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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155 views

When is the principle of stationary action not the principle of least action?

I've only had a very brief introduction to Lagrangian mechanics. In a physics course I took last year, we briefly covered the principle of stationary action --- we looked at it, derived some equations ...
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2answers
68 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 ...
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1answer
51 views

Determine path of point mass using the Hamilton's principle

I am very new in this field but I try to solve a problem by using the Hamilton's principle and afterwards I want to compare the solution by solving the same problem using conservation laws. What I ...
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1answer
39 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 ...
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1answer
88 views

How to use Euler-Lagrange when Lagrangian is $L=\sqrt{t}\sqrt{1+(dy/dt)^2}$

In this Lagrangian problem, action is $$S = \int_{t_1}^{t_2} \sqrt{t}\sqrt{1+\dot{y}^2} \,\,dt$$ where $\dot{y} = dy/dt$ and $t_1$ and $t_2$ are some fixed points. I tried to solve this problem using ...
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1answer
71 views

Least action principle — numerical simulation strangeness

I'm trying to get some experience with the least action principle, and for this I chose a simple 1-dimensional problem of a particle moving in some field. The least action principle would then look ...
3
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1answer
92 views

Rigorous version of field Lagrangian

In Classical Mechanics the configuration of a system can be characterized by some point $s\in \mathbb{R}^n$ for some $n$. In particular, if it's a system of $k$ particles then $n = 3k$ and if there ...
5
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1answer
240 views

Why should it be allowed to set the einbein to unity?

The Polyakov action for a massive free point particle with worldline $\gamma$ is given by $$ S[\gamma] = \frac{1}{2}\int_\gamma e \biggl(\frac{1}{e^2}\dot{x}^2 - m^2\biggr)\mathrm{d}\tau $$ where ...
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1answer
41 views

Symmetries of the action of the free classical Klein-Gordon field

I've read that the action for the free classical Klein-Gordon field $$S = \int \mathrm{d}^4x~ \mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2} \int \mathrm{d}x^4 \left(\partial_\mu \phi(x) \, \partial^\mu \phi(x) - ...
2
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1answer
69 views

Finding potential energy of a solid hemisphere on top of another solid hemisphere [closed]

A solid hemisphere with radius $b$ has its flat surface glued to a horizontal table. Another solid hemisphere with radius $a$ rests on top of the hemisphere of radius $b$ so that the curved ...
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0answers
57 views

Does the Noether's theorem apply to local symmetries? [duplicate]

Does the Noether's theorem apply to local symmetries? If yes, what is the conserved current in presence of the Gauge field $A_\mu$? I mean the conserved current is give by ...
6
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2answers
187 views

Two carts connected by spring on frictionless track

I have the following homework problem: Consider two carts of equal mass m on a horizontal, frictionless track. The carts are connected by a single spring of force constant k, but are otherwise ...
2
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1answer
261 views

Difference in “momentum” names in Lagrangian mechanics

In the context of Lagrangian formulation of classical mechanics, the following names keep occurring in most textbooks, which confuse me a lot, are they different in any way? Momentum Generalized ...
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1answer
103 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 ...
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0answers
41 views

Action principles and covariant equations [duplicate]

Can every physically sound differential equation, that is covariant, deterministic etc. be derived by extremising a suitable action using a suitable lagrangian, that may be arbitary. Is this a ...
4
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1answer
263 views

Non-integrability of the 2D double pendulum

Context: For a system with $n$ degrees of freedom (DOF), one has to deal with $2n$ independent coordinates ($2n$ dimensional phase space), of position $q$ and $\dot{q}$ in Lagrangian formulation, ...
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0answers
74 views

How do I treat the Lagrangian in the case of a rigid body?

Here's Exercise 1.11 from Goldstein's Classical Mechanics 3rd edition (the first one after having derived the Lagrangian basically): Exercise 1.11: Consider a uniform thin disk that rolls without ...
7
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1answer
131 views

Why is it so coincident that Palatini variation of Einstein-Hilbert action will obtain an equation that connection is Levi-Civita connection?

There are two ways to do the variation of Einstein-Hilbert action. First one is Einstein formalism which takes only metric independent. After variation of action, we get the Einstein field equation. ...
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0answers
46 views

Mixed two-point vertex in QFT

I am considering a theory with two fields, say $\phi$ and $\psi$. The Lagrangian contains quadratic terms, i.e., propagators for both fields and a quartic interaction term for one of the fields. ...
6
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2answers
205 views

Semiclassical limit of Quantum Mechanics

I find myself often puzzled with the different definitions one gives to "semiclassical limits" in the context of quantum mechanics, in other words limits that eventually turn quantum mechanics into ...
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1answer
64 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 ...
3
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1answer
219 views

Which transformations *aren't* symmetries of a Lagrangian?

As far as I understand, Noether's theorem for fields works, as explained in David Tong's QFT lecture notes (page 14) for example, by saying that a transformation $\phi(x) \mapsto \phi(x) + \delta \phi ...
3
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1answer
94 views

Special Relativity: Finding the Euler Lagrange of a massive particle

Knowing that $$\tag{1} L= -mc\sqrt{-\eta_{ab}\frac{d\xi^a}{d\lambda}\frac{d\xi^b}{d\lambda}}$$ we get $$\tag{2} p_a=\frac{\partial L}{\partial(d\xi^a/d\lambda)} = m\eta_{ab}u^b.$$ How come? If I ...
3
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1answer
136 views

How are Feynman rules derived (in general)?

There are some questions (not all answered) on how Feynman rules for specific cases are derived (e.g. Sign of Feynman rules with derivative couplings, Feynman rules for coupled systems, How can we ...
2
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1answer
78 views

Lagrangian density for the electromagnetic field

I want to know how the Lagrangian density for the electromagnetic field is written in the following form:
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0answers
52 views

What's the conserved stress energy tensor? [closed]

I've worked on this problem for forever and still don't really see the solution. Any help appreciated. Say we have the Lagrangian for a scalar field that's $U(1)$ charged,$$\mathcal{L} ...
6
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2answers
314 views

Finding 3-Sphere Christoffel connection coefficients using variational calculus, Sean Carrol problem

I have A 3-Sphere with coordinates $x^{\mu} = (\psi,\theta,\phi)$ and the following metric: \begin{equation} ds^2 = d\psi^2 + \text{sin}^2\psi(d\theta^2 + \text{sin}^2\theta d\phi^2) \end{equation} ...
5
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1answer
104 views

Variational form of Euler's incompressible fluid equations?

I am trying to derive Euler's incompressible fluid equations in terms of a variational stationary principle. Given Euler's flow equations: $$\frac{\partial v}{\partial t} = -\nabla p$$ $$\nabla\cdot ...
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1answer
133 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 ...
3
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0answers
57 views

Classical toy models of particles with intrinsic spin

Related to my question here (spacetime torsion, the spin tensor, and intrinsic spin in einstein cartan theory), I'd like to be able to put test particles on a manifold with non-zero torsion and see ...
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1answer
98 views

Variational principle for a point particle (massive or massless) in curved space

We know that for a point particle, the action is $$ S[x,e] ~=~ \frac{1}{2}\int_{\lambda_A}^{\lambda_B} d\lambda\left[e^{-1}(\lambda)~g_{\mu\nu}(x(\lambda))~\dot{x}^\mu(\lambda)~\dot{x}^\nu(\lambda) ...
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0answers
94 views

Lagrangian mechanics is different form Newtonian? [duplicate]

I am a post graduate student and had completed my classical Mechanics with Newtonian mechanics to Hamiltonian mechanics. I have better understanding of Newtonian, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian. But I ...
0
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1answer
95 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 ...
5
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1answer
116 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 ...
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2answers
112 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 ...
2
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1answer
256 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 ...
4
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1answer
117 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
163 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
117 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 ...
2
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4answers
206 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
41 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 ...
2
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0answers
61 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 ...
6
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2answers
253 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
307 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
291 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( ...
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1answer
88 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
175 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
73 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 ...
2
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1answer
124 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
58 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 : ...