Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 201900272
S1: Natural Sciences: Newtonian Mechanics
Course info
Course module201900272
Credits (ECTS)4
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact persondr. S. Wildeman
dr. J.A. Alvarez Chavez
Contactperson for the course
dr. S. Wildeman
dr. S. Wildeman
Academic year2022
Starting block
Application procedure-
Registration using OSIRISYes
At the end of this course the student demonstrates ability to
1. view and analyse motion phenomena through the lens of Newtonian mechanics
  • describe linear/rotational motion (1D/2D) in terms of time dependent trajectories and derivatives (velocity, acceleration)
  • identify and describe the forces that act on a subsystem (body) in a given situation and present this in a free body force diagram
  • recognize archetypal patterns of motion and explain (from a mechanics point of view) how these come about
  • exploit the system nature of Newton’s laws by selecting appropriate systems and subsystems for analysis
2. predict the behaviour of mechanical systems by constructing and evaluating mathematical models
  • translate a system/motion/force analysis into an equation of motion using Newton’s three laws of motion
  • compute motion trajectories based on an equation of motion
  • expose (absence of) relations between parameters in a problem through mathematical reasoning and parameter studies
  • judge if a model is physically sound by performing basic sanity checks (e.g. units & limiting cases) and by comparing its predictions to experience/experiment
3. conduct basic experiments for model validation purposes
  • judge what data needs to be collected to validate (an aspect of) a model
  • use technology (video cameras, tracking/data analysis software) to collect and process data
  • calibrate time and distance measurements
  • collect data in a systematic way
4. present, interpret and discuss theoretical predictions and experimental findings
  • present, interpret and discuss modelling results in parameter form
  • present, interpret and discuss data in graphs
  • connect and compare theoretical predictions and experimental findings

Lectures/tutorials on calculus applied to motion (1D/2D); Newton’s laws for linear/rotational motion; Newton’s laws for systems; Conserved quantities (mainly momentum/center of mass motion, but a bit on energy as well); Force laws and free-body force diagrams; Oscillatory, circular and rotational (rigid body) motion. Torque & moment of inertia;
Lab/tutorials on numerical integration of Newton’s laws; Motion tracking using camera and tracking software; Basic ways to present and analyse data using Excel or Matlab.

External students who are interested in this elective: please contact
  Description Test Type Weighting
1 Oscillatory motion lab (theory/experiment) Lab assignment in small groups
(individual report)
2 Center of mass lab (theory/experiment) Lab assignment in small groups (individual report) 25%
3 Open-ended modelling challenge Group assignment & presentation 50%

Assumed previous knowledge
Basic Math and Physics, at high-school level.
Participating study
Bachelor Technology and Liberal Arts & Sciences
Required materials
Fundamentals of Physics I: Mechanics, Relativity, and Thermodynamics (Expanded Edition), by R. Shankar ISBN: 978-0-300-24377-2 ISBN: 13: 978-0133978049 ISBN: 10: 0133978044
Recommended materials
Course syllabus
Instructional modes

Presence dutyYes


Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes


Self study with assistance

Self study without assistance

Presence dutyYes


Kies de Nederlandse taal