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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2017-18

PHYS 31.01 Nonlinear Dynamics of Physical Systems

Most problems introduced in introductory physics course are based on linear systems; the simple harmonic oscillator is a prime example. This course will instead focus on the dynamics of systems that are instead explicitly non-linear, as are the vast majority of physical systems in the real world; examples from real life include self-oscillators such as the human heart, exotic electrical devices such as the superconducting Josephson junction, and complex, chaotic phenomena such as weather. We will focus on using graphical techniques for figuring out the behavior of differential equations without actually solving them, frequently using Mathematica as a tool for numerics and visualization. Students will also be introduced to the art of making good physical approximations.



Distributive and/or World Culture


The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.


18S: 10A