Lagrangian Mechanics

  • Jerrold E. Marsden
  • Tudor S. Ratiu
Part of the Texts in Applied Mathematics book series (TAM, volume 17)


Our approach so far has emphasized the Hamiltonian point of view. However, there is an independent point of view, that of Lagrangian mechanics, based on variational principles. This alternative viewpoint, computational convenience, and the fact that the Lagrangian is very useful in covariant relativistic theories can be used as arguments for the importance of the Lagrangian formulation. Ironically, it was Hamilton [1834] who discovered the variational basis of Lagrangian mechanics.


Vector Field Integral Curve Jacobi Equation Finite Dimension Hamiltonian Vector Field 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerrold E. Marsden
    • 1
  • Tudor S. Ratiu
    • 2
  1. 1.California Institute of TechnologyControl and Dynamical Systems, 107-81PasadenaUSA
  2. 2.Département de mathématiquesEcole polytechnique fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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