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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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
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1answer
144 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
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1answer
154 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
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5answers
395 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
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1answer
175 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
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2answers
138 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
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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 ...
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0answers
433 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 ...
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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
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1answer
167 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
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2answers
373 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
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1answer
177 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
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5answers
498 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
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2answers
253 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
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1answer
180 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
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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
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1answer
135 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
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0answers
38 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
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1answer
191 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 ...
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0answers
81 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
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1answer
72 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
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2answers
164 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
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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
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0answers
48 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 ...
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2answers
90 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
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2answers
299 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
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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
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1answer
131 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
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2answers
226 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
226 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
239 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
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1answer
210 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
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1answer
252 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
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1answer
160 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
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1answer
152 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
233 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 ...
36
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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 ...
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1answer
353 views

Using Lagrange's Equations with Generalized forces

I am a bit confused on how this works. For instance if I wanted to look at an object moving in 2 dimensions only subject to gravity (and assuming that the potential is just mgy), I get that my ...
10
votes
1answer
342 views

What's the physical intuition for symplectic structures?

I always thought about symplectic forms as elements of areas in little subspaces because of the Darboux theorem, however I cannot get the physical intuition for it and for the hamiltonian vector ...
6
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0answers
200 views

Equation of motion for cyclic model of the universe

I recently started to study about cyclic universe. I came across this article [1]. My question is about the action that used for describing the cyclic model: $$S = \int d^{4}x\sqrt{-g}(\frac{1}{16\pi ...
2
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2answers
330 views

First integral of relativistic Euler-Lagrange equations

Connsider a pseudo-Riemannian ($4$-dimensional) manifold $M$ with a pseudometric $g_{ab}$. The Lagrangian of a free particle in $M$ (in analogy to the flat case) is $$\mathcal ...
0
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2answers
244 views

Math required for learning Lagrangian mechanics [duplicate]

How much knowledge of maths is required for learning Lagrangian mechanics? Also from where can I learn this math?
3
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1answer
122 views

Hamilton-Jacobi formalism and on-shell actions

My question is essentially how to extract the canonical momentum out of an on-shell action. The Hamilton-Jacobi formalism tells us that Hamilton's principal function is the on-shell action, which ...
1
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2answers
275 views

Einstein equation and scalar field stress-energy tensor

Let's have interaction between gravitational and scalar real fields. For an action of gravitational field in vacuum I add term $S_{m} = \int d^{4}x\sqrt{-g}L_{m}$, where $$ L_{m} = \frac{1}{2}g^{\mu ...
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1answer
93 views

Something between Lagrangian and Hamiltonian called Routhian

So, in my mechanics class, the teacher mentioned there is a special function which is kind of a midpoint between the Lagrangian and the Hamiltonian, called the Routhian. Now, I wanted to give it a ...
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1answer
46 views

Integrating out fields from classical systems

Has anyone ever heard of integrating out fields from classical Lagrangians if they are quadratic?
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1answer
74 views

Why does a particle fall in a straight line?

In Lagrangian Mechanics we choose the path of least action. Given a uniform gravitational field, and a particle of finite mass; and fixing two points the start & end-point we consider all paths ...
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0answers
58 views

Some strange transformation [closed]

In a lecture (look at the chapter "The fermion determinant in a constant field", p. 5) I found some strange transformation, which is given by eq. 18. How to prove it? Exactly, I don't understand the ...
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0answers
34 views

How can a transversality condition be invoked to reduce the Euler-Lagrange equation?

I asked this question regarding the Euler-Lagrange equation at MSE and have gotten no response. I will ask it here too. I think I might have more luck here since the E-L equation is at the core of ...
2
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3answers
334 views

Does a four-divergence extra term in a Lagrangian density matter to the field equations?

Greiner in his book "Field Quantization" page 173, eq.(7.11) did this calculation: ${\mathcal L}^\prime=-\frac{1}{2}\partial_\mu A_\nu\partial^\mu A^\nu+\frac{1}{2}\partial_\mu A_\nu\partial^\nu ...