Physics 131-B Mechanics
Textbook: Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Gasiorowicz, and Thornton.
Location & Time: KPTC 120, TTh 12-1:20
Office hours (tentative): Tuesdays 3:30-4:30.
This course is an introduction to classical mechanics aimed at
beginning students.You should have some background
in calculus, or be taking a calculus course concurrently. There will be
weekly problem sets, a weekly lab section, and a
discussion section organized by the teaching assistants. On occasion,
there might even be a quiz during the discussion
In addition, there will be a weekly discussion section held on
Wednesdays at 7 pm, and
a weekly lab section. General
information on registering for this course can be found here. Some information about the lab schedule
is listed here.
There is also an outline of the course,
and some information on additional references.
The teaching assistants can be found in KPTC 303 during their office
- Piyush Kumar,
office hours: Mondays 4-6.
- Marcos Lima, office hours: Tuesdays
- Xiang Cheng, office hours: Thursdays
Exams and Homework
The grade for the course will be determined (tentatively) by the
problem sets (~20%), your lab reports (~20%), two
one hour exams (~30%), and the
final exam (~30%). Homework assignments will typically be
handed out Thursday,
and be due the following Thursday. The assignments will also be posted
on this web page.
I want you to primarily think about the homework assignments yourself.
There is no better way to learn the material
than to puzzle over it. Preferably, talk to the teaching assistants or
me about difficulties that
The final is now scheduled for Tuesday
December 10, 10:30-12:30 in KPTC 120.
Problem set 1 - Due October
If you feel that you need to review derivatives or the basics of
calculus, try looking at this site,
or perhaps here.
nice discussion of calculus and integration
which is easy reading can be found here.
A clarification: on problem 1, please state the
Planck mass in terms of Kg, and then compute something with units
of energy and express it in terms of GeV.
Solution set 1
Those of you who have not
received your graded problem set should go to KPTC 101 and retrieve
set from your TA's mail box.
Problem set 2 - Due October
I suggest reading most of chapter 5 before starting the problem set
since it has many useful examples involving
If you want to brush up on vectors, or become more familiar with dot
products, I suggest taking a look at this site.
Sections 8-10 cover vectors while sections 11-17 cover dot
products, and describe some of the reasons we
use these structures.
Solution set 2
Problem set 3 - Due October
Solution set 3
The first midterm is scheduled for Wednesday
October 23 during discussion section. It covers material through
today's lecture (Oct. 17).
First midterm exam (without pictures!)
Problem set 4 - Due
Solution set 4
Problem set 5 - Due
Don't forget that there are links to reviews on
Solution set 5
Problem set 6 - Due
Solution set 6
Problem set 7- Due November
Solution set 7
The second midterm is scheduled for Thursday November 21 during lecture.
For those of you who can't get enough mechanics problems, let me
suggest the following practice
problems from the text: ch7, 57, 63; ch8 47, 57, 77; ch9 11, 27,
41, 53; ch10 15, 37; ch11 11, 41. The
exam covers through statics.
Midterm 2 Solutions
In preparation for the final, let me suggest the
following practice problems from the text: ch3 49; ch5 44 (you
can now solve this exactly), 57; ch6 41 (also find the potential), 51;
ch7 57, 61, 65; ch8 38, 61; ch9 27, 39, 54;
ch10 57, 61; ch11 47; ch12 39, 51, 57; ch13 32, 59, 67, 87.
Stay tuned to this website for updated course information.