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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1answer
56 views

Null geodesic equation

For a null geodesic curve $X^i$, $$0=g_{ij}V^iV^j.$$ When we derive the geodesic equation from E-L equations, will this affine parametrization cause it to blow up? How is it justified to use the ...
2
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3answers
83 views

Why are complex fields in the Lagrangian?

I know that a complex field has twice the number of degrees of freedom of a real field, and that fields (in QFT) aren't observables so we don't really care if they are real. But why the need for ...
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0answers
35 views

Invariance of Fermionic action under Lorentz transformations

Suppose I have an Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2}g_{ab} \bar{\psi}^a \Gamma^k \partial_k \psi^b $$ and I want to show it's invariance under the infinitesimal Lorentz transformations $$\delta ...
4
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2answers
65 views

Lagrangian $L' = L + \frac{df}{dt}$ gives the same equations of motion

It is well known that when a Lagrangian $L$ is incremented by the total time derivative of a function $f$ that does not depend on the time derivatives of the generalized coordinates, the same ...
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2answers
93 views

Do the same equations of motion imply the same Lagrangians? [duplicate]

If two Lagrangian (densities) $\mathcal{L}$ give the same equations of motion, are they equivalent?
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0answers
23 views

How does the lagrangian derived if it has dependence on coordinate additional to field itself and derivative of itself?

In book "QFT" By Lewis H. Ryder , page83~85 .i don't understand why he introduce so much variation,and it confuse me though.i am wondering what is the difference between total variation and ...
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0answers
69 views

String theory $bc$ system CFT [closed]

$bc$ CFT is an example of free-field CFTs. action is $$S = \frac{1}{2\pi} \int d^2 z b \bar{\partial} c$$ How can we obtain equation of motion? Polchinski-volume 1-page 50 writes that ...
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1answer
112 views

Why a timelike geodesic maximizes path length?

I'm studying some GR and my book says that in Pseudo-Riemannian manifolds geodesics may even maximize the path locally. That's what happen to the timelike geodesics, for example. My first question: Is ...
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0answers
25 views

Continuum mechanics treatment of the Lariat Chain [closed]

Would anyone be willing to help me with a homework problem I'm doing? I've been working on the assignment all weekend and this one problem just will not click. I already have satisfactory solutions to ...
1
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0answers
65 views

Lagrangian, geodesics and relativity [closed]

My background is in maths, but I have been studying some basic physics with occasional input from a friend who is studying for a physics PhD. Due to my background, I am keen to visualize things ...
0
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1answer
57 views

Is angular momentum the conjugate momentum of an angle?

Lagrangian mechanics can be used to describe the double pendulum (see here, for example). In this development are the conjugate momenta $p_{\theta_i}$ exactly the angular momenta $m_i l_i \frac{d ...
0
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1answer
29 views

Holonomic constraints and degrees of freedom?

Can we see that a constraint can decrease the degrees of freedom of a system if and only if it is holonomic. Either way please can you explain why?
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0answers
26 views

Equivalence between Chern-Simons action and first order formalism

I can not derive second line from Chern-Simons action \noindent $S_{cs}$=k$\int{Tr(A \wedge dA+\frac{2}{3}}A \wedge A\wedge A)$ \noindent =k$\int{\ e }^a\wedge $R[$\omega $] we have to use ...
9
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1answer
115 views

Are there other less famous yet accepted formalisms of Classical Mechanics?

I was lately studying about the Lagrange and Hamiltonian Mechanics. This gave me a perspective of looking at classical mechanics different from that of Newton's. I would like to know if there are ...
6
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0answers
93 views

Why don't we have logarithms or exponentials of the fields in the Lagrangians?

All tbe Lagrangian densities I have seen have always been polynomials of the fields. Is this a coincidence or is there a reason forbid, say, Lagrangians with logarithms or exponentials of the fields?
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1answer
37 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Solving Lagrangian equations of motion for two point-bodies with gravitational interaction

I would like to solve the equations of motion with the Lagrangian function for two point-bodies that interact gravitationally via the potential $$V= {-Gm_1m_2 \over r_{12}} $$ where $$r_{12} = **r_1 ...
1
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1answer
47 views

Sign of matter Lagrangian term in curved space

In field theory the (matter) Lagrangian $\mathcal{L}_m$ is uncertain upto an overall constant multiplying factor (i.e. $\mathcal{L}_m$ and $a\mathcal{L}_m$ yield the same field equation(s) on ...
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3answers
93 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
66 views

Schwarzschild metric circular orbits and kepler's 3rd law

I have been looking at the Schwarzschild metric presented to me as the following within lectures: ...
0
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1answer
35 views

Information contained in Lagrangians and actions [duplicate]

I've been looking into analytical mechanics with the intention of finding out more about Lagrangians and actions. As far as I currently understand it, the Lagrangian is formed with positions and ...
3
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0answers
46 views

Why is the strong CP term $ \theta \frac{g^2}{32 \pi^2} G_{\mu \nu}^a \tilde{G}^{a, \mu \nu}$ never considered for $SU(2)$ or $U(1)$ interactions?

The Lagrangian one would write down naivly for QCD is invariant under CP, which is in agreement with all experiments. Nevertheless, if we add the term \begin{equation} \theta \frac{g^2}{32 \pi^2} ...
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3answers
107 views

What is a “Reversed Effective Force”?

I have some confusion about the "Reversed effective force" as it appears in the derivation of D'Alembert's principle. In Goldstein d'Alembert's principle is given as: $(F-\dot{p}) \cdot \delta r = ...
3
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2answers
137 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
49 views

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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2answers
82 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
83 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
50 views

Why does the following contradiction arise in Lagrangian Formalism?

If we look at the Lagrange's equation $\frac{d}{dt}(\frac{\partial L}{\partial \dot{q_i}})- \frac{\partial L}{\partial q_i}=0$ It is clear that Lagrangian is invariant under a Transformation $L ...
4
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2answers
98 views

Pass to globally conserved currents from locally conserved currents in curved spacetime

Let us begin with a Lagrangian of the form $$\mathscr L= \frac 12 \sqrt{-g}g^{\mu\nu}\partial_\mu\phi(x)\partial_\nu\phi(x)+\mathscr L_g,$$ where $$\mathscr L_g=\frac 1{16\pi k}\sqrt{-g}R.$$ ...
2
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0answers
57 views

Noether's first and second theorems

My understanding of Noether's first theorem is as follows. Consider a set of infinitesimal transformations that leave the action invariant, that are indexed by $n$ linearly independent parameters, ...
-1
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1answer
65 views

How to find equations of motion when potential is given by inverse-square? [closed]

When potential is $U=-\dfrac{a}{r^2}$ ($a>0$), how can I find $r=r(\phi)$? I'm trying to solve this problem during several hours. From $E=T+U$, and constant angular momentum $L$, I can get the ...
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0answers
81 views

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, ...
2
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1answer
123 views

Lagrangian, Kinetic & Potential energy with two masses connected to three springs

Two masses $m_1$ and $m_2$ are on a frictionless surface. They are connected by three springs with constants $k_1,k_2,k_3$. $k_1$ and $k_3$ are attached to walls and $k_2$ is between the masses. $k_1$ ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Lagrangian for small oscillations

For a double pendulum we can consider 2 generalised coordinates $\theta_1$ (angle between first mass and vertical axis) and $\theta_2$ (angle between second mass and vertical axis). The Lagrangian to ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Lagrangian formalism (demonstration)

My question is about the multiplicity of the Lagrangian to a Physics system. I pretend to demonstrate the following proposition: For a system with $n$ degrees of freedom, written by the ...
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0answers
38 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
47 views

Lagrangian formalism application on a particle falling system with air resistance

I have this problem, with a first-step resolution: $$...$$ So, I just don't know why they put the term $\frac{\partial F}{\partial \dot{z}}$ in Euler-Lagrange's equations. Why? I know that the ...
2
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2answers
58 views

Scalar and vector defined by transformation properties

In Classical Mechanics, we are defining scalars as objects that are invariant under any coordinate transformation. Vectors are defined as objects that can be transformed by some transformation matrix ...
1
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1answer
58 views

What is a point transformation?

This problem comes from Goldstein. What does $s=e^{\gamma t}q$ mean? Do I just put $q=e^{-\gamma t}s$ into the Lagrangian? But I don't know what that means. I think the point transformation may ...
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2answers
165 views

Adding a total time derivative term to the Lagrangian

This is proof that $L'$ represents same equation of motion with $L$ through Lagrange eq. I understand $L'$ satisfies Lagrange eq, but how does this proof mean $L'$ and $L$ describe same motion of ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Oscillation of a vertical rod supported by horizontal spring [closed]

The system seems to oscillate with $\omega = \sqrt{\frac{\frac{3}{2}mgl + 3k a^2}{ml^2}}$ for small angle $\theta$, and in particular for whatever stiffness $k$ chosen relative to gravitational ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

What is the phase of a gauge coupling?

We typically take gauge couplings to be real and positive. Why do we impose these two conditions? I assume this is a requirement because gauge theories without positive couplings are unphysical or is ...
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0answers
36 views

Translation of the Mechanique analytique [closed]

Is there an English translation of the Mechanique analytique by Lagrange that is free? I have tried searching up online, however I only get French originals. The English translations seem all to be ...
1
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2answers
121 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
126 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
44 views

Metric in Lagrangian and the minimum total potential energy principle

I was wondering why physical systems "like" to go to the minimum of potential energy and I found this question, that tries to justify the minumum total potential energy principle. I was also reading ...
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1answer
62 views

Potential Energy in modified Atwood Machine

The initial length of the spring is $l_0$. I need help understanding how the potential energy of this system comes to be. I know the answer: $$ U = ...
1
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1answer
62 views

What is the function type of the generalized momentum?

Let $$L:{\mathbb R}^n\times {\mathbb R}^n\times {\mathbb R}\to {\mathbb R}$$ denote the Lagrangian (it should be differentiable) of a classical system with $n$ spatial coordinates. In the action ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

A question on the functional dependence of the Lagrangian density

I understand that in classical mechanics the state of a particle at a given instant in time is given by its position $q$ and its velocity at that point $\dot{q}$, and given that, for any given point ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

In general, can a Lagrangian density depend on space-time explicitly?

In an exercise on classical field theories, I'm trying to derive the general formula of the Energy-momentum tensor. According to the formula in the lecture notes, this tensor includes a term of minus ...