Elevator down

Whenever a person thinks of the formal study of physics, his/her thoughts are likely to be linked to mechanics. We will spend more time here than anywhere else. The concepts under consideration will cause you to fully exploit your skills as a mathematician. Your ability to take simple events and analyze them in considerable detail, both theoretically and in the laboratory, will be expanded here.
Mechanics deals with the study of how things move and why they move the way they do. We begin with objects that move in one dimension and observe how unchanging forces applied to any given object affect its motion. Then comes the motion of objects when unchanging forces are applied in two dimensions. Next comes consideration of objects moving under the influence of variable forces.
Several quantities in nature are conserved, that is to say, in any interaction the quantity is neither created nor destroyed. Two such quantities, mass-energy and momentum, will come under study in this unit. Finally, we will consider special relativity, a topsy-turvy but eminently verifiable view of how things move without acceleration as set forth by Einstein in 1905.
Mechanics as a general topic of study is not easy. There are many factors to consider when analyzing how things move. Your early work may cause you to feel like the fellow at left. The organization of the content of this text recognizes that fact. We will consider topics in short, easy-to-understand pieces. We will hold complicating factors such as air resistance at bay until we are ready. The hard part will come when we try to translate a verbal description of some event into its mathematical analog. To make that leap less fearful we have, at the beginning of every problem set, lists of problem-solving protocols that should lead you to good habits and therefore good grades. Click on Kinematics and let the games begin.


Click on the appropriate title box above to get to the topics below.
1. Motion in one dimension 1. The laws explained 1. Conservation of energy
2 Falling bodies 2. The laws applied 2. Conservation of momentum
3. Graphing strategies 3. Uniform circular motion 3.Conservation of mass-energy
4. Projectile motion 4. Astronomy Retrospective
5. Vector addition 5. Universal gravitation
6. Rotational kinematics 6. Simple Harmonic Motion  
7. Special relativity 7.  Fluid Mechanics  

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 This page was last reviewed by m.e.g. 01/20/09