- Prof. Justin H. Wilson
- Email: email@example.com
- Pronouns: He/They
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Classical mechanics sets the groundwork for the study of physics: From particles, to materials, to celestial bodies. The ideas and techniques have resounding implications. For example, the principle of least action we will develop has profound origins within quantum theory and chaotic dynamics is precisely defined (though still being understood). Lastly, we will be building intuition for physical problems as well as mathematical intuition which are applicable outside of the particulars of this course.
- Lectures: T/Th 10:30am-11:50am, 106 Nicholson
- Office Hours: W 10:30am-12:00pm or by appointment
- Lagrangian Mechanics
- Symmetries and Conservation Laws
- The central force problem
- Hamiltonian Mechanics
- Rigid body dynamics
- Chaotic dynamics (subject to time availability)
Main course text: Classical Mechanics, 3rd ed. by Goldstein, Poole, and Safko. Corrections at http://astro.physics.sc.edu/goldstein/
- Mechanics by L.D. Landau and E.M. Lifshitz
- Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics, 2nd ed. by V.I. Arnold
- Theoretical Mechanics of Particles and Continua by Fetter and Walecka
- Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos by Strogatz
Exams, homeworks, and grades
The breakdown of grades will be
- 35% Homework
- 25% Midterm
- 40% Final exam Practice exam
Midterm - Oct 18 in class
The midterm will cover the content of the first six homeworks (Lagrangian mechanics, constraints, the central force problem, Noether’s theorem, scattering, and small oscillations).
Every homework will have one question taking from the test bank for the qualifier.
You can work on the homework in groups, but everyone needs to write-up their own solutions. When stepping through logic and math, use complete sentences and explain what you are doing.
- Homework 1 (Due Sept 6): pdf / tex Corrections due Oct 12 at 3:00pm solutions
- Homework 2 (Due Sept 13): pdf / tex Corrections due Oct 12 at 3:00pm solutions
- Homework 3 (Due Sept 20): pdf / tex Corrections due Oct 12 at 3:00pm solutions
- Homework 4 & 5 (Due Oct 4): pdf / tex Corrections due at latest Oct 25 in class solutions
- Homework 6 (Due Oct 12 at 3:00pm): pdf / tex Corrections due at latest Nov 3 in class solutions
- Homework 7 (Due Nov 1): pdf / tex Corrections due Dec 1 solutions
- Homework 8 (Due Nov 8): pdf / tex Corrections due Dec 1 solutions
- Homework 9 (Due Nov 15): pdf / tex Corrections due Dec 9 by 5:00pm solutions
- Homework 10 (Due Nov 22): pdf / tex Corrections due Dec 9 by 5:00pm solutions
- Homework 11 (Due Dec 1): pdf / tex Corrections due Dec 9 by 5:00pm solutions
Typical due dates for homeworks will be Tuesday at the beginning of class unless otherwise specified. Late homework will be counted but at most 50% of points can be obtained.
Revisiting homework: To obtain 50% of the points lost in a homework assignment, you may “correct” your homework problems. This should not be done in a group or outside consultation. Example: If you score 72/100 points, you can correct what you got wrong for a maximum of 86/100 points.