Skip to main content
Unit of study_

Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Dynamics - MATH4077

Year - 2019

Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics are a reformulation of classical Newtonian mechanics into a mathematically sophisticated framework that can be applied in many different coordinate systems. This formulation 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 make apparently complicated dynamical problems appear simpler. In this unit you will also explore connections between geometry and different physical theories beyond classical mechanics. You will be expected to solve fully dynamical systems of some complexity including planetary motion and to investigate stability using perturbation analysis. You will use Hamilton-Jacobi theory to solve problems ranging from geodesic motion (shortest path between two points) on curved surfaces to relativistic motion in the vicinity of black holes. This unit is a useful preparation for units in dynamical systems and chaos, and complements units in differential equations, quantum theory and general relativity.

Three 1 hour lectures and one 1 hour tutorial per week.

One 2 hour exam (70%), two mid-term quizzes (10% each) and one assignment (10%).

Assumed knowledge
6cp of 1000 level calculus units and 3cp of 1000 level linear algebra and (MATH2X21 or MATH2X61)


(A mark of 65 or greater in 12cp of MATH2XXX units of study) or [12cp from (MATH3061 orMATH3066 or MATH3063 or MATH3076 or MATH3078 or MATH3961 or MATH3962 or MATH3963 or MATH3968 or MATH3969 or MATH3971 or MATH3974 or MATH3976 or MATH3978 or MATH3979)]




Faculty: Science

Semester 2

05 Aug 2019

Department/School: Mathematics and Statistics Academic Operations
Study Mode: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Census Date: 31 Aug 2019
Unit of study level: Honours
Credit points: 6.0
EFTSL: 0.125
Available for study abroad and exchange: Yes
Faculty/department permission required? No
More details
Unit of Study coordinator: Prof Georg Gottwald
HECS Band: 2
Courses that offer this unit

Non-award/non-degree study If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student. Cross-institutional study If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to undertake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.