Handed out course description. Discussed MAPLE, Mathcad, and other computer programs. Collected student inputs on course. Introduced SI units and dimensions. Assigned reading: notes, 1.1 to 1.4. Assignment 1 due Thursday Sep 11.

Dimensions, dimensional homogeneity, and independent dimensions. Example: the frequency of a simple pendulum, not restricted to small amplitudes, and of a physical pendulum.

Hands-on instruction on using MAPLE and (briefly) Mathcad, especially for plotting and animations.

Dispersion relation for waves on water, obtained by dimensional analyisis for long waves (gravity waves) and short waves (capillary waves); how to guess the result at intermediate wavelengths (around 5 cm). Nuclear eplosions: expansion of the shock wave in the first few tenths of a second, by dimensional analysis. Assignment 2 due Sep 18.

Heat diffusion equation in one dimension. Diffusion of heat in a long bar following a localized heat pulse: how to solve this problem with the help of dimensional analysis.

Tue Sep 16 15:21:23 EDT 1997