Questions tagged [calculus-of-variations]

Questions on the calculus of variations, which deals with the optimization of functionals mostly defined on infinite dimensional spaces.

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Central limit theorem via maximal entropy

Let $\rho(x)$ be a probability density function on $\mathbb{R}$ with prescribed variance $\sigma^2$, so that: $$\int_\mathbb{R} \rho(x)\, dx = 1$$ and $$\int_\mathbb{R} x^2 \rho(x), dx = \sigma^2$$ ...
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Largest possible volume of the convex hull of a curve of unit length

What is the largest possible volume of the convex hull of an open/closed curve of unit length in $\mathbb{R}^3$?
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How can you compute the maximum volume of an envelope(used to enclose a letter)?

It's obvious that the volume of a envelope is 0 when flat and non-0 when you open it up. However, if you were to fill it with liquid, there must be some shape where it has a maximum volume. Is there a ...
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Functional approach vs jet approach to Lagrangian field theory

Context: I am a PhD student in theoretical physics with higher-than-average education on differential geometry. I am trying to understand Lagrangian and Hamiltonian field theories and related concepts ...
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 ...