Module code: MATM032

Module Overview

This module applies Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics to physical systems with symmetry.

Module provider


Module Leader

BRIDGES Tom (Maths)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: G130

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 117

Lecture Hours: 33

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

MAT3008/MAT3031 Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Dynamics

Module content

Topics covered will include some or all of:

  • Elements of multi-linear algebra, differential geometry and Lie group actions.

  • Euler-Poincaré variational principles (with and without symmetry breaking)

  • Legendre transform and symplectic spaces

  • Conservation laws: momentum maps and Noether's theorem

  • Lie-Poisson structures (with and without symmetry breaking)

  • Applications: rigid bodies, heavy tops, quantum dynamics, magnetic fields, etc.

  • Infinite dimensions: diffeomorphism groups and applications to fluids/plasmas



Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
School-timetabled exam/test CLASS TEST 20
Examination EXAMINATION (2 HOURS) 80

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

  • Understanding of fundamental concepts and ability to develop and apply them to a new context.

  • Subject knowledge through recall of key definitions, formulae and derivations.

  • Analytical ability through the solution of unseen problems in the test and examination.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • One two hour examination at the end of the semester, worth 80% of the overall module mark

  • two fifty minute class tests, the first worth 10% and the second worth 10%


Formative assessment and feedback

Students receive written feedback via the marked class tests.  The solutions to the class tests are also reviewed in the lecture.  Un-assessed courseworks are also assigned to the students, and a sketch of solutions to these are provided.  Verbal feedback is provided during lectures and office hours.


Module aims

  • The module aims to extend students' knowledge of mechanics by considering systems with symmetry and their conservation laws.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate understanding of mechanical systems on Lie groups, along with their symmetry properties. K
2 Interpret and apply variational principles in mechanics, and quote and apply the Euler-Poincare reduction theorem. KCT
3 Calculate momentum maps, and prove/disprove their conservation using symmetry arguments. KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

Teaching is by lectures, 3 hours per week for 11 weeks. Extensive notes are provided.

 Learning takes place through lectures, exercises and class tests.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MATM032

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Mathematics MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Mathematics and Physics MPhys 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Mathematics and Physics MMath 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Mathematics MMath 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.