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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28 views

Must there exist a Lagrangian for any 2nd order ordinary derivative equation?

We know if there exist a Lagrangian of some ODE, then it must exist many equivalent Lagrangian. My question: Then must there exist a Lagrangian for any 2nd order ODE? If not, do we have some ...
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26 views

Inequivalent matter actions with the same stress-energy tensor in general relativity

In general relativity, suppose as usual that we have the following action for the matter fields \begin{equation} S_{\mathrm{matter}} = \int_M d^4 x \sqrt{-g} L_{\mathrm{matter}} , \end{equation} ...
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0answers
73 views

Quantization of non-variational systems?

In undergraduate courses the introduction to Hamiltonian mechanics usually starts from a Newtonian view point. One has equations of motions of the form (not sure if it is ok to use covariant notation ...
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76 views

Euler-Lagrange equations in General Relativity

When obtaining the Euler Lagrange equations for a scalar field with higher order derivatives in curved space is it the same to use $$ -\partial_\nu\partial_\mu\frac{\partial \sqrt{-g} \mathcal{L}}{\...
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2answers
68 views

How does SUSY avoid to create non-Lorentz interactions?

A three-legs fermion interaction or boson absorbing a fermion are things we do not see in QFT because the corresponding terms in the Lagrangian are not Lorentz invariant. But in susy, naively, such ...
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54 views

Is a lagrangian with a background field interaction renormalizable ? If yes, when?

Consider the Lagrangian, $$ L = -\partial_{\mu} \chi \partial_{\nu} \chi^{\dagger} - m^2 \chi \chi^{\dagger} + g\chi \chi^{\dagger}\phi,$$ where $\phi$ is a background field and $\chi$ is a complex ...
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35 views

Question on basic tensorial calculus on field theory

Working on the Maxwell field as a gauge theory, at some point the following derivative comes up: $\frac{\partial(\partial_iA_0)}{\partial A_0}=0$ which must be, accordingly to the theory, zero. My ...
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36 views

Euler-Lagrange problem of single mass double pendulum in plane [closed]

Problem: "A rod with a length of $l$, mass $m$, is attached by a thread of length $l/2$ according to figure. The rod may perform small, planar swings. Determine its eigen-frequencies." Figure: ...
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2answers
135 views

Is the Noether charge always a Hermitian operator?

Noether's theorem tells us that to every continuous symmetry of the Lagrangian there corresponds a conserved current $j^\mu$. From the time component of this current, we can then define the Noetherian ...
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2answers
74 views

Free particle and harmonic oscillator coupled

I'm currently playing with a toy model given by the Lagrangian $$L=\frac{m\dot{x}^2}{2}+\frac{m\dot{y}^2}{2}+\frac{1}{2}m\omega^2x^2+x y,$$ which is basically a free particle (described by $y(t)$) and ...
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1answer
55 views

Derivatives involving four vectors [closed]

The Schrödinger lagrangian for complex fields is $$L=\frac{1}{2m}(D_i \psi)^* Di \psi - \frac{i}{2} \left[\psi ^* D_0 \psi - (D_o \psi)^* \right] - \frac{1}{4}F^{\mu \nu}F_{\mu \nu}$$ Where $D_\...
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76 views

Feynman rules from interaction Lagrangian with electromagnetic tensor (vertex)

I am currently studying for my QFT exam and in particular learning the methods of reading the Feynman rules directly off the Lagrangian. However, I'm still a bit uncertain how to deal with ...
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1answer
111 views

Is there an action for every physical law?

Given an action, I can get the differential equation governing the evolution of the system by applying the principle of least action. Does it work the other way around? Given any differential ...
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0answers
68 views

How to find propagator from Lagrangian at a glance?

If I have a Lagrangian in momentum space of the form $$ \mathcal{L} = W_\mu^{ \dagger}(p)f(p)^{\mu \nu}W_\nu(p) $$ how is the propagator for the field related to the function $f(p)$ (e.g. is it ...
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63 views

Why is the longitudinal term removed to form the Lorentz force equation?

Beginning with the expression for interaction energy, and deriving the potentials form for the force on a test charge moving at velocity $\vec v$ yields: $$\vec F = q(-\nabla\phi - {D\vec A \over Dt})$...
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1answer
52 views

Understanding Derivation of Euler-Lagrange

I am trying to understand the derivation of the Euler-Lagrange equation. I drew a graph below. So, according to the graph, $$ \int_{t_1}^{t_2} L(x+\delta{x},\dot{x}+\delta\dot{x}\,t) dt - \int_{...
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0answers
42 views

Why is there a minus in the Gauge Field Lagrangian kinetic term? [duplicate]

For vector Gauge fields we usually write the kinetic term: $$ \mathcal{L} ~=~ - \frac{1}{4} F_{\mu \nu} F^{\mu \nu}$$ while for matter fields e.g. for a real scalar: $$ \mathcal{L} ~=~ \frac{1}{2} ...
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56 views

Non-null hessian condition for regular dynamical systems

I'm "researching" on unquantised Yang-Mills theory. For that I'm studying the Dirac's method for singular constrained systems and having problems to follow the first considerations on that matter. I ...
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4answers
295 views

Noether's theorem for space translational symmetry

Imagine a ramp potential of the form $U(x) = a*x + b$ in 1D space. This corresponds to a constant force field over $x$. If I do a classical mechanics experiment with a particle, the particle behaves ...
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0answers
32 views

How to derive kinetic energy from the Lagrange equations? [duplicate]

I'm having trouble deriving the kinetic energy from the Lagrange equations. For reference, I'm following Landau and Lifshitz book, "Mechanics," which can be found for free at Archive. In any case, I'...
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2answers
222 views

How do derivative couplings affect canonical quantization?

Consider a Lagrangian for a scalar field $\phi$ with an interaction term $$\mathcal{L}_{int} = (\partial^2 \phi)^2 \phi.$$ Here I'm suppressing all indices for brevity. Now, this is just a three-...
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1answer
97 views

The dimension of the energy-momentum tensor and the Einstein-Hilbert action

I have been thinking recently what will happen if one uses the energy momentum tensor of the Dirac field as a source in the Einstein Field equations. It is well known that in this case $$ T_{\mu\nu}=...
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56 views

What is the Green's function of the Klein-Gordon equation with a variable mass?

Usually, the Klein-Gordon equation's propagator is calculated with a constant mass. But what if the mass is a variable? That is, $$ (-\partial^2 + m(x)^2)G(x, y) = \delta^4(x-y)$$ where $m(x)$ is a ...
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22 views

Action and equation of motion for codim-2 “cosmic” brane in Einstein gravity, in 3d

Consider the following action, $$ S = S_{EH} + S_{B} = -\frac{1}{8\pi G_N}\int d^3 X \sqrt{G}R + T \int dy \sqrt{g} , $$ where, $G_{\mu \nu}$ is the bulk metric, and $g$ is the induced metric on the ...
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33 views

Einstein-Infeld-Hoffman-Lagrangian for a Test-Particle as Limit of Schwarzschild-Geodesic

Consider a test particle of mass $m$ which is in orbit around a spherical-symmetric body with mass $M$. It therefore has a position as described by the coordinates $r,\phi$, and its motion can be ...
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1answer
77 views

Multiplying Lagrangian by a constant

Does a Lagrangian of a system multiplied by an arbitrary constant still work? If if I apply the Euler-Lagrange equations, do they still guarantee that the action is extremal? I arrived to the ...
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1answer
66 views

Scalar fields in AdS$_3$

I'm looking at lecture notes on AdS/CFT by Jared Kaplan, and in section 4.2 he claims that the action for a free scalar field in AdS$_3$ is $$S=\int dt d\rho d\theta \dfrac{\sin\rho}{\cos\rho}\dfrac{1}...
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1answer
48 views

Help with relativistic notation (Derivative of Lagrangian)

I am trying to learn QFT, but I haven't taken a course in general relativity so the relativistic notation stuff is taking me a bit to get used to. I do not understand how to do the following. For a ...
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0answers
20 views

How to find positions in the equilibrium state of mass-spring system?

I've simulated 3D mass-spring system (mesh/network). First the system was in equilibrium state of it own (called state {A}). If I moved some of the masses in the system to the new positions, the ...
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1answer
40 views

“Normalisation” in the unitary gauge

I will use the example of the Abelian Higgs model to explain my problem. Consider the Lagrangian: $ \mathcal{L} = - \frac{1}{4} F^{\mu \nu}F_{\mu \nu} + \left(D^\mu \phi\right)^\dagger \left( D_\mu \...
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0answers
63 views

Einstein equations from the Palatini action [closed]

I am trying to obtain the usual form of vacuum Einstein's equations $$ R_{\mu \nu} - \frac{1}{2} R g_{\mu \nu} + \Lambda g_{\mu \nu} = 0 $$ from the first-order (Palatini) tetradic action $$ S[\...
2
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1answer
142 views

A mass hanging under a table: a problem from Goldstein [closed]

I'm trying to solve Problem 1.19 from Goldstein's Chapter 1 (2nd edition), and am getting bogged down in trigonometry (?). Please help me figure out what I'm doing wrong! Two mass points of mass $...
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5answers
338 views

In the Principle of Least Action, how does a particle know where it will be in the future?

In his book on Classical Mechanics, Prof. Feynman asserts that it just does. But if this is really what happens (& if the Principle of Least Action is more fundamental than Newton's Laws), then ...
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0answers
25 views

Computing the value of an Action given some boundary conditions

Having being dealing with Actions for a while I have come across a question in which I am required to calculate the value for $S$ an action in the form of a function for some given boundary conditions....
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0answers
52 views

Expression of Noether current corresponding to Lorentz transformation of scalar fields

I find the derivation of Noether current given in the post http://physics.stackexchange.com/a/56905/45429 very clear. However, following a similar logic, I am having problems deriving the Noether ...
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1answer
53 views

Derivation Of The Equation Of Motion Of String from Polyakov action

I'm stuck at a step in the derivation of the equations of motions of a string using the Polyakov action. In Polchinski's textbook in String Theory , Page 14 ; Equation ( 1.2.25 ) , Varying the ...
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1answer
56 views

Build rotational Hamiltonian based on Lagrangian of general form

I've been told that one could build rotational Hamiltonian based on Lagrangian of general form: $\mathcal{L} = \mathcal{L} (\vec{\Omega})$. By introducing Euler angles one could rewrite Lagrangian in ...
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0answers
14 views

Isolated system and mutual interaction potential

We know that the total linear momentum of a closed (isolated) system is conserved due to homogeneity of space (Landau and Liftshitz, page 15, Mechanics). Hence for an isolated system of two bodies ...
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0answers
41 views

How do you derive the Dirac Lagrangian density for spinor fields?

I know the how the Dirac Lagrangian is written but I don't understand how to derive it from the general definition $L=T-V$. So I guess I would also like to know what the Kinetic and Potential energies ...
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0answers
36 views

In what cases do we use the Routh Function? [duplicate]

As many of you, I studied Lagrangian Mechanics and Hamiltonian Mechanics, with the so famous functions called Lagrangian $\mathcal{L}$ and Hamiltonian $\mathcal{H}$ related by: $$\mathcal{H}(q_i, p_i,...
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2answers
95 views

Path Integral Quantization in General Relativity

In Ref. 1 I have seen that the action must contain only the first derivative of the metric as required by the path integral approach. I don't understand why. I mean why the path integral approach of ...
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0answers
29 views

General approach to Mechanics? [duplicate]

So, I know that this question may be tough to answer, but I am asking this question in all seriousness, and I don't consider myself a newbie... Lately, I am trying to find a way to "generalize" my ...
4
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1answer
61 views

Usage of total time derivative within first Euler-Lagrange equation

As one key argument in Introductoryt QM Class, we've been taught to use a Lagrangian and Hamiltonian generalized description of a dynamic systems, which follows the Euler-Lagrange or Hamilton equation ...
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3answers
95 views

Gauge invariance in classical electrodynamics

I think that I don't fully understand concept of gauge invariance. Suppose we have a Lagrangian for classical ED which is: $$\mathcal{L} = -\frac{1}{4} (F_{\mu \nu})^2 - j^{\mu}A_{\mu}.$$ First part ...
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1answer
84 views

Why can you make $V$ stationary with respect to a parameter of the field in Derrick's theorem?

I'm going over Coleman's derivation of Derrick's theorem for real scalar fields in the chapter Classical lumps and their quantum descendants from Aspects of Symmetry (page 194). Theorem: Let $\...
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0answers
46 views

Good books for understanding Lagrangian formulation of classical fields?

I want to understand Lagrangian formulation for classical fields and apply it to understand constrained dynamics. Currently I am referring to "A modern approach: Classical Mechanics" by ECG Sudarshan, ...
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0answers
39 views

Gravity as a gauge theory - Cartan-Killing form?

First, let me state the form of Lagrangian for YM and GR \begin{align} L_{YM} = \alpha \textrm{tr}(F^2), \qquad L_{GR} = \beta R \end{align} I heard, YM is a gauge theory but GR isn't a really gauge ...
2
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1answer
75 views

A question regarding $f(R)$ Lagrangians

Consider the class of Lagrangian known as $f(R)$ Lagrangians where the Lagrangian is some function $f(R)$, \begin{equation} S=\int\sqrt{g}d^4x\ f(R) \end{equation} assuming there are no (or ignoring)...
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1answer
34 views

Calculating motion of equation in tensor form

for the Lagrangian density $$\mathscr{L}=\frac{1}{2}(\partial_{\mu}A^{\mu})^2$$ how can I get this $$\frac{\partial{\mathscr{L}}}{\partial(\partial_{\mu}A_\nu)}=(\partial_\rho A^\rho)\eta^{\mu\nu}$$ ...
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1answer
82 views

Non-holonomic constraints in Dirac-Bergmann theory

The Dirac-Bergmann algorithm effectively isolates the physical degrees of freedom of a system, by changing from Poisson brackets $\{\cdot,\cdot\}_\mathrm{PB}$ to Dirac brackets $\{\cdot,\cdot\}_\...