Variational methods (physics)
Newton, Roger G. Department of Physics, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
Last reviewed:January 2021
- General principles
- Theory construction
- Calculational uses
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Methods based on the principle that, among all possible configurations or histories of a physical system, the system realizes the one that minimizes some specified quantity. Variational methods are used in physics both for theory construction and for calculational purposes.
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