Theoretical Mechanics

By Prof. Charudatt Kadolkar   |   IIT Guwahati
Learners enrolled: 506
This course has been designed based on the syllabus of a typical master's level at universities. It primarily focuses on analytical aspects of classical mechanics and is targeted towards the audience who are interested in pursuing research in Physics. Various formulations of mechanics, like the Lagrangian formulation, the Hamiltonian formulation, the Poisson bracket formulation will be taught in the course. The course also includes the applications of these formulations to central force problems, rigid body motion and small oscillations.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: First year of MSc or 2nd and 3rd year of BE/BTech in Engg Physics

PREREQUISITES:          Introduction to Newtonian Mechanics is desired.

Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Core
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Physics
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 25 Jul 2022
End Date : 14 Oct 2022
Enrollment Ends : 08 Aug 2022
Exam Date : 30 Oct 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Motion and Constraints, Generalized Coordinates, D’Alembert’s Principle of Virtual Work. 
Week 2: Variational Calculus, Hamilton’s Principle, Lagrangian Formulation. 
Week 3: Applications of Lagrangian Mechanics, Phase Space. 
Week 4:  Central Forces, Orbits, Kepler Motion.
Week 5: Central Forces, Scattering.
Week 6: Rigid Body Kinematics, Euler Angles, Rotating Frames.
Week 7:  Rigid Body Dynamics, Euler Equations.
Week 8: Small Oscillations. 
Week 9:  Phase Space, Hamilton’s Equations of Motion.
Week 10: Cannonical Transformations, Cannonical invariants, Symplectic Approach to CT. 
Week 11:  Poisson Bracket Formulation, Symmetry groups of Mechanical Systems, Liouville’s Theorem.
Week 12:  Hamilton Jacobi Theory, Hamilton’s Principal Fucntion, Action-Angle variables.

Books and references

  1. Classical Mechanics (3 rd Ed) by Goldstein, Poole and Safko 
  2. Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Mechanics by Calkin
  3. Mechanics by Landau and Lifshitz

Instructor bio

Prof. Charudatt Kadolkar

IIT Guwahati
Prof. Charudatt Kadolkar graduated from IIT Bombay and completed his PhD in Physics, also at IIT Bombay. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship, he joined IIT Guwahati in 1995. He has been teaching Physics at various levels for past 22 years. His primary research interest is condensed matter physics.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 30 October 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Guwahati. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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