PHYS 522 Mechanics
Current semester class files are listed here. Past semester files are listed here. Schedule can be found below.
PHYS522 – Mechanics – Spring 2009
Textbook: Classical Mechanics, John R.
Taylor
Suggested References: Analytic Mechanics, Fowles; Classical Mechanics, Goldstein; Wave Physics, Nettel; Mathematical Methods for Physicists, Arfken and Weber; Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems, Fifth Edition, Thorton and Marion
Instructor: Dr. Brian R. Washburn CW 36B, (785) 5322263 Office hours: M/W/F 9:3010:30 PM or by appt.
Purpose and Goals: The purpose of this course is to expose you to advanced formalisms of classical mechanics, thus introducing the foundation for other areas of physics. Another important purpose is to for you to develop a strong conceptual understanding of mechanics, and to develop the problemsolving techniques needed to handle sophisticated problems in classical mechanics.
The overall goals of this class are:
· Introducing “new” formalisms of classical mechanics and how these formalisms are related to other areas of physics.
· Expanding your current knowledge of mechanics.
· Introducing the concept of symmetry and its relationship to conservation principles.
· Developing essential mathematical and numerical methods and tools.
· Improving your writing and problemsolving skills
· Improving your conceptual understanding of mechanics, and your ability to communicate your knowledge.
Grading:
Exam 1 
100 pts 
200 pts 
Exam 2 
100 pts 

Final Exam 
300 pts 

Homework 
480 pts 

Quizzes 
20 

Total possible 
1000 pts 
Exams: There will be two exams plus a cumulative final exam. The exams will either be inclass or a take home exam, to be agreed upon by the class and instructor.
InClass Quizzes: Surprise quizzes on the reading material may be given during the lecture or recitation. The purpose of the quiz is the make you read the book before attending class.
Homework: It is expected that you will learn the course material mostly by completing the homework. Note that the course material will be challenging, so you will need to work hard on the homework to be successful. Homework assignments will be given approximately once per week and will take about 10 hours. Discussing the homework with your classmates is encouraged but you should be able to write up the assignment on your own. In the case when you get stuck on a problem, credit will be given for a statement indicating how your solution is incorrect.
Guidelines for the homework:
· Read the textbook before doing the homework
· Draw a detailed diagram, write down the given variables, and write out what is to be found.
· Think about the solution beforehand, and then see if the guess corresponds to your solution.
· Discuss the homework with your classmates but write the homework out on your own.
· Ask thoughtful questions if you get stuck.
· It is important for you, the scientist intraining, to learn how to communicate scientific information in a clear and precise manner. It is your responsibility to present the homework solutions in a readable and logical manner. If this is not done there will be a grade penalty.
Tentative Course Schedule, Mechanics PHYS 522, Spring 2008
Date 
L/R 
Topic 
Book 
Homework 
Jan. 17 (Th) 
L1 
Course introduction, review of Newton’s laws 
Ch. 1 

Jan. 21 (M) 

*** Student Holiday *** 


Jan. 22 (Tu) 
L2 
Forces and torques, linear and angular momenta 
Ch. 1 

Jan. 24 (Th) 
L3 
Cylindrical coordinates, projectile motion with air resistance 
Ch. 2 
HW1 Due 
Jan. 28 (M) 
R1 
Velocity and acceleration in different coordinate systems, HW1 


Jan. 29 (Tu) 
L4 
Linear and quadratic air resistance 
Ch. 2 

Jan. 31 (Th) 
L5 
Motion of a charge in a uniform magnetic field 
Ch. 2 
HW2 Due 
Feb. 4 (M) 
R2 
Introduction to differential equations, Go over HW2 


Feb. 5 (Tu) 
L6 
Conservation of momentum, center of mass 
Ch. 3 

Feb. 7 (Th) 
L7 
Angular momentum of single and several particles 
Ch. 3 
HW3 Due 
Feb. 11 (M) 
R3 
Numerical methods of integration, Go over HW3 


Feb. 12 (Tu) 
L8 
Work, kinetic energy and potential energy 
Ch. 4 

Feb. 14 (Th) 
L9 
Conservation of energy, force as the gradient of potential energy 
Ch. 4 

Feb. 18 (M) 
R4 
Numerical methods for differential equations 


Feb. 19 (Tu) 
L10 
Simple harmonic motion, phase space pictures 
Ch. 5 

Feb. 21 (Th) 
L11 
Damped oscillations and resonance 
Ch. 5 
HW5 Due 
Feb. 25 (M) 
R5 
The Fourier series 


Feb. 26 (Tu) 
L13 
Driven damped oscillations 
Ch. 5 

Feb. 28 (Th) 
L14 
More oscillations: frequency of small oscillations 
Ch. 5 
HW6 Due 
Mar. 3 (M) 
R6 
Review for Exam 1 


Mar. 4 (Tu) 

Exam 1 


Mar. 6 (Th) 
L15 
Nonlinear oscillations and chaos 
Ch. 12 

Mar. 10 (M) 
R7 
Go over Exam 1 


Mar. 11 (Tu) 
L16 
The calculus of variations 
Ch. 6 

Mar. 13 (Th) 
L17 
Lagrangian mechanics and Hamilton’s principle 
Ch. 7 
HW8 Due 


*** Spring Break: March 1721 *** 


Mar. 24 (M) 
R8 
Coupled differential equations, HW 8 


Mar. 25 (Tu) 
L18 
Generalized coordinates and constraints 
Ch. 7 

Mar. 27 (Th) 
L19 
Problems in Lagrangian mechanics: frequency of small oscillations 
Ch. 7 
HW9 Due 
Mar. 31 (M) 
R9 
Go over HW9 


Apr. 1 (Tu) 
L20 
Lagrangian multipliers and constraints 
Ch. 7 

Apr. 3 (Th) 
L21 
Conservation laws revisited!, Noether’s theorem 
Ch. 7 
HW 10 Due 
Apr. 7 (M) 
R10 
Go over HW10 


Apr. 8 (Tu) 
L22 
Hamiltonian dynamics, formalisms in physics 
Ch. 13 

Apr. 10 (Th) 
L23 
Twobody central force problems, reduced mass 
Ch. 8 
HW 11 Due 
Apr. 14 (M) 
R11 
Go over HW11, plotting potentials by hand 


Apr. 15 (Tu) 
L24 
Effective potentials, stable orbits 
Ch. 8 

Apr. 17 (Th) 
L25 
Kepler’s problem 
Ch. 8 
HW 12 Due 
Apr. 21 (M) 
R12 
Review for Exam 2 


Apr. 22 (Tu) 

Exam 2 


Apr. 24 (Th) 
L26 
Mechanics in noninertial reference frames 
Ch. 9 

Apr. 28 (M) 
R13 
Go over Exam 2 


Apr. 29 (Tu) 
L27 
Rotational motion of rigid bodies, moment of inertia tensor 
Ch 10 

May 1 (Th) 
L28 
Euler’s equations, gyroscopes 
Ch. 10 
HW 13 Due 
May 5 (M) 
R14 
Linear algebra: Eigenvectors and eigenvalues, HW13 


May 6 (Tu) 
L29 
Coupled oscillators 
Ch. 11 

May 8 (Th) 
L30 
Coupled oscillators and normal coordinates 
Ch. 11 
HW 14 Due 
May 15 (Th) 

Final Exam 9:40 a.m.  11:30 a.m. 

