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Mechanics

Mechanics is the study of the interactions between physical bodies and their consequent motion.

In this topic, we will:

  • Define the quantities used to describe motion (displacement, velocity, acceleration).
  • Derive a set of equations that give the relationship between the displacement, velocity, acceleration and time when the acceleration is constant.
  • Solve problems involving constant acceleration in 1 and 2-dimensions.
  • Understand the effects of forces.
  • Relate unbalanced forces to motion.
  • Consider energy and the capabilities that this gives to bodies.
  • Define power and efficiency.
  • Learn about types of collision in terms of conservation of momentum.


  • Collisions

    Using the laws of conservation of energy it is possible to calculate the combined velocity of two astronauts colliding in space, amongst other things.

  • Balancing forces

    Balancing forces in 1 and 2 dimensions on the Earth and in space.

  • Kinematics

    Before we can model motion we need to define the quantities that we are going to use, once that has been done we can investigate how they are related.

  • Potential energy

    It might be better to call potential energy positional energy since it is the energy a body has due to its position.

  • Examples of forces

    Normal force, weight, tension, buoyancy. drag and friction all colourfully illustrated with Algodoo.

  • Work and energy

    To predict the outcome of the collision between two ball we need more than just the conservation of momentum, we neeed to consider energy as well.