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Classical Mechanics Help

  1. Dec 3, 2004 #1
    I have my classical mechanics final coming up soon and I was wondering if some of you could help me study. The format of the test is a 30 minute oral exam where we will be asked 3-4 questions. Obviously these will be mostly conceptual, since there isn't time to do a lot of math. My problem is, I'm having a hard time coming up with any good sample questions to study. I've never had a test like this and don't really know how to prepare.

    So does anyone have suggestions on sample questions that would be good to practice on? This is a first year grad school level class, and we have covered most of the Goldstein text (Lagrangian, Hamiltonian, Moment of inertia and inertial tensors, poisson brackets, variational calculus, central force problems, coordinate transformations, Hamilton-Jacobi equation). Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2004 #2


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    I did not respond to this any earlier because I thought someone else might have something more intelligent to say about it than I can. Having seen that no one has responded in more than a day already, here's my take on this....

    It is difficult to advice anyone on this because such exam can be school specific. Hell, it can even be person specific! So it is hard for anyone outside of your fellow students to tell you how to prepare for such things. My suggestion is to ask the more senior grad students on what to expect, how they prepared for it, etc. People who have gone through the exact thing are the best people to get advice from. They may even tell you that professor so-and-so does research work in this and this is the type of question he likes to ask. ALWAYS, without fail, figure out who is going to be examining you, not only for this exam, but for anything else in the future. If you know a little bit about who they are, then you can make a few anticipation of what they might "like and dislike".

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