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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

12
votes
3answers
442 views

How are symmetries precisely defined?

How are symmetries precisely defined? In basic physics courses it is usual to see arguments on symmetry to derive some equations. This, however, is done in a kind of sloppy way: "we are calculating ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Interpreting Lagrange Multipliers as forces

I am (still) working on getting a good understanding of Lagrange multipliers. I understand their function in an optimization problem that is subject to some constraint. For the specific case of ...
1
vote
1answer
220 views

Optimal selection of generalized coordinates in Lagrangian system

EDITED: The number of bonds is actually 2, not 1 (look at edit history). Fixed for archiving purposes. Problem: The edge A of an homogeneous rod (of length $\ell$ and mass $m$) is performing a smooth ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

How Hamilton's Principle was found?

Hamilton's principle states that the actual path a particle follows from points $p_1$ and $p_2$ in the configuration space between times $t_1$ and $t_2$ is such that the integral $$S = ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

What is the neatest way to describe a “non-autonomous” (lagrangian) system?

The configuration space of a system of particles $(m_i,x_i)$, $i=1,\dots,n$, subject to constraints $$\Phi (x)=0,\qquad \Phi\colon \mathbb R^{3n}\to \mathbb R ^{3n-k},\qquad x=(x_1,...,x_n),$$ if the ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Lepton number conservation and global phase transformation

Why the lepton number conservation is connected with the invariance of the lagrangian under global phase (U(1)) transformation of the wave function? How to distinguish global gauge phase and global ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

How to find the equillibrium points using Jacobian and Hessian?

Given that I have Jacobian and Hessian matrices of three particles interacting with each other in a harmonic trap through Coulomb's law in a 2D plane, how do I find the equilibrium points of them (I ...
0
votes
1answer
117 views

Block on cart, equation of motion

Consider a rigid block of $b \times h$ having mass $m$ on cart (as depicted below). The cart is given an acceleration $a$, this leads to overturning of the block. The angle of rotation is indicated by ...
0
votes
0answers
75 views

Spring Force in a Dynamic Equation

I am working on dynamic simulation of a bipedal robot, I have dynamic equations of a preliminary structure. But Now I have to add some springs to the dynamics. I am having a problem of how to account ...
2
votes
1answer
260 views

Is there a better choice of coordinates for a bead on a rotating helical wire?

A bead of mass $m$ is threaded around a smooth spiral wire and slides downwards without friction due to gravity. The $z$-axis points upwards vertically. Suppose the spiral wire is rotated about the ...
2
votes
2answers
799 views

Euler-Lagrange equations and friction forces

We can derive Lagrange equations supposing that the virtual work of a system is zero. $$\delta W=\sum_i (\mathbf{F}_i-\dot {\mathbf{p}_i})\delta \mathbf{r}_i=\sum_i ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Lagrangian Oscilattor

I want to know how to calculate the normal modes from a Lagrangian. I make the T (kinetic energy matrix) and U (potential energy matrix), and then I calculate the determinant of $|T-\omega ^2 U|$ ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Converse of the Lagrangian form-invariance

The form-invariance of the Lagrange equations implies the existence of a function $\ A( q_k, t)$ so that $\ \begin{equation} L' (q_k, v_k, t) -L(q_k, v_k, t) = \frac d {dt} A( q_k, t) ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

Is there a Lagrangian whose Euler-Lagrange equation is the gradient?

I am trying to recast a problem I am working on in terms of Lagrangian mechanics. I am in the following situation. Suppose I have a function $f:X \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ (a field). In the its ...
1
vote
1answer
153 views

What is meant by a local Lagrangian density?

What is meant by a local Lagrangian density? How will a non-local Lagrangian look like and what is the problem that we do not consider such Lagrangian densities?
3
votes
1answer
160 views

Clarifying constraint forces in Lagrangian dynamics

In the Lagrangian formulation, the addition of constraint forces that are unknown can be done with Lagrange multipliers, which allows for the forces to be found. Taking $k$ constraints of the form ...
5
votes
5answers
418 views

Noether Theorem and Energy conservation in classical mechanics

I have a problem deriving the conversation of energy from time translation invariance. The invariance of the Lagrangian under infinitesimal time displacements $t \rightarrow t' = t + \epsilon$ can be ...
2
votes
1answer
178 views

Is Lagrangian a scalar?

I may be wrong: Lagrangian are scalars. They are NOT invariant under coordinate transformations. The simplest example is when you have a gravitational potential ($V=mgz$) and you translate $z$ by $a$ ...
4
votes
2answers
139 views

Landau's argument for dependence of Lagrangian on magnitude of velocity

In chapter 1, of Landau-Lifshitz Mechanics' book, Landau through isotropy and homogeneity of space and homogeneity of time proves that the Lagrangian must depend of magnitude of velocity of the ...
3
votes
1answer
81 views

How to check $\renewcommand{\vec}[1]{\mathbf{#1}} \vec{v'}\cdot\vec{V}$ and $\vec{v}'^2$ are time derivatives of some other functions?

From Landau, Lifshitz Mechanics p.127 $\renewcommand{\vec}[1]{\mathbf{#1}}L'=\frac{1}{2}m(\vec{v}'^2+\vec{v'}\cdot\vec{V}+\vec{V}^2)-U $ He states that "$\vec{V}^2(t)$ can be written as the total ...
1
vote
0answers
461 views

Ball rolling without slipping inside a hollow cylinder

A small ball of radius $r$ performes small oscillations within a hollow cylinder of radius $R$. What would be the angular frequency of the oscillations given that the rolling is without slipping? The ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Expansion of $L(v^2 + 2\vec{v}\cdot\vec{\epsilon}+\epsilon^2)$ [duplicate]

How can I find the expansion of the Lagragian (it it only dependent on $v^2$) $L(v^2 + 2\vec{v}\cdot\vec{\epsilon}+\epsilon^2)$ in powers of $\vec{\epsilon}$ ? (From L.Landau, E. Lifshitz, Mechanics , ...
2
votes
1answer
183 views

Lorentz force equation from relativistic Lagrangian

The relativistic Lagrangian is given by $$L = - m_0 c^2 \sqrt{1 - \frac{u^2}{c^2}} + \frac{q}{c} (\vec u \cdot \vec A) - q \Phi $$ I need to derive, $\displaystyle \frac{d\vec p}{dt} = q \left( \vec E ...
10
votes
2answers
377 views

Lagrangian Mechanics - Commutativity Rule $\frac{d}{dt}\delta q=\delta \frac{dq}{dt} $

I am reading about Lagrangian mechanics. At some point the difference between the temporal derivative of a variation and variation of the temporal derivative is discussed. The fact that the two are ...
1
vote
1answer
178 views

Shouldn't Quantum Mechanics change in a black hole?

I recently learnt that the conservation laws are a consequence of the symmetries of space and time (the Lagrangian in Newton mechanics). Since space-time change in a black hole wouldn't quantum ...
5
votes
5answers
499 views

What distinguishes time from space in Quantum Field Theory?

Consider the following expression for a general QFT action: $$ S ~=~ \int_0^t\mathrm dt~L ~=~\int_0^t\mathrm dt\int_\mathbb {R^3}\mathrm d^3x~\mathcal L ~=~\int\mathrm d^4x~\mathcal L.$$ Here we ...
0
votes
2answers
278 views

Time dependence of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian?

I am reading a online tutorial about Lagrangian mechanics. In one section, it states that if the kinetic term in Lagrangian has no explicit time dependence, the Hamiltonian does not explicitly depends ...
3
votes
1answer
186 views

Missing terms in Hamiltonian after Legendre transformation of Lagrangian

Short question Given any Lagrangian density of fields one could possibly conceive, is it the case that after one has performed a Legendre transformation, if the Hamiltonian is then expressed in terms ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Classical Mechanics & Coordinates [closed]

What is the meaning generalised coordinates in Classical Mechanics? How is Lagrangian formalism different from Hamiltonian formalism? How are they related to Hamilton's Principle? How are they ...
0
votes
1answer
137 views

Can't understand the principle of least action [closed]

I tried many hours to understand the principle of least action, and those hours become days... and I still didn't understand that principle/ and how it relates to Newtonian mechanics? Could someone ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

The definition of Lagrangian [duplicate]

I have learned Lagrange's equation, and we have Lagrangian defined as $$L=T-V$$ My question is why Lagrangian is defined like this rather than other format such as $T+V$ or something else.
1
vote
1answer
208 views

Calculate Hamiltonian from Lagrangian for electromagnetic field

I am unable to derive the Hamiltonian for the electromagnetic field, starting out with the Lagrangian $$ \mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{4}F^{\mu\nu}F_{\mu\nu}-\frac{1}{2}\partial_\nu A^\nu \partial_\mu A^\mu ...
1
vote
0answers
83 views

Derivation of equations of motion in Nordstrom's theory of scalar gravity?

Nordstrom's theory of a particle moving in the presence of a scalar field $\varphi (x)$ is given by $$ S = -m\int e^{\varphi (x)}\sqrt{\eta_{\alpha \beta}\frac{dx^{\alpha}}{d ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Stationary action with maximized action [duplicate]

I would like to ask for an example (a lagrangian) both in classical and quantum level for which the action is maximaized (rather than minimized). What is special in these cases?
1
vote
2answers
169 views

Equations of motion from the Standard Model

For some time now I have been wondering if you could not derive any sort of equations of motion from the Standard Model: ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Transforming a lagrangian to hamiltonian and vice versa

I am not refering to Legendre transform, but to something more simple. In analytical mechanics, the Lagrangian can be described as $L=T-V$, and the Hamiltonian is if the Lagrangian doesn't explicitly ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

What is the “momentum” referred to in the energy-momentum tensor

What is the "momentum" referred to in the energy momentum tensor from GR? Is it $m\dot{x}$ or is it the canonical momentum $\frac{d}{dt} \left(\frac{\partial L}{\partial \dot{x}}\right)$ Also, I ...
1
vote
2answers
91 views

With respect to what quantities do I vary Lagrangians in field theory?

I have recently been wondering, with respect to which quantities (covariant or contravariant) one should vary QFT Lagrangians and whether there is some rule regarding this. Let me give an example ...
5
votes
2answers
316 views

Is the Dirac Lagrangian Hermitian?

I'm wondering of the Dirac Lagrangian density $$\mathcal{L} =\overline{\psi}(-i\gamma^\mu \partial_\mu +m)\psi $$ is an hermitian operator, since upon complex conjugating one gets ...
1
vote
1answer
124 views

Hamiltonian conservation

Lagrangian formalism does not involve forces that doesn't come from a potential and Hamiltonian formalism says that even though energy is not conserved due to a force like this, the Hamiltonian is ...
2
votes
2answers
178 views

Curved spacetime point particle Lagrangian density

This is probably trivially related to the question: Action for a point particle in a curved spacetime , but am a bit unsure how to write it as a Lagrangian density. In curved spacetime the action is ...
1
vote
2answers
234 views

Derivation of Lagrangian density for an infinite classical dielectric in interaction with the EM field

I am tasked with reading and reproducing all the steps in J.J. Hopfield's 1958 paper "Theory of the Contribution of Excitons to the Complex Dielectric Constant of Crystals". Embarrassingly I am stuck ...
5
votes
1answer
233 views

Derivation of Noether's theorem - A problem with physical significance

My question is about the field theoretic version of Noether's theorem. I am deeply troubled by one of the hypotheses of the theorem. As it is the standard textbook for Lagrange mechanics, I'll follow ...
4
votes
1answer
259 views

Constraints of massive relativistic point particle in hamiltonian mechanics

I try to understand constructing of Hamiltonian mechanics with constraints. I decided to start with the simple case: free relativistic particle. I've constructed hamiltonian with constraint: ...
1
vote
1answer
215 views

Einstein action and the second derivatives

I have naive question about Einstein action for field-free case: $$ S = -\frac{1}{16 \pi G}\int \sqrt{-g} d^{4}x g^{\mu \nu}R_{\mu \nu}. $$ It contains the second derivatives of metric. When we want ...
3
votes
1answer
269 views

Point of Lagrange multipliers

I am trying to understand how for a constrained system the introduction of Lagrange multipliers facilitates the incorporation of the holonomic constraints. I am using Classical Mechanics by John ...
1
vote
1answer
164 views

What to do with a $\phi$ term in a Lagrangian?

I am considering a Lagrangian that is of the following form: $$\mathcal{L}=-{1\over 2}\partial_\mu\phi\partial^\mu\phi+2\mu^2\phi^2+2\sqrt{6}{\mu^3\over \lambda}\phi + {9\mu^4\over 2\lambda} + ...
3
votes
1answer
155 views

Why can we assume independent variables when using Lagrange multipliers in nonholonomic systems?

I'm studying from Goldstein's Classical Mechanics. In section 2.4, he discusses nonholonomic systems. We assume that the constraints can be put in the form $f_\alpha(q, \dot{q}, t) =0$, $\alpha = 1 ...
6
votes
1answer
237 views

Dirac Lagrangian density in curved spacetime

I'm trying to derive this form of the Dirac Lagrangian density in curved space-time: $$ \mathcal{L}~=~\det\left(e\right)\bar{\Psi}\Bigg ...
37
votes
8answers
3k views

What's the point of Hamiltonian mechanics?

I've just finished a Classical Mechanics course, and looking back on it some things are not quite clear. In the first half we covered the Lagrangian formalism, which I thought was pretty cool. I ...