Stehle, Philip Department of Physics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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Like Hamilton's principle, the principle of least action is a variational statement that forms a basis from which the equations of motion of a classical dynamical system may be deduced. Consider a mechanical system described by coordinates q1, …, qf and their canonically conjugate momenta p1, …, pf. The action S associated with a segment of the trajectory of the system is defined by Eq. (1),
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