I am disappointed by my graduate-level classical mechanics course, and especially the treatment of Lagrangian/Hamiltonian mechanics. Now, I scanned my notes and some crazy idea popped into my head, further fueling my discontent towards this course, because all the problems covered in class were with time-independent masses, even central-force problems.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

I picture a planet in its early stages of formation as a central-force system whose mass is time-dependent so that [itex]\dot{m}\neq 0[/itex], orbiting about its star under the effect of a central force. Is the problem actually tractable with Lagrangian/Hamiltonian mechanics (even numerically) or would it require usage of Hamilton-Jacobi or Newtonian mechanics?

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# Lagrangian mechanics and planetary formation

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