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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Lagrangian/Hamiltonian mechanics at high school?

Has anyone developed an approach to teaching mechanics based on Lagrangian/Hamiltonian mechanics from the ground up. I mean from high school on up. This is akin to explicitly not talking about ...
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Vanishing of conjugate momentum $\Pi^0$ and non-existence of propagator

We know that if we try to quantize the free electromagnetic field without a gauge fixing term added to the Lagrangian, then one of the conjugate momentum density $\Pi^0$ vanishes. We also find that ...
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Which of the Physics textbooks would you recommend I read this quarter (Analytical Mechanics)? [duplicate]

My Analytical Mechanics class this quarter has one required textbook: "Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems" by Thornton & Marion and three recommended readings: "Mechanics" by Landau ...
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Momentum is a cotangent vector?

Imagine we have a particle described by $x \in M$, where $M$ is some manifold, then it is very intuitive I think that a velocity is an element of the tangent space at $x$, so $x' \in T_{x}M.$ Thus, by ...
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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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What is the physical interpretation of the Poisson bracket [duplicate]

Apologies if this is a really basic question, but what is the physical interpretation of the Poisson bracket in classical mechanics? In particular, how should one interpret the relation between the ...
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Non-relativistic QFT Lagrangian for fermions

Take the ordinary Hamiltonian from non-relativistic quantum mechanics expressed in terms of the fermi fields $\psi(\mathbf{x})$ and $\psi^\dagger(\mathbf{x})$ (as derived, for example, by A. L. Fetter ...
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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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Hamiltonian Noether's theorem in classical mechanics

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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Hamiltonian linearly proportional to momentum

In this question, it is discussed why, in Lagrangians we usually stick to first derivatives and quadratic terms we never see higher derivatives. The selected answer shows that, if a Lagrangian $L(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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Phase space Lagrangian?

Reading out of this lecture series we define a phase space Lagrangian $\mathcal L$ to be a function of $4n+1$ variables namely $q,\dot q,p,\dot p,t$. My question is, what space is this function ...
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Integrability in classical mechanics

An integrable system in classical mechanics is defined by action-angle variables and closed loop trajectories in phase space. I have also heard that the flow lines of an integrable system are ...
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Path integral in quantum mechanics

I am confused by the derivation in Srednicki QFT's chapter 6 from (6.8) to (6.9). In (6.8), we have $$<q'',t''|q',t'>~=~\int DqDp \exp[i\int_{t'}^{t''}dt(p\dot{q}-H(p,q))],\tag{6.8}$$ and ...
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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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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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When to use Hamiltonian vs Lagrangian?

I currently studying the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalisms in classical mechanics, but something I'm not seeing is how do I know which one to use in a given problem? After I find the Lagrangian, ...
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Proof of the conservation of the energy functional for the Gross-Pitaevskii equation?

From the Gross-Pitaevskii equation \begin{equation}i\hbar\frac{\partial\psi}{\partial t}=\left(-\frac{\hbar^2}{2m}\nabla^2+V+g|\psi|^2\right)\psi\end{equation} using the variational relation ...
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Spacetime in Loop quantum gravity

In LQG, does spacetime consist of interconnected loops? Are those loops real? If spacetime does not consist of the aforementioned loops, what it consists of?
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Is it possible to formulate a Hamiltonian for a damped system?

I recently found out that it is possible to formulate a Hamiltonian for a system with time-dependent coordinates such that the Hamiltonian is not the same as the energy When is the Hamiltonian of a ...
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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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Metric and the Lagrangian [duplicate]

Does the Lagrangian formalism require a metric on the configuration manifold $Q$ in order to define a Lagrangian $L$ on the tangent bundle $TQ$? Further, if we specify a metric on the tangent bundle ...
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Formulating a symplectic integrator for a non-local Hamiltonian

I recently asked two questions, Q. [1] and Q. [2], regarding reformulating non-local Lagrangians as Hamiltonians. In these questions, the Hamiltonian is formulated as an integral because of it's ...
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Legendre transform for non-local Lagrangians, or Hamiltonian of non-local Lagrangian and their properties

This is sort of a multi-part question, mostly dealing with how to treat non-local Hamiltonians and how the corresponding properties of Hamiltonians work in a non-local framework. I proposed an example ...
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An inconsistency in Hamiltonian formulation for non-local Lagrangian: what am I doing wrong?

This question is based on a previous question I asked, Q. [1] In this question, I proposed an example of a non-local Lagrangian (functional), I'm revisiting it here: $$\mathbb{L}=\frac{1}{2}\int^t_0 ...
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Geometry of Hamilton-Jacobi Equation

I'm trying to understand the geometry of the Hamilton-Jacobi equation (working from Gelfand + Fomin), but I'm stuck. I know that: If we define the function $S(t,y;t_0, y_0)$ as: $$S(t,y;t_0,y_0) = ...
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Hamiltonian reduction having constant of the motion

I have this $2^n*2^n$ matrix that represent the evolution of a system of $n$ spin. I know that I can have only one excited spin in my configuration a time. (eg: 0110 nor 0101 ar not permitted, but ...
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How to calculate the Hamiltonian from the Lagrangian for a non-relativistic charged point particle in an EM field?

I was given the equation of the Lagrangian: \begin{equation} L~=~\frac{1}{2}m \dot{x}^2+\frac{e}{c}\vec{\dot{x}}\cdot \vec{A}(\vec{x},t)-e\phi (\vec{x},t). \end{equation} I proceeded to use the ...
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Is general relativity holonomic?

Is it meaningful to ask whether general relativity is holonomic or nonholonomic, and if so, which is it? If not, then does the question become meaningful if, rather than the full dynamics of the ...
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Dimension agreement in canonical transformation

In this Physics.SE post, there is a transformation: $$Q = q,$$ $$P = \sqrt{p} - \sqrt{q}.$$ for Hamiltonian $H = \frac{p^2}{2}$. The post discusses the validity of this transformation as a canonical ...
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Help needed in finding the integral curves given by orbits of one-parameter groups

Equip $\mathbb{R}^2$ with standard symplectic structure and inner product. Consider a Hamiltonian $$H=(x,y)A(x,y)^t.$$ I have to determine orbits of one-parameter groups acting by isometries of ...
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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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Hamiltonian from a Lagrangian with constraints?

Let's say I have the Lagrangian: $$L=T-V.$$ Along with the constraint that $$f\equiv f(\vec q,t)=0.$$ We can then write: $$L'=T-V+\lambda f. $$ What is my Hamiltonian now? Is it $$H'=\dot q_i p_i ...
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Definition of a “variable” in a Hamiltonian? [closed]

What does this mean $c^+c$ when included in a Hamiltonian? I saw it in a Hamiltonian with Sigma Notation and I want to know what it means. Or is its definition specific to the given Hamiltonian?
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Does the additivity property of Integrals of motion and Lagrangians valid in all situations?

I would like to know if the additivity property of an integral (constant) of motion valid in all situations ? It works for energy but does it work for all other integrals of motion in all kinds of ...
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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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Dirac equation as Hamiltonian system

Let us consider Dirac equation $$(i\gamma^\mu\partial_\mu -m)\psi ~=~0$$ as a classical field equation. Is it possible to introduce Poisson bracket on the space of spinors $\psi$ in such a way that ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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1answer
36 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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: ...