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
262 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
183 views

Hamilton's equations from the action with boundary conditions involving position and momentum

Generally, when you are given the action $$ S=\int_{t_1}^{t_2}\mathrm dt (p\dot q - \mathcal H )$$ the boundary conditions are $q(t_1)=q_1$ and $q(t_2)=q_2$. This is useful because to calculate ...
3
votes
1answer
283 views

Geometric mechanics - Symplecticity

I am just trying to wade through literature on classical mechanics and I really don't know where to start, everything is Fibre bundle this or manifold that, and doesn't really ease you in to the ...
3
votes
1answer
182 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
399 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: $$ ...
3
votes
1answer
199 views

Area of phase space of Harmonic oscillator

We all know that the phase trajectory of an undamped linear harmonic oscillator is an ellipse. But when we calculate the area of the ellipse we find it does not depend of mass of the particle. Why is ...
3
votes
1answer
452 views

Finding action-angle variables

Given a 1 d.o.f Hamiltonian $H(q,p)$ what is the general procedure for finding action angle variables $(I, \theta)$? I have read the Wikipedia page on action angle variables and canonical transforms ...
3
votes
1answer
274 views

The Liouville equation and the BBGKY hierarchy.

The Liouville equation of motion is written in terms of an $N$ particle distribution $f_N$. \begin{equation} \frac{\partial f_N}{\partial t}=\{H,f_N\} \end{equation} Where $\{\cdot ,\cdot \}$ is the ...
3
votes
1answer
214 views

Planck's constant and phase space in quantum mechanics

During my undergrad physics classes, I've come across several seemingly related phenomena dealing with $h$ and phase space in quantum mechanics. Let $T_x$ be a translation operator by $x$ in ...
3
votes
1answer
180 views

Wrong sign anticommutation relation for the Dirac field?

Consider the Dirac Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L}=\psi ^{\dagger }\gamma ^{0}\left( \mathrm{i}\gamma ^{\rho }\partial _{\rho }-m\right) \psi .$$ The conjugate momenta to $\psi ^{a}$ are defined, as usual, ...
3
votes
1answer
270 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
995 views

Hamilton's characteristic and principle functions and separability

Just hoping for some clarity regarding Hamilton's characteristic function (W). When we take a time independent Hamiltonian we can separate the Principle function (S) up into the characteristic ...
3
votes
1answer
244 views

Hamiltonian for forced systems

I am trying to learn Hamiltonian mechanics. While many textbooks treat closed systems, I have a hard time finding references for forced systems. For example, if I consider simple systems of masses ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Independent canonical coordinate variables?

In Goldstein's Classical Mechanics (2nd ed.) on section 9-1 page 382, there is a discussion about finding a canonical transformation $(q_i,p_i)\rightarrow (Q_j(q_i,p_i,t),P_j(q_i,p_i,t))$ from a given ...
3
votes
1answer
45 views

Birkhoff Method for Harmonic Oscillator Perturbation

Problem: Given Hamiltonian $$H = \frac12 (p^{2}+q^{2})+q^{3}-3qp^{2}$$ make a perturbative canonical transformation $(q,p) \rightarrow (Q,P)$ such that the new Hamiltonian, apart from terms of degree ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
87 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
357 views

Quantum phase space

Classical phase space is defined as a space in which all possible states are represented. Every state corresponds to a unique point in the phase space. On the other hand, in quantum mechanics every ...
3
votes
1answer
189 views

The FRW universe is NOT asymptotically flat? Its mass?

The Friedman-Robertson-Walker (FRW) metric in the comoving coordinates $(t,r,\theta,\varphi)$ which describes a homogeneous and isotropic universe is $$ ds^2\,= -dt^2+\frac{a(t)^2}{1-kr^2}\,dr^2 + ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
340 views

Can I find a potential function in the usual way if the central field contains $t$ in its magnitude?

I'm working on a classical mechanics problem in which the problem states that a particle of mass $m$ moves in a central field of attractive force of magnitude: $$F(r, t) = \frac{k}{r^2}e^{-at}$$ ...
3
votes
2answers
307 views

Ordering Ambiguity in Quantum Hamiltonian

While dealing with General Sigma models (See e.g. Ref. 1) $$\tag{10.67} S ~=~ \frac{1}{2}\int \! dt ~g_{ij}(X) \dot{X^i} \dot{X^j}, $$ where the Riemann metric can be expanded as, $$\tag{10.68} ...
3
votes
2answers
403 views

Elimination of velocities from momenta equations for singular Lagrangian

this doubt is related to Generalized Hamiltonian Dynamics paper by Dirac. Consider the set of $n$ equations : $p_i$ = $∂L/∂v_i$, (where $v_i$ is $q_i$(dot) = $dq_i/dt$, or time derivative of ...
3
votes
2answers
347 views

Hamilton's equations in terms of initial conditions

I'm trying to understand the way that Hamilton's equations have been written in this paper. It looks very similar to the usual vector/matrix form of Hamilton's equations, but there is a difference. ...
3
votes
1answer
169 views

Relationship of symplectic group (Hamiltonian structure) to unitary group in quantum mechanics?

Wikipedia claims here that the 2 out of 3 property is the following relationship between unitary, orthogonal, symplectic, and general linear complex groups: $U(n)=Sp(2n,R)∩O(2n)∩GL(n,C)$ Intuitively ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

Fermionic Poisson bracket

I'd like to understand the Poisson bracket for fermions in classical field theory defined on a cylinder (with coordinates $(t,x)$, $x$ being the compact direction) and propagating on $T^n$ with ...
3
votes
1answer
318 views

Mean field theory Weiss Approximation for the Isling Model of a Protein

A model for protein in 2D can be formed by adding bonds of fixed length $l\sqrt{2}$ on a square lattice along the diagonal, ie $\hat{\mathbf{b}}_i=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}(\pm \hat{\mathbf{x}}\pm ...
3
votes
1answer
72 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
135 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
265 views

Is Hamilton-Jacobi equation valid for only conserved systems?

From derivation of Hamilton-Jacobi (HJ) equation one can see that it is only applicable for conserved systems, but from some books and Wikipedia one reads the HJ equation as ...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

Abstract, generic derivations of energy

How generic can be derivation of energy? In a system with gravity and masses – it is potential energy and kinetic energy. What if a constraint would be specified that no mass and velocity should be ...
3
votes
0answers
63 views

How do I obtain the SUSY Transformations from Poisson Brackets?

In Friedman's and Van Proyen's Supergravity textbook it is explained how one can get the supersymmetry transformations using the conserved currents. Specifically this is in section 6 where we are ...
3
votes
1answer
207 views

Deriving the Poisson bracket relation of the Ashtekar variables

I'm trying to figure out how to calculate the orthogonality of Ashtekar variables with respect to the ADM hypersurface metric and conjugate momentum. $$\{{A_a}^i(x), {E^b}_j(y)\} = 8 \pi \beta ...
3
votes
0answers
138 views

What variable is the conjugate momentum for angular momentum?

From the definition of conjugate momentum for a generalized coordinate we get that the conjugate for angular momentum should be proportonal to its integral with respect to time. According to my ...
3
votes
0answers
54 views

Time evolution of a classical system [closed]

For a harmonic oscillator the Liouville operator is given by $$L = p \partial_q- q \partial_p.$$ Now I have a phase space distribution $f(t,q,p)$ for which it holds (in general) $$f(t+\tau,q,p)= ...
3
votes
1answer
928 views

Hamiltonian Noether's theorem in classical mechanics [duplicate]

How does one think about, and apply, Noether's theorem in the classical mechanical Hamiltonian formalism? From the Lagrangian perspective, Noether's theorem (in 1-D) states that the quantity ...
3
votes
0answers
2k views

Show that the Laplace-Runge-Lenz vector is conserved using poisson brackets

(I realise similar Phys.SE questions already exist but there is no answer with the Poisson bracket notation, I'll take this down if someone lets me know I should have commented in the existing ...
3
votes
2answers
168 views

Constant of motion

An exercise from Goldstein (9.31-3rd Ed) asks to show that for a one-dimensional harmonic oscillator $u(q,p,t)$ is a constant of motion where $$ u(q,p,t)=\ln(p+im\omega q)-i\omega t $$ and ...
3
votes
0answers
103 views

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 ...
3
votes
0answers
135 views

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: ...
3
votes
0answers
163 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
567 views

Gradient involved commutator in $\phi^4$ theory

In a phi fourth theory, the Hamiltonian density is: $$\mathcal{H}=\frac{1}{2}\pi^2+\frac{1}{2}(\nabla \phi)^2+\frac{1}{2}m^2\phi^2+\frac{\lambda}{4!}\phi^4$$ Now I impose the usual equal time ...
2
votes
2answers
218 views

How to find the rank of the matrix $\frac{\partial ^2\mathcal{L}}{\partial \dot{X^\mu} \partial \dot{X^\nu} }$ for the Nambu-Goto string Lagrangian?

In this case $$\mathcal{L}~=~-T\sqrt{-\dot{X^2}X'^2+(\dot{X}\cdot X')^2}.$$ I was reading some books and papers about the constraints in the Nambu-Goto action, and all of them say something like ...
2
votes
2answers
230 views

Schroedinger equation. Why Potential energy instead of Force?

What is the reason Schroedinger equation is quoted in terms of potential energy instead of force?
2
votes
2answers
285 views

Why is it important that Hamilton's equations have the four symplectic properties and what do they mean?

The symplectic properties are: time invariance conservation of energy the element of phase space volume is invariant to coordinate transformations the volume the phase space element is invariant ...
2
votes
2answers
251 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
249 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 = ...
2
votes
1answer
773 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 ...