirac's "Lectures ...
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1answer
258 views

Working with a Routhian for a specific system

I asked a more general question earlier about the Routhian, but I'm still having trouble working with it. Here's my specific case. Given the following Lagrangian: ...
3
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1answer
380 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 ...
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1answer
105 views

Landau Lifshitz energy for uniform rotation

Landau Lifshitz claim in their Mechanics book (39.11) that for a uniform rotation we have $ E = \frac{mv^2}{2} - \frac{m}{2} (\omega \times r)^2 + U,$ where the rotation is given by $v' = v + \omega ...
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1answer
183 views

Find the possible energies and corresponding wavefunctions of the Hamiltonian [closed]

The Hamiltonian of an electron stuck within a tunnel in a dialectic cube is found to be $$H=\frac{p^2}{2m}+\frac{1}{2}Kx^2-\frac{e\Phi_0}{a}x$$ Find the possible energies and ...
4
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1answer
487 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 ...
2
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0answers
181 views

Optical Raytracing by using Adiabatic Hamiltonian Method

I'm looking into raytracing a Lüneburg Lens which is a gradient index (GRIN) optical element with a radially varying refractive index: $$ n(\rho)=n_0\sqrt{2-\left(\frac{\rho}{R}\right)^2}, ...
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1answer
178 views

Quantization surface in QFT

What does the Quantization Surface mean here? Reference: H. Latal W. Schweiger (Eds.) - Methods of Quantization
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1answer
218 views

Hamiltonian from Euclidean lagrangian?

Can somebody help me in deriving the Hamiltonian of system starting from Euclidean Lagrangian? Say we are given the Minkowski Lagrangian $$L_m = \frac{\dot{\phi}^2}{2} - V(\phi).$$ The Hamiltonian ...
3
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1answer
235 views

Hamiltonian formulation of single particle in an electromagnetic field

Consider a charged particle in a static electromagnetic field. Suppose that the domain is simply connected so that the second law of Newton's dynamics reads: $$ ...
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6answers
658 views

What is Quantization?

In classical mechanics you construct an action (involving a Lagrangian in arbitrary generalized coordinates, a Hamiltonian in canonical coordinates [to make your EOM more "convenient & ...
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2answers
516 views

Special relativity and massless particles

I encountered an assertion that a massless particle moves with fundamental speed c, and this is the consequence of special relativity. Some authors (such as L. Okun) like to prove this assertion with ...
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votes
1answer
565 views

Deriving the Hamiltonian density for a free scalar field

I'm working through my old notes on QFT (cf. Ref 1) and I'm not quite sure how to approach the derivation of the Hamiltonian density for a free scalar field (question 2.3 on page 19) and the ...
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0answers
118 views

Single particle trajectory in a quadrupole potential

I am wondering if there are any studies of a single (classical) particle trajectory in quadrupole potential: $$ V(x,y,z)=A\sqrt[]{\frac{x^2 + y^2}{a} + \frac{z^2}{b}} $$
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3answers
331 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 ...
2
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1answer
193 views

Motivating the Legendre Transform Mathematically

If I begin with a functional of the form $$J[y] = \int_a^b f(x,y,y')dx$$ and find its Euler-Lagrange equations $$\frac{\partial f}{\partial y} - \frac{d}{dx}\frac{\partial f}{\partial y'} = 0 = ...
17
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1answer
600 views

Is general relativity holonomic?

Is it meaningful to ask whether general relativity is holonomic or nonholonomic, and if so, which is it? If not, then does the question become meaningful if, rather than the full dynamics of the ...
5
votes
1answer
402 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 ...
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5answers
3k views

What is canonical momentum?

What does the canonical momentum $\textbf{p}=m\textbf{v}+e\textbf{A}$ mean? Is it just momentum accounting for electromagnetic effects?
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1answer
427 views

Canonical transformation generated by hamiltonian?

Someone told me that, in a hamiltonian system, the hamilonian function is the generating function of the canonical transformation given by time translation. However, this statement doesn't make any ...
2
votes
4answers
389 views

Are Lagrangians and Hamiltonians used by Engineers?

Analytical Mechanics (Lagrangian and Hamiltonian) are useful in Physics (e.g. in Quantum Mechanics) but are they also used in application, by engineers? For example, are they used in designing bridges ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
188 views

Two components of angular momentum conserved $\Rightarrow $ All three components are conserved?

I was wondering whether it is correct to say that if two components of the angular momentum are conserved, then all three Cartesian coordinates of the angular momentum are conserved? I would regard ...
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1answer
124 views

Formulation of the uncertainty principle for a system?

There is a biological system that I can indeed describe by a simple quantum Hamiltonian $H$ having eigenstates $|q\rangle$ labelled by the numbers $q$, and having energies proportional to $f(q)$ - ...
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1answer
248 views

Why is $\{Q, P\} = 1$ for a canonical transformation?

Why is $\{Q, P\} = 1$ for a canonical transformation? Given $P(p,q)$ and $Q(p,q)$.
3
votes
2answers
211 views

A kind of Noether's theorem for the Hamiltonian

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 ...
7
votes
5answers
313 views

Why can't we obtain a Hamiltonian by substituting?

This question may sound a bit dumb. Why can't we obtain the Hamiltonian of a system simply by finding $\dot{q}$ in terms of $p$ and then evaluating the Lagrangian with $\dot{q} = \dot{q}(p)$? Wouldn't ...
4
votes
1answer
182 views

Does the Renormalization of QFT Contradict Canonical Quantization?

Does the renormalization of QFT contradict canonical quantization? In canonical quantization, you take the classical fields and canonical momenta and turn them into operators, and you require that ...
2
votes
2answers
219 views

Bertrand's theorem

I found in Goldstein's Classical Mechanics that the condition for closed orbits is given by $\frac{d^2 V_{eff}}{dr^2}>0$.(bertrand's theorem). Can somebody explain to me, how this inequality is ...
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0answers
114 views

How to understand the matrix behind a Hamiltonian?

thanks to the answers I received to my previous questions, I could derive correctly an elegant partition function for my problem which resembles a second quantized model taking the particles to be ...
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2answers
197 views

Is this a valid derivation of the Legendre transformation from the Euler-Lagrange condition

E-L condition: $$\frac{d p}{dt}=\frac{\partial L}{\partial q}$$ Where $p=\frac{\partial L}{\partial \dot{q}}$ Are the following steps valid: $$\frac{\partial q}{dt} dp=\partial L$$ $$\dot{q} \: ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How is a Hamiltonian constructed from a Lagrangian with a Legendre transform

many textbooks tell me that Hamiltonians are constructed from Lagrangians like $$L=L(q,\dot{q})$$ with a Legendre transformation to obtain the Hamiltonian as $$H=\dot{q}\frac{\partial L}{\partial ...
3
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0answers
187 views

The Hamiltonian for clocks?

I am rather a theoretician and looking for a formalism to represent biological clocks by Hermitian operators. The simplest thought model I am looking for is a formal representation of a clock (for ...
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1answer
192 views

Why do Lagrangians and Hamiltonians give the equations of motion? [duplicate]

I remember asking my second year Mechanics teacher about why do the Lagrangians give the equations of motion. His answer was that there is no answer to that, it is an empirical fact, and that asking ...
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0answers
55 views

Hamiltonian system: match transformations and constants of motion

I have a problem about the interpretation of an exercise. Given the following Hamiltonian $$H=\frac{\mathbf{p_0}^2}{2m}+\frac{\mathbf{p_1}^2}{2m}+\frac{\mathbf{p_2}^2}{2m}-2V(\mathbf{r_1}- ...
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0answers
84 views

A quicker way to verify that a function is a constant of motion?

I have three particles that we can indicate with $\alpha$ ($\alpha$=0,1,2), they are identified by the $r^i_\alpha$ coordinates and $p^\beta_j$ conjugata momenta ($\beta=0,1,2$ and $i,j=1,2,3$). I ...