Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics are reformulations of classical Newtonian mechanics into a mathematically sophisticated framework using arbitrary coordinate systems. This formulation of classical mechanics generalises elegantly to modern theories of relativity and quantum mechanics. The unit develops dynamics from the Principle of Least Action using the calculus of variations. Emphasis is placed on the relation between the symmetry and invariance properties of the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian functions and conservation laws. Coordinate and canonical transformations are introduced to simplify apparently complicated dynamical problems. Connections between geometry and different physical theories beyond classical mechanics are explored. Students will be expected to describe and solve mechanical systems of some complexity including planetary motion and to investigate stability. Hamilton-Jacobi theory will be used to solve problems ranging from geodesic motion (shortest path between two points) on curved surfaces to relativistic motion in the vicinity of black holes.
|Academic unit||Mathematics and Statistics Academic Operations|
|A mark of 65 or greater in 12 credit points of MATH2XXX units of study|
At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:
Unit outlines will be available 1 week before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.