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)

3
votes
2answers
84 views

Why does choosing a time break covariance?

I'm reading that in EM theory, in hamiltonian formalism, we choose a specific reference frame with a specific time, and that this breaks covariance. Why? Surely it's simple because it's just stated ...
0
votes
1answer
143 views

Simple explanation of first and second class constraints with an example

Can someone give a simple physical example of first class and second class constraints? I mean, if you were giving a classical mechanics lecture for undergraduates, how would you explain this concept ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

Hamilton-Jacobi theory and initial value problem?

Having read through some recent posts regarding the Lagrangian formulation being interpreted into an initial value problem rather than the familiar boundary condition problem we are familiar with, I ...
0
votes
2answers
108 views

Interaction Hamiltonian in the interaction picutre

The Schrodinger and Heisenberg pictures make sense to me. But the interaction picture which is a hybrid of the two does not. Author of this text first splits the Hamiltonian up as ...
6
votes
2answers
393 views

Does the $\frac12mv^2$ law apply to quantum mechanics?

Consider the classical Hamiltonian for a spring: \begin{equation} H = \frac{1}{2}\frac{p^2}{m} + \frac{1}{2}kx^2 \end{equation} This is one of those simple cases where when you work out the math we ...
3
votes
2answers
225 views

Symplectic geometry in thermodynamics

There seems to be analogues between Hamiltonian dynamics and thermodynamics given the Legendre transforms between Lagrangian and Hamiltonian functions and all of Maxwell's relations. Poincarè tried to ...
0
votes
3answers
155 views

Energy of system in eigenstate of Hamiltonian

I know how to find the spectrum of the Hamiltonian to get the allowed energies for a system. If the spectrum is quantized, I can get definite values for each energy level. But when the system is in ...
2
votes
2answers
215 views

Hamiltonian mechanics really useful for numerical integration? Lagrangian can become 1st-order

(I'm talking about the classical mechanics.) Many texts say that Euler-Lagrange equations are difficult to treat numerically because they are second-order ODEs, ${f_i(\boldsymbol{q, \dot{q}, ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Separability of Hamilton Jacobi Equation

When we talk about integrability of classical systems in terms of Hamiltonian or Lagrangian mechanics, it's all to do with counting independent conserved quantities. Then when we move to the ...
4
votes
1answer
455 views

How to formulate variational principles (Lagrangian/Hamiltonian) for nonlinear, dissipative or initial value problems?

Although this questions is very much math related, I posted it in Physics since it is related to variational (Lagrangian/Hamiltonian) principles for dynamical systems. If I should migrate this ...
1
vote
4answers
346 views

Help understanding what the Hamiltonian signifies for the action compared with the Euler-Lagrange equations for the Lagrangian?

Consider the Lagrangian for a simple harmonic oscillator \begin{equation} L (x,\dot{x}) = \frac{1}{2}m\dot{x}^2 - \frac{1}{2}kx^2 \end{equation} Obviously we have \begin{align} \frac{\partial ...
4
votes
1answer
127 views

Quantization of a free field: Klein-Gordon case

I am a beginner and reading this course text on QFT. The author first introduces the KG equation: $$\partial_\mu\partial^{\mu}\phi+m^2\phi=0$$ [with Minkowski signature $(+,-,-,-)$]. Then the ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

What justification is necessary for convolutional variational principles to be considered legitimate?

I recently asked a related question and was interested in why/or why we cannot use convolutional variational principles in practice or in theory. Summarizing the points I made in the earlier post: ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

Why are functional representations of systems important in physics or computational physics?

This was an addendum to a previous question I asked, but I figured I should make it it's own discussion. Assuming I am able derive a functional representation for any dynamical system (dissipative, ...
6
votes
2answers
231 views

Can the momentum eigenstates be non-orthogonal?

Consider the Hilbert space of a particle, whose position domain is confined to $q\in[0,1]$ (e.g. a particle in a box with unit width). Using $$ 1=\int_0 ^1 dq |q\rangle\langle q| $$ and the position ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Symplectic structure and isomorphisms

In his book Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics, V.I. Arnold writes To each vector $\xi$, tangent to a symplectic manifold $(M^{2n},\omega^2)$ at the point $\mathbf{x}$, we associate a ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

Alternative formulations of Lagrangians and Hamiltonian? [closed]

We have the Hamiltonian, a concept that was based on trajectories being used extensively in General Relativity, Electromagnetism, Quantum Mechanics, Classical Physics and lot more. Where we use the ...
6
votes
3answers
671 views

Analogue of Princeton Companion to Mathematics for Physics?

I would like to know if there are compendiums much like the Princeton Companion to Mathematics for physics (especially classical physics: fluid mechanics, elasticity theory, Hamiltonian formalism of ...
4
votes
3answers
213 views

About constraints of the first class and electrodynamics

Consider a theory in the Hamiltonian formalism and assume that it has constraints between canonical variables $Q, \pi$. By the Dirac terminology, the set of constraints $F_{a}(Q, \pi) \approx 0$ of ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Understanding Poisson brackets

In quantum mechanics, when two observables commute, it implies that the two can be measured simultaneously without perturbing each other's measurement results. Or in other words, the uncertainty in ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Infinitesimal transformations and Poisson brackets [duplicate]

I want to understand how bracket operations in general are related to symmetry and infinitesimal transformations (in hindsight of quantumfieldtheory), so I calculated an example with a particle that ...
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
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Lagrangian of Schrodinger field

The usual Schrodinger Lagrangian is $$ \tag 1 i(\psi^{*}\partial_{t}\psi ) + \frac{1}{2m} \psi^{*}(\nabla^2)\psi, $$ which gives the correct equations of motion, with conjugate momentum for $\psi^{*}$ ...
2
votes
1answer
173 views

Given a QFT Hamiltonian, is there a unique Lagrangian?

Consider a QFT in one spatial dimension specified by the following Hamiltonian density: $\mathcal{H} = -i \phi^\dagger \frac{\partial}{\partial x} \phi + V(\phi^\dagger,\phi)$ where $\phi$ is a ...
1
vote
1answer
280 views

What is “momentum density” and why it important to QFT?

I am reading Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur. On page 98, they provide a summary of a basic canonical quantization procedure: Step I: Write down a classical Lagrangian density in ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Transformation of $q_k$ and $p_k$ from invariance of Hamiltonian

This is a step in Nakahara's Geometry, Topology and Physics, 2nd edition, 2003, on pages 7-8: Given that $q_k ' = q_k +\epsilon f_k(q)$, we have that $$\Lambda_{ij} = \frac{\partial q_i'}{\partial ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Is Liouville's theorem valid for dimensionally restricted systems?

Liouville's theorem states that the phase space volume of a system is conserved over time. Intuitively, this seems to imply that if a system is at some time constrained to, say, a curve in phase ...
1
vote
1answer
198 views

Lapse function definition

Let $t$ be a time function and $t^a$ the time flow vector such that $t^a\nabla_a t=0$. Let $\Sigma_t$ be a hypersurface of constant $t$ with unit normal $n^a$, $n^a n_a=-1$. Wald (1984), p. 255 ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

conservation of volume in phase space

I was reading through a proof of Liouville's theorem on conservation of volume in phase space from David Tong's lecture notes (Chapter 4: "Hamiltonian formalism") and on page 89 it says that ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

Conservation of probability in phase space flow

In J.Binney's notes on classical mechanics, under the section 'Liouville's theorem', he states that (paraphrasing): the conservation of probability requires that $\frac{df}{dt} = 0.$ where $f$ ...
2
votes
2answers
283 views

Derivation of (2.45) in Peskin and Schroeder

I'm having trouble understanding the step $$\left[\pi (\vec{x},t),\int d^{3}y ~(\frac{1}{2} \pi (\vec{y},t)^{2}+\frac{1}{2}\phi (\vec{y},t)(-\nabla^{2} +m^{2})\phi (\vec{y},t)) \right]$$ $$ =\int ...
9
votes
2answers
243 views

Is there a mathematical reason for the Lagrangian to be Lorentz invariant?

The Hamiltonian is the energy, which is just one component of a four-vector and therefore not Lorentz invariant. The Lagrangian is the Legendre transform of the Hamiltonian and I was wondering if ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

What are the necessary/sufficient conditions for a system to be Hamiltonian/non-Hamiltonian?

I searched for a definition of Hamiltonian system on Huang and Tuckerman text but have not found anything precise. So intuitively I suppose: Hamiltonian system= a system which admits a complete ...
1
vote
3answers
640 views

Prerequisites for classical mechanics by Susskind

So I am an undergraduate in Electrical Engineering. We had a course on Physics in our freshman year which is equivalent to Classical Mechanics I as taught in MIT. I am interested in studying advanced ...
0
votes
0answers
70 views

Canonical transformation from Hamiltonian without external source to Hamiltonian with external source

Let a system with time-independent Hamiltonian, $H_0(q,p)$ be subjected to an external oscillating field $E_0\sin(wt)$, so that the Hamiltonian becomes $H=H_0(q,p)-qE_0\sin(wt)$. Find a canonical ...
0
votes
2answers
365 views

Derive the generating function for canonical transformation of type $F_3$

I'm working on some practice questions and I am a bit confused with this one: Generating functions of the type $F_1(q,Q)$ satisfy the condition: $$pdq-PdQ = dF_1$$ Starting from this condition ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

If $(q,p)$ to $(Q,P)$ is a canonical transformation, then does this imply $(Q,P)$ to $(q,p)$ is also?

If $(q,p)$ to $(Q,P)$ is a canonical transformation, then does this imply $(Q,P)$ to $(q,p)$ is also, assuming Hamilton's equations hold for the coordinates $(q,p)$? This seems like it should be true ...
2
votes
0answers
187 views

Ostrogradski’s theorem's proof

I am looking for a proof of the next theorem: "If the higher order time derivative Lagrangian is non-degenerate, there is at least one linear instability in the Hamiltonian of this system." Where ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Determining the geometry of the phase space of a system [closed]

How do we check the geometry of the phase space ? I mean in classical mechanics we use position and conjugate momenta as a space of all possible states of the particle. How do we know that this phase ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

In a rigid rotor, are there “elegant” orientation coordinates that are conjugate to angular momenta?

I just was looking at the big bag-of-math wikipedia article on rigid rotors, and the section on the Hamiltonian form bugs me a bit since they are using Euler angles to represent the orientation. As a ...
1
vote
1answer
140 views

Noise spectrum of two systems and interacting Hamiltonian

I've been discovering recently the concept of noise spectrum, defined as: $$S_{xx}[\omega] = \int dt \langle x(t)x(0)\rangle \text{e}^{-i\omega t}$$ Roughly the Fourrier transform of the two-point ...
0
votes
3answers
92 views

Quantization conditions/ Real Scalar field

It is often written in books, the quantization conditions for classical field theory leading to Lagrangian of a real scalar field and thus to Klein Gordon equation. And these are introduced by ...
3
votes
2answers
130 views

Hamiltonian for a Lagrangian with coupling

I am dealing with the following Lagrangian density $$\mathscr{L}_{em}= -\frac{1}{2}\rho\omega^2 u^2 +\frac{1}{2}\nabla u:\Sigma :\nabla ...
8
votes
2answers
648 views

Any good resources for Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Dynamics?

I'm taking a course on Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Dynamics, and I would like to find a good book/resource with lots of practice questions and answers on either or both topics. So far at my university ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

Practical Book on Hamiltonian and Lagrangians? [duplicate]

Are there any terse, accessible books that are geared specifically at learning these two formalisms and how to effectively use them? So far I've only see either topic introduced as a part of another ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

Constant quantity associated to symmetry [closed]

I'm attending a subject in theoretical mechanics and we saw this fact that bugged me a little. It's by the way referenced in: John R Cary, Lie transform perturbation theory for Hamiltonian ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Symplectic notation proof?

Hello I am trying to work through a little proof of the symplectic condition for Hamilton's equations for a classical mechanics course. I am trying to understand the meaning of the relation ...
4
votes
1answer
806 views

Hamilton-Jacobi equation with time dependent Hamiltonian

I was struggling with this exercise about Hamilton-Jacobi equation. I have to solve by menas of Hamilton's principal function the system with Hamiltonian: $$\tag{1} H=\frac{p^2}{2m}-mAtx $$ with $A$ ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Connection between Poisson Brackets and Symplectic Form

Jose and Saletan say the matrix elements of the Poisson Brackets (PB) in the $ {q,p} $ basis are the same as those of the inverse of the symplectic matrix $ \Omega^{-1} $, whereas the matrix elements ...
2
votes
2answers
370 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 ...