Linked Questions

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Why do we derive more fundamental quantum theories from less fundamental classical theories? [duplicate]

In almost every derivation of a quantum theory (quantum mechanics or quantum field theory), we start with a classical theory using classical equations and quantize it (by imposing certain constraints ...
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0answers
28 views

How general is the Lagrangian formulation? [duplicate]

Haven't seriously tackled this problem myself because it's been awhile since I've done any hard mathematics and I'm a bit rusty. However, you needn't spare the math in your answers. I've been ...
5
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1answer
104 views

Why are action principles so powerful and widely applicable? [duplicate]

I've been trying to wrap my head around Lagrangian mechanics and Lagrangians in general, and I've found it difficult. After some thinking, I believe that the issue I have is with action principles. ...
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0answers
95 views

What are the other possibilities for a Lorentz invariant interaction?

In Weinberg's QFT book, Chapter 3, he shows that if the interaction term $V(t)$ is of the form $$V(t)=\int \mathcal{H}(t,\mathbf{x})d^3\mathbf{x},$$ where the operators $\mathcal{H}(x)$ are scalars ...
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0answers
106 views

Which class of Dynamical Systems is governed by Lagrangian Dynamics? [duplicate]

Lagrangian formalism is a technique using which we can obtain the time evolution of a dynamical system. Given a dynamical system, can we say whether or not we can write down a Lagrangian (solving it ...
9
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2answers
897 views

Is the Lagrangian approach essentially a 'theory of everything'?

From learning about the Lagrangian lately it seems that that it can underlie so many phenomena that it must be the unifying concept that underpins all physics. I often hear that physicists are ...
13
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1answer
287 views

How do I know how many classical limits (if any) a given quantum theory is going to have?

I was reading this, where it is mentioned that some quantum theories can have no classical limit or even more than one classical limit. A possible example might be quantum spin, which doesn't have a ...
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0answers
42 views

Must there exist a Lagrangian for any 2nd order ordinary derivative equation? [duplicate]

We know if there exist a Lagrangian of some ODE, then it must exist many equivalent Lagrangian. My question: Then must there exist a Lagrangian for any 2nd order ODE? If not, do we have some ...
4
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1answer
146 views

Is there an action for every physical law?

Given an action, I can get the differential equation governing the evolution of the system by applying the principle of least action. Does it work the other way around? Given any differential ...
4
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3answers
196 views

Are field theories special?

Our best descriptions of the microscopic world, that satisfy many fundamental requirements (as we know them today), are field theories. Is there something fundamental about field interactions, or are ...
0
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1answer
216 views

When can I apply Lagrangian mechanics?

I am trying to understand Lagrangian mechanics. I am having trouble capturing all of the nuances in one gulp. I can see the equations, but not necessarily the semantics behind such equations. I ...
0
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0answers
102 views

Why should physical theories always have a Lagrangian formalism? [duplicate]

I've often heard that every physical theory has some kind of Lagrangian formalism, or a formalism in terms of a principle of stationary action. The Standard Model has one, General Relativity has one, ...
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0answers
55 views

Does the principle of stationary action always work? [duplicate]

Give some Lagrangian we use the principle of stationary action to find the desired euqations of motion for something (e.g. a field). A lot of modern physics seems to be based on the principle of ...
4
votes
1answer
930 views

Can we derive most fundamental laws from the Action Principle? [duplicate]

It is said in the book Fearful Symmetry - The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics that we can derive all basic laws in physics from a simple principle called Least Action Principle (although it may be ...
26
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2answers
2k views

Do “typical” QFT's lack a lagrangian description?

Sometimes as a result of learning new things you realize that you are incredibly confused about something you thought you understood very well, and that perhaps your intuition needs to be revised. ...

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