PHYSICS 505 - Mechanics
Time and day: 9:30-10:20 MWF
Instructor: Prof. Stephen D. Ellis
Office: B401 (PAB)
Office Hours: Tu 4-5:30 PM
TA: Ahmet Keles
To send email to everyone in the class use - firstname.lastname@example.org
You may find it informative and entertaining to watch the 1964 Messenger Lectures by Richard Feynman now available on the web courtesy of Microsoft (some of the material is relevant to this course)
Texts: 1) Theoretical Mechanics of Particles and Continua, by Alexander L. Fetter and John Dirk Walecka (Dover reprint series); 2) Chaotic Dynamics: An Introduction, by Gregory L. Baker, J. P. Gollub (Cambridge University Press; 2 edition, 1996).
Comments: These texts together will allow us to cover (“rapidly”) the usual topics of classical mechanics (see the syllabus) and an introduction to chaotic behavior. (The good news is that both books are available in paperback at reasonable prices.) To help you handle the quantity of material I will provide lecture notes on the web, i.e., you should print out the notes or read them on your computer, Kindle or iPad. While some of the material will be familiar, we will want to focus on topics you likely have not seen in the typical undergraduate course. As part of your preparation for the rest of your graduate studies, we will make solving nontrivial physics problems (i.e., the homework and the exams) a high priority. Note that covering classical mechanics in 10 weeks will be a challenge for all of us. A list of reference texts (including more standard graduate level course texts) is provided here. I am hoping to proceed somewhat more quickly than last year (to have more time for “Chaos”), but that will depend on our ability to demonstrate mastery of the (“more familiar”) material in the beginning.
The proposed Syllabus can be found here.
The proposed Exam/Homework schedule is here.
Handout I (with the above material) is here
Lecture Notes -
Lecture 1 (9/29/10, 10/1/10, 10/4/10) Introduction and Review: Newton’s Laws, Conserved Quantities and Systems of N Particles
similar to my notebook.
Here are some Animations -
Orbit in 1/r potential Orbit in HO potential
Lecture 3 (10/11/10) Inertial Reference Frames
Lecture 4 (10/13/10, 10/15/10) Non-Inertial Reference Frames
Lecture 4 Appendix—Ex. 2.6 in F&W, second order expansion (in w) of motion near the surface of the earth.
Lecture 5 (10/15/10, 10/18/10, 10/20/10) The Methods of Lagrange I
Mathematica notebook for Calculus of Variations and Lagrange
Lecture 6 (10/20/10, 10/22/10) More on Coordinate Transformations and Constraints – Lagrange II
Mathematica notebook for 2 sample problems
Lecture 7 (10/25/10, 10/27/10) The Methods of Lagrange III – Symmetries and Hamiltonians
Lecture 9 (11/1/10,11/3/10) Small Oscillation in Large N Systems
HW Autumn 2010
MidTerm Exam Friday 11/5/10
You are encouraged to use Mathematica whenever it will be helpful with the HW, and Learn to use it in your other work. Information on using Mathematica at the UW can be found here and also in the Primer. You may also find it useful to look at the Microsoft supplied Hands-on Intro, which is best viewed while running the demo within Mathematica.