Subject: Mechanics and Waves

Scientific Area:



96 Hours

Number of ECTS:

7,5 ECTS



Overall objectives:

1 - Understanding the basic concepts and principles of Newtonian mechanics and wave phenomena.
2 - Application of the basic concepts and principles to the phenomena of day-to-day life, nature and technology.
3 - Development of calculation ability by means of numerical evaluations in the resolution of problems.
4 - Application of the basic concepts and principles in performing laboratory work.


1 - 1. Physical Quantities and Dimensional Analysis 1.1 Base Quantities and Derived Quantities 1.2 The International System of Units 1.3 Base Units and Derived Units 1.4 Dimensions of Physical Quantities 1.5 Homogeneity of Physics Equations
2 - 2. Motion Along a Straight Line 2.1 Position and Displacement 2.2 Averaged Velocity and Averaged Speed 2.3 Instantaneous Velocity and Speed 2.4 Average Acceleration and Instantaneous Acceleration 2.5 Motion with Constant Velocity 2.6 Motion with Constant Acceleration 2.7 The Acceleration of Free Fall
3 - 3. Motion in Two and Three Dimensions 3.1 Position Vector and Displacement Vector 3.2 Average Velocity Vector and Instantaneous Velocity Vector 3.3 Average Acceleration Vector and Instantaneous Acceleration Vector 3.4 The Equation of the Trajectory 3.5 Projectile Motion 3.6 Tangential and Normal components of Acceleration 3.7 Uniform Circular Motion 4.8 Relative Motion
4 - 4 Newton's Laws of Motion 4.1 Force 4.2 Newton's First Law 4.3 Inertial Reference Frames 4.4 Mass 4.5 Newton's Second Law 4.6 Some Particular Forces: Gravitational Force, Normal Force and Tension 4.7 Newton's Third Law 4.8 Static Frictional Force, Kinetic Frictional Force and Drag Force 4.9 Applying Newton's Laws 4.10 Motion in Accelerated Frames
5 - 5. Work and Energy 5.1 Kinetic Energy 5.2 Work Done by a Constant Force 5.3 Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem 5.4 Work Done by a Variable Force 5.5 Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem with a Variable Force 5.6 Power 5.7 Work and Potential Energy 5.8 Conservative and Nonconservative Forces 5.9 Determining Potential Energy: Gravitational Potential Energy and Elastic Potential Energy 5.10 Conservation of Mechanical Energy 5.11 Work Done on a System by an External Force 5.12 Conservation of Energy
6 - 6. Dynamics of a System of Particles 6.1 Center of Mass of a Systems of Particles and Center of Mass of a Solid Body 6.2 Velocity and Acceleration of the Center of Mass 6.3 Newton?s Second Law for a System of Particles 6.4 Linear Momentum of a Particle and Linear Momentum of a System of Particles 6.5 Collision and Impulse 6.6 Conservation of Linear Momentum 6.7 Momentum and Kinetic Energy in Collisions 6.8 Completely Inelastic Collisions and Elastic Collisions 6.9 Systems with Varying Mass
7 - 7. Dynamics of a Rigid Body 7.1 Angular Position, Angular Displacement, Angular Velocity and Angular Acceleration 7.2 Circular Motion with Constant Velocity 7.3 Circular Motion with Constant Acceleration 7.4 Angular Velocity Vector and Angular Acceleration Vector 7.5 Kinetic Energy of Rotation 7.6 Moment of Inertia 7.7 Torque 7.8 Newton's Second Law for Rotation 7.9 Work and Rotational Kinetic Energy 7.10 The Kinetic Energy of Rolling 7.11 Angular Momentum of a Particle 7.12 Newton's Second Law in Angular Form 7.13 The Angular Momentum of a System of Particles 7.14 The Angular Momentum of a Rigid Body Rotating About a Fixed Axis 7.15 Conservation of Angular Momentum
8 - 8. Statics of Rigid Body 8.1 Rigid Body in Static Equilibrium 8.2 Center of Gravity 8.3 Examples of Rigid Bodies in Static Equilibrium
9 - 9. Oscillations 9.1 Simple Harmonic Motion 9.2 The Force Law for Simple Harmonic Motion 9.3 Energy in Simple Harmonic Motion 9.4 Pendulums: Simple Pendulum and Physical Pendulum 9.5 Damped Simple Harmonic Motion 9.6 Forced Oscillations and Resonance
10 - 10. Waves 10.1 Types of Waves 10.2 Transverse and Longitudinal Waves 10.3 Wave Characteristics 10.3.1 Amplitude and Phase 10.3.2 Wavelength and Angular Wave Number 10.3.3 Period, Angular Frequency, and Frequency 10.3.4 Phase Constant 10.4 The Speed of a Traveling Wave 10.5 The Wave Equation 10.6 Energy and Power of a Wave Traveling Along a String 10.7 The Principle of Superposition for Waves 10.8 Interference of Waves 10.9 Standing Waves 10.10 Standing Waves and Resonance 10.11 Sound Waves 10.12 The Speed of Sound 10.13 Traveling Sound Waves 10.14 Standing Waves in Air Columns 10.15 Intensity and Sound Level 10.16 The Decibel Scale 10.17 Beats


M. Alonso e E. J. Finn , 2012 , Física , Escolar Editora
P. A. Tipler , 2002 , Física para Cientistas e Engenheiros: Mecânica, Oscilações e Ondas, Termodinâmica , LTC-Livros Técnicos e Científicos
M. Alonso and E. J. Finn , 1983 , Fundamental University Physics: Fields and Waves , Addison-Wesley
H. Benson , 1991 , University Physics , John Wiley & Sons
D. Halliday, R. Resnick and J. Walker , 2001 , Fundamentals of Physics , Wiley
R. A. Serway and J.W. Jewett , 2014 , Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics , Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning
M. M. Sternheim and J. W. Kane , 1991 , General Physics , John Wiley & Sons
P. A. Tipler and G. Mosca , 2002 , Physics for Scientists and Engineers , W. H. Freeman and Company
M. Alonso and E. J. Finn , 1983 , Fundamental University Physics: Mechanics and Thermodynamics , Addison-Wesley

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
Blackboard will be used in theoretical classes to show the contents. The video projector will be used to display pictures, graphs and tables. Tutorial method will be used to follow students in solving problems. In laboratory classes students perform experimental work guided by previously established protocols. The assessment of this course is based on two modules; the students must obtain a grade of at least 9.5 marks in each module: - Theory module, with a weight of 75% on the final grade of the course; - Laboratory module, with a weight of 25% on the final grade of the course. The Theory module is graded by means of two written exams. Each exam has a weight of 37.5% on the final grade of the course. The Laboratory module is graded by two practical exams. Each exam has a weight of 12.5% on the final grade of the course.