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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1answer
125 views

Caldeira-Leggett Dissipation: frequency shift due to bath coupling

I am trying to understand the Caldeira-Leggett model. It considers the Lagrangian $$L = \frac{1}{2} \left(\dot{Q}^2 - \left(\Omega^2-\Delta \Omega^2\right)Q^2\right) - Q \sum_{i} f_iq_i + ...
1
vote
2answers
72 views

How can I derive the Hamiltonian of simple harmonic oscillator from this Lagrangian?

I'm working through Leonard Susskind's Theoretical Minimum: Classical Mechanics and I can't seem to understand how the Hamiltonian of a simple harmonic oscillator is derived from the following ...
2
votes
2answers
64 views

Why do the $1/2$ factor appear in the Majorana mass Lagrangian?

In case of Dirac neutrino there is no $1/2$ factor in the mass Lagrangian but for Majorana type neutrino there is a half factor in the mass Lagrangian.
10
votes
3answers
466 views

What exactly is a virtual displacement in classical mechanics?

I'm reading Goldstein's Classical Mechanics and he says the following: A virtual (infinitesimal) displacement of a system refers to a change in the configuration of the system as the result of any ...
6
votes
2answers
92 views

Why are these two definitions for symmetries in the Lagrangian equivalent?

I have heard the following two definitions for a symmetry of the Lagrangian: If under a coordinate transformation the form of the Lagrangian remains unchanged then there is a symmetry. If $\delta ...
1
vote
2answers
456 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
230 views
+50

Determine if Theory is Unitary from Lagrangian

Question: Given a quantum theory specified with a Lagrangian and the degrees of freedom to be varied, what is the procedure to determine if the theory is unitary or not? Concrete example to aid ...
2
votes
4answers
155 views

Poincare invariant Lagrangians

The Lagrangian density of a Poincare invariant theory should not depend explicitly on the space-time coordinates. Does this mean $$ \partial_\mu \mathcal{L}=0~? $$ If this is the case doesn't the ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Use of the term first order dependency

In a question I am doing it says: Show explicitly that the function $$y(t)=\frac{-gt^2}{2}+\epsilon t(t-1)$$ yields an action that has no first order dependency on $\epsilon$. Also my textbook ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Hookes Law and Objective Stress Rates

Often, in papers presenting updated Lagrangian simulation methods for solid dynamics, the following procedure for updating the (Cauchy) stress tensor is presented: First, the Cauchy stress tensor is ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

General potential of rotating system

I'm new here at the physics site, and not really that deep into the area of which i'm going to ask a question about now. Therefore please feel free to ask clarifying questions. I'm trying to deal ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

Boundary term in Einstein-Hilbert action

Why is the boundary term in the Einstein-Hilbert action, the Gibbons-Hawking-York term, generally "missing" in General Relativity courses, IMPORTANT from the variational viewpoint, geometrical setting ...
3
votes
0answers
30 views

Any good resources for Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Dynamics?

I'm taking a course on Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Dynamics, and I would like to find a good book/resource with lots of practice questions and answers on either or both topics. So far at my university ...
4
votes
2answers
114 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} ...
3
votes
3answers
243 views

Does the variation of the Lagrangian satisfy the product rule and chain rule of the derivative?

I have seen wikipedia use the product rule and maybe the chain rule for the variation of the Langragin as follows: \begin{align} \dfrac{\delta [f(g(x,\dot{x}))h(x,\dot{x})] } {\delta x} = \left( ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

The variation of the Lagrangian density under an infinitesimal Lorentz transformation

I'm trying to introduce myself to QFT following these lectures by David Tong. I've started with lecture 1 (Classical Field Theory) and I'm trying to prove that under an infinitesimal Lorentz ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

The principle of stationary action?

In proving that the action $$S\equiv \int^{t_2}_{t_1}L(x, x',t)dt$$ has a has a stationary point $x_0$ that satisfies the following: $$\frac{d}{dt}(\frac{\partial L}{\partial x'_0})=\frac{\partial ...
2
votes
3answers
103 views

Virtual Work: How is the applied force related to the coordinates chosen?

I have a question after reading a section from Goldstein's Classical Mechanics. The question deals with equation 1.43 in the text (given below): $$ \tag{1.43} \sum\limits_{i} {\bf F}_i^{(a)}\cdot ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Example of Hamilton's Principle to Systems with Constraints (Goldstein)

I'm currently studying Goldstein's Classical Mechanics book and I can't get my head around his reasoning in section 2.4. (Extending Hamilton's principle to systems with constraints). I'd like to ...
2
votes
0answers
89 views

Hoop rolling inside a circular hole

A hoop of radius $b$ and mass $m$ rolls without slipping within a stationary circular hole of radius $a > b$ and is subject to gravity. Use the generalized coordinates the rotation angle $\phi$ of ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

What's the value of the coupling constant in interacting field theories?

Consider this Lagrangian : $L = \frac{1}{2}(\partial_\mu \Phi)^2 - \frac{M^2}{2}\Phi^2 +\frac{1}{2}(\partial_\mu \phi)^2 -\frac{m^2}{2} \phi^2 -\mu\Phi\phi^2$ Its interaction term is given by : ...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

Momentum vector transformation

I am confused about the way momentum vector transforms in the following case: $$q_k \to q_k'= q_k + \epsilon f_k(q)$$ The Jacobian is thus $\Lambda_{ij} = \frac{\partial q'_i}{\partial q_j} \approx ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Finding the magnetic vector potential by calculus of variations

Given the functional $$F[A]=\int_{\mathbb{R}^3}\{\frac{1}{2\mu(x)}|\nabla\times\vec{A}|^2-\vec{J}\cdot\vec{A}\}d^3x$$ with $\vec{A}$ is a candidate vector potential for the field ...
3
votes
0answers
60 views

Understanding the effective low-energy Lagrangian for hadrons

My course in Higgs Physics is discussing a two-nucleon low-energy effective theory of hadron interaction. With $\psi=(p,n)$, the pion is defined as $\vec{\pi}= i \bar{\psi}\vec{\tau} \gamma_5 ...
6
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
262 views

For a particle to have physical mass, is it always necessary to have a mass term in the lagrangian?

Since the self-energy adds to the bare mass defined in the Lagrangian, is it possible to create a physical particle mass from the self-energy alone, with no mass terms occuring in the Lagrangian? On ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Motion with damping involving both $-v^2$ and $-v$ terms

I'm trying to solve for the motion of a particle, accounting for both viscous and drag forces. (There is no potential) The total resistance by medium is modeled by: $\vec{F}=-(\mu_1v + ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

The Euler-Poincare equation

Can anyone tell me very basically how the Euler-Poincare equation generalises the Euler-Lagrange equation? Further does anyone know if there is an "easy" relationship between the two, i.e. can anyone ...
5
votes
0answers
57 views

Hamiltonian Operator for nonrenormalizable Effective Field Theories?

Assuming we have a Effective Field Theory, for example a Real Scalar Field Theory, defined through a Lagrangian density of the form $\mathcal{L}_{eff} = \frac{1}{2}\partial_\mu\phi \partial^\mu\phi - ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Total Vs Partial in Lagrange density?

I have a question regarding the red term below. This is the integration by parts during the derivation of the Euler-Lagrange equation for continuous systems. Why is this not the time derivative ...
3
votes
2answers
107 views

Classical Field Theory - Continuum limit in forming the Lagrangian density and the elasticity modulus

I have been looking at taking the continuum limit for a linear elastic rod of length $l$ modeled by a series of masses each of mass $m$ connected via massless springs of spring constant $k$. The ...
4
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Treating $\psi$ and $\psi^{*}$ as independent variables when varying the action [duplicate]

Consider the following Lagrangian (deinsity): $${\mathcal{L}} = \partial_{\mu}\psi^{*} \partial^{\mu}\psi - V(|\psi|^2) $$ In my notes it says that " it's easier (and equivalent) to treat $\psi$ and ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Sufficient conditions for the energy to be not conserved?

I'm almost embarrased to ask this question because I thought I was by now very confident with classical mechanics. Someone has stated that given a mechanical system with a Lagrangian $L$ s.t. ...
1
vote
0answers
30 views

Equations of motion with replacing the Lagrangian by irrep diagrams generating functional

I have read that equations of motion of ghosts is equal to $$ \tag 1 \frac{\delta \Gamma}{\delta \bar{c}^{a}(x)} = -\partial^{\mu}_{x}\frac{\delta \Gamma}{\delta K^{\mu , a}(x)}, $$ where $\Gamma = W ...
3
votes
2answers
79 views

What is the “associated scalar equation” of equations of motion?

In an essay I am reading on celestial mechanics the equations of motion for a 2 body problem is given as: $$\mathbf{r}''=\nabla(\frac{\mu}{r})=-\frac{\mu \mathbf{r}}{r^3}$$ Fine. Then it says the ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What is canonical momentum?

What does the canonical momentum $\textbf{p}=m\textbf{v}+e\textbf{A}$ mean? Is it just momentum accounting for electromagnetic effects?
3
votes
1answer
50 views

Reference Request: Fluid dynamics/Elasticity via Lagrangians

Would there be a book that does what Landau does in Fluid Mechanics and Theory of Elasticity using Lagrangian's/Action-principles, analogous to the presentation in Landau's mechanics? I have only ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Intuition behind the principle of virtual work

To derive Lagrange's Equations we need the principle of virtual work first. This principle states that whenever a system of $K$ particles is constrained to a submanifold $\mathcal{M}\subset ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Coefficient matrix of quadratic Lagrangian

I've been studying path integrals from Weinbergs QToF vol 1. He says that when the $\mathcal{L_0}$ is quadratic in fields we can always write free term $I_0$ in the generalized quadratic form ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Proof that total derivative is the only function that can be added to Lagrangian without changing the eom

So I was reading this: Invariance of Lagrange on addition of total time derivative of a function of coordiantes and time and while the answers for the first question are good, nobody gave much ...
2
votes
4answers
369 views

Are Lagrangians and Hamiltonians used by Engineers?

Analytical Mechanics (Lagrangian and Hamiltonian) are useful in Physics (e.g. in Quantum Mechanics) but are they also used in application, by engineers? For example, are they used in designing bridges ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

Why are D'Alembert's Principle and the Principle of Least Action Related?

Why do we get the same differential equations from both principles? Surely there is a fundamental connection between them? When written out, the two seem to have nothing in common. $$\sum _i ( ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Equations of motion for controlled/driven classical systems? Does D'Alembert's principle apply?

I'm puzzled about how to derive the equations of motion for certain classical systems where some entity is controlling some of the DOFs. For example, consider a double-pendulum, with lengths $l_1$ ...
4
votes
1answer
216 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
305 views

Why can't we obtain a Hamiltonian by substituting?

This question may sound a bit dumb. Why can't we obtain the Hamiltonian of a system simply by finding $\dot{q}$ in terms of $p$ and then evaluating the Lagrangian with $\dot{q} = \dot{q}(p)$? Wouldn't ...
5
votes
2answers
144 views

Questions about the degree of freedom in General Relatity

I'm confused about the number of degrees of freedom in General Relatity. There are two ways to count it. However, they are contradictory. For simplicity, we consider vacuum solution. First, ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Finding equilibrium of mechanical system

A system is described as follows: Consider a system consisting of two rotating bars of length $l$ and with uniform mass density and each with total mass $m$. The bars are attached to a common ...
8
votes
4answers
542 views

D'Alembert's Principle: Necesssity of virtual displacements

Why is the D'Alembert's Principle $$\sum_{i} ( {F}_{i} - m_i \bf{a}_i )\cdot \delta \bf r_i = 0$$ stated in terms of "virtual" displacements instead of actual displacements? Why is it so necessary ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

How can I derive this Hamiltonian?

I have a Lagrangian $L$, a momentum $p$ and a Hamiltonian $H$: $$L=\frac m 2(\dot z + A\omega\cos\omega t)^2 - \frac k 2 z^2$$ $$p=m\dot z + mA\omega\cos\omega t$$ $$H=p\dot z - L=\frac m 2 \dot ...