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2
votes
3answers
620 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
174 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 $$S~=~\int d^{4}x \frac{a^{2}(t)}{2}(\dot{h}^{2}-(\nabla h)^2).$$ ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Suggestions for a physics oriented book on Variational Calculus [duplicate]

I would like to buy a good book on Variational Calculus. Most of the books that I find seem to be rather formal in a mathematical sense, which is not necessarily bad, but makes the studying a bit ...
3
votes
0answers
679 views

Shape of a string/chain/cable/rope/wire?

The height of a string in a gravitational field in 2-dimensions is bounded by $h(x_0)=h(x_l)=0$ (nails in the wall) and also $\int_0^l ds= l$. ($h(0)=h(l)=0$, if you take $h$ as a function of arc ...
5
votes
1answer
610 views

Finding interplanetary flight trajectory using calculus of variations?

Consider two orbits $x(t),\space y(t)$ representing the origin and destination for some spaceflight of interest. These could be, for example, cycloids describing LEO and another orbit circling, say, ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is a cycloid path the fastest way to roll a ball downward? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Path to obtain the shortest traveling time I've been told that if one would want to make a ramp to get a ball from point A to a lower point B (at a certain horizontal ...
0
votes
0answers
60 views

Help identifying an expression for the action

I found the following expression for the action of a (free, I think) relativistic particle in my notes but I can't remember from what it came from: $$ S = \int_{0}^{N} \left [ ...
1
vote
2answers
319 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?
5
votes
1answer
533 views

Lagrangian density for a Piano String

So I'm trying to do this problem where I'm given the Lagrangian density for a piano string which can vibrate both transversely and longitudinally. $\eta(x,t)$ is the transverse displacement and ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it safe to ignore derivatives of velocity w.r.t. position and vice versa?

In a certain textbook a function is given as: $$f=f(x(t))$$ And then this is differentiated w.r.t. $t$ to get: $$f_t=\dot{x}f_x$$ (Where the notation $f_u=df/du$, $f_{uu}=d^2f/du^2$, etc.) This ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Variational Calculus or Tensor Calculus? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Learning physics online? I'm a high school student, and I got fives in AP Calculus, Mechanics and Electricity and Magnetism exams, and I've taken Linear Algebra and ...
3
votes
1answer
253 views

prove that flat shape minimizes a functional

The following functional arises in an information theoretic problem that I work on currently. $I(G(\omega)) = \int\limits_{-\kappa\pi}^{\kappa\pi}d\omega \frac{A}{G(\omega)+A}-\frac{| ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the relation between (physicists) functional derivatives and Fréchet derivatives

I´m wondering how can one get to the definition of Functional Derivative found on most Quantum Field Theory books: $$\frac{\delta F[f(x)]}{\delta f(y) } = \lim_{\epsilon \rightarrow 0} ...
2
votes
2answers
700 views

Coulomb potential energy functional derivative

I'm having problem understanding how to compute a functional derivative when it's involved more than one integral, such as the coulomb potential energy functional: $$ J[\rho] = \frac 12\int ...
9
votes
4answers
492 views

Is the Lagrangian of a quantum field really a 'functional'?

Weinberg says, page 299, The quantum theory of fields, Vol 1, that The Lagrangian is, in general, a functional $L[\Psi(t),\dot{\Psi}(t)$], of a set of generic fields $\Psi[x,t]$ and their time ...
3
votes
2answers
515 views

Path to obtain the shortest traveling time

Asume we have a particle sitting at the point A(0,0) in a gravitational field. (g=9.81) It is going to move along some path to the point B(a,b) Where a>0 and b<0. What is the curve the particle ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are generalized positions and generalized velocities considered as independent of each other?

I'm confused how $$\dot{\mathbf{r}}_{j}=\sum_{k}\frac{\partial\mathbf{r}_{j}}{\partial q_{k}}\dot{q}_k+\frac{\partial\mathbf{r}_{j}}{\partial t}$$ leads to the relation, ...
8
votes
2answers
929 views

Introductory texts for functionals and calculus of variation

I am going to learn some math about functionALs (like functional derivative, functional integration, functional Fourier transform) and calculus of variation. Just looking forward to any good ...
1
vote
5answers
603 views

Why do we automatically assume that the velocity vector $\vec{v}$ and location vector $\vec{r}$ are independent? [duplicate]

I'm not sure if it's relevant, but I'm talking about a situation where a particle is moving in an electro-magnetic field. As I understand, if we see the term $\nabla \cdot \vec{v}$ or $\nabla \times ...