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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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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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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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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Why the Hamiltonian and the Lagrangian are used interchangeably in QFT perturbation calculations

Whenever one needs to calculate correlation functions in QFT using perturbations one encounters the following expression: $\langle 0| some\ operators \times \exp(iS_{(t)}) |0\rangle$ where, ...
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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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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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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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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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598 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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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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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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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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223 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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502 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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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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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 ...
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What is the utility of ADM decomposition of the space-time metric?

I know it's one of the possibility of quantization of gravitational field's degree of freedom but it is introduced also in other situation. My question is which is the powerful of this kind of ...
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Do time-invariant Hamiltonians define closed systems?

In classical mechanics, every time-invariant Hamiltonian represents a closed dynamical system? Can every closed dynamical system be represented as a time-invariant Hamiltonian? Or are there closed ...
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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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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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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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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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610 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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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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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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479 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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78 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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What is the meaning of commuting Hamiltonians?

I have two quantum mechanical Hamiltonians such that \begin{equation} [\hat{H}_1,\hat{H}_2] = 0, \end{equation} where $\hat{H}_1$ and $\hat{H}_2$ act on the same set of states. What is there to ...
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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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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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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, ...