Analytical Mechanics - PH621

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 2)
Autumn and Spring 6 15 (7.5) DR S Carr checkmark-circle


Minimisation problems and the Euler-Lagrange equation;
Lagrange formulation of classical mechanics;
Link between symmetries and conservation laws (Noether's theorem);
Hamilton formulation of classical mechanics;
Semi-classical mechanics and the link to quantum mechanics;
Continuum mechanics and fluid dynamics;
Dynamical systems and chaos


Contact hours

Lectures (30 hours); independent learning (120 hours)

Total study time: 150 hours


This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Coursework (30%), comprising of at least two take home tests
Final exam (70%), written, unseen, length 2 hours.

Indicative reading

  • Analytical Mechanics, Hand, L., Finch, J., 2012

    Learning outcomes

  • Knowledge and understanding of physical laws and principles of mechanics, and their application to diverse areas of physics.
  • An ability to identify relevant principles and laws when dealing with problems, and to make approximations necessary to obtain solutions.
  • An ability to solve problems involving mechanics using appropriate mathematical tools.
  • An ability to use mathematical techniques and analysis to model physical behaviour involving mechanics.
  • An ability to present and interpret information relating to mechanics graphically.
  • An ability to make use of appropriate texts, research-based materials or other learning resources about mechanics as part of managing their own learning.
  • Problem-solving skills, in the context of both problems with well-defined solutions and open-ended problems; an ability to formulate problems in precise terms and to identify key issues, and the confidence to try different approaches in order to make progress on challenging problems. Numeracy is subsumed within this area.
  • Analytical skills – associated with the need to pay attention to detail and to develop an ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas, to construct logical arguments and to use technical language correctly.


    1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
    2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
    3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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