Classical Mechanics II

LecturerShin'ichi NOJIRI, Professor
DepartmentSchool of Science / Graduate School of Science, 2011 Fall
Recommended for:Physics department sophomores (21.5 hours / session 1 session / week 15 weeks / semester)

Key Features

The first half of this course will cover the motions of basic dynamical systems in physics, using the Lagrangian or Hamiltonian formalism learned in ‘Classical Mechanics I’. In the latter half of the course, special relativity will also be studied.

Physics consists of a few laws, using mathematics as a language, and the pile-up of logic. This course explains how concrete phenomena in physics can be generated by basic laws, whenever possible not omitting the development of logic, and by deriving equations by clear use of the blackboard. The concepts that describe motion, the reasons why we consider these concepts, and why such concepts are useful, are also taught thoroughly. The course will also aim to develop the students' ability to think, which is necessary in order to study physics.

Course Contents

The contents of the course are as follows (though lectures on “Special Relativity” will comprise half of the total lectures):

  1. Dynamical motion under central force: Equations of motion, effective potential, binding motion, and scattering problem.
  2. Motion of rigid bodies: tensor moment of inertia and equations of motion for rigid bodies. 3.Special Relativity: Principle of Special Relativity, the Lorentz transformation of coordinates, and relativistic classical mechanics: four vectors of energy and momentum, relativistic Lagrangian and Hamiltonian.


        The goal is to understand phenomena in physics based on the formalism of classical mechanics, and to understand the theory of Special Relativity.


        Classical Mechanics</span (3rd Edition, Addison Wesley), by Herbert Goldstein, Charles P. Poole, John L. Safko

Reference Books

          1. Mechanics (3rd Edition, Butterworth-Heinemann): Volume 1 (Course of Theoretical Physics), by L. D. Landau and E.M. Lifshitz
          2. The Classical Theory of Fields (4th Edition, Butterworth-Heinemann): Volume 2 (Course of Theoretical Physics Series), by L.D. Landau and E.M. Lifshitz </ol>

Lecture Handouts

Note: The file is in Japanese.

Classical Mechanics II Lecture Note


Students will be graded on the written examination at the end of the semester.

Last updated

March 17, 2020