Physics 2A: Mechanics

Winter 2011

A calculus-based science-engineering general physics course covering vectors, motion in one and two dimensions, Newton's first and second laws, work and energy, conservation of energy, linear momentum, collisions, rotational kinematics, rotational dynamics, equilibrium of rigid bodies, oscillations, gravitation.
Prerequisites: Mathematics 20A, and concurrent enrollment in Mathematics 20B.


Class Sections
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Information and Announcements

Information on rules, course administration, exams, grading and more. You must read this and understand this if you are taking the course.

Announcements: Notices, comments on homewrok problems and add-ons to lectures, practice exams, etc.


Section A
Section B
Section C


At heart, science is about how things evolve over time. And most things change over time because they move, or the pieces of which they are made move. This is true of innanimate objects, like stars and volcanos, as well as living things, like bacteria and you. Motion underlies phenomena where you would not suspect it. For example, electric current is nothing but the motion of electric charges. Understanding motion is a prerequisite for understanding all of physics and a heap of chemistry, biology and engineering.

Mechanics is what we call the study of motion. We start by learning how to describe motion: we ned a precise language that tells us, with mathematical precission, how any one given object is going from here to there and rotating or shaking on its way. But painting a picture of moving object is noit enough. We must find out what causes motion and how these causes produce motion. Then putting the two together, the how and the why, we can predict a mtion given a particular situation where we identify all possible causes of motion.

Kinematics is the study of the "how" of motion, while Dynamics is what we call the "why" of motion. And this is what we study in this course.

A specific breakdown: chapters 1 – 10 and 14 of the textbook. Chapters 11–12 will be (very) briefly discussed too.