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Module MA1242: Mechanics II

Credit weighting (ECTS)
5 credits
Semester/term taught
Hilary term 2012-13
Contact Hours
11 weeks, 3 lectures including tutorials per week
Dr. Stefano Kovacs
Learning Outcomes
Module Content
  • More on Momentum and Energy (flow of mass: dynamics of systems with varying mass, elastic and inelastic collisions, centre of mass frame);

  • Some mathematical aspects (gradient, Stokes' theorem);

  • More on angular momentum (fixed axis of rotation, motion combining translation and rotation);

  • Rigid body motion (angular velocity and angular momentum as vectors, the gyroscope, precession);

  • Gravity (historical background: from Brahe and Kepler to Newton and from Newton to Einstein, Newton's law of gravitation, inertial and gravitational mass, experimental tests, limits of validity, applications: elementary systems, astronomical and astrophysical systems);

  • Central forces (two-body problem, reduced mass, general properties of central force motion);

  • Non-inertial frames and fictitious forces (accelerating non-rotating frames, rotating coordinate systems, centrifugal and Coriolis forces, tidal forces, rotating bucket and Mach's principle, the equivalence principle and origins of General Relativity, Galilean transformations, principle of Relativity);

  • Elements of fluid dynamics.

Further information at

Module Prerequisite
Assessment Detail
This module will be examined jointly with MA1241 in a 3-hour examination in Trinity term, except that those taking just one of the two modules will have a 2 hour examination.