19-20 PH1320: Classical Mechanics

This course will cover the following topics in Classical Mechanics:

Newtonian mechanics: Motion in 1,2 and 3 dimensions. The constant acceleration equations. Generalised motion. Calculus and vectors as analytical tools. Newton’s laws. Basic concepts (force, mass, work, energy, power, conservation of energy). Conservative forces and the dot product.

Reference frames: inertial and non-inertial reference frames, the Galilean transformation. Galilean relativity.

Mass-energy equivalence, collisions, centre of mass, conservation of momentum.

Rotational motion: The constant angular acceleration equations, Newton’s laws for rotation. Conservation of angular momentum. The cross product. Moments of inertia. Kinetic and potential energy of rotating systems. Gyroscopic precession.

Conditions for static equilibrium and stability.

Central force fields: Newton’s Gravitation and Coulomb’s Electrostatic Force Laws, Kepler’s laws, planetary and satellite motion, binary star systems

Oscillations: Simple harmonic motion. Damped oscillations - light, critical and heavy damping. Q-factor. Energy stored. Driven damped oscillator. Resonance frequency. Coupled oscillators, normal modes.