Mechanics (PHYS*2310)

Code and section: PHYS*2310*01

Term: Winter 2022

Instructor: Paul Garrett


Course Information

Course Description

This course continues building the foundation in mechanics begun in the first year. Topics include, one, two and three dimensional motion, damped and forced harmonic oscillator, gravitation and orbital motion, special relativity, non-inertial reference frames, and rigid body dynamics.

Prerequisites: MATH*2270, one of IPS*1500, PHYS*1000, PHYS*1080

Restrictions: PHYS*2440



Paul Garrett

Teaching Assistant

Michael Mueller

Office hours

I have an open door policy; if my office is open – the usual situation – I welcome your visit. I am generally in my office Monday, Wednesday, and Friday immediately following class until 12:00. To guarantee my availability, it is recommended that you email me at

Course Meetings

As announced by the University, the first two weeks will online-only, returning to in-person Jan. 24, but this may be subject to change at any moment. There may be other periods during the semester where it is necessary to have online lectures due to the travel schedule of the instructor. 


In-person: CRSC 117: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 am – 9:20 am
Remote: See Zoom link on Courselink: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 am – 9:20 am


Wednesday, 7:00pm - 9:50pm, CRSC 116

Computer Tutorial

RICH 2529, Friday, Jan. 21, Feb. 11, Mar. 11,  12:30-13:20

Final Exam

Thursday, April 14, 2022, 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Lecture Content

Topics include:

  • Coordinate systems, velocity and acceleration
  • Motion in resistive media
  • Center of mass, momentum, angular momentum, and energy
  • Harmonic oscillators and damped oscillators
  • Driven oscillators, resonances, and Fourier series
  • Coupled oscillators and normal modes
  • Central force motion
  • Gravitational systems
  • Rotations
  • Non-inertial reference frames
  • Moment of inertia tensor and rigid body motion
  • Special relativity and space time diagrams
  • Lorentz transformations
  • Relativistic kinematics and 4-vectors

Course Materials

Lecture Notes

The lecture notes will be posted on Courselink.


Classical Mechanics, John R. Taylor, University Science Books, U.S. ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1891389221  

The University of Guelph Library has a wonderful resource of e-books at Scholars Portal books.

You can login in with your University credentials and have access to countless books with problems to practice. As an example, you will find:

  • Greiner, Walter, Classical Mechanics:systems of particles and Hamiltonian dynamics, New York: Springer, 2010.
  • Strauch, Dieter, Classical Mechanics: an introduction, Berlin: Springer, 2008.


Assessment Weight
Assignments total of 4 20%
Computational Assignments total of 3  10%
Tests/quizzes total of 4, during tutorials
Weeks; 3, 6, 9, 12
Final  30%

There will be 4 assignments, each worth 5% towards your final grade for this course that will be posted on Courselink and submitted via the Courselink Dropbox. No assignments will be accepted after the posting of the solutions on the course webpage. Submitted assignment solutions must show calculation details, be legible, and written with a logical flow. Marks on assignments will rapidly trend to zero if not presented well.

There will be 4 tests/quizzes, each worth 10% towards your final grade for this course that will be written in the tutorial sections on the dates indicated above.

Course Policies

(Not) Working With Other Students

All work submitted for grading in this course must be each individual student's own work. While students are encouraged to share thoughts and ideas, it is not acceptable to share assignment solutions. The assignments are not group projects. It is important that you do not show your final written solutions to other students.

Course Assessment

The Department of Physics requires student assessment of all courses taught by the Department. These assessments provide essential feedback to faculty on their teaching by identifying both strength and possible areas of improvement. In addition, annual student assessment of teaching provides part of the information used by the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee in evaluating the faculty member’s contribution in the area of teaching.

The Department’s teaching evaluation questionnaire invites student response both through numerically quantifiable data, and written student comments. In conformity with University of Guelph Faculty Policy, the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee only considers comments signed by students. Your instructor will see all signed and unsigned comments after final grades are submitted. Written student comments may also be used in support of a nomination for internal and external teaching awards.

University Policies

Email Communication

As per university regulations, all students are required to check their e-mail account regularly: e-mail is the official route of communication between the University and its students.

When You Cannot Meet a Course Requirement

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons please advise the course instructor (or designated person, such as a teaching assistant) in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. The grounds for Academic Consideration are detailed in the Undergraduate and Graduate Calendars.

Drop Date

Students will have until the last day of classes to drop courses without academic penalty. The deadline to drop two-semester courses will be the last day of classes in the second semester. This applies to all students (undergraduate, graduate and diploma) except for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Associate Diploma in Veterinary Technology (conventional and alternative delivery) students. The regulations and procedures for course registration are available in their respective Academic Calendars.

Copies of Out-of-class Assignments

Keep paper and/or other reliable back-up copies of all out-of-class assignments: you may be asked to resubmit work at any time.


The University promotes the full participation of students who experience disabilities in their academic programs. To that end, the provision of academic accommodation is a shared responsibility between the University and the student.

When accommodations are needed, the student is required to first register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS). Documentation to substantiate the existence of a disability is required; however, interim accommodations may be possible while that process is underway.

Accommodations are available for both permanent and temporary disabilities. It should be noted that common illnesses such as a cold or the flu do not constitute a disability.

Use of the SAS Exam Centre requires students to book their exams at least 7 days in advance and not later than the 40th Class Day.

For Guelph students, information can be found on the SAS website

Academic Integrity

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity, and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community-faculty, staff, and students-to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring. University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff, and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that encourages academic integrity. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection.

Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

Recording of Materials

Presentations that are made in relation to course work - including lectures - cannot be recorded or copied without the permission of the presenter, whether the instructor, a student, or guest lecturer. Material recorded with permission is restricted to use for that course unless further permission is granted.


The Academic Calendars are the source of information about the University of Guelph’s procedures, policies, and regulations that apply to undergraduate, graduate, and diploma programs.

Academic Calendars


Please note that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may necessitate a revision of the format of course offerings and academic schedules. Any such changes will be announced via CourseLink and/or class email. All University-wide decisions will be posted on the COVID-19 website and circulated by email.