Mathematical aspects of classical mechanics
Supervisors Dr. Filip Klawe (klawe@math.uniheidelberg.de)  
Time: Wednesday, 14:15, room 2/414 Mathematikon  
Participants: Bachelor and master students Mathematics, Ph.D students are also encouraged to join the seminar. The level of the course will be adapted to students background.  
Abstract: The aim of this seminar is to introduce concepts and methods of classical mechanics. Classical mechanics is a branch of physics that deals with motion of bodies based on Newton's laws of mechanics, that is how the action of force affects material bodies. Classical mechanics describes the motion of point masses (infinitesimally small objects) and of rigid bodies (large objects that rotate but cannot change the shape). In a general case, no objects fit perfectly to this description, there is nothing like point mass or perfectly rigid body. However, approximating them as such, classical mechanics accurately describes the motion of objects from molecules to galaxies. Corrections to classical mechanics are required only in extreme situations (black holes, neutron stars, atomic structure, superconductivity, and so forth). The main idea of this seminar is to study connections between physical phenomena and the related mathematical theory. Mathematical tools, which had their origin in classical mechanics, may be applied also to other type of problems. The seminar starts with general introduction to the topic. Then, we focus on different approaches of classical mechanics: Newtonian, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian. Seminar participants are invited to present some parts of the material. The list of topics will be given at the first seminar (October 16). Seminar participants are expected to be familiar with ordinary differential equations. Physics background (basic) is useful but not necessary. If you are interested, please contact me by email.  
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