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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 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 course consists of lectures, exercise classes and demonstrations.

The following concepts will be discussed:
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

After completing this course you will be 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.

Soft Skills

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



Mode of instruction

Lectures and Exercise classes

Assessment method

Written test (halfway through the course) and exam, contributing 30% and 70%, respectively, to the total grade.

There will also be homework assignments. Handing in minimally 80 % of these assignments correctly (i.e. per assignment >55% correct) yields a bonus with a value normalised on the exam result. Note that the bonus will only be taken into account if the grade from the written test/exam or retake is equal to or exceeds 5.0.

The retake consists of a written exam that counts as 100% of the grade. The bonus will also be taken into account for the retake.


Exercises, solutions, homework assigments and illustrative material are available on blackboard. For access to Blackboard you will need a ULCN account. 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: dr. Daniela Kraft)