Classical Mechanics

PHY 540 (Sections D and HI), Fall Semester,
August
22 - December 12, 2007

In this class we will study classical mechanics, including some novel methods which I have found to be interesting and useful in other areas of theoretical physics.

According to the course catalog, in PHY540 we
should cover: the
Lagrangian formulation, rigid body dynamics, and topics
selected from fluid dynamics, non-linear oscillations, normal
modes, and phase plane analysis. Well ... maybe ... but we will
certainly discuss Lagrangian and
Hamiltonian theory.

Discussions or make-ups:

Office and hours:

325 Knight Physics Bldg., by appointment (phone: 284 - 2324 ext 4; email: curtright@physics.miami.edu).

Grading policy:

Your grade will be based with equal weight on each of

- the complete set of graded homework problems,
- the midterm exam,
- and the final exam.

Theoretical Mechanics of Particles and Continua, A L Fetter and J D Walecka

Other recommended material:

My notes, and the following supplemental textbooks.

Foundations of Mechanics, R Abraham and J E Marsden

Newton's Principia for the Common Reader, S. Chandrasekhar

Useful internet software sites:

(1) Maple

(2) Mathematica (see especially the free information on the MathWorld and Functions pages)

(3) Scientific WorkPlace (free 30 day trial version!)