Stehle, Philip Department of Physics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Last reviewed:August 2020
- Particle in central force field
- Two particles, fixed separation
- Conservative systems
- Example of use of L
- Nonconservative systems
- Cyclic coordinate
- Total energy
- Conjugate momentum
- Kinetic momentum
- Relativistic systems
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Equations of motion of a mechanical system for which a classical (nonquantum-mechanical) description is suitable, and which relate the kinetic energy of the system to the generalized coordinates, the generalized forces, and the time. If the configuration of the system is specified by giving the values of f independent quantities q1, …, qf, there are f such equations of motion. In their usual form, these equations are equivalent to Newton's second law of motion and are differential equations of the second order for the q's as functions of the time t.
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