Physics 4304 (Classical Mechanics) Web Page, Spring, 2011
12:00 Noon -12:50PM, Monday, Wednesday, Friday
, Science Room 112
This course is finished!! It will be taught again in Spring, 2012!
Some of these Physics 4304 pages are under construction!
Course Syllabus. Spring, 2011 TTU Academic Calendar Final Exam Schedule. Last Update, 5/13/2011.
Announcements   Lectures   Exams   Homework

Instructor & Contact Information
Dr. Charles W. Myles, Professor of Physics, Office: Sc. Rm 18. Phone: 742-3768.
Office Hours: Right after class plus 3pm-4pm MWF & by appointment. E-mail:
A class email distribution list will be developed & we can have email discussions. It is vital that I have your correct email address,
that you tell me if it changes, & that you check your email DAILY!! Here is an important email announcement!

Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems, by J.B. Marion & S.T. Thornton (Harcourt). ISBN10: 0534408966, ISBN13: 9780534408961
This book is REQUIRED!! You must have the latest (5th) edition of this classic book!
I use because it has nice explanations of concepts. Major portions of the course will use it. Topics will be covered in approximately the same order as the table of contents, 
however, material from many sources may be used. Local bookstores should have it. It's available from vendors on-line. The Amazon page on it is Here. An on-line
search finds both new & used copies & both hardcover & paperback versions. A Google search gets 54,000 hits! (results are Here) with prices ranging  from $59-$290!! 
Given the book cost, don't you think it would be worthwhile to READ IT???
I strongly encourage you to shop & find the best price for you! 

Syllabus, Course Topics & Objective
Topics: (Selected) from Chs. 1-10, 12, & 14 of text. Detailed coverage will be announced as we go.
The Syllabus is Here. PLEASE READ IT!! Course details (discussions of Exams, Homework, & grading scheme) are found there. 
Objective: To introduce students to classical dynamics & its applications & for the students 
to learn the fundamentals of this important topic.  The Course Objectives have more details.
A Library Research paper will be due at the end of the semester. Some rules about this are Here. 

Help Resources & Hints
A Document with links to Classical Dynamics web resources is Here.  
A Document: "How to Succeed in Mechanics by Really Trying"! 
Hints: This course is sometimes very difficult for students. This is partially because it is mathematical & partially because it is (in places) abstract. Unless you are a genius, the only way to succeed in this course is by VERY HARD WORK! This means devoting MANY Hours outside of class for every hour in class. It also means at least trying to work every assigned problem!

I expect you to come to class prepared, to do the homework,
READ the material BEFORE I lecture over it, & to keep up as we go along!

Physics Level, Pre-Requisites, Objective & Topics
The course is the standard (nationwide) junior-senior mechanics course for Physics & Engineering Physics majors. However, students in other areas (math, engineering, chemistry) sometimes take it & are always welcome. A knowledge of vector calculus & differential equations is assumed! A knowledge of elementary Newtonian mechanics (at the level of  Physics 1408) is assumed. This is a Junior/Senior course!! The math in the text can be tedious. A goal is to emphasize physical understanding over math. I'll often skip math details in favor of discussing physics. This ISN'T a math course. If there is a math point you don't understand, please ask me about it & read about it on your own!
It is important  hat you not let the math get over your head to the extent that you lose sight of the PHYSICS.

I don't take roll & have no specific attendance policy. However, isn't it obvious that (unless you are a genius!) class attendance is REQUIRED to get a good grade? (or better, to LEARN SOMETHING!)? There's a correlation between class attendance & grades. If attendance becomes a problem, I reserve the right to institute brief daily quizzes, to be added into the homework grade. Skipping also means that you are WASTING the tuition & fees that you (or your parents) paid! With tuition & fees for a full-time (Texas) student, each class meeting costs about $18.00. So, each time you skip, you are throwing away $18.00!! After a while this adds up! My lectures may not be entertaining or brilliant, but I do expose you to the material. 
NOTE: The weekend doesn't start Thursday evening or end Monday evening!
Friday & Monday are class days & NOT weekend days!

Important Announcements & Calendar Items are posted on the Announcements Page, linked below. Also below are links to Pages where Lectures, Homework Solutions, & Old Exams (+ solutions) are posted. 

Announcements & Calendar Items
     Announcement Page: Has announcements & calendar items. Please check it often!

Lectures, Homework Solutions, Quizzes, Exams & Solutions
Click Here to find out how to reduce the # of pages when printing a Power Point file!
Click Here to find out how to get Power Point, Word, & other software for free or almost free!
COPYRIGHT STATEMENT: All lectures & exams are copyrighted & owned by Charles W. Myles!
No reproduction &/or use of any of these documents other than by students in this course  is allowed!
     Lecture Page: Has lectures in Power Point format.

     Exams Page: Has old exams (Word format) & solutions (.jpg format).
The exams are composed uniquely for this semester! This should be obvious since the old exams are freely downloadable by students in this course. A good strategy is to try to solve old exams BEFORE looking at the solutions. You CAN'T LEARN PHYSICS by copying solutions! New exams & solutions will also be posted (after the exam!).

     Homework Page: Has homework assignments. Solutions (.jpg format) will be posted shortly after the due date.
You are strongly encouraged to form study groups to work on homework together! This is how physicists work in real situations! NO CONSULTATION with people who had this course previously is allowed! NO use of problem solutions posted in previous years is allowed! It will do you no good to merely copy old solutions! Copying solutions will NOT teach you physics! I am also aware that, on the web, there exist solutions to some or all of the problems in our text. Just copying these (or even copying solutions from previous years!) & handing them in as your own is CHEATING!! Anyone caught cheating will, at a minimum, receive an F in this course! TTU has strict policies against cheating & severe penalties for it, including possible expulsion from the university. Cheating also defeats the purpose of having you solve problems, which is to help you LEARN physics
As junior/senior students, you should by now know that the ONLY way to learn physics is to 
     Quizzes: To try to prevent the large attendance decreases seen in previous semesters, especially on Fridays, a short (10 min.) Quiz will be given EACH FRIDAY, with simple questions about what recently happened in class and/or with simple problems similar to those in the Homework. These are averaged with the Homework grade. The Quiz average counts equivalently to 1 Homework assignment.

Student Semester Projects
A Library Research paper is due at the end of the semester. Some rules about this are Here.
This will be discussed in more detail as the semester progresses.
     Papers PageHas some old student term papers from previous years (Word or .pdf)
COPYRIGHT STATEMENT:  All papers are copyrighted/owned by the student author! No reproduction/use of them other than by students in this course is allowed!

Miscellaneous Topics
1. Integral Tables: You will need a good Integral Table. If you are a Physics or Engineering major, you will need it for much more than this class. I recommend that you get a math handbook with integral tables & other math relations. A standard is the CRC Standard Mathematical Tables and Formulae, by Daniel Zwillinger. There are a large number of other good ones as well. A Google search gives 76,500 hits! (results are Here). Prices range from $16 to $900! For  the exams, I'll give needed integrals.

2. Dr. Myles: Do you want to know more about him (education, experience, research, personal, etc.)? See his Homepage & Research Page
    A page about his Future Teaching is Here.

3. Check out the Top 10 most influential people of the last 1000 years! (Link borrowed from Dr. Tom Gibson!)

4. For some physics news, go to Physics Central. For news at a more advanced level, go to Focus News from the American Physical Society. For some Physics Fun, click Here.

5. Physics Contributions of 20th Century Women! Did you ever wonder why there aren't more women physicists? Actually, a number of women made very important contributions to many areas of physics in the 1900's. Here is a website which discusses this in detail. In the 21st Century, women are now playing many prominent roles in physics and the physics community. For example, the current Executive Officer of the the American Physical Society (a huge organization of ~50,000 research physicists world-wide!) is Dr. Kate Kirby. Further, her predecessor was Dr. Judy Franz. In addition, the most recent past President of APS was Dr. Cherry Murray. An indication that women are currently and almost always have been working at the forefront of research in the sciences is the fact that many women have been awarded Nobel Prizes in the sciences. So far, though, only two women have been Nobel Laureates in Physics.
6. In this course, we talk mostly about the view of the physical (mechanical) world which was developed first by Galileo Galilei & later put into precise mathematical form by Sir Isaac Newton. The lives of both Galileo & Newton are interesting (to me) from a historical viewpoint as well as from a scientific viewpoint. The following two documents (Word format) give brief illustrations of what I mean by this. Here is a one page document about the life of Galileo Galilei. Here is a one page document about the life of Sir Isaac Newton. "Google" searches on Galileo & Newton give 5,880,000 hits & 21,800,000 hits, respectively!! A Galileo one is Here. A Newton one is Here.

7. Later in the course, we'll introduce the Lagrangian formulation of mechanics. This was first developed by Joseph Louis Lagrange. As we'll discuss in detail, this formulation is physically identical to the Newtonian formulation. However, because it makes no direct reference to forces, it can much more easily handle problems with constraints, where the forces of constraint might be among the unknowns of the problem! The life of Lagrange is also interesting to me. There are many web pages which give insight into his life. Here is an interesting one. Here is another. If you are interested, do a "Google" search yourself. My search found 4520 hits! Here is a Word document on Lagrange's life.

8. Another formulation of mechanics we'll discuss later is the Hamiltonian formulation, developed by Sir William Rowan Hamilton. This is also equivalent to the Newtonian formulation. Besides studying it to learn another formulation, a major reason for discussing Hamiltonian mechanics is that it formed the starting point for Schrodinger's development of the wave mechanics version of Quantum Mechanics! If you've already had Quantum Mechanics & wondered where the Hamiltonian came from, you will learn about it in detail when we get to Hamiltonian mechanics. A web pages about Hamilton is Here. A "Google" search found 3,340 hits.

WY Physics LogoThe WORLD YEAR OF PHYSICS 2005 marked 100 years since Albert Einstein published 3 pioneering papers (Relativity, Brownian Motion, Photoelectric Effect), which changed physics forever & are considered the beginning of "modern" physics! (He won the 1921 Nobel Prize for the Photoelectric Effect!).  The United Nations, the US Congress, & the governments & scientific societies of many countries have endorsed it. 2005 events will highlight the vitality & importance of physics & bring physics excitement to the public. For more information, click the image on the left.

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