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MX3023: MECHANICS A (2015-2016)

Last modified: 25 Mar 2016 11:35

Course Overview

The course introduces the following basic concepts of the classical mechanics:

 Newton’s laws of motion;

 the motion of projectiles with and without air resistance;

 the theory of simple vibrations and, in particular, simple harmonic motion;

 the concepts of momentum, angular momentum, energy and corresponding conservation laws;

an inertial frame and related Galilean transformations;

 systems of particles with and without collisions;

Recommended to mathematicians and physicists.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Francisco Perez-Reche

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

  • Air Resistance Revision of the basic ideas of Newtonian mechanics and application to particles moving under gravity.
  • The effect of air resistance and the idea of terminal velocity.
  • Oscillations The theory of oscillations of one-dimensional systems. Hooke's law for springs. Free vibrations, damped vibrations and forced vibrations. The concept of resonance.
  • Momentum and Angular Momentum Definitions and basic concepts. Rate of change of angular momentum equals moment.
  • Conservation laws. Motion under a central force. Newton's law of gravity.
  • Energy and Potentials Force fields. Gradient of a scalar function. Consevative force fields and potentials.
  • Consevation of energy.
  • Applications.
  • Inertial frames The basic ideas of inertial frames and a brief discussion of Galilean transformations.
  • Systems of Particles Centre of mass, the motion of the centre of mass. Total angular momentum of a system of particles. Closed systems.
  • Two body problem.
  • Collisions Elementary theory. Conservation of momentum. Elastic collisions and conservation of energy.
  • Simple applications.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written examination (80%); in-course assessment (20%). Resit: 1 two-hour examination (maximum of 100% resit and 80% resit with 20% in-course assessment). Only marks gained on first sitting can be used for Honours classification.

Formative Assessment

Informal assessment of weekly homework through discussions in tutorials.


In-course assignments will normally be marked within one week and feedback provided to students in tutorials. Students will be invited to contact Course Coordinators for feedback on the final examination.

Course Learning Outcomes


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