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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Can I take the partial derivative of the Lagrangian with respect to a constant?

I've got a system where I know that the derivative of one of the generalized coordinates is constant. So to find the Hamiltonian of the system I need to take the partial derivative with respect to ...
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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 ...
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Why aren't classical phase space distribution functions always delta functions?

The phase space distribution function (or phase space density) is supposed to be the probability density of finding a particle around a given phase space point. But, classically, through Hamilton's ...
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157 views

Schrödinger evolution for a Klein-Gordon equation

I have a problem with the transition from quantum relativistic wave equations (specifically Klein-Gordon equation) to QFT, since a lot of assumptions seem implicit. For example I have a problem with ...
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213 views

Conservation of Hamiltonian vs Conservation of Energy

What is the difference between conservation of the Hamiltonian and conservation of energy?
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161 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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214 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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591 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 ...
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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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237 views

Hamiltonian of polymer chain

I'm reading up on classical mechanics. In my book there is an example of a simple classical polymer model, which consists of N point particles that are connected by nearest neighbor harmonic ...
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579 views

ADM Hamiltonian formalism and Quantum gravity

is there a Hamiltonian reformultion of gravity ?=? if so if we use the usual Quantization scheme we can not we quantizy the gravity ?? in terms of a Gauge Theory with the potential $ A_{\mu}^{i} $ ...
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688 views

Expectation of a commutation relation

Is there any significance to: $\langle[H,\hat{O}]\rangle =0$ (which can easily be shown) where $H$ is the Hamiltonian, $\hat{O}$ is an arbitrary operator? Thanks.
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Hamilton's Principle - achieving Hamilton equations

Consider the action function: $$\mathcal{S}(t)=\int_{t_1}^{t_2}\mathcal{L}(q_i,\dot{q_i},t) dt$$ where $\mathcal{L}$ is the Lagrangian of the system. The Hamiltonian is defined by the following ...
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Can I Weyl-order the following Hamiltonian?

I am trying to perform a path integral but I am having trouble with the Weyl ordering of my Hamiltonian. The Lagrangian of the system in question is $$L~=~\frac{1}{2}f(q)\dot{q}^2,$$ where $f(q)$ ...
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Hamiltonian field equations constraints

Let's consider the Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L}~=~-\frac{1}{2}(\partial_\mu\phi^\nu)^2+\frac{1}{2}(\partial_\mu\phi^\mu)^2+\frac{1}{2}m^2\phi_\mu \phi^\mu,$$ with Minkowski metric $\eta_{\mu\nu}={\rm ...
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107 views

Lapse and shift in ADM decomposition

Poisson in Relativist's Toolkit and also other authors in various papers state explicitly that after one does the 3+1 decomposition, the lapse and shift $N$ and $N^a$ are non-dynamical variables, and ...
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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 ...
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559 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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Solution of motion in hamiltonian formalism

I have these canonical equations: $$\dot p = - \alpha pq$$ $$ \dot q =\frac{1}{2} \alpha q^2$$ I have to find $q(t)$ and p$(t)$, considering initial conditions $p_0$ and $q_0$. I thought to simply ...
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221 views

A good example of a nonlinear symplectomorphism?

What is a good example of a simple, physically useful nonlinear symplectomorphism $\kappa: \mathbb{R}^{2n} \rightarrow \mathbb{R}^{2n}$? I'm not much of a physicist, and all the examples I've worked ...
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498 views

Origins of the principle of least time in classical mechanics

Is it possible to derive the principle of least time from the principle of least action in lagrangian or hamiltonian mechanics? Or is Fermat's principle more fundamental than the principle of least ...
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569 views

Correct application of Laplacian Operator

Not a physicist, and I'm having trouble understanding how to apply the Laplacian-like operator described in this paper and the original. We let: $$ \hat{f}(x) = f(x) + \frac{\int H(x,y)\psi(y) ...
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66 views

Analytical mechanics with SR

Is there an analytical mechanics with SR? Of course you can write down the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian of a free particle. What about non-free? Are there any problems? To be specific: what would the ...
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120 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 ...
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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 ...
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111 views

Landau's Problem - Poisson bracks of a spherical symmetry function and angular momuntum in z axis

In landau's Mechanics, there's a problem: I think, if the function has the property spherical symmetry, or: $\phi(r,p)=\phi(-r,-p)$ The form suggested by Landau follows this property, but I can't ...
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Sympletic transformation and Hamiltonian function

Let's say that $x:=(p,q)$ is a trajectory in phase space and $$x'(t) = J \nabla H(x(t))$$ are Hamilton's equation of motion. Now I transform $F: M \rightarrow N, x \mapsto y(x)$ diffeomorphic to some ...
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152 views

Lagrangian to Hamiltonian

I'm having some problems with an assignment where I have to state the Hamiltonian from the kinetic energy $T$ and potential energy $U$. These are as follows: ...
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597 views

Quantum mechanical analogue of conjugate momentum

In classical mechanics, we define the concept of canonical momentum conjugate to a given generalised position coordinate. This quantity is the partial derivative of the Lagrangian of the system, with ...
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255 views

rate of change of spring potential energy $\frac{dU}{dt}$

Suppose we have a setup like this. In orange are two wooden sticks sort of things, and they are attached to the block of mass $m$(as usual) at a joint which is hinge type something. A similar ...
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Heisenberg evolution equation for $\hat{\phi}$

Consider quantum Hamiltonian of free massive scalar particle: $$\hat{H} = \int d^3x \left[\frac{1}{2} \hat{\pi}^2 (t, \vec{x}) + \frac{1}{2} \partial_i \hat{\phi}(t, \vec{x}) \partial_i \hat{\phi}(t, ...
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148 views

Does a constant of motion always imply a Hamiltonian formulation?

If a continuous dynamical system has a constant of motion that is a function of all its variables, and is not already evidently Hamiltonian, is it always possible to use a change of variables and ...
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471 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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Degeneracy and the Hamiltonian

How many linearly independent eigenfunctions can be associated with one degenerate eigenvalue of the Hamiltonian operator? (Is there a limit since it contains a 2nd order differential operator?) ...
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73 views

Canonical commutation relations in Light-cone gauge

It seems that when trying to identify the physical degrees of freedom for the string some authors$^1$ use: $$ q^-=\frac{1}{\ell}\int_0^{\ell} X^-(\tau,\sigma)d\sigma$$ Then, the commutation relation ...
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How does the Hamiltonian change when going to a moving frame?

The Hamiltonian of a free particle in a rotating frame is given by $$ H = H_0 - \omega \cdot J, $$ where $H_0$ is the Hamiltonian in the non-rotating frame, $\omega$ is the angular velocity of the ...
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Reduction of Nambu Goto action to true degrees of freedom

First consider the particle $$S=m\int\sqrt{-\dot{X}^2}d\tau$$ if you choose the static gauge $\tau=X^0$ and replace it in the action you get $$=m\int\sqrt{1-\dot{X}^j\dot{X}^j}d\tau$$ So now, you ...
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Books on Liouville Operator

I am looking for a good book doing classical mechanics and statistical mechanics in terms of the Liouville operator. I have not found a lot on this subject and even books like Mathematical Methods of ...
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61 views

When can an autonomous system be written using a Hamiltonian?

If I have an autonomous series of differential equations $$\tag{1} \frac{dx_i}{dt} ~=~ A_i(x_1,...,x_n)$$ with the condition that $$\tag{2} \sum_{i=1}^n\frac{\partial A_i}{\partial x_i}~=~0$$ in all ...
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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 ...
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Introducing time-dependent drive into the Hamiltonian of quantised electric circuits

Suppose I have the schematic of a superconducting electric circuit composed of (quasi) lossless linear inductances and capacitances and some non-linear inductances, eg. Josephson junctions. The ...
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104 views

Poisson brackets for constrained system

Let's have some Hamiltonian which involves the set of first class constraints $\varphi$ and set of constraints $\kappa $, which play role of canonical conjugated momentums for $\varphi$,. They're ...
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94 views

Why the involution condition is imposed in the definition of integrability?

For an $N$-degree-of-freedom system to be integrable, the usual definition imposes the existence of $N$ independent conserved quantities, which must be in involution to each other, i.e., $$\{ F_i, ...
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Proof of Liouville's theorem: Relation between phase space volume and probability distribution function

I understand the proof of Liouville's theorem to the point where we conclude that Hamiltonian flow in phase-space is volume preserving as we flow in the phase space. Meaning the total derivative of ...
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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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310 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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437 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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292 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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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 ...