Formalism in Mechanics

  1. Formalism (e.g. [Eis, p.309, l.20] [Eis, p.309, l.23]) is a good predictor for the pattern of generalization, but the detailed justification of formalism requires careful analysis [Coh, p.1389, ' c].

  2. Formalism provides a short cut to the heart of the matter.
        A good start is half of the battle. Formalism provides a long-tested method to solve physical problems. Quantum mechanics is centered in a system's Hamiltonian. Kittel's approach to Fermi Gas in metals starts with the Fermi energy [Kit, p.183], while Ashcroft's approach fails to distinguish this feature [Ashc, pp.32-36]. Therefore, Ashcroft's explanation of the Fermi energy [Ashc, p.36, l.18] is less clear and organized than Kittel's.

  3. An unproven formal differentiation neglects subtleties of meaning.
    Example. Compare [Coh, p.1149, (8)] with [Mer2, p.137, (8.8)].