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Department of
                        Physics
Undergraduate Courses

Physics 311, Spring 2012: Mechanics


Textbook: "Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems, 5th Edition" by Stephen T. Thornton and Jerry B. Marion (placed on physics library reserve).

Lecture notes and mathematica files are in this folder.

Schedule (subject to change)

Textbook reading.
Week 1
Mon.
01/23
Coordinates. Scalars and vectors. Vector transformations. 1.1-1.9
Wed. 01/25 Matrices.Differentiation. Gradient operator. Integration of vectors. 1.13-1.17
Fri.
01/27
Newton's Laws. 2.1-2.3
Week 2
Mon. 01/30
The equation of motion for particles. 2.4
Wed. 02/01
Conservation theorems. Energy. Angular momentum. 2.5-2.6
Fri. 02/03 Period of oscillations.  Numerical Solution of equations of motion. 2.5-2.6
Week 3
Mon.
02/06
Damped Harmonic Oscillator.
3.1-3.5
Wed. 02/08 Driving sinusoidal forces. Resonance. 3.6
Fri. 02/10 Principle of superposition.  3.8
Week 4

Mon. 02/13
Impulsive forces. Green's function. 3.9
Wed. 02/15
Fourier Series. Green's function in frequency presentation. 3.9
Fri. 02/17
Variational approach.
7.1
Week 5

Mon.
02/20
Hamilton's principle. Lagrange's Equations of motion.  7.1
Wed.
02/22
Constraints. Forces of constraints. 7.2
Fri. 02/24
Generalized coordinates and momenta.
7.3, 7.4
Week 6

Mon. 02/27
Conservation theorems. 7.1
Wed. 02/29
Midterm 1. Ch. 1-2
Fri. 03/02
Canonical Equations of Motion. Hamiltonian Dynamics.
Week 7

Mon.
03/05
Phase Space. Liouville theorem. Virial Theorem. 7.12, 7.8, 7.13
Wed. 03/07
Central Force Motion. Conservation Theorems.  8.1-8.4
Fri. 03/09
Equations of orbital motion. 8.5-8.7
Week 8

Mon. 03/12
Kepler's problem. 8.5-8.7
Wed. 03/14
Planetary motion. Kepler's laws. 8.5-8.7
Fri. 03/16
Linear and Angular Momenta of the System. Energy of the System. 9.1-9.5
Week 9
Mon. 03/19
Elastic Collisions of Two Particles. 9.6-9.10
Wed. 03/21
Scattering Cross-Section. Scattering off a hard sphere. 9.10
Fri. 03/23
Scattering in a Coulomb Potential. Rutherford scattering formula. 9.11
Week 10 
Mon. 03/26
Rocket Motion. 10.1-10.4
Wed. 03/28
Midterm 2.

Fri. 03/30
Rocket Motion: applications to orbital motion.
Week 11 (Spring Break 3/31-4/08)

Mon. 04/09
Coupled Oscillators. 12.1-12.5
Wed. 04/11
Normal Coordinates. Orthogonality of Eigenmodes. 12.6
Fri. 04/13
Molecular Vibrations. 12.7
Week 12
Mon. 04/16
Vibrations of a String. 12.9
Wed. 04/18
Energy of Vibrating String. Motion of a String. 12.9, 13.3
Fri. 04/20
Continuos medium: waves. 13.1-13.4
Week 13
Mon. 04/23
Motion Relative to the Earth. 10.1-10.3
Wed. 04/25
Noninertial Reference Frames. Motion Relative to the Earth. 10.4
Fri. 04/27
Midterm 3. Chapters 8,9,12
Week 14
Mon. 04/30
Dynamics of Rigid Bodies. Inertial Tensor. Principal Axes. 11.1-11.4
Wed. 05/02
Euler's equations of Motion.  Stability of Rigid-Body Rotations. 11.5-11.7
Fri. 05/04
Stability of Rotations.

Week 15
Mon.
05/07
Classically Chaotic Systems.

Wed.
05/09
Stochastic Systems.
Fri.
05/11












Final exam due (TBA)
 


 

 


Last updated: 04/07/2011
 


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