Advanced Mechanics (PHYS*3400)

Code and section: PHYS*3400*01

Term: Fall 2019

Instructor: Paul Garrett


Course Description

This course covers Lagrangian mechanics and Hamiltonian mechanics. Topics include least action principles, Poisson brackets, Liouville's theorem, Hamilton- Jacobi theory, the transition to quantum mechanics and introduction to non-linear dynamics.



Tuesday and Thursday, 10:00 am - 11:20 am
MINS 017


Tuesday, October 22 - In Class

Final Exam

Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 11:30a
MACN 415

Instructional Support

Instructor:  Paul Garrett
Telephone:  +1-519-824-4120 x52192
Office:  MACN 220


25% Assignments
25% Midterm - Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - In Class
50% Final Exam - Wednesday, December 4, 2019

There will be 5 assignments for this course. No assignments will be accepted after the posting of the solutions on the course webpage. Submitted assignment solutions must show calculational details, be legible, and written with a logical flow. Marks on assignments will rapidly trend to zero if not presented well.

If your Final Exam grade is higher then your Midterm grade, your Final Exam will be weighted at 75%.

Learning Resources

Required Resources

CourselInk (Website)
The lecture and course notes will be posted on Courselink. 

Additional Resources

Classical Mechanics (3rd Edition) (Textbook)
Herbert Goldstein, Charles P. Poole, and John L. Safko, Classical Mechanics (3rd Edition) (Addison Wesley, 2002; ISBN 0201657023; QA 805.G6)

Classical Mechanics: Systems of Particles and Hamiltonian Dynamics (Textbook)
Walter Greiner, Classical Mechanics: Systems of Particles and Hamiltonian Dynamics (Springer, 2003; ISBN 0-387-95128-8)

Classical Mechanics: Point Particles and Relativity (Textbook)
Walter Greiner, Classical Mechanics: Point Particles and Relativity (Springer, 2004; ISBN 0-387-95586-0)

Classical Mechanics and Relativity (Textbook)
Harold J W Müller-Kirsten, Classical Mechanics and Relativity (World Scientific, 2008; ISBN-10: 981-283-252-1)

The Variational Principles of Mechanics (4th Edition) (Textbook)
Cornelius Lanczos, The Variational Principles of Mechanics (4th Edition) (Dover Publications, 1986; ISBN 0486650677; QA 845.L3)

Mechanics (3'rd Edition) (Textbook)
Keith R. Symon, Mechanics (3'rd Edition) (Addison-Wesley, 1971; ISBN 0-201-07392-7)

University Statements

Email Communication

As per university regulations, all students are required to check their e-mail account regularly: e-mail is the official route of communication between the University and its students.

When You Cannot Meet a Course Requirement

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons please advise the course instructor (or designated person, such as a teaching assistant) in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. The grounds for Academic Consideration are detailed in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Drop Date

Students will have until the last day of classes to drop courses without academic penalty. The deadline to drop two-semester courses will be the last day of classes in the second semester. This applies to all students (undergraduate, graduate and diploma) except for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Associate Diploma in Veterinary Technology (conventional and alternative delivery) students. The regulations and procedures for course registration are available in their respective Academic Calendars.

Copies of Out-of-class Assignments

Keep paper and/or other reliable back-up copies of all out-of-class assignments: you may be asked to resubmit work at any time.


The University promotes the full participation of students who experience disabilities in their academic programs. To that end, the provision of academic accommodation is a shared responsibility between the University and the student.

When accommodations are needed, the student is required to first register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS). Documentation to substantiate the existence of a disability is required; however, interim accommodations may be possible while that process is underway.

Accommodations are available for both permanent and temporary disabilities. It should be noted that common illnesses such as a cold or the flu do not constitute a disability.

Use of the SAS Exam Centre requires students to book their exams at least 7 days in advance and not later than the 40th Class Day.

For Guelph students, information can be found on the SAS website.

Academic Integrity

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity, and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community-faculty, staff, and students-to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring. University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff, and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that encourages academic integrity. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection.

Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

Recording of Materials

Presentations that are made in relation to course work - including lectures - cannot be recorded or copied without the permission of the presenter, whether the instructor, a student, or guest lecturer. Material recorded with permission is restricted to use for that course unless further permission is granted.


The Academic Calendars are the source of information about the University of Guelph’s procedures, policies, and regulations that apply to undergraduate, graduate, and diploma programs.


Please note:  This is a preliminary web course description. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description.  An official course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester and/or posted on Courselink.