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Classical mechanics is the study of the motion of objects obeying Newton's laws of motion, while Einstein's special theory of relativity revises the Galilean notion of relativity between inertial frames. This course aims to introduce students to the elegant Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of Newtonian mechanics, and the fundaments of special relativity and the associated 4-formalism. Students will receive a strong grounding in these methods, paving the way for advanced topics in electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics. Topics to be covered include: Damped and forced harmonic oscillations and resonance phenomena. Central force problems and celestial orbits. Inertia tensor and rotational dynamics. Variational principles. Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of mechanics. Noether's theorem, symmetry and conservation laws. Coupled oscillators, normal modes, continuous systems and fields. Many-particle systems. Foundations of special relativity. 4-formalism. Lorentz transformation. Spacetime diagrams. Relativistic kinematics and dynamics. Relativistic Doppler effect.

Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 2



Delivery Mode

Fully on-site

Indicative contact hours


Conditions for Enrolment

Prerequisite: PHYS1221 or PHYS1231 or DPST1024 or PHYS1241 and MATH1231 or DPST1014 or MATH1241

Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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