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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16
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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
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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
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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
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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 ...
2
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2answers
133 views

Intuition Behind Conservation of Angular Momentum

I'm having a fairly hard time understanding the intuition behind Noether's derivation of the conservation of angular momentum from the rotational invariance of the Lagrangian, though I do understand ...
4
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2answers
133 views

When can we add a total time derivative of $f(q, \dot{q}, t)$ to a Lagrangian?

The other day, I was listening to this lecture on the Lagrangian for a charged particle in an electromagnetic field, and at one point in the video, the lecturer mentions that we can add any total time ...
6
votes
1answer
123 views

Free Field theory to Interacting Field theory

Free field theory: Why is it said that different Fourier modes in case of a free field (say, real Klein-Gordon field) are independent of each other? Interacting field theory: How exactly does the ...
2
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1answer
211 views

Equations of motion for the Yang-Mills $SU(2)$ theory

I have an exercise for Yang-Mills theory. I can't find answer anywhere. Derive equations of motion for the Yang-Mills theory with the gauge group $SU(2)$ interacting with $SU(2)$ doublet of scalar ...
5
votes
5answers
256 views

Euler-Lagrange equation for continuous systems

I'm having a little trouble with wrapping my head around a part of a method which is fairly 'new' in some fashions to me. I imagine it should be fairly obvious, but I am not seeing something at the ...
12
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1answer
446 views

Physical Interpretation of EM Field Lagrangian

Using differential forms and their picture interpretations, I wonder if it's possible to give a nice geometric & physical motivation for the form of the Electromagnetic Lagrangian density? The ...
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0answers
45 views

Hamiltonian flow is volume preserving

I was reading about advantage of Hamiltonian over Lagrangian. One of the advantage is "Hamiltonian flow is volume preserving". Can anyone help me to understand this? Means what is advantage of ...
7
votes
2answers
285 views

How do we know if a formulation of classical mechanics is correct?

For example, the Lagrangian formulation. I may be missing something, i.e. not having done it in enough detail, but here is my issue: from the definition of the lagrangian ($\mathcal{L}$) and from ...
2
votes
0answers
176 views

Can you give example of some problems with solutions in each of Newtonian, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian method? [closed]

I am a student from information system and just want to know about classical mechanics. I know Newtonian mechanics from high school and I have read about Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics in ...
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0answers
58 views

path integral quantization of EM field derived from canonical quantization?

In Peskin's QFT book page 294, he formally addressed the quantization of EM field, $$propagotor_{EM}=\frac{-ig_{\mu\nu}}{k^2+i\epsilon}$$ Now that we have the functional integral quantization ...
0
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0answers
49 views

Lagrangian Field Entropy?

Has anyone investigated the inclusion of a field's entropy in its Lagrangian? I read from information theory that the entropy $H$ of a scalar field $\phi$ distrusted across space is defined as ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

Functional field integral in condensed matter field theory (Altland)

This is the action for the 1+1 dimensional interacting electron system; $$S_{cl}[\theta , \phi]= \frac{1}{2\pi} \int dxd\tau \left(g^{-1}v(\partial_x \theta)^2 + gv(\partial_x \phi)^2 + ...
3
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0answers
531 views

Derivation of Euler-Lagrange equations for Lagrangian with dependence on second order derivatives

Suppose we have a Lagrangian that depends on second-order derivatives: $$L = L(q, \dot{q}, \ddot{q})$$ If we're working on the variational problem for this Lagrangian, then I know that we'll wind up ...
4
votes
2answers
178 views

Lagrange multiplier and constraint force

The Lagrangian with Lagrange multiplier in the form $$L= T- V + \lambda f(q, \dot{q},t).$$ But there are different ways of writing the constraint $f = 0$. Will that lead to different EOMs? Let me ...
1
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1answer
61 views

Calculate energy from vacuum electromagnetic-field action

I'm reading Rubakov's "Classical Theory of Gauge Fields", and I'm having a little bit of trouble with problem 7, p 15: Using an expression of the type $E = \int d^{3} x \frac{\delta L}{\delta ...
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0answers
24 views

The equation of the location of L1

On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian_point#L1 it says that the location of L1 can be determined as $\frac{M_1}{(R-r)^2}=\frac{M_2}{r^2}+\left(\frac{M_1}{M_1+M_2}R-r\right)\frac{M_1+M_2}{R^3}$, ...
3
votes
1answer
327 views

Finding the creation/annihilation operators

Using Minkowski signature $(+,-,-,-)$, for the Lagrangian density $${\cal L}=\partial_{\mu}\phi\partial^{\mu}\phi^{\dagger}-m^2\phi \phi^{\dagger}$$ of the complex scalar field, we have the field ...
5
votes
2answers
121 views

Defining quantum effective action (Legendre transformation), existence of inverse (field - source)?

Given a Quantum field theory, for a scalar field $\phi$ with generic Action $S[\phi]$, we have the generating functional $$Z[J] = e^{iW[J]} = \frac{\int \mathcal{D}\phi e^{i(S[\phi]+\int d^4x ...
3
votes
3answers
304 views

Lagrangian for relativistic massless particle

For relativistic massive particle, the action is $$S ~=~ -m_0 \int ds ~=~ -m_0 \int d\lambda ~(\dot x ^\mu \dot x_\mu)^{\frac{1}{2}} ~=~ \int d\lambda \ L,$$ where $ds$ is the proper time of the ...
1
vote
0answers
81 views

Restrained double pendulum

The equations of motion of a double pendulum are well-known. Usually you'd have the them expressed in the rotations $\theta_1(t)$ and $\theta_2(t)$. There are two degrees of freedom. Now consider the ...
1
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0answers
113 views

Why does Principle for least action hold for classical fields [duplicate]

Let $\mathscr L (\phi(\mathbf x), \partial \phi(\mathbf x))$ denote the Lagrangian density of field $\phi(\mathbf x)$. Then then actual value of the field $\phi(\mathbf x)$ can be computed from the ...
3
votes
2answers
113 views

Internal potential energy and relative distance of the particle

Today, I read a line in Goldstein Classical mechanics and got confused about one line. To satisfy the strong law of action and reaction, $V_{ij}$ can be a function only of the distance between ...
0
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2answers
151 views

Derivation of Lagrangian?

I know that the Lagrangian $L$ is defined to be $T-V$, i.e. the difference between kinetic energy and potential energy. Also the Action $S$ is defined to be $\int Ldx$ and from this we can derive ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

Why is the Legendre transformation an application of the duality relationship between points and lines?

When I read the Wiki about Legendre transformation, there is a statement The Legendre transformation is an application of the duality relationship between points and lines. What's the meaning of ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

How the lagrangian density is found?

In Classical Mechanics one usually considers the Lagrangian as $L = K - U$ where $K$ is the kinetic energy of the system and $U$ is the potential energy. One then gets the Euler-Lagrange equations and ...
0
votes
2answers
110 views

Potential energy of an infinitesimal length of elastic rod

I am having an embarrassingly hard time with the derivation for the potential energy of an infinitesimal element of an elastic rod of area A. The picture shown below is an element of the rod that has ...
13
votes
4answers
517 views

Equivalence between Hamiltonian and Lagrangian Mechanics

I'm reading a proof about Langrangian => Hamiltonian and one part of it just doesn't make sense to me. The Lagrangian is written $L(q, \dot q, t)$, and is convex in $\dot q$, and then the Hamiltonian ...
14
votes
4answers
546 views

The Lagrangian as a metric

My question is, can the (classical) Lagrangian be thought of as a metric? That is, is there a meaningful sense in which we can think of the least-action path from the initial to the final ...
4
votes
1answer
224 views

The BRST construction for YM with or without auxiliary field

I'm learning BRST symmetry for Yang-Mills theory and I see that there are two ways of writing BRST differential. In some books (for example Ryder's and Ramond's textbooks) BRST differential acts as ...
2
votes
0answers
48 views

Translation symmetry and the non-conserved momentum in Viscous fluids

Even though a viscous fluid has a translation symmetry (invariance) for its Lagrangian , it still 'waste' Linear momentum. How come ?, isn't the rule that every symmetry yields a conservation law ?
0
votes
1answer
122 views

Lagrangian for a moving spring device [closed]

How can I write the proper Lagrangian for such as system as the one shown in picture? Am confused about what is the suitable way to designate the coordinate.
1
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1answer
322 views

How do I recover the 1D wave equation from the Lagrangian?

Consider small displacements, $y(x,t)$, of an element of a string (circled in red and shown below) from equilibrium. The force balance in the vertical direction yields: $$+\uparrow \Sigma F: ...
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2answers
71 views

Alternative symmetries for the Maxwell Lagrangian?

I'm wondering about how to show that $A_a\rightarrow A_a+\alpha\partial_0A_a$, with $\alpha$ infinitesimal, is an infinitesimal symmetry of $\mathcal L=-\frac14F_{ab}F^{ab}$. \begin{equation} ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

Lagrangian to Hamiltonian

I'm having some problems with an assignment where I have to state the Hamiltonian from the kinetic energy $T$ and potential energy $U$. These are as follows: ...
0
votes
1answer
323 views

Atwood machine with spring

I'm just beginning to learn about Lagrangian mechanics, and I am asked to find the kinetic energy of this Atwood machine (See figure). I am told, that the kinetic energy should be: ...
9
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1answer
242 views

Are the Hamiltonian and Lagrangian always convex functions?

The Hamiltonian and Lagrangian are related by a Legendre transform: $$ H(\mathbf{q}, \mathbf{p}, t) = \sum_i \dot q_i p_i - \mathcal{L}(\mathbf{q}, \mathbf{\dot q}, t). $$ For this to be a Legendre ...
2
votes
1answer
502 views

Minimal vs. Non-minimal coupling

What is the difference between Minimal vs. Non-minimal coupling in General Relativity? A brief introduction to Minimal Coupling in General Relativity could be useful too.
2
votes
2answers
216 views

How can I tell that circular motion is a solution for a particle confined to the surface of a cone?

I'm working on a problem where a particle of mass $m$ is confined to the surface of an inverted half cone (and is circling downwards due to gravity), with the cone's half angle $\alpha$. I chose to ...
2
votes
0answers
189 views

Lagrange's Equations for a Tetherball

I'm trying to write down the equations of motion for a tetherball moving around a pole while the string is getting shorter. --- MAJOR EDIT --- I started with Lagrange: $$ x(t)=l(t) \sin (\theta) ...
0
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0answers
132 views

Why friction force is force of constraint?

My understanding about constraint force is that it is a force which limits the geometry of particle's motion. For example, situations such as the particle trapped in a track or limited in domain can ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

How does isotropy of free space imply $L(v^2)$ for a free particle? [duplicate]

From Mechanics; Landau and Lifshitz, it's stated on page 5: Since space is isotropic, the Lagrangian must also be indpendent of the direction of $ \mathbf{v}$, and is therfore a function only of ...
7
votes
1answer
102 views

Lie algebra of axial charges

Starting from the lagrangian (linear sigma model without symmetry breaking, here $N$ is the nucleon doublet and $\tau_a$ are pauli matrices) $L=\bar Ni\gamma^\mu \partial_\mu N+ \frac{1}{2} ...
2
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1answer
157 views

Lagrangian approach to spinning thread reel

I am trying to better understand Lagrangian dynamics and am struggling to complete the following question: A reel of thread of mass $m$ and radius $r$ is allowed to unwind under gravity, the upper ...
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1answer
127 views

How to obtain Maxwell's Lagrangian from complex scalar fields?

I've looked in several books and they all show how to obtain electrical interactions by forcing local gauge invariance of any complex scalar field Lagrangian (like Klein-Gordon or Dirac). I manage to ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

The exact definition of conjugate momentum density

After checking various websites, I've seen the conjugate momentum density defined as either: \begin{align*} P_r ~=~ \frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial \dot{A}_r} \end{align*} or \begin{align*} P_r ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

$\cos^{2}(\phi)$ in the kinetic energy term of the Lagrangian is one?

I'm doing some homework in Classical Mechanics, and is about to write out the Lagrangian of a system. But, when I check the answer from my teacher, something is missing. The kinetic energy I'm using ...