An Introduction to Mechanics

Instructor: Paul Garrett

Course Website


This is a calculus-based, introductory course in mechanics in which the concepts of translational and rotational kinematics and dynamics, equilibrium of rigid bodies, oscillations, and special relativity are developed. These concepts are illustrated with examples taken from a wide variety of situations, ranging from the environment in which we live to the field of subatomic physics.


problem-solving skills; basic understanding of mechanics; ability to communicate (in writing) a logical problem solution; physical understanding of everyday phenomena; skills in data collection and analysis using electronic sensors and DataStudio software; expertise in determining experimental uncertainties in measured and calculated quantities; ability to use log-log graphs to analyse experimental data.

Planning Your Program

Who should take this course?
This course is core for students in Honours courses in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Statistics other than MPC2 students (codes 33, 34). Some BA (code 30), General Studies (code 40), B.Sc.Agr. (code 01) and BA.Sc. (code 10) students elect this course.

Prerequisites: OAC Physics (or equivalent) or PHYS*1020 and OAC calculus (or equivalent).

Co-requisites and concurrent courses: Normally this is the first part of a 2-course sequence PHYS*1000 and PHYS*1010.

Exclusions: IPS*1500