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Canonical transformation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Canonical transformation
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Hamiltonian mechanics, a canonical transformation is a change of canonical coordinates (q,p,t) (Q,P,t) that preserves the form of Hamilton's equations (that is, the new Hamilton's equations resulting from the transformed Hamiltonian may be simply obtained by substituting the new coordinates for the old coordinates), although it might not preserve the Hamiltonian itself. This is sometimes known as form invariance. Canonical transformations are useful in their own right, and also form the basis for the HamiltonJacobi equations (a useful method for calculating conserved quantities) and Liouville's theorem (itself the basis for classical statistical mechanics). Since Lagrangian mechanics is based on generalized coordinates, transformations of the coordinates q Q do not affect the form of Lagrange's equations and, hence, do not affect the form of Hamilton's equations if we simultaneously change the momentum by a Legendre transform into

Therefore, coordinate transformations (also called point transformations) are a type of canonical transformation. However, the class of canonical transformations is much broader, since the old generalized coordinates, momenta and even time may be combined to form the new generalized coordinates and momenta. Canonical transformations that do not include the time explicitly are called restricted canonical transformations (many textbooks consider only this type). For clarity, we restrict the presentation here to calculus and classical mechanics. Readers familiar with more advanced mathematics such as cotangent bundles, exterior derivatives and symplectic manifolds should read the related symplectomorphism article. (Canonical transformations are a special case of a symplectomorphism.) However, a brief introduction to the modern mathematical description is included at the end of this article.

Contents
1 Notation 2 Direct approach 3 Liouville's theorem 4 Generating function approach 4.1 Type 1 generating function 4.2 Type 2 generating function 4.3 Type 3 generating function 4.4 Type 4 generating function 5 Motion as a canonical transformation 6 Modern mathematical description 7 History 8 See also 9 References

Notation

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Canonical transformation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canonical_transformation

Boldface variables such as

represent a list of

generalized coordinates, e.g.,

that need not transform like a vector under rotation. As usual, a dot over a variable or list signifies the time derivative, e.g., . The dot product notation between two lists of the same number of coordinates is

a shorthand for the sum of the products of corresponding components, e.g.,

The dot product (also known as an "inner product") maps the two coordinate lists into one variable representing a single numerical value.

Direct approach
The functional form of Hamilton's equations is

By definition, the transformed coordinates have analogous dynamics

where K(Q,P) is a new Hamiltonian that must be determined. In general, a transformation (q,p,t) (Q,P,t) does not preserve the form of Hamilton's equations. For time independent transformations between (q,p) and (Q,P) we may check if the transformation is restricted canonical, as follows. Since restricted transformations have no explicit time dependence (by construction), the time derivative of a new generalized coordinate Qm is

where

is the Poisson bracket.

We also have the identity for the conjugate momentum Pm

If the transformation is canonical, these two must be equal, resulting in the equations

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Canonical transformation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The analogous argument for the generalized momenta Pm leads to two other sets of equations

These are the direct conditions to check whether a given transformation is canonical.

Liouville's theorem
The direct conditions allow us to prove Liouville's theorem, which states that the volume in phase space is conserved under canonical transformations, i.e.,

By calculus, the latter integral must equal the former times the Jacobian

where the Jacobian is the determinant of the matrix of partial derivatives, which we write as

Exploiting the "division" property of Jacobians yields

Eliminating the repeated variables gives

Application of the direct conditions above yields

Generating function approach


Main article: Generating function (physics)

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To guarantee a valid transformation between and , we may resort to an indirect generating function approach. Both sets of variables must obey Hamilton's principle. That is the Action Integral over the Lagrangian and respectively, obtained by the Hamiltonian via ("inverse") Legendre transformation, both must be stationary (so that one can use the Euler-Lagrange equations to arrive at equations of the above-mentioned and designated form; as it is shown for example here):

To satisfy both variational integrals, we must have

This equation holds because the Lagrangian is not unique, one can always multiply by a constant a total time derivative and yield the same equations of motion (see for reference:

and add

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Classical_Mechanics/Lagrange_Theory#Is_the_Lagrangian_unique.3F). In general, the scaling factor is set equal to one; canonical transformations for which are called

extended canonical transformations.

is kept, otherwise the problem would be rendered trivial and

there would be not much freedom for the new canonical variables to differ from the old ones. Here is a generating function of one old canonical coordinate ( or ), one new canonical coordinate ( or ) and (possibly) the time . Thus, there are four basic types of generating functions, depending on the choice of variables. As will be shown below, the generating function will define a transformation from old to new canonical coordinates, and any such transformation is guaranteed to be canonical.

Type 1 generating function


The type 1 generating function depends only on the old and new generalized coordinates

To derive the implicit transformation, we expand the defining equation above

Since the new and old coordinates are each independent, the following

equations must hold

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Canonical transformation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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These equations define the transformation

as follows. The first set of

equations

define relations between the new generalized coordinates and the old canonical coordinates . Ideally, one can invert these relations to obtain formulae for each as a function of the old canonical coordinates. Substitution of these formulae for the coordinates into the second set of equations

yields analogous formulae for the new generalized momenta in terms of the old canonical coordinates . We then invert both sets of formulae to obtain the old canonical coordinates as functions of the new canonical coordinates . Substitution of the inverted formulae into the final equation

yields a formula for

as a function of the new canonical coordinates

In practice, this procedure is easier than it sounds, because the generating function is usually simple. For example, let

This results in swapping the generalized coordinates for the momenta and vice versa

and . This example illustrates how independent the coordinates and momenta are in the Hamiltonian formulation; they're equivalent variables.

Type 2 generating function


The type 2 generating function momenta depends only on the old generalized coordinates and the new generalized

where the terms represent a Legendre transformation to change the right-hand side of the equation below. To derive the implicit transformation, we expand the defining equation above

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Canonical transformation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Since the old coordinates and new momenta are each independent, the following hold

equations must

These equations define the transformation

as follows. The first set of

equations

define relations between the new generalized momenta and the old canonical coordinates . Ideally, one can invert these relations to obtain formulae for each as a function of the old canonical coordinates. Substitution of these formulae for the coordinates into the second set of equations

yields analogous formulae for the new generalized coordinates in terms of the old canonical coordinates . We then invert both sets of formulae to obtain the old canonical coordinates as functions of the new canonical coordinates . Substitution of the inverted formulae into the final equation

yields a formula for

as a function of the new canonical coordinates

In practice, this procedure is easier than it sounds, because the generating function is usually simple. For example, let

where

is a set of

functions. This results in a point transformation of the generalized coordinates

Type 3 generating function


The type 3 generating function coordinates depends only on the old generalized momenta and the new generalized

where the terms represent a Legendre transformation to change the left-hand side of the equation below. To derive the implicit transformation, we expand the defining equation above

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Canonical transformation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Since the new and old coordinates are each independent, the following

equations must hold

These equations define the transformation

as follows. The first set of

equations

define relations between the new generalized coordinates and the old canonical coordinates . Ideally, one can invert these relations to obtain formulae for each as a function of the old canonical coordinates. Substitution of these formulae for the coordinates into the second set of equations

yields analogous formulae for the new generalized momenta in terms of the old canonical coordinates . We then invert both sets of formulae to obtain the old canonical coordinates as functions of the new canonical coordinates . Substitution of the inverted formulae into the final equation

yields a formula for

as a function of the new canonical coordinates

In practice, this procedure is easier than it sounds, because the generating function is usually simple.

Type 4 generating function


The type 4 generating function depends only on the old and new generalized momenta

where the terms represent a Legendre transformation to change both sides of the equation below. To derive the implicit transformation, we expand the defining equation above

Since the new and old coordinates are each independent, the following

equations must hold

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Canonical transformation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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These equations define the transformation

as follows. The first set of

equations

define relations between the new generalized momenta and the old canonical coordinates . Ideally, one can invert these relations to obtain formulae for each as a function of the old canonical coordinates. Substitution of these formulae for the coordinates into the second set of equations

yields analogous formulae for the new generalized coordinates in terms of the old canonical coordinates . We then invert both sets of formulae to obtain the old canonical coordinates as functions of the new canonical coordinates . Substitution of the inverted formulae into the final equation

yields a formula for

as a function of the new canonical coordinates

Motion as a canonical transformation


Motion itself (or, equivalently, a shift in the time origin) is a canonical transformation. If and , then Hamilton's principle is automatically satisfied

since a valid trajectory endpoints.

should always satisfy Hamilton's principle, regardless of the

Modern mathematical description


In mathematical terms, canonical coordinates are any coordinates on the phase space (cotangent bundle) of the system that allow the canonical one-form to be written as

up to a total differential (exact form). The change of variable between one set of canonical coordinates and another is a canonical transformation. The index of the generalized coordinates is written here as a superscript ( ), not as a subscript as done above ( ). The superscript conveys the contravariant transformation properties of the generalized coordinates, and does not mean that the coordinate is being raised to a power. Further details may be found at the symplectomorphism article.

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History
The first major application of the canonical transformation was in 1846, by Charles Delaunay, in the study of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. This work resulted in the publication of a pair of large volumes as Mmoires by the French Academy of Sciences, in 1860 and 1867.

See also
Symplectomorphism HamiltonJacobi equation Liouville's theorem (Hamiltonian) Mathieu transformation Linear canonical transformation

References
Landau LD and Lifshitz EM (1976) Mechanics, 3rd. ed., Pergamon Press. ISBN 0-08-021022-8 (hardcover) and ISBN 0-08-029141-4 (softcover). Goldstein H. (1980) Classical Mechanics, 2nd. ed., Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-02918-9 Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Canonical_transformation&oldid=543380287" Categories: Concepts in physics Hamiltonian mechanics Transforms This page was last modified on 11 March 2013 at 09:21. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. See Terms of Use for details. Wikipedia is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.

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