Historical Introduction

  • Kimball A. MiltonEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Physics book series (SpringerBriefs in Physics)


Variational principles for dynamical systems have a long history. Although precursors go back at least to Leibnitz (see for example (Euler 1752)) and Euler (1744) the “principle of least action” was given modern form by de Maupertuis (1744, 1746). We will not attempt to trace the history here; a brief useful account is given in Sommerfeld’s lectures (Sommerfeld 1964). The most important names in the history of the development of dynamical systems, or at least those that will bear most directly on the following discussion, are those of Lagrange (1788) and Hamilton (1834, 1835).


Action Principle Quantum Electrodynamic Transformation Function Quantum Action Potential Energy Versus 
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© The Author(s) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and AstronomyThe University of OklahomaNormanUSA

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