Module Overview

Introduction to Mechanics with Python

This module develops students’ use of Python as a mathematical programming and simulation tool in the context of mechanics. It introduces the learner to the basic principles and equations of mechanics with the emphasis on observing solutions and developing physical intuition. The module will exploit the fundamental, classical laws of mechanics and physics that govern the motion of particles and bodies. In particular, the dynamics of particles, governed by the laws of Newton will be explored. The module does not assume a prior knowledge of applied mathematics and physics.

Module Code

MATH 1811

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

  • What is mechanics and particle motion? The Cartesian coordinate frame. Mass and forces. Displacement, velocity and acceleration. Standard units and dimensions.

  • Using Python to illustrate a given path or trajectory: identifying physical variables.

  • Newton's laws governing the motion of particles. Physical interpretation.

  • Laws of constant acceleration, particles falling under gravity, projectiles. Determine a simple trajectory and illustrate its simple dynamics using Python. (e.g. trajectory of a ball, lunar lander).

  • Concepts of energy and momentum.

  • Use Python to illustrate energy conservation/loss and illustrate collision dynamics. Concepts of work and friction.

  • Simple linear two body collisions: conservation of momentum and coefficient of restitution.

  • Python models of linear two body collisions.

The module will be delivered by a combination of lectures and tutorials. The student self-study will include the use of the programming language introduced earlier in their studies and may include programming notebooks designed to illustrate and explore mechanics.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination50
Other Assessment(s)50