2013-2015 Undergraduate Catalog

PHY 331 Mechanics I

First of two courses aimed at providing students with a solid grounding in classical mechanics. Topics include: rotational dynamics: angular variables in 3d, ?=I?, fixed and CM axis dynamics, angular momentum, moments of Inertia, rotational kinetic energy; simple harmonic oscillator including driven and driven-damped oscillators; resonance and chaos; central force motion, planetary orbits, Kepler's laws; non-inertial coordinate system including the Coriolis force; and special relativity (SR): Invariant interval, 4-vectors, 4-velocity, energy-momentum 4-vector, Lorentz transforms, SR paradoxes. Three hours of lecture/week, two hours lab/biweekly. Prerequisites: PHY 221, PHY 222, PHY 301 and MAT 322 (can be a co-requisite).