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# Variational Principles

## and Lagranges Equations

Definitions
i m ( xn ) i 0,1,2,3... ?
Lagrangian density: L , x
x i n xn x , y , z , t
n
Lagrangian:
d rm (t )
i
rm rx , ry , rz
L L dxdydz L i
, t
dt
Action: d i rm (t )
I L i
, t dt
dt
Joseph Louis
How to find the special valuefor action Lagrange/
corresponding to observable r (t ) ? Giuseppe Luigi
Lagrangia
(1736 1813)
Variational principle
Maupertuis: Least Action Principle

Approach

## Pierre-Louis Moreau Sir William Rowan Richard Phillips

de Maupertuis Hamilton Feynman
(1698 1759) (1805 1865) (1918 1988)
Functionals
Functional: given any function f(x), produces a
number S
S [ f ( x )]
Action is a functional: d rm (t )
t2 i

I [r (t )] L i
, t dt
t1
dt
Examples of finding special values of functionals
using variational approach:

## shortest distance between two points on a plane;

the brachistochrone problem;
minimum surface of revolution;
etc.
Shortest distance between two points
on a plane
An element of length on a plane is ds dx dy
2 2

and 2 is
2 2
dy
2
I ds 1 dx
1 1 dx

## The condition that the curve is the shortest path is

that the functional I takes its minimum value
The brachistochrone problem
Find a curve joining two points, along which a
particle falling from rest under the influence of
gravity travels from the highest to the lowest point in
the least time
2
mv
mgy v 2 gy v ds / dt
2
ds dx 2 dy 2
1 dy / dx
2 2 2
ds
t12 dx
1
v 1 2 gy
Brachistochrone solution: the value of the
functional t [y(x)] takes its minimum value
Calculus of variations ( x2 , y2 )

( x1 , y1 )

0 x
Consider a functional of the following type
x2
dy
J [ y ( x)] f ( y, y , y, y,..., x)dx
x1
y
dx
What function y(x) yields a stationary value
(minimum, maximum, or saddle) of J ?
Calculus of variations ( x2 , y2 )

( x1 , y1 )

0 x
Assume that function y0(x) yields a stationary value
and consider all possible functions in the form:
y ( x, ) y0 ( x) ( x) 21 ( x) ...
( x1 ) ( x2 ) 0
Calculus of variations
y( x, ) y0 ( x) ( x) ( x1 ) ( x2 ) 0
In this case our functional becomes a function of :
x2

J [ y ( x, )] f ( x, )dx J ( )
x1
Stationary value condition:

dJ ( ) dJ ( )
0
d y ( x , ) y0 ( x ) d 0
Stationary value
dJ ( ) d
x2 x2
df ( y, y , y,..., x)
d

d x f ( y, y , y,..., x)dx x d
dx
1 1

f y f y f y
x2

...dx
x1
y y y
1 2 3

f y f
x2 x2

1. dx dx
x1
y x1
y

y( x, ) y0 ( x) ( x)
Stationary value
dJ ( ) d
x2 x2
df ( y, y , y,..., x)
d

d x f ( y, y , y,..., x)dx x d
dx
1 1

f y f y f y
x2

...dx
x1
y y y
1 2 3
x2
f y f y f y
x2 x2 2
2. dx dx (x ) 0
y y x y x1
1

x1 x1 (x ) 0 2
u dv x2 ux2 v
y d f f d f
x2

dx dx
x1
dx y y x1 x1
dx y
v du y( x, ) y ( x) ( x)
0
Stationary value
dJ ( ) d
x2 x2
df ( y, y , y,..., x)
d

d x f ( y, y , y,..., x)dx x d
dx
1 1

f y f y f y
x2

...dx
x1
y y y
1 2 3
x2
f y f y y d f
x2 x2

3. dx dx
x1
y y x1 x1
dx y
x2
d f
x2
d f
x2 2
f
2 dx
y x1 dx y x1 x1 dx y
Stationary value
dJ ( ) d
x2 x2
df ( y, y , y,..., x)
d

d x f ( y, y , y,..., x)dx x d
dx
1 1

f y f y f y
x2

...dx
x1
y y y
1 2x 3 x2
f d f d f f
x2 x2 2 2
dx dx 2 dx
x1
y x1
dx y x1
dx y y x1
...
x2
x2
f d f d f 2
f
2 ... dx ...
x1
y dx y dx y y x1
Stationary value

f d f d f
x2
f
x2 2
dJ
2 ... dx ...
d x1 y dx y dx y y x1

f
x2
dJ
f f ( y, x) dx
d x1 y

dJ ( ) f
x2

d 0
0
x1

y y ( x , ) y0 ( x )
dx 0

arbitrary
f
0
y Trivial
Stationary value

f d f d f
x2
f
x2 2
dJ
2 ... dx ...
d x1 y dx y dx y y x1

dJ
x2
f d f
f f ( y, y , x) dx
d x1 y dx y
dJ ( ) x2
f d f
0 x y dx y dx 0

d 0 1 0

f d f arbitrary
0
y dx y Nontrivial !!!
Shortest distance between two points
on a plane
2
dy
2
I 1 dx f 1 y
2

1 dx

f d f d y
0
0 0
y dx y dx 1 y 2

y c
c y y
c
xb
1 y
2
1 c 2
1 c2
Straight line!
The brachistochrone problem

1 dy / dx 1 y
2 2 2

t12 dx f
1 2 gy 2 gy
f d f
0
y dx y

d
1 y
2
y 0

2 2 gy 3 dx 2 gy 1 y 2

Scary!
Recipe
1. Bring together structure and fields

## 3. Make them fit best when the fields have

observable dependencies:
m
m Physical Laws

Structure
Back to trajectories and Lagrangians

d rm (t )
t2 i

I [r (t )] L i
, t dt
t1
dt
How to find the special values for action
corresponding to observable trajectories ?

## We look for a stationary action using variational

i d rm (t , )
principle t2

I ( ) I [rm (t , )] L i
, t dt
t1
dt
rm (t , ) rm0 (t ) m (t )
dI ( )
0
m (t1 ) m (t2 ) 0 d 0
Recipe
1. Bring together structure and fields

## 3. Make them fit best when the fields have

observable dependencies:
m
m Physical Laws

Structure
Back to trajectories and Lagrangians
I L dxdydzdt L L dxdydz
For open systems, we cannot apply variational
principle in a consistent way, since integration in not
well defined for them

## We look for a stationary action using variational

principle for closed systems:
d i rm (t , )
t2

I ( ) I [rm (t , )] L i
, t dt
t1
dt
dI ( )
0
d 0
Stationary value

f d f d f
x2
f
x2 2
dJ
2 ... dx ...
d x1 y dx y dx y y x1

dJ
x2
f d f
f f ( y, y , x) dx
d x1 y dx y
dJ ( ) x2
f d f
0 x y dx y dx 0

d 0 1 0

f d f
0
y dx y Nontrivial !!!
Simplest non-trivial case
variational calculus and see if it can yield observable
trajectories
d i rm (t , )
t2
i 0,1
I ( ) L i
, t dt
t1
dt m x, y , z
t2
drm (t , )
t2
Lrm , rm , t dt
L rm (t , ), , t dt
t1
dt t1

dI ( )
0
d 0
Stationary value

f d f d f
x2
f
x2 2
dJ
2 ... dx ...
d x1 y dx y dx y y x1

dJ
x2
f d f
f f ( y, y , x) dx
d x1 y dx y
dJ ( ) x2
f d f
0 x y dx y dx 0

d 0 1 0

f d f
0
y dx y Nontrivial !!!
Euler- Lagrange equations
t2

I Lrm , rm , t dt dI ( )
0
t1 d 0
f d f L d L
0 0
y dx y rm dt rm
These equations are called the Euler- Lagrange
equations

## Leonhard Euler Joseph Louis

(1707 1783) Lagrange
(1736 1813)
Recipe
1. Bring together structure and fields

## 3. Make them fit best when the fields have

observable dependencies:
m
m Physical Laws

Structure
How to construct Lagrangians?
L d L
0
rm dt rm

## On our classical-mechanical level, we know

several types of fundamental interactions:

Gravitational
Electromagnetic
Thats it
Gravitation
For a particle in a gravitational field, the trajectory is
described via 2nd Newtons Law:

d (mv )
U g m g
dt
This system can be approximated as closed

## The structure (symmetry) of the system is described

by the gravitational potential

g g ( x, y , z , t )

## Sir Isaac Newton

(1643 1727)
Electromagnetic field
For a charged particle in an electromagnetic field,
the trajectory is described via 2nd Newtons Law:
d
dt

A q q(v A)
mv qReally???
This system can be approximated as closed

## The structure (symmetry) of the system is described

by the scalar and vector potentials

A A( x, y, z, t )
( x, y, z, t )
Electromagnetic field
d
dt

mv qA q q(v A)

d (mv ) dA
q q q(v A)
dt dt

dA A A A A A
x y z (v ) A
dt t x y z t

d (mv ) A
q q(v A) q q (v ) A
dt t

d (mv ) A
q q q (v A) (v ) A
dt t
A A( x, y, z, t )
Electromagnetic
field

d (mv ) A
q q q (v A) (v ) A
dt t

F G

( F G ) ( F )G (G ) F G F

v A

(v A) (v ) A ( A )v A v

d (mv ) A
q q q v A
dt t
Electromagnetic field

d (mv ) A

q q v A
t

dt

A
E B A
t

d (mv )
q EvB
dt
Lorentz force!

Hendrik Lorentz
(1853-1928)
Kindergarten

Thereby: m g
d (mv )
0
dt

q q(v A)
d
dt

mv qA 0
In component form
(m g ) d (mrj )
0
rj dt

(q q(r A)) d (mrj qA j )
0
rj dt
How to construct Lagrangians?
L d L
0
rj dt rj
Kindergarten stuff:

(m g ) d (mrj )
0
rj dt

(q q(r A)) d (mrj qA j )
0
rj dt
The kindergarten equations look very similar to
the Euler-Lagrange equations! We may be on the
right track!
Gravitation
L d L (m g ) d (mrj )
0 0
rj dt rj rj dt

L (m g ) d (mrj ) d L

rj rj dt dt rj
L
mrj C
L m g T (rx , ry , rz , t ) rj
m(rx ry rz )
2 2 2

L
2
S (rx , ry , rz , t )
g g (rx , ry , rz , t )
Gravitation

L T (rx , ry , rz , t ) m g

m(rx ry rz )
2 2 2

L S (rx , ry , rz , t )
2

m(rx ry rz )
2 2 2

L mg
2
Electromagnetism
L d L
0
rj dt rj

(q q(r A)) d (mrj qA j )
0
rj dt

m(rx ry rz )
2 2 2

L q q(r A)
2
Bottom line
We successfully demonstrated applicability of our
recipe

## This approach works not just in classical mechanics

only, but in all other fields of physics

Physical Laws

Structure
Some philosophy
de Maupertuis on the principle of least action
(Essai de cosmologie, 1750): In all the changes
that take place in the universe, the sum of the
products of each body multiplied by the distance it
moves and by the speed with which it moves is the
least that is possible.

## How does an object know in advance

what trajectory corresponds to a
stationary action???

integral approach
Pierre-Louis Moreau
de Maupertuis
(1698 1759)
Some philosophy
Feynman: Is it true that the particle doesn't just
"take the right path" but that it looks at all the other
possible trajectories? ... The miracle of it all is, of
course, that it does just that. ... It isn't that a particle
takes the path of least action but that it smells all the
paths in the neighborhood and chooses the one that
has the least action ...

Richard Phillips
Feynman
(1918 1988)
Some philosophy
Dyson: In 1949, Dick Feynman told me about his
"sum over histories" version of quantum mechanics.
"The electron does anything it likes," he said. "It just
goes in any direction at any speed, forward or
backward in time, however it likes, and then you add
up the amplitudes and it gives you the wave-
function." I said to him, "You're crazy." But he
wasn't.

## Freeman John Dyson

(born 1923)
Some philosophy
Philosophical meaning of the Lagrangian formalism:
structure of a system determines its observable
behavior

## In addition to the deep philosophical meaning,

Lagrangian formalism offers great many advantages
compared to the Newtonian approach
Lagrangian approach: extra goodies
It is scalar (Newtonian vectorial)

## Allows introduction of configuration space and

efficient description of systems with constrains

## Becomes relatively simpler as the mechanical

system becomes more complex

## Gauge invariance applications

Simple example
m(rx ry rz )
2 2 2

Projectile motion L mg
2
m(rx ry rz )
2 2 2

L mgrz g grz
2
L d L
0
d
mrx 0 mrx const
rx dt rx dt
L d L d
mry 0 mry const
0
ry dt ry dt
L d L
0 d
mrz mg rz gt const
rz dt rz dt
Another example
2
Another Lagrangian mry
L mrx rz mgrx
2
L d L
mg mrz 0 rz gt const
d
0
rx dt rx dt

L d L

ry dt ry
0
d
mry 0 mry const
dt
L d L
0 mrx 0
d mrx const
0
rz dt rz dt
What is going on?!
Gauge invariance
For the Lagrangians of the type

Lri , ri , t
And functions of the type

F ri , t
Lets introduce a transformation (gauge
transformation):
dF ri , t
L' ri , ri , t Lri , ri , t
dt
Gauge invariance
dF F F
L' L
dF
F F ri , t rj
dt dt t j rj

L' L dF L F F
rj
ri ri ri dt ri ri t r
j j
L F 2
F 2
rj
ri ri t j ri r j
Gauge invariance
dF F F
L' L
dF
F F ri , t rj
dt dt t j rj

L' L dF L F F r

ri ri ri dt ri ri t j r j
j

L F

ri ri
d L' d L d F d L F

dt ri dt ri dt ri dt ri t ri
F
rj
j rj ri
Gauge invariance
d L' d L F F
rj
dt ri dt ri t ri j rj ri

d L F
2
F
2
rj
dt ri tri j rj ri

L' L 2 F 2F
rj
ri ri ri t j ri r j

d L' L' d L L
0
dt ri ri dt ri ri
Back to the question: How to construct
Lagrangians?
Ambiguity: different Lagrangians result in the same
equations of motion

## It is a question of symmetries of the physical

system one wishes to describe

## Conventionally, and for expediency, for most

applications in classical mechanics:
L T V
Cylindrically symmetric potential
Motion in a potential that depends only on the
distance to the z axis

m(rx ry rz )
2 2 2
2
L V rx ry
2

2
It is convenient to work in cylindrical coordinates
rx r cos ; ry r sin ; rz z
Then
rx r cos r sin
r r sin r cos
y

rz z
Cylindrically symmetric potential
m(rx ry rz )
2 2 2
2
L V rx ry
2

2
m(r cos r sin ) 2 m(r sin r cos ) 2

2 2

mz 2
2

V r 2 cos 2 r 2 sin 2
2 2
m(r r z ) L d L

2 2
V (r ) 0
r dt r
2 j j
How to rewrite the equations of motion in cylindrical
coordinates?
Generalized coordinates
Instead of re-deriving the Euler-Lagrange equations
explicitly for each problem (e.g. cylindrical
coordinates), we introduce a concept of generalized
coordinates

## Let us consider a set of coordinates ri : (r1 , r2 ,..., rN )

Assume that the Euler-Lagrange equations hold for
these variables
L d L
0
ri dt ri
Consider a new set of (generalized) coordinates
q j q j (r1 , r2 ,..., rN , t )
Generalized coordinates
qm qm (r1 , r2 ,..., rN , t )
We can, in theory, invert these equations:
ri ri (q1 , q2 ,..., qM , t )
Let us do some calculations:
L N
L ri ri M ri ri ri
ri qm
qm i 1 ri qm t m1 qm q m qm

d L d N
L ri
d N
L ri

dt qm dt i 1 ri qm dt i 1 ri qm
N

d L ri N
L d ri

i 1 dt r
i qm i 1 ri dt qm
Generalized coordinates
d L N d L ri N
L d ri

dt qm i 1 dt ri qm i 1 ri dt qm

d ri
ri M
ri ri
qk
dt qm t qm k 1 qk qm
ri M ri ri
qk ri
ri M ri
qm
qm t k 1 qk qm t m1 qm

d L N
L ri N
L ri L

dt qm i 1 ri qm i qm qm
i 1 r

## The Euler-Lagrange equations are the same in

generalized coordinates!!!
Generalized coordinates
d L L

dt ri ri

qm qm (r1 , r2 ,..., rN , t )

d L L

dt qm qm
If the Euler-Lagrange equations are true for one set
of coordinates, then they are also true for the other
set
Cylindrically symmetric potential

m(r 2 r 2 2 z 2 ) L d L
L V (r ) 0
2 q j dt q j
L d L qi : (r , , z )
0
r dt r
V (r ) d ( mr)
mr 2
0
r dt
V (r ) d (mr)
mr 2

r dt
and a centripetal acceleration
Cylindrically symmetric potential

m(r 2 r 2 2 z 2 ) L d L
L V (r ) 0
2 q j dt q j
L d L qi : (r , , z )
0
dt
d (mr 2) d (mr 2)
0 0 0
dt dt

mr 2 r (mr) const

## Angular momentum relative to the z axis is a

constant
Cylindrically symmetric potential

m(r 2 r 2 2 z 2 ) L d L
L V (r ) 0
2 q j dt q j
L d L qi : (r , , z )
0
z dt z
d ( mz ) d ( mz )
0 0 0
dt dt

mz const

## Axial component of velocity does not change

Symmetries and conservation laws
The most beautiful and useful illustration of the
structure vs observed behavior philosophy is the
link between symmetries and conservation laws
L
Conjugate momentum for coordinate qm :
q m
If Lagrangian does not depend on a certain
coordinate, this coordinate is called cyclic (ignorable)

L d L d L
L f (qi ) 0 0
qi dt qi dt qi

## For cyclic coordinates, conjugate momenta are

conserved
Symmetries and conservation laws

## For cyclic coordinates, conjugate momenta are

conserved
Cylindrically symmetric potential
2 2
m(r r z )
2 2
L V (r )
2
Cyclic coordinates:

z
L d L L d L
0 0
dt z dt z

## Rotational symmetry Translational symmetry

Conjugate momenta:

mr const
2 mz const
Electromagnetism

m(rx ry rz )
2 2 2

L q q(r A)
2
Conjugate momenta:

L
mrj qA j mrj
rj
Noethers theorem
Relationship between Lagrangian symmetries and
conserved quantities was formalized only in 1915 by
Emmy Noether:

## For each symmetry of the Lagrangian, there is a

conserved quantity

## Let the Lagrangian be invariant under

the change of coordinates:

## is a small parameter. This invariance

has to hold to the first order in Emmy Noether/
Amalie Nther
(1882 1935)
Noethers theorem
dL
Invariance of the Lagrangian: 0
d
dL N L q~i L q~i N
L L
~ ~ ~ i

d i 1 qi qi i 1 qi q~i
i

## Using the Euler-Lagrange equations

d L d N
L
~ i ~ i ~ i 0
N
L
dt i 1 qi
i 1 dt i
q q i
N
L

i 1 q
i
i const q~i qi i (q1 , q2 ,..., qN , t )
Example
Motion in an x-y plane of a mass on a spring (zero
equilibrium length):
m(rx ry ) k (rx ry )
2 2 2 2

L
2 2
The Lagrangian is invariant (to the first order in )
under the following change of coordinates:
~
rx rx ry ; ~
ry ry rx
Then, from Noethers theorem it follows that
L L
x y const
rx ry
mrx ry mry rx const
Example
mrx ry mry rx const
In polar coordinates:
rx r cos rx r cos r sin
ry r sin r r sin r cos
y

## The conserved quantity:

mrx ry mry rx m(r cos r sin )r sin
2
m(r sin r cos )r cos mr const
Angular momentum in the x-y plane is conserved
Example
Lagrangian expressed in polar coordinates:

m(rx ry ) k (rx ry ) 2 2
2 2 2 2
m(r r ) kr
2 2
L
2 2 2 2
The Lagrangian is invariant (to any order in ) under
the following change of coordinates:
~
1
The conserved quantity from Noethers theorem:
L
const mr 1 const
2

Back to trajectories and Lagrangians

d rm (t )
t2 i

I [r (t )] L i
, t dt
t1
dt
How to find the special values for action
corresponding to observable trajectories ?

## We look for a stationary action using variational

i d rm (t , )
principle t2

I ( ) I [rm (t , )] L i
, t dt
t1
dt
rm (t , ) rm0 (t ) m (t ) q~m qm m (q1 , q2 ,..., qN , t )
dI ( )
m (t1 ) m (t2 ) 0 0
d 0
L N

## Stationary value i const

i 1 qi

dJ ( ) d
x2 x2
df ( y, y , y,..., x)
d

d x f ( y, y , y,..., x)dx x d
dx
1 1

f y f y f y
x2

...dx
x1
y y y
1 2 3
x2
f y f y f y
x2 x2 2
2. dx dx (x ) 0
y y x y x1
1

x1 x1 (x ) 0 2
u dv x2 ux2 v
y d f f d f
x2

dx dx
x1
dx y y x1 x1
dx y
v du y( x, ) y ( x) ( x)
0
More on symmetries
Full time derivative of a Lagrangian:
L M
L M
L
qm
dL
qm
dt t m1 qm m 1 q
m
From the Euler-Lagrange equations:

L M d L M
L L d M L
qm qm qm
t m1 dt qm m 1 q
m t dt m1 qm
L d M L dH
qm L
t dt m1 qm dt
If L
M
L
0 H qm L const
t m 1 qm
What is H?
Let us expand the Lagrangian in powers of qi :
L L0 (q1 , q2 ,..., qM , t ) l1i (q1 , q2 ,..., qM , t )qi
i

## l2ij (q1 , q2 ,..., qM , t )qi q j ... L0 L1 L2 L3 ...

i, j
From calculus, for a homogeneous function f of
degree n (Eulers theorem) : f
xi
x
i
i nf
L L0 L1 L2
i q qi i q qi i q qi i q qi ...
i i i i

0 L1 2 L2 3L3 ...
What is H?
L
M
H qm L L1 2L2 3L3 ...
m 1 q
m
( L0 L1 L2 L3 ...) L0 L2 2L3 ...
If the Lagrangian has a form: L L0 L1 L2
Then H L2 L0 L0
L2 L1
2
For electromagnetism: L mr / 2 q q(r A)
2
H L2 L0 mr / 2 q T V E
Conservation of energy

L L0 L1 L2

H E

L
0 E const
t

## In the field formalism, the conservation of H is a part

of Noethers theorem
The brachistochrone problem
1 y
2
2
f
t12 f dx f 0 !!!
1
2 gy x
f
Similarly to the H-trick: H y f const
y
1 y
2
y 1
y const

2 gy 1 y
2
2 gy
2 gy 1 y
2

C / y 1 y
2

1 y d
2
y 0

Scary! 2 2 gy 3 dx
2 gy 1 y
2

The brachistochrone problem
C dy y
C / y 1 y y 1 dx
2
dy
y dx Cy
Change of variables: y C sin 2
C sin 2
dx d (C sin )
2
2C sin 2
d
C C sin
2

x 2C sin d B B C ( (sin 2 ) / 2)
2

Parametric solution
(cycloid)
x B C ( (sin 2 ) / 2)
y C sin 2
Scale invariance
For Lagrangians of the following form:

## L L0 L2 L0 (q1 , q2 ,..., qM ) l2ij qi q j l2ij const

i, j
And homogeneous L0 of degree k
q 'i qi
Introducing scale and time transformations
t ' t
Then
L'0 L0 (q1 , q2 ,..., qM ) k L0 (q1 , q2 ,..., qM )
2

q 'i qi L'2 l2ij q 'i q ' j l q q j

2 ij i
i, j i, j
Scale invariance
2

Therefore, after transformations L' L0 L2
k

2

If
k

Then L' k L
The Euler-Lagrange equations after transformations
L' d L' ( L) d ( L)
k k
0 0
q j dt q j q j dt q j
L d L
0
q j dt q j
The same!
Scale invariance
So, the Euler-Lagrange equations after
transformations are the same if 1 k / 2
2
t' q 'i
k 1 k / 2
1 k / 2

t qi
Free fall
1 k / 2 1/ 2
mz 2
t ' z' z'
L mgz k 1
2 t z z
Let us recall
2z
t z 1/ 2

g
Scale invariance
So, the Euler-Lagrange equations after
transformations are the same if 1 k / 2
2
t' q 'i
k 1 k / 2
1 k / 2

t qi
Mass on a spring
1 k / 2 0
mz 2
Kz 2
t ' z' z'
L k 2
2 2 t z z
Let us recall

m
T 2 z 0

K
Scale invariance
So, the Euler-Lagrange equations after
transformations are the same if 1 k / 2
2
t' q 'i
k 1 k / 2
1 k / 2

t qi
Keplers problem
2 1 k / 2 3/ 2
mr Mm t ' z' z'
L G k 1
2 r 2
t z z
Let us recall 3rd Keplers law
TR 3/ 2

Johannes Kepler
(1571-1630)
For some systems we can neglect their interaction
with the outside world and formulate their behavior in
terms of Lagrangian formalism

## Approach: to describe the system without leaks

and feeds and then add them to the description of
the system

## For open systems, we first describe the system

without leaks and feeds

## After that we add leaks and feeds to the

description of the system

d L L
Q
dt q j q
j
j

## Q: Non-conservative generalized forces

Generalized forces

L T U d T U T U
Qj
dt q j q j

d T T
d U U
Qj
dt q j q
j dt q
j
q
j
2
1 1
Forces

1: Conservative (Potential)

2: Non-conservative

## U V (q1 , q2 ,..., qN , t ) ...

Generalized forces
In principle, there is no need to introduce
generalized forces for a closed system fully
described by a Lagrangian
Richard Phillips
Feynman: The principle of least action Feynman
only works for conservative systems (1918 1988)
where all forces can be gotten from a potential
function. On a microscopic level on the deepest
level of physics there are no non-conservative
forces. Non-conservative forces, like friction, appear
only because we neglect microscopic complications
there are just too many particles to analyze.

## So, introduction of non-conservative forces is a

result of the open-system approach
Degrees of freedom
The number of degrees of freedom is the number of
independent coordinates that must be specified in
order to define uniquely the state of the system

## For a system of N free particle there are 3N degrees

of freedom (3N coordinates)

ri i rxi jryi krzi
N
(i 1, 2, ..., N )
Constraints
We can impose k constraints on the system

3N k = s

## It is convenient to think of the remaining s

independent coordinates as the coordinates of a
single point in an s-dimensional space: configuration
space N
k
r1 r1 (q1 , q2 , ..., q3 N k , t )
...

rN rN (q1 , q2 , ..., q3 N k , t )
Types of constraints
Holonomic (integrable) constraints can be
expressed in the form:
f j (q1 , q2 , ..., qn , t ) 0
j 1,2,..., k
Nonholonomic constraints cannot be expressed in
this form

## Rheonomous constraints contain time

dependence explicitly

## Scleronomous constraints do not contain time

dependence explicitly
Analysis of systems with holonomic
constraints

## Lagranges multiplier method

Double 2D pendulum
An example of a holonomic scleronomous
constraint
2 2
(r1 r2 ) l2 0
2
(r1 ) l1 0
2

## We need 2 independent generalized coordinates

(N = 2, k = 2 + 2, s = 3 N k = 2)

1 2
Double 2D pendulum
Relative to the pivot, the Cartesian coordinates
r1, x l1 sin 1 r2, x l1 sin 1 l2 sin 2
r1, z l1 cos 1 r2, z l1 cos 1 l2 cos 2
Taking the time derivative, and then squaring
2 2 2
r1 l1 1
2
r2 l1 1 l2 2 2l1l212 (cos 1 cos 2 sin 1 sin 2 )
2 2 2 2

## Lagrangian in Cartesian coordinates:

2 2
m1r1 m2 r2
L g (m1r1, z m2 r2, z )
2
Double 2D pendulum
Lagrangian in new coordinates:

L
2 2

2 2 2 2
m1l1 1 m2 l1 1 l2 2 2l1l212 cos(1 2 )
2 2
m1 gl1 cos 1 m2 g (l1 cos 1 l2 cos 2 )

## The equations of motion:

0 (m1 m2 )l1 1 m2l1l2 2 cos(1 2 )
2
2 2

m l l sin( ) (m m ) gl sin
2
2 1 2 2 1 2 1 2 1 1

0 m2l2 2 m2l1l21 cos(1 2 )
2 2 2

m l l sin( ) m gl sin
2
2 1 2 1 1 2 2 2 2
Double 2D pendulum

Special case

m1 m2 l1 l2 l 1 ,2 0
The equations of motion:

0 l 21 2 2 g1
1 2
0 l g 2

## More fun at:

http://www.mathstat.dal.ca/~selinger/lagrange/doublependulum.html
Lagranges multiplier method
Used when constraint reactions are the object of
interest

## Instead of considering 3N - k variables and

equations, this method deals with 3N + k variables

## As a results, we obtain 3N trajectories and k

constraint reactions

## Lagranges multiplier method can be applied to

some nonholonomic constraints
Lagranges multiplier method
f j (q1 , q2 , ..., qn , t ) 0; j 1,2,..., k
Let us explicitly incorporate constraints into the
structure of our system
k
L' L j (t ) f j (q1 , q2 , ..., qn , t )
j 1
For observable trajectories
k
f j (q1 , q2 , ..., qn , t ) 0 L' L j f j L
j 1
So

d L' L' d L L k f j
0 j 0
dt qi qi dt qi qi j 1 qi
Lagranges multiplier method
d L L k f j
j Qi
dt qi qi j 1 qi
Qi - constraint reactions
Now we have 3N + k equations for qi and j

d L L k f j
j ; i 1,2,...,3N
dt qi qi j 1 qi

## f j (q1 , q2 , ..., qn , t ) 0; j 1,2,..., k

Application to a nonholonomic case
A particle on a smooth hemisphere

rx ry rz a 0
2 2 2 2
One nonholonomic constraint:

## While the particle remains on the sphere, the

constraint is holonomic
rx ry rz a 0
2 2 2 2

## And the reaction from the surface is not zero

Application to a nonholonomic case
Constraint equation in cylindrical coordinates:
r a 0
New Lagrangian in cylindrical coordinates:
m(r 2 r 2 2 z 2 )
L' mgr cos 1 (r a)
2
Equations of motion

L d L f1
1
r dt r r

mr mr 2 mg cos 1 1 0
Application to a nonholonomic case
Constraint equation in cylindrical coordinates:
r a 0
New Lagrangian in cylindrical coordinates:
m(r 2 r 2 2 z 2 )
L' mgr cos 1 (r a)
2
Equations of motion

L d L
0
dt
mr 2 mgr sin 0
Application to a nonholonomic case
Constraint equation in cylindrical coordinates:
r a 0
New Lagrangian in cylindrical coordinates:
m(r 2 r 2 2 z 2 )
L' mgr cos 1 (r a)
2
Equations of motion

L d L
0
z dt z
mz 0
Trivial
Application to a nonholonomic case
r a g cos 1 / m
2

mr mr mg cos 1 0
2 a

g g
mr mgr sin 0
2
sin 2 2 sin
a a

d 2 d 2g

0
cos 2g
2
(1 cos )
dt dt a 0 a
1 mg(3 cos 2)
Constraint reaction:

f1
1 1 1 mg (3 cos 2)
r
Application to a nonholonomic case
Constraint reaction:

1 mg(3 cos 2)
Reaction disappears when

2
3 cos 2 cos
1

r a