Course syllabus

Mechanics, Basic Course

VSM010, 7,5 credits, G1 (First Cycle)

Valid for: 2016/17
Decided by: Education Board D
Date of Decision: 2016-04-08

General Information

Main field: Technology.
Compulsory for: V1
Language of instruction: The course will be given in Swedish


The aim of the course is to give basic knowledge in mechanics with application to real-world problems. Modelling is trained in the course. The problem-solving ability is developed by using the laws of Newton and mathematical tools for defining and analysing computational models describing the physical world.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must

Judgement and approach
For a passing grade the student must


A characteristic feature of mechanics is that it tries to capture the patterns of behaviour and and phenomena of nature in terms of mathematical models. The subject thereby has a strong connection to calculus and linear algebra courses. Two basic models for bodies are treated in detail - particle and rigid body. It is important to, in a real situation, have the ability to separate a problem from its surroundings (drawing a free-body diagram) and choose a suitable model for analysis of the problem. Mathematical concepts and methods from linear algebra and calculus are consolidated and deepened when they can be given a clear physical interpretation in the models of mechanics.

The Mechanics course can roughly be divided into statics and dynamics, depending on whether the bodies which are studied are at rest or in motion. Dynamics can be further divided into particle dynamics and rigid body dynamics, depending on whether the extension of the body in question needs to be taken into account.

Statics: two and three-dimensional force systems. Equilibrium. Centre of mass and centroid, friction.

Dynamics: kinematics of particles, kinetics of particles (Newton’s second law, work and energy, impulse and momentum). Plane kinematics of rigid bodies. Plane kinetics of rigid bodies.

Project work: The students are introduced into an engineering way of thinking, trained in critcal examination and identifying the question at issue in a more complex situation by an assignment where they choose a problem related to the course and present a report.

Examination details

Grading scale: TH
Assessment: Written examination, consisting of a theory and a problem part.


Required prior knowledge: FMA420 Linear Algebra. FMAA05 Calculus in One Variable.
The number of participants is limited to: No
The course overlaps following course/s: VSMA15

Reading list

Contact and other information

Course coordinator: Univ. lektor Per-Erik Austrell,
Course homepage: