Skip to main content
$$\require{cancel}$$

Table of Contents

Physics 9A introduces general principles and analytical methods used in classical mechanics for physical science and engineering majors.
• 1: Motion

The most fundamental concept in physics is motion.  Here we will examine motion progressing from its simplest manifestation to more advanced forms, growing our mathematical toolbox along the way.
• 2: Force

Our study of motion was an examination taught us about the results of actions.  We now begin our exploration of what causes various types of motion.
• 3: Work and Energy

Using Newton's laws to solve every problem in mechanics can be quite cumbersome.  Some problems don't require the degree of detail that force analysis gives, which makes it possible to develop and use shortcuts to their solutions.  In our search for such a shortcut, we end up encountering one of the most fundamental and profound principles in all of physics.
• 4: Linear Momentum

We continue our search for shortcuts to solving problems for which the direct use of Newton's laws are inconvenient.  In the case work/energy, we found such a shortcut using Newton's 2nd Law, limiting it to the direction of motion.  Here we turn to Newton's 3rd Law for inspiration, and encounter another important conservation principle.
• 5: Rotations and Rigid Bodies

Up to this point, we have treated objects as points whose motion is limited to translation through space.  We now extend our analysis to extended rigid objects that can rotate around a fixed point.
• 6: Angular Momentum

We have already seen that whatever we did for linear motion can be expanded to rotational motion.  A particularly useful and interesting application of this is angular momentum, which – you guessed it – also comes with an important conservation law.
• 7: Gravitation

With the fundamentals of classical mechanics firmly in hand, we employ the tools we have developed to the most celebrated of the fundamental forces, following in the footsteps of Kepler and Newton.
• 8: Small Oscillations

All around us we see examples of restoring forces.  Such forces naturally result in motion that is oscillatory.  We will look at what these physical systems have in common.