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# Solutions to Problems in Goldstein,

Homer Reid
August 22, 2000

Chapter 1

Problem 1.1

## A nucleus, originally at rest, decays radioactively by emitting an electron of mo-

mentum 1.73 MeV/c, and at right angles to the direction of the electron a neutrino
with momentum 1.00 MeV/c. ( The MeV (million electron volt) is a unit of energy,
used in modern physics, equal to 1.60 x 10−6 erg. Correspondingly, MeV/c is a
unit of linear momentum equal to 5.34 x 10−17 gm-cm/sec.) In what direction does
the nucleus recoil? What is its momentum in MeV/c? If the mass of the residual
nucleus is 3.90 x 10−22 gm, what is its kinetic energy, in electron volts?

Place the nucleus at the origin, and suppose the electron is emitted in the
positive y direction, and the neutrino in the positive x direction. Then the
resultant of the electron and neutrino momenta has magnitude
p
|pe+ν | = (1.73)2 + 12 = 2 MeV/c,
and its direction makes an angle
1.73
θ = tan−1 = 60◦
1
with the x axis. The nucleus must acquire a momentum of equal magnitude
and directed in the opposite direction. The kinetic energy of the nucleus is
p2 4 MeV2 c−2 1.78 · 10−27 gm
T = = −22
· = 9.1 ev
2m 2 · 3.9 · 10 gm 1 MeV c−2
This is much smaller than the nucleus rest energy of several hundred GeV, so
the non-relativistic approximation is justified.

1
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 2

Problem 1.2

The escape velocity of a particle on the earth is the minimum velocity required
at the surface of the earth in order that the particle can escape from the earth’s
gravitational field. Neglecting the resistance of the atmosphere, the system is con-
servative. From the conservation theorem for potential plus kinetic energy show
that the escape velocity for the earth, ignoring the presence of the moon, is 6.95
mi/sec.

If the particle starts at the earth’s surface with the escape velocity, it will
just manage to break free of the earth’s field and have nothing left. Thus after
it has escaped the earth’s field it will have no kinetic energy left, and also no
potential energy since it’s out of the earth’s field, so its total energy will be zero.
Since the particle’s total energy must be constant, it must also have zero total
energy at the surface of the earth. This means that the kinetic energy it has at
the surface of the earth must exactly cancel the gravitational potential energy
it has there:
1 mMR
mve2 − G =0
2 RR
so
s 1/2
2 · (6.67 · 1011 m3 kg−3 s−2 ) · (5.98 · 1024 kg)
 
2GMR
v= =
RR 6.38 · 106 m
1m
= 11.2 km/s · = 6.95 mi/s.
1.61 km
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 3

Problem 1.3

Rockets are propelled by the momentum reaction of the exhaust gases expelled from
the tail. Since these gases arise from the reaction of the fuels carried in the rocket
the mass of the rocket is not constant, but decreases as the fuel is expended. Show
that the equation of motion for a rocket projected vertically upward in a uniform
gravitational field, neglecting atmospheric resistance, is
dv dm
m = −v 0 − mg,
dt dt
where m is the mass of the rocket and v 0 is the velocity of the escaping gases relative
to the rocket. Integrate this equation to obtain v as a function of m, assuming a
constant time rate of loss of mass. Show, for a rocket starting initially from rest,
with v 0 equal to 6800 ft/sec and a mass loss per second equal to 1/60th of the initial
mass, that in order to reach the escape velocity the ratio of the weight of the fuel
to the weight of the empty rocket must be almost 300!

Suppose that, at time t, the rocket has mass m(t) and velocity v(t). The
total external force on the rocket is then F = gm(t), with g = 32.1 ft/s2 , pointed
downwards, so that the total change in momentum between t and t + dt is

F dt = −gm(t)dt. (1)

## p(t) = m(t)v(t). (2)

On the other hand, during the time interval dt the rocket releases a mass
∆m of gas at a velocity v 0 with respect to the rocket. In so doing, the rocket’s
velocity increases by an amount dv. The total momentum at time t + dt is the
sum of the momenta of the rocket and gas:

## p(t + dt) = pr + pg = [m(t) − ∆m][v(t) + dv] + ∆m[v(t) + v 0 ] (3)

Subtracting (2) from (3) and equating the difference with (1), we have (to
first order in differential quantities)

−gm(t)dt = m(t)dv + v 0 ∆m

or

dv v 0 ∆m
= −g −
dt m(t) dt
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 4

## which we may write as

dv v0
= −g − γ (4)
dt m(t)

where
∆m 1
γ= = m0 s−1 .
dt 60
This is a differential equation for the function v(t) giving the velocity of the
rocket as a function of time. We would now like to recast this as a differential
equation for the function v(m) giving the rocket’s velocity as a function of its
mass. To do this, we first observe that since the rocket is releasing the mass
∆m every dt seconds, the time derivative of the rocket’s mass is
dm ∆m
=− = −γ.
dt dt
We then have
dv dv dm dv
= = −γ .
dt dm dt dm
Substituting into (4), we obtain
dv v0
−γ = −g − γ
dm m
or
g dm
dv = dm + v 0 .
γ m
Integrating, with the condition that v(m0 ) = 0,
 
g m
v(m) = (m − m0 ) + v 0 ln .
γ m0
Now, γ=(1/60)m0 s−1 , while v 0 =-6800 ft/s. Then
 
m m 
0
v(m) = 1930 ft/s · − 1 + 6800 ft/s · ln
m0 m
For m0  m we can neglect the first term in the parentheses of the first term,
giving m 
0
v(m) = −1930 ft/s + 6800 ft/s · ln .
m
The escape velocity is v = 6.95 mi/s = 36.7 · 103 ft/s. Plugging this into the
equation above and working backwards, we find that escape velocity is achieved
when m0 /m=293.
Thanks to Brian Hart for pointing out an inconsistency in my original choice
of notation for this problem.
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 5

Problem 1.4

Show that for a single particle with constant mass the equation of motion implies
the following differential equation for the kinetic energy:
dT
= F · v,
dt
while if the mass varies with time the corresponding equation is

d(mT )
= F · p.
dt

We have

F = ṗ (5)

If m is constant,

F = mv̇

## Dotting v into both sides,

1 d 2
F · v = mv · v̇ = m |v|
2 dt
dT
= (6)
dt
On the other hand, if m is not constant, instead of v we dot p into (5):

F · p = p · ṗ
d(mv)
= mv ·
 dt 
dm dv
= mv · v +m
dt dt
1 d 1 d
= v 2 m2 + m2 (v 2 )
2 dt 2 dt
1 d d(mT )
= (m2 v 2 ) = .
2 dt dt
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 6

Problem 1.5

Prove that the magnitude R of the position vector for the center of mass from an
arbitrary origin is given by the equation
X 1X
M 2 R2 = M mi ri2 − 2
mi mj rij .
i
2 ij

We have
1 X
Rx = mi xi
M i
so  
1 X X
Rx2 = 2  m2i x2i + mi mj xi xj 
M i i6=j

and similarly  
1 X X
Ry2 = 2  m2i yi2 + mi mj y i y j 
M i i6=j
 
1 X X
Rz2 = 2  m2i zi2 + mi mj z i z j  .
M i i6=j

1 X X
R2 = 2  m2i ri2 + mi mj (ri · rj ) . (7)
M i i6=j

## On the other hand,

2
rij = ri2 + rj2 − 2ri · rj
2
and, in particular, rii = 0, so
X X
2
mi mj rij = [mi mj ri2 + mi mj rj2 − 2mi mj (ri · rj )]
i,j i6=j
X X
=2 mi mj ri2 − 2 mi mj (ri · rj ). (8)
i6=j i6=j

Next,
!
X X X X X
M mi ri2 = mj mi ri2 = m2i ri2 + mi mj ri2 . (9)
i j i i i6=j
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 7

r0 , φ0

r, φ
(x, y)

## Subtracting half of (8) from (9), we have

X 1X X X
M mi ri2 − 2
ijmi mj rij = m2i ri2 + mi mj (ri · rj )
2 i i6=j

## and comparing this with (7) we see that we are done.

Problem 1.8

Two wheels of radius a are mounted on the ends of a common axle of length b such
that the wheels rotate independently. The whole combination rolls without slipping
on a plane. Show that there are two nonholonomic equations of constraint,

cos θ dx + sin θ dy = 0

## sin θ dx − cos θ dy = a(dφ + dφ0 )

(where θ, φ, and φ0 have meanings similar to the problem of a single vertical disc,
and (x, y) are the coordinates of a point on the axle midway between the two wheels)
and one holonomic equation of constraint,
a
θ = C − (φ − φ0 )
b
where C is a constant.

## My conception of the situation is illustrated in Figure 1. θ is the angle

between the x axis and the axis of the two wheels. φ and φ0 are the rotation
angles of the two wheels, and r and r0 are the locations of their centers. The
center of the wheel axis is the point just between r and r0 :
1
(x, y) = (rx + rx0 , ry + ry0 ).
2
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 8

If the φ wheel rotates through an angle dφ, the vector displacement of its center
will have magnitude adφ and direction determined by θ. For example, if θ = 0
then the wheel axis is parallel to the x axis, in which case rolling the φ wheel
clockwise will cause it to move in the negative y direction. In general, referring
to the Figure, we have

## dr = a dφ[sin θ î − cos θ ĵ] (10)

0 0
dr = a dφ [sin θ î − cos θ ĵ] (11)

## Adding these componentwise we have1

a
dx = [dφ + dφ0 ] sin θ
2
a
dy = − [dφ + dφ0 ] cos θ
2
Multiplying these by sin θ or − cos θ and adding or subtracting, we obtain

## sin θ dx − cos θ dy = a[dφ + dφ0 ]

cos θ dx + sin θ dy = 0.

Next, consider the vector r12 = r − r0 connecting the centers of the two wheels.
The definition of θ is such that its tangent must just be the ratio of the y and
x components of this vector:
y12
tan θ =
x12
2 y12 1
→ sec θ dθ = − 2 dx12 + dy12 .
x12 x12

## Subtracting (11) from (10),

 
y12 1
sec2 θdθ = a[dφ − dφ0 ] − 2 sin θ − cos θ
x12 x12

## Again substituting for y12 /x12 in the first term in parentheses,

1
sec2 θdθ = −a[dφ − dφ0 ] (tan θ sin θ + cos θ)
x12
or

1
dθ = −a[dφ − dφ0 ] (sin2 θ cos θ + cos3 θ)
x12
1
= −a[dφ − dφ0 ] cos θ. (12)
x12
1 Thanks to Javier Garcia for pointing out a factor-of-two error in the original version of

these equations.
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 9

## However, considering the definition of θ, we clearly have

x12 x12
cos θ = 2 2 1/2
=
(x12 + y12 ) b
because the magnitude of the distance between r1 and r2 is constrained to be b
by the rigid axis. Then (12) becomes
a
dθ = − [dφ − dφ0 ]
b
with immediate solution
a
θ = C − [φ − φ0 ].
b
with C a constant of integration.

Problem 1.9

A particle moves in the x − y plane under the constraint that its velocity vector is
always directed towards a point on the x axis whose abscissa is some given function
of time f (t). Show that for f (t) differentiable, but otherwise arbitrary, the constraint
is nonholonomic.

The particle’s position is (x(t), y(t)), while the position of the moving point
is (f (t), 0). Then the vector d from the particle to the point has components
dx = x(t) − f (t) dy = y(t). (13)
The particle’s velocity v has components
dx dy
vx = vy = (14)
dt dt
and for the vectors in (13) and (?? to be in the same direction, we require
vy dy
=
vx dx
or
dy/dt dy y(t)
= =
dx/dt dx x(t) − f (t)
so
dy dx
= (15)
y x − f (t)
For example, if f (t) = αt, then we may integrate to find
ln y(t) = ln[x(t) − α(t)] + C
or
y(t) = C · [x(t) − αt]
which is a holonomic constraint. But for general f (t) the right side of (15) is
not integrable, so the constraint is nonholonomic.
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 10

φ
l

## Figure 2: My conception of the situation of Problem 1.10

Problem 1.10

Two points of mass m are joined by a rigid weightless rod of length l, the center of
which is constrained to move on a circle of radius a. Set up the kinetic energy in
generalized coordinates.

## My conception of this one is shown in Figure 2. θ is the angle representing

how far around the circle the center of the rod has moved. φ is the angle the
rod makes with the x axis.
The position of the center of the rod is (x, y) = (a cos θ, a sin θ). The
positions of the masses relative to the center of the rod are (xrel , yrel ) =
±(1/2)(l cos φ, l sin φ). Then the absolute positions of the masses are

l l
(x, y) = (a cos θ ± cos φ, a sin θ ± sin φ)
2 2
and their velocities are
l l
(vx , vy ) = (−a sin θ θ̇ ∓ sin φ φ̇, a cos θ θ̇ ± cos φ φ̇).
2 2
The magnitudes of these are

l2 2
|v| = a2 θ̇2 + φ̇ ± al θ̇ φ̇(sin θ sin φ + cos θ cos φ)
4
l2
= a2 θ̇2 + φ̇2 ± al θ̇ φ̇ cos(θ − φ)
4
When we add the kinetic energies of the two masses, the third term cancels,
and we have
1X l2
T = mv 2 = m(a2 θ̇2 + φ̇2 ).
2 4
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 11

Problem 1.13

A particle moves in a plane under the influence of a force, acting toward a center
of force, whose magnitude is

ṙ2 − 2r̈r
 
1
F = 2 1− ,
r c2

where r is the distance of the particle to the center of force. Find the generalized
potential that will result in such a force, and from that the Lagrangian for the
motion in a plane. (The expression for F represents the force between two charges
in Weber’s electrodynamics).

If we take
v2 1 (ṙ)2
 
1
U (r) = 1+ 2 = + 2
r c r c r
then
∂U 1 ṙ2
=− 2 − 2 2
∂r r c r
and
2(ṙ)2
 
d ∂U d 2ṙ
2r̈
= − 2 2 =
dt ∂ ṙ dt c2 r
2
c r c r
so
2rr̈ − (ṙ)2
 
∂U d ∂U 1
Qr = − + = 2 1+
∂r dt ∂ ṙ r c2
The Lagrangian for motion in a plane is
2rr̈ − (ṙ)2
 
1 2 1 2 2 1
L=T −V = mṙ + mṙ θ̇ − 2 1+ .
2 2 r c2

Problem 1.14

## If L is a Lagrangian for a system of n degrees of freedom satisfying Lagrange’s

equations, show by direct substitution that

dF (q1 , . . . , qn , t)
L0 = L +
dt
also satisfies Lagrange’s equations, where F is any arbitrary, but differentiable,
function of its arguments.

We have
∂L0 ∂L ∂ dF
= + (16)
∂qi ∂qi ∂qi dt
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 12

and
∂L0 ∂L ∂ dF
= + . (17)
∂ q̇i ∂ q̇i ∂ q̇i dt
For the function F we may write
dF X ∂F ∂F
= q̇i +
dt i
∂qi ∂t

## and from this we may read off

∂ dF ∂F
= .
∂ q̇i dt ∂qi
Then taking the time derivative of (17) gives
d ∂L0 d ∂L d ∂F
= +
dt ∂ q̇i dt ∂ q̇i dt ∂qi
so we have
∂L0 d ∂L0 ∂L d ∂L ∂ dF d ∂F
− = − + − .
∂qi dt ∂ q̇i ∂qi dt ∂ q̇i ∂qi dt dt ∂qi
The first two terms on the RHS cancel because L satisfies the Euler-Lagrange
equations, while the second two terms cancel because F is differentiable. Hence
L0 satisfies the Euler-Lagrange equations.

Problem 1.16

## A Lagrangian for a particular physical system can be written as

m K
L0 = (aẋ2 + 2bẋẏ + cẏ 2 ) − (ax2 + 2bxy + cy 2 ),
2 2
where a, b, and c are arbitrary constants but subject to the condition that b2 − ac 6=
0. What are the equations of motion? Examine particularly the two cases a = 0 = c
and b = 0, c = −a. What is the physical system described by the above Lagrangian?
Show that the usual Lagrangian for this system as defined by Eq. (1-56) is related
to L0 by a point transformation (cf. Exercise 15 above). What is the significance of
the condition on the value of b2 − ac?

Clearly we have
∂L ∂L
= −Kax − Kby = maẋ + mbẏ
∂x ∂ ẋ
so the Euler-Lagrange equation for x is
∂L d ∂L
= → m(aẍ + bÿ) = −K(ax + by).
∂x dt ∂ ẋ
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 13

## Similarly, for y we obtain

m(bÿ + cÿ) = −K(bx + cy).
These are the equations of motion for a particle of mass m undergoing simple
harmonic motion in two dimensions, as if bound by two springs of spring con-
stant K. Normally we would express the Lagrangian in unravelled form, by
transforming to new coordinates u1 and u2 with
u1 = ax + by u2 = bx + cy.
The condition b2 − ac 6= 0 is the condition that the coordinate transformation
not be degenerate, i.e. that there are actually two distinct dimensions in which
the particle experiences a restoring force. If b2 = ac then we have just a one-
dimensional problem.

Problem 1.17

Obtain the Lagrangian equations of motion for a spherical pendulum, i.e. a mass
point suspended by a rigid weightless rod.

Let m and L be the mass of the particle and the length of the rod. Since the
particle is constrained to move on the surface of a sphere of radius L, we may
parameterize its position by the angles θ and ϕ, in terms of which the particle’s
position and velocity are
x = L (sin θ cos ϕi + sin θ sin ϕj + cos θk)
 
v = L (cos θ cos ϕθ̇ − sin θ sin ϕϕ̇)i + (cos θ sin ϕθ̇ + sin θ cos ϕϕ̇)j − (sin θθ̇k) .

## so the kinetic energy is

1 mL2 2 mL2
T = mv2 = θ̇ + sin2 θϕ̇2 .
2 2 2
On the other hand, the gravitational potential energy depends only on θ :
V = −mgL cos θ
where we take the potential at the height of the fulcrum as the zero of potential.
Then the Lagrangian is
1 1
L=T −V = mL2 θ̇2 + mL2 sin2 θϕ̇2 + mgL cos θ
2 2
and the equations of motion are
ϕ̈ = 0
g 
θ̈ = − − ϕ̇2 cos θ sin θ.
L
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 14

## If there is no motion in the azimuthal direction, ϕ̇ = 0 and the systempis the

elementary one-dimensional mechanical pendulum with frequency ω0 = g/L.
But any finite velocity of azimuthal spinning gives rise to an additional effect
which we may think of as mitigating the downward force of gravity, yielding an
effective gravitational acceleration

g 0 = g − Lϕ̇2 cos θ.

The mitigating effect is largest near the trough of the pendulum, vanishes as
the particle passes through the vertical height of the fulcrum, and becomes
an enhancing effect in the upper hemisphere. For small oscillations
trough, cos θ ≈ 1 and the pendulum frequency is reduced to ω = ω02 − ϕ̇2 .
Thanks to Tomasz Szymanski for pointing out an error in an earlier version
of this solution.

Problem 1.18

A particle of mass m moves in one dimension such that it has the Lagrangian

m2 ẋ4
L= + mẋ2 V (x) − V 2 (x),
12
where V is some differentiable function of x. Find the equation of motion for x(t)
and describe the physical nature of the system on the basis of this equation.

We have
∂L dV dV
= mẋ2 − 2V (x)
∂x dx dx
∂L m2 ẋ3
= + 2mẋV (x)
∂ ẋ 3
d ∂L d
= m2 (ẋ)2 ẍ + 2mẍV (x) + 2mẋ V (x)
dt ∂ ẋ dt
In the last equation we can use
d dV
V (x) = ẋ .
dt dx
Then the Euler-Lagrange equation is
d ∂L ∂L dV dV
− =0 → m2 (ẋ)2 ẍ + 2mẍV (x) + mẋ2 + 2V (x)
dt ∂ ẋ ∂x dx dx
or  
dV
mẋ2 + 2V (x) = 0.

mẍ +
dx
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 15

## If we identify F = −dV /dx and T = mẋ2 /2, we may write this as

(F − mẍ)(T + V ) = 0

So, this is saying that, at all times, either the difference between F and ma is
zero, or the sum of kinetic and potential energy is zero.

Problem 1.19

Two mass points of mass m1 and m2 are connected by a string passing through
a hole in a smooth table so that m1 rests on the table and m2 hangs suspended.
Assuming m2 moves only in a vertical line, what are the generalized coordinates
for the system? Write down the Lagrange equations for the system and, if possible,
discuss the physical significance any of them might have. Reduce the problem to a
single second-order differential equation and obtain a first integral of the equation.
What is its physical significance? (Consider the motion only so long as neither m1
nor m2 passes through the hole).

## Let d be the height of m2 above its lowest possible position, so that d =

0 when the string is fully extended beneath the table and m1 is just about
to fall through the hole. Also, let θ be the angular coordinate of m1 on the
table. Then the kinetic energy of m2 is just m2 d˙2 /2, while the kinetic energy
of m1 is m1 d˙2 /2 + m1 d2 θ̇2 /2, and the potential energy of the system is just the
gravitational potential energy of m2 , U = m2 gd. Then the Lagrangian is
1 1
L= (m1 + m2 )d˙2 + m1 d2 θ̇2 − m2 gd
2 2
and the Euler-Lagrange equations are
d
(m1 d2 θ̇) = 0
dt
(m1 + m2 )d¨ = −m2 g + m1 dθ̇2

## From the first equation we can identify a first integral, m1 d2 θ̇ = l where l is a

constant. With this we can substitute for θ̇ in the second equation:

l2
(m1 + m2 )d¨ = −m2 g +
m1 d3
Because the sign of the two terms on the RHS is different, this is saying that, if
l is big enough (if m1 is spinning fast enough), the centrifugal force of m1 can
balance the downward pull of m2 , and the system can be in equilibrium.
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 16

Problem 1.20

Obtain the Lagrangian and equations of motion for the double pendulum illustrated
in Fig. 1-4, where the lengths of the pendula are l1 and l2 with corresponding masses
m1 and m2 .

Taking the origin at the fulcrum of the first pendulum, we can write down
the coordinates of the first mass point:

x1 = l1 sin θ1
y1 = −l1 cos θ1

The coordinates of the second mass point are defined relative to the coordi-
nates of the first mass point by exactly analogous expressions, so relative to the
coordinate origin we have

x2 = x1 + l2 sin θ2
y2 = y1 − l2 cos θ2

## ẋ21 + ẏ12 = l12 θ̇12

ẋ22 + ẏ22 = l12 θ̇12 + l22 θ̇22 − 2l1 l2 θ̇1 θ̇2 cos(θ1 − θ2 )

The Lagrangian is
1 1
L= (m1 +m2 )l12 θ̇12 + m2 l22 θ̇22 −m2 l1 l2 θ̇1 θ̇2 cos(θ1 −θ2 )+(m1 +m2 )gl2 cos θ1 +m2 gl2 cos θ2
2 2
with equations of motion
d h i
(m1 + m2 )l12 θ̇1 − m2 l1 l2 θ̇2 cos(θ1 − θ2 ) = −(m1 + m2 )gl2 sin θ1
dt
and
d h i
l2 θ̇2 − l1 θ̇1 cos(θ1 − θ2 ) = −g sin θ2 .
dt
If θ̇1 = 0, so that the fulcrum for the second pendulum is stationary, then the
second of these equations reduces to the equation we derived in Problem 1.17.
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 17

Problem 1.21

## The electromagnetic field is invariant under a gauge transformation of the scalar

and vector potential given by

A → A + ∇Ψ(r, t),
1 ∂Ψ
Φ→ Φ− ,
c ∂t
where Ψ is arbitrary (but differentiable). What effect does this gauge transformation
have on the Lagrangian of a particle moving in the electromagnetic field? Is the
motion affected?

## The Lagrangian for a particle in an electromagnetic field is

q
L = T − qΦ(x(t)) + A(x(t)) · v(t)
c
If we make the suggested gauge transformation, this becomes
" #
1 ∂Ψ q
→ T − q Φ(x(t)) − + [A(x(t)) · v(t) + v · ∇Ψ(x(t))]
c ∂t x=x(t) c
 
q q ∂Ψ
= T − qΦ(x(t)) + A(x(t)) · v(t) + + v · ∇Ψ(x(t))
c c ∂t
q q d
= T − qΦ(x(t)) + A(x(t)) · v(t) + Ψ(x(t))
c c dt
q d
=L+ Ψ(x(t)).
c dt
So the transformed Lagrangian equals the original Lagrangian plus a total time
derivative. But we proved in Problem 1.15 that adding the total time derivative
of any function to the Lagrangian does not affect the equations of motion, so
the motion of the particle is unaffected by the gauge transformation.

Problem 1.22

Obtain the equation of motion for a particle falling vertically under the influence
of gravity when frictional forces obtainable from a dissipation function 21 kv 2 are
present. Integrate the equation to obtain the velocity as a function of time and
show that the maximum possible velocity for fall from rest is v = mg/k.

## The Lagrangian for the particle is

1
L= mż 2 − mgz
2
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 1 18

## and the dissipation function is k ż 2 /2, so the equation of motion is

 
d ∂L ∂L ∂F
− + → mz̈ = mg − k ż.
dt ∂ ż ∂z ∂ ż

This says that the acceleration goes to zero when mg = k ż, or ż = mg/k, so
the velocity can never rise above this terminal value (unless the initial value of
the velocity is greater than the terminal velocity, in which case the particle will
slow down to the terminal velocity and then stay there).
Solutions to Problems in Goldstein,
Classical Mechanics, Second Edition
Homer Reid
December 1, 2001

Chapter 3

Problem 3.1

## A particle of mass m is constrained to move under gravity without friction on the

inside of a paraboloid of revolution whose axis is vertical. Find the one-dimensional
problem equivalent to its motion. What is the condition on the particle’s initial
velocity to produce circular motion? Find the period of small oscillations about
this circular motion.

## We’ll take the paraboloid to be defined by the equation z = αr 2 . The kinetic

and potential energies of the particle are
m 2
T = (ṙ + r2 θ̇2 + ż 2 )
2
m
= (ṙ2 + r2 θ̇2 + 4α2 r2 ṙ2 )
2
V = mgz = mgαr 2 .

## Hence the Lagrangian is

m
(1 + 4α2 r2 )ṙ2 + r2 θ̇2 − mgαr2 .

L=
2
This is cyclic in θ, so the angular momentum is conserved:

l = mr2 θ̇ = constant.

1
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 3 2

## For r we have the derivatives

∂L
= 4α2 mrṙ2 + mrθ̇2 − 2mgαr
∂r
∂L
= m(1 + 4α2 r2 )ṙ
∂ ṙ
d ∂L
= 8mα2 rṙ2 + m(1 + 4α2 r2 )r̈.
dt ∂ ṙ
Hence the equation of motion for r is

or

## In terms of the constant angular momentum, we may rewrite this as

l2
m(1 + 4α2 r2 )r̈ + 4mα2 rṙ2 − + 2mgαr = 0.
mr3
So this is the differential equation that determines the time evolution of r.
If initially ṙ = 0, then we have

l2
m(1 + 4α2 r2 )r̈ + − + 2mgαr = 0.
mr3
Evidently, r̈ will then vanish—and hence ṙ will remain 0, giving circular motion—
if
l2
= 2mgαr
mr3
or p
θ̇ = 2gα.
So if this condition is satisfied, the particle will execute circular motion (assum-
ing its initial r velocity was zero). It’s interesting to note that the condition on
θ̇ for circular motion is independent of r.
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 3 3

Problem 3.2

## A particle moves in a central force field given by the potential

e−ar
V = −k ,
r
where k and a are positive constants. Using the method of the equivalent one-
dimensional potential discuss the nature of the motion, stating the ranges of l and
E appropriate to each type of motion. When are circular orbits possible? Find the

The Lagrangian is
mh 2 i e−ar
L=ṙ + r2 θ̇2 + k .
2 r
As usual the angular momentum is conserved:
l = mr2 θ̇ = constant.
We have
∂L e−ar
= mrθ̇2 − k (1 + ar) 2
∂r r
∂L
= mṙ
∂ ṙ
so the equation of motion for r is
k e−ar
r̈ = rθ̇2 −
(1 + ar) 2
m r
l2 k e−ar
= 2 3− (1 + ar) 2 . (1)
m r m r
The condition for circular motion is that this vanish, which yields
r
k e−ar0 /2
θ̇ = (1 + ar0 ) 3/2 . (2)
m r 0

What this means is that that if the particle’s initial θ velocity is equal to the
above function of the starting radius r0 , then the second derivative of r will
remain zero for all time. (Note that, in contrast to the previous problem, in this
case the condition for circular motion does depend on the starting radius.)
To find the frequency of small oscillations, let’s suppose the particle is exe-
cuting a circular orbit with radius r0 (in which case the θ velocity is given by
(2)), and suppose we nudge it slightly so that its radius becomes r = r0 + x,
where x is small. Then (1) becomes
k  e−ar0 k e−a[r0 +x]
ẍ = 1 + ar0 − (1 + a[r 0 + x]) (3)
m r02 m [r0 + x]2
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 3 4

## Since x is small, we may write the second term approximately as

 
k e−ar0 x
≈ (1 + ar 0 + ax)(1 − ax) 1 − 2
m r02 r0
−ar0 −ar0
 
k e k e (1 + ar0 )
≈ (1 + ar0 ) 2 + a − a(1 + ar 0 ) − 2 x
m r0 m r02 r0
 
k e−ar0 k e−ar0 2 2
≈ (1 + ar0 ) 2 − 2a + + a r 0 x.
m r0 m r02 r0
The first term here just cancels the first term in (??), so we are left with
 
k e−ar0 2 2
ẍ = 2a + + a r0 x
m r02 r0
The problem is that the RHS here has the wrong sign—this equation is satisfied
by an x that grows (or decays) exponentially, rather than oscillates. Somehow
I messed up the sign of the RHS, but I can’t find where–can anybody help?

Problem 3.3

Two particles move about each other in circular orbits under the influence of grav-
itational forces, with a period τ . Their motion is suddenly stopped, and they are
then released
√ and allowed to fall into each other. Prove that they collide after a
time τ /4 2.

Since we are dealing with gravitational forces, the potential energy between
the particles is
k
U (r) = −
r
and, after reduction to the equivalent one-body problem, the Lagrangian is
µ 2 k
L= [ṙ + r2 θ̇2 ] +
2 r
where µ is the reduced mass. The equation of motion for r is
k
µr̈ = µrθ̇2 − . (4)
r2
If the particles are to move in circular orbits with radius r0 , (4) must vanish at
r = r0 , which yields a relation between r0 and θ̇:
 1/3
k
r0 =
µθ̇2
1/3
kτ 2

= (5)
4π 2 µ
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 3 5

where we used the fact that the angular velocity in the circular orbit with period
τ is θ̇ = 2π/τ .
When the particles are stopped, the angular velocity goes to zero, and the
first term in (4) vanishes, leaving only the second term:
k
r̈ = − . (6)
µr2
This differential equation governs the evolution of the particles after they are
stopped. We now want to use this equation to find r as a function of t, which
we will then need to invert to find the time required for the particle separation
r to go from r0 to 0.
The first step is to multiply both sides of (6) by the integrating factor 2ṙ:
2k
2ṙr̈ = − ṙ
µr2
or
 
d 2 d 2k
ṙ = +
dt dt µr

## from which we conclude

2k
ṙ2 = + C. (7)
µr
The constant C is determined from the boundary condition on ṙ. This is simply
that ṙ = 0 when r = r0 , since initially the particles are not moving at all. With
the appropriate choice of C in (7), we have
 1/2 r
dr 2k 1 1
ṙ = = −
dt µ r r0
 1/2 r
2k r0 − r
= . (8)
µ rr0

We could now proceed to solve this differential equation for r(t), but since in
fact we’re interested in solving for the time difference corresponding to given
boundary values of r, it’s easier to invert (8) and solve for t(r):
Z 0 
dt
∆t = dr
r0 dr
Z 0  −1
dr
= dr
r0 dt
 µ 1/2 Z 0  rr 1/2
0
= dr
2k r0 r 0 − r
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 3 6

## We change variables to u = r/r0 , du = dr/r0 :

 µ 1/2 Z 0 1/2
3/2 u
= r0 du
2k 1 1−u

## Next we change variables to u = sin2 x, du = 2 sin x cos x dx :

 µ 1/2 Z 0
3/2
=2 r0 sin2 x dx
2k π/2
 µ 1/2
3/2 π
= r0 .
2k 4
Now plugging in (5), we obtain

 µ 1/2  kτ 2 1/2  π 
∆t =
2k 4π 2 µ 4
τ
= √
4 2

Problem 3.6

(a) Show that if a particle describes a circular orbit under the influence of an
attractive central force directed at a point on the circle, then the force varies
as the inverse fifth power of the distance.
(b) Show that for the orbit described the total energy of the particle is zero.
(c) Find the period of the motion.
(d) Find ẋ, ẏ, and v as a function of angle around the circle and show that all
three quantities are infinite as the particle goes through the center of force.

Let’s suppose the center of force is at the origin, and that the particle’s orbit
is a circle of radius R centered at (x = R, y = 0) (so that the leftmost point
of the particle’s origin is the center of force). The equation describing such an
orbit is

r(θ) = 2R(1 + cos 2θ)1/2

so
1 1
u(θ) = =√ . (9)
r(θ) 2R(1 + cos 2θ)1/2
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 3 7

Differentiating,
du sin 2θ
=√
dθ 2R(1 + cos 2θ)3/2
sin2 2θ
 
du 1 2 cos 2θ
=√ +3
dθ 2R (1 + cos 2θ)3/2 (1 + cos 2θ)5/2
1 1  2 2

= √ 2 cos 2θ + 2 cos 2θ + 3 sin 2θ . (10)
2 2R (1 + cos 2θ)5/2

d2 u 1
(1 + cos 2θ)2 + 2 cos 2θ + 2 cos2 2θ + 3 sin2 2θ
 
+u= √
dθ2 2R(1 + cos 2θ) 5/2

1
=√ [4 + 4 cos 2θ]
2R(1 + cos 2θ)5/2
4
=√
2R(1 + cos 2θ)3/2
= 8R2 u3 . (11)

d2 u
 
m d 1
+ u = − V (12)
dθ2 l2 du u

## Plugging in (11), we have

 
2 3 m d 1
8R u = − 2 V
l du u

so

2l2R2 4 2l2 R2
 
1
V =− u −→ V (r) = − (13)
u m mr4

so

8l2R2
f (r) = − (14)
mr5
which is the advertised r dependence of the force.
(b) The kinetic energy of the particle is
m 2
T = [ṙ + r2 θ̇2 ]. (15)
2
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 3 8

We have

r= 2R(1 + cos 2θ)1/2
r2 = 2R2 (1 + cos 2θ)
√ sin 2θ
ṙ = 2R θ̇
(1 + cos 2θ)1/2
sin2 2θ 2
ṙ2 = 2R2 θ̇
1 + cos 2θ

## Plugging into (15),

sin2 2θ
 
2 2
T = mR θ̇ + 1 + cos 2θ
1 + cos 2θ
sin2 2θ + 1 + 2 cos 2θ + cos2 2θ
 
2 2
= mR θ̇
1 + cos θ
= 2mR2 θ̇2

## In terms of l = mr2 θ̇, this is just

2R2 l2
=
mr4
But this is just the negative of the potential energy, (13); hence the total particle
energy T + V is zero.
(c) Suppose the particle starts out at the furthest point from the center of force
on its orbit, i.e the point x = 2R, y = 0, and that it moves counter-clockwise
from this point to the origin. The time required to undergo this motion is half
the period of the orbit, and the particle’s angle changes from θ = 0 to θ = π/2.
Hence we can calculate the period as
Z π/2
dt
τ =2 dθ
0 dθ
Z π/2

=2
0 θ̇
Using θ̇ = l/mr2 , we have
π/2
m
Z
=2 r2 (θ) dθ
l 0
4R2 m π/2
Z
= (1 + 2 cos 2θ + cos2 2θ) dθ
l 0
4R2 m 3π
= ·
l 4
3πR2 m
= .
l
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 3 9

Problem 3.8

(a) For circular and parabolic orbits in an attractive 1/r potential having the same
angular momentum, show that the perihelion distance of the parabola is one
half the radius of the circle.
(b) Prove that in the same central force
√ as in part (a) the speed of a particle at
any point in a parabolic orbit is 2 times the speed in a circular orbit passing
through the same point.

## (a) The equations describing the orbits are

 2
l

 (circle)
mk 

r=
l2

1
(parabola.)

mk 1 + cos θ
Evidently, the perihelion of the parabola occurs when θ = 0, in which case
r = l2 /2mk, or one-half the radius of the circle.
(b) For the parabola, we have
l2
 
sin θ
ṙ = θ̇ (16)
mk (1 + cos θ)2
sin θ
= rθ̇
1 + cos θ
so

v 2 = ṙ2 + r2 θ̇2
sin2 θ
 
= r2 θ̇2 + 1
(1 + cos θ)2
 2 2

2 2 sin θ + 1 + 2 cos θ + cos θ
= r θ̇
(1 + cos θ)2
 
2 2 1
= 2r θ̇
1 + cos θ
2mkr3 θ̇2
=
l2
2k
= (17)
mr
in terms of the angular momentum l = mr 2 θ̇2 . On the other hand, for the circle
ṙ = 0, so
l2 k
v 2 = r2 θ̇2 = = (18)
m2 r 2 mr
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 3 10

where we used that fact that, since this is a circular orbit, the condition k/r =
l2 /mr2 is satisfied. Evidently (17) is twice (18) for the same √ particle at the
same point, so the unsquared speed in the parabolic orbit is 2 times that in
the circular orbit at the same point.

Problem 3.12

## At perigee of an elliptic gravitational orbit a particle experiences an impulse S (cf.

Exercise 9, Chapter 2) in the radial direction, sending the particle into another
elliptic orbit. Determine the new semimajor axis, eccentricity, and orientation of
major axis in terms of the old.

## The orbit equation for elliptical motion is

a(1 − 2 )
r(θ) = . (19)
1 +  cos(θ − θ0 )
For simplicity we’ll take θ0 = 0 for the initial motion of the particle. Then
perigee happens when θ = 0, which is to say the major axis of the orbit is on
the x axis.
Then at the point at which the impulse is delivered, the particle’s momentum
is entirely in the y direction: pi = pi ĵ. After receiving the impulse S in the radial
(x) direction, the particle’s y momentum is unchanged, but its x momentum is
now px = S. Hence the final momentum of the particle is pf = S î+pi ĵ. Since the
particle is in the same location before and after the impulse, its potential energy
is unchanged, but its kinetic energy is increased due to the added momentum:
S2
Ef = E i + . (20)
2m
Hence the semimajor axis length shrinks accordingly:
k k ai
af = − =− = . (21)
2Ef 2Ei + S 2 /m 1 + S 2 /(2mEi )
Next, since the impulse is in the same direction as the particle’s distance from
the origin, we have ∆L = r × ∆p = 0, i.e. the impulse does not change the
particle’s angular momentum:

Lf = Li ≡ L. (22)

With (20) and (22), we can compute the change in the particle’s eccentricity:
r
2Ef L2
f = 1 +
mk 2
r
2Ei L2 L2 S 2
= 1+ 2
+ 2 2. (23)
mk m k
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 3 11

What remains is to compute the constant θ0 in (19) for the particle’s orbit after
the collision. To do this we need merely observe that, since the location of the
particle is unchanged immediately after the impulse is delivered, expression (19)
must evaluate to the same radius at θ = 0 with both the “before” and “after”
values of a and :
ai (1 − 2i ) af (1 − 2f )
=
1 + i 1 + f cos θ0
or
( )
1 af (1 − 2f )
cos θ0 = −1 .
f ai (1 − i )

Problem 3.13

A uniform distribution of dust in the solar system adds to the gravitational attrac-
tion of the sun on a planet an additional force

F = −mCr

## where m is the mass of the planet, C is a constant proportional to the gravitational

constant and the density of the dust, and r is the radius vector from the sun to the
planet (both considered as points). This additional force is very small compared to
the direct sun-planet gravitational force.
(a) Calculate the period for a circular orbit of radius r0 of the planet in this com-
bined field.
(b) Calculate the period of radial oscillations for slight disturbances from this cir-
cular orbit.
(c) Show that nearly circular orbits can be approximated by a precessing ellipse
and find the precession frequency. Is the precession the same or opposite
direction to the orbital angular velocity?

## (a) The equation of motion for r is

l2
mr̈ = + f (r)
mr3
l2 k
= − 2 − mCr. (24)
mr3 r
For a circular orbit at radius r0 this must vanish:
l2 k
0= 3 − 2 − mCr0 (25)
mr0 r0
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 3 12

q
−→ l = mkr0 + m2 Cr04

l 1
q
−→ θ̇ = = mkr0 + m2 Cr04
mr02 mr02
s r
k mCr03
= 1 +
mr03 k
s
mCr03
 
k
≈ 1 +
mr03 2k

## Then the period is

mCr03
r  
2π 3/2 m
τ= ≈ 2πr0 1−
θ̇ k 2k
2
 
Cτ0
= τ0 1 −
8π 2
3/2 p
where τ0 = 2πr0 m/k is the period of circular motion in the absence of the
perturbing potential.
(b) We return to (24) and put r = r0 + x with x  r0 :

l2 k
mẍ = − − mC(r0 + x)
m(r0 + x)3 (r0 + x)2
l2
   
x k x
≈ 1−3 − 2 1−2 − mCr0 − mCx
mr03 r0 r0 r0

## Using (25), this reduces to

3l2
 
2k
mẍ = − 4 + 3 − mC x
mr0 r0

or
ẍ + ω 2 x = 0
with
1/2
3l2

2k
ω= 4 − −C
2
m r0 mr03
 2 1/2
2l k
= −
m2 r04 mr03
where in going to the last line we used (25) again.
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 3 13

Problem 3.14

## Show that the motion of a particle in the potential field

k h
V (r) = − + 2
r r
is the same as that of the motion under the Kepler potential alone when expressed
in terms of a coordinate system rotating or precessing around the center of force.
For negative total energy show that if the additional potential term is very small
compared to the Kepler potential, then the angular speed of precession of the ellip-
tical orbit is
2πmh
Ω̇ = 2 .
l τ
The perihelion of Mercury is observed to precess (after corrections for known plan-
etary perturbations) at the rate of about 4000 of arc per century. Show that this
precession could be accounted for classically if the dimensionless quantity
k
η=
ka
(which is a measure of the perturbing inverse square potential relative to the grav-
itational potential) were as small as 7 × 10−8 . (The eccentricity of Mercury’s orbit
is 0.206, and its period is 0.24 year).

## The effective one-dimensional equation of motion is

L2 k 2h
mr̈ = 3
− 2+ 3
mr r r
L2 + 2mh k
= + 2
mr3 r
L2 + 2mh + (mh/L)2 − (mh/L)2 k
= + 2
mr3 r
[L + (mh/L)]2 − (mh/L)2 k
= + 2
mr3 r
If mh  L2 , then we can neglect the term (mh/L)2 in comparison with L2 , and
write
[L + (mh/L)]2 k
mr̈ = 3
+ 2 (26)
mr r
which is just the normal equation of motion for the Kepler problem, but with
the angular momentum L augmented by the additive term ∆L = mh/L.
Such an augmentation of the angular momentum may be accounted for by
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 3 14

## augmenting the angular velocity:

   
2 mh 2 mh
L = mr θ̇ −→ L 1+ 2 = mr θ̇ 1 + 2
L L
= mr2 θ̇ + mr2 Ω̇

where
mh 2πmh
Ω̇ = =
L2 θ̇ L2 τ
is a precession frequency. If we were to go back and work the problem in the
reference frame in which everything is precessing with angular velocity Ω̇, but
there is no term h/r 2 in the potential, then the equations of motion would come
out the same as in the stationary case, but with a term ∆L = mr 2 Ω̇ added to
the effective angular momentum that shows up in the equation of motion for r,
just as we found in (26).
To put in the numbers, we observe that
  
2π m
Ω̇ = (h)
τ L2
   
2π mka h
=
τ L2 ka
   
2π 1 h
=
τ 1 − e2 ka

so

h τ Ω̇
= (1 − e2 )
ka 2π
= (1 − e2 )τ fprec

where in going to the third-to-last line we used Goldstein’s equation (3-62), and
in the last line I put fprec = Ω̇/2π. Putting in the numbers, we find
   
h 1◦ 1 revolution 1 century−1
= (1 − .2062 ) · 0.24 yr · 4000

yr−1
ka 360000 360◦ 100 yr−1
= 7.1 · 10−8 .
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 3 15

Problem 3.22

## In hyperbolic motion in a 1/r potential the analogue of the eccentric anomaly is F

defined by
r = a(e cosh F − 1),
where a(1 − e) is the distance of closest approach. Find the analogue to Kepler’s
equation giving t from the time of closest approach as a function of F .

r Z r
m dr
t=
2 r0
q
k l2
r − 2mr 2 + E
r Z r
m r dr
= . (27)
2 r0 Er2 + kr − l2
q
2m

With the suggested substitution, the thing under the radical in the denom-
inator of the integrand is

l2 l2
Er2 + kr − = Ea2 (e2 cosh2 F − 2e cosh F + 1) + ka(e cosh F − 1) −
2m 2m
l2

2 2 2 2
= Ea e cosh F + ae(k − 2Ea) cosh F + Ea − ka −
2m

It follows from the orbit equation that, if a(e − 1) is the distance of closest
approach, then a = k/2E. Thus

k 2 e2 k 2 e2 l2
= cosh2 F − −
4E  4E 2m 
k2 2 2 2El2
= e cosh F − 1 +
4E mk 2
k 2 e2   k 2 e2
= cosh2 F − 1 = sinh2 F = a2 e2 E sinh2 F.
4E 4E
Plugging into (27) and observing that dr = ae sinh F dF , we have
r
m F
r
ma2
Z
t= a(e cosh F − 1) dF = [e(sinh F − sinh F0 ) − (F − F0 )]
2E F0 2E

and I suppose this equation could be a jumping-off point for numerical or other
investigations of the time of travel in hyperbolic orbit problems.
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 3 16

Problem 3.26

## Examine the scattering produced by a repulsive central force f = kr −3 . Show that

the differential cross section is given by

k (1 − x)dx
σ(Θ)dΘ =
2E x2 (2 − x)2 sin πx

## where x is the ratio Θ/π and E is the energy.

The potential energy is U = k/2r 2 = ku2 /2, and the differential equation
d2 u m dU mk
+u=− 2 =− 2 u
dθ2 l du l
or
d2 u
 
mk
+ 1 + u=0
dθ2 l2
with solution

## u = A cos γθ + B sin γθ (28)

where
r
mk
γ= 1+ . (29)
l2
We’ll set up our coordinates in the way traditional for scattering experiments:
initially the particle is at angle θ = π and a great distance from the force center,
and ultimately the particle proceeds off to r = ∞ at some new angle θs . The
first of these observations gives us a relation between A and B in the orbit
equation (28):

## −→ A = −B tan γπ. (30)

The condition that the particle head off to r = ∞ at angle θ = θs yields the
condition

## − cos γθs tan γπ + sin γθs = 0

Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 3 17

or

## − cos γθs sin γπ + sin γθs cos γπ = 0

−→ sin γ(θs − π) = 0
−→ γ(θs − π) = π

## or, in terms of Goldstein’s variable x = θ/π,

1
γ= . (31)
x−1
Plugging in (29) and squaring both sides, we have

mk 1
1+ = .
l2 (x − 1)2

Now l = mv0 s = (2mE)1/2 s with s the impact parameter and E the particle
energy. Thus the previous equation is
k 1
1+ =
2Es2 (x − 1)2
or
k (x − 1)2
 
s2 = − .
2E x(x − 2)
Taking the differential of both sides,

(x − 1)2 (x − 1)2
 
k 2(x − 1)
2s ds = − − 2 − dx
2E x(x − 2) x (x − 2) x(x − 2)2
k 2x(x − 1)(x − 2) − (x − 1)2 (x − 2) − x(x − 1)2
 
=−
2E x2 (x − 2)2
 
k 2(1 − x)
=− . (32)
2E x2 (x − 2)2

## The differential cross section is given by

| s ds |
σ(θ)dΩ = .
sin θ
Plugging in (32), we have
 
k (1 − x)
σ(θ)dΩ = dx
2E x2 (x − 2)2 sin θ

Solutions to Problems in Goldstein,
Classical Mechanics, Second Edition
Homer Reid
April 21, 2002

Chapter 7

Problem 7.2

## Obtain the Lorentz transformation in which the velocity is at an infinitesimal angle

dθ counterclockwise from the z axis, by means of a similarity transformation applied
to Eq. (7-18). Show directly that the resulting matrix is orthogonal and that the
inverse matrix is obtained by substituting −v for v.

## We can obtain this transformation by first applying a pure rotation to rotate

the z axis into the boost axis, then applying a pure boost along the (new) z
axis, and then applying the inverse of the original rotation to bring the z axis
back in line with where it was originally. Symbolically we have L = R−1 KR
where R is the rotation to achieve the new z axis, and K is the boost along the
z axis.
Goldstein tells us that the new z axis is to be rotated dθ counterclockise
from the original z axis, but he doesn’t tell us in which plane, i.e. we know θ
but not φ for the new z axis in the unrotated coordinates. We’ll assume the z
axis is rotated around the x axis, in a sense such that if you’re standing on the
positive x axis, looking toward the negative x axis, the rotation appears to be
counterclockwise, so that the positive z axis is rotated toward the negative y

1
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 7 2

## axis. Then, using the real metric,

   
1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
 0 cos dθ sin dθ 0  0 1 0 0  0 cos dθ − sin dθ 0 
L= 
 0 − sin dθ cos dθ 0   0 0
 
γ −βγ   0 sin dθ cos dθ 0 
0 0 0 1 0 0 −βγ γ 0 0 0 1
  
1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
 0 cos dθ sin dθ 0  0 cos dθ − sin dθ 0 
= 
 0 − sin dθ cos dθ 0   0

γ sin dθ γ cos dθ −βγ 
0 0 0 1 0 −βγ sin dθ −βγ cos dθ γ
 
1 0 0 0
 0 cos2 dθ + γ sin2 dθ (γ − 1) sin dθ cos dθ −βγ sin dθ 
=  0 (γ − 1) sin dθ cos dθ sin2 dθ + γ cos2 dθ −βγ cos dθ
.

0 −βγ sin dθ −βγ cos dθ γ

Problem 7.4

A rocket of length l0 in its rest system is moving with constant speed along the z
axis of an inertial system. An observer at the origin observes the apparent length
of the rocket at any time by noting the z coordinates that can be seen for the head
and tail of the rocket. How does this apparent length vary as the rocket moves from
the extreme left of the observer to the extreme right?

Let’s imagine a coordinate system in which the rocket is at rest and centered
at the origin. Then the world lines of the rocket’s top and bottom are

xt0
µ = {0, 0, +L0 /2, τ } xb0
µ = {0, 0, −L0 /2, τ } .

where we are parameterizing the world lines by the proper time τ . Now, the rest
frame of the observer is moving in the negative z direction with speed v = βc
relative to the rest frame of the rocket. Transforming the world lines of the
rocket’s top and bottom to the rest frame of the observer, we have

## xtµ = {0, 0, γ(L0 /2 + vτ ), γ(τ + βL0 /2c)} (1)

xbµ = {0, 0, γ(−L0/2 + vτ ), γ(τ − βL0 /2c)} . (2)

Now consider the observer. At any time t in his own reference frame, he is
receiving light from two events, namely, the top and bottom of the rocket moving
past imaginary distance signposts that we pretend to exist up and down the z
axis. He sees the top of the rocket lined up with one distance signpost and the
bottom of the rocket lined up with another, and from the difference between the
two signposts he computes the length of the rocket. Of course, the light that
he sees was emitted by the rocket some time in the past, and, moreover, the
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 7 3

light signals from the top and bottom of the rocket that the observer receives
simultaneously at time t were in fact emitted at different proper times τ in the
rocket’s rest frame.
First consider the light received by the observer at time t0 coming from
the bottom of the rocket. Suppose in the observer’s rest frame this light were
emitted at time t0 − ∆t, i.e. ∆t seconds before it reaches the observer at the
origin; then the rocket bottom was passing through z = −c∆t when it emitted
this light. But then the event identified by (z, t) = (−c∆t, t0 − ∆t ) must lie on
the world line of the rocket’s bottom, which from (2) determines both ∆t and
the proper time τ at which the light was emitted:

 1/2
−c∆t = γ(−L0 /2 + vτ ) 1+β L0
=⇒ τ= t0 − ≡ τb (t0 ).
t0 − ∆ t = γ(τ + βL0 /2c) 1−β 2c

We use the notation τb (t0 ) to indicate that this is the proper time at which the
bottom of the rocket emits the light that arrives at the observer’s origin at the
observer’s time t0 . At this proper time, from (2), the position of the bottom of
the rocket in the observer’s reference frame was

## zb (τb (t0 )) = −γL0 /2 + vγτb (t0 )

( 1/2 )
1+β L0
= −γL0 /2 + vγ t0 − (3)
1−β 2c

## Similarly, for the top of the rocket we have

 1/2
1+β L0
τt (t0 ) = t0 +
1−β 2c

and
( 1/2 )
1+β L0
zt (τt (t0 )) = γL0 /2 + vγ t0 + (4)
1−β 2c

Subtracting (3) from (4), we have the length for the rocket computed by the
observer from his observations at time t0 in his reference frame:

## L(t0 ) = γ(1 + β)L0

 1/2
1+β
= L0 .
1−β
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 7 4

Problem 7.17

Two particles with rest masses m1 and m2 are observed to move along the observer’s
z axis toward each other with speeds v1 and v2 , respectively. Upon collision they
are observed to coalesce into one particle of rest mass m3 moving with speed v3
relative to the observer. Find m3 and v3 in terms of m1 , m2 , v1 , and v2 . Would it
be possible for the resultant particle to be a photon, that is m3 = 0, if neither m1
nor m2 are zero?

Equating the 3rd and 4th components of the initial and final 4-momentum
of the system yields

γ 1 m1 v 1 − γ 2 m2 v 2 = γ 3 m3 v 3
γ 1 m1 c + γ 2 m2 c = γ 3 m3 c

## Solving the second for m3 yields

γ1 γ2
m3 = m1 + m2 (5)
γ3 γ3
and plugging this into the first yields v3 in terms of the properties of particles
1 and 2:
γ 1 m1 v 1 − γ 2 m2 v 2
v3 =
γ 1 m1 + γ 2 m2
Then
v3 γ 1 m 1 β1 − γ 2 m 2 β2
β3 = =
c γ 1 m1 + γ 2 m2
2 2
γ m + 2γ1 γ2 m1 m2 + γ22 m22 − [γ12 m21 β12 + γ22 m22 β22 − 2γ1 γ2 m1 m2 β1 β2 ]
1 − β32 = 1 1
(γ1 m1 + γ2 m2 )2
γ m (1 − β1 ) + γ2 m2 (1 − β22 ) + 2γ1 γ2 m1 m2 (1 − β1 β2 )
2 2 2 2 2
= 1 1
(γ1 m1 + γ2 m2 )2
2 2
m + m2 + 2γ1 γ2 m1 m2 (1 − β1 β2 )
= 1
(γ1 m1 + γ2 m2 )2

and hence

1 (γ1 m1 + γ2 m2 )2
γ32 = 2 = 2 2 . (6)
1 − β3 m1 + m2 + 2γ1 γ2 m1 m2 (1 − β1 β2 )

Now, (5) shows that, for m3 to be zero when either m1 or m2 is zero, we must
have γ3 = ∞. That this condition cannot be met for nonzero m1 , m2 is evident
from the denominator of (6), in which all terms are positive (since β1 β2 < 1 if
m1 or m2 is nonzero).
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 7 5

Problem 7.19

A meson of mass π comes to rest and disintegrates into a meson of mass µ and a
neutrino of zero mass. Show that the kinetic energy of motion of the µ meson (i.e.
without the rest mass energy) is

(π − µ)2 2
c .

Working in the rest frame of the pion, the conservation relations are

## πc2 = (µ2 c4 + p2µ c2 )1/2 + pν c (energy conservation)

0 = p µ + pν (momentum conservation).

From the second of these it follows that the muon and neutrino must have the
same momentum, whose magnitude we’ll call p. Then the energy conservation
relation becomes

## πc2 = (µ2 c4 + p2 c2 )1/2 + pc

−→ (πc − p)2 = µ2 c2 + p2
π 2 − µ2
−→ p= c.

Then the total energy of the muon is

Eµ = (µ2 c4 + p2 c2 )1/2
1/2
(π 2 − µ2 )2

= c 2 µ2 +
4π 2
c2 1/2
= 4π 2 µ2 + (π 2 − µ2 )2

c2 2
= (π + µ2 )

Then subtracting out the rest energy to get the kinetic energy, we obtain

c2 2
K = Eµ − µc2 = (π + µ2 ) − µc2

c2 2
= (π + µ2 − 2πµ)

c2
= (π − µ)2

Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 7 6

Problem 7.20

A π + meson of rest mass 139.6 MeV collides with a neutron (rest mass 939.6 MeV)
stationary in the laboratory system to produce a K + meson (rest mass 494 MeV)
and a Λ hyperon (rest mass 1115 MeV). What is the threshold energy for this
reaction in the laboratory system?

We’ll put c = 1 for this problem. The four-momenta of the pion and neutron
before the collision are

## pµ,T pµT = −|pπ |2 + (γπ mπ + mn )2

= −|pπ |2 + γπ2 m2π + m2n + 2γπ mπ mn
= m2π + m2n + 2γπ mπ mn
= (mπ + mn )2 + 2(γπ − 1)mπ mn (7)

The threshold energy is the energy needed to produce the K and Λ particles
at rest in the COM system. In this case the squared magnitude of the four-
momentum of the final system is just (mK + mΛ )2 , and, by conservation of
momentum, this must be equal to the magnitude of the four-momentum of the
initial system (7):

## (mK + mΛ )2 = (mπ + mn )2 + 2(γπ − 1)mπ mn

(mK + mΛ )2 − (mπ + mn )2
=⇒ γπ = 1 + = 6.43
2mπ mn
Then the total energy of the pion is T = γπ mπ = (6.43 · 139.6 MeV) = 898
MeV, while its kinetic energy is K = T − m = 758 MeV.
The above appears to be the correct solution to this problem. On the other
hand, I first tried to do it a different way, as below. This way yields a different
and hence presumably incorrect answer, but I can’t figure out why. Can anyone
find the mistake?
The K and Λ particles must have, between them, the same total momentum
in the direction of the original pion’s momentum as the original pion had. Of
course, the K and Λ may also have momentum in directions transverse to the
original pion momentum (if so, their transverse momenta must be equal and
opposite). But any transverse momentum just increases the energy of the final
system, which increases the energy the initial system must have had to produce
the final system. Hence the minimum energy situation is that in which the K and
Λ both travel in the direction of the original pion’s motion. (This is equivalent
to Goldstein’s conclusion that, just at threshold, the produced particles are at
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 7 7

rest in the COM system). Then the momentum conservation relation becomes
simply

pπ = p K + p λ (8)

## and the energy conservation relation is (with c = 1)

(m2π + p2π )1/2 + mn = (m2K + p2K )1/2 + (m2Λ + p2Λ )1/2 . (9)

The problem is to find the minimum value of pπ that satisfies (9) subject to the
constraint (8).
To solve this we must first resolve a subquestion: for a given pπ , what is the
relative allocation of momentum to pK and pΛ that minimizes (9) ? Minimizing

## subject to pK + pΛ = pπ , we obtain the condition

pK pΛ mK
= =⇒ pK = pΛ (10)
(m2K + p2K )1/2 (m2Λ + p2Λ )1/2 mΛ

## Combining this with (8) yields

mΛ mK
pΛ = pπ pK = pπ . (11)
mK + m Λ mK + m Λ
For a given total momentum pπ , the minimum possible energy the final system
can have is realized when pπ is partitioned between pK and pΛ according to
(11). Plugging into (8), the relation defining the threshold momentum is
 2 !1/2  2 !1/2
mK mΛ
(m2π + p2π )1/2 + mn = m2K + p2π + m2Λ + p2π
mK + m Λ mK + m Λ

Solving numerically yields pπ ≈ 655 MeV/c, for a total pion energy of about
670 MeV.
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 7 8

Problem 7.21

## A photon may be described classically as a particle of zero mass possessing never-

theless a momentum h/λ = hν/c, and therefore a kinetic energy hν. If the photon
collides with an electron of mass m at rest it will be scattered at some angle θ with
a new energy hν 0 . Show that the change in energy is related to the scattering angle
by the formula
θ
λ0 − λ = 2λc sin2 ,
2
where λc = h/mc, known as the Compton wavelength. Show also that the kinetic
energy of the recoil motion of the electron is

2 λλc sin2 2θ

T = hν .
1 + 2 λλc sin2 θ/2


Let’s assume the photon is initially travelling along the z axis. Then the sum
of the initial photon and electron four-momenta is
     
0 0 0
 0   0   0 
 h/λ  +  0  = 
pµ,i = pµ,γ + pµ,e =      . (12)
h/λ 
h/λ mc mc + h/λ

Without loss of generality we may assume that the photon and electron move
in the xz plane after the scatter. If the photon’s velocity makes an angle θ with
the z axis, while the electron’s velocity makes an angle φ, the four-momentum
after the collision is
(h/λ0 ) sin θ + pe sin φ
     
(h/λ0 ) sin θ pe sin φ
 0   0   0 
pµ,f = pµ,γ + pµ,e =   (h/λ0 ) cos θ  + 
  = 0
.
p ep cos φ   (h/λ ) cos
p + pe cos φ
θ 
0 2 2 2 0
h/λ m c + pe (h/λ ) + m2 c2 + p2e
(13)

## (h/λ0 ) sin θ + pe sin φ = 0 (14)

0
(h/λ ) cos θ + pe cos φ = h/λ (15)
p
h/λ0 + m2 c2 + p2e = mc + h/λ (16)

## From the first of these we find

"  2 #1/2
h h 2
sin φ = − 0 sin θ =⇒ cos φ = 1 + sin θ
λ pe λ0 p e
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 7 9

## and plugging this into (15) we find

h2 h2 h2
p2e = + − 2 cos θ. (17)
λ2 λ02 λλ0
On the other hand, we can solve (16) to obtain
 2  
1 1 1 1
p2e = h2 − + 2mch − .
λ λ0 λ λ0

## Comparing these two determinations of pe yields

mc 0
cos θ = 1 − (λ − λ)
h
or
θ mc 0 1
sin2 = (λ − λ) = (λ0 − λ)
2 2h 2λc
so this is advertised result number 1.
Next, to find the kinetic energy of the electron after the collision, we can
write the conservation of energy equation in a slightly different form:
h h
= γmc + 0
mc +
λ  λ 
1 1
=⇒ (γ − 1)mc = K = h −
λ λ0
 0 
λ −λ
=h
λλ0
2λc sin2 (θ/2)
 
=h
λ[λ + 2λc sin2 (θ/2)]
2χ sin2 (θ/2)
 
h
=
λ 1 + 2χ sin2 (θ/2)

Problem 7.22

## A photon of energy E collides at angle θ with another photon of energy E. Prove

that the minimum value of E permitting formation of a pair of particles of mass m
is
2m2 c4
Eth = .
E(1 − cos θ)

We’ll suppose the photon of energy E is traveling along the positive z axis,
while that with energy E is traveling in the xz plane (i.e., its velocity has
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 7 10

## spherical polar angles θ and φ = 0). Then the 4-momenta are

 
E E
p1 = 0, 0, ,
c c
 
E E E
p2 = sin θ, 0, cos θ,
c c c
 
E E + E cos θ E + E
pt = p 1 + p 2 = sin θ, 0, ,
c c c

It’s convenient to rotate our reference frame to one in which the space portion
of the composite four-momentum of the two photons is all along the z direction.
In this frame the total four-momentum is
 
0 1p 2 2
E+E
pt = 0, 0, E + E + 2EE cos θ, . (18)
c c

At threshold energy, the two produced particles have the same four-momenta:
 
p3 = p4 = 0, 0, p, (m2c2 + p2 )1/2 (19)

and 4-momentum conservation requires that twice (19) add up to (18), which
yields two conditions:

1
√ 1
2p = c E 2 + E 2 + 2EE cos θ −→ p 2 c2 = 4 (E
2
+ E 2 + 2EE cos θ)
p E+E 1
2 m 2 c2 + p 2 = c −→ m2 c4 + p2 c2 = 4 (E
2
+ E 2 + 2EE)

## Subtracting the first of these from the second, we obtain

EE
m2 c 4 = (1 − cos θ)
2
or

2m2 c4
E=
E(1 − cos θ)

Solutions to Problems in Goldstein,
Classical Mechanics, Second Edition
Homer Reid
October 29, 2002

Chapter 9

Problem 9.1

One of the attempts at combining the two sets of Hamilton’s equations into one
tries to take q and p as forming a complex quantity. Show directly from Hamilton’s
equations of motion that for a system of one degree of freedom the transformation

Q = q + ip, P = Q∗

is not canonical if the Hamiltonian is left unaltered. Can you find another set of
coordinates Q0 , P 0 that are related to Q, P by a change of scale only, and that are
canonical?

## The reverse transformation is

   
1 1 1 1 1 1
q= Q+ P , p= Q− P .
2 µ ν 2i µ ν

The direct conditions for canonicality, valid in cases (like this one) in which the

1
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 9 2

## transformation equations do not depend on the time explicitly, are

∂Q ∂p
=
∂q ∂P
∂Q ∂q
=−
∂p ∂P
(2)
∂P ∂p
=−
∂q ∂Q
∂P ∂q
= .
∂p ∂Q
When applied to the case at hand, all four of these yield the same condition,
namely
1
µ=− .
2iν
For µ = ν = 1, which is the case Goldstein gives, these conditions are clearly
1
not satisfied, so (1) is not canonical. But putting µ = 1, ν = − 2i we see that
equations (1) are canonical.
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 9 3

Problem 9.2

## (a) For a one-dimensional system with the Hamiltonian

p2 1
H= − 2,
2 2q
show that there is a constant of the motion
pq
D= − Ht.
2

(b) As a generalization of part (a), for motion in a plane with the Hamiltonian

H = |p|n − ar−n ,

## where p is the vector of the momenta conjugate to the Cartesian coordinates,

show that there is a constant of the motion
p·r
D= − Ht.
n

## (c) The transformation Q = λq, p = λP is obviously canonical. However, the same

transformation with t time dilatation, Q = λq, p = λP, t0 = λ2 t, is not. Show
that, however, the equations of motion for q and p for the Hamiltonian in part
(a) are invariant under the transformation. The constant of the motion D is
said to be associated with this invariance.

## (a) The equation of motion for the quantity D is

dD ∂D
= {D, H} +
dT ∂t
The Poisson bracket of the second term in D clearly vanishes, so we have

1
= {pq, H} − H
2  
1 2
1 1
= pq, p − pq, 2 − H. (3)
4 4 q
The first Poisson bracket is
∂(pq) ∂(p2 ) ∂(pq) ∂(p2 )
pq, p2 =


∂q ∂p ∂p ∂q
= (p)(2p) − 0
= 2p2 (4)
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 9 4

Next,
   
1 1
∂(pq) ∂ ∂(pq) ∂
 
1 q2 q2
pq, = −
q2 ∂q ∂p ∂p ∂q
 
2
=0− − 3 q
q
2
= 2 (5)
q

dD p2 1
= − 2 −H
dt 2 2q
= 0.

(b) We have

## H = (p21 + p22 + p23 )n/2 − a(x21 + x22 + x23 )−n/2

so
∂H
= anxi (x21 + x22 + x23 )−n/2−1
∂xi
∂H
= 2npi (p21 + p22 + p23 )n/2−1 .
∂pi
Then
X  ∂(p1 x1 + p2 x2 + p3 x3 ) ∂H ∂(p1 x1 + p2 x2 + p3 x3 ) ∂H

{p · r, H} = −
i
∂x i ∂p i ∂pi ∂xi
Xn o
= np2i (p21 + p22 + p23 )n/2−1 − anx2i (x21 + x22 + x23 )−n/2−1
i

dD ∂D
= {D, H} −
dT ∂t
1 ∂D
= {p · r, H} −
n ∂t

## Substituting in from (6),

= |p|n − ar−n − H
= 0.
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 9 5

(c) We put    
t0 1 t0
Q(t0 ) = λq , P (t0 ) = p . (7)
λ2 λ λ2
Since q and p are the original canonical coordinates, they satisfy
∂H
q̇ = =p
∂p
(8)
∂H 1
ṗ = − = 3.
∂q q

 0
dQ 1 t
= q̇
dt 0 λ λ2
 0
1 t
= p
λ λ2
= P (t0 )
 0
dP 1 t
= 3 ṗ
dt 0 λ λ2
1 1
= 3
λ q λt2
0 

1
= 3 0
Q (t )

Problem 9.4

## Show directly that the transformation

 
1
Q = log sin p , P = q cot p
p

is canonical.

## The Jacobian of the transformation is

!
∂Q ∂Q
∂q ∂p
M= ∂P ∂P
∂q ∂p

− q1
 
cot p
= .
cot p −q csc2 p
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 9 6

Hence
− q1 − 1q
   
cot p cot p 0 1
M̃JM =
cot p −q csc2 p cot p −q csc2 p −1 0
− 1q cot p −q csc2 p
   
cot p
= 1
cot p −q csc2 p q − cot p
 2 2

0 csc p − cot p
=
cot2 p − csc2 p 0
 
0 1
=
−1 0
=J

## so the symplectic condition is satisfied.

Problem 9.5

Show directly for a system of one degree of freedom that the transformation

αq 2 p2
 
αq
Q = arctan , P = 1+ 2 2
p 2 α q

## The Jacobian of the transformation is

 
∂Q ∂Q
∂q ∂p
M= 
∂P ∂P
∂q ∂p
     
α 1 αq 1
p 2 − p2 2
1+( αq
p ) 1+( αq
p )
= .
p
αq α

so
   
α 1

αq p
p αq 2 αq
M̃JM = 
  1+( p )    
αq
α 
αq p
 α 1 1
− 1 − p αq 2 + p2 αq 2
p2 1+( αq
) 2 α 1+( p ) 1+( p )
p
 
0 1
= 
−1 0
=J

## so the symplectic condition is satisfied.

Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 9 7

Problem 9.6

## Q = log(1 + q 1/2 cos p)

P = 2(1 + q 1/2 cos p)q 1/2 sin p

(a) Show directly from these transformation equations that Q, P are canonical
variables if q and p are.
(b) Show that the function that generates this transformation is

## (a) The Jacobian of the transformation is

 
∂Q ∂Q
∂q ∂p
M= 
∂P ∂P
∂q ∂p
 1/2

1 q −1/2 cos p q sin p

2 1+q 1/2 cos p
− 1+q 1/2 cos p
= 
q −1/2 sin p + 2 cos p sin p 2q 1/2 cos p + 2q cos2 p − 2q sin2 p
 
q 1/2 sin p
1
 q−1/2 cos p
2 1+q 1/2 cos p
− 1+q 1/2 cos p
= .
q −1/2 sin p + sin 2p 2q 1/2 cos p + 2q cos 2p

Hence we have
 
1 q −1/2 cos p

2 1+q 1/2 cos p
q −1/2 sin p + sin 2p
M̃JM =  
q 1/2 sin p
− 1+q 1/2 cos p 2q 1/2 cos p + 2q cos 2p
 
q −1/2 sin p + sin 2p 2q 1/2 cos p + 2q cos 2p
× 
q 1/2 sin p
 q−1/2 cos p
− 12 1+q 1/2 cos p 1+q 1/2 cos p
 
cos2 p+sin2 p+q 1/2 cos p cos 2p+q 1/2 sin p sin 2p
0 1+q 1/2 cos p
= 2

p+sin2 p+q 1/2 cos p cos 2p+q 1/2 sin p sin 2p
− cos 1+q 1/2 cos p
0
 
0 1
= 
−1 0
=J

## so the symplectic condition is satisfied.

Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 9 8

## (b) For an F3 function the relevant relations are q = −∂F/∂p, P = −∂F/∂Q.

We have
F3 (p, Q) = −(eQ − 1)2 tan p
so
∂F3
P =− = 2eQ (eQ − 1) tan p
∂Q
∂F3
q=− = (eQ − 1)2 sec2 p.
∂p
The second of these may be solved to yield Q in terms of q and p:
Q = log(1 + q 1/2 cos p)
and then we may plug this back into the equation for P to obtain
P = 2q 1/2 sin p + q sin 2p

Problem 9.7

(a) If each of the four types of generating functions exist for a given canonical
transformation, use the Legendre transformation to derive relations between
them.
(b) Find a generating function of the F4 type for the identity transformation and
of the F3 type for the exchange transformation.
(c) For an orthogonal point transformation of q in a system of n degrees of freedom,
show that the new momenta are likewise given by the orthogonal transforma-
tion of an n−dimensional vector whose components are the old momenta plus

Problem 9.8

## Prove directly that the transformation

Q1 = q 1 , P1 = p1 − 2p2
Q2 = p 2 , P2 = −2q1 − q2

## After a little hacking I came up with the generating function

F13 (p1 , Q1 , q2 , Q2 ) = −(p1 − 2Q2 )Q1 + q2 Q2
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 9 9

## which is of mixed F3 , F1 type. This is Legendre-transformed into a function of

the F1 type according to

F1 (q1 , Q1 , q2 , Q2 ) = F13 + p1 q1 .

## The least action principle then says

∂F13 ∂F13
p1 q̇1 + p2 q̇2 − H(qi , pi ) = P1 Q̇1 + P2 Q̇2 − K(Qi , Pi ) + ṗ1 + Q̇1
∂p1 ∂Q1
∂F13 ∂F13
+ q̇2 + Q̇2 + p1 q̇1 + q1 ṗ1
∂q2 ∂Q2
whence clearly
∂F13
q1 = − = Q1 X
∂p1
∂F13
P1 = − = −p1 − 2Q2
∂Q1
= −p1 − 2p2 X
∂F13
p2 = = Q2 X
∂q2
∂F13
P2 = − = −2Q1 − q2 = −2q1 − q2 X.
∂Q2

Problem 9.14

By any method you choose show that the following transformation is canonical:
1 p α p
x= ( 2P1 sin Q1 + P2 ), px = ( 2P1 cos Q1 − Q2 )
α 2
1 p α p
y = ( 2P1 cos Q1 + Q2 ), py = − ( 2P1 sin Q1 − P2 )
α 2
where α is some fixed parameter.
Apply this transformation to the problem of a particle of charge q moving in a plane
that is perpendicular to a constant magnetic field B. Express the Hamiltonian for
this problem in the (Qi , Pi ) coordinates, letting the parameter α take the form

qB
α2 = .
c
From this Hamiltonian obtain the motion of the particle as a function of time.

## We will prove that the transformation is canonical by finding a generating

function. Our first step to this end will be to express everything as a function
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 9 10

of some set of four variables of which two are old variables and two are new.
After some hacking, I arrived at the set {x, Q1 , py , Q2 }. In terms of this set, the
remaining quantities are
 
1 1 1
y= x − 2 py cot Q1 + Q2 (9)
2 α α
 2 
α 1 α
px = x − py cot Q1 − Q2 (10)
4 2 2
 2 2 
α x 1 1
P1 = − xpy + 2 p2y csc2 Q1 (11)
8 2 2α
α 1
P2 = x + p y (12)
2 α
We now seek a generating function of the form F (x, Q1 , py , Q2 ). This is of mixed
type, but can be related to a generating function of pure F1 character according
to
F1 (x, Q1 , y, Q2 ) = F (x, Q1 , py , Q2 ) − ypy .
Then the principle of least action leads to the condition
∂F ∂F ∂F ∂F
px ẋ + py ẏ = P1 Q̇1 + P2 Q̇2 + ẋ + ṗy + Q̇1 + Q̇2 + y ṗy + py ẏ
∂x ∂py ∂Q1 ∂Q2

## from which we obtain

∂F
px = (13)
∂x
∂F
y=− (14)
∂py
∂F
P1 = − (15)
∂Q1
∂F
P2 = − . (16)
∂Q2

Doing the easiest first, comparing (12) and (16) we see that F must have
the form
α 1
F (x, Q1 , py , Q2 ) = − xQ2 − py Q2 + g(x, Q1 , py ). (17)
2 α
Plugging this in to (14) and comparing with (14) we find
 
1 1 2
g(x, Q1 , py ) = − xpy + 2 py cot Q1 + ψ(x, Q1 ). (18)
2 2α

Plugging (17) and (18) into (13) and comparing with (10), we see that

∂ψ α2
= x cot Q1
∂x 4
Homer Reid’s Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 9 11

or
α 2 x2
ψ(x, Q1 ) = cot Q1 . (19)
8
Finally, combining (19), (18), (17), and (15) and comparing with (11) we see
that we may simply take φ(Q1 ) ≡ 0. The final form of the generating function
is then
   2 2 
α 1 α x 1 1 2
F (x, Q1 , py , Q2 ) = − x + py Q2 + − xpy + 2 py cot Q1
2 α 8 2 2α
and its existence proves the canonicality of the transformation.
Turning now to the solution of the problem, we take the B field in the z
direction, i.e. B = B0 k̂, and put
B0  
A= − y î + x ĵ .
2
Then the Hamiltonian is
1  q 2
H(x, y, px , py ) = p− A
2m " c
 2  2 #
1 qB0 qB0
= px + y + py − x
2m 2c 2c
" 2  2 #
1 α2 α2
= px + y + py − x
2m 2 2

## where we put α2 = qB/c. In terms of the new variables, this is

 2 
1  p 2  p
H(Q1 , Q2 , P1 , P2 ) = α 2P1 cos Q1 + α 2P1 sin Q1
2m
α2
= P1
m
= ω c P1

## where ωc = qB/mc is the cyclotron frequency. From the Hamiltonian equations

of motion applied to this Hamiltonian we see that Q2 , P1 , and P2 are all constant,
while the equation of motion for Q1 is
∂H
Q̇1 = = ωc −→ Q 1 = ωc t + φ
∂P1

for some phase φ. Putting r = 2P1 /α, x0 = P2 /α, y0 = Q2 /α we then have
mωc
x = r(sin ωc t + φ) + x0 , px = [r cos(ωc t + φ) − y0 ]
2
mωc
y = r(cos ωc t + φ) + y0 , py = [r sin(ωc t + φ) + x0 ]
2
in agreement with the standard solution to the problem.
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