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Module MA11400: Mechanics

Credit weighting (ECTS)
10 credits
Semester/term taught
Michaelmas & Hilary term 2021.22
Contact Hours
11 weeks, 3 lectures including tutorials per week per term
Prof Jan Manschot
Learning Outcomes
Module Content
  • Mathematical preliminaries (vectors and their role in mechanics, elements of vector algebra.);
  • Kinematics;
  • Newton's Laws: the foundations of classical mechanics;
  • Linear momentum (dynamics of multi-particle systems, centre of mass, conservation of momentum, impulse);
  • Work and energy (definition of work and the work-energy theorem, potential and kinetic energy);
  • Potential and kinetic energy (conservative and non-conservative forces, conservation of energy);
  • Angular momentum (torque, conservation of angular momentum);
  • Moment of inertia (motion involving translation and rotation).
  • Collisions (elastic and inelastic);  
  • Rigid body motion (precession, tensor of inertia);
  • Non-inertial systems & fictitious forces (centrifugal and coriolis forces) ;
  • Central forces (two-body problem, general properties of central force motion);
  • Harmonic oscillator (driven and damped oscillations).
Module Prerequisite
Required Reading
D. Kleppner, R. J. Kolenkow, An Introduction to Mechanics, 2nd edition, Cambridge University Press
Assessment Detail
This module will be examined in a 3-hour examination in Trinity term. The final grade will consist of 80% exam and 20% continuous assessment. Re-assessments if required will consist of 100% exam.