Linked Questions

73
votes
10answers
8k views

Why are differential equations for fields in physics of order two?

What is the reason for the observation that across the board fields in physics are generally governed by second order (partial) differential equations? If someone on the street would flat out ask me ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

Noether Theorem and Energy conservation in classical mechanics

I have a problem deriving the conservation of energy from time translation invariance. The invariance of the Lagrangian under infinitesimal time displacements $t \rightarrow t' = t + \epsilon$ can be ...
31
votes
1answer
3k views

Do an action and its Euler-Lagrange equations have the same symmetries?

Assume a certain action $S$ with certain symmetries, from which according to the Lagrangian formalism, the equations of motion (EOM) of the system are the corresponding Euler-Lagrange equations. Can ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

Invariance of Lagrangian in Noether's theorem

Often in textbooks Noether's theorem is stated with the assumption that the Lagrangian needs to be invariant $\delta L=0$. However, given a lagrangian $L$, we know that the Lagrangians $\alpha L$ (...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

When can we add a total time derivative of $f(q, \dot{q}, t)$ to a Lagrangian?

The other day, I was listening to this lecture on the Lagrangian for a charged particle in an electromagnetic field, and at one point in the video, the lecturer mentions that we can add any total time ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Does a four-divergence extra term in a Lagrangian density matter to the field equations?

Greiner in his book "Field Quantization" page 173, eq.(7.11) did this calculation: ${\mathcal L}^\prime=-\frac{1}{2}\partial_\mu A_\nu\partial^\mu A^\nu+\frac{1}{2}\partial_\mu A_\nu\partial^\nu A^\...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Invariance of action $\Rightarrow$ covariance of field equations?

Invariance of action $\Rightarrow$ covariance of field equations? Is this statement true? I have only seen examples of this, like the invariance of Electromagnetic action under Lorentz ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Lagrangian $L' = L + \frac{df}{dt}$ gives the same equations of motion

It is well known that when a Lagrangian $L$ is incremented by the total time derivative of a function $f$ that does not depend on the time derivatives of the generalized coordinates, the same ...
6
votes
3answers
701 views

Off-shell and on-shell assumptions within the derivation of Noether's theorem

If we consider a transformation of a field $\Phi \rightarrow \Phi + \alpha \frac{\partial \Phi}{\partial \alpha}$ which is not a symmetry of a lagrangian then one can show that the Noether current is ...
6
votes
1answer
205 views

Why is the symmetry variation $\delta_s q$ different from the ordinary variation $\delta q$?

I was reading about symmetry of action when I came before the symmetry variation in Particles and Quantum Fields by H. Kleinert; there he wrote: Symmetry variations must not be confused with ...
2
votes
0answers
46 views

Conflict of domain and endpoints in Noether's theorem and energy conservation

In the derivation of energy conservation, there is the transformation $q(t)\rightarrow q'(t)=q(t+\epsilon)$, whose end points are kind of fuzzy. The original path $q(t)$ is only defined from $t_1$ to $...