Course: PHYS 520 Graduate Classical Mechanics

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Heidi Fearn

TEXT:

Notes will be handed out in class. I am recommending the standard graduate text by Goldstein Classical Mechanics. You will also be making use of Tables of integrals, mathematical handbooks. Marion and Thornton is also very good.

EXAMS/PROBLEMS:

There will be one midterm and a final exam, the midterm is worth 45% and the final worth 55%. Problems will be assigned on a regular basis and will be taken from the book and hand out problems. Each assignment will be given to you in xerox form. I will NOT grade these problems and I DO NOT expect them to be handed in. You will receive answers after a week.

COURSE CONTENT:

Notes will be available in class to supplement the course. If I see something interesting in the literature we may work on it in class. I may suggest a project which will then count towards the course up to 20% of the grade. In this case the midterm will be 35% and the final 45% of the total grade.

Lagrange mechanics (many examples)

Hamiltonian mechanics (Legrendre Transform)

Rigid body motion

Non inertial frames, rotating systems (Euler angles)

Central forces and some celestial mechanics

Normal modes and simple oscillations.. stability analysis

Some topic from the literature/paper