Generalized coordinates

  • Thread starter radou
  • Start date
  • #1
radou
Homework Helper
3,134
7
I have just started to read Goldstein's classical mechanics, and he got me a bit confused: is it correct to think of polar and spherical coordinates as of generalized coordinates? the way I got it, every coordinate system different from the standard cartesian-one is a set of generalized coordinates...?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
dextercioby
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Insights Author
13,256
1,303
No. Think about the 1D movement along the "x" axis. Which is the generalized coordinate...?

Daniel.
 
  • #3
fliptomato
78
0
Generalized coordinates refer to any coordinate system. i.e. a statement about generalized coordinates holds for cartesian, spherical, cylindrical, etc. coordinate systems. In particular, one is free to choose any convenient coordinate system for a problem and solve the problem using Lagrange's equations for that coordinate system.
 
  • #4
CarlB
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
1,239
34
radou said:
I have just started to read Goldstein's classical mechanics, and he got me a bit confused: is it correct to think of polar and spherical coordinates as of generalized coordinates?

Yes, polar and spherical coordinates are generalized coordiantes for the position of a single particle. But general coordinates are a lot moe general. And cartesian coordinates are, technically at least, also "general coordinates".

Carl
 

Suggested for: Generalized coordinates

Replies
5
Views
360
Replies
14
Views
311
Replies
33
Views
976
Replies
6
Views
509
  • Last Post
Replies
32
Views
904
Replies
21
Views
416
Replies
2
Views
205
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
1K
Replies
30
Views
894
Top