Physics 110A: Classical Mechanics I

Fall Term, 2012

Class meets MWF 2:00 to 2:50 PM, Center Hall 216

Problem Session W 6:00 to 7:50 PM, Center Hall 222


Bonus Goodies

Midterm Study Guide

Midterm Stats

Final Exam Study Guide

Final Exam Front Page (PDF)

Final Exam Stats

This class is where the rubber meets the road in physics: time to get serious. We will cover Chapters 1–8 and 11 of Taylor's Classical Mechanics text.

Students will be assessed via weekly problem sets, a midterm and a final exam.

Professor Contact Info

Tom Murphy
tmurphy /
SERF Buliding, Room 336, 534-1844
Office hour: Th 11:00 AM–12:00 PM (or by appointment: e-mail, phone)

Teaching Assistant Contact Info

Kit Lee (problem sessions, HW solutions, office hour)
wklee /
SERF Buliding, Room 463A
Office hours: Friday 11:00 AM–12:00 PM, SERF 463A

Wang Yang (HW grading)
wyang /

Course Text

Classical Mechanics, by John R. Taylor. This resource will be heavily used during the class. Reading assignments will be mostly implicit, as it will be clear which chapter we are covering. Occasional explicit reading assignments wil be isued for key points or to flag skipped material.


It is only by doing problems that the course material will truly sink in, so we will adhere to a regular schedule of graded homework, worth 25% of your grade. Problem sets will be due every Friday (Wed. on Thanksgiving week). The assignment will be issued by Friday the week before the due date, and visible on the assignments page.


The Midterm (30%) will be on Monday, Oct. 29, during class time, covering Chapters 1–5. The final exam (45%; comprehensive) will be Wed., Dec. 12, 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM; location TBD.


The first five chapters largely cover familiar topics, albeit perhaps using new techniques. The pace through these chapters will be on the fast side up until the midterm, after which we will slow down to hit the heavy stuff. An approximate pacing is indicated by the following target dates to start coverage of the various chapters: