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
103 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 ...
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2answers
164 views

Exercise about Lagrange-Euler equations

I'm solving an exercise about the Lagrange-Euler equations, that states the following: Let $\gamma (t) = \{ (t,q) : q = q(t), t_0 \leq t \leq t_1\}$ be a curve in $\mathbb{R} \times \mathbb{R}^2$. ...
2
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2answers
386 views

Symmetry of Euler-Lagrange equations and conservation laws

Continuous symmetry of the action implies a conservation law, but what if equations of motion have a continuous symmetry? Does it imply a conservation law? Also is symmetry of equations of motion ...
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2answers
97 views

Where is the magnetic self energy term in $L$ for a charged particle in an electromagnetic field?

In the Lagrangian for a charged particle in an electromagnetic field $$L = \frac{1}{2}mu^2 - q(\phi - \frac{\vec{A}}{c}\cdot \vec{u})$$ the energy of the particle is contained in the kinetic term, ...
2
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1answer
357 views

Electrodynamics and the Lagrangian density

Could anyone tell me what equations can I obtain from the Lagrangian density $${\cal L}(\phi,\,\,\phi_{,i},\,\,A_i, \dot A_i,\,\,A_{i,j})~=~\frac{1}{2}|\dot A+\nabla\phi|^2-\frac{1}{2}|\nabla \times ...
2
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1answer
269 views

Find the action from given equations of motion

Is there a systematic procedure to generally obtain an appropriate action that corresponds to any given equations of motion (if I know that it exists)?
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1answer
219 views

Lagrangian and Equilibrium Points

I'm wondering whether you can tell quickly just from looking at a Lagrangian whether a given point $q^0$ is an equilibrium point. Obviously all you have to do is verify it satisfies the E-L equations, ...
2
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1answer
300 views

Distinguishing mechanical systems from general dynamical systems

[Remark: I admit that my first attempt on What makes a space a real space? was rather ill-posed and led to some confusion. Sorry for that, but please give me a second try. Part of the confusion arose ...
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1answer
81 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: ...
2
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1answer
44 views

Getting the Lagrangian from the action in curved spacetime

Suppose I have this action: $$ S = \int \mathrm d^4 x\sqrt{-g}\times \text{something}$$ where $g$ is the determinant of the metric. Should I take the Lagrangian to be: $$ \mathcal L = \sqrt{-g} ...
2
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1answer
51 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 ...
2
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1answer
116 views

Derive non-linear $\sigma$ model from a theory of SU(2) matirx

It's said in Chapter VI.4 of A. Zee's book Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, a theory defined as $L(U(x))=\frac{f^2}{4}Tr(\partial_{\mu}U^{\dagger}\cdot\partial^{\mu}U)$, can be write in the form of ...
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1answer
302 views

Equations of motion for a pendulum in 3D?

I am trying to solve for the equations of motion to simulate a pendulum. I decided to use the spherical coordinates. The Lagrange equation is: where L = length of the rope ϕ= angle of the ...
2
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1answer
155 views

Diagonalize mass matrix term for fermions and “doubling trick” in m(atrix) theory

Can someone help me understand the "Doubling trick" at page 36 in http://inspirehep.net/record/887513/files/sis-2002-060.pdf (named "Scattering in Supersymmetric M(atrix) Models" by Robert Helling) or ...
2
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1answer
89 views

Cyclic integral?

Can anyone explain me what is cyclic integral and give me some instructions how to show that there exist cyclic integral for Lagrangian $$L~=~\frac{1}{2}ma^2{\dot {\theta}}^2+\frac{1}{2}ma^2{\dot ...
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1answer
97 views

Question about Lagrangian mechanics

I have a question about the Lagrangian-formalism; they state that the holonomic constraints are expressed as: $$f_\alpha(x_1,y_1,z_1,...,x_n,y_n,z_n,t) = 0 $$ where $\alpha = 1,...,L$ They state ...
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1answer
123 views

Total energy is extremal for the static solutions of equation of motions

In physics total energy is extremal for the static solutions of equation of motions. Can anyone explain this sentence to me?
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1answer
451 views

Deriving torque from Euler-Lagrange equation

How could you derive an equation for the torque on a rotating (but not translating) rigid body from the Euler-Lagrange equation? As far as I know from my first class in Classical Mechanics, there is ...
2
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1answer
121 views

Varying an action (cosmological perturbation theory)

I am stuck varying an action, trying to get an equation of motion. (Going from eq. 91 to eq. 92 in the image.) This is the action $$S~=~\int d^{4}x \frac{a^{2}(t)}{2}(\dot{h}^{2}-(\nabla h)^2).$$ ...
2
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1answer
245 views

Scalar Field Theory Decay/Scattering

I have a few questions related to the following interaction Lagrangian (no use of crossing symmetry in the following) involving the uncharged scalar $\chi$ and the charged scalar $\phi$: ...
2
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1answer
262 views

Application of Noether's theorem

Consider one parameter transformation: $y = y ( \tilde{y}, \alpha)$ such that lagrangian satisfies: $\tilde{L}(\tilde{y}, \alpha) = L(y ( \tilde{y}, \alpha))$. We say that equation is invariant ...
2
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1answer
350 views

Two masses with interacting forces and an external force

Two masses in 3d space attract each other with a potential relative to the distance between them. There is also an external force on each particle based on the distance from a origin. I want to find ...
2
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1answer
180 views

Question on 1st order Lagrangian Derivation in Faddeev-Jackiw Formalism

I'm looking at this reference (sorry it's a postscript file, but I can't find a pdf version on the web. This paper describes a similar procedure). The topic is the Faddeev-Jackiw treatment of ...
2
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1answer
516 views

What are the forces of constraint if there are multiple equivalent constraints?

Suppose a large (rigid) block is sitting on top of two smaller blocks of equal height $1$, both of which rest on the ground. We wish to find the position of the block (easy) and the forces of ...
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0answers
33 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 ?
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0answers
132 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) ...
2
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1answer
88 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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0answers
87 views

Parity violating Dirac particle

We normally write down the Dirac Lagrangian as \begin{equation} {\cal L} _D = \bar{\psi} ( i \partial _\mu \gamma ^\mu - m ) \psi \end{equation} but are the Lagrangian's, \begin{equation} ...
2
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1answer
179 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 ...
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3answers
194 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 ...
2
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1answer
193 views

Ricci scalar in Scalar Field in Curved Space-time

I was recently looking at a Lagrangian of a scalar field in curved space-time at http://www.unc.edu/~mgood/research/Carroll_QFT_CS.pdf on page 8. I am not a physicist, and I am currently studying ...
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0answers
40 views

Acceleration of 2 bodies tied with a string [closed]

Find the acceleration of the block of mass M shown in the figure . The co-efficient of friction between the 2 blocks is μ1 and that between the bigger block and ground is μ2. Could someone help ...
2
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1answer
207 views

Euler-Lagrange for constrained system

Suppose we have Euler-Lagrange system with generalized coordinate $r_1$ and $r_2$, and input $u_1$ and $u_2$. I know how to prove this system is indeed Euler-Lagrange system. Suppose now if we have a ...
2
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1answer
601 views

Does Action in Classical Mechanics have a Interpretation? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Hamilton's Principle The Lagrangian formulation of Classical Mechanics seem to suggest strongly that "action" is more than a mathematical trick. I suspect strongly ...
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2answers
333 views

How the boundary term in the variation of the action vanishes

In David Tong's QFT lecture notes (Quantum Field Theory: University of Cambridge Part III Mathematical Tripos, Lecture notes 2007, p.8), he states that We can determine the equations of motion by ...
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2answers
328 views

Why is ${\partial^i}{\partial_i\phi}$ = ${\partial^i {\phi}}{\partial_i{\phi}}$?

This notation can be found on page 254 of Victor Stenger's Comprehensible Cosmos and in David Tong's Lectures on QFT (Equation 2.4 http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/tong/qft/two.pdf), and in EDIT: on ...
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5answers
210 views

Motivation for form of Lagrangian

This question (in lagrangian mechanics) might be silly, but why is the Lagrangian L defined as: $L = T - V$? I understand that the total mechanical energy of an isolated system is conserved, and that ...
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2answers
254 views

What is the relativistic action of a massive particle?

all Lorentz observers watching a particle move will compute the same value for the quantity $$ds^2 = -(c \, dt)^2 + dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2,$$ $$ds^2 = g_{\mu\nu}dx^{\mu}dx^{\nu},$$ and ''ds/c'' is then ...
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3answers
160 views

Constructing Supersymmetric Lagrangians

It is a very trivial doubt but somehow I am not able to figure it out. While constructing a supersymmetric lagrangian we always even number of fermionic fields. One reason is of course the product ...
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2answers
435 views

Geodesics and trajectories

I'm a mathematician studying Arnold's Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics. On p. 83 the following definition is given. Let $M$ be a differentiable manifold, $TM$ its tangent bundle, and ...
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2answers
80 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 ...
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3answers
342 views

Must the Lagrangian always be known for the Euler-Lagrange equations to be of any use?

When studying classical mechanics using the Euler-Lagrange equations for the first time, my initial impression was that the Lagrangian was something that needed to be determined through integration of ...
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1answer
612 views

What is the Lagrangian from which the Klein-Gordon equation is derived in QFT?

Is there a well-known Lagrangian that, writing the corresponding eq of motion, gives the Klein-Gordon Equation in QFT? If so, what is it? What is the canonical conjugate momentum? I derive the same ...
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1answer
67 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 ...
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1answer
111 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 ...
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2answers
114 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: ...
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2answers
150 views

Lagrangian and hamiltonian of interaction

How to prove that lagrangian of interaction is equal to hamiltonian of interaction with minus sign? For example, I can't prove it for special case - quantum electrodynamics.
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1answer
979 views

Derivation of Dirac equation using the Lagrangian density for Dirac field

How can I derive the Dirac equation from the Lagrangian density for the Dirac field?
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2answers
304 views

Why lagrangian is negative number?

In the special relativistic action for a massive point particle, $$\int_{t_i}^{t_f}\mathcal {L}dt,$$ why is the Lagrangian $$\mathcal {L}=-E_o\gamma^{-1}$$ a negative number?
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2answers
282 views

Can cos(x) or sin(x) be the function of stationary action?

Is there a way to express $\cos(x(t))$ (or $\sin(x(t))$) as the solution to the Euler-Lagrange equation, in other words is there a sense in which this function is the path of stationary action?