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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212 views

What are great circles of 2-sphere?

What exactly are great circles, and how does one derive them? Given that the Lagrangian is: $$ L =\frac {1}{2}(\dot\theta^2 + \sin^2\theta\dot\phi^2)$$ it was written that the great circles were $$\...
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1answer
1k views

Connection between conserved charge and the generator of a symmetry

I'm trying to understand the connection between Noether charges and symmetry generators a little better. In Schwartz QFT book, chapter 28.2, he states that the Noether charge $Q$ generates the ...
3
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2answers
306 views

Ball Bearing Inside a Hollow, Spinning Rod: where is the logical flaw?

As described in the title, suppose we have a frictionless, hollow rod that is rotating in the $xy$-plane with some fixed angular velocity $\omega$. The rod is pivoting around its midpoint. Suppose we ...
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2answers
2k views

Geodesic equation from Euler - Lagrange

There are several ways to derive the geodesic equation. One of which is the variational method which I seemed to understand it because it was written in great details. Then it was mentioned that the ...
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1answer
557 views

Why is the Hamiltonian the Legendre transform of the Lagrangian?

So, as the title says, why is the Hamiltonian the Legendre transform of the Lagrangian? I know that from quantum mechanics, one can start with the Hamiltonian defined as the generator of time ...
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0answers
284 views

How is the method of Lagrange multipliers used for multiple constraints of multiple variables? [closed]

Let's say for example that I have two constraints $f(x,\dot{x},y,\dot{y})$ and $g(x,\dot{x},y,\dot{y})$ and a Lagrangian $L(x,\dot{x},y,\dot{y})$. What are the Euler-Lagrange equations of the first ...
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2answers
178 views

Why are these two definitions for symmetries in the Lagrangian equivalent?

I have heard the following two definitions for a symmetry of the Lagrangian: If under a coordinate transformation the form of the Lagrangian remains unchanged then there is a symmetry. If $\delta \...
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4answers
575 views

Poincare invariant Lagrangians

The Lagrangian density of a Poincare invariant theory should not depend explicitly on the space-time coordinates. Does this mean $$ \partial_\mu \mathcal{L}=0~? $$ If this is the case doesn't the ...
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1answer
77 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 ...
4
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1answer
349 views

Boundary term in Einstein-Hilbert action

Why is the boundary term in the Einstein-Hilbert action, the Gibbons-Hawking-York term, generally "missing" in General Relativity courses, IMPORTANT from the variational viewpoint, geometrical setting ...
9
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2answers
895 views

Any good resources for Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Dynamics?

I'm taking a course on Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Dynamics, and I would like to find a good book/resource with lots of practice questions and answers on either or both topics. So far at my university ...
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2answers
438 views

Determine if Theory is Unitary from Lagrangian

Question: Given a quantum theory specified with a Lagrangian and the degrees of freedom to be varied, what is the procedure to determine if the theory is unitary or not? Concrete example to aid ...
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3answers
599 views

Does the variation of the Lagrangian satisfy the product rule and chain rule of the derivative?

I have seen wikipedia use the product rule and maybe the chain rule for the variation of the Langragin as follows: \begin{align} \dfrac{\delta [f(g(x,\dot{x}))h(x,\dot{x})] } {\delta x} = \left( \...
3
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1answer
190 views

Use of the term first order dependency

In a question I am doing it says: Show explicitly that the function $$y(t)=\frac{-gt^2}{2}+\epsilon t(t-1)$$ yields an action that has no first order dependency on $\epsilon$. Also my textbook ...
2
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2answers
456 views

The variation of the Lagrangian density under an infinitesimal Lorentz transformation

I'm trying to introduce myself to QFT following these lectures by David Tong. I've started with lecture 1 (Classical Field Theory) and I'm trying to prove that under an infinitesimal Lorentz ...
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1answer
128 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 L}{\...
2
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1answer
411 views

Example of Hamilton's Principle to Systems with Constraints (Goldstein)

I'm currently studying Goldstein's Classical Mechanics book and I can't get my head around his reasoning in section 2.4. (Extending Hamilton's principle to systems with constraints). I'd like to ...
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0answers
85 views

What's the value of the coupling constant in interacting field theories?

Consider this Lagrangian : $L = \frac{1}{2}(\partial_\mu \Phi)^2 - \frac{M^2}{2}\Phi^2 +\frac{1}{2}(\partial_\mu \phi)^2 -\frac{m^2}{2} \phi^2 -\mu\Phi\phi^2$ Its interaction term is given by : $\...
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3answers
272 views

Virtual Work: How is the applied force related to the coordinates chosen?

I have a question after reading a section from Goldstein's Classical Mechanics. The question deals with equation 1.43 in the text (given below): $$ \tag{1.43} \sum\limits_{i} {\bf F}_i^{(a)}\cdot \...
2
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2answers
253 views

Momentum vector transformation

I am confused about the way momentum vector transforms in the following case: $$q_k \to q_k'= q_k + \epsilon f_k(q)$$ The Jacobian is thus $\Lambda_{ij} = \frac{\partial q'_i}{\partial q_j} \approx \...
3
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0answers
148 views

Understanding the effective low-energy Lagrangian for hadrons

My course in Higgs Physics is discussing a two-nucleon low-energy effective theory of hadron interaction. With $\psi=(p,n)$, the pion is defined as $\vec{\pi}= i \bar{\psi}\vec{\tau} \gamma_5 \bar{\...
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2answers
482 views

For a particle to have physical mass, is it always necessary to have a mass term in the lagrangian?

Since the self-energy adds to the bare mass defined in the Lagrangian, is it possible to create a physical particle mass from the self-energy alone, with no mass terms occuring in the Lagrangian? On ...
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0answers
229 views

Hoop rolling inside a circular hole

A hoop of radius $b$ and mass $m$ rolls without slipping within a stationary circular hole of radius $a > b$ and is subject to gravity. Use the generalized coordinates the rotation angle $\phi$ of ...
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1answer
141 views

Finding the magnetic vector potential by calculus of variations

Given the functional $$F[A]=\int_{\mathbb{R}^3}\{\frac{1}{2\mu(x)}|\nabla\times\vec{A}|^2-\vec{J}\cdot\vec{A}\}d^3x$$ with $\vec{A}$ is a candidate vector potential for the field $\vec{B}=\nabla\times\...
2
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1answer
62 views

Motion with damping involving both $-v^2$ and $-v$ terms

I'm trying to solve for the motion of a particle, accounting for both viscous and drag forces. (There is no potential) The total resistance by medium is modeled by: $\vec{F}=-(\mu_1v + \mu_2v^2)\hat{...
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1answer
124 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 ...
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0answers
69 views

Total Vs Partial in Lagrange density?

I have a question regarding the red term below. This is the integration by parts during the derivation of the Euler-Lagrange equation for continuous systems. Why is this not the time derivative $d/dt$....
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0answers
92 views

Hamiltonian Operator for nonrenormalizable Effective Field Theories?

Assuming we have a Effective Field Theory, for example a Real Scalar Field Theory, defined through a Lagrangian density of the form $\mathcal{L}_{eff} = \frac{1}{2}\partial_\mu\phi \partial^\mu\phi - ...
3
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2answers
424 views

Classical Field Theory - Continuum limit in forming the Lagrangian density and the elasticity modulus

I have been looking at taking the continuum limit for a linear elastic rod of length $l$ modeled by a series of masses each of mass $m$ connected via massless springs of spring constant $k$. The ...
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0answers
40 views

Equations of motion with replacing the Lagrangian by irrep diagrams generating functional

I have read that equations of motion of ghosts is equal to $$ \tag 1 \frac{\delta \Gamma}{\delta \bar{c}^{a}(x)} = -\partial^{\mu}_{x}\frac{\delta \Gamma}{\delta K^{\mu , a}(x)}, $$ where $\Gamma = W -...
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2answers
161 views

What is the “associated scalar equation” of equations of motion?

In an essay I am reading on celestial mechanics the equations of motion for a 2 body problem is given as: $$\mathbf{r}''=\nabla(\frac{\mu}{r})=-\frac{\mu \mathbf{r}}{r^3}$$ Fine. Then it says the "...
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0answers
221 views

Intuition behind the principle of virtual work

To derive Lagrange's Equations we need the principle of virtual work first. This principle states that whenever a system of $K$ particles is constrained to a submanifold $\mathcal{M}\subset \mathbb{R}^...
2
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1answer
739 views

Proof that total derivative is the only function that can be added to Lagrangian without changing the eom

So I was reading this: Invariance of Lagrange on addition of total time derivative of a function of coordiantes and time and while the answers for the first question are good, nobody gave much ...
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2answers
317 views

Why do the $1/2$ factor appear in the Majorana mass Lagrangian?

In case of Dirac neutrino there is no $1/2$ factor in the mass Lagrangian but for Majorana type neutrino there is a half factor in the mass Lagrangian.
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1answer
75 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 $$I_0[\...
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2answers
705 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 ...
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0answers
106 views

Equations of motion for controlled/driven classical systems? Does D'Alembert's principle apply?

I'm puzzled about how to derive the equations of motion for certain classical systems where some entity is controlling some of the DOFs. For example, consider a double-pendulum, with lengths $l_1$ ...
5
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1answer
822 views

Why are D'Alembert's Principle and the Principle of Least Action Related?

Why do we get the same differential equations from both principles? Surely there is a fundamental connection between them? When written out, the two seem to have nothing in common. $$\sum _i ( \...
5
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2answers
437 views

Questions about the degree of freedom in General Relatity

I'm confused about the number of degrees of freedom in General Relatity. There are two ways to count it. However, they are contradictory. For simplicity, we consider vacuum solution. First, $G_{\mu\...
0
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1answer
219 views

Finding equilibrium of mechanical system

A system is described as follows: Consider a system consisting of two rotating bars of length $l$ and with uniform mass density and each with total mass $m$. The bars are attached to a common ...
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1answer
85 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 = \...
2
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1answer
460 views

“A Crash Course in Lagrangian Dynamics”. Is it still available online?

In an Amazon review of "Schaum's Outline of Lagrangian Dynamics" I found this: I recommend that you type "Lagrangian Dynamics" into Google and look at some of the excellent sets of lecture notes ...
2
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1answer
68 views

Deriving conserved currents by promoting parameter

I currently reading Tong's text on String Theory. In Chapter 4.1.1 he alludes to a technique to derive conserved currents Recall that we can usually derive conserved currents by promoting the ...
2
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1answer
211 views

Lagrangian and grassmann numbers

Why sometimes we remember that "classical" lagrangians of fermions are constructed from grassmann numbers, while sometimes don't? For example, for Majorana's field in terms of 2-component spinors (...
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3answers
5k views

What exactly is a virtual displacement in classical mechanics?

I'm reading Goldstein's Classical Mechanics and he says the following: A virtual (infinitesimal) displacement of a system refers to a change in the configuration of the system as the result of any ...
2
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1answer
157 views

Mass term in the Lagrangian

I have read that the mass term appearing in the electroweak Lagrangian stops it (the Lagrangian) from becoming gauge invariance. Can someone explain where and why this term is creating the problem?
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95 views

Parity invariance of Einstein-Hilbert Lagrangian

How can we show that the Einstein-Hilbert action is Parity invariant? $$ S_{EH}=\int \sqrt{-g}R d^4x $$
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0answers
38 views

Does the order of variables matter for a quantum Lagrangian in the path integral formula for quantum mechanics? [duplicate]

For a single particle or field, I can't see how the path-integral formulation depends on the order of terms in the Lagrangian. It seems that you integrate the classical Lagrangian to get the action on ...
2
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2answers
284 views

Pendulum with changing length over time. What's wrong?

I tried to find the equation of this pendulum, but I think I did something wrong. I know I have to get the Bessel's equation but I can't see it. It's a simple 2-D pendulum, without any dissipation. ...
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0answers
82 views

Constructing conserved current given the lagrangian

Consider the following Lagrangian for a massive vector field $A_{\mu}$ in Euclidean space time: $$\mathcal L = \frac{1}{4} F^{\alpha \beta}F_{\alpha \beta} + \frac{1}{2}m^2 A^{\alpha}A_{\alpha}$$ ...