0
votes
0answers
155 views

Variational Problem v.s. Initial Value Problem

Is there a way to relate the variational problem where one specifies $x$ initially and finally to the initial value (Cauchy) problem where one specifies both $x$ and $p$ initially? As an example, ...
4
votes
1answer
219 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
1k 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
662 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
459 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 ...