Study abroad in Edinburgh

Course finder

Semester 1

Classical Physics (PHYS08055)


Physics and Astronomy





Normal Year Taken


Delivery Session Year



Not Applicable

Course Summary

This course is open to Point of Entry 2 (PoE2) students from the School of Geosciences only. It provides an introduction to classical dynamics and waves. It serves as a preparation for further study in Geophysics-based degree programmes.The course consists of lectures to present new material, and workshops to develop understanding, familiarity and fluency.

Course Description

Classical Dynamics:Kinematics: Describing the motion of particles, 'SUVAT' equations for constant acceleration, circular motion.Dynamics: Newton's Laws of motion, types of force, statics and force diagrams, Newton's law of universal gravitation, solving equations of motion.Energy: Kinetic energy, work, potential energy in conservative systems, energy conservation.Conservation Laws: Central forces, angular momentum, torque, Noether's theorem.Classical Relativity: Galilean invariance, fictitious forces in accelerating frames.2 Particle systems: Centre of mass, conservation of momentum and angular momentum, elastic and inelastic collisions.Rigid Bodies and rotation: Centre of mass, moment of inertia, kinetic energy, torque, angular SUVAT, angular momentum.Oscillations & waves:Linear restoring force, SHM in 1-dimension, displacement, velocity, acceleration,energy in undamped oscillations. The pendulum. Damped SHM, types, characteristic time, frequency shift. Forced damped SHM, resonance behaviour Wave on a string, wave-equation, travelling waves, group and phase velocities, energy transfer by waves. Superposition principle, interference, beats, standing waves and applications of practical systems, Doppler effects, links to Fourier series.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 80%, Coursework 20%, Practical Exam 0%

view the timetable and further details for this course


All course information obtained from this visiting student course finder should be regarded as provisional. We cannot guarantee that places will be available for any particular course. For more information, please see the visiting student disclaimer:

Visiting student disclaimer