Classical Mechanics 29:5710(old 205)
Classical Mechanics
29:5710
Fall 2018
Class Information
 Room: 618, Van Allen Hall
 Time: 9:30AM  10:45AM
 Days: Tuesday, Thursday
 Texts:
Mechanics,
L. D. Landau and E. M. Lifshitz,
Lectures on Quantum Mechanics, Paul A. M. Dirac
Lecture Notes.
Instructor Information
 Instructor: Wayne Polyzou
 Office: 306 Van Allen Hall
 Office Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10:4511:30
 email: polyzou@uiowa.edu
 Phone: 3193351856
 Grader: Adam Zieser
 Grader office: 658 C
 Grader phone: 3351936
 Grader email: adamzieser@uiowa.edu
Grading Policy
Possible final grades are A+,A,B,C,D,F. The grade of A+ is for
performance that is a full grade above an A. Grades are based on
homework scores (20%), mid term exam score (35%), and the final exam
(45%). Homework assignments will appear on the web version of this
syllabus (http://www.physics.uiowa.edu/~wpolyzou/phys205/). Homework
solutions will be posted on links to the electronic syllabus.
The midterm exam will be given after we complete the discussion of
Lagrangian mechanics.
General Information
My goal is to cover the following topics in roughly the order:
 Newton's laws (Newtonian determinacy, inertial coordinate systems,
inertial mass, noninertial coordinate systems, gravity)
 Galilean relativity (Galilean group, constraints on interactions,
free particles, special relativity)
 Lagrangian dynamics (virtual work, constraints, generalized coordinates
conservative forces)
 Variational calculus (principle of stationary action,
other applications, second variation)
 Conservation laws and Noether's theorem
 Lagrange multipliers and constraints (forces of constraint,
second variation)
 Oscillators (coupled oscillators, normal modes, driven oscillators,
resonance, parametric oscillations)
 Rigid body motion (fundamental theorem on rigid body motion,
inertia tensor, Euler equations, Euler angles, Cayley Klein parameters (SU(2)),
dynamics, rotating coordinate systems.
 Hamiltonian dynamics (convexity and Legendre transformations,
Hamilton's equations, symplectic eigenvalue theorem, canonical transformations,
Poisson brackets, canonical quantization, symplectic invariants,
scattering, integrable systems, Liouville's theorem,
Poincare recurrence theorem)
 Generalized Hamiltonian dynamics (first and second class constraints,
gauge transformations)
 The classical three body problem,
perturbation theory (Small denominators, KAM theorem)
The material will follow my lecture notes. Most, but not all of
this material appears in the text "Mechanics".
Dirac's book is not really about quantum mechanics. It
is about how to make a Hamiltonian formulation of mechanics when the
Legendre transformation that connects the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian
formulation of mechanics is singular. While this sounds academic, all
of the fundamental forces of nature  the strong, weak, electromagnetic and
gravitational forces (gauge theories) fall into
this class.
Additional References
You may also find the following references useful:
 Classical Mechanics, H. Goldstein (Addison Wesley)
(Standard reference for many years covers almost everything)
 The Variational Principles of Mechanics, Cornelius Lancoz (Dover)
(Nice book  good historical background  inexpensive)
 Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics, V. I. Arnold (Springer Verlag)(The classic reference for modern classical mechanics)
 Theoretical Mechanics of Particles Continua, Fetter and Walecka (Nice presentation  could have more on Hamiltonian dynamics)
The titles below are free to download from a university computer:
Homework Assignments and Calendar
 Week 6
 Monday, September 24  make up class  10:30 618

Lecture 12 Parametric oscillator example incorrect  seen lecture 13.
 Tuesday, September 25

Lecture 13

Homework #6 : due 10/2
 Thursday, September 27

Lecture 14
 Week 10  Out of town this week  class made up Sept 11
 Tuesday, October 23  No class
 Thursday, October 25  Out of town this week  class made up Sept 17
 Final Exam
 Monday, December 10, 5:30PM7:30PM , 618 Van

sample exam (solutions  I did not proofread the solutions in order to
get them out asap)
College Information
Students with Disabilities
Any student who has a disability which may require some
modification of seating, testing, or other class requirements, should
contact me that appropriate arrangements may be made. Students with
disabilities should also contact the Office of Student Disabilities
Services (3351462).
Student Complaints:
A student who has a complaint related to this course should
follow the procedures summarized below.
Ordinarily, the student should attempt to resolve the matter with
the instructor first. Students may talk first to someone other than
the instructor (the departmental executive officer, or the University
Ombudsperson) if they do not feel, for whatever reason, that they can
directly approach the instructor.
If the complaint is not resolved to the student's satisfaction,
the student should go to the departmental executive officer.
If the matter remains unresolved, the student may submit a written
complaint to the associate dean for academic programs. The associate
dean will attempt to resolve the complaint and, if necessary, may
convene a special committee to recommend appropriate action.
For any complaint that cannot be resolved through the mechanisms
described above, please refer to the College's Student Academic
Handbook for further information.
Additional information: see
teaching policies