Solved Problems in Classical Mechanics: Analytical and Numerical Solutions with Comments

ISBN : 9780199582518

O.L.De Lange; J. Pierrus
608 Pages
171 x 246 mm
Pub date
May 2010
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Apart from an introductory chapter giving a brief summary of Newtonian and Lagrangian mechanics, this book consists entirely of questions and solutions on topics in classical mechanics that will be encountered in undergraduate and graduate courses. These include one-, two-, and three- dimensional motion; linear and nonlinear oscillations; energy, potentials, momentum, and angular momentum; spherically symmetric potentials; multi-particle systems; rigid bodies; translation and rotation of the reference frame; the relativity principle and some of its consequences. The solutions are followed by a set of comments intended to stimulate inductive reasoning and provide additional information of interest. Both analytical and numerical (computer) techniques are used to obtain and analyze solutions. The computer calculations use Mathematica (version 7), and the relevant code is given in the text. It includes use of the interactive Manipulate function which enables one to observe simulated motion on a computer screen, and to study the effects of changing parameters. The book will be useful to students and lecturers in undergraduate and graduate courses on classical mechanics, and students and lecturers in courses in computational physics.


1. Introduction
2. Miscellanea
3. One-dimensional motion
4. Linear oscillations
5. Energy and potentials
6. Momentum and angular momentum
7. Motion in two and three dimensions
8. Spherically symmetric potentials
9. The Coulomb and oscillator problems
10. Two-body problems
11. Multi-particle systems
12. Rigid bodies
13. Nonlinear oscillations
14. Translation and Rotation of the reference frame
15. The relativity principle and some of its consequences

About the author: 

Owen de Lange is a professor of physics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. His research interests include: electromagnetic theory, molecular physics, dislocation interactions, superconductivity and educational physics. He is co-author of two monographs: Operator methods in quantum mechanics, and Multipole theory in electromagnetism. The former book was awarded the University of Natal book prize (1994) and the Bill Venter/Altron award (1995) for research published in book form. ; John Pierrus is a senior lecturer in the school of physics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has published research in the fields of chemical kinetics, solid state physics, molecular physics, gas dynamics and educational physics. His teaching interests include electromagnetic theory and classical mechanics at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level.

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