PHY 301, Classical Mechanics
Fall semester, 2000

Lecture: Tuesday and Thursday 8:00-9:20 in SE 233.

Instructor: Brett van de Sande,

Office hours: By appointment; send me an E-mail if you can't find me.

Textbook: Classical Dynamics, Marion and Thornton.

Midterm 12%
Final exam 24%
Homeworks 64%

This class will emphasize the Hamiltonian and Lagrangian appoaches to classical mechanics.

Students will be responsible for the material presented in the lecture along with reading assignments from the textbook. Physics is learned by practice, id est by doing lots of homework problems. It is the responsibility of the student to learn how to solve any problems that were missed, either by asking other students or by asking the instructor. The exams will include a few vocabulary and reading questions, but will strongly emphasize the homework problems. If you master the homework problems, then you should do well on the exams. You will be allowed to use your homework solutions and classnotes while taking the exams.

I encourage students to work together on the homework problems. It is often helpful to discuss with others how a problem should be solved. However, when you write down the solution to be handed in, it should be in your own words. Don't hand in something that you have copied or that you do not understand.

For both homeworks and exams, solutions should include intermediate steps. If you just write down the answer, even if it is correct, you will not get full credit. Also, don't fall into the trap of just writing down equations; you should always include sentences, as needed, describing what you are doing.