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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS3511 Advanced Mechanics

15 creditsClass Size: 94

Module manager: Dr Robert Purdy

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module


By the end of the module students will be familiar with the structure of classical mechanics, and be able to apply general techniques such as perturbation theory and small oscillations. The student will also gain an understanding of the role of symmetry and conservation laws, and the relation between classical and quantum mechanics. Finally, the students will be familiar with fluids and elasticity, and be able to use tensors such as the stress tensor and moment of inertia tensor.

Skills outcomes
An understanding of mechanics at advanced level
Problem solving skills


Formal mechanics of point particles: 2D, 3D, many particles.
Rigid body rotations, Euler angles, moment of inertia tensor.
Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, generalised coordinates, constrained systems and Lagrange multipliers.
Variational methods.
Symmetry and conservation laws.
Theory of small oscillations, perturbation methods.
Relativity and Minkowski Space

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours22.00
Private study hours117.00
Total Contact hours11.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Reading lecture notes and books
Solving problems

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentRegular Homeworks20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)20.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 30 mins80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)80.00

Students will have to complete an in-person exam at the end of the module. This will take place during the examinations period at the end of the semester and will be time bound. Students must submit a serious attempt at all assessments, in order to pass the module overall.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:31:38


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