In week 1, we introduce Newton's three laws of motion. We use them to write an equation of motion. Equations of motion require the evaluation of displacements, velocities, and accelerations. The study of motion is called kinematics. In this course, we use vectors to describe the motion of rigid bodies. The equations for vector displacements, velocities, and accelerations are developed in the first week.
Billiards is a game that requires a familiarity with Newton's laws. Image courtesy of fictures on Flickr.
Each problem set has concept questions paired with most problems. Answers to the concept questions are handed in before the overall problem set is due. You should therefore answer the concept questions in each problem set while watching the video lectures for the week. Then, use the Concept Question Answer Key (below in the Check Yourself section) to check your work before continuing to work on the problem set.
Please note that if your answer to the concept question is incorrect, it is likely that you may start down an unproductive pathway to a solution. Try to fully understand the answer to the concept question before you begin the regular problem.
Lecture 1: History of Dynamics; Motion in Moving Reference Frames
Modeling in dynamics
History of the study of dynamics
An example deriving equations of motion using Newton's laws
Introduction to kinematics using reference frames and vectors
Moving frames: translation and rotation
Lecture 2: Newton's Laws and Describing the Kinematics of Particles
Purpose of concept questions
Kinematics: describing the motion of particles and rigid bodies
A review of Newton's three laws of motion
The importance of inertial reference frames
Newton's 3rd Law action and reaction forces
The definition of center of mass
The definition of center of rod
The solutions are presented in two files, one with the answers to the concept questions, and one with solutions and in-depth explanations for the problems. Work the problems on your own and check your answers when you're done.