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
61 views

Local versus non-local functionals

I'm new to field theory and I don't understand the difference between a "local" functional and a "non-local" functional. Explanations that I find resort to ambiguous definitions of locality and then ...
2
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1answer
44 views

Sign of gravitational force

I'm reading Lanczos's The variational principles of mechanics, and on pp. 80-81 there is an example involving a system made up of $n$ rigid bars, freely jointed at their end points, and the two free ...
6
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1answer
75 views

Curvilinear Coordinates and basis vectors

In these notes, $\frac{\partial \vec{r}} {\partial q_i}$ is stated to form a basis set for the vector space. How does this happen? Also, how does one justify this equation from Goldstein's ...
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1answer
65 views

Interacting Lagrangian - Coupling constant and cutoff factor

I have a general question concerning a given interacting Lagrangian: $$\mathfrak{L}_I = \frac{g}{\Lambda^2} \bar{\chi} \ \gamma^\mu \gamma_5 \ \chi \ \partial^\nu F_{\mu\nu}$$ where $F_{\mu\nu}$ is ...
3
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1answer
54 views

Lagrange's equations derivations

While deriving lagrange's equation, for an infinitesimal displacement $\vec{dr}$, we express it using taylor series in terms of general coordinates as $\frac{\vec{dr}}{dq} \delta q$. Where ...
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2answers
104 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 ...
2
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1answer
124 views

A Question on Hamilton's Principle

In some literatures, the Hamilton's principle for conservative systems is introduced by this equation: $$\delta \int_{t_1}^{t_2}(T-V) ~\mathrm{d}t~=~0$$ In some others, this principle is introduces ...
3
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3answers
85 views

Higher order derivatives - Equation of motion

One possible starting point to create a physical theory is the Lagrangian $L$. There we assume that the variation of the action $\delta S = \delta \int_{-\infty}^\infty dt \ L = 0$. In classical ...
6
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1answer
310 views

Recovering all of Maxwell's equations from the variational principle

Whether you can get the first couple of Maxwell equations from a variational principle? In the second volume of the Landau theoretical physics said that it is impossible.
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0answers
53 views

Building free energy directly from Lagrangian

Energy can be built from Lagrangian when considering the symmetry of time $(\frac{\partial L}{\partial t}=0)$. Free energy is a generalization of energy when the system exchanges heat with the ...
3
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2answers
106 views

Variation of Action with time coordinate variations

I was trying to derive equation (65) in the following review: http://relativity.livingreviews.org/open?pubNo=lrr-2004-4&page=articlesu23.html This slightly unusual then usual classical mechanics ...
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3answers
54 views

In Orbital Mechanics what is the quantity described below called?

I seem to recall that $r^2 \dot{\theta}$ is a conserved quantity in orbital mechanics, which I just proved using the Euler-Lagrange equations. Namely via: $ \mathcal{L} = \frac{m}{2} (\dot{r}^2+r^2 ...
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1answer
50 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 ...
0
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1answer
61 views

Does mass equal angular momentum?

At the wikipedia pages for angular momentum ($L$) and moment of inertia ($I$) we find the equations: $$L=I \omega$$ $$I=m r^2$$ where $m$ is mass and $r$ is the distance between said mass and ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Solving electromagnetic vector field using the Lagrangian

Given an action of the form \begin{equation}S=-\frac{1}{4}\int d^4x\eta^{\mu\nu}\eta^{\lambda\rho}F_{\mu\lambda}F_{\nu\rho}\end{equation} where ...
4
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2answers
230 views

Euler Lagrange equation in different frames

Suppose I have an inertial frame with coordinate $\{q\}$. Now I define another reference frame with coordinate $\{q'(q,\dot q,t)\}$. I obtain the equation of motion in $\{q'\}$ in two different ways: ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Lagrangian formulation of the problem: small oscillations around an equilibrium

I'm having trouble understanding how some conclusions are made in my book. I'm studying from a coursebook based on Goldstein's "Classical Mechanics", here's what's written in my book, with my problems ...
2
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0answers
31 views

Double pendulum find first integral [closed]

Consider the following situation of a double pendulum in 2D. We found the moving equations as $$ \ddot{\theta_1}=-L_1\sin\theta_1 + \frac{m_2}{m_1}\cos\theta_2\sin(\theta_2-\theta_1),\\ ...
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0answers
27 views

Source material desired for behavior of derivatives of action

I'm basically looking for concise commentary, and especially source material/ short discussion pertaining to the following, which I will (emphasizing loosely) state as follows: Suppose a given action ...
4
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0answers
131 views

How do you determine the Lagrangian?

I have always been puzzled by how do you arrive at Lagrangians? That is, how do you know that the functional you need to get Newton's equations is $L$ = $T-V(x)$ Do you derive the Lagrangian first ...
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0answers
43 views

Partial derivative of the classical action with respect to time [closed]

Does anyone know how to derive the general identity: $$\frac{\partial S}{\partial t}=-E$$ where $S$ is the classical action defined as $$S=\int_0^t\left[\frac{1}{2}m\dot x-V(x))\right]d\tau$$ and ...
7
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1answer
131 views

Heuristic Motivation for Lagrangian Formalism

Does anyone know a good heuristic motivation for the Lagrangian Formalism? I think most physicist just accept at one point that it works and thats that. I think I understand the historic origin. ...
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0answers
30 views

Lagrangian for a system of particles [closed]

If a system of particles attracting each other under inverse square force, then prove that $$ 2<T> + <V> = 0.$$
4
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2answers
126 views

Stationary points of the action functional

In QFT the principle of stationary action states that we choose fields that will make the action stationary but what if the action has many stationary points? What's the significance of these other ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

What is the generating functional for a scalar theory with two different (interacting and real) fields?

My question is specifically about how to use sources? For an interacting theory with one field, one puts a $J(x)\phi(x)$ term in the exponential in the path integral for $W[J]$. I now have two ...
3
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0answers
57 views

Does a local symmetry transformation cause a change in kinetic energy?

Consider a local transformation $$ \varphi_i^{\prime}= \varphi_i + \alpha(x) \delta\varphi $$ If this is a symmetry of the action, the Lagrangian is given by $$ \mathcal{L}^{\prime}=\mathcal{L}+ ...
4
votes
2answers
85 views

Non-local structure of field theory

Can someone explain what is non-local structure of field theory? I know you cannot have $\phi(x) \phi(y)$ term in Lagrangian which indicates the non-locality. However, why I cannot have the non-local ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

How does one prove that the current of a spontaneously broken symmetry generates a particle?

I am having a hard time arguing that, after spontaneous breaking of a continuous symmetry of a field Lagrangian, local fluctuations around the vacuum can be interpreted as particles (without referring ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Translations and Noether's Theorem

I'm fine with $U(1)$ symmetry and Noether's Theorem, but struggling with the translations of the field; namely $$\phi'(x^{\mu})=\phi(x^{\mu}-a^{\mu}),$$ where $a^{\mu}$ constant four-vector ...
16
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6answers
1k views

Why does a system try to minimize potential energy?

In mechanics problems, especially one-dimensional ones, we talk about how a particle goes in a direction to minimize potential energy. This is easy to see when we use cartesian coordinates: For ...
1
vote
1answer
66 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 ...
0
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0answers
50 views

Center of mass coordinates in Lagrangians and Laplacians

Is there a quick nice and easy way to write Lagrangian's and the classical/quantum Laplacian operator in terms of center of mass coordinates? The algebra is so involved and it has me confused about ...
2
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0answers
64 views

Feynman rules of a theory in non-standard form

I am currently studying lecture notes by Akhmedov on interacting scalar field theory in de Sitter space. In these notes, he considers a scalar field theory of the form ...
2
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2answers
74 views

Intuition Behind Conservation of Angular Momentum

I'm having a fairly hard time understanding the intuition behind Noether's derivation of the conservation of angular momentum from the rotational invariance of the Lagrangian, though I do understand ...
3
votes
2answers
109 views

When can we add a total time derivative of $f(q, \dot{q}, t)$ to a Lagrangian?

The other day, I was listening to this lecture on the Lagrangian for a charged particle in an electromagnetic field, and at one point in the video, the lecturer mentions that we can add any total time ...
5
votes
1answer
77 views

Free Field theory to Interacting Field theory

Free field theory: Why is it said that different Fourier modes in case of a free field (say, real Klein-Gordon field) are independent of each other? Interacting field theory: How exactly does the ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

Equations of motion for the Yang-Mills $SU(2)$ theory

I have an exercise for Yang-Mills theory. I can't find answer anywhere. Derive equations of motion for the Yang-Mills theory with the gauge group $SU(2)$ interacting with $SU(2)$ doublet of scalar ...
5
votes
5answers
224 views

Euler-Lagrange equation for continuous systems

I'm having a little trouble with wrapping my head around a part of a method which is fairly 'new' in some fashions to me. I imagine it should be fairly obvious, but I am not seeing something at the ...
12
votes
1answer
394 views

Physical Interpretation of EM Field Lagrangian

Using differential forms and their picture interpretations, I wonder if it's possible to give a nice geometric & physical motivation for the form of the Electromagnetic Lagrangian density? The ...
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0answers
32 views

Hamiltonian flow is volume preserving

I was reading about advantage of Hamiltonian over Lagrangian. One of the advantage is "Hamiltonian flow is volume preserving". Can anyone help me to understand this? Means what is advantage of ...
7
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2answers
260 views

How do we know if a formulation of classical mechanics is correct?

For example, the Lagrangian formulation. I may be missing something, i.e. not having done it in enough detail, but here is my issue: from the definition of the lagrangian ($\mathcal{L}$) and from ...
2
votes
0answers
140 views

Can you give example of some problems with solutions in each of Newtonian, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian method? [closed]

I am a student from information system and just want to know about classical mechanics. I know Newtonian mechanics from high school and I have read about Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics in ...
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0answers
47 views

path integral quantization of EM field derived from canonical quantization?

In Peskin's QFT book page 294, he formally addressed the quantization of EM field, $$propagotor_{EM}=\frac{-ig_{\mu\nu}}{k^2+i\epsilon}$$ Now that we have the functional integral quantization ...
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0answers
43 views

Lagrangian Field Entropy?

Has anyone investigated the inclusion of a field's entropy in its Lagrangian? I read from information theory that the entropy $H$ of a scalar field $\phi$ distrusted across space is defined as ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Functional field integral in condensed matter field theory (Altland)

This is the action for the 1+1 dimensional interacting electron system; $$S_{cl}[\theta , \phi]= \frac{1}{2\pi} \int dxd\tau \left(g^{-1}v(\partial_x \theta)^2 + gv(\partial_x \phi)^2 + ...
3
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0answers
175 views

Derivation of Euler-Lagrange equations for Lagrangian with dependence on second order derivatives

Suppose we have a Lagrangian that depends on second-order derivatives: $$L = L(q, \dot{q}, \ddot{q})$$ If we're working on the variational problem for this Lagrangian, then I know that we'll wind up ...
4
votes
2answers
134 views

Lagrange multiplier and constraint force

The Lagrangian with Lagrange multiplier in the form $$L= T- V + \lambda f(q, \dot{q},t).$$ But there are different ways of writing the constraint $f = 0$. Will that lead to different EOMs? Let me ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Calculate energy from vacuum electromagnetic-field action

I'm reading Rubakov's "Classical Theory of Gauge Fields", and I'm having a little bit of trouble with problem 7, p 15: Using an expression of the type $E = \int d^{3} x \frac{\delta L}{\delta ...
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0answers
24 views

The equation of the location of L1

On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian_point#L1 it says that the location of L1 can be determined as $\frac{M_1}{(R-r)^2}=\frac{M_2}{r^2}+\left(\frac{M_1}{M_1+M_2}R-r\right)\frac{M_1+M_2}{R^3}$, ...
3
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1answer
143 views

Finding the creation/annihilation operators

Using Minkowski signature $(+,-,-,-)$, for the Lagrangian density $${\cal L}=\partial_{\mu}\phi\partial^{\mu}\phi^{\dagger}-m^2\phi \phi^{\dagger}$$ of the complex scalar field, we have the field ...