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Course info: Phy 262

Time and Place MW 1-1:50pm Olin 107, F 1-1:50pm Olin 105.
Course Instructor Professor Salsbury  
Contact Info salsbufr@wfu.edu, Olin 301A

Office Hours MWF 2-2:50pm Olin 301A

Textbooks/Course Materials 

Course Overview 

This course is an upper-level course in non-relativistic classical mechanics. This course is the first mathematically-intense course in the physics curriculum and relies heavily on calculus and differential equations. A mastery of the material taught in MTH 205 is assumed. The course focuses on a few topics: Newton's equations of motion, harmonic oscillators, central forces,  rotating frames and collisions. If time permits, we will also cover rigid body rotation and/or nonlinearity and chaos. Phy 262 also serves as an introduction to numeric methods in physics with weekly matlab "labs" and problems.

Course Format 

This classic a traditional lecture class on monday's and wednesday's, with some class participation. Friday's, however, the class converts to a lab-type format with numeric problems. Homework problems will be due Wednesdays by 4:00pm, usually, in the grader's mailbox. 

Outside of class you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Reading the relevant assignment before class; whichever one(s) listed on the course calendar.
    • It will be difficult to follow without reading beforehand.
  • Completing your homework by 4pm most Wednesdays.
    • Getting behind on homework is the easiest way to do poorly in physics.

Inside of class you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Interacting with your classmates and Dr. Salsbury, as appropriate.
  • Paying attention, and 
  • Asking questions!


The main textbook for the course, Classical Mechanics with Matlab Applications by Hasbun, will be followed fairly closely. The Mathematics Companion has review material, as well as material more advanced for this course. Physics majors will find The Mathematics Companion useful in future physics courses. 


  • There will be one midterm on February 24 2017 at 1pm in Olin 107.
  • The comprehensive final exam will be May 3nd 2017 at 2pm in Olin 107.
  • They are intended to be challenging but doable.


  • Working problems is the only way to really learn physics.
  • The homework is the most important component of the course.
  • Usually Wednesdays by 4pm.

GRADING Percentages

  • Homework: 50% 
  • Midterm: 10%
  • Final: 40%


  • This median grade for this course is usually an A- with a medical score of ~80%