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Energy formulation of classical mechanics?

  1. Apr 5, 2013 #1
    Energy "formulation" of classical mechanics?

    When discussing the different formulations of classical mechanics, those that are always mentioned are Newtonian, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics. However, it is my understanding that when dealing with conservative forces in Newtonian mechanics, we choose to work with energy instead of forces because it makes things easier. Isn't this energy approach a seperate formulation of classical mechanics just as much as Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2013 #2
    Not really (although it depends on what exactly you count as a formulation). Energy conservation can solve some problems, but it not enough information to fully describe mechanics.

    Or, the answer could be yes, but you must add rules until you have Lagrangian or Hamiltonian mechanics.
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