PHY3029 : Variational Methods and Lagrangian Dynamics
- Offered for Year: 2019/20
- Module Leader(s): Dr James Waldron
- Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
- Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
|Semester 2 Credit Value:||10|
To present basic ideas and techniques of variational calculus, including relevant applications.
What is the shortest route between two places on the Earth's surface (the answer isn't a straight line, because the Earth isn't flat!)? What is the optimum roller coaster design that provides the minimum descent time? How do you reformulate dynamical motion in terms of geometry? To answer questions such as these, we need a way to find the path between two points which minimises some quantity (such as length or time). The calculus of variations is a very elegant and powerful way of doing this, and consequently has wide application to real-world problems. The ideas also provide the basis for a reformulation of dynamics which underpins modern theoretical physics.
Outline Of Syllabus
Review of standard methods for finding extrema. Definition of, and method for calculating, extremals
(minima/maxima) of functionals. The Euler-Lagrange equation. Classical examples from everyday life. Fixed
and variable end conditions. Lagrange multipliers. Many dependent variables. The action principle, Lagrangian
and Hamiltonian dynamics with applications.
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||2||1:00||2:00||Revision lectures|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||6||1:00||6:00||Problem classes|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||6||1:00||6:00||Revision for class test|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||22||1:00||22:00||Formal lectures|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||1||1:00||1:00||Class test|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||10:30||10:30||Revision for unseen Exam|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||2:00||2:00||Unseen Exam|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||5||5:00||25:00||Written assignments|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Drop-in/surgery||12||0:10||2:00||Office hours|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Drop-in/surgery||6||1:00||6:00||Drop-ins in the lecture room|
|Guided Independent Study||Independent study||5||1:00||5:00||Assignment review|
|Guided Independent Study||Independent study||1||12:30||12:30||Studying, practising and gaining understanding of course material|
Jointly Taught With
|MAS3809||Variational Methods and Lagrangian Dynamics|
|MAS8809||Variational Methods and Lagrangian Dynamics|
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
Lectures are used for the delivery of theory and explanation of methods, illustrated with examples, and for giving general feedback on marked work. Problem Classes are used to help develop the students’ abilities at applying the theory to solving problems. Drop-ins are used to identify and resolve specific queries raised by students and to allow students to receive individual feedback on marked work. Office hours provide an opportunity for more direct contact between individual students and the lecturer: a typical student might spend a total of one or two hours over the course of the module, either individually or as part of a group.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Written Examination||40||2||M||5||Class test|
|Prob solv exercises||2||M||5||Coursework Assignments|
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
A substantial formal unseen examination is appropriate for the assessment of the material in this module. The written exercises are expected to consist of two assignments of equal weight: the exact nature of assessment will be explained at the start of the module. The coursework assignments and the (in class) coursework test allow the students to develop their problem solving techniques, to practise the methods learnt in the module, to assess their progress and to receive feedback; these assessments have a secondary formative purpose as well as their primary summative purpose.