Classical Mechanics and Relativity 2

School of Physics and Astronomy

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences


Code 17272

Level of study Second Year

Credit value 10

Semester 1

Module description

This module develops the principles of mechanics and of special relativity, introduced in the first year. In this second phase, Newton's Laws are developed to handle more realistic problems. Starting with point-like particles, techniques are developed for handling many particle systems and extended rigid bodies. Damped simple harmonic motion is described and the behaviour of such a system under a periodic driving force is discussed. The module progresses from translational to rotational motion. Motion under a central, conservative force is described in and the effects of energy and momentum conservation are discussed. Motion in a rotating frame is discussed. In special relativity, the transformations of momentum and energy are reviewed with emphasis on the Lorentz invariants and their use in describing collisions.