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Involution and constrained dynamics: I. The Dirac approach

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>7/08/1995
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and General
Issue number15
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)4431-4451
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We study the theory of systems with constraints from the point of view of the formal theory of partial differential equations. For finite-dimensional systems we show that the Dirac algorithm completes the equations of motion to an involutive system. We discuss the implications of this identification for field theories and argue that the involution analysis is more general and flexible than the Dirac approach. We also derive intrinsic expressions for the number of degrees of freedom.