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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10
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3answers
520 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
97 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?
3
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0answers
64 views

Parity invariance of Einstein-Hilbert Lagrangian

How can we show that the Einstein-Hilbert action is Parity invariant? $$ S_{EH}=\int \sqrt{-g}R d^4x $$
2
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0answers
35 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
votes
2answers
103 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
60 views

Constructing conserved current given the lagrangian

Consider the following Lagrangian for a massive vector field $A_{\mu}$ in Euclidean space time: $$\mathcal L = \frac{1}{4} F^{\alpha \beta}F_{\alpha \beta} + \frac{1}{2}m^2 A^{\alpha}A_{\alpha}$$ ...
1
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0answers
64 views

Lagrangian Systems

Given a manifold $M$, Arnold's "Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics" defines a Lagrangian system as a pair $(M,L)$ where $L$ is some smooth function on the tangent bundle $TM$. The function ...
7
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2answers
167 views

Naive questions on the concept of effective Lagrangian and equations of motion?

Let us consider a LC circuit containing an electric dipole moment, the quantum system (electric field $E$ coupled with a dipole moment) can be described by the path integral $$Z=\int DEDxe^{i\int ...
3
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0answers
68 views

Is the “Force” of Gravity Simply Hamilton's Principle on a Curved Spacetime?

It's my understanding that General Relativity abstracts away the concept of gravity as a force, and instead describes it as a feature of spacetime by which massive objects cause curvature. Then it ...
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0answers
28 views

Conditions for hyperregularity

(Definitions from Marsden & Ratiu, ``Introduction to Mechanics and Symmetry''): A Lagrangian is regular if the Hessian $\partial^2 L/(\partial \dot{q}^i \partial \dot{q}^j)$ is weakly non ...
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0answers
55 views

Lagrangian for FRW metric

For the metric $$ds^2=-dt^2+a^2(t)(dx^2+dy^2+dz^2),$$ $$L= \sqrt{-g_{\alpha\beta}\frac{dx^\alpha}{dt}\frac{dx^\beta}{dt}}$$ How does this become $$L= \sqrt{1-a^2 (\frac{dx}{dt})^2}~? $$ I guess ...
1
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1answer
134 views

Sufficient conditions for the energy to be not conserved?

I'm almost embarrased to ask this question because I thought I was by now very confident with classical mechanics. Someone has stated that given a mechanical system with a Lagrangian $L$ s.t. ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Reference Request: Fluid dynamics/Elasticity via Lagrangians

Would there be a book that does what Landau does in Fluid Mechanics and Theory of Elasticity using Lagrangian's/Action-principles, analogous to the presentation in Landau's mechanics? I have only ...
1
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1answer
120 views

Subtlety in derivation of Noether's theorem by Di Francesco

In the book 'Conformal Field Theory' by Di Francesco et al, a derivation of Noether's theorem is demonstrated by imposing that, what I believe is said to be a more elegant approach, the parameter ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

Invariance of canonical Hamiltonian equation when adding the total time derivative of a function of $q_i$ and $t$ to the Lagrangian

The following is exercise 8.2 in 3rd edition (and exercise 8.19 in 2nd edition) of Goldstein's Classical Mechanics. Adding the total time derivative of a function of $q_i$ and t to the Lagrangian ...
6
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3answers
301 views

Eigenvalues of the Lagrangian?

It is often stated that the Lagrangian formalism and the Hamiltonian formalism are equivalent. We often hear people talk about eigenvalues of Hamiltonians but I have never ever heard a word about ...
3
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1answer
75 views

Lagrangian description of Brownian motion?

I'm interested in the existence of a Lagrangian field theory description of Bronwnian motion, does such a thing exist? Given a particle of some spin $\sigma$, which has a Lagrangian associated with ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

How can a generalised force be dependent on an angle i.e. not a vector?

I'm currently working through an example question in Patrick Hamill's 'A Student's Guide to Hamiltonians and Lagrangians'. The question I'm having conceptual difficulty with is: A particle is ...
1
vote
1answer
61 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

Proca Lagrangian manipulation

How can I show that the Lagrangian density $$\mathcal{L} = -\frac{1}{2}\partial_\alpha \varphi_\beta \partial^\alpha \varphi^\beta + \frac{1}{2} \partial_\alpha \varphi^\alpha \partial_\beta ...
2
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1answer
79 views

Hookes Law and Objective Stress Rates

Often, in papers presenting updated Lagrangian simulation methods for solid dynamics, the following procedure for updating the (Cauchy) stress tensor is presented: First, the Cauchy stress tensor is ...
0
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0answers
39 views

How can we describe the trajectory of an object projected into a viscous fluid?

Can we quantitatively describe the motion of a particle inside a fluid? Let us consider the case when an object (say a sphere, so that stoke's law holds true) is projected into a fluid of viscosity ...
3
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0answers
73 views

Naive questions on the classical equations of motion from the Chern-Simons Lagrangian

Consider a Chern-Simons Lagrangian $\mathscr{L}=\mathbf{e}^2-b^2+g\epsilon^{\mu \nu \lambda} a_\mu\partial _\nu a_\lambda$ in 2+1 dimensions, where the 'electromagnetic' fields are $e_i=\partial ...
5
votes
2answers
153 views

Functional Derivative in the Linear Sigma Model

In the linear sigma model, the Lagrangian is given by $$ \mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2}\sum_{i=1}^{N} \left(\partial_\mu\phi^i\right)\left(\partial^\mu\phi^i\right) ...
0
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0answers
35 views

Another Power Counting/ mass dimension question

Are the mass dimension of the Dirac field different from those of the Klein-Gordon field, or is this just another issue of "cannonical normalization?" For instance if $\mathcal{L}_{KG}=\int ...
2
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0answers
150 views

Question about an integration by parts in Feynman's Quantum Mechanics [closed]

I have begun reading Feynman & Hibbs Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals. Knowing little about variational calculus or Lagrangians I found the following integration by parts opaque. I think if I ...
2
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0answers
52 views

Local symmetry and General Relativity

First I want to consider an example of 1D motion. Lagrange equation: $$ \frac{d}{dt} \frac{\partial L}{\partial \dot x} - \frac{\partial L}{\partial x} = 0 $$ If we transform $ L \rightarrow L+a $ ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

Schrödinger evolution for a Klein-Gordon equation

I have a problem with the transition from quantum relativistic wave equations (specifically Klein-Gordon equation) to QFT, since a lot of assumptions seem implicit. For example I have a problem with ...
1
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0answers
32 views

Partial derivatives in Lagrangian formalism [duplicate]

Suppose I have a function $f = xy$. A partial derivative of $f$ with respect to $x$ implies holding $y$ constant: $$ \frac{\partial f}{\partial x} = y $$ Does this mean that in order to evaluate ...
1
vote
1answer
74 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
47 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?), ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Lagrangian depends on second derivative of field

In case of the gauge-fixed Faddeev-Popov Lagrangian: $$ \mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu\nu}\,^{a}F^{\mu\nu ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

The Einstein-Hilbert Action On-Shell

If one consider the Maxwell action as $$S=-\int \mathrm{d^{4}}x\! \ \frac{1}{4}F_{ab}F^{ab} \,$$ one find the usual Maxwell equation $$\partial_{a}F^{ab}=0$$ Then one can simply arrive the following ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Pressure and Density Using a General Lagrangian

Given a lagrangian of a form: \begin{equation}\mathcal{L}=f(\phi,\partial_{\mu}\phi\partial^{\mu}\phi)\end{equation} where $f$ is a function, I need to derive pressure and density in a FLRW universe ...
4
votes
0answers
96 views

Gauge Invariance of Yang Mills Lagrangian

I am trying to show the invariance of the following Yang Mills Lagrangian: $$L= -\frac{1}{4} F^a_{\mu \nu} F_a^{\mu\nu} + J_a^\mu A_\mu^a$$ under the following gauge transformation ($\theta$ being a ...
4
votes
0answers
105 views

Gauge Invariance of the Non-abelian Chern-Simons Term

I'm trying to prove that, under the gauge transformation $$A_{\mu} \rightarrow A_{\mu}^{\prime} = g^{-1} A_{\mu} g + g^{-1} \partial_{\mu} g,$$ the non-abelian Chern-Simons Lagrangian density: ...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

QFT's that have no action

What does it mean to have a QFT that can not be encoded by an action. What is by far the most powerful approach of study in such a case. What is the best studied physical theory that falls into this ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Deriving field equation in Yang Mills theory

Trying to show that $$D_\mu\vec{F^{\mu \nu}} = \partial_{\mu}\vec{F^{\mu \nu}} + g \vec{A_\mu} \times \vec{F^{\mu \nu}} = 4 \pi \vec{J^\nu},$$ or (correct me if I'm wrong) $$ \partial_{\mu} F^{\mu ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Landau & Lifshitz - Euler's equation for one-dimensional flow

One page 5 in Landau & Lifshitz Fluid Mechanics (2nd edition), the authors pose the following problem: Write down the equations for one-dimensional motion of an ideal fluid in terms > of the ...
2
votes
1answer
88 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
votes
1answer
45 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
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
1
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1answer
67 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
votes
1answer
55 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
105 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
votes
1answer
131 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
votes
3answers
103 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 ...
7
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1answer
336 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.
2
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0answers
54 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
votes
2answers
113 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 ...