Featured image of post AMATH 271


Intro to theoratical mechanics

This course gives a broad introduction to classical mechanics and a brief introduction to special relativity. It is math heavy… and it covers a bit more content than PHYS 263. So I would recomment this course over phys 263.


  • Newton’s Law of Motion
  • Projectiles and Charged Particles
  • Momentum and Angular Momentum
  • Energy
  • Oscillations
  • Calculus of Variations (brief) & Lagrange Equations
  • Two-Body Problem
  • Hamiltonian Mechanics
  • Special Relativity

The first several chapters should be familiar if you have taken first year physics and some second year amath courses (231, 251). Calculus of Variations is an inspiring idea which is the base of Lagrange Equations. If you find it interesting, consider taking AMATH 456. Two-Body Problem is indeed interesting, which gives another rigorous view of what we have learnt in high school. I guess AMATH 475 (General Relativity) would review special relativity at the begining, so don’t worry too much if you didn’t learn it well. If you find classical mechanics interesting, consider taking Intermediate Classical Mechanics, PHYS 363, but remember to choose a good prof.

Complete learning notes can be found here: online view version and print version.

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