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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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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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 ...
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306 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 ...
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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 + ...
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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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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: $$F(r, t) = \frac{k}{r^2}e^{-at}$$ ...
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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} ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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)= ...
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Least Action Principle (Classical and Quantum Theory)

I) My first question would be "why should classical systems obey the principle of least action ?" When we find out the propagator in quantum physics, we find the amplitude to be equal to the sum over ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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Schroedinger equation. Why Potential energy instead of Force?

What is the reason Schroedinger equation is quoted in terms of potential energy instead of force?
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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 ...
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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}, ...
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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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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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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 ...
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Is the Hamiltonian conserved or not?

The question is the very last sentence at the end of this post. In this post, I'll first show that the Hamiltonian is conserved since it does not have explicit dependence on time and then show that ...
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Intuition about Momentum Maps

I'm studying Classical Mechanics and there is one object that appeared recently on the book I'm not being able to get a physical intuition about it. The mathematical definition goes as follows: Let ...
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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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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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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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Conservation of Hamiltonian vs Conservation of Energy

What is the difference between conservation of the Hamiltonian and conservation of energy?
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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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Find generating function $F_1$ for canonical trasformation

I'd like to know the steps to follow to find the generating function $F_1(q,Q)$ given a canonical transformation. For example, considering the transformation $$q=Q^{1/2}e^{-P}$$ $$p=Q^{1/2}e^P$$ ...
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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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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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How to describe time-shifts in Noether's theorem in Hamiltonian formalism

As was described in, for example, this post, one can formulate Noether's Theorem also in Hamiltonian Mechanics. Symmetries are then represented by vector fields generated by observables whose Poisson ...
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Volume as a choice of measure in phase space

For equilibrium systems, we expect the Liouville theorem to hold. This theorem states that the density function of the states of the system is a constant of motion, which in turn can be translated ...
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Canonical Commutation Relations in arbitrary Canonical Coordinates

If one were to formulate quantum mechanics in an arbitrary canonical coordinate system, does he impose canonical commutation relations using Dirac's recipe? ...
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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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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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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 ...