PHY 711 Classical Mechanics

MWF 11-11:50 AM OPL 107

Instructor: Natalie Holzwarth Phone:758-5510Office:300 OPL

General Information

This course is a one semester survey of Classical Mechanics at the graduate level, using the textbook: Theoretical Mechanics of Particles and Continua by Alexander L. Fetter and John Dirk Walecka (McGraw-Hill, 1980) (now published by Dover ) -- F&W.

It is likely that your grade for the course will depend upon the following factors:

Problem sets*


Computational project




*In general, there will a new assignment after each lecture, so that for optimal learning, it would be best to complete each assignment before the the next scheduled lecture. According to the honor system, all work submitted for grading purposes should represent the student's own best efforts.

Students should be confident that there is a contingency plan in place for continuing this class in the unlikely event of a major emergency. This plan includes the distribution of course materials by the web or by mail and the appropriate rescheduling of exams.

Course schedule

(Preliminary schedule -- subject to frequent adjustment.)
DateF&W ReadingTopicAssignment
Wed, 8/23/06Chap. 1 Review of basic principles;Scattering theory #1
Fri, 8/25/06Chap. 1Scattering theory continued #2
Mon, 8/28/06Chap. 1Scattering theory continued #3
Wed, 8/30/06Chap. 2Accelerated reference frames #4
Fri, 9/01/06Chap. 2Foucault pendulum #5
Mon, 9/04/06Chap. 3Calculus of variation
Mon, 9/06/06Chap. 3Calculus of variation #6
Fri, 9/08/06Chap. 3D'Alembert's principle #7
Mon, 9/11/06Chap. 3Lagrangian for magnetic forces
Wed, 9/13/06Chap. 3Lagrangian with contraints #8
Fri, 9/15/06Chap. 3Hamiltonian #9
Mon, 9/18/06Chap. 6Hamiltonian #10
Wed, 9/20/06Chap. 6Hamiltonian
Fri, 9/22/06Chap. 6Hamiltonian #11
Mon, 9/25/06Chap. 6Hamiltonian-Jacobi #12
Wed, 9/27/06Chap. 4Small oscillations #13
Fri, 9/29/06Chap. 4Normal modes
Mon, 10/2/06Chap. 4Normal modes Take Home Exam
Wed, 10/4/06Chap. 4Normal modes Take Home Exam
Fri, 10/6/06Chap. 5Rigid body motion Take Home Exam
Mon, 10/9/06Chap. 5Rigid body motion #14
Wed, 10/11/06Chap. 5Euler Angles
Fri, 10/13/06Fall Break
Mon, 10/16/06Chap. 5Rigid body motion #15
Wed, 10/18/06Chap. 9Fluids and sound waves #16
Fri, 10/20/06Chap. 9Fluids and sound waves #17
Mon, 10/23/06Chap. 9Fluids and sound waves #18
Wed, 10/25/06Chap. 9Sound waves #19
Fri, 10/27/06Chap. 9Sound waves #20
Mon, 10/30/06Chap. 9Sound waves
Wed, 11/01/06Chap. 10Water waves #21
Fri, 11/03/06Chap. 10Water waves #22
Mon, 11/06/06Chap. 10Solitary Waves
Wed, 11/08/06Chap. 10Solitary Waves
Fri, 11/10/06Chap. 10Solitary Waves Take home exam
Mon, 11/13/06Chap. 7Sturm-Liouville equations Take home exam
Wed, 11/15/06Chap. 7Sturm-Liouville equations Take home exam
Fri, 11/17/06Chap. 7Sturm-Liouville equations Take home exam
Mon, 11/20/06Chap. 7Sturm-Liouville equations
Wed, 11/22/06Thanksgiving break
Fri, 11/24/06Thanksgiving break
Mon, 11/27/06Chap. 7Laplace transform
Wed, 11/29/06Presentations
Fri, 12/01/06Presentations

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Last modfied: Thursday, 14-Dec-2006 13:43:20 EST