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Physics 235
Chapter 7

1

Chapter 7
Hamilton's Principle  Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Dynamics
Many interesting physics systems describe systems of particles on which many forces are
acting.
Some of these forces are immediately obvious to the person studying the system since
they are externally applied.
Other forces are not immediately obvious, and are applied by the
external constraints imposed on the system.
These forces are often difficult to quantify, but the
effect of these forces is easy to describe.
Trying to describe such a system in terms of Newton's
equations of motion is often difficult since it requires us to specify the total force.
In this
Chapter we will see that describing such a system by applying Hamilton's principle will allow us
to determine the equation of motion for system for which we would not be able to derive these
equations easily on the basis of Newton's laws.
We should stress however, that Hamilton's
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This note was uploaded on 01/08/2012 for the course PHY 235 taught by Professor Morgan during the Spring '09 term at SUNY Stony Brook.
 Spring '09
 MORGAN
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