Physics 501
Classical Mechanics
Fall 2011

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9:35am-10:30am.
Physics P-112

Graded homework 10 is available just outside of my office B-102.

Instructor: Sasha Abanov, Associate Professor
Office: Physics B102
Phone: (631)632-8174
Web page:
Office Hours: Wed 10:30-11:30am

Teaching Assistant: Li Yan
Office: Physics C-119

Course description

Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations with applications to various dynamical systems. Variational principles, symmetries and conservation laws. Hamilton-Jacobi theory. Introduction to selected advanced subjects such as nonlinear oscillations, parametric oscillations, classical perturbation theory, integrable and chaotic systems, theory of elastic field.

Course requirements

Attendance to lectures is expected. Homework assignments should be turned in on time. Late homeworks will not be accepted. There will be two midterms and a final exam.

Grading and exams

Two midterms (September 26 and November 16) and a final exam (December 19) All exams: book open. The final grade is calculated from
Homeworks --- 20%
Midterms --- 20+20%
Final exam --- 40%

Tentative Syllabus of the Course (Schedule)

  1. Introduction.
  2. Lagrangian formalism.
  3. Conservation laws.
  4. 1D motion.
  5. 2D motion. Central force motion.
  6. Small oscillations.
  7. Rigid body motion.
  8. Hamiltonian and Hamilton-Jacobi formalism.
  9. Nonlinear dynamics and chaos.
  10. Elasticity theory.
  11. Dynamics of continuous systems.
  12. Final remarks: towards field theory and quantum mechanics.



Main textbook For additional reading I also recommend

For your information.

If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services (631) 632-6748. They will determine with you what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.

Students requiring emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and Disability Support Services. For procedures and information, go to the following web site

Last updated December 5, 2011