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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
1answer
431 views

How would you use the Euler-Lagrange equation to predict the motion of projectiles with linear (Stokes) drag (but no wind)?

My first instinct would be to use the force $$\vec{F} =- \alpha \vec{v}$$ and therefore $$V(\vec{r}) = \alpha \int_C \vec{v}\cdot d\vec{s} = \alpha \int_C \vec{v}\cdot \vec{v} dt = \alpha \int_C ...
1
vote
1answer
319 views

What's the motivation behind the action principle? [closed]

What's the motivation behind the action principle? Why does the action principle lead to Newtonian law? If Newton's law of motion is more fundamental so why doesn't one derive Lagrangians and ...
1
vote
2answers
623 views

Charge, velocity-dependent potentials and Lagrangian

Given an electric charge $q$ of mass $m$ moving at a velocity ${\bf v}$ in a region containing both electric field ${\bf E}(t,x,y,z)$ and magnetic field ${\bf B}(t,x,y,z)$ (${\bf B}$ and ${\bf E}$ are ...
1
vote
1answer
156 views

Cyclic co-ordinates implying the constant velocity motion of center of mass of a system of particles

I'm reading the section on Central Force in my textbook (Goldstein's Classical Mechanics has a similar argument in the chapter titled "The Central Force Problem", first section), where we have the ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Smooth trajectory on a smooth manifold

Physicists talk about a smooth trajectory of a particle on a smooth manifold and they label it as q(t) where q_1(t)....q_n(t) are component functions coming from the homeomorphism. I don't see how we ...
1
vote
1answer
857 views

Problems that Lagranges equations of the 1st kind can solve whereas the 2nd kind can't?

Can anyone give examples of mechanics problems which can be solved by Lagrange equations of the first kind, but not the second kind?
1
vote
1answer
38 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Under what cases is the Batalin-Vilkovisky (BV) operator nilpotent?

It is understood that when we deal with gauge algebras which close on-shell only after using equations of motion or where the space-time is curved, we can no longer just do away with BRST ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Dissipated Energy from Falling Object using Lagrangian [closed]

A plate of mass $M$ moves horizontally with initial speed $v$ on a frictionless table. An object of mass $m$ is dropped vertically onto it from the height $h$ and smashes. How much energy is ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Definition of generalised coordinates?

I think the definition of generalised coordinates is something along the following lines: A set of parameters that discribe the configuration of a system with respect to some refrence ...
1
vote
2answers
68 views

How to calculate the classical on-shell action for a harmonic oscillator? [closed]

So, short and sweet, I've been reading the path integrals book by Feynman and Hibbs, and one of the elementary problems they ask is to calculate the classical on-shell$^1$ action of a harmonic ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Question on Einstein's derivation of the equation of the geodesic line?

While reading one of the original paper on general relativity written by Albert Einstein, titled the foundations of general relativity, I came across the following passage in pages 167-168, or pages ...
1
vote
1answer
57 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} ...
1
vote
2answers
35 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
78 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
109 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
123 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
77 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

How to show that $\partial S/\partial q=p$ without variation of $S$?

I'm trying to get some understanding in treating action $S$ as a function of coordinates. Landau and Lifshitz consider $\delta S$, getting $\delta S=p\delta q$, thus concluding that $$\frac{\partial ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Lagrangian of Non-Relativistic Charged Particle in a Magnetic Field

I'm trying to derive the Lagrangian for a non-relativistic charged particle under the influence of a magnetic potential. I'm assuming that $F=-grad(V)$ and so by the Lorentz force we have $-grad(V)=q ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

How can we derive the gauge field Lagrangian?

I learned the gauge field Lagrangian is given in this form: $$\mathcal{L} = -\frac{1}{4} \mathrm{Tr}(F_{\mu \nu}F^{\mu \nu}).$$ But how one can derive this equation starting from defining the ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Is it possible to have the principle of least action and multiple solutions?

This is possibly a silly question but when we derive the equations of motion of a particle using the principle of least action. We must assume that there is a single minimum (for a fixed choice of ...
1
vote
1answer
272 views

Derivation of Maxwell stress tensor from EM Lagrangian

From Noether's theorem applied to fields we can get the general expression for the stress-energy-momentum tensor for some fields: $$T^{\mu}_{\;\nu} = \sum_{i} (\frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

General potential of rotating system

I'm new here at the physics site, and not really that deep into the area of which i'm going to ask a question about now. Therefore please feel free to ask clarifying questions. I'm trying to deal ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

The principle of stationary action?

In proving that the action $$S\equiv \int^{t_2}_{t_1}L(x, x',t)dt$$ has a has a stationary point $x_0$ that satisfies the following: $$\frac{d}{dt}(\frac{\partial L}{\partial x'_0})=\frac{\partial ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

The Euler-Poincare equation

Can anyone tell me very basically how the Euler-Poincare equation generalises the Euler-Lagrange equation? Further does anyone know if there is an "easy" relationship between the two, i.e. can anyone ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Coefficient matrix of quadratic Lagrangian

I've been studying path integrals from Weinbergs QToF vol 1. He says that when the $\mathcal{L_0}$ is quadratic in fields we can always write free term $I_0$ in the generalized quadratic form ...
1
vote
2answers
278 views

How can I derive the Hamiltonian of simple harmonic oscillator from this Lagrangian?

I'm working through Leonard Susskind's Theoretical Minimum: Classical Mechanics and I can't seem to understand how the Hamiltonian of a simple harmonic oscillator is derived from the following ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Effective field theory for fermion gas

Reading about fermion gas in a paper they used the following Lagrangian, which describes an effective field theory for nonrelativistic fermions (I neglect the four point interaction term). $$ L = ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

Where can some worked problems in classical mechanics (and more specifically the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalisms) be found? [duplicate]

I've been looking for a textbook in classical mechanics that's readily available (like can be found in the library of James Cook University of Townsville, Australia) and full of fully-answered ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Kinetic energy in Lagrangian formalism

In reading Goldstein's Classical Mechanics (2nd edition) I came across a confusing derivation. Goldstein (Eq. 1-71) derives the total kinetic energy of a system of (classical) particles as: $$ T = ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

Kinetic energy of a body rotating on another rotating body

Consider a body which can freely rotate with respect to the inertial frame, and a rotating disk whose axis is fixed in body frame. When applying the lagrangian method (does that make a difference?), ...
1
vote
2answers
119 views

How can I derive this Hamiltonian?

I have a Lagrangian $L$, a momentum $p$ and a Hamiltonian $H$: $$L=\frac m 2(\dot z + A\omega\cos\omega t)^2 - \frac k 2 z^2$$ $$p=m\dot z + mA\omega\cos\omega t$$ $$H=p\dot z - L=\frac m 2 \dot ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Calculating forces efficiently in Lagrangian formalism

I will Illustrate the question using an example problem: We have a mass $m$ connected to a mass $m$ by a rod of length $l$, and also to a mass $4m$ by another rod of length $l$. The rods are ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

Canonical Stress Tensor for the Free Electromagnetic Field

I have the followwing Lagrangian for the free electromagnetic field, $$\mathcal{L} = -\frac{1}{4} F^{\mu \nu}F_{\mu \nu},$$ and the canonical stress tensor is, $$T^{\alpha \beta}=\frac{\partial ...
1
vote
1answer
445 views

How do I recover the 1D wave equation from the Lagrangian?

Consider small displacements, $y(x,t)$, of an element of a string (circled in red and shown below) from equilibrium. The force balance in the vertical direction yields: $$+\uparrow \Sigma F: ...
1
vote
1answer
239 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
111 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
180 views

Shouldn't Quantum Mechanics change in a black hole?

I recently learnt that the conservation laws are a consequence of the symmetries of space and time (the Lagrangian in Newton mechanics). Since space-time change in a black hole wouldn't quantum ...
1
vote
1answer
319 views

Calculate Hamiltonian from Lagrangian for electromagnetic field

I am unable to derive the Hamiltonian for the electromagnetic field, starting out with the Lagrangian $$ \mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{4}F^{\mu\nu}F_{\mu\nu}-\frac{1}{2}\partial_\nu A^\nu \partial_\mu A^\mu ...
1
vote
1answer
132 views

Hamiltonian conservation

Lagrangian formalism does not involve forces that doesn't come from a potential and Hamiltonian formalism says that even though energy is not conserved due to a force like this, the Hamiltonian is ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Integrating out fields from classical systems

Has anyone ever heard of integrating out fields from classical Lagrangians if they are quadratic?
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Why does a particle fall in a straight line?

In Lagrangian Mechanics we choose the path of least action. Given a uniform gravitational field, and a particle of finite mass; and fixing two points the start & end-point we consider all paths ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Double variation of Schwinger action principle

The Schwinger action principle is given by $$\delta_{1}\big\langle b\big|a\big\rangle= i\int_{t_{a}}^{t_{b}}\text{d}t\,\sum_{c,d}\big\langle b\big|c\big\rangle\big\langle ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Classical mechanical problem

I have two planes, one characterized by equation $$\phi_1=f(x)-z=0$$ and another $$\phi_2=\alpha y-z=0$$ where $\alpha$ is arbitrary. In their line of intersection(we assume it exist and is continous) ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Explicit time dependence of the Lagrangian and Energy Conservation

Why is energy(or in more general terms,the Hamiltonian) not conserved when the Lagrangian has an explicit time dependence? I know that we can derive the identity: $\frac{\partial ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Lagrange multiplier dependent on time

At the moment I am following a course on variational methods for mathematicians. Last week we derived the Euler-Lagrange equations for a functional under a constraint. In this derivation we found that ...
1
vote
1answer
395 views

Virtual displacement and generalized coordinates

I have a doubt regarding the expression of a virtual displacement using generalized coordinates. I will state the definitions I'm taking and the problem. The system is composed by $n$ points with ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Landau Lifshitz energy for uniform rotation

Landau Lifshitz claim in their Mechanics book (39.11) that for a uniform rotation we have $ E = \frac{mv^2}{2} - \frac{m}{2} (\omega \times r)^2 + U,$ where the rotation is given by $v' = v + \omega ...
1
vote
1answer
273 views

Hamiltonian from Euclidean lagrangian?

Can somebody help me in deriving the Hamiltonian of system starting from Euclidean Lagrangian? Say we are given the Minkowski Lagrangian $$L_m = \frac{\dot{\phi}^2}{2} - V(\phi).$$ The Hamiltonian ...