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After Physics I, when do we see classical mechanics again?

  1. Jan 3, 2014 #1
    I just took Physics I last semester, but I still feel there is so much more to learn about classical mechanics. I could work on 100 different problems involving binary stars, rockets, or rotating objects - but then a slight twist is thrown in on the problems, then something new to have to figure out again.

    I spent time working on two different MIT opencourseware courses too, both of which had some differing materials in them (Lewin and scholar versions). However, there was so much material between the two of them, I wasn't able to get through all of it and will not have time for it this coming semester.

    I was planning on hitting the Morin Classical Mechanics book over the summer to brush up and improve on my classical mechanics, but I'm wondering when I'll be seeing it again in my coursework? Will we see any of it at all again in Physics II, or is it mostly new formulas for electricity and magnetism? Do we have to keep up with studying the classical mechanics on top of Physics II? With so much to learn, I'm just not sure where to set my limits and when to put time into my other studies like mathematics and computer programming, as I don't know when I'll see classical mechanics again?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 3, 2014 #2


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    You'll see it again without a doubt in a sophomore level classical mechanics class (usually at the level of Taylor) or an honors sophomore level classical mechanics class (i.e. one that focuses a lot more on Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics) and possibly again before the end of senior year if your school offers a senior undergraduate/graduate level classical mechanics class (at the level of Goldstein usually) that you choose to take as an elective.

    The same goes for electromagnetism. Of course the methods, tools, and concepts you have learned in classical mechanics, and those that you will learn in the future, will show up consistently throughout your physics education regardless of whether you're doing QM, EM, SR, GR, stat mech etc.
  4. Jan 3, 2014 #3

    D H

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    There's a lot more to learn about classical mechanics. If you continue as a physics major you'll see it again in your sophomore or junior year in a class that is devoted to exactly that topic, and then you'll see it yet again as a first year graduate class. Marion is a typical text for the sophomore/junior class, Goldstein for the graduate level class. The canonical name for both classes is of course Classical Mechanics.

    If you are majoring in mechanical or civil engineering, you'll see a whole lot more classical mechanics as an undergraduate than that one class you get as a physics major.
  5. Jan 3, 2014 #4
    Good to know, thanks. As far as the major, mine is in physics, leaning towards high-energy astrophysics in particular, but who knows once I get to grad school.

    With what you two have said, I think I might ease back a bit on my physics and put a bit more time into the mathematics and programming. I feel like I might have gone a bit overboard with my prioritizing classical mechanics lately.
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