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- Thread starter nolanp2
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What you want to study is what is known as the Calculus of Variation. This is often found in mathematical physics text/courses. The best source to start is Mary Boas's text "Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences", a book that I recommend all physics undergraduate to get. She has a whole chapter on the calculus of variation that is very easy to follow at the undergraduate level.

Other than that, you may want to get a few sources from Edwin Taylor's page, who is a strong advocate on the teaching of the least action principle ahead of the standard Newtonian "force" concept. He has several links to his papers here:

http://www.eftaylor.com/leastaction.html

Zz.

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