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Classical Mechanics b


Admission Requirements

Klassieke Mechanica a, Introductie Moderne Natuurkunde, Elektrische en Magnetische Velden, Analyse 2 (na)


The description of the laws of classical mechanics are given a more general and more fundamental form in the Lagrange and Hamilton formalisms. This description makes the theory more elegant and more broadly useful. In this form the theory prepares the scene for the treatment of Quantum mechanics.
Subjects to be discussed are: Generalized coordinates; phase space; constraints; Lagrangian and Lagrange’s equations; conservation laws; Hamiltonian and Hamilton’s equations;
Hamilton’s principle (principle of least action).
The power of the formalism is illustrated by a second main topic: the analysis of systems of coupled harmonic oscillators

Course objectives

After completing this course the student is familiar with the Lagrange and Hamilton formalism for conservative systems, and with the principles involved with systems of coupled harmonic oscillators, and is capable of solving problems in this context.



Mode of instruction

Lectures and Seminars

Assessment method

Written exam with open questions. The exam can be retaken.


Blackboard is used as the central information source in CMb.
It offers, a.o., an overview of the course material, all powerpoint slides of the lectures, assignments, and examples of exams of previous years.
To have access to Blackboard you need a ULCN-account.Blackboard UL

Reading list

Analytical Mechanics, G.R. Fowles and G.L. Cassiday, 7th edition (Thomson Learning, inc., 2004), ISBN 9780534408138.
In addition lecture notes will be distributed.


Contactgegevens Docent:Prof. dr. J.van Ruitenbeek (Jan)