This course builds on the concepts of earlier physics courses. At the 100- and 200-level the subjects of electromagnetism, thermodynamics and quantum physics have been covered in some detail. This course will cover some principles and methods at a higher abstraction level which will demonstrate some relations between these fields. As a result, the treatment will be fairly mathematical.
The starting point of the course is a rigorous treatment of classical mechanics. Among the applications will be central forces, oscillating systems and rotating bodies. Also the Lagrangian formalism – including the principle of least action – will be emphasized.
As in any physics course, students will spend much time working through homework problems. But in this course there will be an added emphasis on independent study. Throughout the semester students will study articles from various physics journals. They will research topics not covered in class, and report their findings in a written paper and presentation in class.
- Teacher: Leo Wit de