Department of Physics and Astronomy

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Physics 305: Particle and Continuum Mechanics
Fall Semester 2014, Prof. Oberacker


Contact Information

Instructor: Professor Volker E. Oberacker
Phone: 615-322-5035
Office: Stevenson Center, 6th floor, room 6625

Class schedule

Class meetings: MWF, 11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., SC 6638
Office hours: Mon 1-2 pm, Tue 10-11 am, Thu 10-11 am.

The aim of this course

Graduate-level core course of theoretical mechanics. The main topics are: Newton's laws, classical conservation laws for N particles (linear and angular momentum, energy). Galilei's relativity principle. Variational calculus, principle of least action and Lagrange equations. Two-body problem and central forces, theory of elastic scattering. Rotating reference frames (centrifugal and Coriolis forces), rigid body motion. Hamilton's canonical equations, motion in phase space. Classical Chaos. Canonical transformations and Poisson brackets. Hamilton-Jacobi equation. Small oscillations. Brief introduction to hydrodynamics.

Textbook and Course Website

Textbook: Goldstein, Poole, and Safko: "Classical Mechanics", 3rd edition, Addison Wesley, ISBN 0-201-65702-3

Course Website:

Physics 305 corequisite

Physics 308: Mathematical Methods for Physicists (or equivalent)

Last update: August 13, 2014
Volker Oberacker
Vanderbilt University