7 facets of classical physics

i need to reduce the field of classical mechanics to 7 lessons.

Classical mechanics describes the motion of macroscopic objects, from projectiles to parts of machinery, as well as astronomical objects, such as spacecraft, planets, stars, and galaxies. Besides this, many specializations within the subject deal with gases, liquids, solids, and other specific sub-topics.

from another source:











physics of solids, liquids, thermal, sound and light

here’s from another source:

Classical physics is a branch of physics in which matter and energy are two separate concepts. Based primarily on Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion and James Clerk Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetic radiation, classical physics is generally divided into several different areas. These areas include mechanics (looking at motion, objects and the forces that act on them), dynamics, hydrodynamics, statics, optics, thermodynamics (studying energy and heat) and acoustics, as well as the studies of the phenomena surrounding magnetism and electricity. The laws of conservation of mass, conservation of energy and conservation of momentum are also very important to classical physics.

and another:

Physics I is a first-year physics course which introduces students to classical mechanics. Topics include: space and time; straight-line kinematics; motion in a plane; forces and equilibrium; experimental basis of Newton’s laws; particle dynamics; universal gravitation; collisions and conservation laws; work and potential energy; vibrational motion; conservative forces; inertial forces and non-inertial frames; central force motions; rigid bodies and rotational dynamics.

and another:

Rigid body·Rigid body dynamics·Euler’s equations (rigid body dynamics)·Motion·Newton’s laws of motion·Newton’s law of universal gravitation·Euler’s laws of motion·Equations of motion·Inertial frame of reference·Non-inertial reference frame·Rotating reference frame·Fictitious force·Linear motion·Mechanics of planar particle motion·Displacement (vector)·Relative velocity·Friction·Simple harmonic motion·Harmonic oscillator·Vibration·Damping·Damping ratio·Rotational motion·Circular motion·Uniform circular motion·Non-uniform circular motion·Centripetal force·Centrifugal force·Centrifugal force (rotating reference frame)·Reactive centrifugal force·Coriolis force·Pendulum·Rotational speed·Angular acceleration·Angular velocity·Angular frequency·Angular displacement

and another:

1-D Kinematics

The motion of objects in one-dimension are described using words, diagrams, numbers, graphs, and equations.

Newton’s Laws

Newton’s three laws of motion are explained and their application to the analysis of the motion of objects in one dimension is discussed.

Vectors – Motion and Forces in Two Dimensions

Vector principles and operations are introduced and combined with kinematic principles and Newton’s laws to describe, explain and analyze the motion of objects in two dimensions. Applications include riverboat problems, projectiles, inclined planes, and static equilibrium.

Momentum and Its Conservation

The impulse-momentum change theorem and the law of conservation of momentum are introduced, explained and applied to the analysis of collisions of objects.

Work, Energy, and Power

Concepts of work, kinetic energy and potential energy are discussed; these concepts are combined with the work-energy theorem to provide a convenient means of analyzing an object or system of objects moving between an initial and final state.

Circular Motion and Satellite Motion

Newton’s laws of motion and kinematic principles are applied to describe and explain the motion of objects moving in circles; specific applications are made to roller coasters and athletics. Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation is then presented and utilized to explain the circular and elliptical motion of planets and satellites.

Thermal Physics

The distinction between heat and temperature is thoroughly explained. Methods of heat transfer are explained. The mathematics associated with temperature changes and phase changes is discussed; its application to the science of calorimetry is presented.

Static Electricity

Basic principles of electrostatics are introduced in order to explain how objects become charged and to describe the effect of those charges on other objects in the neighboring surroundings. Charging methods, electric field lines and the importance of lightning rods on homes are among the topics discussed in this unit.

Current Electricity

The flow of charge through electric circuits is discussed in detail. The variables which cause and hinder the rate of charge flow are explained and the mathematical application of electrical principles to series, parallel and combination circuits is presented.


The nature, properties and behaviors of waves are discussed and illustrated; the unique nature of a standing wave is introduced and explained.

Sound Waves and Music

The nature of sound as a longitudinal, mechanical pressure wave is explained and the properties of sound are discussed. Wave principles of resonance and standing waves are applied in an effort to analyze the physics of musical instruments.

Light Waves and Color

The behavior of light waves is introduced and discussed; polarization, color, diffraction and interference are introduced as supporting evidence of the wave nature of light. Color perception is discussed in detail.

Reflection and the Ray Model of Light

The ray nature of light is used to explain how light reflects off of planar and curved surfaces to produce both real and virtual images; the nature of the images produced by plane mirrors, concave mirrors, and convex mirrors is thoroughly illustrated.

Refraction and the Ray Model of Light

The ray nature of light is used to explain how light refracts at planar and curved surfaces; Snell’s law and refraction principles are used to explain a variety of real-world phenomena; refraction principles are combined with ray diagrams to explain why lenses produce images of objects.

euler’s laws

newton’s laws of motion (can we illustrate all three in one experiment?)

linear motion, vectors

relative velocity


harmonic motion (spring, pendumum)

rotational / angular motion

centrifugal / centripetal force



roller coaster – The conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy is what drives the roller coaster, and all of the kinetic energy you need for the ride is present once the coaster descends the first hill

carousel – circular motion, linear motion

bumper cars –  the law of action-reaction, the drivers feel a change in their motion and become aware of their inertia.  The type of collision, velocity of the cars, and mass of the individual drivers all come into play in bumper car collisions.

free fall – In the first part of the ride, force is applied to the car to lift it to the top of the free-fall tower.   After a brief period in which the riders are suspended in the air, the car suddenly drops and begins to accelerate toward the ground under the influence of the earth’s gravity.

pendulum – Feelings of weightlessness are not due to a decrease in forces of gravitation; people do not feel forces of gravity. What you feel is the force of a seat (or other external object) pushing on your body with a force to counteract gravity’s downward pull.  The motion of an object in a circle requires that there be a force directed toward the center of the circle (sometimes called a “centripetal force”). This means that at the bottom of the circular swing, there must be an upward force (since the circle’s center is upward). Gravitational forces are always directed downward upon a rider’s body; thus, gravitational forces cannot meet this centripetal force requirement. The seat must supply the centripetal force, pushing upwards on the rider with a force greater than gravity’s downward pull.


arcade games

Riverboat Simulator

Explore concepts of relative velocity by investigating the motion of a boat across a river in the presence of a current. Alter the boat speed and heading, the river width and current speed; explore the effect of these changes upon the time to cross the river and the distance traveled downstream.

View: Animation || Activity Sheet

Projectile Simulator

Investigate the nature of a projectile using this projectile simulator. Alter the launch height, launch speed and launch angle and explore the effect of such alterations on the time of flight, range, and overall trajectory.

View: Animation || Activity Sheet

Hit the Target

Practice your skill at solving horizontally-launched projectile problems by seeing if you can hit a target. Three types of problems are presented with randomly generated numbers.

View: Animation || Activity Sheet || Data Sheet

Race Track

Test your understanding of the relationship between the net force and the resulting motion as you attempt to guide a car around an oval race track in the least number of moves. Watch your speed on the curves and you’ll be a winner.

View: Animation

Uniform Circular Motion

Analyze the motion of an object moving in a circle at a constant speed and investigate the directional nature of velocity and acceleration and the effect of speed and radius upon the acceleration.

View: Animation || Activity Sheet


Learn about the concept of universal gravitation as you explore the variables which effect the force of gravity between an object and a planet.

View: Animation || Activity Sheet

Orbital Motion

Investigate the elliptical motion of a satellite orbiting a central body and the nature of the velocity and force vectors. Alter the eccentricity of the orbit and view the effect upon the shape of the ellipse.

View: Animation || Activity Sheet

Standing Wave Patterns

Explore the standing wave patterns for a stringed instruments. Alter the length of the string, the amplitude of the wave pattern and the harmonic number. View the length-wavelength-frequency relationships.

View: Animation

Beat Patterns

Investigate the wave patterns associated with beats by combining two waves of similar frequency. Observe the wave patterns for the individual waves and observe the resulting beat pattern which is formed.

View: Animation



About jeanne

artist, grandma, alien

Posted on December 25, 2011, in game, quantum, research. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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