This course covers the fundamental principles of Newtonian and Lagrangian mechanics, together with applications including conservation laws, planetary motion, oscillations, waves, systems of particles, rigid bodies, and rotation. The goal of the course is to develop mathematical, computational (with Mathematica ®), and physical tools to solve a wide variety of mechanics problems. The grade will be determined by homework, a course project, and two exams.
Time and Location: MWF, 11-12 am in 318 Willamette Hall
Instructor: Prof. Benjamín J. Alemán, baleman at uoregon dot edu
Office: 178 Willamette Hall Phone: 541.346.3321
Office Hours: Mondays and Fridays from 12-1 pm, by appointment, or whenever my office door is open
Graduate Teaching Fellow: Saba Moslehi, sabam at uoregon dot edu
GTF Office Hours: Wednesday 4-5 pm and Thursday 2-3 pm, both in Willamette 72, and in Drop-in center Wednesday from 1-2 pm.
Text: Classical Mechanics by John R. Taylor (errata here)
Other good books (on reserve in the Science Library):
Fowles & Cassiday, Analytical Mechanics, 7th edition (Brooks-Cole, 2005)
Marion & Thornton, Classical Dynamics (4th ed., Brooks-Cole, 1995)
Goldstein, Poole & Safko, Classical Mechanics (Addison-Wesley, 2002)
Grades are based on homework, a course project, the midterm, and the final exam:
Final exam: 35%
Homework is due once a week, starting week 2, and counts for 30% of your grade. Assignments will be posted here on the website. Homework must be turned into the 411 box in the basement of Willamette Hall by 7 pm each Thursday, unless otherwise specified. Late homework will be marked down 25% for the first day; homework turned in more than one day late will be marked as a zero. If you have a legitimate reason for turning in homework late, please let me know ASAP. Homework should be worked on individually, not as a group. Your homework must be neat and legible; messy, illegible homework will be returned ungraded and marked as a zero. Remember, messy work is indicative of a messy mind; slow down and do it right ☺. The course GTF will be available several hours per week to assist you in your homework.
- We will be learning to use Mathematica to solve some mechanics problems computationally, and you will be assigned an occasional homework problem that requires Mathematica. Please download and install a free copy of Mathematica through the University of Oregon’s site license by following the instructions here: https://it.uoregon.edu/software/mathematica. Alternatively, you can access Mathematica in the Science and Mathematics library computer workstations.
You will need to choose your own unique Course Project. Please discuss your proposed project with me before beginning; a short written proposal will be due by Friday, February 13th. Ideas for projects include writing a short paper on a mechanics-related research article, performing a numerical simulation of a mechanics problem, or reading and summarizing an extra chapter from our course text, analyzing the physics of a movie, making yourself mechanics notecards, etc. The project is 10% of your grade and is due by the time of the Final Exam (Tuesday March 17th, 10:15 am.)
The Midterm will be on Monday, February 9th, in class. It will be closed book, closed notes (one single-sided 8.5 “ X 11 “ formula sheet allowed), and counts for 25% of your grade. No excuses other than medical ones will be accepted for missing/rescheduling the exam.
Final exam is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17th, 10:15 am. It will be closed book, closed notes (two single-sided 8.5 “ X 11 “ formula sheets, or equivalent, allowed), and counts for 35% of your grade. No excuses other than medical ones will be accepted for missing/rescheduling the exam.
Exams and Solutions:
Selected Mathematics Topics (from Meriam, Kraige, Engineering Mechanics: Statics, New York: Wiley and Sons, 1997)
Feyman on Forces (from Feynman, Leighton, Sands, The Feyman Lectures on Physics: Vol I, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1963)
Comments on Homework:
PDFs of Mathematica Notebooks:
Obtain a free copy of Mathematica through the University of Oregon’s site license here.
Approximate Course Schedule (will likely be altered)
|Week||Topics and Taylor Chapters|
|1 (Jan. 5-9)||Vector Algebra and Calculus; Newtonian Mechanics; Ch. 1 & 2|
|2 (Jan 12-16)||Newtonian Mechanics: examples; Momentum and Angular Momentum; Ch. 2 & 3|
|3 (Jan. 19-23)||
No Class Monday (MLK Holiday)
Energy; Ch. 4
|4 (Jan. 26-30)||Oscillations and Fourier Analysis; Ch. 5|
|5 (Feb. 2-6)||Continuum Mechanics and Waves; Ch. 16|
|6 (Feb. 9-13)||Midterm on Monday, Feb. 9th. Project Proposals due by Friday, Feb. 13th. The Calculus of Variations, Hamilton’s Principle and Lagrangian Mechanics, Hamiltonian Mechanics; Ch. 6, 7, & 13|
|7 (Feb. 16-20)||The Two-Body Problem, Planetary Motion, Non-inertial reference frames; Ch. 8 & 9|
|8 (Feb. 23-27)||Rotational Motion; Rigid Bodies; Ch. 10|
|9 (March 2-6)||
No Class or Guest Lectures Monday and Wednesday
Rigid Bodies; Ch. 10
|10 (March 9-13)||Coupled Oscillators, Summary; Ch. 11|
|11 (March 16-20) Finals Week||Final Exam: 10:15 Tuesday, March 17|
|Problem Set||Due Date|
|#1: Taylor 1.7, 1.8, 1.12, 1.19, 1.22, 1.26, 1.31, 1.37, 1.45, 1.46, 1.48||Thursday, January 15th by 7 p.m.|
|#2: Taylor 2.7, 2.10, 2.12, 2.13, 2.20, 2.31, 2.33, 2.34, 2.43, 2.49, 2.54, Extra Credit||Thursday, January 22nd by 7 p.m.|
|#3: PROBLEM #1 (DOWNLOAD) and Taylor 3.1, 3.3, 3.5, 3.11, 3.13, 3.15, 3.18, 3.21, 3.24, 3.27, 3.34, 3.35 (Extra Credit 3.37)||Thursday, January 29th by 7 p.m.|
|#4: Taylor 4.21, 4.24, 4.34, 4.37, 4.39, 4.41, 4.46, 5.4, 5.29, 5.41, 5.44, 5.45 (Extra Credit 4.25)||Thursday, February 5th by 7 p.m.|
|#5: Taylor 5.18, 5.31, 5.43, 5.47, 5.50, 5.56, 16.2, 16.5, Extra Credit||Thursday, February 12th by 7 p.m.|
|#6: Problem #1 and Extra Credit Problem (DOWNLOAD) and Taylor 6.1, 6.16, 6.19, 6.24, 7.3, 7.8, 7.10, 7.16, 7.31, 7.41||Thursday, February 19th b 7 p.m.|
|#7: Taylor 7.20, 7.23, 7.34, 7.40, 7.46, 8.1, 8.12, 8.18||Friday, February 27th by 7 p.m.|
|#8 Taylor 9.1, 9.7, 9.8, 9.11, 9.15, 9.20, 9.31||Friday, March 6th by 7 p.m.|
|#9 Taylor 10.13, 10.14, 10.24, 10.33, 10.36||Friday, March 13th by 7 p.m.|