Over my two-week vacation before I returned to Berkeley for the summer, I read Leonard Susskind and George Hrabovsky’s The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics. This book was based on the first course in a series of courses called the Theoretical Minimum, taught by Leonard Susskind at Stanford targeted at curious older students who had, in their lives, fallen through the cracks of physics education but wanted to learn.
This book was focused on mechanics, but dived pretty rapidly into more advanced formulations of mechanics that I had never really learned in a class. Coincidentally, I’m scheduled to take that class next semester, so I wanted to dive in to get a brief taste of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics.
So, to start, I set out to simulate the squishy pendulum.