Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Principle of least action in field theory

  1. Jan 23, 2016 #1
    In page 15, Peskin and Schroeder states that

    The principle of least action states that when a system evolves from one given configuration to another between times ##t_1## and ##t_2##, it does so along the path in configuration space for which ##S## is an extremum.

    1. What is the definition of ##\textit{configuration}## - the collection of all generalised spatial coordinates, the scalar field profile as a function of the four coordinates, etc.?
    2. What is the definition of ##\textit{configuration space}##?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2016 #2

    Orodruin

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Configuration space is the space of all possible configurations of a system. If you look at a system with one degree of freedom, it is just the set of possible values for that degree of freedom. If you look at a field, it is the set of all possible field configurations, i.e., the set of all possible ways to assign a field value to each point in space.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Principle of least action in field theory
Loading...