Offered to students admitted to Year 1 in ALL
Major/Minor ALL
Course Type
Offer in 2018 - 2019 Y N
Course Code PHYS3350
Date2019/07/23 19:16
Enquiry for Course Details
PHYS3350 Classical mechanics (6 credits) Academic Year 2018
Offering Department Physics Quota ---
Course Co-ordinator Dr S Z Zhang, Physics < shizhong@hku.hk >
Teachers Involved (Dr S Z Zhang,Physics)
Course Objectives Build on the foundation course PHYS2250, this course discusses classical mechanics in the advanced undergraduate level using Lagrangian formalism. It serves as a core course for physics major students as well as an elective core for those who are interested in gaining a deep understanding of classical mechanics and to apply related techniques in their own majors. This is also an essential course for those who plan to pursue postgraduate studies in physics or related disciplines. Both conceptual ideas and mathematical treatment are emphasized.
Course Contents & Topics This course will be essentially divided into two parts. In the first part, fundamental concepts related to Lagrangian mechanics will be treated. Topics include the variational principle, conservation laws and its relation to Newtonian mechanics. In the second part, we shall discuss applications of the Lagrangian mechanics. Topics include the central force problem, the coupled harmonic oscillators and rigid-body dynamics. Lagrangian mechanics in non-inertial frame will also be discussed.
Course Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

CLO 1 understand the logical structure of Lagrangian mechanics and its advantage over the Newtonian formulation;
CLO 2 write down the form of Lagrangian for a mechanical system and solve the dynamic equations in simple cases
CLO 3 understand the general feature of a many-body system and the role of center of mass frame in two-body, as well as many-body and rigid body dynamics
Pre-requisites
(and Co-requisites and
Impermissible combinations)
Pass in PHYS2250
Course Status with Related Major/Minor /Professional Core 2018 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2018 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2014 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2014 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
2014 Major in Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
2014 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
Course to PLO Mapping 2018 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2017 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2017 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2017 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2016 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2016 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2016 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2015 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2015 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2015 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2014 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2014 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2014 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
Offer in 2018 - 2019 Y        1st sem    Examination Dec     
Offer in 2019 - 2020 Y
Course Grade A+ to F
Grade Descriptors
A Demonstrate thorough mastery at an advanced level of extensive knowledge and skills required for attaining all the course learning outcomes. Show strong analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, with evidence of original thought, and ability to apply knowledge to a wide range of complex, familiar and unfamiliar situations. Apply highly effective organizational and presentational skills. Apply highly effective lab skills and techniques. Critical use of data and results to draw appropriate and insightful conclusions.
B Demonstrate substantial command of a broad range of knowledge and skills required for attaining at least most of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, and ability to apply knowledge to familiar and some unfamiliar situations. Apply effective organizational and presentational skills. Apply effective lab skills and techniques. Correct use of data of results to draw appropriate conclusions.
C Demonstrate general but incomplete command of knowledge and skills required for attaining most of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of some analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, and ability to apply knowledge to most familiar situations. Apply moderately effective organizational and presentational skills. Apply moderately effective lab skills and techniques. Mostly correct but some erroneous use of data and results to draw appropriate conclusions.
D Demonstrate partial but limited command of knowledge and skills required for attaining some of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of some coherent and logical thinking, but with limited analytical and critical abilities. Show limited ability to apply knowledge to solve problems. Apply limited or barely effective organizational and presentational skills. Apply partially effective lab skills and techniques. Limited ability to use data and results to draw appropriate conclusions.
Fail Demonstrate little or no evidence of command of knowledge and skills required for attaining the course learning outcomes. Lack of analytical and critical abilities, logical and coherent thinking. Show very little or no ability to apply knowledge to solve problems. Organization and presentational skills are minimally effective or ineffective. Apply minimally effective or ineffective lab skills and techniques. Misuse of data and results and/or unable to draw appropriate conclusions.
Course Type Lecture with laboratory component course
Course Teaching
& Learning Activities
Activities Details No. of Hours
Laboratory 6
Lectures 36
Tutorials 8
Assessment 80
Assessment Methods
and Weighting
Methods Details Weighting in final
course grade (%)
Assessment Methods
to CLO Mapping
Assignments 20 CLO 1,2,3
Examination 2-hour written exam 60 CLO 1,2,3
Laboratory reports 10 CLO 3
Test 10 CLO 1,2,3
Required/recommended reading
and online materials
Lecture notes provided by Course Coordinator
David Morin: Introduction to Classical Mechanics, (Cambridge, 2007).
Steven Thornton and Jerry Marion: Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems, (Cengage Learning India, 2012)
Course Website http://moodle.hku.hk
Additional Course Information NIL
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