PHYSICS 321 - Classical Mechanics I

Spring 2002

Prof. Norman Birge


Office:  126D PA, 353-8746

 Click here for the homework and exam schedule

Course Information

Office Hours: Tuesday 2:00 - 4:00pm, or by appointment. 
Lectures: MWF, 3:00-3:50pm, Room 120 Physics & Astronomy (PA)
Required Text: Classical Dynamics, J.B. Marion and S.T. Thornton, 4th edition
Homework: There will be 11 assignments due on Wednesdays at the beginning of class.  The lowest homework score will be dropped when calculating your final grade.  You are welcome to consult with your peers when doing your homework, but you are responsible for completing the problems yourself.  Copying somebody else's homework is not acceptable.
Grader: Rahmi Unalan, (office hours by appointment)
Exams:  There will be 3 midterm exams and a final.  The dates for the midterm exams are Feb. 11, March 18, and April 15.  The final exam is Monday, April 29 at 3:00pm.  All exams are closed book.  The final exam will be cumulative.
Grades: Homework      25%             Maximum grade cut-offs:  >90%  4.0      >66%  2.0
Midterm #1     15%                                                     >84%  3.5      >60%  1.5
Midterm #2     15%                                                     >78%  3.0      >54%  1.0
Midterm #3     15%                                                     >72%  2.5      <54%  0.0
Final Exam      30%       These cut-offs may be lowered, but they won't be raised.
I may assign a computer-based project.  If so, it will count for 10% of your grade, and I will reduce the homework and midterm fractions of your grade. 
Course Outline: We will cover chapters 1-5, 8, and 9 of Marion and Thornton.  Much of the subject matter of classical mechanics will be familiar to you from Physics 183 or 193H, but will be treated here at a higher level of mathematical sophistication.  Some topics, such as nonlinear oscillations and chaos, will be completely new to you. 

This page is maintained by N. Birge, email:

Last updated 1/7/2002