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Klassieke Mechanica a


Admission requirements

Not applicable


This first course in Classical Mechanics describes the (non-relativistic) motion of objects in a three dimensional space, as follows from Newton’s laws. You learn to describe the motion mathematically, by analyzing forces and setting up the relevant equations. Conservation of momentum and energy play a central role, both for linear and rotational motion.

Course objectives

Understand the basic concepts of Classical Mechanics, being able to apply the formalism, and learn to find problem-solving strategies for the following subjects.

  • Newton’s laws: forces and motion.

  • Energy, work, linear momentum, angular momentum.

  • Equations of motion in three dimensions.

  • Friction: static, dynamic, either linear or quadratic in velocity.

  • Conservative forces and potential energy.

  • Damped driven harmonic oscillator..

  • Systems of many particles: center-of-mass, reduced mass, elastic and inelastic collisions.

  • Non-inertial systems, both with linear accelaration and rotating. The concepts of Coriolis force, centripetal force, transversal force, Foucault pendulum.


The lectures and exercise classes take place in different rooms. Please see the CMa room schedule.

Mode of instruction

Lectures and Exercise classes

Assessment method

Written exam and test. The test is halfway through the course and diagnostic in nature. The test can only positively influence the final grade. The final grade is given by C = (t+2T)/3 IF the test grade t is higher than the written exam grade, otherwise C=T. This compensation by a good test results only applies for the first written exam, not for the retake. There will also be homework assignments. Handing in minimally 75 % of these assignments yields a bonus (value normalised on the exam result). The retake is also a written exam. The bonus will count also for the retake.


The course uses Blackboard for making study material available, in particular exercises, solutions, homework assigments and illustrative material.
Voor toegang tot Blackboard is een ULCN-account nodig. Blackboard

Reading list

Obligatory (book): Analytical Mechanics, G.R. Fowles and G.L. Cassiday 6th or 7th edition (Thomson Learning, inc., 1999), ISBN 9780534408138.


Contactgegevens docent: Prof.dr.J Aarts (Jan)