| Fall 2008
||Tu. & Thurs. 9:30 - 10:45 AM ,
|| Daniel Finley
||(P451-054) Problem Session:
|| Tues.: 7:00 - 8:50 PM ,
|| PandA 184
||Isaac Newton (1642-1727)||
Introduction to the Class
This is the beginning of a 2-semester general
introduction to phenomena associated with the
name classical mechanics,
which includes at least Newton's, Lagrange's, and Hamilton's approaches to
oscillatory motions, two-body motions, and rotational motion of rigid bodies,
as well as the more modern studies of nonlinear mechanics and chaotic motion.
We will use a recently-published text which seems quite good, with a good mix
of the very classical parts of our subject combined with introductions to the
modern research still continuing on nonlinear problems:
Over the course of the two semesters we plan to cover all the 16 chapters of the text,
as well as two or three
interesting topics that I will pull from other places.
|| Classical Mechanics,
John R. Taylor; published by University Science Books.
This publisher has an interesting website, http://www.uscibooks.com,
when you get there you must still do a title search for our particular text.
For this first semester, the goal is the first 9 chapters, plus the first half of chapter 13.
The class introduction contains a rather detailed
description of the text, of the way the class will proceed, the details of the homework assignments,
the Bonus Homework, the examinations, and the grading system.
The course Syllabus is a week-by-week
description of what I currently believe the schedule of the course will be, including the
timing of all the exams, which are given during the time of the problem session, on Tuesday evening.
In particular, you should use this Syllabus
as a reading guide for your text,
being very sure to read the material in the text
BEFORE the lecture, and then again afterwards, always noting any questions you have, so that you can ask
for answers to them.
My Office: Physics & Astronomy Bldg., 800 Yale Boulevard, Room 168
Telephone: 277-8799 ;
- Office Hours:
The class has a Teaching
Assistant, Prabhakar Palni, who will also help with the nighttime Problem
Sessions, and the grading of homework problems.
- my formal office hours are after class,
from 11 to 12, and also Wedn. afternoon from 2 to 3 pm.
- in my office, at ANY time that you
come by and I am there without other people;
- I am happy to talk with you about physics, math, or how they
relate to the world, your text, and/or your assigned homework!
He will be available for discussions and/or
questions, holding office hours, in his office, Room 1154, from 11 to 12 noon on Fridays.
You may also send him email
here, suggesting an alternate time
and place for you to meet with him.
The problem session, P. 451-054, is very important, and you must
take it as well; it is 1 credit hour and is graded CR/NC.
It will be very important for help with the problems, and especially
with mathematical difficulties that you may have.
I will use some of that time to provide help for you with new mathematical applications,
which you may not recall well from your mathematics classes,
and for some help with using computer programs to numerically solve differential equations and
create graphical output.
Also note that the examinations are given at this time, on those 4 days when we have exams.
Below are comments concerning requirements for the course. Please see the
course information webpage for much more information:
Links to the homework solutions are provided on the homework assignment pages. They
should be available after the class in which you have turned them in.
There will be homework assignments due on Tuesdays, and also Thursdays, to be turned in at the beginning
of the class. Many of these assignments will include
problems which require a computer to complete, using some form of programming.
There will also
be a few Bonus Homework Problems over the course of the semester: they are
both more difficult and more interesting. Their grade goes on top of the average
for all regular homework assignments, so that you could end up with a homework
average higher than 100%
be four examinations, all of which
will be given during the time for the problem session of the appropriate week,
as noted in the Syllabus.
Lastly, there will be a final examination, at the standard, announced time, which
will be comprehensive over the semester, but with an emphasis on the material since
the previous exam.
Assigned Homework will be very important in your process of learning
the material being discussed. Therefore, it will
count 20% of your
final course grade. The assignments are put up as they are created,
on the series of webpages listed below. Be sure to tell me if I have
forgotten to put up on time:
homework sets I, preparing for the first exam;
homework sets II, preparing for the second exam;
homework sets III, preparing for the third Exam.
homework sets IV, preparing for the fourth Exam.
homework sets V, preparing for the Final Exam.
Some of the homework problems will require the use of computer software capable of
creating numerical solutions to differential equations, creating good plots, and of performing algebraic computations
for ordinary and matrix algebra, such as MATLAB, Maple, or Mathematica.
I will be giving yet additional help sessions, with Maple and/or MATLAB, for those who need help with these techniques.
Links will be inserted below to various "demonstrations" shown in class, on the computer:
- the Greek alphabet, an amusing, or perhaps helpful, description
- this is a list of useful integrals involving inverse
trigonometric and hyperbolic functions.
- Maple files that demonstrate particular, useful things one might want it to do:
They are presented as html-files, which can simply be viewed,
and also as actual maple files [.mws], which one must download, rather than view,
and then use in a Maple program.
- Plotting simple graphs: HTML-version, or
Maple (11) version.
- Creating graphs for (2-dimensional) projectiles under gravity with linear air drag:
HTML-version, or Maple (10) version
- Creating graphs for (2-dimensional) projectiles under gravity with quadratic air drag:
HTML-version, or Maple (10) version
Note that these graphs require the numerical solution of a coupled pair of ordinary differential
- Here are some graphs of Phase Plane plots
for some sample harmonic oscillators, a Maple file version,
or an HTML version.
undamped, underdamped, critically damped, and overdamped.
- Graphs showing comparisons of the behavior of the
relative coordinate, the coordinate for the first body, and that for the second body,
for various (bound) motions for a two-body, attractive, central force.
There is a
downloadable Maple file, which will have to be downloaded and then run as a Maple program,
or an HTML version, which one can simply view.
However, since the Maple File shows the orbits as animations, where one can actually watch the motion of
the three bodies (including the relative one), the html version shows these animations as moving gif-files,
so that one may watch them orbiting there as well.
- Extra notes are presented here, to describe the role of the eccentric
anomaly in planetary motion.
- Some additional notes are here, which describe the Jupiter flyby for a
spacecraft on its way toward the outer reaches of the solar system.
- Some more detailed notes are here, which describe the effect of the tides on the Earth,
generated by the moon or the sun.
- A graph of the potential energy equipotentials for the restricted 3-body problem
is available here.
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Last updated/modified: 9 September, 2008
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