PHY 411: Classical Mechanics & Chaotic Dynamics

(Fall 2015)

Lecture notes, Problems, etc..

Instructor: Alice Quillen, Bausch and Lomb Hall 424, Phone:275-9625, Email:aquillen at
Lectures: TR 11:05-12:20 in B+L315.
Note: First lecture (Tuesday Sept 1 at 11:05am in B+L315) we will have an organizational meeting during which time we can discuss moving the class time.

Overview: Topics covered will include: Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics, canonical transformations, Hamilton-Jacobi equations, chaotic dynamics, periodic orbits, stable and unstable orbits, resonances in celestial mechanics, resonance capture, resonance overlap criterion, bifurcations, Julia and Fatou sets, convergence of Newton's Iteration, KAM theory. We will explore these topics both analytically and numerically (in python).
Prerequisite: A good knowledge of classical mechanics. PHY235 is more than enough. Undergraduates are very welcome to join this class (including for the entire class not just the first 8 weeks).

Course requirements: Grading: problem sets 60%, projects 40%

Main references: