Variational principles in physics


Burnside Hall Burn 1024 Graduate Lounge, 805 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 0B9, CA


In this presentation I will talk about why physicists view
calculating the trajectory of a spinning top as an optimiza-
tion problem. The "variational approach" is a simple but
powerful idea that gives insights in a number of disciplines,
including classical mechanics, statistical mechanics, quantum field theory, and optics. No physics knowledge required.

All graduate students are invited. As with all talks in the
graduate student seminar, this talk will be accessible to all
graduate students in math and stats.

This seminar was made possible by funding from the McGill
mathematics and statistics department and PGSS.


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