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Klassieke Mechanica a


Admission Requirements

Kaleidoscoop Natuurkunde, Wiskunde Basis, Analyse 1, Lineaire Algebra 1


Classical Mechanics describes the (non-relativistic) motion of objects in a 3-dimensional space. The course shows how to describe such motion mathematically, by analyzing forces and writing down and solving equations of motion. Classical Mechanics a is based on Newton’s law and describes simple linear and rotational motion. It is followed by Classical Mechanics b (2nd year) where motion is considered using the Hamilton-Lagrange formalism.

Course objectives

Understanding the basic concepts of Classical Mechanics, being able to apply them, and being able to formulate solution strategies, with respect to the following subjects:

  • Newton’s laws; force and motion.

  • Energy, work, momentum, angular momentum.

  • Equations of motion in 3D

  • Friction: static, dynamic, linear and quadratic.

  • Conservative forces and potential energy.

  • Damped and drive Harmonic Oscillator.

  • Non-intertial systems (accelerating and rotating): Coriolisforce, centripetal versus centrifugal force, transversal force.

  • Many-particle systems :center-of-gravity, moment of intertia, collisions.



Mode of instruction

Lectures and exercise class

Assessment method

Written exam and test. The test, halfway in the course, is diagnostic in nature, and allows the student to assess his / her progress. The result of the test weighs positivily in the final result. The grade C is determined by the result of the written exam T and the test result t according to C = (t+2T)/3 when t > T, or C=T in other cases. This is only the case at the first occasion of the written exam. At the resit, C=T. Furthermore there will be homework assignments which can lead to a normalized bonuspoint when 80 % of the assingments have been handed in


The course uses Blackboard for making studymaterial available; in particular the homework and exercise class assignments and their solutions, as well as old exams. In the preparation for the exam, a discussion forum will be available.
To access Blackboard you need an ULCN account. Blackboard

Reading list

Obligatory: 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)