Syllabus Physics 35100 General Syllabus


Fall 2011 Syllabus

Physics 35100




Required Undergraduate


Catalog description:

Newton's laws; Systems of particles; Small oscillations; Central forces and planetary motion; Rotations and rotating coordinate systems; Introduction to rigid body motion; Lagrangian dynamics; Introduction to Hamiltonian dynamics.

4 HR./WK.; 4 CR.



Prereq.: Physics 20800; pre- or coreq.: Math 39100


Textbook and other suggested material:  

John R. Taylor, Classical Mechanics, University Science Books (2005), ISBN 978-1-891389-22-1.


Course Objectives:

After successfully completing this course, students should be able to

            1. understand basic Newtonian dynamics using vectors and vector calculus

            2. understand linear oscillations, Fourier series

            3. understand gravitation, gravitational potential

4. develop a working knowledge of the calculus of variations

5. understand Hamilton's variational principle, how it applies to classical     dynamics

6. How to construct the Lagrangian and apply Lagrangian dynamics to various      problems

7. understand the motion of planets and other central force examples

8. understand notions of center of mass and relative coordinates

9. understand rotations and motion in noninertial frames

10. understand rotational motion of rigid bodies and Euler's equations

11. understand coupled oscillations


Topics Covered:

1. Matrices, vectors and vector calculus

2. Newtonian Mechanics of a single particle

3. Linear oscillations

4. Nonlinear oscillations and chaos

5. Gravitation

6. Calculus of variations

7. Hamilton's principle, Lagrangian Mechanics

8. Central force motion

9. Systems of particles

10. Dynamics in noninertial frames

11. Rigid body dynamics

12. Coupled oscillations



Class schedule:

4 HR./WK.; 4 CR.


Relationship of course to program outcomes:

            The outcomes of this course contribute to the following departmental learning outcomes:

a. students will be able to synthesize and apply their knowledge of physics and mathematics to solve physics-related problems in a broad range of fields in classical and modern physics, including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics and statistical physics, optics, quantum mechanics, and experimental physics.

c. students will be able to communicate their knowledge effectively and in a professional manner, in both oral and written forms.


Assessment Tools

1. Attendance

2. Homework assignments

3. Results of quizzes and midterm exam

4. Class participation

5. Results of Final Exam


Person who prepared this description and date of preparation:


V. Parameswaran Nair

email address

date August 24, 2011