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Solutions to Problems in Goldstein,

Classical Mechanics, Second Edition


Homer Reid
June 17, 2002

Chapter 8

Problem 8.4
The Lagrangian for a system can be written as
L = ax 2 + b

p
y
+ cx y + f y 2 x z + g y k x2 + y 2 ,
x

where a, b, c, f, g, and k are constants. What is the Hamiltonian? What quantities


are conserved?

Problem 8.5
A dynamical system has the Lagrangian
L = q12 +

q22
+ k1 q12 + k2 q1 q2 ,
a + bq12

where a, b, k1 and k2 are constants. Find the equations of motion in the Hamiltonian
formulation.
Rewriting the Lagrangian in the form of Goldsteins (8-16), we have
L = k1 q12 +

1
2

q1 q2


1

2
k2

k2
2
a+bq12



q1
q2

Homer Reids Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 8

From this we can immediately identify the T matrix and its inverse:





2
2
k2
k2
a + bq12
2
1
a+bq
1
T=
T =
2
k2 a+bq
2
4 k22 (a + bq12 )
k2
2
1
Then the Hamiltonian is





2
k2
1
a + bq12
p1
2
a+bq
1
H=
p1 p2
k1 q12
p2
2 4 k22 (a + bq12 )
k2
2



p21
a + bq12
2
=
k2 p1 p2 + p2 k1 q12 .
4 k22 (a + bq12 )
a + bq12
Then the equations of motion are



H
2p1
a + bq12
q1 =
=
k 2 p2
p1
4 k22 (a + bq12 )
a + bq12


H
a + bq12
{kp1 2p2 }
q2 =
=
p2
4 k22 (a + bq12 )
H
= something ugly
p1 =
q1
H
p2 =
=0
q2
So in the Hamiltonian formulation there is one cylic variable, but I still think
this is much harder than the Lagrangian formulation for this problem.

Homer Reids Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 8

Problem 8.6
A Hamiltonian of one degree of freedom has the form
H=

ba
kq 2
p2
bqpet + q 2 et ( + bet ) +
,
2a
2
2

where a, b, , and k are constants. Note: I think there must be a misprint in the
book; the coefficient of p2 in the first term is printed there as 1/2, which doesnt
make sense dimensionally in light of the rest of the terms in the Hamiltonian. It
seems reasonable to assume that someone got their Greek and Roman letters mixed
up, as the units do work out correctly if we put 1/2a for the coefficient of that term.
(a) Find a Lagrangian corresponding to this Hamiltonian.
(b) Find an equivalent Lagrangian that is not explicitly dependent on time.
(c) What is the Hamiltonian corresponding to this second Lagrangian, and what
is the relationship between the two Hamiltonians?
(a) From the Hamilton equations of motion,
q =

p
H
= bqet .
p
a

(1)

Then, using a reverse Legendre transformation,


L = pq H
 2

p2
p
ba
kq 2
bqpet
bqpet + q 2 et ( + bet ) +
a
2a
2
2
2
2
ba
kq
p
q 2 et ( + bet )
.
=
2a
2
2

(2)

We would now like to eliminate p from this equation in favor of q.


From (1) we
have
p = aq + bqaet
p2 = a2 q2 + 2bq qa
2 et + b2 q 2 a2 e2t
so (2) becomes
aq2
1
baq 2 t b2 aq 2 2t kq 2
+ bq qae
t + b2 q 2 ae2t
e

2
2
2
2
2


aq2
kq 2
1
t
=
+ bqae
.
(3)
q q
2
2
2

L=

Homer Reids Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 8

(b) Since we can the total time derivative of any function f (q, q,
t) to the Lagrangian without changing the resulting equations of motion, we consider


d ab 2 t
0
.
q e
L =L
dt 2
The derivative term just cancels the second term in (3), leaving
L0 =

aq2
kq 2

2
2

(4)

which is just the Lagrangian of a one-dimensional harmonic oscillator.


(c) From (4), the new canonical momentum is
p=

L0
= aq
q

Then the Legendre transformation defining the Hamiltonian reads


H = pq L =
=

kq 2
aq2
+
2
2

p2
kq 2
+
.
2a
2

Problem 8.9
The point of suspension of a simple pendulum of length l and mass m is constrained
to move on a parabola z = ax2 in the vertical plane. Derive a Hamiltonian governing
the motion of the pendulum and its point of suspension. Obtain the Hamiltons
equations of motion.
Well denote the coordinates of the suspension point as (x, z) = (x, ax2 ).
Then, if is the angle the pendulum makes with the vertical ( = 0 when the
mass point is precisely at 6:00, and grows in the positive direction as the mass
point moves counter-clockwise) then the coordinates of the mass point are
(xm , zm ) = (x + L sin , z L cos )
= (x + L sin , ax2 L cos ).
The potential energy of the system is
L = mgz = mg(ax2 L cos ).

(5)

Homer Reids Solutions to Goldstein Problems: Chapter 8

The kinetic energy is


m 2
2
(x + zm
)
2 m

m
(x + L cos )2 + (2axx + L sin )2
=
2
o
mn
(1 + 4a2 x2 )x 2 + L2 2 + 2L x [cos + 2ax sin ] .
=
2

T =

(6)

Then the Lagrangian for the system is, from (7) and (6),
L=T L
o
mn
(1 + 4a2 x2 )x 2 + L2 2 + 2Lx [cos + 2ax sin ] mgax2 + mgL cos .
=
2
For convenience in converting to the Hamiltonian, we may write this in the
language of Goldsteins (8-16):




m
x
(1 + 4a2 x2 )
L[cos + 2ax sin ]
L = L0 (x, ) +
x
L[cos + 2ax sin ]
L2

2
(7)
where L0 (x, ) = mgax2 + mgL cos . Then from Goldsteins (??) we can
write


1
1

H=
2m L2 (sin 2ax cos )2



px
L2
L[cos + 2ax sin ]
L0 (x, )
(px p )
p
L[cos + 2ax sin ]
(1 + 4a2 x2 )


1
1
=

2
2m L (sin 2ax cos )2


2 2
2 2 2
L px 2L[cos + 2ax sin ]px p + (1 + 4a x )p L0 (x, )