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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Is it better to use Lagrangian mechanics for all cases? [duplicate]

I am in high school and I need to solve lots of problems which involve spring-block systems, pendulums, damped oscillations and so on. I am learning Lagrangian mechanics and I am already quite ...
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1answer
47 views

Why does a system whose equations of movement are $\lambda^2U^{\alpha} + \partial_{\mu}F^{\mu \alpha} = 0$ have three degrees of freedom?

I'm trying to understand the solution of a problem where I have to study a field ($U^\mu$) which Lagrangian is: $$\mathscr{L} = - \frac{1}{4} F_{\mu \nu} F^{\mu \nu} + \frac{1}{2} \lambda^2 U_{\mu} ...
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1answer
60 views

Calculus of Variations - Virtual displacements

I am currently reading "The Variational Principles of Mechanics - Cornelius Lanczos", in which the author talks about the variation of a function $F(q_1, q_2, \dots q_n)$ where $q_1, q_2, \dots q_n$ ...
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1answer
64 views

Classical mechanics principle of least action

I don't understand here what does the book mean by expanding in terms of $\delta{q}$ and $\delta{\dot{q}}$ can someone explain that part.
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Fermion Lagrangian with linear momentum versus quadratic momentum

$$ L = \bar{\psi} (\gamma^\mu (p_\mu -A_\mu)- m)\psi \tag{1} $$ $$ L = \bar{\psi} ((\gamma^\mu( p_\mu-A_\mu))^2 - m^2)\psi \tag{2} $$ Is there a difference between the two Lagragians in equations 1 ...
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1answer
142 views

Field theory: equivalence between Hamiltonian and Lagrangian formulation

Let $\mathscr{B}$ be a space of physics we have and $\mathscr{T}$ be the duration. Let $\mathscr{L}$ be a lagrangian density of the field such that the action is a functional of ...
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35 views

How can we get the interaction hamilton $H_\text{int}$ from the Lagrange $L$?

After we quantize the free field we continue on determining the form of $H$. We can impose, by example: $$H=H_0+\lambda V_\text{int}$$ My question is, can we determine $H_\text{int}$ by the ...
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130 views

Friction in Lagrangian formulation

We know the Lagrange equations are: $$\frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial q_i}-\frac{d}{dt}\left(\frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial \dot{q_i}}\right)=0.$$ Then, when we add friction in there, we ...
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95 views

Book on Noether theorem and classical field theory

I couldn't follow the derivation of Noether theorem in my QFT book, and have some problems with classical field theory and functional derivatives etc. Is there a book which gives an introduction to ...
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1answer
91 views

Is $\phi^4$ theory in 4d conformally invariant at the classial level?

I used to believe the three following statements to be true (at the classical level only): From scale invariance full conformal invariance follows. Scale invariance is present if there are no ...
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1answer
84 views

Lagrangian vs Hamiltonian and symmetry of a theory

It is said that since the path-integral formulation of quantum mechanics/or quantum field theory uses the Lagrangian rather than the Hamiltonian, as the fundamental quantity, it preserves all the ...
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42 views

Action of a particle travelling in Minkowski space [closed]

The action of a particle moving in Minkowski space [signature $(-+++)$] is given by $$S=-m \int dt\sqrt{-\eta_{\mu\nu}(X)\dot{x}^\mu \dot{x}^\nu}$$ Inserting in the Metric I get $$S=-m\int dt ...
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1answer
182 views

Understanding Noether's theorem rigorously

I've known about Noether's theorem for some time and reading some things about it recently I've realised I haven't completely understood it. In that case I've been trying to understand a more rigorous ...
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34 views

Equation of string as hamiltonian field equations

I am using Hamiltonian field theory for the first time and I struggle with some final steps. The task is to derive the equation of vibrating string using Hamilton's field equations. Here is what I ...
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2answers
118 views

Is angular momentum conserved for a mass fixed to a horizontal guide

I have the system shown below. Mass 1 confined to a vertical guide, and mass 2 confined to a horizontal guide joined together by a spring. My question is very simple: is the total angular momentum ...
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0answers
40 views

Lagrangian of a Pendulum with oscillating hinge [closed]

The problem I am asked has two parts to it. The first part is to write down the Lagrangian of a pendulum with a hinge that oscillates in the Y direction that is defined by a function $y_0(t)$. The ...
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1answer
85 views

Equations of motion for double spherical pendulum simply?

I am attempting to simulate a double spherical pendulum, i.e. a combination of the spherical pendulum and the double pendulum. I understand that the equations of motion can be derived via the ...
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2answers
168 views

Derivation of momentum in QFT - from Energy-Momentum Tensor [closed]

The conserved 4-momentum operator for the complex scalar field $\psi = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}(\psi_1 + i\psi_2)$ is given in terms of the mode operators in $\psi$ and $\psi^{\dagger}$ as $$P^{\nu} = \int ...
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0answers
35 views

Origin of Hamilton's variational principle [duplicate]

My question is what is the theoretical origin of Hamilton's principle. I mean is there any rigorous mathematical proof of this principle from some more basic principles?
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1answer
99 views

Is the Hamiltonian conserved or not?

The question is the very last sentence at the end of this post. In this post, I'll first show that the Hamiltonian is conserved since it does not have explicit dependence on time and then show that ...
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4answers
226 views

What are the boundary conditions associated to this lagrangian?

Suppose that $L(q^i, \dot{q}^i)$ is a standard and well behaved lagrangian associated to some Dirichlet boundary conditions : $q^i(t_1) = q_1^i$ and $q^i(t_2) = q_2^i$. Now I have this new lagrangian ...
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1answer
100 views

Gauge the symmetry $φ \to φ + a(x)$ for a free massless real scalar field

How does one alter the Lagrangian density for a real scalar field $$\frac{∂_μφ∂^μφ}{2}$$ such that is will be invariant under the gauge transformation $φ → φ + a(x)$? For a complex scalar field ...
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0answers
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On the surface, is the law of maximum entropy production the same as principle of least action?

I just have read about the law of maximum entropy production. Someone has idolized it enough to make an whole website just for it: http://www.lawofmaximumentropyproduction.com/ A system will ...
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1answer
85 views

$SO(N)$ symmetric theory of $N$ real scalar fields, why do charges have correct commutation relations of generators?

Consider an $SO(N)$ symmetric theory of $N$ real scalar fields,$$\mathcal{L} = {1\over2} \partial_\mu \Phi^a \partial^\mu \Phi^a - {1\over2} m^2 \Phi^a \Phi^a - {1\over4} \lambda(\Phi^a ...
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134 views

Deduction of Lagrange's equations for non-conservative systems using Hamilton's Principle

Consider $\vec{F}$, as the total force applied on the system, $U$ the potential energy of the existent field, and $\vec{Q}$ a non-conservative force. We have that: $$F_k=-\frac{\partial U}{\partial ...
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91 views

A bead is threaded on a frictionless vertical wire loop of radius R

The question is the very last sentence at the end of this post. In this post, I'll demonstrate how I reach to a contradiction(the conditions mentioned in conjecture 1 should be satisfied by all ...
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1answer
189 views

Bead on a smooth rotating rod

Suppose a bead ($m$) is free to move on a thin rod in the otherwise empty space. The rod is made to rotate at constant angular speed $\omega$. Lets assume the initial position of the bead is $(r_o, ...
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0answers
37 views

Action for solution of general nth order differential equation [duplicate]

Suppose I want to find solution to a general nth order differential equation. (If I am right about the logic then) one might say that the solution $y\equiv y(x)$ is that function for which the ...
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0answers
41 views

Proof of Hamilton's principle [duplicate]

Is there a anything like a proof of Hamilton's principle? Where would I find it?
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1answer
43 views

How to explain the motion of these pendulums? [duplicate]

Got very interested recently in a video I saw running thru my feed: https://www.facebook.com/PortalAECweb/videos/913996365374257/ Well, I got very intrigued about the physics of it and wanted to ...
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1answer
62 views

Deriving the motion equation for a minimally-coupled scalar field in general relativity [closed]

From the following Lagrangian $$ L = \sqrt{-g} (R+\epsilon\partial^\mu\phi\partial_\mu\phi) $$ I'm getting the motion equation (for the field $g_{\mu\nu}$ and vaccum)as: $$ R_{\mu\nu} - ...
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2answers
193 views

Is there something more to Noether's theorem?

From the definition of Lagrangian mechanics, Noether's theorem shows that conservation of momentum and energy comes from invariance vs time and space. Is the reverse true? Are Lagrangian mechanics ...
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1answer
125 views

The Lagrangian of a Rocket

I am trying to understand how to write the Lagrangian of a system which consists of a rocket losing gas mass in a rate of $\frac{dm}{dt}$, the gas moving in a velocity of $u_0$ in the rocket's view? ...
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34 views

Action functional of Born-Infeld model

I have a Born-Infeld action functional like this $$I[A,\phi]~=~\int b^2(\sqrt{1+(|\bigtriangledown\times A|^2)/b^2}-1)+|D_A\phi|^2 + b^2(1-\sqrt{(1-|\phi|^2)^2/b^2} ).$$ Have any books or notes talk ...
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Proof of Lagrangian

I'm having some trouble with some math on a problem for a physics class (looking for help with some partial derivatives, not an answer). Let $$L'=L+\dfrac{dF}{dt},$$ where $L$ is a Lagrangian and $F$ ...
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1answer
97 views

What does it mean for an action to be defined “on-shell”?

Some actions like 11D supergravity are defined "on-shell". What does this mean exactly? Can you give me an example? Say for example the Klein-Gordon action. Can this be defined on-shell too?
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1answer
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Fourier transform for $W(J)$ in a free QFT

In chapter I.3 and I.4 of A. Zee's QFT in a Nutshell, he starts with the theory $$ \mathcal{L}(\varphi) = \frac 12[(\partial\phi)^2-m^2\varphi^2]+J\varphi $$ Using the path integral approach, he ...
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94 views

Spring mass on a rotating disc

I demonstrated the problem in the figure below. Edit: Original figure is 90 degrees rotated clockwise. I couldn't rotate the figure here. Disc is massles and horizontal. Vibrating mass only moves ...
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0answers
96 views

How to get the inverse of the propagator?

For a free EM Lagrangian, the propagator is as below in momentum space: $$ S[A]=\int d^4kA_{\mu}(k)\underbrace{[-k^2g^{\mu\nu}+k^{\mu}k^{\nu}]}_{M}A_{\nu}(k). $$ It is easy to calculate the $\det(M)$ ...
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1answer
172 views

Acoustical wave equation from Hamilton's principle

It is common to show the features and power of the Hamilton's principle by deriving the equation of vibrating string, membrane etc. using this principle. But I have never seen that used for deriving ...
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79 views

Non-symmetry of a lagrangian

If a transformation $\Phi \rightarrow \Phi + \alpha \partial \Phi/ \partial \alpha$ is not a symmetry of the Lagrangian, then the Noether current is no longer conserved, but rather ...
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78 views

Mass term in field Lagrangian

In the Klein-Gordon or in the Dirac Lagrangian density, the mass term is quadratic in the field. The other way around, I have heard a quadratic term in a general Lagrangian density be referred to as a ...
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19 views

When considering local phase transformations are we forced to use covariant derivatives?

When considering local phase transformations $e^{i\theta(x)}$ of the fields $\phi$ and $\phi^*$ corresponding to \begin{equation} \mathcal{L}=\partial_\mu\phi^*\partial^\mu\phi-m^2\phi^*\phi ...
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Why is the term $m\delta_2\delta_m\bar{\psi}\psi$ ignored in the QED Lagrangian?

Consider the QED Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L}=\bar{\psi}_0(i\gamma^{\mu}\partial_{\mu}-e_0\gamma^{\mu}A_{0\mu}-m_0)\psi_0-\frac{1}{4}(\partial_{\mu}A_{0\nu}-\partial_{\nu}A_{0\mu})^2$$ where the 0 ...
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1answer
46 views

Avoiding a singularity in the simulation of a spherica pendulum

I didn't know whether to put this here or in StackOverflow - so I open to answers just telling me to go there! I am looking to simulate the motion of a spherical pendulum. The Lagrangian is $$ ...
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1answer
36 views

Behaviour of action with respect to time

I was wondering if it was possible to say something general on the behaviour of the action : $$ S[x(\tau)]=\int_0^T L(x,\frac{dx}{d\tau},t) dt $$ (where $x(\tau)$ defines a trajectory, with certain ...
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2answers
162 views

How general are Noether's theorem in classical mechanics?

I'm going through the derivations of Noether's theorems and I have several criticisms as to how they are presented in popular sources (note that I'm only referring to classical mechanics here and not ...
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3answers
62 views

Examples of non-linear field symmetries?

Consider a Lagrangian theory of fields $\phi^a(x)$. Sometime such a theory posseses a symmetry (let's talk about internal symmetries for simplicity), which means that the Lagrangian is invariant under ...
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1answer
120 views

Why does the Palatini formalism of GR work? [duplicate]

We can get the Einstein field equations of GR from the Einstein-Hilbert action via two distinct methods: First, by taking the metric as the only degree of freedom, and imposing right away that the ...
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122 views

How to find symmetry transformations?

For a given Lagrangian $$ {\cal L} = - \frac{1}{4} F_{\mu \nu} F^{\mu\nu} + |D_{\mu} \phi|^2 -V (\phi) $$ with $\phi = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}} (\phi^1 + i \phi^2)$, there are the infinitesimal local ...