Least Action
The stationaryaction principle – also known as the principle of least action – is a variational principle that, when applied to the '' action'' of a mechanical system, yields the equations of motion for that system. The principle states that the trajectories (i.e. the solutions of the equations of motion) are ''stationary points'' of the system's ''action functional''. The term "least action" is a historical misnomer since the principle has no minimality requirement: the value of the action functional need not be minimal (even locally) on the trajectories. The principle can be used to derive Newtonian, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian equations of motion, and even general relativity (see Einstein–Hilbert action). In relativity, a different action must be minimized or maximized. The classical mechanics and electromagnetic expressions are a consequence of quantum mechanics. The stationary action method helped in the development of quantum mechanics. In 1933, the physicist ... [...More Info...] [...Related Items...] OR: [Wikipedia] [Google] [Baidu] 

Variational Principle
In science and especially in mathematical studies, a variational principle is one that enables a problem to be solved using calculus of variations, which concerns finding functions that optimize the values of quantities that depend on those functions. For example, the problem of determining the shape of a hanging chain suspended at both ends—a catenary—can be solved using variational calculus, and in this case, the variational principle is the following: The solution is a function that minimizes the gravitational potential energy of the chain. Overview Any physical law which can be expressed as a variational principle describes a selfadjoint operator. These expressions are also called Hermitian. Such an expression describes an invariant under a Hermitian transformation. History Felix Klein's Erlangen program attempted to identify such invariants under a group of transformations. In what is referred to in physics as Noether's theorem, the Poincaré group of transformations ... [...More Info...] [...Related Items...] OR: [Wikipedia] [Google] [Baidu] 

Mathematics
Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics with the major subdisciplines of number theory, algebra, geometry, and analysis, respectively. There is no general consensus among mathematicians about a common definition for their academic discipline. Most mathematical activity involves the discovery of properties of abstract objects and the use of pure reason to prove them. These objects consist of either abstractions from nature orin modern mathematicsentities that are stipulated to have certain properties, called axioms. A ''proof'' consists of a succession of applications of deductive rules to already established results. These results include previously proved theorems, axioms, andin case of abstraction from naturesome basic properties that are considered true starting points of ... [...More Info...] [...Related Items...] OR: [Wikipedia] [Google] [Baidu] 

Angle Of Incidence (optics)
The angle of incidence, in geometric optics, is the angle between a ray incident on a surface and the line perpendicular (at 90 degree angle) to the surface at the point of incidence, called the normal. The ray can be formed by any waves, such as optical, acoustic, microwave, and Xray. In the figure below, the line representing a ray makes an angle θ with the normal (dotted line). The angle of incidence at which light is first totally internally reflected is known as the critical angle. The angle of reflection and angle of refraction are other angles related to beams. In computer graphics and geography, the angle of incidence is also known as the illumination angle of a surface with a light source, such as the Earth's surface and the Sun. It can also be equivalently described as the angle between the tangent plane of the surface and another plane at right angles to the light rays. This means that the illumination angle of a certain point on Earth's surface is 0° if the Sun ... [...More Info...] [...Related Items...] OR: [Wikipedia] [Google] [Baidu] 