PHY 422/820 - Classical Mechanics

Fall 2014


Lagrangian mechanics. Variational methods. Coupled oscillations. Noninertial frames. Two-body central force problem. Hamilton's mechanics. Nonlinear dynamics. Continuous systems.

Lectures: MWF 11:30am-12:20pm in 1420 BPS
Recitations: TuTh 6:10-7:10pm in A158 PSS

Lecture Schedule



Pawel Danielewicz, Lecturer
Phone: (517) 908-7330, 5-9672 x 330 from campus
Office: Cyclotron Trailer T2/Rm 7
Office hour: Tue 3-4pm (or by appointment)

Kirill Moskovtsev, Recitation Instructor
Phone: (517) 884-5672, 4-5672 from campus
Office: BPS 4240
QiWang.jpg Qi Wang, Grader (from 10/20 on)
Office hour: Thu 3:10-4:10pm
at the Lobby of the Cyclotron Trailer T2

Recitations: Dedicated to problem solving will be taking place twice a week, in Rm A158 of Plant & Soil Science Building, 1066 Bogue St, across the Wilson Rd from BPS. One session will emphasize more the simpler PHY 422 level problems and the other the harder PHY 820 problems.

Required Textbook: Classical Mechanics with Applications, Porter Wear Johnson, 2010
Publisher: World Scientific
ISBN-13 978-981-4304-15-3, ISBN-10: 981-4304-15-8

Other Potentially Useful Texts:
Undergraduate level: Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems, Stephen T. Thornton and Jerry B. Marion (previous textbook for PHY422)
Graduate level: Classical Mechanics, Herbert Goldstein, Charles Poole and John Safko (previous textbook for PHY820)

Quizzes: The quizzes and clicker questions below will be unannounced. Extra 5% has been added to total score, in order to compensate for any absences and getting caught by surprise.

Clicker Questions: Lectures will be interrupted with unannounced clicker-questions, with responses provided using i>clickers. Even incorrect responses will be earning some credit. Multiple-choice answers will be provided for the questions, so the more primitive remote i>clicker+ should be sufficient. Older version of that multiple choice remote is likely to work too. Please supply the ID Code of your remote at the Angel site for the class. The request for the Code is located under 'Lessons'. The i>clicker company further now offers an option of entering answers using a smartphone app or web interface, as i>clickerGo. That option will be enabled for the courses, but has not been tried yet by the instructors, who thus cannot predict its effectiveness. Fortunately, the company offers a free 14-day trial period.

Homework: Weekly homework assignments, see the schedule, will be normally due at the Wednesday lecture, for the material from the preceding week. The assignments will come in PHY422 and PHY820 versions. Some assignments will require advanced numerical solutions that need to be documented. For these, you can use Wolfram Alpha, Matlab, Mathematica or IPython Notebook. Information about your account on the Departmental servers with the software will be provided by the lecturer. Instructions about connecting to the servers and activation of the software can be found here.

Exams: There will be three midterm exams and final, given in PHY422 and PHY820 versions. The PHY820 final plays also the role of a subject exam within the departmental graduate degree requirements.


Grading and policies

Angel site for the course will be used for storing lecture notes and solutions, both under 'Lessons', and for accessing class scores, under 'Report'.

Last revised: October 20 , 2014.