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Classical Physics


Key information

  • Module code:


  • Level:


  • Semester:


  • Credit value:


Module description

Module Description

An indicative list of topics covered by this module, but which may change slightly from year to year, is given by:

  • Introduction to classical mechanics: Newton's Laws, parabolic motion, friction, inertial frames
  • Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM): forced SHM and resonance, energy, damping, Q values and power response curves, coupled SHM
  • Energy and Work
  • Linear momentum
  • Gravitational potential and orbits
  • Many body mechanics: rigid motion, spin torque, angular momentum
  • Electrostatics: Moving charges, dipole radiation
  • LCR circuits. Geometrical optics (multi-lens systems)
  • Wave description in 1-D: Standing Waves, phase and group velocity, beats, dispersion, interference and diffraction.


Learning aims & outcomes

To introduce the student to basic concepts and methods of calculation for Classical Physics.

At the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Carry out kinematics calculations for point particles using Newtons laws and conservation principles.
  • Carry out basic kinematics calculations for extended rigid objects using torques and angular momentum conservation principles.
  • Describe the gravitational and electrostatic forces between matter.
  • Describe oscillating systems using a mathematical formalism based on trigonometric functions and complex numbers
  • Explain how oscillating charges give rise to electromagnetic radiation.
  • Use the mathematical description of wave motion to elucidate interference, diffraction and distinguishing group and phase velocity.
  • Construct Ray diagrams for multi-element optical systems.

Assessment details

Please note that students who are in attendance for Semester 1 only can expect to be set alternative assessment before their return to their home institution. Further information will be provided by your lecturer.