MWF 9:35 am – 10:25 am (period 3), in NPB 1101


Bernard Whiting NPB 2079; Tel: 392-8746; Email:
Luyi Yan NPB 1133; Tel: 222-6508; Email:


TR  5:10 pm – 6:00 pm (period 10) in NPB 2079, or by appointment.
W  1:00 pm – 2:00 pm (period 6+) in NPB 1133, for grader, Luyi Yan.


Classical Mechanics, H. Goldstein, C. Poole and J. Safko
(Addison Wesley, San Francisco, 2002) 3rd edition ISBN 978-0-201-65702-9.


Mechanics, L.D. Landau and E.M. Lifshitz
Volume 1 in Course of Theoretical Physics
(Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 1976) 3rd edition ISBN 978-0-750-62896-9.


PHY 3221 and PHY 4222 - Undergraduate Classical Mechanics
PHY 3323 - Undergraduate Electromagnetism


Classical mechanics lies at the core of any physics education. Techniques and concepts learnt here will be used throughout your physics career, be it in industry or academia. Problem solving skills developed in physics are essential for a successful research career and highly prized wherever physicists crop up in industry. You must take this class seriously from the very beginning, working consistently and maintaining a grasp of the course. Seek help instantly if you feel yourself slipping, lest you fall behind irrevocably.


Introduction, principle of least action, constraints, Noether's theorem, Galilean invariance, the Kepler problem, scattering, the virial theorem, free, forced and damped oscillations, small oscillations of a molecule, parametric resonance, the rotation group in 3 dimensions, equations of motion of rigid bodies, Hamilton's equations, Poisson brackets, canonical transformations, Liouville's theorem, the Hamilton-Jacobi equation, adiabatic invariants, the mechanics of continuous media.


Homework is work you do at home (or, at least, outside the class) whether assigned by me or assigned by yourself. Either way, for the course to be effective, it has to be done, but the long-term benefits are significantly better if you are self-motivated in the work you do.


  • Attend and participate fully in class
  • Solve relevant, interesting and hard problems
  • Hand homework in on time, every time


The final grade will be based on participation (10%), homework (30%), a mid-term test (30%) on October 12 (Period E2-E3, NPB 1002, confirmed), and the final exam (30%) on December 15 (3:00pm-5:00pm, NPB 1101, scheduled).


Students with disabilities requesting accommodations should first register with the Disability Resource Center (352-392-8565, by providing appropriate documentation. Once registered, students will receive an accommodation letter which must be presented to the instructor when requesting accommodations. Students with disabilities should follow this procedure as early as possible in the semester.