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Predict the Motion of Bodies

This is a calculus-based science-engineering general physics course. Students will explore the foundations of Classical Mechanics by studying the Newtonian motion of macroscopic objects in terms of particles and forces.
Mechanics has applications in other areas of science, including celestial many-body problems, the conformational studies of protein-ligand interactions in molecular Biology, the dynamics of molecular collisions in Chemistry, the propagation of seismic waves in Geology, and the stability of structures and dynamics of machines in Engineering.

The course will cover the basics of particle collisions, rotational kinematics and dynamics, the equilibrium of rigid bodies and fluids, oscillations, and gravitation. Concepts of momentum and energy will extend students’ ability to analyze motion in one, two-, and three-dimensions using Newton's laws.

Students will also be exposed to thermodynamics, its Laws and concepts applicable to heat engines and refrigerators, the expansion of gases and changes of phase, and the properties of entropy associated with the Second Law of thermodynamics.

Course Highlights:

  • Measurements and Units
  • Motion in a Straight Line
  • Vectors, Motion in 2D and 3D
  • Force and Motion
  • Kinetic Energy and Work
  • Potential Energy and Conservation of Mechanical Energy
  • Center of Mass and Linear Momentum
  • Rotation, Rolling, Torque and Angular Momentum
  • Equilibrium and Elasticity
  • Gravitation
  • Fluids
  • Oscillations and Waves
  • Temperature, Heat, and the First Law of Thermodynamics
  • The Kinetic Theory of Gases
  • Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Course Benefits:

  • Use models to represent a simplified version of a complex physical system
  • Analyze a system of particles
  • Understand Newton’s Laws of Motion and Universal Gravitation, potential energy, and concepts of mechanical energy
  • Apply the concepts to calculate and predict the motion of bodies.
  • Utilize the physical concepts of work, heat, internal energy, temperature, thermodynamic observables, and entropy
  • Understand the laws of thermodynamics and apply them to thermodynamic systems and states
  • Carry out calculations on phase transitions
  • Analyze heat processes and determine their efficiency
  • Perform calculations on heat conduction and heat radiation in various geometries

Course Typically Offered: Online, Winter and Summer quarter 

Prerequisites:  Trigonometry, vectors, and calculus will be used in lectures, problem sets and exams. Students must possess knowledge of differential and integral calculus of one variable. Functions, graphs, continuity, limits, derivative, tangent line. Applications with algebraic, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. Methods of integration.

Software: Students will be required to purchase a subscription to Wiley Plus. The subscription may be also valid for Electricity and Magnetism course (PHYS-40024).

More information: Contact to learn more about our programs and other course offerings.


Course Number: PHYS-40025
Credit: 4.00 unit(s)

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