Variational principles in physics
 Author/Creator
 Basdevant, J. L. (JeanLouis)
 Language
 English.
 Imprint
 New York, NY : Springer, c2007.
 Physical description
 x, 183 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Access
Contents/Summary
 Bibliography
 Includes bibliographical references (p. [179]180) and index.
 Contents

 Foreword. Variational Principles. The Analytical Mechanics of Lagrange. The Canonical Formalism of Hamilton. The Lagrangian Theory of Fields. Movement in a Curved Space. Feynman's Path Integrals in Quantum Mechanics. Solutions to Exercises. Bibliography. Index.
 (source: Nielsen Book Data)
 Publisher's Summary
 Optimization under constraints is an essential part of everyday life. Indeed, we routinely solve problems by striking a balance between contradictory interests, individual desires and material contingencies. This notion of equilibrium was dear to thinkers of the enlightenment, as illustrated by Montesquieu's famous formulation: "In all magistracies, the greatness of the power must be compensated by the brevity of the duration." Astonishingly, natural laws are guided by a similar principle. Variational principles have proven to be surprisingly fertile. For example, Fermat used variational methods to demonstrate that light follows the fastest route from one point to another, an idea which came to be known as Fermat's principle, a cornerstone of geometrical optics. "Variational Principles and Dynamics" explains variational principles and charts their use throughout modern physics. The heart of the book is devoted to the analytical mechanics of Lagrange and Hamilton, the basic tools of any physicist. Basdevant also offers a simple but rich first impressions of Einstein's General Relativity, Feynman's Quantum Mechanics, and more, revealing amazing interconnections between various fields of physics. A graduate of the Ecole Normale Superieure, JeanLouis Basdevant is Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics at the Ecole Polytechnique, and Director of Research for the CNRS. Specializing in the theoretical physics of elementary particles, quantum field theory and astrophysics, Prof. Basdevant works in the LeprinceRinguet Laboratory at the Ecole Polytechnique.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
Subjects
Bibliographic information
 Publication date
 2007
 Responsibility
 JeanLouis Basdevant.
 ISBN
 0387377476
 9780387377476
 0387377484
 9780387377483