Physics 326
Classical Mechanics II

Prof. Gregory MacDougall

& Info
Discussion Homework Lecture notes Gradebook


The results of Midterm 2 have been posted to Gradebook. The median grade was 48/70, which is about 69%. Test booklets will be handed back in Discussion next week if you choose to attend. Friday, Nov. 30, 2018

A copy of Midterm 2 can be found here, and the solutions can be found here. Note that the answers to Q3 are not presented in the solution set in the order asked, but the relevant information is contained therein. Exams will be graded tomorrow and posted this weekend. Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018
     Note: A small error was caught in the original version of the solutions (wrong sign for a cross product in Q3). This error has now been corrected.

In anticipation of the midterm exam on Thursday, Nov.29, we will be holding special office hours on Monday, 5-7pm (w/ Shengzhu) and Tuesday, 3-5pm (w/ Brandon) in Loomis 222. Office hours on the 29th and 30th will be cancelled while exams are graded. Friday, Nov. 23, 2018

The due date for Homework#9 has been extended to Monday, November 5 to allow students to account for material presented in today's lecture. No late assignments will be accepted. Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018

The results of Midterm 1 have been posted to Gradebook. The median grade was 80%, with standard deviation of 19%. Test booklets will be handed back in Discussion next week. Friday, Oct. 12, 2018

A copy of today's midterm can be found here, and the solutions can be found here. Exams will be graded tomorrow and posted this weekend. Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018

Starting today, homeworks will be due at 6:30 on Fridays, to accommodate the new Office Hours, which will run 4:30-6:30 on Fridays in Loomis464. Thurssday, Sept. 13, 2018

Until today, the webpage has been displaying the incorrect room for weekly Office Hours. The correct room is Loomis 222! My apologies for the confusion. Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018

The Policies (Course Grade Breakdown) section below now includes a link to an informational page on iClickers and their use in this course. Please take a moment to read it through, and ask in class if there are any questions.    Monday, Aug. 27, 2018

Website is up!     Monday, Aug. 20, 2018
For those of you who have taken Phys 325 with me, the layout of the course webpage will seem familiar. Regardless, please take minute to read through the general course information on this page, which explains the course structure and policies on homework and grading. The syllabus link provides a week-by-week breakdown of topics covered in this course and suggested reading. I strongly suggest you attempt reading for the relevant weeks BEFORE attending lecture. Specific information on office hours will be included in the coming days.

General Information

Course Description
This course is a continuation of PHYS 325 Classical Mechanics I. Topics covered include Central force motion, collisions and scattering, rotational motion, coupled oscillations, continuous media, and fluid dynamics.

First assignments and classes
  • The first discussion section is Thursday August 30
  • The first lecture is Tuesday August 28
  • The first homework assignment is due Friday September 7

Prof. Gregory MacDougall, 216 MRL  → with "[phys326]" in the subject line


Loomis 144,   Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM

Loomis 136,   Thurs evenings, one hour in the period 5:00 - 8:00 PM. The exact time of your discussion will depend on the particular section for which you registered, see details here.

Office hours
222 Loomis,   Wed 5-7 PM   Pin-Chun Pai
222 Loomis,   Thurs 3-5 PM   Prof. MacDougall
222 Loomis,   Fri. 12-2 PM   Brandon Langley
464 Loomis,   Fri. 4:30-6:30 PM   Shengzhu Yin

Course Text Books
  • "Classical Mechanics" by John R. Taylor (Required)
  • "Introduction to Classical Mechanics" by David Morin (Recommended)
    which was recently removed from the library webpage, but is available for rent from Amazon.
  • "Exploring Black Holes" by Edwin F. Taylor, John A. Wheeler, and Edmund Bertschinger
    which is currently free online here.

  • Syllabus
    See here.



    Course Grade Breakdown
    Homework will be 30% of the total grade (there are 11 total assignments and the lowest score will be dropped), lecture participation using iClickers 5%, discussion attendance 5%, and exams will count for 60% (two mid-term exams are worth 15% each, and the final exam is 30%). For details regarding acquisition and use of iClickers in this course, click here.

    Homework due dates and time
    Homework assignments are due at 6:30 PM on Friday. Your solutions are to be deposited in the course homework box that is located on the second floor of Loomis Lab, at the entrance to the overpass to the Materials Research Lab (MRL) on the north side. Assignments which are late, but handed in by the following Monday at 6:30 PM will lose 20%. No late assignments will be accepted after Monday at 6:30 PM!

    General Policy Regarding Grading
    Homework is considered essential to learning course material, and should be treated as training for future work rather than as a test of what you already know. You should start working on an assignment early, close to when it is posted on Friday. We encourage students to work together, and get help from the professor or TAs when they encounter difficulties. We will happily explain difficult concepts during office hours and check your work for errors. For this reason, scores on homework are typically high (~95%). Don't make the mistake of starting your homework the day before it is due!

    Partial credit will be given on homework and exams if and only if the work is coherent. A random scattering of thoughts will not be awarded points. Simple numerical errors will not be strongly punished, however students are expected to be careful about their work and will lose points for errors which give incorrect physical results. The steps to receiving partial credit are: (i) write your solution neatly and coherently using equations and words to describe what you are doing (ii) checking your answer for consistency e.g. are units correct, does the solution behave correctly in known limits? Write as though you are explaining the problem to somebody who doesn't already know the answer! Expect the exams to be challenging but to be curved accordingly.

    Useful references

    Formula Sheets
    1D Formulae
    3D Calculus
    Midterm #1
    Midterm #2