Analytical Mechanics and Field Theory (FYS500)

The course gives an introduction to classical mechanics and field theory, Lagrange and Hamilton formalism.

Course description for study year 2023-2024. Please note that changes may occur.


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction



Introduction to variational calculus and the Lagrange multiplier method. Hamilton’s variational principle and the Lagrange formulation of mechanics. Symmetries and conservation laws. Applications, including motion in central fields, dynamics of rigid bodies, oscillations, and the Lagrangian formulation of special relativity. Hamilton’s formulation of mechanics.

Continuous systems and fields, the Lagrange and Hamilton formulations of mechanics of continuous systems. Conservation laws for fields, the energy-momentum tensor. Overview of important classical field theories, Maxwell’s electrodynamics as a relativistic field theory.

Learning outcome

After completing the course, the student should:

K1: Have knowledge of the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of classical mechanics, and core applications of these formalisms.

K2: Have knowledge of relativistic mechanics and its range of validity.

K3: Have knowledge of classical field theory, including specific field theories that occur in our description of Nature.

F1: Be able to apply the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalism to moderately advanced mechanical systems, derive the equations of motion and solve them.

F2: Be able to analyse and solve classical mechanics problems involving rotating rigid bodies.

F3: Be able to analyse select central applications in detail using the Lagrangian formalism.

G1: Have an understanding of how the topics of the course (Lagrangian, Hamiltonian, relativistic, field theory mechanics) fit into and connect different areas of physics, including Newtonian mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics and field theory applications.

Required prerequisite knowledge


Recommended prerequisites

FYS100 Mechanics, FYS300 Electromagnetism and Special Relativity, MAT100 Mathematical Methods 1


Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written exam 1/1 4 Hours Letter grades Specified printed and hand-written means are allowed

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Tomas Brauner

Head of Department:

Bjørn Henrik Auestad

Method of work

6 hours of lectures and exercises per week.

Open for

Admission to Single Courses at the Faculty of Science and Technology Robot Technology and Signal Processing - Master's Degree Programme Mathematics and Physics - Master of Science Degree Programme Mathematics and Physics - Five Year Integrated Master's Degree Programme

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital course evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


The syllabus can be found in Leganto