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Klassieke Mechanica a


Admission requirements

There are no specific entry requirements that are monitored.

As prerequisites, we see Mathematics and Physics at the level of VWO Mathematics B and VWO Physics, respectively.

We assume (i.e., do not check) in the lectures and seminars that the courses Analysis 1na and Linear Algebra 1na (or the mathematical variants) have been successfully completed.


This first course in Classical Mechanics describes the (non-relativistic) motion of objects in three dimensional space following from Newton’s laws. You learn to describe the motion mathematically, by analyzing forces and setting up the relevant equations.
The introduced concepts such as conservation laws and force balances are used in most physical processes and are therefore of great importance.

The lecture consists of lectures, associated work-study assignments and assignment sets.

Topics will include the following:
1. Motion and acceleration
2. Newton’s laws: forces and motion.
3. Energy, work, linear momentum, angular momentum.
4. Equations of motion in three dimensions.
5. Harmonic motion, resonance and damped driven harmonic oscillator
6. Friction: static, dynamic
7. Systems of many particles: center-of-mass, reduced mass, elastic and inelastic collisions.
8. Rotations around a fixed axis: moment of inertia, angular momentum, torque.
9. Conservative forces and potential energy.
10. Non-inertial systems, both with linear acceleration and rotation. The concepts of Coriolis force, centripetal force, transversal force.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to mathematically describe non-relativistic motions of objects in three-dimensional space.

This includes being able to

  • apply the laws of Newton to describe the motion of simple objects in two and three dimensions and quantify involved forces.

  • calculate energy, work, momentum and angular momentum.

  • use the conservation laws to quantify the motion of multiple particles.

  • take into account various forms of friction and driving forces when determining the motion of objects.

  • quantify motion in non-inertial systems and know the therein appearing forces, such as the Coriolis force, centripetal and transversal force.

  • apply the concepts of conservative forces and potential energy.

Transferable Skills

You will learn to analyze and abstract complex mechanical situations by solving the exercises.


For detailed information go to Timetable in Brightspace

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

See Brightspace. This class will be taught in Dutch.

Assessment method

The course is graded using a midterm test, assignment sets and an exam.

Reading list

Obligatory (book): Intermediate Dynamics, Patrick Hamill, 2nd edition (Cambridge University Press)


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information. An exemption is the fall semester for 1st year bachelor students, the student administration will enroll this group.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.
Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Contactgegevens docent: dr. Jelmer Wagenaar