Motion & Mechanics - PH023

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Spring 3 15 (7.5) DR V Mason checkmark-circle



  • Introduction; units and dimensions.
    Dimensional analysis. Dynamics; distance, velocity and acceleration time graphs.

  • Newton's Laws of Motion applied to single objects.
    Newton's Laws applied to coupled objects.

  • Work; scalar product.
    Work against gravity.
    Energy; potential energy and kinetic energy.
    Conservation of energy.

  • Linear momentum.
    Conservation of linear momentum
    Circular motion.
    Rotational systems.
    Moment of inertia.

  • Rotational forces.
    Resolution of forces.
    Triangle of forces; moments.
    Force fields; gravitational, etc.
    Potential energy in fields


    This module appears in the following module collections.

    Contact hours

    24 hours of lectures.


    This is not available as a wild module.

    Method of assessment

    Coursework including class tests and homework 30%; Final Examination 70%.

    Indicative reading

    Core Texts:

  • Physics For Scientists and Engineers, by P Tipler and G Mosca, pub. W. H. Freeman and Co, ISBN-10: 0-7167-8964-7

    Supplementary texts:
  • Applied Mathematics I, by L. Bostock and S. Chandler, pub. Stanley Thornes Ltd., ISBN 0-85950-019-5. Copies are in the library.

  • Maths: The Core Mathematics for A Level, by Bostock and Chandler, ISBN 0-85950306-2. Copies are in the library.

    See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

    Learning outcomes

    Knowledge and understanding of:

  • Physical laws and principles relating to motion and mechanics (including the necessary mathematics), and their application to diverse areas of physics.

    Intellectual skills:
  • An ability to identify relevant principles and laws when dealing with problems, and to make approximations necessary to obtain solutions.
  • An ability to solve problems in physics using appropriate mathematical tools.
  • An ability to use mathematical techniques and analysis to model physical behaviour.

    Subject-specific skills:
  • An ability to present and interpret information graphically.

    Transferable skills:
  • Problem-solving skills, an ability to formulate problems in precise terms and to identify key issues, and the confidence to try different approaches in order to make progress on challenging problems. Numeracy is subsumed within this area.
  • Analytical skills – associated with the need to pay attention to detail and to develop an ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas, to construct logical arguments and to use technical language correctly.
  • Personal skills – the ability to work independently, to use initiative, to organise oneself to meet deadlines and to interact constructively with other people.
  • An ability to make use of appropriate texts, or other learning resources as part of managing their own learning.


    1. Credit level 3. Foundation level module taken in preparation for a degree.
    2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
    3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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