Advanced Mechanics UBC
PHYS 306 - Section 201 (Archived) Term 2, Jan 2020 - April 2020
Instructor: Steven Plotkin
Office: Henn 401, Physics Building
Email: steve**
Course hours: Mon, Wed, Fri: 12:00-1:00
Hebb Room 114
Tutorial hours: Tues 8:30-9:30am, or Thurs 2:00-3:00pm
Hennings Room 304
Office Hour: Wednesday, 5:00-6:00pm, and by appointment
Grader's office hours:
(++append (at) gmail dot com, **append (at) phas dot ubc dot ca. ALWAYS mention PHYS306 in the subject of your email, please.)

Course Policies:

  1. There will be in-class questions and problems in the form of worksheets, which will occasionally be graded for credit (see grade breakdown below). These are more or less there to help you actively follow along during lectures.
  2. There will be homework assignments, which are the best way to prepare for the midterm and final exam. Copying solutions results in a zero and your name is reported to the department head (please do not copy solutions). HWs are due at the beginning of class, when they will be collected by a grader, and solutions may be discussed. If solutions are discussed, late assignments will not be accepted and count as zero points. Otherwise late assignments are 20% off per day, i.e. 80%, 60%, and so on. Even if you miss the deadline, it is still a good idea to do the HWs. It is the best way to prepare for the the final exam.
  3. Classes officially end on April 8, and Final Exams run from April 14-29. The date and place for the final exam is TBD
  4. No documents/notes/formulae sheets are allowed at the final exam. I will provide these along with the exam.
  5. During class, short questions or clarifications from your neighbor are fine, however extensive chatting or long social conversations are inappropriate and not tolerated.
  6. Open notebook computers are not allowed during class. Conversations by cell phone texting are not allowed during class. Sorry no exceptions.


  • There are Tues/Thurs tutorials. During these, we'll typically go over one or two problems, which are due at the end of the tutorial. They will be graded generally on a scale of either 0 points (no work), 1 point (partly correct work), or 2 points (correct work and solution). The tutorial grade will be worth 8% of your total grade below.
  • Grade:

    Your final grade for the course will be computed from:

  • In class worksheets 5%, Tutorials 8%, HW: 20%, Midterm: 22%, Final Exam: 45%
  • The date and place for the midterm is Wed Feb 12, 12:00pm, in Hebb 114. The last date to drop the course is Fri Feb 14. The date and place for the final exam is TBD
  • As per Faculty of Science rules, you must pass the final exam to pass the course; If a student fails the final exam, their grade is calculated based on the final exam alone.
  • There will be no makeup Final.


  • Classical Mechanics , by John R. Taylor (required text)
  • Other useful books that I can recommend are Mechanics: Volume 1, by L.D. Landau and E.M. Lifshitz, and Classical Mechanics (3rd edition), by Herbert Goldstein, Charles P. Poole Jr., and John L. Safko. These books are a bit higher level than Taylor, but we will refer to material in it later in the course when we discuss canonical transformations and Hamilton-Jacobi theory.
  • A copy of these books will be on course reserve in the main library (I. K. Barber). See also the Library Online Course Reserves (LOCR) on Canvas.
  • Course Syllabus:

    The course outline and syllabus of topics of will cover is here

    Other Resources:

    Page last changed on: Jan 3, 2020.