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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 of Newton 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. This is a subject of great importance, and examples of problems range from physics, to chemistry, engineering, etc.

Course objectives

After completing this course the student is capable of solving problems using the Lagrange and Hamilton formalisms for conservative systems, and problems involving systems of coupled harmonic oscillators.



Mode of instruction

Lectures and Seminars

Assessment method

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


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.