Ostrogradsky's theorem on Hamiltonian instability

@article{Woodard2015OstrogradskysTO,
  title={Ostrogradsky's theorem on Hamiltonian instability},
  author={R. Woodard},
  journal={Scholarpedia},
  year={2015},
  volume={10},
  pages={32243}
}
  • R. Woodard
  • Published 2015
  • Mathematics, Computer Science
  • Scholarpedia
Ostrogradsky's construction of a Hamiltonian formalism for nondegenerate higher derivative Lagrangians is reviewed. The resulting instability imposes by far the most powerful restriction on fundamental, interacting, continuum Lagrangian field theories. A discussion is given of the problems raised by attempts to evade this restriction. 
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