A Primer on Geometric Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers

Christian Lessig, Computing + Mathematical Sciences, Caltech
Alex L. Castro, Departamento de Matemática, PUC-Rio
Henry O. Jacobs, Computing + Mathematical Sciences, Caltech

Why do cats always land on their feet?  How can one equation describe rigid body motion, ideal fluid dynamics, plasma physics, ...? What does it mean to simulate a mechanical system?

Answers to these questions are provided by geometric mechanics, a reformulation of mechanics that employs the tools of differential geometry to describe “mechanical” systems. Our course will provide an introduction to the ideas and central concepts of geometric mechanics, emphasizing the geometric intuition to make this powerful language available to non-mathematicans.

Course material:
© lessig (at) caltech (dot) edu July 2012