Physics 4304 (Classical Mechanics) Web Page, Spring, 2011
Class Announcements & Calendar Items
12:00 Noon -12:50PM, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Science Room 010
This course is finished!! It will be taught again in Spring, 2012!
Some of these Physics 4304 pages are under construction!

Usually, this page will be updated shortly after each class has finished.
  Please check this page at least two or three times a week!
Course Syllabus. Spring, 2011 TTU Academic Calendar Final Exam Schedule. Last Update, 5/13/2011.
Announcements   Lectures   Exams   Homework
How do you learn Physics???? It's usually not sufficient to read the book, come to class, & watch me solve problems (although doing these certainly can't hurt!). 
The ONLY way to learn physics is to DO PHYSICS YOURSELF (or with friends)
For the entire course, remember to continue to focus on
Every topic is directly or indirectly related to applications of Newton's Laws or to Newton's Laws.

Dr. Myles' Future Teaching is discussed Here.

Course Activities to the End of the Semester
1. Ch. 8 Homework: #5,6,9,11,12,14. DUE (my office or mailbox): 5PM, Fri., May 6!!! I will post the solutions after that! 

2. Ch. 7. LecturesNote: As an overview, we covered ONLY Sections 7.1-7.4Ch. 7 Homework, Part I: #1,3,4,6,7,9,10,12,14,16. I suggest that you look at these in preparation for the Final, which will have one Lagrangian Dynamics Problem. Solutions are posted. 
     In this chapter, alternate forms of classical mechanics (Lagrangian & Hamiltonian Mechanics) are introduced. These are 100% equivalent to Newton's Laws of Motion, but they are based on Energy rather than Forces. Because these theories are equivalent to Newton's Laws of Motion, they clearly fall under the THE COURSE THEME: NEWTON'S LAWS OF MOTION!! These theories are often much easier to apply than Newton's Laws. This is especially true for complicated complicated problems or problems in which some of the forces are unknown. Obviously, if all forces are not known, Newton's 2nd Law can't be used directly. These theories will be useful to you if you go to graduate school. Also, Hamiltonian Mechanics is the starting point that the founders of Quantum Mechanics used to develop that theory.

3. Final Exam: Tuesday, May 10, 1:30-4 PM!! Don't forget your "Cheat Sheet" and calculator! As stated in the syllabus, this will be treated as Exam III & so won't be comprehensive!!  It will cover Ch. 5 (Gravitation) & Ch. 8 (Central Forces). It will also have one MANDATORY Lagrangian Dynamics (Ch. 7) problem!! 

4. Research Paper:  As discussed the first class day & as is in the Course Syllabus, 25% of your grade (equal to 1 Exam!) in this course is from a Research Paper. It is due no later than Noon, Wednesday, May 11!!! Some rules about this are Here.

5. Grades are Due: Monday, May 15, 5:00 PM!!!

A. Wonderful Video! Look at this video posted on the TTU Web Here. It's about Ginger Kerrick, an accomplished young woman who is also my friend. She is one of the most distinguished alumni of the Dept. of Physics & TTU. She has a Physics BS (1991) & MS (1993). She is a Flight Director for the International Space Station! While she was here, I taught her in at least 2 undergrad classes & one graduate class. She was always at the top of those classes & was a pleasure to teach. She was Commencement speaker in Dec., 2010. I'm proud of her success. TTU has done an excellent job on this video, which is excellent PR for TTU & our department. U-Tube also has many videos of interviews with her in her Flight Director job. She visited the department many times since she graduated & she is still as nice, outgoing, & energetic as she was when she was a student. More information about her is Here

B. Physics Contributions of 20th Century Women! Since we have mentioned women in physics some in class, I thought some of you might be interested in the following: A number of women made very important contributions to many areas of physics in the 1900's. Here is a website discussing this in detail. In the 21st Century, women are playing many prominent roles in physics & the physics community. For example, the current Executive Officer of the American Physical Society (a huge organization of ~50,000 physicists!) is Dr. Kate Kirby. Further, her predecessor was Dr. Judy Franz. In addition, a recent past President of APS was Dr. Cherry Murray. An indication that women are currently & almost always have been working at the forefront of research in the sciences is the fact that many women received Nobel Prizes in the sciences. So far, only 2 women have recieved a Nobel in Physics.

C. Integral/Math Tables: For some chapters, you will need a good Integral table. I recommend that you get a math handbook with integral tables & other math relations. Anyone who wants to be a professional scientist should have one of these for a resource, On exams, I'll give needed integrals.

D. Email List: I'll add you to my distribution list if  you send an email to I send mass emails a couple times a week to my list. If you don't receive them, an important reason might be Here.  It's vital that I have your correct email address, that you tell me if it changes, & that you check your email DAILY!! If you aren't on the list, you may miss important announcements. If you aren't receiving my messages & think you ARE on my list, something is wrong, so please come & discuss this with me.

E. ATTENDANCE: The weekend DOESN'T start Thurs.! Fri. is a class day (so is Mon.!), not a weekend day! Attendance traditionally gets worse as the semester progresses. This is especially true on Fridays. I don't take roll & have no specific attendance policy. But, isn't it obvious that (unless you're a genius!) attendance is REQUIRED to get a good grade or to LEARN SOMETHING? There's a correlation between class attendance & grades. Skipping means that you are WASTING the tuition & fees that you (or someone) paid! With tuition & fees for a full-time (Texas resident) student, each class meeting costs about $16.96. Each time you skip, you are throwing away $16.96!! After a while this adds up! My lectures may not be entertaining or brilliant, but I do expose you to the material.

F. How Do you learn physics?Coming to class, listening to me lecture, & reading the book in advance of class are all very important & necessary. But, these things alone are usually not sufficient! Unless you are a genius, the ONLY way to learn physics is to DO PHYSICS YOURSELF(or with friends) by WORKING MANY, MANY, MANY PROBLEMS!!

G. Physics & Math Level: This is the standard (nationwide) Junior-Senior course for Physics & Engineering Physics majors. The math level is that of a Junior-Senior Physics course. Differential equations & vector calculus are assumed. This ISN'T a math course! It's not my job to teach you math & there simply is no time to do so!! I must assume that you know it! Major problems students have with this course are the fast pace & the math. A GOAL is to emphasize physical understanding over math. We may skip some math details in favor or discussing physics. If there is a math point you don't understand, please ask me about it & read about it on your own! It is important that you not let the math get over your head to the extent that you lose sight of the PHYSICS.

H. Miscellaneous Course Information: Click Here. Items covered are: Attendance, Study Groups, Email List, My Teaching Philosophy, Tips on Downloading & Printing Course Related Files, and Fonts in Course Related Files.

I. Dr. Myles' Homepage  & Research Page. Dr. Myles' Future Teaching: A page discussing this is Here.

J. Physics News: Physics Central (for the public).  Focus News (advanced level) from the APS. Physics Fun!

WY Physics Logo
2005 was the WORLD YEAR OF PHYSICS & 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! The United Nations, the US Congress, & the governments & scientific societies of many countries endorsed it. or more information, click the image on the left.