8.012 | Fall 2008 | Undergraduate

Physics I: Classical Mechanics


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Recitations: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Course Description

Physics 8.012 is the advanced version of first-year Classical Mechanics. This course covers the same material as 8.01 and 8.01L, but at a faster pace and in slightly more depth. 8.012 is intended for those students with a strong mathematical background (mastery of single-variable calculus and vector algebra) and interest in physics. This course provides the best preparation for upper level courses, in particular 8.03 Physics III and 8.09 Classical Mechanics III.

The main topics in the class are: Vectors, Kinematics, Forces, Motion, Momentum, Energy, Angular Motion, Angular Momentum, Gravity, Planetary Motion, Moving Frames, and the Motion of Rigid Bodies.

Required Textbook

Kleppner, Daniel, and Robert J. Kolenkow. An Introduction to Mechanics. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1973. ISBN: 9780070350489.

Problem Sets

Homework problem sets will be assigned weekly. Students are encouraged to freely discuss homework problems with other students. However, you must write up your solutions completely on your own. Do not copy solutions from other students. Do not consult solutions from previous years or from the Web.

Problem sets will be graded on correctness, but all work must be shown. Problems answered with only the correct answer and no work will receive no credit. Partial credit for showing work without a correct answer will be given at the discretion of the grader.


There will be three midterm exams given during the course of the semester. There will also be a comprehensive final exam. No books, notes, calculators, computers, cell phones, or other study aides are permitted in the exam. You will be provided with a list of helpful equations for each exam.


Your grade will be based on weekly homework problem sets, exams (3 midterms and a final), in-class concept tests, and a class project.

Homework 25% 1 assignment per week
In-lecture concept tests 5% ~1-2 per lecture
Project 5%  
Midterm exams 45% 3 exams, each counting 15%
Final exam 20%  

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2008
Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets
Exams with Solutions