PHYSICS 304

Spring 2009 Lecture: Tues. & Thurs. 9:30 - 10:50 AM , PandA 184 Daniel Finley
  (P451-054) Problem Session: Tues.: 7:00 - 8:50 PM , PandA 184  
   
Lagrange (1736-1813)  Isaac Newton (1642-1727)  Sofia Kovalevskaya (1850-1891)
 

Introduction to the Class

This is the second half of a 2-semester general introduction to phenomena associated with the name classical mechanics,
which, this semester, will include coupled oscillatory motions, rotational motion of rigid bodies, scattering theory,
as well as an introduction to phenomena that only have azimuthal symmetry,
and the more modern studies of nonlinear mechanics and chaotic motion.

We are using 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:

    Classical Mechanics,    John R. Taylor;     published by University Science Books.
   This publisher has an interesting website, http://www.uscibooks.com, although
when you get there you must still do a title search for our particular text.
Over the course of the semester we plan to cover at least chapters 10-13 and parts of Chs. 14 and 16, as well as two or three interesting topics that I may pull from other places, and, maybe some of Ch. 15.
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 will be a week-by-week description of what I currently believe the schedule of the course will be, including the timing of all the exams. 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.
This is a new text, for both you and me, so it is worthwhile noting that the Syllabus is still under construction, with your help, hopefully;
therefore, you should consult it regularly, for updates and/or changes.
It will definitely be added to from time to time, as noted there.

My Office: Physics & Astronomy Bldg., 800 Yale Boulevard, Room 168
Telephone:     277-8799 ;     email:     finley@tagore.phys.unm.edu

Office Hours:
The class has David Vrba as a Teaching Assistant, who will help with the nighttime Problem Sessions as well.
He will also be available for discussions and/or questions, from 3-4 pm on Wednesday afternoons, in his office, Room 1144.
You may also send him email by clicking here, suggesting a 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.
Also note that the examinations are given at this time, on those 3 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.

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.

Links will be inserted below of three sorts:

  1. Handouts for extra material not in the text, but covered in class.
  2. Links to various "demonstrations" shown in class, on the computer:
    They are Maple files that demonstrate particular, useful things one might want it to do:
    Some of them 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. Others are simply the downloadable Maple programs.
  3. Links to other websites of use for the course.


Below you will find various weblinks to interesting things happening in physics and astronomy.

Links to Exciting Physics News

Updated as I find time.

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  Last updated/modified: 20 December, 2008


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