nl en

Klassieke Mechanica a


Admission requirements

Mathematics and Physics on Dutch high school VWO level
Analyse 1na and Lineaire Algebra 1na


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.

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

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

There will be homework assignments. Handing in minimally 80 % of these assignments correctly (i.e. per assignment >55% correct) yields a bonus of 0.5 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 5.5.

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.

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. Daniela Kraft