2016 Fundamentals of Mechanics 1

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Basic science and technology courses
Kanamori Hideto 
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Course description and aims

The course teaches the fundamentals of particle motion starting with the equations of motion that describe the motion of an object.
Mechanics is important for understanding nature, and is essential for the study of science, engineering, life sciences, and other specialized courses. Students will learn the laws of motion and the mathematical description of motion. This will allow them to understand particle mechanics and they will be able to solve most general problems in mechanics.

Student learning outcomes

By completing this course, students will be able to:
1) Understand the concepts of velocity, acceleration, force, momentum, angular momentum, torque, work, energy, etc., correctly, and describe them mathematically.
2) Understand the laws of motion — the laws of conservation of momentum, angular momentum, and energy that are derived from the laws of motion — correctly, and solve actual mechanical problems by applying these laws.
3) Find mathematical solutions to problems in mechanics, expressed by the appropriate equations, and explain the physical meaning of said solutions.


position, velocity, acceleration, momentum, force, laws of motion, law of conservation of momentum, free fall, simple harmonic motion, parabolic motion, work, kinetic energy, potential energy, law of conservation of energy, central force, angular momentum, torque, law of conservation of angular momentum, universal gravitation, Kepler's laws

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills
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Class flow

Two-thirds of each class are devoted to fundamentals and the rest to advanced content or application. To allow students to get a good understanding of the course contents and practice application, problems related to the contents of this course are provided in Exercises in Physics I.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Description of motion (position, velocity, acceleration) Explain position, velocity, and acceleration using vectors.
Class 2 Newton’s three laws of motion (law of inertia, equation of motion, law ofaction and reaction) Explain Newton’s three laws of motion and express motion using the equations of motion.
Class 3 Linear motion Explain typical linear motions such as free fall and simple harmonic motion.
Class 4 Impulse and momentum Describe the motion of harmonic oscillation with the trajectry in phase space.
Class 5 Work and energy (kinetic energy, conservative force and potentialenergy), law of conservation of energy Explain the concepts of work, kineticenergy, and potential energy, andthe law of conservation of energy.
Class 6 Motionof a particle under a central force. Express the motion of eqation using polar coordinate.
Class 7 Angular momentum and its low of the conservation Explain angular momentum and its low of the conservation.
Class 8 Universal gravitation and planetary motion (Kepler’s laws) Explain the meaning of three Kepler's lows with the knowlidge learned up to here.


Mechanics, Morikazu Toda, Iwanami

Reference books, course materials, etc.


Assessment criteria and methods

Learning achievement is evaluated by a final exam.

Related courses

  • LAS.P105 : Exercises in Physics I

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites.

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