Spring 2008

Introductory Physics I: Mechanics and Wave Motion

Listed in: Physics and Astronomy, as PHYS-16


Nicholas C. Darnton (Sections 04 and 05)
Kannan Jagannathan (Sections 04 and 05)


The course will begin with a description of the motion of particles and introduce Newton's dynamical laws and a number of important force laws. We will apply these laws to a wide range of problems to gain a better understanding of them and to demonstrate the generality of the framework. The important concepts of work, mechanical energy, and linear and angular momentum will be introduced. The unifying idea of conservation laws will be discussed. The study of mechanical waves permits a natural transition from the dynamics of particles to the dynamics of waves, including the interference of waves. Additional topics may include fluid mechanics and rotational dynamics. Three hours of lecture and discussion and one three-hour laboratory per week. Requisite: Mathematics 11. First semester: Visiting Professor Darnton. Second semester: Professor Jagannathan and Visiting Professor Darnton.