Fall 2020: Classical Mechanics I (171.105)

Overview: This course is a one-semester introduction to classical mechanics. It is the first course in a four semester introductory sequence that includes Physics 171.106 and Physics 171.201-202 or 171.309-310. As such, it is primarily intended for students who are planning to take at least two years of physics courses. Students planning to take a single year of physics should consider the introductory 171.101-102, 103-104, or 107-108 sequences. The goal of this course is to give a solid grounding in the core topics of classical mechanics, and to prepare students for further study in physics. Calculus will be used in keeping with the students' level of math preparation, and additional mathematical techniques will be introduced as needed. Co-requisites: Classical Mechanics Laboratory 173.115, and Calculus 110.108 or higher level mathematics course.

Required texts:

COVID-19 updates:

We plan to hold classes online in real time, using Zoom. The classes will be recorded. Synchronous participation in class is strongly encouraged, as we will use the iClicker / REEF system for instant polling feedback. The exact details of how this works and how you should register will be worked out closer to the start of our classes. Only in exceptional cases, when synchronous online participation is not possible, special arrangements for asynchronous class participation will be attempted.

All homework will be collected remotely through Gradescope online system. You should have a system which allows good resolution scanning of your work and quick upload to Gradescope. The Gradescope system will also be used for exam grading. Details of remote proctoring will be announced later, but we expect strict rules to be followed, which will require full-time audio and video monitoring with recording, and will be possible only if your device and internet connection allow this option. All students should be available for exams at the regularly scheduled times, which is during our class time for midterms.

The final grade will include information from class participation, homework assignments, midterm and final exams.

Students are strongly encourage to take Classical Mechanics Laboratory 173.115 in parallel with this course. Both courses are required for Physics majors and both are offered only in the Fall semester. However, the Lab course will not be a requirement to take Classical Mechanics I (171.105) course. Contact the instructor of 173.115 for further details.

Blackboard: online system for keeping your scores and providing some class-internal material.

SIS (Student Information System): online system for registration, class email lists, grades.

Andrei Gritsan
Last update: Wed Aug 12 16:21:58 EDT 2020