*Oliver Johns*

- Published in print:
- 2005
- Published Online:
- January 2010
- ISBN:
- 9780198567264
- eISBN:
- 9780191717987
- Item type:
- book

- Publisher:
- Oxford University Press
- DOI:
- 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567264.001.0001
- Subject:
- Physics, Atomic, Laser, and Optical Physics

This book provides an innovative and mathematically sound treatment of the foundations of analytical mechanics and the relation of classical mechanics to relativity and quantum theory. A ...
More

This book provides an innovative and mathematically sound treatment of the foundations of analytical mechanics and the relation of classical mechanics to relativity and quantum theory. A distinguishing feature of the book is its integration of special relativity into teaching of classical mechanics. After a thorough review of the traditional theory, the book introduces extended Lagrangian and Hamiltonian methods that treat time as a transformable coordinate rather than the fixed parameter of Newtonian physics. Advanced topics such as covariant Langrangians and Hamiltonians, canonical transformations, and Hamilton-Jacobi methods are simplified by the use of this extended theory. And the definition of canonical transformation no longer excludes the Lorenz transformation of special relativity. This is also a book for those who study analytical mechanics to prepare for a critical exploration of quantum mechanics. Comparisons to quantum mechanics appear throughout the text. The extended Hamiltonian theory with time as a coordinate is compared to Dirac’s formalism of primary phase space constraints. The chapter on relativistic mechanics shows how to use covariant Hamiltonian theory to write the Klein-Gordon and Dirac equations. The chapter on Hamilton-Jacobi theory includes a discussion of the closely related Bohm hidden variable model of quantum mechanics. Classical mechanics itself is presented with an emphasis on methods, such as linear vector operators and dyadics, that will familiarise the student with similar techniques in quantum theory. Several of the current fundamental problems in theoretical physics, such as the development of quantum information technology and the problem of quantising the gravitational field, require a rethinking of the quantum-classical connection.Less

This book provides an innovative and mathematically sound treatment of the foundations of analytical mechanics and the relation of classical mechanics to relativity and quantum theory. A distinguishing feature of the book is its integration of special relativity into teaching of classical mechanics. After a thorough review of the traditional theory, the book introduces extended Lagrangian and Hamiltonian methods that treat time as a transformable coordinate rather than the fixed parameter of Newtonian physics. Advanced topics such as covariant Langrangians and Hamiltonians, canonical transformations, and Hamilton-Jacobi methods are simplified by the use of this extended theory. And the definition of canonical transformation no longer excludes the Lorenz transformation of special relativity. This is also a book for those who study analytical mechanics to prepare for a critical exploration of quantum mechanics. Comparisons to quantum mechanics appear throughout the text. The extended Hamiltonian theory with time as a coordinate is compared to Dirac’s formalism of primary phase space constraints. The chapter on relativistic mechanics shows how to use covariant Hamiltonian theory to write the Klein-Gordon and Dirac equations. The chapter on Hamilton-Jacobi theory includes a discussion of the closely related Bohm hidden variable model of quantum mechanics. Classical mechanics itself is presented with an emphasis on methods, such as linear vector operators and dyadics, that will familiarise the student with similar techniques in quantum theory. Several of the current fundamental problems in theoretical physics, such as the development of quantum information technology and the problem of quantising the gravitational field, require a rethinking of the quantum-classical connection.

*Richard Freeman, James King, and Gregory Lafyatis*

- Published in print:
- 2019
- Published Online:
- February 2019
- ISBN:
- 9780198726500
- eISBN:
- 9780191793325
- Item type:
- chapter

- Publisher:
- Oxford University Press
- DOI:
- 10.1093/oso/9780198726500.003.0005
- Subject:
- Physics, Atomic, Laser, and Optical Physics

The history of experiments and the development of the concepts of special relativity is presented with an emphasis on Einstein’s postulates of relativity and the relativity of simultaneity. The ...
More

The history of experiments and the development of the concepts of special relativity is presented with an emphasis on Einstein’s postulates of relativity and the relativity of simultaneity. The development of the Lorentz transformations follows Einstein’s work in enunciating the principles of covariance among inertial frames. The mathematics of the geometry of space-time is presented using Miniowski’s space-time diagrams. In developing Einstein’s argument for the reality of special relativity consequences, two examples of apparent paradoxes with their resolution are given: the twin and connected rocket problems. The mathematics of 4-vectors is developed with explicit presentation of the 4-vector gradient, 4-vector velocity, 4-vector momentum, 4-vector force, 4-wavevector, 4-current density, and 4-potential. This section sums up with the manifest covariance of Maxwell’s equations, and the presentation of the electromagnetic field and Einstein stress-energy tensor. Finally, simple examples of electromagnetic field transformation are given: static electric and magnetic fields parallel and transverse to the velocity relating two inertial frames; and the transformation of fields from a charge moving at relativistic velocities.Less

The history of experiments and the development of the concepts of special relativity is presented with an emphasis on Einstein’s postulates of relativity and the relativity of simultaneity. The development of the Lorentz transformations follows Einstein’s work in enunciating the principles of covariance among inertial frames. The mathematics of the geometry of space-time is presented using Miniowski’s space-time diagrams. In developing Einstein’s argument for the reality of special relativity consequences, two examples of apparent paradoxes with their resolution are given: the twin and connected rocket problems. The mathematics of 4-vectors is developed with explicit presentation of the 4-vector gradient, 4-vector velocity, 4-vector momentum, 4-vector force, 4-wavevector, 4-current density, and 4-potential. This section sums up with the manifest covariance of Maxwell’s equations, and the presentation of the electromagnetic field and Einstein stress-energy tensor. Finally, simple examples of electromagnetic field transformation are given: static electric and magnetic fields parallel and transverse to the velocity relating two inertial frames; and the transformation of fields from a charge moving at relativistic velocities.