Generalized coordinates

  • Thread starter radou
  • Start date
radou
Homework Helper
3,104
6

Main Question or Discussion Point

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

dextercioby
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Insights Author
12,965
536
No. Think about the 1D movement along the "x" axis. Which is the generalized coordinate...?

Daniel.
 
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.
 
CarlB
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
1,212
8
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
 

Related Threads for: Generalized coordinates

  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
797
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
7
Views
1K
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
4
Views
1K
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
1K
Replies
6
Views
2K
Top