PH5030 Classical Mechanics

Course Details

Mechanics of a system of particles in vector form. Conservation of linear momentum, energy and angular momentum. Degrees of freedom, generalised coordinates and velocities. Lagrangian, action principle, external action, Euler-Lagrange equations. Constraints. Applications of the Lagrangian formalism. Generalised momenta, Hamiltonian, Hamilton's equations of motion. Legendre transform, relation to Lagrangian formalism. Phase space, Phase trajectories. Applications to systems with one and two degrees of freedom. Central force problem, Kepler problem, bound and scattering motions. Scattering in a central potential, Rutherford formula, scattering cross section.
Noninertial frames of reference and pseudoforces: centrifugal Coriolis and Euler forces. Elements of rigid-body dynamics. Euler angles. The symmetric top. Small oscillations Normal mode analysis. Normal modes of a harmonic chain.
Elementary ideas on general dynamical systems: conservative versus dissipative systems. Hamiltonian systems and Liouville's theorem. Canonical transformations, Poisson brackets. Action-angle variables. Non-integrable systems and elements of chaotic motion.
Special relativity: Internal frames. Principle and postulate of relativity. Lorentz transformations. Length contraction, time dilation and the Doppler effect. Velocity addition formula. Four- vector notation. Energy-momentum four-vector for a particle. Relativistic invariance of physical laws.

Course References:

1. H. Goldstein, Classical Mechanics, 2nd Edition, Narosa Pub. House (1989).
2. I. Percival and D. Richards, Introduction to Dynamics, Cambridge University Press ( 1987) [Chapters 4,5,6, 7 in particular. also parts of Chapter 1-3,9, 10].
3. D. Rindler, Special Theory of Relativity, Oxford University Press (1982).