The constraints of classical mechanics are idealizations of stiff elastic forces. They can be derived from such forces in the limit of infinite stiffness, but this derivation presents some difficulties and the limit has to be taken carefully. In statistical mechanics it is no longer possible to idealize stiff potentials by constraints, not even approximately, except under a special and unrealistic restriction on the form of those elastic forces. In quantum mechanics the limit in general does not exist unless the same unrealistic condition is satisfied.
Bibliographic Reference: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICS, VOL. 52 (1984), NO. 5, PP. 419-424
Record Number: 1989123011200 / Last updated on: 1987-01-01
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