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Classical mechanics is one of the two major sub-fields of mechanics, which is concerned with the set of physical laws

describing the motion of bodies under the action of a system of forces. The term classical mechanics was coined in the early 20th century to describe the system of physics begun by Isaac Newton and many contemporary 17th century natural philosophers, building upon the earlier astronomical theories of Johannes Kepler, which in turn were based on the precise observations of Tycho Brahe and the studies of terrestrial projectile motion of Galileo. Father of Classical mechanics Sir Isaac Newton Classical mechanics was traditionally divided into three main branches: Statics, the study of equilibrium and its relation to forces. Dynamics, the study of motion and its relation to forces. Kinematics, dealing with the implications of observed motions without regard for circumstances causing them.

Newtons Laws of Motion

Newton's laws of motion are three physical laws that form the basis for classical mechanics. They describe the relationship between the forces acting on a body and its motion due to those forces. Law of inertia (Newtons First Law of Motion) Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it. Newtons Second Law of Motion The relationship between an object's mass m, its acceleration a, and the applied force F is F = ma. Acceleration and force are vectors (as indicated by their symbols being displayed in slant bold font); in this law the direction of the force vector is the same as the direction of the acceleration vector. Newtons Third Law of Motion For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Kinematics is the branch of classical mechanics that describes the motion of points, bodies (objects) and systems of bodies (groups of objects) without consideration of the causes of motion.

Speed and Velocity

Speed is a scalar quantity that refers to "how fast an object is moving." Speed can be thought of as the rate at which an object covers distance. A fast-moving object has a high speed and covers a relatively large distance in a short amount of time. Contrast this to a slow-moving object that has a low speed; it covers a relatively small amount of distance in the same amount of time. An object with no movement at all has a zero speed. Velocity is a vector quantity that refers to "the rate at which an object changes its position." Velocity is a vector quantity. As such, velocity is direction aware. Calculating Average Speed and Average Velocity The average speed during the course of a motion is often computed using the following formula:

In contrast, the average velocity is often computed using this formula

Average Speed versus Instantaneous Speed ratio. Instantaneous Speed - the speed at any given instant in time. Average Speed - the average of all instantaneous speeds; found simply by a distance/time


Acceleration is a vector quantity that is defined as the rate at which an object changes its velocity. An object is accelerating if it is changing its velocity. If only the magnitude v of the velocity decreases, this is sometimes referred to as deceleration, but generally any change in the velocity with time, including deceleration, is simply referred to as acceleration. Calculating the Average Acceleration The average acceleration (a) of any object over a given interval of time (t) can be calculated using the equation

The Direction of the Acceleration Vector Since acceleration is a vector quantity, it has a direction associated with it. The direction of the acceleration vector depends on two things: whether the object is speeding up or slowing down whether the object is moving in the + or direction

Work and Energy

Work is when a force acts upon an object to cause a displacement of the object. There are three key ingredients to work - force, displacement, and cause. In order for a force to qualify as having done work on an object, there must be a displacement and the force must cause the displacement. SI unit for work is joule which is equivalent to newton-meter (Nm).

Work = Force x Distance

Power is the rate at which work is done. It is the work/time ratio.

Power = Work / Time

Mechanical energy is the energy that is possessed by an object due to its motion or due to its position. Mechanical energy can be either kinetic energy (energy of motion) or potential energy (stored energy of position).

Types of Mechanical Energy

o Kinetic Energy

Kinetic energyis the energy of an object in motion.

Potential Energy

Potential energy also referred to as stored energy, is the ability of a system to do work due to its position or internal structure. Types of Potential Energy Gravitational potential energy is the energy stored in an object as the result of its vertical position or height. The energy is stored as the result of the gravitational attraction of the Earth for the object.

PEgrav = mass g height

g= 9.81 m/s^2

Elastic potential energy is the energy stored in elastic materials as the result of their stretching or compressing. Elastic potential energy can be stored in rubber bands, bungee cords, trampolines, springs, an arrow drawn into a bow, etc. The amount of elastic potential energy stored in such a device is related to the amount of stretch of the device - the more stretch, the more stored energy.

PEspring= * k * x^2
k= spring constant x= amount of compression (relative to equilibrium position)

Questions: 1. State Newtons Third Law of Motion 2. Velocity and Acceleration are ________ quantities. 3. He is the Father of Classical Mechanics physics.


By: Cryogenics Group IV-TechVoc-B