# Tagged Questions

any of several principles that find the physical trajectory of a system by minimizing or maximizing some value computed over the proposed path (for instance geometric optics can be reproduced by insisting on a minimum time principle).

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### Actions that are not integrals

So far every action I've seen in physics has been an integral of a Lagrangian, be it a point particle: $$S = \int dt\ L$$ or fields (relativistic or not): $$S = \int d^4x\ \mathcal{L}$$ and so ...
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### Principle of Least Action Question

Let's say we have a particle with no forces on it. The path that this classical particle takes is the one that minimizes the integral $$\frac{1}{2}m\int_{t_i}^{t_f}v^2dt.$$ So if we graph this for ...
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### Variation of a functional [closed]

in the paper I am reading now (https://arxiv.org/abs/1603.04824) I just stumbled over the following expression ${\delta}_{\eta_2} Q[\eta_1]$, where $\eta_1$ and $\eta_2$ are different parameters. I ...
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### Euler-Lagrange Equation in Quantum Field Theory

The quantum fields are operator valued distributions. In some sloppy books like Peskin and Schroeder the Euler-Lagrange equation are used to get the equations of motion. What does it mean to take a ...
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### Functional variation of potential in integral form

I am trying to vary the following action, $$S=\int_{t_0}^{t_1} \text{d}t\,(v^\mu v^\nu g_{\mu\nu} + V(t)) =\int_{t_0}^{t_1}\text{d}t\,(v^\mu v^\nu g_{\mu\nu} + \int_{t_0}^t\text{d}s T_\mu v^\mu)$$ ...
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### Lagrangian of classical electromagnetism without $A_{\mu}$ field [duplicate]

Is there a Lagrangian reproducing Maxwell's equations without the use of the scalar and vector potential? Obviously $\mathcal{L} = -\frac14F_{\mu \nu}F^{\mu \nu}$ doesn't work since in terms of $E$ ...
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### Question about Fermat's principle

Why when deriving the law of reflection from Fermat's principle of least time do I set $dL/dx = 0$? I am a 12 grade student with a little notions of maxima and mimima in one variable calculus.
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### Can Schrödinger Equation be derived from Huygens' Principle?

Notes of Enrico Fermi start from an analogy between mechanics and optics and with 4 pages he derives the SchrÃ¶dinger equation. In all my courses, I have seen as an axiom - this is how wave-particles ...
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### What to do when the fields are arranged in a matrix?

I am dealing with a Lagrangian in which the fields are arranged in an $N\times N$ matrix and i have to find the minima of the potential. Usually i would write the Lagrangian in components and then ...
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### Why one should follow Snell's law for shortest time?

whenever two media and two velocities are involved, one must follow Snell's law if one wants to take the shortest time. Why snells law must be followed to travel diffrent media in shortest time? ...
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### How are Lagrangians in QFT constructed?

Various particle equations (like the K-G equation, the Dirac equation, the Proca equation etc.) in QFT are derived by applying the Euler-Lagrange equations to the Lagrangian density. But how are these ...
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### Is there any general theorem which specifies conditions where the critical solution of an action is unique (for given boundary conditions)? [duplicate]

Consider a classical mechanical system with generalized coordinates $q_i$, $i \in \{1,\dots\,n\}$. And Lagrangian $L$. Given a path $\gamma$ (with coordinates $\gamma_i$) and two times $t_1$ and $t_2$ ...
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### Polyakov From Nambu-Goto Directly, for Strings?

The following derivation, for a classical relativistic point particle, of the 'Polyakov' form of the action from the 'Nambu-Goto' form of the action, without any tricks - no equations of motion or ...
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### “Principle of least action” and “Principle of conservation of energy”: Which one is fundamental and which one is derived? [closed]

Suppose I throw a ball upwards. First it will rise under gravity and then fall under gravity. During the rising part the kinetic energy gradually decreases and the potential energy increases until ...
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### Geometric derivation of quantum mechanics from Lagrangian mechanics

I have used classical Lagrangian mechanics for quite a while, and what I like about it is that everything can be derived from a very small number of geometric principles. There are just three things ...
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### How do I derive geodesic equation using variational principle? [duplicate]

I am trying to derive the geodesic equation using variational principle. My Lagrangian is $$L = \sqrt{g_{jk}(x(t)) \frac{dx^j}{dt} \frac{dx^k}{dt}}$$ Using the Euler-Lagrange equation, I have got ...
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### shape formed by a stiff string with ends pinched together [closed]

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, ...
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### Action with self-dual field strength

It is said that writing down an action in presence of a self-dual field strength is subtle and not known till date. The familiar example people give is that of type IIB super-gravity which has a self-...
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### Equivalence between principle of least action and minimum potential energy

Are the principle of least action and the principle of minimum potential energy equivalent? How does one show that? Also, are Newton's laws of motion equivalent to the principle of least action? How ...