Module Overview

Classical Mechanics

This module introduces the learner to a selection of standard introductory topics in classical mechanics. General strategies for problem solving are discussed. The learner will encounter the Newtonian, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of classical mechanics and develop an understanding of the relationships between these approaches. Numerical simulations are used to develop physical intuition of selected problems.

Module Code

MATH 3806

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change


Forces; torques; static balance problems.


Newtonian mechanics

Newton’s laws; free-body diagrams; polar and Cartesian coordinate systems; simple, damped, driven, and coupled harmonic motion; solving ODEs arising from Newton’s laws; numerical simulation

Conservation laws

Kinetic and potential energy; conservation of energy; work-energy theorem; conservation of momentum; change of reference frame (centre of mass); elastic and inelastic collisions, central forces.


Lagrangian mechanics

Euler-Lagrange equations; principle of least action; constraining forces; generalised and ignorable  coordinates; Noether’s theorem and conservation laws; small oscillations 


Hamiltonian Mechanics

Energy and the Hamiltonian; Hamilton’s equations; Legendre transforms; Liouville’s theorem

Lectures supported by tutorials

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination70
Other Assessment(s)30