• Offered by Physics Education Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Physics
  • Areas of interest Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, Theoretical Physics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Elena Ostrovskaya
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

This course is intended for advanced study of the theory of nonlinear dynamics and its application. The course covers theory of bifurcations, deterministic chaos, and complex spatio-temporal behaviour in a diverse range of physical systems. The theory is developed in a systematic manner and incorporates analytical methods, qualitative and quantitative analysis, numerical calculations, and various “real-life” examples, ranging from mechanical and biological systems to semiconductor physics and optics. The course therefore has a distinct inter- and intra-disciplinary flavour, allowing the students to tie together and contextualise a number of concepts that they have learned throughout their undergraduate studies.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Effectively use a range of theoretical methods for analyzing nonlinear dynamics;
  2. Employ a combination of analytical, geometrical, and numerical approaches for studying nonlinear effects;
  3. Identify the characteristic aspects of nonlinear oscillations and synchronization phenomena;
  4. Describe complex nonlinear dynamics by employing the universal principles of nonlinear bifurcations and routes to chaos;
  5. Understand the properties of nonlinear waves and localization;
  6. Develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, and apply these to a diverse range of practical multi-disciplinary nonlinear problems, spanning from mechanics to optics and solid-state physics;
  7. Understand and communicate the fundamental concepts covered in the course.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Two Problem Sets (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  2. Two Assignments (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6,7]
  3. Exam (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


2x1h lecture per week + 1x1.5h tutorial per week + homework (total up to 10 hours per week)

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be active in the PHYS-HSPC Physics Honours Specialisation Incompatible with PHYS8303

Prescribed Texts

S.H. Strogatz, Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos (E-book from ANU library)


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4225 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

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