Part IB Advanced Physics Course

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1B Dynamics: Synopsis

Here is the official course synopsis, from the Physics Course Handbook. Accompanying pages give more details on the lecture sequence and emphases of the course.

The energy method: Equations of motion from energy functions. Central force problems re-expressed as one-dimensional problems. Perturbations of circular orbits. Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics. State-space diagrams. Conservation of angular momentum, energy, phase space volume. Perturbation methods and the simple pendulum. Dimensional analysis.

Normal modes: Counting degrees of freedom. Square matrices as linear operators and in quadratic forms. Eigenvectors. Stability analysis using normal modes. Use of symmetries to find normal modes. Beats. Modes of molecules.

Elasticity: Definitions of strain and stress as tensors. Young's modulus, Poisson ratio, Shear and bulk modulus. Relationship between shear, compression, and extension.

Central forces: Kepler's laws. Planetary orbits. Scattering. Predicting cross sections using dimensional analysis. Orbital transfers. Gravitational slingshot.

Rotating frames and fictitious forces: Centrifugal and Coriolis forces.

Rigid bodies: Relationship between angular velocity vector and angular momentum vector. Collisions of rigid bodies. Precession of the earth.

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