Course Title: Classical & Quantum Mechanics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Classical & Quantum Mechanics

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Prof. Jared Cole

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9555

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 014.12.009

Course Coordinator Availability: Appointment by email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Familiarity with differential and integral calculus as well as vectors is essential to understand the material presented and examined (for example, the content covered in MATH1142 and MATH1144). PHYS2122 Mechanics, and PHYS2123 Modern Physics provide a necessary introduction to this course. Taking or having completed Mathematics for Physicists MATH1129 is advantageous but not necessary.

Course Description

Classical and Quantum Mechanics introduces advanced concepts in classical mechanics and then links these to the theory of quantum mechanics. This course begins with introducing the concepts of degrees of freedom and least action. Subsequent topics include Lagrangians and Hamiltonians, Legendre transformations and Poisson brackets, with a focus on solving example problems from various branches of physics. Building on this knowledge, the concept of quantum theory is introduced, including wave and matrix mechanics, operators and observables. Example problems are solved for one-dimensional potentials and time evolution of finite state systems.

The topics covered are essential prerequisites for advanced studies in physics. This course will approach the subjects with a high level of mathematical rigour in order to give students a solid grounding in the mathematical tools used in advanced physics, including at a postgraduate level.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BP229 and BP247:


PLO 1: Understanding science: 

PLO 1.1:  You will demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method and an ability to apply the scientific method in practice.

PLO 1.2: You will demonstrate an understanding of the role and relevance of science in society.

PLO 1.3: You will demonstrate an understanding of the role and importance of evidence in the continuous evolution of scientific knowledge. 


PLO-2: Scientific knowledge

PLO 2.1:  You will have broad knowledge in your chosen discipline, with deep knowledge in its core concepts.


PLO-3: Inquiry and Problem Solving

PLO 3.2: You will be able to gather, critically review and synthesise information relevant to a scientific inquiry or research project.

PLO 3.3:  You will be able to choose appropriate tools and methods to solve scientific problems within your area of specialization.

PLO 3.4: You will demonstrate well-developed problem solving skills, applying your knowledge and using your ability to think analytically and creatively.


PLO-4: Communication

PLO 4.1: You will be able to communicate the solution to a problem or the results of a scientific investigation using effective oral, written and presentation skills.


PLO-5: Personal and professional responsibility

PLO 5.1: You will develop a capacity for independent and self-directed work.

PLO 5.2: You will work responsibly, safely, legally and ethically.

PLO 5.3: You will develop an ability to work collaboratively.

On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Apply Lagrangian and Hamiltonian methods to solving a variety of physically relevant mechanics problems
  2. Solve intermediate-level problems in quantum mechanics;
  3. Be capable of communicating and explaining these concepts to others;
  4. Apply the theory learned to novel physical situations, through mathematical manipulation of the underlying equations

Overview of Learning Activities

You will learn in this course by:

  1. Attendance at lectures where material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples;
  2. Private study, working through the theory as presented in lectures, texts and notes, and gaining practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems;
  3. Completing tutorial questions designed to give you further practice in application of theory, and feedback on your progress and understanding;
  4. Completing written assignments consisting of numerical and other problems requiring an integrated understanding of the subject matter;


Total Study Hours

A total of 120 hours of study is expected, comprising:

Teacher-guided activities: There will be 3 hours of face to face lectures and 1 to 2 hours of tutorial per week.

Student-directed activities: Due to the amount of material covered, at least 3 to 4 hours of textbook/notes revision per week is strongly suggested, including attempting problems in the textbook to ensure you have understood the concepts.  Assignments (generally 6 in total) typically require 6 to 10 hours to complete, longer for those without good mathematical skills.

Overview of Learning Resources

The course will closely follow the material in three recommended textbooks, two for classical mechanics and one for quantum mechanics. Notes will be provided when required to supplement the textbooks.

Overview of Assessment

Note that: This course has no hurdle requirements

Assessment tasks


Assessment Task 1:  Assignments

Weighting 25%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 and 4

Assessment Task 2:  Computational Project

Weighting 15%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Assessment Task 3:  Mid Semester Test

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Assessment Task 4: Examination

Weighting 40%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 and 4