2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Action Minimization in Phase-Space
Om P. Goit
Dr. Taner Edis, Faculty Mentor

In classical mechanics, the trajectory that any particle will take is determined by principle of least action. Extending this idea, we can look for an action functional in phase space, which includes both the position and the momentum of a particle as coordinates. We can then minimize the phase-space action in order to get the equation of motion. As demonstrated in the special case of simple harmonic oscillator we can indeed write at least one form of phase-space action for any physical system described by Hamiltonian and minimize it. This action functional is directly obtained from the solution of the Hamiltonian system, which therefore does not provide any novel information. Still, we can definitely say that the principle of action minimization can be extended to phase space

Keywords: Action, Functional, Phase-Space, Action-Minimization

Topic(s):Physics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 40-4
Location: MG 1096
Time: 3:30

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