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Variational Principles for Lie—Poisson and Hamilton—Poincaré Equations

By Hernán Cendra, Jerrold E. Marsden, Sergey Pekarsky and Tudor S. Ratiu


As is well-known, there is a variational principle for the Euler—Poincaré equations on a Lie algebra g of a Lie group G obtained by reducing Hamilton's principle on G by the action of G by, say, left multiplication. The purpose of this paper is to give a variational principle for the Lie—Poisson equations on g^*, the dual of g, and also to generalize this construction. The more general situation is that in which the original configuration space is not a Lie group, but rather a configuration manifold Q on which a Lie group G acts freely and properly, so that Q→Q/G becomes a principal bundle. Starting with a Lagrangian system on TQ invariant under the tangent lifted action of G, the reduced equations on (TQ)/G, appropriately identified, are the Lagrange—Poincaré equations. Similarly, if we start with a Hamiltonian system on T^*Q, invariant under the cotangent lifted action of G, the resulting reduced equations on (T^*Q)/G are called the Hamilton—Poincaré equations. Amongst our new results, we derive a variational structure for the Hamilton—Poincaré equations, give a formula for the Poisson structure on these reduced spaces that simplifies previous formulas of Montgomery, and give a new representation for the symplectic structure on the associated symplectic leaves. We illustrate the formalism with a simple, but interesting example, that of a rigid body with internal rotors

Publisher: 'American Mathematical Society (AMS)'
Year: 2003
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