
#1
Feb112, 09:35 PM

P: 273

I've heard that using Lagrangians to solve mechanics problems is much more efficient and easier than using Newton's laws. In your opinion, is it too early for a student to learn lagrangians for a first year due to a lack of exposure of the mathematics required?




#2
Feb212, 09:23 AM

Engineering
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
Thanks
P: 6,339

Well, if you pick up a science book at random with the title "Introduction to XYZ", there's no way of telling from the title whether it's meant for a bright 12 year old kid, or a finalyear grad student just starting an advanced topic. So what you can understand "in the first year" depends very much on what you know already.
But I would qualify your statement by saying 1. Lagrangians are more efficient and easier than Newton's laws for some types of problem, and 2. Unless you have a good understanding of how to use Newton's laws, Lagrangian mechanics will probably seem more like magic than science  and magic that is done wrong usually has bad consequences! 



#3
Feb212, 09:31 AM

P: 789

I agree with AlephZero and I would add that some knowledge of calculus is needed




#4
Feb212, 07:55 PM

P: 273

Too early to learn Lagrangians as a first year? 



#5
Feb212, 07:59 PM

P: 273





#6
Feb212, 08:47 PM

P: 789

Check out the Wikipedia page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian If you feel like you are ready to tackle the whole idea, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamiltonian_mechanics 


Register to reply 
Related Discussions  
I have no grades. I want to learn physics? am I too late at 18 to learn now?  Academic Guidance  17  
Advise me how to learn Third year quantum Mechanics  Academic Guidance  12  
Happy New Year...a bit early  General Discussion  119  
Is it normal for 1315 year olds to be doing early calculus?  Academic Guidance  50 