State diagrams and the nature of physical laws

Classical Mechanics (Fall, 2007)

October 15, 2007

This first lecture is a general discussion of the nature of the laws of physics and in particular classical mechanics. The notions of configuration, reversibility, determinism, and conservation law are introduced for simple systems with a finite number of states.  For example, a conservation law appears as a set of states isolated and cycling among themselves.

  • State transitions of a classical system
  • Conservation laws
  • Allowable laws of classical physics
  • Deterministic state transition
  • Conservation of information
  • Equations of motion