Generalized coordinates, trajectories, lagrangians, and action

I just spent 3 hours watching Leonard Susskind [Wikipedia page] deliver two lectures on Classical Mechanics via iTunesU. I started this over Winter Break (I watched 4 lectures), but I stopped because I didn’t have the proper time to devote. Once you stop, and enough time passes, you have to start all over [1]. Plus I hadn’t bought a pretty $15 notebook from Paris to take notes in.

But I started over, notebook in hand.

The end result of this is: I’m inspired. I love love love learning about trajectories, generalized coordinates, lagrangians, and principles of least action. Plus, there are some pretty neat digressions or mini-lectures I could use for my multivariable calc class next year.

I highly recommend it. You just need calculus (and some basic multivariable can’t hurt). It’s a bit hard to find on iTunes, but this link might take you to the first lecture. It’s his Stanford PHY 25 course taught in 2007 (October – December).

[1] It reminds me of borrowing the 1st season of LOST from my friend, who had the last seventh disc out on loan to a different friend. Once I finished the first six discs, I was hungry for the last. But still, the other friend refused to return it. And to this day, I have not seen the entire first season of LOST. Now, since so much time has lapsed, I will have to start the season all over again. (Double sigh.)


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