PHY 820: Classical Mechanics

Fall Semester 2000 Syllabus

Michael J. Harrison
304 Physics and Astronomy Building
(517) 355-9278

Office Hours:
Tuesday and Thursday 1:45 - 2:45 pm
Room 304 Physics and Astronomy Building

Monday, Wednesday and Friday 11:30 - 12:20 pm
Room 317 Physics and Astronomy Building

"Classical Dynamics - A Contemporary Approach"
by Jorge V. Jose and Eugene J. Saletan
Cambridge University Press 1998
ISBN 0-521-63636-1 (paperback)

Topics To Be Discussed:
1.    Brief review of Newtonian classical mechanics
2.    Lagrangian formulation of mechanics:  central force motion; constratins
3.    Variational principles, symmetries, conservation laws;  Noether's Theorem
4.    Scattering
5.    Normal Modes and small oscillations
6.    Hamiltonian formulation of mechanics and canonical transformations
7.    Hamilton - Jacobi theory;  action-angle variables
8.    Rigid body motion;  Euler's equations
9.    Continuum dynamics and introduction to classical field theory

Homework is 20% of the course grade.
*Note: Each Wednesday, the homework assigned on days of the previous week will be collected at the beginning of the class, except the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Holiday begins, when it will be collected on Monday instead.

Midterm Exams:
There will be two one-hour exams, each worth 15% of the course grade.

Final Exam:
There will be a three (3) hour final exam, worth 50% of the course grade.  It will be administered and graded by 3 members of the Graduate Subject Exam Committee.

Course Description:
   Classical Mechanics
   Only offered in Fall Semester
   3 credits ( 3 hr lecture, 0 hr lab)
Two-body central force problem, Hamilton's principle, Lagrangian
and Hamiltonian equations of motion, variational methods, small
oscillations, classical fields.

- updated: 2000.08.28 (Monday) 11:26:41 EDT-