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Department of Physics

Physics 5300 Theoretical Mechanics
Spring, 2018

General Information about 5300 Theoretical Mechanics

Course title:
Theoretical Mechanics
The text for the course is Classical Mechanics by John R. Taylor [Google Books]. Other recommended references include:
The official prerequisites are C+ or higher in Physics 2301; credit for Math 2174 or Math 2415 or Math 2255 or Math 5520H. Talk to Prof. Furnstahl if you're concerned about your preparation.
Instructional Philosophy:
The structure of the course is based on the observation that "active learning" is more effective than straight lectures during which you are passively listening. As we all know from experience, you really learn the physics when you do problems, ask questions, and discuss the underlying concepts (or, even more so, when you have to teach it!). So the most important part will be discussions and actual problem solving among the participants and the instructor. To make this possible, we will dedicate much of the class time to discussion questions and simulations (and we "flip" some lecture material so you look at videos and other material outside of class and we do discussion questions and exercises in class), and students will be highly encouraged to discuss and work on assignments with each other. This will be facilitated with the online student-driven question-and-answer system (Piazza), which can be accessed through Canvas. There will be Piazza-based assignments that range from two-minute problems to advanced exercises for the experts. Some of the exercises are designed to lead the student to go back over particular lecture material to make sure it is understood while others extend the lecture and still others introduce topics not yet touched upon. To avoid the assignments from becoming major time sinks, we do not attempt to develop the type of problem-solving skills that require students to struggle over individual problems for many hours. Rather, the idea is to guide students rather explicitly but let them fill in details collaboratively.
Prof. Richard Furnstahl
office: M2048 PRB
email: furnstahl.1@osu.edu
phone: 614-292-4830 (office) or 614-847-4026 (home)
Class meets TWThF from 11:30am-12:25pm in Smith 1048.
Office Hours:
TBA, and by appointment (asking in class is easiest but email works) or just drop by Prof. Furnstahl's office (M2048).
Assessment (grading):
Other Items:
Web Pages:
This info: http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~ntg/5300/5300_info.php
Course home page: http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~ntg/5300/5300_home.php

Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.
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Physics 5300 Course Information.
Last modified: 01:37 pm, October 18, 2017.