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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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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492 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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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 ...
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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} ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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266 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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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: ...
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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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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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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 ...
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536 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 ...
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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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Quantization surface in QFT

What does the Quantization Surface mean here? Reference: H. Latal W. Schweiger (Eds.) - Methods of Quantization
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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196 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 = ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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1answer
207 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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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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Why is $\{Q, P\} = 1$ for a canonical transformation?

Why is $\{Q, P\} = 1$ for a canonical transformation? Given $P(p,q)$ and $Q(p,q)$.
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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 ...