# Finding Extremal - Stuck in the middle

• Nov 16th 2010, 06:11 PM
BrooketheChook
Finding Extremal - Stuck in the middle
I have a Euler-Lagrange equation

$\frac{\partial f}{\partial x} - \frac{d}{dt} (\frac{\partial f}{\partial \dot{x}})= 0$

which for my f is

$\dot{x} + 1 - \frac{d}{dt} (\dot{x} + x + 1) = 0$

The solutions say I should end up with

$\ddot{x} - 1 = 0$

I end up with

$\dot{x} + 1 - \ddot{x} - \dot{x} - x = 0$

$\ddot{x} + x = -1$

I must be doing

$\frac{d}{dt} (\dot{x} + x + 1)$

incorrectly? What am I doing wrong?
• Nov 16th 2010, 09:41 PM
TwistedOne151
Re: Error
Yes, you did appear to differentiate incorrectly. Noting that,
$\frac{d}{dt}(\dot{x}+x+1)=\frac{d}{dt}\dot{x}+\fra c{d}{dt}x+\frac{d}{dt}1$,
I'd ask you what is $\frac{d}{dt}1$?

--Kevin C.
• Nov 17th 2010, 06:41 AM
BrooketheChook
Yes, I ended up figuring out where I went wrong. I am stuck on this one however....

$\frac{d}{dt} (1 + 2t^2 \dot{x}) = 0$

I get

$2t^2 \dot{x} = C$

$\dot{x} = \frac{1}{2} C t^{-2}$ ......wondering if $\frac{1}{2}$ should be absorbed by the constant

$x = -C t^{-3} + B$

but the solution is

$x = -At^{-1} + B$
• Nov 17th 2010, 07:06 AM
Ackbeet
You're integrating incorrectly. The exponent gets more positive by one when you integrate. It does not become more negative.
• Nov 17th 2010, 07:14 AM
BrooketheChook
Cannot believe I missed that.
• Nov 17th 2010, 07:30 AM
Ackbeet
I've seen loads of people do that sort of thing. They're studying something more advanced, and they are so focused on learning the more advanced thing that they forget some elementary principle. Ah, well. Have a good one!