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Unit Overview


This unit builds on a solid foundation of mathematics and physics established in an undergraduate Physics major. The unit is comprised of the following two related 18 lecture modules with their objectives below: (i) Mechanics and Symmetry; and (ii) Group theory and Physics.

The general aims of Mechanics and Symmetry are:

(a) To study Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of classical mechanics.

(b) To introduce of (the space-time) symmetries of dynamical systems and uncover their dynamical implications.

(c) To study several important exactly solved problems (including the Kepler problem).

The general aims of Mechanics and Symmetry Group theory and Physics are:

(a) The study basic concepts of group theory and some applications for the description of physical phenomena.

(b) To introduce the groups which most often occur in physical applications.

(c) To introduce the concepts of Lie groups and Lie algebras, and their applications.

(d) To study elements of the theory of group representations.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours option in Mathematics and Statistics; Physics [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]

Students are able to (1) communicate the central ideas and concepts involved in classical mechanics, symmetries and group theory.; (2) explain the relationships between the physical principles that apply in classical mechanics, symmetries and group theory; and (3) solve advanced problems in theoretical physics in the context of classical mechanics, symmetries and group theory..


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments and (2) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Sergei Kuzenko
Unit rules
Enrolment in in the
HON-MTHST Mathematics and Statistics [Honours]
or the HON-PHYSC Physics [Honours]
or the CM015 Bachelor of Science [Frontier Physics] and Master of Physics
or the 53560 Master of Physics
completion of the core units in the Physics major or equivalent
Advisable prior study
PHYS3011 Mathematical Physics
Contact hours
Lectures: 3 x 45 minutes per week
Practical Classes: 1 x 45 minutes per week.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.