Module code: PA1110
Module co-ordinator: Professor Mark Lester

Classical mechanics, sometimes known as Newtonian mechanics, is the branch of classical (pre-quantum) physics concerned with forces and motion, particularly of macroscopic objects. In this module we will review the definitions and use of quantities such as work, energy, momentum and angular momentum. We will examine the relationship between theory and experiment or observation in, for example, planetary motion. We will also discuss the properties of linear elasticity (Hooke’s law and Young’s modulus) and the basic properties of fluids including Archimedes’ principle and Bernoulli’s theorem.

Topics covered

  • Newton’s laws
  • Classical dynamics
  • Conservation laws and their applicability
  • Rotational motion
  • Stress and strain
  • Work
  • Buoyancy
  • Basic fluid dynamics


  • 16 hours of lectures
  • 4 hours of seminars
  • 10 hours of practicals/workshops
  • 120 hours of guided independent study


  • Coursework (30%)
  • Exam, 2 hours (70%)