This is the course website for the first half of Physics 106b, Classical Mechanics.

This course will continue from Ph106a, and cover special relativity, continuum mechanics, perturbation theory, and a very brief introduction to chaos.

Class Schedule

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30AM to 11:55AM


  • Yanbei Chen
  • Office: 318 Cahill
  • Email: yanbei@caltech

Grading Policy

  • This portion accounts 50% of your Ph106b grade.
  • Your grade for this portion is 50% from homework and 50% from the midterm exam.

Homework Policy

  • Problem sets are essential for mastering the material in this class; they also account for 50% of your grade.
  • Problem sets will be posted on the Course Calendar page on Friday of each week, due on the following Friday at 7pm in the Physics 106 IN box by the East Bridge mailboxes, and returned to the Physics 106 OUT box by the East Bridge mailboxes.
  • To satisfy Caltech FERPA privacy rules, please choose a 6 or 7 digit code and email this to me and the TAs before the first assignment is due. You will use this, and not your name, to label the assignments you hand in. If your name, and not just your numerical code (or "FERPA") appears on the assignment, you will have to pick it up directly from the TA.
  • Solution sets will be posted on the Course Calendar page. You are strongly encouraged to check your work when it is returned to you.
  • Corrections to problems may be posted in the Course Calendar page, as well. If you are having trouble with a problem, be sure to check this page to see if a correction has been posted, and feel free to contact me if you think a problem has errors in it or seems overly difficult.

Teaching Assistants/Office Hours


  • [Required] Analytical Mechanics by L.N. Hand and J.D. Finch, Cambridge University Press (1998)
  • [Recommended] Classical Mechanics by Goldstein, Poole, and Safko (3rd edition): This is a classic textbook (I was taught the subject using an earlier edition, back in the 90s).
  • [Recommended] Spacetime Physics by Taylor and Wheeler.