Bundle theory for symplectic and contact geometry with applications to Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics

Thompson, Gerard (1984). Bundle theory for symplectic and contact geometry with applications to Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f7ce

Abstract

This work is primarily concerned with various aspects of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics. These different aspects are related in a somewhat complicated way, which is clarified by the introduction of the unifying concept of a jet bundle. Here, bundles are first considered in some generality and then jet bundles are introduced and their bundle structure investigated especially with a view to formulating Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics invariantly.

The second chapter is devoted to a discussion of the two Schouten brackets and it is explained why each is of importance in mechanics. The symmetric Schouten bracket enables the notion of a killing tensor to be defined on a Riemannian or pseudo-Riemannian manifold. A theorem is proved which gives an upper bound on the dimension of the space of killing tensors of a fixed rank.

In chapter 3 Hamilton-Jacobi theory and a version of Noether's theorem are presented from a m o d e m viewpoint. Then conditions are obtained which entail the existence of a constant of motion which is polynomial in momenta. These conditions are used to construct several classical Hamiltonians with "hidden" symmetries - the usage of the latter term is briefly justified. Most importantly, all systems with two degrees of freedom which have a quadratic integral independent of the Hamiltonian are characterized.

In chapter 4 the geometrical properties of TM and the closely related space J1 (IR,M) are investigated. It is shown that J1(IR,M) has an intrinsically defined 1-1 tensor in analogy to TM. The behaviour of these tensors under diffeomorphisms is investigated. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the various notions of symmetry in Lagrangian theory.

Chapter 5 begins with a review of symplectic geometry and continues with the definition and examination of contact manifolds in the same spirit as symplectic geometry. In particular, contact diffeomorphisms are described on the space J1(IR,M). Finally, two theorems are given which endeavour to explain the general principle enabling the Lie algebra of a subalgebra of vector fields to be transferred to a collection of forms.

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