Fundamental Physics A-E2

Numbering Code U-LAS12 10003 LE57 Year/Term 2021 ・ First semester
Number of Credits 2 Course Type Lecture
Target Year Mainly 1st year students Target Student For science students
Language English Day/Period Thu.2
Instructor name OKEYO, Kennedy Omondi (Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences Senior Lecturer)
Outline and Purpose of the Course Focusing on classical mechanics, this lecture will introduce basic but important concepts in physics which are widely applied in other fields of natural sciences. Although prior knowledge of high school level physics will be advantageous, it is not absolutely necessary. Basic concepts and laws of classical mechanics will be introduced and expanded upon systematically, with focus on enabling students to master and apply them to practical problems in science and engineering.
Course Goals 1) Students should be able to understand basic concepts of Newtonian mechanics and how to apply them to various physical phenomena in science and engineering.

2) Students should be able to nurture intuitive as well as non-intuitive thinking through problem-solving approaches in physics.

3) Students should be able to describe and relate classroom knowledge to observations in their physical surroundings and daily experiences.
Schedule and Contents In dealing with the following topics, particular attention will be given to their application in different fields of natural sciences and engineering.


In this lecture, we will learn about vector description of motion, and how to systematically derive differential equations (including kinematic equations) of motions. Focus will be on kinematic description of motion, i.e., motion will be considered with disregard to the masses, forces and energies involved.


Newton's laws of motion form the core of classical mechanics and are the foundation of modern physics. As such, in this topic, we will introduce classical Newtonian mechanics, including Newton's laws of motion, and extend them to linear and angular momentum and conservation of energy.


Building on our understanding of Newton's laws of motion gained in the previous chapter, this chapter will dig deeper into important concepts such as work-energy theorem, conservation of linear and angular momentum, and Kepler's laws. Touching on specific examples, emphasis will be on systematic derivation and application of these important concepts.

4) RIGID BODY MOTION (3 weeks)
In this lecture, we will explore rotational motion, angular momentum and dynamics of rigid bodies and/or systems of rigid bodies. We will discuss concepts like the center of mass, conservation of angular momentum and rotational kinetic energy for rigid bodies using both planar (Cartesian coordinates) and polar coordinate systems.

This lecture will explain motions of bodies orchestrated by a central force, and extend the argument to derive equations of circular motion of celestial bodies (such as the revolution of earth around the sun). The law of universal gravitation will be explained and applied to relevant examples in dynamics.

6) EXAM AND FEEDBACK (2 weeks)
Evaluation Methods and Policy Regular assignments:40%

End-term examination: 60%
Course Requirements Knowledge of high school physics will be essential but not a requirement.
Study outside of Class (preparation and review) Students are strongly encouraged to study introductory mathematics textbooks and other materials to ensure that they are comfortable with basic mathematical concepts such as calculus (differentiation and integration) which is useful for deriving equations of motion.
Textbooks Textbooks/References AN INTRODUCTION TO MECHANICS (SECOND EDITION), Daniel Kleppner & Robert Kolenkow, (Cambridge University Press), ISBN:978-0-521-19811-0
If possible, please get a copy of the textbook for your reference. It's such a nice book to study introductory physics.

Handouts will be given where necessary.
References, etc. Fundamentals of Physics 10th Edition, David Halliday, Robert Resnick and Jearl Walker, (Wiley)