3
votes
1answer
112 views

Find a maximizing solution to an ODE which depends on a paramater function

(For the physical meaning of this problem see http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/122818/how-should-i-throttle-my-rocket-to-reach-highest-altitude). Given $g \in (0,\infty), k \in C^1( [0, ...
4
votes
1answer
220 views

Minimizing action squared versus action

I have a very basic question in the calculus of variations: Suppose I want to minimize the functional $$A[r, r'] = \int_\Omega L(r, r') dx $$ When is it possible to say that extremals of $A$ agree ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Surface equivalent of catenary curve

A catenary curve is the shape taken by an idealized hanging chain or rope under the influence of gravity. It has the equation $y= a \cosh (x/a)$. My question is: What is the shape taken by an ...
7
votes
1answer
724 views

Calculating the geodesic equation for a particular set of phase-space coordinates

Let $g$ be a Riemannian metric on the $d$-dimensional flat space $\mathbb R^d$, and consider the usual Lagrangian $$L(x, \dot x) = \tfrac 1 2 g_{ij}(x) \dot x^i \dot x^j.$$ Let $\hat g := \sqrt g$ ...
4
votes
2answers
468 views

Minimal surface which divides a convex body into two regions of equal volume

Question. Given a convex body $\Omega$, what is the shape of a surface $\Gamma$ of minimal area which divides $\Omega$ into two regions of equal volume? Background/motivation. A 2D version of ...