Theoretical Mechanics

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.

- Davison Soper
- email: soper@uoregon.edu
- phone: 6-5162
- office: 479 Willamette.
- office hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:00-11:50.

- 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.)

- 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 .

- 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.

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 soper@uoregon.edu