Winter Quarter 2013
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 13:00 at 318 Willamette.
This the final half quarter of a one and a half quarter graduate level course. It is for students who have taken a course in mechanics beyond what is generally offered in a "general physics" course. Students should also have a good background in mathematics, including linear algebra and complex analysis.
- Classical Mechanics, Third Edition, by Goldstein, Poole, and Safko. This is an updated version of the classic 1950 text by Herbert Goldstein.
- Classical Field Theory, D. E. Soper. (Wiley-Interscience, 1976). This is now published in paperback by Dover and available from amazon.com.
- This class runs for five weeks, until 8 February. Then it turns into Phys 613, Statistical Physics, taught by Prof. Belitz.
- 7 - 11 January. Goldstein sections 7.1, 7.2, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.9, 7.10.
- 14 - 18 January. Continue with Goldstein sections 7.1, 7.2, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.9, 7.10.
- 21 - 25 January. Review Goldstein chapter 8 from last quarter, then read chapter 9 about canonical transformations. I will particularly concentrate on the relation of Poisson brackets to canonical transformations.
- 20 - 25 January. Classical Field Theory chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4. (A lot of this is review.)
There will be problems assigned each week in class, due on Wednesdays. Occasionally a problem will involve computer work. I recommend Mathematica,
which is available at UO computer labs and the science library. If you already know some other computer language like C++, Fortran, Matlab, or Maple, you can use what you know.
- Wednesday 16 January: these four problems.
Solutions from Y. Sang page 1, page 2, page 3.
- Wednesday 23 January: Goldstein chapter 7 problems 17, 19, 20, and 22.
- Wednesday 30 January: Goldstein chapter 9 problems 4, 9, 23, and 39. (For problem 39, you can use your result from problem 9.)
- Wednesday 6 February: this problem .
Class notes available in pdf:
- The principle of stationary action. (3 Oct. version)
- Symmetries and conserved quantities. (8 Oct. version)
- Lagrangian with electric and magnetic fields. (10 Oct. version)
- Numerical methods in mechanics. (22 Oct. version)
- Free rotation of a rigid body. (5 Nov. version)
- Exam: 8 February, in class. This will serve as the final exam for the class.
The homework assignments will count for 50% of the course grade. The
one exam will count for 50% of the course grade.
Exams are to be taken without notes or books. That is because I
want to encourage you to remember the most important formulas for
mechanics. If you will need an obscure complicated formula for
an exam question, I will give it on the exam.
Note: I encourage students to work together on the homework. I
don't want you to just copy from someone else's work because you won't
learn anything that way, but if you work out the solution jointly with
someone else or with a group, that's fine. Real science usually
involves teamwork, so it's a good idea for you to learn how to work on
science with others. This policy is an exception to the normal
university rule about doing your own work. Of course, on exams, your
paper has to be entirely your own work.
Davison E. Soper, Institute of Theoretical Science,
University of Oregon, Eugene OR 97403 USA