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Which systems satisfy Hamiltons principle

  1. Sep 22, 2012 #1
    I have had similar questions posted, but I am not quite sure on this one and it seems that my textbooks have trouble agreeing completely aswell.

    As far as I understand it:

    Hamiltons principle:

    δI = δ∫Ldt = 0

    is only satisfied for systems, where the generalized forces can be put in a form such that the equation:

    d/dt([itex]\partial[/itex]L/[itex]\partial[/itex]q') - [itex]\partial[/itex]L/[itex]\partial[/itex]q = 0

    is satisfied. I have seen that this can be done for electromagnetic systems and system in which the force can be written as the gradient of a potential with respect to the position coordinates.

    My question is: Are all the fundamental forces observed in nature in a form like this? And is that then the deep content in Hamiltons principle?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 22, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Yes and yes. That would be my understanding too.

    Text books are trying to account for different learning styles so they sometimes try too hard.
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