ANALYTICAL MECHANICS

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Code
25911
ACADEMIC YEAR
2020/2021
CREDITS
8 credits during the 2nd year of 8760 Mathematics (L-35) GENOVA

6 credits during the 2nd year of 8758 PHYSICS (L-30) GENOVA

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
MAT/07
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (Mathematics)
semester
2° Semester
Prerequisites
Prerequisites
You can take the exam for this unit if you passed the following exam(s):
  • PHYSICS 8758 (coorte 2019/2020)
  • MATHEMATICAL ANALYSIS 1 52474
  • GENERAL PHYSICS 1 72884
  • LINEAR ALGEBRA AND GEOMETRY 80275
Prerequisites (for future units)
This unit is a prerequisite for:
  • PHYSICS 8758 (coorte 2019/2020)
  • QUANTUM PHYSICS 66559
  • QUANTUM PHYSICS (A) 66560
  • QUANTUM PHYSICS (B) 66562
Teaching materials

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

In this course will be dealt with the foundations of both Lagrangian and Hamiltonian analytical mechanics and the theory of stability.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

The aim of the lecture is to present analytical mechanics, both from the Lagrange and the Hamiltonian point of view, and its applications to the solution of mechanical problems.
Starting from Newton's laws and the analysis of constrained systems, the Lagrangian formalism is introduced along with the Euler-Lagrange equations. The existence of (local) solutions for Euler-Lagrange equations is examined in detail, focusing in particular on the structure of the kinetic energy. During the course several physically interesting examples are discussed, both concerning systems of point particles and rigid bodies. Furthermore, stability theory à la Ljapunov for autonomous dynamical systems is developed, including its application to small oscillations around stable equilibrium configurations of a mechanical system.
The transition from the Lagrangian to the Hamiltonian formalism is achieved through the Legendre transform. This allows us to deduce Hamilton equations from Euler-Lagrange equations. The natural symplectic structure that appears manifestly in Hamiltonian mechanics is formalized introducing Poisson brackets, whose properties are analyzed in detail. Therefore, we are naturally led to introduce canonical transformations as those coordinate transformations that preserve the form of the Poisson brackets. Further equivalent characterizations of the class of canonical transformations are derived, including the one based on generating functions. The latter characterization of canonical transformations brings us to Hamilton-Jacobi equations, whose goal is to single out a system of canonical coordinates such that Hamilton equations become trivial.
The last part of the lecture focuses on variational principles, both in the Lagrangian and in the Hamiltonian formalism, with some applications to problems both of geometric and of physical flavor.
Throughout the lecture, weekly exercise classes are offered, whose aim is to prepare the student to independently solve a wide range of problems of mechanical nature using the techniques presented during the lecture.
 

TEACHING METHODS

The lecture consists of taught classes. Part of the classes are of theoretic nature (approximately 48 hours). The purpose of those is to present the theoretic aspects of analytical mechanics, along with some concrete examples. This theoretic part is complemented by weekly exercise classes (approximately 24 hours), whose purpose is to show how to solve concrete analytical mechanics problems using the tools presented in the theoretic part of the lecture.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

Introduction and basic concepts

  • Spacetime in classical physics
  • Point particle         (only for the 8 credits course)
  • Relative motion         (only for the 8 credits course)
  • Euler's law of motion for systems of point partivles and rigid bodies         (only for the 8 credits course)

Analytical mechanics of holonomic systems

  • Holonomic systems and ideal constraints
  • Euler-Lagrange equations
  • Lagrange equation and balance equations
  • Integrals of motion in the Lagrangian formalism

Introduction to stability of dynamical systems

  • Generalities on ordinary differential equations
  • Stability and Ljapunov's theory
  • Small oscillations for a mechanical system

Hamiltonian mechanics

  • Legendre transformation and Hamilton's equations
  • Poisson brackets
  • Canonical transformations
  • Generating functions
  • Transformation law for the Hamiltonian 
  • Hamilton-Jacobi equation

Variational principles

  • Lagrangian case and Hamiltonian case
  • Canonical transformations and covariance of the action functional

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Office hours: On appointment

Office hours: By appointment.

Exam Board

NICOLA PINAMONTI (President)

MARCO BENINI

PIERRE OLIVIER MARTINETTI (President Substitute)

LESSONS

TEACHING METHODS

The lecture consists of taught classes. Part of the classes are of theoretic nature (approximately 48 hours). The purpose of those is to present the theoretic aspects of analytical mechanics, along with some concrete examples. This theoretic part is complemented by weekly exercise classes (approximately 24 hours), whose purpose is to show how to solve concrete analytical mechanics problems using the tools presented in the theoretic part of the lecture.

LESSONS START

The class will start according to the academic calendar.

Class schedule

All class schedules are posted on the EasyAcademy portal.

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

The exam consists of two parts. The aim of the first part is to assess the student's ability to use the tools presented in the lecture to independently solve mechanical problems. The aim of the second part is to assess the student's understanding of the concepts and results presented in the lecture, as well as the student's ability to reproduce the proofs of the main theorems.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

The assessment is made of two stages. The first stage consists of a written test, during which the student's task is to solve mechanical problems using the tools presented in the lecture. The second stage consists of an oral test, during which the student's task is to demonstrate her/his knowledge of the subject, as well as her/his ability to reproduce the proofs of the main results presented throughout the lecture.

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
13/01/2021 09:00 GENOVA Scritto appello riservato agli studenti che hanno frequentato l'insegnamento nell'a.a.2019/20 o aa.aa. precedenti
14/01/2021 09:00 GENOVA Orale appello riservato agli studenti che hanno frequentato l'insegnamento nell'a.a.2019/20 o aa.aa. precedenti
11/02/2021 09:00 GENOVA Scritto appello riservato agli studenti che hanno frequentato l'insegnamento nell'a.a.2019/20 o aa.aa. precedenti
12/02/2021 09:00 GENOVA Orale appello riservato agli studenti che hanno frequentato l'insegnamento nell'a.a.2019/20 o aa.aa. precedenti
09/06/2021 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
10/06/2021 09:00 GENOVA Orale
13/07/2021 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
14/07/2021 09:00 GENOVA Orale
08/09/2021 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
09/09/2021 09:00 GENOVA Orale