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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5
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2answers
196 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
votes
0answers
45 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
184 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
votes
0answers
59 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
114 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
vote
0answers
40 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
81 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
80 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
171 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
82 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
139 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
108 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
362 views

Confusion regarding the principle of least action in Landau's “The Classical Theory of Fields”

Edit: The previous title didn't really ask the same thing as the question (sorry about that), so I've changed it. To clarify, I understand that the action isn't always a minimum. My questions are in ...
4
votes
0answers
119 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
189 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
120 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
123 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
119 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
46 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
88 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
82 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
61 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
113 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
152 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
132 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
405 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.
3
votes
0answers
91 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
135 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
64 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
65 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
votes
1answer
63 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
132 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
votes
2answers
276 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
122 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
votes
0answers
41 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),\\ ...
1
vote
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 ...
3
votes
0answers
139 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
67 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
votes
1answer
158 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. ...
1
vote
0answers
36 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
votes
2answers
190 views

Several 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 (for a fixed choice of boundary ...
2
votes
1answer
104 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
votes
0answers
58 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
95 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
85 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
118 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
votes
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
106 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
votes
0answers
83 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
votes
0answers
94 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 ...