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# The Hamiltonian function H,

## The Lagrangian, in general is defined as ,

L L qk , q k , t
Let us introduce a new function H, known as
Hamiltonian, a function (p, q, t) and defined as

H pk q k L qk , q k , t
k

## Hamiltons equations or Hamiltons canonical equation

of motion
H H
q k , p k ,
pk qk
L H
and also ,
t t
Physical significance of the Hamiltonian function :-

## (i). If L is not an explicit function of time , then Hamiltonian H

is constant of motion i.e.
L H
0
t t
or H const.

## (ii). For conservative systems, the potential energy does not

depend upon generalized velocity, i.e
V
0
q k
and also we know that
H pk q k L qk , q k , t
k
L
H q k L qk , q k , t
k q
k
(T V )
q k L qk , q k , t
k q k

2

1 mq k2
q k L qk , q k , t
k q k
2T L
T V E (total energy )

## Thus for conservative systems, the Hamiltonian function

H represents the total energy of the system.
Variational principles :
(i) Euler-Lagrange differential equation for one dependent
and one independent variable :-
(i) Variational principle give the necessary conditions that
the quantity appearing as an integral has either a
minimum or maximum i.e. stationary value.
Consider the simplest integral
x2
J f ( y, y ' , x)dx
x1

dy
such that y'
dx
The dependence of y on x is not specified initially.
We have to choose the path of integration i.e. y(x) such that
J has stationary value.

## Let us consider two paths out of infinite number of possibilities

such that the difference between these two for the given value
of x is the variation of y.
We get the condition that the integral

x2
J f ( y, y ' , x)dx
x1

## has an extremum value is given by

d f f
0
dx y ' y
This is known as Euler-Lagrangian Differential equation.
Simple application of Euler-Lagrangian Differential
equation :-

## (i). Prove that the shortest distance between two

points in a plane is a straight line :-

## An element of distance between two points in a plane is a straight

line is given by
ds dx
1/ 2
2
dy 2

2 1/ 2
dy
1 dx
dx

The total distance between two points having co-ordinates (x1, y1)
and (x2, y2) is given by
2 1/ 2
x 2, y 2 x 2, y 2 dy
J ds 1 dx
x1, y1 x1, y1
dx

## By comparing this equation with

x2
J f ( y, y ' , x)dx
x1

dy
such that y'
dx
We get,
2 1/ 2
dy 2 1/ 2
f ( y , y ' , x ) 1
1 y'
dx
If J is to be minimum, it must be satisfied Euler- Lagrangian
Equation. Therefore,
d 2 1/ 2 2 1/ 2
(1 y ' ) (1 y ' ) 0
dx y ' y
d y'
or 2 1/ 2
0
dx (1 y ' )
y'
or 2 1/ 2
c
(1 y ' )
c c
or y' 2 1/ 2
a ( where a 2 1/ 2
is const )
(1 c ) (1 c )
dy
or a
dx
or y ax b
Where, b is constant of integration.
Which is the equation of a straight line. Hence Eulers equation
predicts that the shortest distance between two fixed points in a
plane is a straight line.
(ii). Equation of a curve which when revolved about y axis
gives minimum surface of revolution.

## Let us suppose we form surface of revolution by taking some

curves passing between two fixed end points (x1, y1) and (x2,
y2) defining the x-y plane , and revolving it about the y-axis
as shown in figure. The area2
of a strip of the surface is
2xds 2x 1 y ' dx and the total area
2
is 2 x 1 y '2 dx
1

## By comparing this equation with

x2
J f ( y, y ' , x)dx
x1

dy
such that y'
dx
We get,

2 1/ 2

f ( y, y ' , x) x 1 y '
and
If J is to be minimum, it must be satisfied Euler- Lagrangian
Equation. Therefore,
d 2 1/ 2 2 1/ 2
x (1 y ' ) x (1 y ' ) 0
dx y ' y
d xy '
or 2 1/ 2
0
dx (1 y ' )
xy ' 2 2 2 2
or a or y ' ( x a ) a
(1 y '2 )1/ 2
dy a
or y ' 2
dx ( x a 2 )1/ 2
The general solution of this differential equation is

dx x
y a 2 2 1/ 2
b a arccos h b
(x a ) a
y b
or x a cosh
a