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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Alternative symmetries for the Maxwell Lagrangian?

I'm wondering about how to show that $A_a\rightarrow A_a+\alpha\partial_0A_a$, with $\alpha$ infinitesimal, is an infinitesimal symmetry of $\mathcal L=-\frac14F_{ab}F^{ab}$. \begin{equation} ...
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1answer
155 views

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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1answer
635 views

Atwood machine with spring

I'm just beginning to learn about Lagrangian mechanics, and I am asked to find the kinetic energy of this Atwood machine (See figure). I am told, that the kinetic energy should be: ...
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1answer
408 views

Are the Hamiltonian and Lagrangian always convex functions?

The Hamiltonian and Lagrangian are related by a Legendre transform: $$ H(\mathbf{q}, \mathbf{p}, t) = \sum_i \dot q_i p_i - \mathcal{L}(\mathbf{q}, \mathbf{\dot q}, t). $$ For this to be a Legendre ...
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1answer
1k views

Minimal vs. Non-minimal coupling in General Relativity

What is the difference between Minimal vs. Non-minimal coupling in General Relativity? A brief introduction to Minimal Coupling in General Relativity could be useful too.
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2answers
310 views

How can I tell that circular motion is a solution for a particle confined to the surface of a cone?

I'm working on a problem where a particle of mass $m$ is confined to the surface of an inverted half cone (and is circling downwards due to gravity), with the cone's half angle $\alpha$. I chose to ...
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0answers
312 views

Why friction force is force of constraint?

My understanding about constraint force is that it is a force which limits the geometry of particle's motion. For example, situations such as the particle trapped in a track or limited in domain can ...
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2answers
99 views

How does isotropy of free space imply $L(v^2)$ for a free particle? [duplicate]

From Mechanics; Landau and Lifshitz, it's stated on page 5: Since space is isotropic, the Lagrangian must also be indpendent of the direction of $ \mathbf{v}$, and is therfore a function only of ...
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1answer
122 views

Lie algebra of axial charges

Starting from the lagrangian (linear sigma model without symmetry breaking, here $N$ is the nucleon doublet and $\tau_a$ are pauli matrices) $L=\bar Ni\gamma^\mu \partial_\mu N+ \frac{1}{2} ...
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1answer
278 views

Lagrangian approach to spinning thread reel

I am trying to better understand Lagrangian dynamics and am struggling to complete the following question: A reel of thread of mass $m$ and radius $r$ is allowed to unwind under gravity, the upper ...
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1answer
198 views

How to obtain Maxwell's Lagrangian from complex scalar fields?

I've looked in several books and they all show how to obtain electrical interactions by forcing local gauge invariance of any complex scalar field Lagrangian (like Klein-Gordon or Dirac). I manage to ...
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1answer
95 views

The exact definition of conjugate momentum density

After checking various websites, I've seen the conjugate momentum density defined as either: \begin{align*} P_r ~=~ \frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial \dot{A}_r} \end{align*} or \begin{align*} P_r ...
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1answer
86 views

$\cos^{2}(\phi)$ in the kinetic energy term of the Lagrangian is one?

I'm doing some homework in Classical Mechanics, and is about to write out the Lagrangian of a system. But, when I check the answer from my teacher, something is missing. The kinetic energy I'm using ...
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1answer
146 views

Intuition for actions written as integrals over spacetime

Right now I'm simply looking for an intuitive explaination of actions that integrate over a 4-volume element, $d^4x$ rather than a parameter say $\lambda$. More specifically I'm well versed in action ...
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1answer
164 views

From Lagrangian to equations of motion [closed]

I have a given Lagrangian: $$L= e^{st}\cdot\frac12\cdot(mv_y^2-ky^2)$$ And are asked to identify the equations of motions, the constants of motions and physical system. Without the exp-time-term, ...
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1answer
495 views

Pendulum with a rotating point of support from Landau-Lifschitz

I found this problem in Landau-Lifschitz vol.1 (Mechanics) A simple pendulum of mass $m$, length $l$ whose point of support moves uniformly on a vertical circle with constant frequency $\gamma$. ...
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1answer
216 views

Sign in front of QFT kinetic terms

I'd like to know if the sign in front of a kinetic term in QFT important. For the scalar field we conventionally write (in the $ + --- $ metric), \begin{equation} {\cal L} _{ kin} = \frac{1}{2} ...
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2answers
154 views

Getting the Lagrangian from the action in curved spacetime

Suppose I have this action: $$ S = \int \mathrm d^4 x\sqrt{-g}\times \text{something}$$ where $g$ is the determinant of the metric. Should I take the Lagrangian to be: $$ \mathcal L = \sqrt{-g} ...
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1answer
142 views

Lagrangian formalism and Contact Bundles

In his Applied Differential Geometry book, William Burke says the following after telling that the action should be the integral of a function $L$: A line integral makes geometric sense only if ...
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1answer
257 views

Energy-momentum tensor for dust

We all know that the energy-momentum tensor for dust is just $T^{\alpha\beta}=\rho_0v^\alpha v^\beta,$ where $\rho_0$ is the mass density in the dust's rest frame and $v^α$ is the dust's ...
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1answer
218 views

Caldeira-Leggett Dissipation: frequency shift due to bath coupling

I am trying to understand the Caldeira-Leggett model. It considers the Lagrangian $$L = \frac{1}{2} \left(\dot{Q}^2 - \left(\Omega^2-\Delta \Omega^2\right)Q^2\right) - Q \sum_{i} f_iq_i + ...
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3answers
934 views

Do we need inertial frames in Lagrangian mechanics?

Do Euler-Lagrange equations hold only for inertial systems? If yes, where is the point in the variational derivation from Hamilton's principle where we made that restriction? My question arose ...
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1answer
389 views

On a trick to derive Noether current

Suppose, in whatever dimension and theory, the action $S$ is invariant for a global symmetry with a continuous parameter $\epsilon$. The trick to get the Noether current consists in making the ...
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1answer
222 views

Why isn't $F = \frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial q}$?

If momentum is, $$p = \frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial \dot{q}}$$ and force is, $$ F = \frac{dp}{dt}$$ and by Euler-Langrange equations, $$ \frac{d}{dt}\frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial ...
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1answer
96 views

How do I obtain the Lagrangian in standard for using action? [closed]

I have action as shown below $$S=\int \mathrm{d}t \int \mathrm{d}x^3 \bar\psi\left(i\partial_t\psi +\frac1{2m}\bar\nabla^2\psi-V(x)\psi\right)$$ How do I manipulate it to obtain the Lagrangian ...
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1answer
88 views

Finding the Lagrangian from the derivative of position

I have to find the Lagrangian for a system. In the point of interest I have come up with the following position coordinates: $$x = Rcos(\omega t)+\ell sin(\phi)$$ and $$y = Rsin(\omega t)-\ell ...
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1answer
128 views

Nonlinear Klein Gordon equation

For the Klein Gordon nonlinear equation, $$ u_{tt}- \Delta u +f(u)=0,$$ how could I use Noether's theorem to prove that there is a conserved quantity? I.e., $$ (\Pi _{k} )_{t} - \rm div(j_{k})=0 $$ ...
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0answers
154 views

Parity violating Dirac particle

We normally write down the Dirac Lagrangian as \begin{equation} {\cal L} _D = \bar{\psi} ( i \partial _\mu \gamma ^\mu - m ) \psi \end{equation} but are the Lagrangian's, \begin{equation} ...
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3answers
548 views

Meaning of kinetic part in the Lagrangian density?

What is the physical meaning of the kinetic term in the classical scalar field Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L}_{kin}~=~\frac{1}{2}(\partial_\mu\phi)(\partial^\mu\phi)~?$$ It gives how does the field change ...
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0answers
147 views

Isn't the Jacobi constant just the Lagrangian times 2?

At this wikipedia page the Jacobi constant is expressed as: $$C_J=2\left(\frac{v^2}{2}-U\right)$$ where $U$ is the potential energy and $v$ is velocity. If kinetic energy $T$ is defined (as it ...
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0answers
236 views

Finding moment of inertia from Lagrange equation

I'm getting the following information: Consider a system consisting of two rotating bars of length $\ell$ and with uniform mass density and each with total mass $m$. The bars are attached to a common ...
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4answers
519 views

Does the action and Lagrangian have identical symmetries and conserved quantities?

From the book Introduction to Classical Mechanics With Problems and Solutions by David Morin, page 236 states: Noether's Theorem: For each symmetry of the Lagrangian, there is a conserved ...
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3answers
502 views

How are symmetries precisely defined?

How are symmetries precisely defined? In basic physics courses it is usual to see arguments on symmetry to derive some equations. This, however, is done in a kind of sloppy way: "we are calculating ...
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1answer
214 views

Interpreting Lagrange Multipliers as forces

I am (still) working on getting a good understanding of Lagrange multipliers. I understand their function in an optimization problem that is subject to some constraint. For the specific case of ...
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1answer
257 views

Optimal selection of generalized coordinates in Lagrangian system

EDITED: The number of bonds is actually 2, not 1 (look at edit history). Fixed for archiving purposes. Problem: The edge A of an homogeneous rod (of length $\ell$ and mass $m$) is performing a smooth ...
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1answer
187 views

How Hamilton's Principle was found?

Hamilton's principle states that the actual path a particle follows from points $p_1$ and $p_2$ in the configuration space between times $t_1$ and $t_2$ is such that the integral $$S = ...
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1answer
128 views

What is the neatest way to describe a “non-autonomous” (lagrangian) system?

The configuration space of a system of particles $(m_i,x_i)$, $i=1,\dots,n$, subject to constraints $$\Phi (x)=0,\qquad \Phi\colon \mathbb R^{3n}\to \mathbb R ^{3n-k},\qquad x=(x_1,...,x_n),$$ if the ...
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1answer
115 views

How to find the equillibrium points using Jacobian and Hessian?

Given that I have Jacobian and Hessian matrices of three particles interacting with each other in a harmonic trap through Coulomb's law in a 2D plane, how do I find the equilibrium points of them (I ...
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1answer
163 views

Block on cart, equation of motion

Consider a rigid block of $b \times h$ having mass $m$ on cart (as depicted below). The cart is given an acceleration $a$, this leads to overturning of the block. The angle of rotation is indicated by ...
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1answer
417 views

Is there a better choice of coordinates for a bead on a rotating helical wire?

A bead of mass $m$ is threaded around a smooth spiral wire and slides downwards without friction due to gravity. The $z$-axis points upwards vertically. Suppose the spiral wire is rotated about the ...
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2answers
2k views

Euler-Lagrange equations and friction forces

We can derive Lagrange equations supposing that the virtual work of a system is zero. $$\delta W=\sum_i (\mathbf{F}_i-\dot {\mathbf{p}_i})\delta \mathbf{r}_i=\sum_i ...
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1answer
34 views

Lagrangian Oscilattor

I want to know how to calculate the normal modes from a Lagrangian. I make the T (kinetic energy matrix) and U (potential energy matrix), and then I calculate the determinant of $|T-\omega ^2 U|$ ...
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1answer
83 views

Converse of the Lagrangian form-invariance

The form-invariance of the Lagrange equations implies the existence of a function $\ A( q_k, t)$ so that $\ \begin{equation} L' (q_k, v_k, t) -L(q_k, v_k, t) = \frac d {dt} A( q_k, t) ...
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1answer
161 views

Is there a Lagrangian whose Euler-Lagrange equation is the gradient?

I am trying to recast a problem I am working on in terms of Lagrangian mechanics. I am in the following situation. Suppose I have a function $f:X \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ (a field). In the its ...
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1answer
307 views

What is meant by a local Lagrangian density?

What is meant by a local Lagrangian density? How will a non-local Lagrangian look like? What is the problem that we do not consider such Lagrangian densities?
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1answer
235 views

Clarifying constraint forces in Lagrangian dynamics

In the Lagrangian formulation, the addition of constraint forces that are unknown can be done with Lagrange multipliers, which allows for the forces to be found. Taking $k$ constraints of the form ...
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5answers
863 views

Noether Theorem and Energy conservation in classical mechanics

I have a problem deriving the conservation of energy from time translation invariance. The invariance of the Lagrangian under infinitesimal time displacements $t \rightarrow t' = t + \epsilon$ can be ...
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1answer
220 views

Is Lagrangian a scalar?

I may be wrong: Lagrangian are scalars. They are NOT invariant under coordinate transformations. The simplest example is when you have a gravitational potential ($V=mgz$) and you translate $z$ by $a$ ...
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2answers
173 views

Landau's argument for dependence of Lagrangian on magnitude of velocity

In chapter 1, of Landau-Lifshitz Mechanics' book, Landau through isotropy and homogeneity of space and homogeneity of time proves that the Lagrangian must depend of magnitude of velocity of the ...
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1answer
98 views

How to check $\renewcommand{\vec}[1]{\mathbf{#1}} \vec{v'}\cdot\vec{V}$ and $\vec{v}'^2$ are time derivatives of some other functions?

From Landau, Lifshitz Mechanics p.127 $\renewcommand{\vec}[1]{\mathbf{#1}}L'=\frac{1}{2}m(\vec{v}'^2+\vec{v'}\cdot\vec{V}+\vec{V}^2)-U $ He states that "$\vec{V}^2(t)$ can be written as the total ...