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Problem set 1

1. The Lagrangian of a free particle moving in two dimension in the un-primed XY plane
is given by, Write down the Lagrangian for the particle as
observed from a primed coordinate system rotating w.r.t. the unprimed frame with
uniform angular velocity . Write the equation of motion for the particle as seen
from the rotating frame. Interpret the equation of motion.

2. Reformulate Noethers theorem by considering the general case of symmetry

transformation which does not leave the Lagrangian invariant and the new
Lagrangian under the transformation differs from the original one by a total time
derivative of an arbitrary function F of coordinate and time.

3. Find the poisson bracket relations of the Cartesian components of angular

momentum Ji (i=x,y,z) with each other. The Hamiltonian of a system is given by
H=J2/2I where J is the total angular momentum and I is the moment of inertia. Find
out the constants of motion.

4. Write down the Lagrangian for a non-relativistic charged particle moving in a plane
in presence of magnetic field B along z direction in absence of electric field.
a) Exploit gauge freedom to choose appropriate vector potential.
b) Find the conserved quantity for each choice of the vector potential and prove
that velocity in x direction is proportional to the position in the y direction and
vice versa.
c) Is the motion periodic? If so, find the angular frequency.
d) Now apply electric field in the x direction. Write down the corresponding
e) Find out the equation of motion for zero acceleration. Can you recognize the

5. The Lagrangian of a particle of mass m and charge q moving in a uniform magnetic

field pointing in the z direction is given by

a) Show that the system is invariant under space translation in any direction. Find the
associated constant of motion.
b) Show that the system is invariant under rotation about z axis. Find the associated
constant of motion
c) How many constants of motion are there which are in involution with each other?
d) Find the equation for the particle trajectory using the constants of motion.
6. Consider the motion of a particle of mass m in an isotropic harmonic oscillator
potential. The Hamiltonian is given by
Introduce three quantities: ,
and where
a) Show that Jis are the constants of motion
b) Show that Jis have the similar Poisson bracket relations as the three components
of angular momentum.

7. Consider the following Hamiltonian in the (q, p) representation

Now seek a new pair of canonical variables (, I) such that each phase curve is
labelled by the constant I whereas each point on the phase curve is a labelled by .
In other words, in the (, I) representation, the contours are lines of constant I so
that the Hamiltonian is independent of . Show that

8. A particle bounces back and forth inside a cube of side L. The potential energy inside
the cube is zero. Assume that at each collision the momentum instantaneously
changes sign. The system is separable i.e. each of three cartesian dimensions can be
treated independently.
a) Draw the orbits in phase space for x and px.
b) Calculate the action variable Jx. Write down Jy and Jz by analogy.
c) Write the total energy E as a function of Jx, Jy and Jz.
d) Calculate the frequencies of the motion.
e) The pressure P exerted by the particle on one wall of the box is proportional to
the change in momentum at each collision divided by the period between
collisions divided by the area of the wall. Show that
f) Use the adiabatic invariance theorem to find the relationship between P and V =
L3 if the size of the box is slowly varied. Compare your answer to the adiabatic
mono-atomic ideal gas law PV5/3 = const.

9. Consider the following transformation

Prove that the transformation is canonical by calculating the Jacobian and finding the
canonical Poisson Bracket relations. The Hamiltonian of a simple harmonic oscillator
is invariant under the canonical transformation. Find and
identify the associated constant of the motion.
10. Two equivalent inertial frames K and K' are such that K' moves in the positive x
direction with speed v as seen from K. The spatial coordinate axes in K' are parallel to
those in K and the two origins are coincident at times t = t' = 0.

a) Show that the isotropy and homogeneity of space-time and equivalence of

different inertial frames (first postulate of relativity) require that the most general
transformation between the space-time coordinates (x, y, z, t) and (x', y', z', t') is the
linear transformation,

And the inverse,

where f, g, and h are functions of v2, the structures of the x' and x equations are
determined by the definition of the inertial frames in relative motion, and the signs of the
inverse equation are a reflection of a reversal of roles of the two frames.

b) Show that consistency of the initial transformation and its inverse requires
f =g and f 2v 2 f h=1

(c) If a physical entity has speed u' parallel to the x' axis in K', show that its speed u parallel
to the x axis in K is

Using Einsteins postulate of universal limiting speed C, show that h = f/C2 is required and
that the Lorentz transformation of the coordinates results. The universal limiting speed C is
to be determined from experiment.