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3
votes
2answers
58 views

shape formed by a stiff string with ends pinched together [on hold]

Suppose I have a string of length $L$ with a bending energy given by $$E=\frac{1}{2}\epsilon \int_0^L ds\, (\mathbf{R}''(s))^2 $$ Let's say I form a bight with it by pinching the ends together, ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Why can the bra and ket be varied independently?

Given a functional which depends on a function (ket), and its complex conjugate (bra), e.g. $$F[\varphi] = \langle \varphi|\hat{F}|\varphi\rangle = \int \varphi^{*}(\mathbf{r}) \hat{F} ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

What is the path taken by a “cable car”?

A well known result in variational calculus & Lagrangian Mechanics is the solution to the "brachistochrone" problem, where it is found the path connecting two points, A & B such that the time ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Is it possible to derive the shape of the bending plates by use calculus of variations?

Of course the main idea to solve this problem is find the physical quantity which is have smallest or largest value. I’ve tried some, such as area of surfaces, But I think it can’t be a solution. Does ...
1
vote
2answers
63 views

Variation of a Lagrange density Symmetries

So I am reading Goenner's Spezielle Relativitästheorie and I am currently in chapter §4.9.1 Variation under Inclusion of Coordinates p. 129. So basically we have: $$\delta W_\zeta=\int d^4x' ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

To derive the relation between work function and potential energy

I'm reading "The variational principles of mechanics- Lanczos", The author mentions a relation between Work-Function $U(q_1,q_2,\cdots,q_n,\dot q_1,\dot q_2,\cdots,\dot q_n)$ and the potential ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

How to obtain calculus of variation of Einstein summation?

I have the Lagrange density for Maxwell field, which is $\mathcal{L}=-\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu}$, where $F_{\mu\nu}=\partial_{\mu}A_\nu-\partial_{\nu}A_{\mu}$. How can I obtain ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Variational proof of the Hellmann-Feynman theorem

I use the following notation and definition for the (first) variation of some functional $E[\psi]$: \begin{equation} \delta E[\psi][\delta\psi] := \lim_{\varepsilon \rightarrow 0} \frac{E[\psi + ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Euler-Lagrange for simple scalar field (Peskin & Shroeder)

I'm reading Peskin & Schroeder and they give as a simple example the Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2} (\partial_\mu \phi)^2$$ First of all, I'm guessing that $(\partial_\mu \phi)^2$ is ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Deriving Maxwell's equation from the Lagrangian of an electromagnetic field with a charge density $\rho$

I want to derive Maxwell's equation from the Lagrangian of an electromagnetic field with a charge density of $\rho$ The Lagrangian is given by ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

How to derive the true spatial paths (orbits) from the Jacobi-Maupertuis condition

How can differential equations describing a physical object's true spatial paths (orbits) be derived from the time-independent Jacobi-Maupertuis principle of least action? According to this, it is ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Calculus of Variations - Virtual displacements

I am currently reading "The Variational Principles of Mechanics - Cornelius Lanczos", in which the author talks about the variation of a function $F(q_1, q_2, \dots q_n)$ where $q_1, q_2, \dots q_n$ ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Classical mechanics principle of least action

I don't understand here what does the book mean by expanding in terms of $\delta{q}$ and $\delta{\dot{q}}$ can someone explain that part.
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Derivative condition in the Brachistochrone problem

I know that in general, to find the minimum of some line integral with given end points I need to solve E-L equations. what disturbs me is that I have seen in my class the famous Brachistochrone ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Gibbons-Hawking Variation

I know there already exist some questions about this and some very good answers. However, I am still having trouble understanding one part of the calculation. The GHY term is given by ...
2
votes
5answers
221 views

Is boundary well defined if variation of metric don't vanish on the boundary?

Suppose that you want to calculate the variation $\delta S$ of an action induced by some arbitrary variation $\delta g_{\mu \nu}$ of the spacetime metric : \begin{equation} S = \int_{\Omega} ...
1
vote
4answers
223 views

What are the boundary conditions associated to this lagrangian?

Suppose that $L(q^i, \dot{q}^i)$ is a standard and well behaved lagrangian associated to some Dirichlet boundary conditions : $q^i(t_1) = q_1^i$ and $q^i(t_2) = q_2^i$. Now I have this new lagrangian ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

Boundary conditions of fields from the stationary action principle

First principle of stationary action Consider a real Klein-Gordon scalar field $\phi$ living in a $D$ dimensional flat spacetime. The field is considered off shell (the on shell condition is defined ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Commutativity Variation and derivative

When in general is true that $\nabla_{\mu}\delta=\delta\nabla_{\mu}$ where $\nabla_{\mu}$ is covariant derivative? I was thinking this when one has to find the equations of motion for example in ...
2
votes
0answers
108 views

Why can't we fix the metric and its derivatives at boundary, with the variational method?

In general relativity and for its Einstein-Hilbert action, we usually ask that the metric variations $\delta g_{\mu \nu}$ cancel on the boundary $\partial \, \Omega$ of some region $\Omega$ of the ...
4
votes
0answers
185 views

Variation of the Einstein-Hilbert action in D dimensions without the Gibbons-Hawking-York term

Consider the standard Einstein-Hilbert action in $D \ne 2$ dimensions spacetimes : \begin{equation} S_{EH} = \frac{1}{2 \kappa} \int_{\Omega} R \; \sqrt{- g} \; d^D x, \end{equation} where $\Omega$ is ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Proof of Hamilton's principle [duplicate]

Is there a anything like a proof of Hamilton's principle? Where would I find it?
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Function for which action is the minimum

On page 2 of "Mechanics" Landau & Lifshitz say that $q=q(t)$ is a function for which action is a minimum. Before this they say that at times $t_1$ and $t_2$, the system occupies coordinates ...
0
votes
2answers
96 views

Derivation of Euler-Lagrange equations in Landau's and Lifshitz's “Mechanics”

There's an integral ${\int\limits_{t_1}^{t_2}}(\frac{\partial{L}}{\partial{q}}{\delta}q+\frac{\partial{L}}{\partial{v}}{\delta}v)dt=0$. [1.] $ {\delta}v={\frac{d{\delta}q}{dt}}$ [2.] I should get $ ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Optimal Firing Rate to Maximize Vehicle Velocity

Suppose that you are in a vehicle in space with a power source generating a constant power of $P_0$ that you can use to fire iron pellets. The iron pellets compose 99% of the ship's mass, $m$. The ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Mathematics of the Virtual Displacement

So I'm pretty certain this question has been asked to death here, but I still can't find a good explanation of a very particular aspect of the virtual displacements in physics. Background For ...
3
votes
2answers
111 views

Equivalence of functional and partial derivatives

I am trying to derive Newton's second law from the principle of least action, that is, setting the functional derivative $\frac{\delta S}{\delta x(t)}$ equal to 0. $$S = \int dt' \left[ \frac{m}{2} ...
2
votes
3answers
99 views

Hamilton's Principle - achieving Hamilton equations

Consider the action function: $$\mathcal{S}(t)=\int_{t_1}^{t_2}\mathcal{L}(q_i,\dot{q_i},t) dt$$ where $\mathcal{L}$ is the Lagrangian of the system. The Hamiltonian is defined by the following ...
0
votes
0answers
134 views

What is the meaning of symbols $\delta f$ and $\delta^2f$?

Professor was using these symbols to derive the continuity equation. He defined the infinitesimal mass as $\delta^2m=\rho \delta V$ and the mass that leaves some closed boundary $\partial V$ as ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Noether's theorem in field theory: Jacobian factor

Following my earlier question in this Phys.SE post I have another question regarding the derivation I am struggling through! Considering the variation in the Lagrange density for $x'=x+\delta x$ and ...
1
vote
0answers
107 views

How is Infinitesimal coordinate transformation related to Lie derivatives?

I am reading the book "Gravitaion and Cosmology" by S. Weinberg. In section 10.9, while discussing Lie derivatives of tensors of different ranks, he makes a general comment: The effect of an ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Full time derivative of the Frank-Oseen energy. Mathematical problem

I am studying liquid crystal theory with the book Kleman, Lavrentovich, Soft Matter Physics. In the Ericksen-Leslie theory, Frank-Oseen energy density is: $$ f=0.5*(K_1*div^2 (n)+K_2 ...
1
vote
1answer
185 views

Calculus of variations and string theory

In Polchinski's String theory book, Vol 1., in chapter 1, p. 18, he is deriving the Lagrangian in the light cone gauge (that's not necessary to know in order to answer this question), and he gets ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Explaining why planets are round [duplicate]

is it possible to prove that planets (and/or stars) are always round (elliptical if you consider the spin)? Is there a set of equation that demonstrate that fluids (after all, molten rocks "floating" ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Buckling of a slender column - total energy

I'm following Goldbart's Mathematics for Physics book, and I ran into a problem with exercise 1.4 (page 43). We have a formula for the energy stored in a slightly bent rod aligned on the $z$ axis: $ ...
4
votes
0answers
204 views

How to calculate desired light path in continuous medium with gradient refraction index

See the Figure below. $O:(0,0)$ is the disk center of light source $\odot{O}$ with radius $3$. Then the profile light rays of disk $O$ from the view point $B:(-14,0)$ is defined by segments $DB$ ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Variational calculus, bending a stick and stationary states

We have a horizontal stick, one of its ends is on the wall, and we can apply a force to the other end. We assume that anything that we can do will leave this in the same plane. Our question is to ...
0
votes
1answer
241 views

Independence of position and velocity in Lagrangian from the point of view of physics? [duplicate]

I would like to continue discussion from my previous post on time dependence of lagrangian Time dependence of the Lagrangian of a free particle?. I have also read this old post Why does calculus of ...
3
votes
3answers
165 views

Time dependence of the Lagrangian of a free particle?

I am working through Landau's book on Classical Mechanics. I understand the logic and physics of isotropy and homogeneity of space-time behind the derivation of the Lagrangian for a free particle, but ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Variational Principle to find Energy Eigenfunctions

In Quantum Mechanics one can estimate an upper bound for the ground state energy with the following functional: $$\mathcal{F}[\psi(x)] \equiv \int_{-\infty}^\infty \psi^*(x)\hat{H}\psi(x) \,\, dx ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

Prove a transformation is a variational symmetry?

My question: How to prove the family of transformations of the $(t,q)$ space, given by $(t,q) \to (t,U(\epsilon)q)$, where $U(\epsilon) \in SO(3)$, is a variational symmetry? So it depends on $L$ by ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Variation over complex function in Ginzburg-Landau theory

When deriving the Ginzburg-Landau equations, we minimize the following free energy over the complex function $\psi$: $$F = \int dV \left \{\alpha |\psi|^2 + \frac{\beta}{2}|\psi|^4 + \frac{1}{2m^*} ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

Question on Einstein's derivation of the equation of the geodesic line?

While reading one of the original paper on general relativity written by Albert Einstein, titled the foundations of general relativity, I came across the following passage in pages 167-168, or pages ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

What is a sufficient condition to determine if the action integral reaches an extremal through the trajectory described by $q(t)$?

As I understand it, the Euler-Lagrange equation is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to determine if the action integral reaches an extremal through the trajectory described by $q(t)$. If ...
0
votes
3answers
189 views

Problem in Euler-Lagrange imply Newton

I'm self-studying Mechanics and I have a little problem: We can see that in Landau's book or in Wikipedia that when we inject the lagrangian in Euler Lagrange equation the term $\frac{\partial ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

Interchanging of variation and integration operator for holonomic systems

Meirovitch says in his "Principles and Techniques of Vibrations" (1997) on p.85: In the case of holonomic systems, the variation and integration processes are interchangeable (...) which means ...
8
votes
1answer
138 views

How to use Euler-Lagrange when Lagrangian is $L=\sqrt{t}\sqrt{1+(dy/dt)^2}$

In this Lagrangian problem, action is $$S = \int_{t_1}^{t_2} \sqrt{t}\sqrt{1+\dot{y}^2} \,\,dt$$ where $\dot{y} = dy/dt$ and $t_1$ and $t_2$ are some fixed points. I tried to solve this problem using ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

What is the functional shape assumed by a flexible rod?

Be L a flexible rod. Say that it is very difficult to significantly stretch it, so that we can uniquely identify a point on it by a parameter $l \in [0, L]$ where $L$ is its length. Be $C$ a set of ...
3
votes
3answers
511 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( ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

Calculus of variations applied to a rotating liquid

I thought I knew how to use calculus of variations, but then I started thinking about the problem of a rotating liquid and it confused me a great deal. It would be nice to hear your thoughts on the ...