PHYS 3344 Overview

Fall 1998

Last edit: 24 Aug 1998

Prof. Thomas Coan (x8-2497)
Office: 4B Fondren Science


Welcome to PHYS 3344. This course requires you to work and has two major goals. The first goal is for you to learn a substantial subset of classical mechanics. These topics include the Newtonian mechanics of single and multiple discrete particles, Newtonian gravity, central force motion, Hamilton's principle, motion in a non-inertial reference frame, the dynamics of rigid body motion, and oscillations of a point particle. The second goal of PHYS 3344 is for you to learn some practical mathematical techniques useful for solving physics problems, including those you are likely to see in other courses and in a technical career after graduation. These will include elements of vector calculus, matrix manipulation and elementary linear algebra, techniques for solving differential equations and an introduction to Fourier analysis.

My choice of topics of PHYS 3344 is based on the assumption that you will take PHYS 3345 in the Spring. There, we will complete our study of classical mechanics and you will also have the opportunity to learn more practical mathematical techniques. My intention is to cover almost all of our primary text, Classical Dynamics, as well as some supplementary material, by the end of May. Details about PHYS 3345 will be provided later.

Tests, Exams and Grades

Homework will be issued weekly and is graded. I encourage you to work together on the problems. However, the final write-up must be your own work. Submitted homework assignments that are suspiciously similar will annoy me and plagiarism will be dealt with harshly. There will be 3 regular tests as well as a comprehensive final exam. See the PHYS 3344 syllabus for details. I will issue short, unannounced quizzes to test your diligence in reading the course material on a random basis.

Your final grade will be based on a weighted sum of your performance on homework, tests, quizzes and the final exam:

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