PHYS 17200 Lecture 1: Matter and Interactions

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PHYS 17200 - Modern Mechanics - Lecture 1_Matter and Interactions
Modern Mechanics
uses a few fundamental concepts and principles that apply to all kinds of matter
and their interactions
uses approximations to create simple models able to predict and explain an
enormous range of physical phenomena
unites mechanical and thermal physics by creating models of ordinary objects as
systems of interacting atoms
uses powerful computers and computer graphics to simulate and display the
behavior of realistic physical systems
Vectors
So, a vector is represented by the triple of its components r_vector= <x, y, z>
which in the case of a position vector are just the position’s three coordinates.
A position vector’s length is one specific example of the magnitude of a vector
magnitude of r = r_mag= sqrt(x^2+y^2+z^2)
Multiplying all of a vector’s components by the same scalar factor produces a
vector parallel to the original one but with magnitude larger or smaller by the
same factor
If the scalar factor is negative, the new vector actually points in the direction
opposite the original.
Specifically, multiplying any vector by the inverse of its magnitude produces a
dimensionless vector parallel to the original
i.e. r_vector/r_mag = r_unitvector
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