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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6
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2answers
874 views

Question about the apparent loophole in principle of least action

In Lagrangian formalism, given two points $(x_1,t_1)$ and $(x_2,t_2)$, we ask the question which paths $x(t)$ make the action $S=\displaystyle \int_{t_1}^{t_2}L\ \mathrm dt$ stationary and satisfy the ...
3
votes
1answer
298 views

Reduction of Nambu Goto action to true degrees of freedom

First consider the particle $$S=m\int\sqrt{-\dot{X}^2}d\tau$$ if you choose the static gauge $\tau=X^0$ and replace it in the action you get $$=m\int\sqrt{1-\dot{X}^j\dot{X}^j}d\tau$$ So now, you ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Derivation of Euler-Lagrange equation from principle of least action

When deriving the Euler-Lagrange equation for a field $\phi$ the term $$ \int\textrm{d}x^{\mu}~\partial_{\mu}\left( \dfrac{\partial \mathcal{L} }{\partial(\partial_{\mu}\phi)}\right)\delta\phi $$ is ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

Mass spectrum of field theory

How can I find the mass spectrum of a field theory given a Lagrangian made of a canonical kinetic term and a potential. I mean, I think I have to find the matrix of the quadratic terms in all the ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Scale invariance and stress energy tensor

I have seen in a paper [1] that in a quantum field theory scale invariance takes place provided the stress energy tensor is traceless. How this is true? References: "INFINITE CONFORMAL SYMMETRY IN ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a proof from the first principle that the Lagrangian L = T - V?

Is there a proof from the first principle that for the Lagrangian $L$, $$L = T\text{(kinetic energy)} - V\text{(potential energy)}$$ in classical mechanics? Assume that Cartesian coordinates are ...
0
votes
1answer
172 views

Acoustical wave equation from Hamilton's principle

It is common to show the features and power of the Hamilton's principle by deriving the equation of vibrating string, membrane etc. using this principle. But I have never seen that used for deriving ...
10
votes
1answer
200 views

Why is the strong CP term $ \theta \frac{g^2}{32 \pi^2} G_{\mu \nu}^a \tilde{G}^{a, \mu \nu}$ never considered for $SU(2)$ or $U(1)$ interactions?

The Lagrangian one would write down naively for QCD is invariant under CP, which is in agreement with all experiments. Nevertheless, if we add the term \begin{equation} \theta \frac{g^2}{32 \pi^2} ...
3
votes
2answers
50 views

Classical Klein-Gordon theory is a free relativistic theory

The classical Klein-Gordon theory for a real scalar field is called a relativistic free theory. It is called a free theory because the dynamics of the degrees of freedom in the momentum space of the ...
3
votes
2answers
828 views

Path integral quantization of bosonic string theory

I was reading through my notes on the path integral quantization of bosonic string theory when a general question about path integral quantization arised to me. The widely used intuitive explanation ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Equivalence of canonical quantization and path integral quantization

Consider the real scalar field $\phi(x,t)$ on 1+1 dimensional space-time with some action, for instance $$ S[\phi] = \frac{1}{4\pi\nu} \int dx\,dt\, (v(\partial_x \phi)^2 - \partial_x\phi\partial_t ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Electromagnetism theory and complex scalar field

I've got the following problem for classical field theory lecture: Find equations of motion (equations of field?), canonical and symmetrical tensor of energy-momentum in electromagnetic field ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

What are the assumptions behind the Lagrangian derivation of energy?

What are the assumptions behind the Lagrangian derivation of energy? I understand that we're searching for a function $L$ that describes a set of physics so that solving the energy minimization ...
9
votes
1answer
391 views

Pressure and density using a general Lagrangian

Given a lagrangian of a form: \begin{equation}\mathcal{L}=f(\phi,\partial_{\mu}\phi\partial^{\mu}\phi)\end{equation} where $f$ is a function, I need to derive pressure and density in a FLRW universe ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

Quantization of non-variational systems?

In undergraduate courses the introduction to Hamiltonian mechanics usually starts from a Newtonian view point. One has equations of motions of the form (not sure if it is ok to use covariant notation ...
15
votes
2answers
559 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
576 views

Lagrangian and Hamiltonian EOM with dissipative force

I am trying to write the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian for the forced Harmonic oscillator before quantizing it to get to the quantum picture. For EOM $$m\ddot{q}+\beta\dot{q}+kq=f(t),$$ I write the ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Physical motivation for Lagrangian formalism

This is more of a request for clarification of understanding and intuition rather than a question, but I hope people can help me with it. I have learned calculus of variations and have subsequently ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Hamiltonian or free energy corresponding to 2+1D Kuramoto-Sivashinsky model

I am trying to understand if the deterministic 2+1D Kuramoto-Sivashinsky equation $$ \partial_t h = -\nu \nabla^2 h - K \nabla^4 h + \frac{\lambda}{2} (\nabla h)^2, $$ where $\nu$, $K$, $\lambda$ ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Locality defined in terms of the Lagrangian density

I've been reading through Matthew Schwartz's book "Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model" and in chapter 24 there is a section on locality (section 24.4). In it he defines locality in terms of ...
8
votes
2answers
216 views

How do derivative couplings affect canonical quantization?

Consider a Lagrangian for a scalar field $\phi$ with an interaction term $$\mathcal{L}_{int} = (\partial^2 \phi)^2 \phi.$$ Here I'm suppressing all indices for brevity. Now, this is just a ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

How to calculate the second functional derivative of the action of a one-particle system?

Given the Lagrangian $$L(q,\dot{q})=m\dot{q}^2/2-V(q)$$ and the corresponding action $$S[q]\equiv\int_0^t dt' (m\dot{q}^2/2-V(q)),$$ I need to be able to evaluate the second functional derivative ...
5
votes
1answer
364 views

Determinant for a coupled fluctuation Lagrangian

Lets consider a bosonic physical system in variables $t, x$ and $y(x)$ ($x$ dependent) with a classical Lagrangian $L$. To first order in fluctuations $x \to x+\xi_1$ and $y \to y+\xi_2$ the ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Calculating the moment of inertia in bifilar pendulums

I'm an A2 student, and I've been looking into how experimental and theoretical determined mass moments of inertia differ. I came across a method (search Youtube for Measuring Mass Moment of Inertia - ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Construct an effective field theory of neutrino mass

This is the problem I am trying to solve. I kinda write down the Lagrangian as $$L = \frac{1}{2}m_L \bar{v}_L^Cv_L$$ but I don't know how to continue. Can anyone help me?
4
votes
2answers
90 views

Higher than Lagrangian/action?

When you begin learning physics, you start with equations of motion applied to various physics systems. In classical mechanics course you learn, that exists Lagrangian/action of a system, which gives ...
4
votes
3answers
86 views

Gauge invariance in classical electrodynamics

I think that I don't fully understand concept of gauge invariance. Suppose we have a Lagrangian for classical ED which is: $$\mathcal{L} = -\frac{1}{4} (F_{\mu \nu})^2 - j^{\mu}A_{\mu}.$$ First part ...
8
votes
1answer
88 views

Why is a theory Lorentz invariant if the Lagrangian is Lorentz invariant?

For if I started by trying to make the Hamiltonian Lorentz invariant, I would have failed. Indeed, the Hamiltonian is part of a covariant tensor. But how do I know that the Lagrangian is not a part of ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Build rotational Hamiltonian based on Lagrangian of general form

I've been told that one could build rotational Hamiltonian based on Lagrangian of general form: $\mathcal{L} = \mathcal{L} (\vec{\Omega})$. By introducing Euler angles one could rewrite Lagrangian in ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

Build Hamiltonian function

Suppose we have three-point system Points A and B are connected with rod of fixed length $r_0$. Point C rotates around rod, vector R begins at rod's centre of mass. There is a potential of general ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Simple real life applications of Euler-Lagrange equations of motion

If you read some introductory mechanics text like David Morin's Introduction to Classical Mechanics about Euler Lagrange Equations you get a large amount of simple examples like the "moving plane" ...
1
vote
2answers
454 views

Kepler's laws to determine radius of circular orbit

"In nonrelativistic limit of general relativity there is a correction to the Newtonian gravitational potential energy $−h/r^3$ with $h = αL^2/(mc)^2$, where $c$ is the speed of light, $α = GMm$ ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Must there exist a Lagrangian for any 2nd order ordinary derivative equation?

We know if there exist a Lagrangian of some ODE, then it must exist many equivalent Lagrangian. My question: Then must there exist a Lagrangian for any 2nd order ODE? If not, do we have some ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Inequivalent matter actions with the same stress-energy tensor in general relativity

In general relativity, suppose as usual that we have the following action for the matter fields \begin{equation} S_{\mathrm{matter}} = \int_M d^4 x \sqrt{-g} L_{\mathrm{matter}} , \end{equation} ...
6
votes
1answer
83 views

Use partial or covariant derivatives when deriving equations of a field theory?

I feel like this question has been asked before but I can't find it. would the Euler Lagrange equation for, say, the standard model Lagrangian be $$\frac{\partial L}{\partial \phi}=\partial_\mu ...
-1
votes
1answer
70 views

Multiplying Lagrangian by a constant

Does a Lagrangian of a system multiplied by an arbitrary constant still work? If if I apply the Euler-Lagrange equations, do they still guarantee that the action is extremal? I arrived to the ...
1
vote
1answer
182 views

Understanding Noether's theorem rigorously

I've known about Noether's theorem for some time and reading some things about it recently I've realised I haven't completely understood it. In that case I've been trying to understand a more rigorous ...
2
votes
2answers
767 views

Holonomic constraints and degrees of freedom?

Can we see that a constraint can decrease the degrees of freedom of a system if and only if it is holonomic. Either way please can you explain why?
2
votes
1answer
423 views

Euler-Lagrange Equation with logarithmic potential

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
225 views

What are the equations of motion for the scalar field in the tetrad formalism?

The action of a massless scalar field in curved spacetime is given by: \begin{equation} S(\phi)=\int d^{4}x \sqrt{-g}\left(g^{\mu\nu}\phi_{,\mu}\phi_{,\nu}\right) \end{equation} Now the action can ...
1
vote
0answers
71 views

Euler-Lagrange equations in General Relativity

When obtaining the Euler Lagrange equations for a scalar field with higher order derivatives in curved space is it the same to use $$ -\partial_\nu\partial_\mu\frac{\partial \sqrt{-g} ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

How does SUSY avoid to create non-Lorentz interactions?

A three-legs fermion interaction or boson absorbing a fermion are things we do not see in QFT because the corresponding terms in the Lagrangian are not Lorentz invariant. But in susy, naively, such ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Is a lagrangian with a background field interaction renormalizable ? If yes, when?

Consider the Lagrangian, $$ L = -\partial_{\mu} \chi \partial_{\nu} \chi^{\dagger} - m^2 \chi \chi^{\dagger} + g\chi \chi^{\dagger}\phi,$$ where $\phi$ is a background field and $\chi$ is a complex ...
33
votes
3answers
3k views

Why treat complex scalar field and its complex conjugate as two different fields?

I am new to QFT, so I may have some of the terminology incorrect. Many QFT books provide an example of deriving equations of motion for various free theories. One example is for a complex scalar ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Question on basic tensorial calculus on field theory

Working on the Maxwell field as a gauge theory, at some point the following derivative comes up: $\frac{\partial(\partial_iA_0)}{\partial A_0}=0$ which must be, accordingly to the theory, zero. My ...
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vote
0answers
28 views

Euler-Lagrange problem of single mass double pendulum in plane [closed]

Problem: "A rod with a length of $l$, mass $m$, is attached by a thread of length $l/2$ according to figure. The rod may perform small, planar swings. Determine its eigen-frequencies." Figure: ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Centrifugal Force and Polar Coordinates

In Classical Mechanics, both Goldstein and Taylor (authors of different books with the same title) talk about the centrifugal force term when solving the Euler-Lagrange equation for the two body ...
6
votes
1answer
272 views

Counterterm Lagrangian and Renormalisation?

I am going through the notes on QFT by M. Srednicki (online: http://web.physics.ucsb.edu/~mark/qft.html), and I am having a hard time to understand the "renormalised" Lagrangian. Consider a ...
5
votes
2answers
116 views

Is the Noether charge always a Hermitian operator?

Noether's theorem tells us that to every continuous symmetry of the Lagrangian there corresponds a conserved current $j^\mu$. From the time component of this current, we can then define the Noetherian ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

Free particle and harmonic oscillator coupled

I'm currently playing with a toy model given by the Lagrangian $$L=\frac{m\dot{x}^2}{2}+\frac{m\dot{y}^2}{2}+\frac{1}{2}m\omega^2x^2+x y,$$ which is basically a free particle (described by $y(t)$) and ...