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The Lagrangian of a dynamical system is a function used to describe the dynamics of that system. In classical mechanics, the general definition of the Lagrangian is a function used to describe the difference between the kinetic and potential energies of a dynamical system:

where is the kinetic energy and is the potential energy.

The Lagrangian of a system can be used in the Euler-Lagrange equation in order to derive the equations of motion for the system.

The general idea behind the Lagrangian is to divorce the dynamical system from any specific coordinate system.

See also