Physics and astronomy

Foundation Mechanics

Module code: F3207
Level 3 (sub-degree)
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Workshop, Lecture, Class
Assessment modes: Unseen examination, Coursework

Topics covered include:

  • units and dimensions: mass, length, time and derived units
  • kinematics in one dimension: displacement, speed, velocity and acceleration
  • linear motion with uniform acceleration and the equations of motion, gravitational acceleration
  • vectors and scalars: addition and subtraction of vectors, components of a vector
  • motion in more than one dimension: projectiles
  • forces and Newton's laws of motion: force and mass, Newton's 3 laws, gravitational force, normal forces, tension, frictional forces and coefficients of friction
  • work and energy: work done by a constant force, the work-energy theorem and kinetic energy, potential energy, conservative and non-conservative forces, conservation of mechanical energy, power
  • linear momentum: linear momentum, impulse and conservation of linear momentum, elastic and inelastic collisions in one and two dimensions
  • uniform circular motion: centripetal forces and centripetal acceleration, satellites
  • rotational kinematics: angular displacement, angular velocity and angular acceleration, the equations of rotational kinematics with constant angular acceleration, rolling motion
  • statics of rigid bodies: torque, action of forces and torques on rigid bodies, rigid bodies in equilibrium, centre of mass and centre of gravity, stability
  • rotational dynamics of rigid bodies: Newton's second law for rotation about a fixed axis, moment of inertia, work and kinetic energy associated with rotational motion, angular momentum of a rigid body and conservation of angular momentum.

Module learning outcomes

  • Have acquired a basic knowledge of kinematics and mechanics, including work, energy, power, momentum and statics and dynamics of rigid bodies.
  • Be able to solve problems relevant to physics and engineering at the appropriate level which requires use of the knowledge.
  • Have acquired a sufficient grounding in the material of the course for subsequent core courses in physics and engineering which include kinematics and mecahnics.