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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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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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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195 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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94 views

Is symplectic form in Hamiltonian mechanics a physical quantity?

Is symplectic form $dp_i \wedge dq_i$ in Hamiltonian mechanics a physical quantity? It feels to me to be something different than say energy, momentum or mass. Like just certain structure. The real ...
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240 views

The relation between Hamiltonian and Energy

I know Hamiltonian can be energy and be a constant of motion if and only if: Lagrangian be time-independent, potential be independent of velocity, coordinate be time independent. Otherwise ...
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207 views

Meaning of a canonical transformation “preserving” a differential form?

In Chapter 9 of Arnold's Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics, we find the following definition: Let $g$ be a differentiable mapping of the phase space $\mathbb R^{2n}$ to $\mathbb R^{2n}$. ...
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Quantizing first-class constraints for open algebras: can Hermiticity and noncommutativity coexist?

An open algebra for a collection of first-class constraints, $G_a$, $a=1,\cdots, r$, is given by the Poisson bracket $\{ G_a, G_b \} = {f_{ab}}^c[\phi] G_c$ classically, where the structure constants ...
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211 views

Equivalence of classical and quantized equation of motion for a free field

Suppose a classical free field $\phi$ has a dynamic given in Poisson bracket form by $\partial_o\phi=\{H, \phi\}$. If we promote this field to an operator field, the dynamic after canonical ...
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Commutation for constraints

Suppose from the Hamiltonian I got the Primary constraints $$(\Phi_m,\Phi)$$ And $\dot \Phi_m$ , $\dot \Phi$ leads to secondary constraints $$(\gamma_m,\gamma)$$ respectively. Now if the commutation ...
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A question regarding particle trajectories in the symplectic manifold formalism

How to solve a free particle on a 2-sphere using symplectic manifold formalism of classical mechanics ? Is there a way to get coriolis effect directly, without going into Newton mechanics? And is ...
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182 views

Question on 1st order Lagrangian Derivation in Faddeev-Jackiw Formalism

I'm looking at this reference (sorry it's a postscript file, but I can't find a pdf version on the web. This paper describes a similar procedure). The topic is the Faddeev-Jackiw treatment of ...
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Hamiltonian Operator Interpretation of Quantum Anomaly

We can see the definition of quantum anomaly in terms of Lagrangian path integral formulation. What is the definition of quantum anomaly in terms of Hamiltonian operator approach or even more directly ...
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Optical Raytracing by using Adiabatic Hamiltonian Method

I'm looking into raytracing a L√ľneburg 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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Calculation of the non-Gaussity parameter for primordial cosmological perturbations by the ADM Formalism

Maldacena has used the ADM Formalism in one of his papers (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0210603) in computing the the three point correlation function (i.e the non-Gaussianity) parameter for ...
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Noether's theorem and “translations” of the Hamiltonian function

In a nutshell, Noether's theorem states that for every continuous symmetry a corresponding conserved quantity exists. Now, the Hamiltonian equations of motion (let's talk about a classical system ...
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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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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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585 views

Cyclic Coordinates in Hamiltonian Mechanics

I was reading up on Hamiltonian Mechanics and came across the following: If a generalized coordinate $q_j$ doesn't explicitly occur in the Hamiltonian, then $p_j$ is a constant of motion ...
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297 views

Hamiltonian Flow Map

I'm reading this article and am struggling with some of the terminology. What is the flow map for a Hamiltonian system? I'm looking for a rigorous definition really! Many thanks in advance.
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Hamiltonian constraint in spherical Friedmann cosmology

I'm taking a GR course, in which the instructor discussed the 'Hamiltonian constraint' of spherical Friedmann cosmology action. I'm not quite clear about the definition of 'Hamiltonian constraint' ...
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Factors of $c$ in the Hamiltonian for a charged particle in electromagnetic field

I've been looking for the Hamiltonian of a charged particle in an electromagnetic field, and I've found two slightly different expressions, which are as follows: $$H=\frac{1}{2m}(\vec{p}-q \vec{A})^2 ...
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299 views

Canonical transformation and Hamilton's equations

I was trying to prove, that for a transformation to be Canonical, one must have a relationship: $$ \left\{ Q_a,P_i \right\} = \delta_{ai} $$ Where $Q_a = Q_a(p_i,q_i)$ and $P_a = P_a(p_i,q_i)$. Now ...
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215 views

interpretation of $\{H,L^2\}$

In Hamiltonian mechanics, we show $\{H,L_z\}=0$, which can be interpreted as the conservation of angular momentum around $Oz$. Following the same idea, how can we interprete $\{H,L^2\}$? Is the ...
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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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Angular momentum conservation in a central field through the Hamiltonian

In my teacher's notes there is a discussion of the Hamiltonian for a central force field with potential $V(r)$. The Hamiltonian is formulated in spherical polar coordinates: ...
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Canonical transformations and conservation of energy

I have an important doubt about the nature of canonical transformations in hamiltonian mechanics. Suppose I have a one-degree-of-freedom lagrangian system, whose hamiltonian depends explicitly on ...
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560 views

Conjugate Variables and Fourier Transforms in Classical Physics

Let q be a generalized coordinate with a conjugate momentum p and a potential resulting in a periodic motion of q. What is the meaning of the Fourier transform of q(t) over its period? Can this be ...
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Multiple classical paths from Hamilton's principle

Previous posts such as this ask about types of stationary point in Hamilton's Principle. There is, however, another aspect to discuss: the question as to whether the extremal path is unique. One ...
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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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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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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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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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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-Gordon basis, so the conversion looks like: $$ \begin{align} ...
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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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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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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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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} \: ...
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907 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 ...
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168 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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Deriving equations of motion of polymer chain with Hamilton's equations

This is related to a question about a simple model of a polymer chain that I have asked yesterday. I have a Hamiltonian that is given as: $H = \sum\limits_{i=1}^N \frac{p_{\alpha_i}^2}{2m} + ...
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221 views

Eikonal approximation for wave optics. Why follow the unit vector parallel to the Pointing vector?

The description of the passage from wave optics to geometrical optics claims that light rays are the integral curves of a certain vector field (the Pointing vector direction, normalized to 1). Here ...
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Sudden change in the Hamiltonian

Could someone explain what this sentence mean? "If the Hamiltonian changes suddenly by a finite amount, the wavefunction must change continuously in order that the time-dependent Schrodinger equation ...
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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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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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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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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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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 ...