Physics 105 (Fall 2013): Mechanics
Instructor: Stefano Profumo
Office: ISB, Room 325
Phone Number: 831-459-3039
Office Hours: Wednesday 11AM-12:30PM, ISB 165
E-mail: profumo AT ucsc.edu
Click here to download the syllabus in PDF format
ALL HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS AND QUIZZES WILL BE POSTED ON THE COURSE'S ECOMMONS WEBPAGE!!!
Lectures: Tu-Th, 8:00 AM - 9:45 AM, N. Sci Annex 101
Discussion Section: TBD
Newton's Laws of Motion;
Energy and Angular Momentum;
Oscillations and Normal Modes;
Calculus of Variations and Lagrangian Mechanics;
Two-body Central-Force Problems;
Mechanics in Noninertial Frames;
Dynamical systems, order and chaos in Hamiltonian systems
- Physics: 5A/L, 5B/M, 5C/Nm and 116A-B
Recommended (optional!) Textbooks
- Classical mechanics by J.R. Taylor
- Classical mechanics by T.W.B. Kibble and F.H. Berkshire (5th edition, 4th edition fine too)
- Classical Dynamics by S.T. Thornton and J.B. Marion (recommended, but very expensive!)
- Classical Mechanics, 3rd edition by Goldstein, Poole, and Safko (a graduate-level very complete textbook)
- Classical Dynamics: a contemporary approach by J.V. Jose' and E.J. Saletan (advanced, but recommended)
- Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics by V.I. Arnold (very advanced, but recommended for those with an inclination towards math)
- Analytical Mechanics by A. Fasano and S. Marmi (as above - this is the book your Instructor learned this stuff from)
- Mechanics by L.D. Landau and E.M. Lifshitz (very good, but very ``Soviet'')
- The Elements of Mechanics by G. Gallavotti
- Theoretical Mechanics by E. Neal Moore
- Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems/ by J. Marion
Course Grading and Requirements
Student evaluations will be based on their performance in the following three tasks. The tasks and their relative weights in determining the students' overall course grades are given below (see however below for special ``reward points''):\\
- 35% Weekly Homework (9 problem sets)
- 25% Midterm Exam (Tuesday, October 29, 8:45 AM -- 9:45 AM)
- 40% Final Exam (Wednesday, December 11, 12:00 PM -- 3:00 PM)
Weekly homework assignments will be posted on the eCommons website each Thursday (with the exception
of Thanksgiving Thursday) and are due in class, at the beginning of class on the Thursday of the following week.
The homework problem sets are (effectively) not optional, and will consist of a few problems from Kibble and Berkshire.
You are encouraged to discuss the class material and homework problems with your classmates and to work in groups,
but all submitted problems should represent your own work and understanding. Late homework can be submitted to the grader,
but will not contribute any points to the final grade. I will grant one late homework exception-to-policy,
for exceptional and well-motivated and documented reasons. The Grader will grade each homework, and is responsible
for the given grade. Grades for each homework problem will consist of 2 points (mostly correct), 1 point (less than 50% c
orrect) or 0 points. Homework solutions may be made available on the course website on the homework due date or shortly
thereafter. The TA is responsible for the homework solutions. There will be 9 homework assignments, and they will contribute
about 4% each to the final grade, for a total of 35%.
Discussion Section and Reward Points
Discussion Section will be typically devoted to discussing problems in the assigned homework.
The discussion will be lead by the TA, who will survey the audience and suggest which homework problems to examine at
the beginning of the section. The problems will then be discussed at the board by "volunteers",
who will be awarded "Reward Points" (at the discretion of the TA).
Reward Points will be counted as an extra credit towards the final, overall course grade and can contribute up to 10%
of the overall grade.
Midterm and Final
The midterm exam and the final exam will be held in the same classroom as
the lectures. The midterm will be a 1 hour written exam in class (regular lecture time) on Tuesday October 29, on chapters 1-8, while the final (Wednesday, December 11, 12:00 PM -- 3:00 PM) will be three hours long and cover
the complete course material. Both the midterm and the final will be closed-book, but you will be allowed one page, A4 format, front and back, of notes. Only non-graphical,
non-programmable calculators will be allowed (it will be up to the discretion of the Instructor to decide whether a calculator is or not allowed). Laptop
computers and more or less smart cellular phones of any kind will not be allowed. A practice midterm and final will be handed out a week before the exams. You must take the
final exam to pass the course. The midterm will be worth 24% of the grade, the final 40%
The minimal score not to fail the class is 60%.
The final grade will follow the percent guideline below:
- 60% to 70%: C range
- 70% to 85%: B range
- 85% to 100%: A range
La filosofia e' scritta in questo grandissimo libro che continuamente ci sta aperto innanzi a gli occhi (io dico l'universo), ma non si puo' intendere se prima non s'impara a intender la lingua, e conoscer i caratteri, ne' quali e' scritto. Egli e' scritto in lingua matematica, e i caratteri son triangoli, cerchi, ed altre figure geometriche, senza i quali mezzi e' impossibile a intenderne umanamente parola; senza questi e' un aggirarsi vanamente per un oscuro laberinto. (Galileo Galilei, Il Saggiatore, 1623)
Philosophy (Knowledge) is written in that great book which ever lies before our eyes (I call it the Universe), but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. It is written in mathematical language, and the letters are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without which means it is humanly impossible to comprehend a single word; without knowledge of those, it's a useless wandering in a dark labyrinth.