For questions involving the Lagrangian formulation of a dynamical system. Namely, the application of an action principle to a suitably chosen Lagrangian or Lagrangian Density in order to obtain the equations of motion of the system.

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23 views

Obtaining momentum operator $P^\mu$ from Lagrangian and energy-momentum tensor $T^{\mu\nu}$

I am pretty new to quantum field theory. Given the Lagrangian density, $$ \mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2} ( \partial_\mu \phi ) ( \partial^\mu \phi ) - \frac{1}{2} m^2 \phi^2 $$ and its energy-momentum ...
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1answer
113 views

Why do we need spontaneous symmetry breaking in Lagrangian formalism?

I have always struggled with the concept of spontaneous symmetry breaking. It seems to me that many others don't find it very intuitive as well, but that could be just me having difficulties with the ...
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1answer
42 views

Lagrangian for second-order system

Given an $n$-dimensional second-order system $$\ddot q^i-\sum_{j=1}^n A^i_j\dot q^j=0,$$ where $A$ is a constant matrix, is it possible to find a Lagrangian such that the above equation is the ...
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1answer
42 views

Coupled wheel and rod (analytical mechanics)

I am struggling with formulating the equations of motion. Consider a coordinate system with origin in $O$ ($y$ upwards and $x$ to the right), label the center of mass of rod $AB$ with $G$ then: ...
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1answer
35 views

Rotational KE in double pendulum

Why the Rotational Kinetic Energy term for the point mass of Kinetic Energy for double pendulum is not included in Lagrangian equation? \begin{align} ...
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2answers
94 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 ...
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1answer
46 views

How one can know the gauge field emerging from the local gauge invariance is actually the EM field? [closed]

How one can know the gauge field emerging from the local gauge invariance is actually the EM field? I understood in a simple scalar field whose Lagrangian is given by $ \mathcal{L} = ...
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2answers
87 views

How would gravitons couple to the Stress-Energy tensor?

How would gravitons couple to the Stress-Energy tensor $T^{\mu\nu}$? How did physicists arrive at this result? I've read that it follows from the analysis of irreducible representations of the ...
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1answer
43 views

Practical Book on Hamiltonian and Lagrangians? [duplicate]

Are there any terse, accessible books that are geared specifically at learning these two formalisms and how to effectively use them? So far I've only see either topic introduced as a part of another ...
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1answer
80 views

Total divergence term and corresponding Feynman Diagram

A total divergence term added to the Lagrangian doesn’t affect the action because the integral of a total divergence vanishes. But if one attempts to derive the Feynman rules from the Lagrangian with ...
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0answers
48 views

Euler-Lagrange equation (equation of motion) solution with hairy Lagrangian [closed]

I'm going through Zwiebach Chapter 6 on relativistic strings to try to solve a similar problem. I got all the way to my equation of motion \begin{eqnarray*} \delta S & = & [ p' \delta ...
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1answer
39 views

Is the weak interaction Lagrangian invariant under parity transformations?

The weak interaction term in the Lagrangian reads $$ \bar \Psi \gamma_\mu P_L \Psi W^\mu. $$ Under parity transformations, because of $\Psi \rightarrow \gamma_0 \Psi$ and $\gamma_5 \rightarrow ...
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2answers
27 views

Modeling external forces in Lagrangian dynamics

For example, consider a system with a block on a flat, frictionless surface. On one side is a spring connecting the block to a wall. On the other side, a person's hand is pushing the block towards the ...
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1answer
56 views

Intuition behind Hamilton's Variational Principle

Background: I am an upper level undergraduate physics student who just completed a course in classical mechanics, concluding with Lagrangian Mechanics and Hamilton's Variational Principle. My ...
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0answers
50 views

Why is electric charge the conserved quantity corresponding to global $U(1)$ symmetry? [duplicate]

An example of a symmetry transformation for certain Lagrangians (notably the canonical complex scalar field Lagrangian) is multiplication of the fields by a complex phase. When we multiply the fields ...
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1answer
73 views

Is there an error in Susskinds' derivation of Euler-Lagrange equations?

http://imgur.com/kZO5C0V First, I believe there is a trivial error. The second equation should have another $\Delta t$ multiplying everything on the right. It is divided out later when the equation ...
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25 views

Equilibrium Points in Lagrangian Mechanics

Suppose we have a one particle system with generalized coordinates $q_i$. In classical mechanics, the corresponding Lagrangian is $L = T - V$. Assume $V(q)$ is time-independent. What additional ...
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2answers
130 views

Mass particle trajectory on a sphere

So, I am trying to simulate mass particle motion on the outer surface of sphere using cartesian coordinates. Let's conclude just a gravity and frictionless movement. Sphere $x^2 + y^2 + z^2 = 1$, ...
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1answer
64 views

Origin of momentum. Noether's theorem

My professor talked about Noether's theorem and how translation is the origin of momentum conservation. But why is it not velocity that is conserved but mass times velocity. And on the same note why ...
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0answers
24 views

Maxwell Lagrangian at weak fields

In http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9506035 the authors said after writing this equation: $$\frac{1}{4}\eta^{\mu\nu\lambda\rho} F_{\mu\nu}F_{\lambda\rho} = \eta_{\sigma\tau\alpha\beta}\frac{\partial ...
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2answers
34 views

What are the end points in the action integral of field theory?

In the mechanics of particles when we apply the principle of the least action the two end points are two spatial coordinates. Therefore, if we consider the variation of the action with respect to the ...
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0answers
40 views

Is there a method to obtain a Lagrangian from the equations of motion? [duplicate]

From the standpoint of the mathematical framework behind Lagrangians and their corresponding action, is there a method to invert the process? If not, is this an open question or is there some aspect ...
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1answer
42 views

Separation of variables (integration)

If $u=\frac{1}{2} E^2$ and $ v=\frac{1}{2}B^2$ and we have that $$\frac{\partial L}{\partial u} \frac{\partial L}{\partial v} = -1$$ The author says: to obtain explicit solution of the above, ...
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43 views

State space equation for spring pendulum

Let's say we have a spring pendulum, where the spring itself is massless, and there is no damping at the hinge. That is, the only things we are concerned about are the forces applied by the spring and ...
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1answer
47 views

Three masses on a circle connected by spring

How would I go about finding the normal modes of three masses on a circular hoop, with springs connecting them across the circle, in a triangle (assume the spring constants and masses are the same). I ...
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1answer
70 views

Is there a mathematical reason that the Lagrangian is Lorentz invariant?

The Hamiltonian is directly related to the energy, which is just one component of a four-vector and therefore not Lorentz invariant. The Lagrangian is the Legendre transform of the Hamiltonian and I ...
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1answer
28 views

Is the movement of a projectile in 2D a Holonomic system? [closed]

Is the well known problem of the movement of a projectile, no friction, in two dimensions a holonomic system? If yes.. Why? If Not.. Why?
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1answer
74 views

Electric Magnetic duality

In this paper http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9705122 Section 2 We have $$S_A = \frac{1}{4g^2} \int{d^4x F_{\mu\nu}(A)F^{\mu\nu}(A)}$$ where $F_{\mu\nu}(A) = \partial_{[\mu A\nu]}$. Its Bianchi Identity ...
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0answers
34 views

Stability of a system

What do we mean by "stability of a system " in a Lagrangian of a model? Let's say that we have a very simple model like this $$L=\frac{1}{2}K_{ij}\dot{q}_i\dot{q}_j-\frac{1}{2}F_{ij}q_iq_j,$$ where ...
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1answer
82 views

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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3answers
83 views

Geodesic Equation from variation: Is the squared lagrangian equivalent?

It is well known that geodesics on some manifold $M$, covered by some coordinates ${x_\mu}$, say with a Riemannian metric can be obtained by an action principle . Let $C$ be curve $\mathbb{R} \to M$, ...
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0answers
34 views

Is global gauge symmetry really a symmetry and local conserved current in gauge theories?

One way to define a gauge theory is that whenever the Lagrangian is invariant under some local transformations, we say these local transformations are local gauge transformations and the theory is a ...
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2answers
214 views

Does the lagrangian contain all the information about the representations of the fields in QFT?

Given the Lagrangian density of a theory, are the representations on which the various fields transform uniquely determined? For example, given the Lagrangian for a real scalar field $$ \mathscr{L} = ...
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1answer
58 views

Finding Lagrangian with Non-holonomic constraints

I am stuck working on a problem that involves finding the Lagrangian for a free particle constrained to move on the surface of a disk of radius $a$. The particle collides elastically with the edge of ...
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0answers
35 views

Finding conserved quantities from Hamiltonian when Symmetry is not evident [closed]

A particle is moving in 3D space, under a potential $$V = -\frac{\alpha}{r}-\frac{\vec{r} \cdot \vec{\mu}}{r^3 } $$ where $\vec{\mu}$ is some constant vector. I need to show there are three ...
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1answer
120 views

Classical action of the simple harmonic oscillator

I have been calculating the classical action of the harmonic oscillator, the problem I have is that I am only able to solve it if I set the integration limits of the action integral to be $t=T$ and ...
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0answers
41 views

Relation between $f(R)$ gravity and Tensor–vector–scalar (TeVeS) gravity

We know that there is a relation between f(R) gravity and scalar-tensor gravity. By applying the Legendre-Weyl transform, we can receive brans-dicke gravity from $f(R)$ gravity. If we start with the ...
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0answers
63 views

Calculating the moment of inertia in bifilar pendulums

I'm an A2 student, and I've been looking into how experimental and theoretical determined mass moments of inertia differ. I came across a method (search Youtube for Measuring Mass Moment of Inertia - ...
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2answers
87 views

Why the extra term $\frac{1}{2}(\partial_{\rho}A^{\rho})^2$ in the photon Lagrangian?

In my quantum field theory class we have been told to use this Lagrangian for the photon field $$\mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{4}F_{\alpha\beta}F^{\alpha\beta} -\frac{1}{2}(\partial_{\rho}A^{\rho})^2.$$ but ...
2
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1answer
84 views

Lagrangian and Hamiltonian EOM with dissipative force

I am trying to write the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian for the forced Harmonic oscillator before quantizing it to get to the quantum picture. For EOM $$m\ddot{q}+\beta\dot{q}+kq=f(t),$$ I write the ...
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0answers
64 views

Derivation of correction to canonical stress energy tensor due to addition of total divergence to Lagrangian

It is mentioned in almost every text book that equations of motions are not modified if we add a total divergence of some vector $$\partial_\mu \ X^{\mu}$$ to Lagrangian but canonical stress energy ...
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2answers
71 views

Problem in Euler-Lagrange imply Newton

I'm self-studying Mechanics and I have a little problem: We can see that in Landau's book or in Wikipedia that when we inject the lagrangian in Euler Lagrange equation the term $\frac{\partial ...
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1answer
58 views

Higher-order gauge coupling terms in the Lagrangian

In QFT, one works with Lagrangians that are invariant with respect to a certain symmetry. Out of this invariance, one is able to write down interaction terms at first order in the gauge couplings. The ...
4
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1answer
77 views

Total derivative in action of the field theory

Consider a classical field theory. When applying the least action I see that a term is considered total derivative. We say that $$\int \partial_\mu (\frac {\partial L}{\partial(\partial_\mu ...
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0answers
39 views

Classical mechanics textbook recommendation [duplicate]

I've just finished my first year of physics study and I'd like to learn some more classical mechanics. What textbook would you recommend as an introduction to Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics? ...
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58 views

That the gravitational mass equals to inertial mass can imply that only Einstein-Hilbert action is satisfied

I read Spacetime and Geometry by Sean Carroll. In p. 166 there is a comment that GR's action is nonlinear because if it is linear like the EM field, then graviton will not interact with each other, ...
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40 views

Polarization sum rule for Rarita-Schwinger field

There are Rarita-Schwinger equations: $$ \tag 1 (p\!\!\!/ - m)\psi_{\mu} = 0, \quad \gamma_{\mu}\psi^{\mu} = 0, \quad i\partial_{\mu}\psi^{\mu} = 0. $$ So the polarization sum $D_{\mu \nu}(p) = ...
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0answers
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Interchanging of variation and integration operator for holonomic systems

Meirovitch says in his "Principles and Techniques of Vibrations" (1997) on p.85: In the case of holonomic systems, the variation and integration processes are interchangeable (...) which means ...
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0answers
65 views

Problems while doing $\dfrac{\partial}{\partial(\partial_\mu \phi)}$ and $\dfrac{\partial}{\partial(\partial_\mu A_\mu)}$

In David Tong's lectures, he gives two Lagrangians as examples to derive the equations of motion: $$\mathcal{L} = \dfrac{1}{2}\eta^{\mu\nu}\,\partial_\mu\phi\,\partial_\nu \phi-\dfrac{1}{2}m^2\phi^2, ...
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1answer
68 views

Yukawa potential, which is correct?

Sometimes I see Yukawa interaction term written as $$-g\bar{\psi} i \gamma^5 \phi \psi$$ and other times as $$-g \bar{ \psi} \gamma_5 \psi \phi $$ Which is the correct form?