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,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 1 2023

Course Coordinator: Nicolas Menicucci

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925

Course Coordinator Email:

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. Watching recorded 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. 

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies Course.

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Written assignments testing understanding of concepts
Weighting 40%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4

Assessment Task 2: Tutorial participation and submission of working
Weighting 10%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4

Assessment Task 3: In-class knowledge tests
Weighting 50%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, & 4

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.