Physics 341 -  Classical Physics I: Particle Mechanics - Fall 17


Renate Wackerbauer,
Office Location: REIC 106
phone: 474-6108

Open Office hours Walk-ins are very welcome; appointments help; email is effective for straight-forward questions.
Course Info Phys341, 4 credits
Prerequisites Phys220, 301; or permission of instructor.
Lectures MWF 2:15 to 3:15 am, T 1:15-2:15, NSCI 207.
Noyes Lab Access to the Noyes Computer Lab (Rm 101 NSCI) is provided to all students enrolled in a Physics course. Your polar express card lets you in.
Text Required text: 
Classical Mechanics by J.R. Taylor, University Science Books (1st edition, 2005)
Supplementary readings:
Classical dynamics of particles and systems, by Marion, Thornton, Brooks/Cole (1995) - many examples and pictures
Mechanics by K.R. Symon, Prentice Hall (3rd edition, 2001) - that's the book we have used before in phys311/312
Introduction to Classical Mechanics,  by A. Ayra, Prentice Hall (1998) - not as complete as symon, but more examples
Classical Mechanics,  by H. Goldstein, Addison-Wesley (2002) - for advanced reading, usually at graduate level

There are many books on introductory classical mechanics in the library that almost all cover the material presented in the lectures. Please explore them to see different approaches to our topics.

Course Content

Tentative course calendar

Newtonian mechanics, conserved mechanical quantities, motion of systems of particles, rigid body statics and dynamics, moving and accelerated coordinate systems, rigid body rotations, and Lagrangian mechanics.
Course Goals This course provides an introduction into the theoretical principles of classical mechanics. First we explore particle dynamics based on Newton's laws of motion. Then we discuss particle dynamics in terms of the Lagrangian concept, which is based on energy concepts.
Student Learning Outcomes Students learn,
--how to describe and solve problems in theoretical classical mechanics
--how to describe particle dynamics with Newton's and Lagrangian concepts
--to critically compare Newton's concept and Lagrange's concept for certain physical proble



Homework (10 assignments, each counting 100pts) will be assigned weekly and will be due at the beginning of class, unless explicitely altered at the time of assignment. Late homework will not be accepted. Relevant homework solutions will be posted in the glass case in the Physics Department hallway. I HIGHLY appreciate it if you RECYCLE paper for your homeworks! You can earn 100 bonus points in the homework by giving a 10min presentation to class on a topic related to class, for example the life of a classical physicist, an application of classical mechanics, experiments on classical mechanics, etc.
Examinations Two one-hour in-term examinations and a two hour final examination will be held during the semester. In-term exams will be held in the classroom. Upon request, an additional review class may be scheduled before each exam. The exams will be closed books and closed notes. No calculators, computers, or communication devices are allowed.
Exam 1 (in class) Friday, Oct 6 Taylor: approx. chapt. 1-5
Exam 2 (in class) Friday, Nov 3
Taylor: approx. chapt. 6-8, 13
Final Exam Wednesday, Dec 13, 1-3pm Taylor: approx. chapt. 1-10, 13, 14
The maximum score for each homework will be 100 points. A solution (homework, exam) that presents nothing more than a restatement of the problem will receive zero credit. Credit will be given for clarity of presentation, illegible work will not be graded. To pass the course with a grade higher than an "F", you need 40% of the total credits. Grades A - D are assigned equal weight for total credits between 40% and 100%. So, A+ (>97.5), A(>87.5), A-(>85), B+(>82.5), B(>72.5), B-(>70), C+(>67.5), C(>57.5), C-(>55), D+(>52.5), D(>42.5), D-(>40). If this class is in your major you need a grade C- for passing the course and fulfilling prerequisites. For the final grade homework, exams, etc. will be weighted as follows:
Homework 20%
Exam 1 25%
Exam 2 25%
Final Exam 30%
Course policies Attendance at lectures is expected. Active class participation, questions are extremely welcome in the lectures. A missed exam will receive 0 credit unless the instructor is notified by email, phone, etc before the exam starts. Make-up exams will be individually scheduled with the student.
Student Obligations As students of UAF, you are bound by the policies and regulations of the University of Alaska, UAF rules and procedures, and the Student Honor Code. You are obligated to make yourselves familiar with all conditions presented in the UAF Catalog. Plagiarism on homework or on an exam will result in a failing grade.
Disabilities Services The Office of Disability Services implements the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and insures that UAF students have equal access to the campus and course materials. If you have any kind of dissability, please ensure that you go to the dissabilities services program coordinator. I will work with the office of disabilities services (203 WHIT, 474-7043) to provide reasonable accomodations to students with disabilities.