Instructor : Dr Abdul Hameed Nayyar
Term : Spring 2012
Level : Undergraduate
Course Code : PHY 301
Course Status : Physics Core
Course Outline
Course Description
The course goes beyond the first course PHY 101 Mechanics. After a brief recapitulation of the ways to solve Newton’s equation of motion in a variety of simple problems in mechanics, and looking at the specific problem of accelerating coordinates and inertial forces, it introduces the formalisms of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Mechanics with applications to a number of physical problems, especially the central force problem. It takes the formalism to canonical transformations, generating functions and Poisson brackets. The course will also ask students to simulate physics problems on computers.
WEEKLY TOPICS, QUIZZES, ASSIGNMENTS, EXAMS
Week  Lectures  Tentative Topics  Quizzes  Assignments  Exams 
12  14  Introduction to mechanics, conservative forces, conservative theorems, conservative laws for a system of particles. Mechanics of system of particles: (a) Constraints, generalized coordinates (with an example of double pendulum) (b) D’Alembert principle (c) Lagrange’s equation of motion 
Quiz 1 Solution 
Assignment 1 Solution 

3  56  Velocity dependent potential, dissipative force, simple application of the Lagrangian formulation  Quiz 2 Solution 

4  78  Calculus of variations. Hamilton’s principle of least action and Lagrange equation of motion  Quiz 3 Solution 

56  912  Accelerating coordinates and inertial forces, centrifugal force, Coriolis force. Effect of Coriolis force on earth as rotating frame.  Quiz 4 Solution 
Assignment 2 Solution 

78  1315  Central force problem: Kepler problem and orbital motion; small deviations from circular orbits, conditions for closed orbits.  Midterm Exam 1 Solution 

9  Midterm break  
1011  1618  Central force problem: orbital transfer and gravitational boosts, The scattering problem.  Quiz 5 Solution 
Assignment 3 Solution 

1213  1922  Hamiltonian mechanics; Hamilton’s equation of motion.  Quiz 6 Solution Quiz 7 Solution 
Assignment 4 Solution 

14  2324  Canonical transformation.Generating functions.Poisson brackets.  Midterm Exam 2 Solution 

15  2526  Many particle systems: center of mass frame, scattering / Collisions. Motion with a variable massRockets  Quiz 8 Solution 

17  Final Exam Solution 