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Physics 410: Classical Mechanics
Spring 2010 — Professor Shawhan
Course topics:
Intermediate applications of Newton’s laws; momentum and energy; damped and driven oscillations;
nonlinear dynamics and chaos; calculus of variations; Lagrangian mechanics; Hamiltonian mechanics;
central force problems; collision theory; noninertial frames; general motion of rigid bodies; coupled
oscillators and normal modes; special relativity; wave equations.
Prerequisites:
PHYS 374 (Intermediate Theoretical Methods)
MATH 241, 246, and 240 (Calculus III, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra)
or, alternatively, MATH 340 and 341
Lectures:
Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00–11:50, and Fridays from 10:00–11:50 (including a break!).
All lectures will be in room 0405 of the Physics Building.
Class attendance is strongly encouraged,
of course, but is not strictly required.
I do not attempt to keep records of class attendance.
Required textbook:
“Classical Mechanics” by John R. Taylor.
The ISBN number is 9781891389221.
We will cover
most of the book, but not all sections of every chapter.
I will try to remember to be clear about what
sections you will be reading and what will be covered on the exams.
I have made a complete schedule
for the course, but it is subject to change depending on how the course goes.
Homework:
There will normally be one homework assignment per week to be turned in and graded.
Feel free to
work on the homework with one or more classmates; however, to ensure that you really do learn the
material (and will therefore do well on the exams), please follow this simple rule:
do not ever look at
another student’s written solution before writing yours.
Verbal discussion of how to solve a
problem, and sketching together on scratch paper or a blackboard, are fine since they can help you learn
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 Fall '11
 Jacobson
 mechanics, Energy, Momentum, The Land, Weekday names, School terminology, Hamiltonian mechanics

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