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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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 ...
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2answers
319 views

Lorentz invariance of the action for free relativistic particle

I tried to check the Lorentz invariance of the standard special relativity action for free particle directly: ($c=1$) $$ S=\int L dt=-m\int\sqrt{1-v^{2}}dt $$ Lorentz boost: $$ ...
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2answers
526 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 ...
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3answers
351 views

What is the definition of momentum when a mass distribution $\rho(r,t)$ is given?

This question is Edited after recieving comments. What is the definition of momentum when a mass distribution $\rho(r,t)$ is given? Assuming a particle as a point mass we know the definition of ...
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1answer
121 views

A Question on Hamilton's Principle

In some literatures, the Hamilton's principle for conservative systems is introduced by this equation: $$\delta \int_{t_1}^{t_2}(T-V) ~\mathrm{d}t~=~0$$ In some others, this principle is introduces ...
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68 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 ...
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1answer
159 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 $a$ ...
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1k views

Expression of kinetic energy in polar coordinates

Expression for kinetic energy in Cartesian coordinate: Expression for kinetic energy in polar coordinate (applying the transformation of coordinates): Why can't we express it in the following ...
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3answers
392 views

Lagrangian mechanics and time derivative on general coordinates

I am reading a book on analytical mechanics on Lagrangian. I get a bit idea on the method: we can use any coordinates and write down the kinetic energy $T$ and potential $V$ in terms of the general ...
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4answers
525 views

Why the Hamiltonian and the Lagrangian are used interchangeably in QFT perturbation calculations

Whenever one needs to calculate correlation functions in QFT using perturbations one encounters the following expression: $\langle 0| some\ operators \times \exp(iS_{(t)}) |0\rangle$ where, ...
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2answers
494 views

What is the significance of action?

What is the physical interpretation of $$ \int_{t_1}^{t_2} (T -V) dt $$ where, $T$ is Kinetic Energy and $V$ is potential energy. How does it give trajectory?
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75 views

Schrödinger evolution for a Klein-Gordon equation

I have a problem with the transition from quantum relativistic wave equations (specifically Klein-Gordon equation) to QFT, since a lot of assumptions seem implicit. For example I have a problem with ...
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2answers
162 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 ...
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1answer
148 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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1answer
136 views

Can the Lagrange Multipliers depend on the coordinates?

When dealing with Lagrange multipliers to solve systems with constraints we usually have two ways if the constraints are holonomic: Differentiate the constraint and add the appropiate term to the ...
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1answer
102 views

Expansion of a function

In Landau-Lifschitz, following expansion is given, We have, $$L(v'^2)~=~L(v^2+2\textbf{v}\cdot\epsilon+\epsilon ^2)$$ expanding this in powers of $\epsilon$ and neglecting powers of higher order, ...
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1answer
550 views

Deriving D'Alembert's Principle

The wiki article states that D'Alembert's Principle cannot derived from Newton's Laws alone and must stated as a postulate. Can someone explain why this is? It seems to me a rather obvious principle.
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1answer
141 views

Does a Lagrangian imply a well-defined quantum Hamiltonianian with a Hilbert space?

The question is about: (1) whether giving a Lagrangian is sufficient enough to (uniquely) well-define a Hamiltonianian quantum theory with a Hilbert space? The answer should be Yes, or No. If ...
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1answer
302 views

How do you derive Lagrange's equation of motion from a Routhian?

Given a Routhian $R(r,\dot{r},\phi,p_{\phi})$, how do you derive Lagrange's equation for $r$? Do you just solve the following for $r$? $$\frac{d}{dt}\frac{∂R}{∂\dot{\phi}}-\frac{∂R}{∂\phi}=0$$ And ...
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1answer
178 views

Motivating the Legendre Transform Mathematically

If I begin with a functional of the form $$J[y] = \int_a^b f(x,y,y')dx$$ and find its Euler-Lagrange equations $$\frac{\partial f}{\partial y} - \frac{d}{dx}\frac{\partial f}{\partial y'} = 0 = ...
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1answer
377 views

Retrieving Maxwell's equations from the minimum action principle

I'm currently working at the start of Alexei Tsvelik's book Quantum Field Theory in Condensed Matter Physics. I'm kinda stumped on a few essential steps. Starting with the action: $$S = \int dt \int ...
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2answers
209 views

Does a constant factor matter in the definition of the Noether current?

This is a very basic Lagrangian Field Theory question, it is about a definition convention. It takes much more time to typeset it than answering, but here it is: Consider a field Lagrangian with only ...
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1answer
311 views

How to tell local and non-local in QFT?

I'm taking QFT course in this term. I'm quite curious that in QFT by which part of the mathematical expression can we tell a quantity or a theory is local or non-local?
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1answer
344 views

Why has the trace of the energy-momentum tensor to vanish for conserved scaling currents to exist?

In this paper, the authors say that the trace of the energy-momentum tensor has to vanish to allow for the existence of conserved dilatation or scaling currents, as defined on p 10, Eq(22) $$ ...
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3answers
353 views

Can the Euler-Lagrange equations be derived from an infinitesimal Principle of Least Action?

The Euler-Lagrange equations can be derived from the Principle of Least Action using integration by parts and the fact that the variation is zero at the end points. This has a mystical air about it, ...
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1answer
393 views

Spontaneous symmetry breaking and 't Hooft and Polyakov monopoles

What is spontaneous symmetry breaking from a classical point of view. Could you give some examples, using classical systems.I am studying about the 't Hooft and Polyakov magnetic monopoles solutions, ...
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1answer
115 views

Lagrangian depends on second derivative of field

In case of the gauge-fixed Faddeev-Popov Lagrangian: $$ \mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu\nu}\,^{a}F^{\mu\nu ...
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1answer
125 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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1answer
172 views

Definition of Kinetic energy

In class we had that $ T= \frac{1}{2}T_{ij}v_iv_j$ where we used the Einstein summation convention. Hitherto we only discussed examples where the kinetic energy was dependent of the square of one ...
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2answers
168 views

A kind of Noether's theorem for the Hamiltonian

How can I (conveniently?) show that an invariance of the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian (i.e. the kinetic as well as the potential energy are independently invariant) will lead to a conservation law using ...
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2answers
292 views

Different approaches to calculating the Christoffel symbols

I would be very grateful to whoever can debug the following calculations... We have the metric for static spacetime: $$ds^2 = -\exp(2U(\vec x))dt^2+h_{ij}(\vec x) d x^i d x^j$$ I want to find the ...
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247 views

Calculating the (on-shell) action of a free particle

I am having difficulty with the first problem from Feynman and Hibbs' book. For a free particle $L = (m/2)\dot{x}^2$. Show that the (on-shell) action $S_{cl}$ corresponding to the classical ...
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3answers
260 views

Is the path of stationary action unique? What are the physical implications of $L_{\dot{x}}=L_x$

Below, for any function $Q$ the notation $Q_x$ means $\frac{\partial Q}{\partial x}$, and $Q_{xx}$ means $\frac{\partial^2 Q}{\partial x^2}$. In physics, the trajectory of a particle is given by the ...
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1answer
105 views

Obtaining the conserved current of the Lagrangian making the parameter depending on $x$

To calculate the conserved current due to an internal symmetry of the system (expressed by the Lagrangian density) we can proceed as follows: if it is invariant under $\delta \phi = \alpha \phi$, ...
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1answer
272 views

Euler-Lagrange Equation

A particle moving towards the origin has initial conditions $x(t=0) = 1$ and $\dot{x}(t=0)=0$ If the Lagrangian is L:=$\frac{m}{2}\dot{x}^2 -\frac{m}{2}ln|x|$ This should satisfy Euler Lagrange ...
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1answer
168 views

Relationship between local and global scaling (Weyl) symmetry

Theorem 5.1 on page 80 of this paper says that Assuming that the matter fields satisfy their equations of motion, the matter field action is locally Weyl invariant if and only if the corresponding ...
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196 views

Is the gravitational constant G a minimum value in some sense?

Assume a central body of mass $M$, and call $a$ the acceleration of a test body at a distance $r$ due to any interaction whatsoever with the central body. Is is correct to say that the ratio $a r^2/ ...
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1answer
243 views

Do Lagrangian points actually maintain a fixed distance?

I was reading on up Lagrangian points and the restricted three-body problem. From what I was able to tell, the Lagrangian points are 5 points in a two-body system such that a third body would be ...
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4k views

Finding Lagrangian of a Spring Pendulum

I'm trying to understand Morin's example of a spring pendulum. What I don't get is his expression for $T$. I can understand the $\dot x^2$ term in the brackets. But I don't understand the $(l + ...
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1answer
420 views

Origins of the principle of least time in classical mechanics

Is it possible to derive the principle of least time from the principle of least action in lagrangian or hamiltonian mechanics? Or is Fermat's principle more fundamental than the principle of least ...
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1answer
745 views

Principle of Least Action; Newton's 2nd Law of Motion

This question is based on the description of Longair in his book "Theoretical Concepts in Physics". He starts by giving some provisions: Conservative force field Fixed times $t_1$ and $t_2$ Object ...
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1answer
58 views

Local versus non-local functionals

I'm new to field theory and I don't understand the difference between a "local" functional and a "non-local" functional. Explanations that I find resort to ambiguous definitions of locality and then ...
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1answer
107 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 ...
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1answer
83 views

Energy-momentum tensor for dust

We all know that the energy-momentum tensor for dust is just $T^{\alpha\beta}=\rho_0v^\alpha v^\beta,$ where $\rho_0$ is the mass density in the dust's rest frame and $v^α$ is the dust's ...
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1answer
88 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 ...
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1answer
67 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?
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190 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 $\mathbb{R} \times \mathbb{R}^2$. ...
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1answer
349 views

Lorentz force from velocity-dependent potential and Lagrangian

There is something i'm missing. I am at page 22-23 of Goldstein Classical Mechanics 3rd ed. Lorentz force can be derived from a potential $$U=q\phi-q\mathbf{A}\cdot\mathbf{v}$$ Where $\phi(t,x,y,z)$ ...
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2answers
462 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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101 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, ...