Graduate Classical Mechanics (PHYSICS 603) - Spring Semester 2020 -  ODU
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 13:30 - 14:45 Room 202, OCNPS

Instructor: Dr. Sebastian E. Kuhn

Office hours:

News and announcements

Our class is over - I wish you all a rewarding (and healthy!) summer.
Here is the Final Exam and here is the solution.

You can submit your solutions by scanning them in or typesetting them and sending them via email. Here are some "scanning hints": For reference, here is some Zoom-related info: here and here . You should be able to use either the web-based client or, preferably, download the free app. Due to security concerns, we will no longer use my personal meeting ID. Instead, you should have all received an invitation with the meeting ID and a password. Please let me know if you did not get this. We will use the chat feature and "raise your hand" (if you want to ask a question without interrupting the class), cameras for those who like, whiteboard/document camera and screen share, and I will record all class sessions and post the link, as in here .
Finally, don't forget about your participation project! Given the new situation, lecture notes (typeset!) or Mathematica notebooks would be best; however, if you want to give a presentation instead, please send the slides to me beforehand so I can post them. Let me know if you need advice or ideas.

Physics Colloquium

I assume all colloquia are cancelled at this point until further notice

Further Information


Preliminary Schedule. Note that we will likely have to change the schedule to accommodate the reduced available time. More to follow.

Lecture Notes

These Lecture Notes are from previous years and will be updated as we move along the semester.

(See Information on Mathematica for help with running notebooks)

N.B.: If my lectures (notes) are too confusing for you, you can also check out Ian Balitsky's and Anatoly Radyushkin's lecture notes. Note that the organization is quite different (following more closely the book by Fetter and Walecka)

Week 1  - Introduction and Lagrangian approach: Whiteboards Lecture 1, Lecture 2, Lecture Notes by R. Dodangodage

Week 2  - Equations of motion, examples and Velocity-dependent potentials: Whiteboards Lecture 1, Lecture 2, Animation Screenshot, Mathematica Notebook, Lecture Notes by AMSD Wijerathna

Week 3 - Hamilton's principle, Lagrangian Multipliers, conserved quantities: Day 1 by Isurumali NETHTHIKUMARA HATHTHELLAGE (Further lecture notes are in the 2nd half of Week 2 above) - Whiteboards Lecture 1, Lecture 2, Mathematica Notebook; Lecture note on conservation laws by Sunil Pokharel.

Week 4  -  Central Force Problem, Kepler's Laws: Whiteboards Lecture 1, Lecture 2, Numerics1, Numerics2, Mathematica Notebook1 , Mathematica Notebook2. Also: Summary and Notebook on properties of ellipses and old Lecture Notes by Pushpa Pandey. Also: Lecture Notes by D. Cameron, Another drawing of ellipses. NEW Lecture Notes by H. Pokhrel.

Week 5  -  1.) Continuation of Central Force Problem - Scattering - Whiteboard; 2.) Small coupled oscillations: Whiteboard. Lecture notes by Raj Ghimire.

Week 6  -  1.) Finish coupled oscillations.  Whiteboard. Mathematica Notebooks 1 and 2. 2.) Rotations and kinematics of rigid bodies  -  Whiteboard, 2nd Whiteboard. Older lecture notes.

Week 7  - More on rotations (see Week 6 ).  Whiteboards Lecture 1, Lecture 2. Also: Graphic about Inertia  Ellipsoid, and web pages 1 and 2 about the first interstellar asteroid (why did I post that?)

Week 8 - Dynamics of rotating bodies. First lecture on Tuesday 3/3 in class, second lecture on Thursday 3/5 for self-study. See previous lecture notes (for both days), including the precession of earth's axis of rotation. Whiteboard for the in-class lecture and older Whiteboards from previous semester for Lecture 1 and Lecture 2. Mathematica Notebook shown in class, for symmetric top with gravitational field, with initial conditions specified in terms of psi-dot, phi-dot and theta. Here are two screenshots from that notebook (you are strongly encouraged to play with it):
  1. A rotating bicycle wheel, initially with a horizontal axis at rest. You can see how the axis will keep dipping down and back up, with corresponding changes in phi-dot and psi-dot.
  2. A rotating upright top (with some tilt relative to the z-axis). You can see how its axis will follow a "curlicue" pattern, moving (= precessing) "backwards" when the top is more upright and "forwards" when it is more tilted (nutation).
Week 9  - Hamiltonian Mechanics. Tuesday 3/24 Lecture . Thursday 3/26 Lecture (unfortunately only partially - my apologies!). Also, here is a pdf version of my slides today. Here are up-to-date Lecture Notes by MD AZIZ AR RAHMAN. Last Year's Whiteboards Lecture 1, Lecture 2. Lecture Notes by B. Khanal.
See also Week 10 on Phase Space. Presentation by A. Coxe on Chaos, Condensed version as presented on Thursday, 3/26.

Week 10  - Phase Space, Canonical Transformations. Whiteboards  Lecture 1, Lecture 2. Lecture notes by M. Pokhrel; Animation by J. Frechem Here is the recording of the Tuesday 3/31 Lecture and my presentation . And here is the recording of the Thursday 4/2 Lecture and my presentation .
NOTE: Week 11 - Canonical Transformations - is included in Week 10, so to keep with the original schedule, we'll skip directly to Week 12 for the week of April 6. Here is some more related material: Poisson Brackets. Whiteboards Lecture 1, Lecture 2. Lecture notes by G. Sterling.

Week 12 - ICTs, Poisson brackets, infinite dimensions. Whiteboards: Lecture 1 and Lecture 2. Here is the recording of the Tuesday 4/7 Lecture and Thursday 4/9 Lecture .
Older Whiteboards: Lecture 1, Lecture 2. Lecture Notes by A. Maps

Week 13 - Special Relativity: Intro, Minkowski space, Kinematics. Whiteboards: Lecture 1, Lecture 2. Lecture notes: Lecture 1 , Lecture 2. Recordings: Tuesday 4/14 Lecture ; Password: b1!&5S$? -- Thursday 4/16 Lecture ; Password: c7&4Duy8
Older Whiteboards: Lecture 1, Lecture 2, Old Lecture 1, Old Lecture 2.

Week 14 - Collisions, Lagrangian, Hamiltonian and Electromagnetic interaction in Special Relativity. Tuesday 4/21 Lecture recording -- Password: 0h@538x1 -- and Lecture Notes; Thursday 4/23 Lecture recording ; Password: 6A&sYz$5 . Lecture notes on the electromagnetic field Lagrangian.
Previous year's Whiteboard; Previous year's summary Whiteboard.

Homework Problem Sets

HW Problem Set #1 -- Solution #1
HW Problem Set #2 -- Solution #2
HW Problem Set #3 -- Solution #3
HW Problem Set #4 -- Solution #4
HW Problem Set #5 -- Solution #5
HW Problem Set #6 -- Solution #6
MIDTERM EXAM (Take-Home) -- Solution
HW Problem Set #7 -- Solution #7
HW Problem Set #8 - here are the relevant pages from Goldstein et al. -- Solution #8
HW Problem Set #9 - here is again the relevant page from Goldstein et al. -- Solution #9
Final HW Problem Set #10 -- Solution #10

Return to S. Kuhn Homepage.