On Sunday, February 3, at 4 pm, Tarun will lead us in a discussion of chapter 2 of Herbert Goldstein’s “Classical Mechanics” (2nd ed.), covering the basics of Lagrangian mechanics. We covered some of this material last time, but Tarun’s coverage will likely be deeper and more thorough. (This is the discussion he was prevented from presenting in January because he had the flu.)
The February 3 meeting will be held at the Brooklyn LaunchPad, a self-described “creative gathering place” that hosts events related to art, technology, and other subjects. The LaunchPad is excited to host our group, and its location seems nearly unbeatable: a five-minute walk from the 2,3,4 & 5 trains; one stop from the Atlantic Avenue station; etc. Let’s try it this time. Going forward, we can decide whether to stick with the LaunchPad, return to Dimitri’s dental office in Astoria, or oscillate back and forth at the rate of 6 reciprocal years (i.e., every other month).
Please read (or re-read) chapter 2, and save or post here any questions you may have in advance of the meeting. Tarun will likely touch on some very basic threshold questions, in addition to doing the symbol-manipulation. For example, should we be comfortable treating q and q-dot as independent variables? And what makes us think we can minimize a function over an infinite-dimensional object like a “path”? He raised these questions at a recent breakfast, and they seem completely up our alley and worth airing.
See you all on February 3. Note: This will definitely not be repeat of January's meeting -- so please don't skip in on that account. This will be our "real" coverage of the Lagrangian formalism.