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PH10004: Classical mechanics

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Physics
Further information on credits Credits: 3      [equivalent to 6 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 60
Further information on unit levels Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment: EX 100%
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: While taking this module you must take PH10007
You must have A-level Physics or Chemistry (or equivalent) and A-level Mathematics (or equivalent) to take this unit.
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The aims of this unit are to present students with a clear guide to the laws of classical mechanics, and to strengthen their understanding of the universality of concepts from classical mechanics (from fundamental particles to billiard balls and planets) by means of practical problems.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* conserve linear and angular momentum in collisions;
* use the concepts of kinetic and potential energy and mechanical work to solve a range of physical problems;
* use conservation of energy to qualitatively describe the motion of particles in potentials and determine the regimes of bound and free motion;
* use the concepts of angular momentum, torque and moment of inertia to describe rotations of rigid bodies.

Numeracy T/F A, Problem Solving T/F A.

Kinematics and Newton's laws of motion (1 hour): Vector notations, velocity and acceleration; constant and non-constant acceleration; fundamental and non-fundamental (phenomenological) forces in common physical problems; Galilean invariance, inertial frames and inertial forces.
Conservation laws in mechanics (5 hours): Energy and momentum; work and energy; potential energy (potential wells and barriers); conservative and non-conservative forces; momentum and impulse; centre of mass; the two-body problem; collisions in the centre of mass frame; systems with flow of mass and rockets.
Circular motion and rotations (5 hours): velocity and acceleration in polar coordinates, Coriolis acceleration; non-uniform circular and spiral motions; angular momentum of a point particle, spin and orbital angular momentum of a rigid body; torque and angular momentum as vectors, equations of motion of rotating bodies; moments of inertia; centre of gravity; physical pendulum.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:
NB. Postgraduate programme information will be added when the postgraduate catalogues are published in August 2020

PH10004 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
  • USPH-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Physics (Year 1)
  • USPH-AFB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics (Year 1)
  • USPH-AAB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Year long work placement (Year 1)
  • USPH-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Year long work placement (Year 1)
  • USPH-AFM02 : MPhys(Hons) Physics (Year 1)
  • USPH-AFM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional Placement (Year 1)
  • USPH-AFM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Research placement (Year 1)
  • USPH-AAM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional Placement (Year 1)
  • USPH-AFM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Research placement (Year 1)
  • USPH-AAM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 1)
  • USPH-AAM12 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 1)