Mathematical Physics

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Mathematical Physics

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Astronomy, Physics

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    MATH 203 and 36 300-level PHSI or MATH points (2 courses)

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Techniques and applications of classical mechanics: calculus of variations, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations. The special theory of relativity and applications: relativistic mechanics, electrodynamics in covariant form. Cosmology.

    This paper presents the foundational theory for two major topics in physics. The Classical Mechanics section introduces the formal framework of classical mechanics and illustrates its application to two-body problems, oscillating systems and non-inertial frames, such as rotating systems. The Special Relativity and Cosmology section covers the special theory of relativity with applications to relativistic mechanics as well as an introduction to cosmology. This paper is the same as the MATH 374 paper offered by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. It is taught jointly by staff from both departments.

    Learning Outcomes
    After completing this paper students will be able to

    • Understand and use the calculus of variations, particularly in the derivation of the Lagrangian formulation of classical mechanics
    • Understand and use the Hamiltonian and Lagrangian formulations of classical mechanics and how they are related
    • Use the principles of classical mechanics to analyse standard systems, such as two-body central force problems and the rotation of rigid bodies
    • Understand the principles of special relativity and the representation of these principles in the Lorentz Transformation and covariant formalism
    • Solve problems in relativistic mechanics using these principles
    • Understand the introductory ideas of cosmology

Course Disclaimer

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