Graduate Physics Course P531

Fall 2008, Section 531001 (3 credit hours)

P531 Classical Mechanics

Class Meets:     Tu and Tr 12:40-13:55, Rm 306 Nielsen
Instructor:        Yuri Kamyshkov
Office Hours:    Please, e-mail or call for appointment
Office:              Ayres Hall 226D, tel: (865) 974-6777

This web page:

Class notes:   1 , 2 , 3 , 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

* Required Book: L. D. Landau and E. M. Lifshitz
Course of Theoretical Physics. Mechanics
(Third Edition ),

"Required" means that you should have it because:
* For special relativity part:
L.D. Landau and E.M. Lifshitz, The Classical Theory of Fields
Course of Theoretical Physics Volume 2, ISBN  0 7506 2768 9
Chapters 1-2, Special Relativity  pp. 1-42

L.B. Okun, The Concept of Mass, Physics Today, June 1989, pp. 31-36.

* For nonlinear dynamics and chaos part:

Michael Tabor, Chaos and Integrability in Nonlinear Dynamics 
(An Introduction), ISBN 0 471 82728 2,
Chapters 1-5, Non-linear dynamics and chaos

J. Jose and E. Soletan Classical Dynamics ,
Cambridge University, 1998, ISBN 0 521 63636 1

* Additional Useful Books:

H. Goldstein, J. L. Safko, C. P. Poole Classical Mechanics (Third Edition).
ISBN 978-0201657029
. This is a new edition of the famous H. Goldstein's book,
the traditional and comprehensive course of graduate Classical Mechanics.
Covers all topics including special relativity and non-linear dynamics.

V.I. Arnold  Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics (Second Edition)
ISBN 0-387-96890-3. Modern mathematical formulation of the Classical Mechanics.

J. B. Marion and S. T. Thonton Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems
(5-th Edition), ISBN 978-0534408961
. Good text on classical mechanics if
refreshing at undergraduate level is needed.

* Prereqs:
In P531 class I will assume that everyone had studied before the Newton's
Laws and classical mechanics at undergraduate level, e.g. in a course
like P311/312  at UT or in equivalent.  If your background is inadequate,
you may like to consider taking courses P311/312 first.
Also, the level of full undergraduate advanced math courses will be
assumed. Taking graduate courses P571/P572 "Mathematical Methods
in Physics I and II" in parallel
might be useful as well.

* P531 Syllabus:
The specific sequence of topics will closely follow the contents of L&L
with few lectures at the end on non-linear dynamics and
special relativity.

Find here detailed class schedule and syllabus in .pdf format

* Grading etc.: There will be 7 homework assignments, 2 in-class exams and a final test.
Homework and exams each will count for ~ 50% of your final grade. Books, class-notes,
and homeworks will not be allowed at the tests, however you can bring a calculator, a
mathematical book of formulas, tables, and integrals, and two pages with any formulas
you think you might need. Each homework will be due in ~2 weeks after assignment
and must be turned in before the indicated deadline. Homework turned in after the
deadline might not receive the corresponding full credit. You are welcome to do HW in
the study groups, but all tests will be individual. Solutions for the most difficult
problems can be discussed in the class. You are welcome to contact your instructor in
any case when you feel you need help. Do not hesitate to call me at any time. However,
the most efficient way to resolve your immediate problems or questions with me is an
e-mail (to ). Use it at any time including evening hours and weekends.

For the overall grade on the scale of maximum of 100% : >70% will correspond to C;
>75% to C+;  >80% to B;  >85% to B+;  and >90% to A.
Final 2-hour exam will be on Thursday December 4 from 12:30 to 2:30 pm at the
Rm 306 at Nielsen Physics Bldg.

* Useful link:
Note very useful web page that contains
archives of problems from previous years for Classical Mechanics, E&M, and Quantum
Mechanics as well as other useful information.

This page was last updated on August 15, 2008.
Please send comments to Yuri Kamyshkov .