Spring 2017 Lecture: Mon., Wedn., and Friday. 11:00 - 11:50 AM , PandA 5
  P314:  the required Problem Session: Friday: 12:00 - 12:50 PM , PandA 184  
Joseph 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 will use a text different from the one used in P. 303. While both are good, and both will be valuable to you in future years, this one seems quite good to me, with a mix of the very classical parts of our subject combined with introductions to the modern research still continuing on nonlinear problems and chaotic motions:

    Classical Mechanics,    John R. Taylor;     published by University Science Books.
   This publisher has an interesting website,, although
when you get there you must still do a title or author search for our particular text. Once there, they offer discounted prices.
Over the course of the semester we plan to cover at least chapters 9 - 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 tries to 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.

Especially as we are changing instructors and texts "mid-stream," the Syllabus is still under construction. You are encouraged to help with details of it!)
therefore, you should consult it regularly, for updates and/or changes. It will definitely be added to from time to time.

My Office: Physics & Astronomy Bldg., 800 Yale Boulevard, Room 168
Telephone:     277-8799 ;     email:

Office Hours:
The class has Sukeert as a Teaching Assistant, who will help with the afternoon Problem Sessions as well.
He will also be available for discussions and/or questions, holding office hours in the department lobby, from 2-3 pm on Wednesday afternoons.
You may also send him email by clicking here, suggesting a time and place for you to meet with him.

The problem session, P. 314, is very important, and you must attend it as well. Iit is 1 credit hour and is graded CR/NC; I truly don't care if you are registered, BUT I care that you come, so why not register!
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 periodc, on those 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.

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: 21 March, 2017

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