2018 Fundamentals of Mechanics 2 E

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Basic science and technology courses
Somiya Kentaro 
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Course description and aims

Following Fundamentals of Mechanics 1, this course teaches the mechanics of systems of interacting particles and rigid bodies (defined as systems of particles in which the distances between particles is fixed) as well as particle motion observed in a coordinate system undergoing acceleration.

Mechanics is important for understanding nature, and is essential for the study of science, engineering, life sciences, and other specialized courses. Building on the mechanics of single particles, students will learn the mechanics of systems of interacting particles. From this, they will learn the motion and balance of rigid bodies. In addition, they will learn particle motion in coordinate systems undergoing accelerated motion as well as inertial forces. At the end of class, students will be able to solve general problems in mechanics.

Student learning outcomes

By completing this course, students will be able to:
1) Correctly understand the concepts of momentum, angular momentum, energy, etc. in systems of particles; the center of mass, moment of inertia, etc. in rigid bodies; and mathematically describe them.
2) Correctly understand motion and equilibrium of rigid bodies, and solve actual physical problems by applying the appropriate mathematical formulas.
3) Correctly understand the concept of inertial forces (Coliolis force and centrifugal force) and mathematically describe them.
4) Find mathematical solutions to problems in mechanics, expressed by the appropriate equations, and explain the physical meaning of said solutions.


relative coordinates, reduced mass, center of mass, momentum, angular momentum, energy, rigid bodies, equilibrium, moment of inertia, inertial force, Coriolis force, centrifugal force

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

Two-thirds of each class is devoted to fundamentals and the rest to advanced content or application. To allow students to get a good grasp of the course contents and practice problem solving skills, 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 Planetary motion 1 Learn how to calculate an orbit of a planet.
Class 2 Planetary motion 2 Learn how to calculate a perihelion point.
Class 3 Two-body system Consider the force acting on the Sun as well.
Class 4 Angular momentum Solve an equation of rotational motion of a rigid body.
Class 5 Moment of inertia Calculate moments of inertia for various rigid bodies.
Class 6 Spinning top Explain the motion of a spinning top.
Class 7 Coordinate transform Explain Corioli's force and centrifugal force.
Class 8 (Thermodynamics, waves, and energy utilization) (Explain the law of thermodynamics.)


Iwanami Syoten, "Butsuri Nyumon Course Rikigaku," by Morikazu Toda

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Not in particular

Assessment criteria and methods

Final exam

Related courses

  • LAS.P105 : Exercises in Physics I

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

No prerequisites.

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