Mechanics (FYS100)

This course provides an elementary introduction to classical Newtonian mechanics.

Course description for study year 2023-2024


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction

English, Norwegian


Physics is a natural science, focused on gaining an understanding of the fundamental mechanisms and building blocks of the world around us through experiment and mathematical modelling. Its goal is to reduce systems, which at first sight seem highly complex, to their elementary parts and their interactions, whose behavior may be formulated in terms of simple laws (reductionism). The word simple here means that these laws allow us to make predictions of the natural world with less effort than recreating the observed system itself. I.e. physicists strive to identify among the diverse phenomena found in the natural world regularity and thus relations which allow us to reduce the description of our surroundings to a few basic principles.

Physics consists of two ingredients, the formulation of a model hypothesis about the world around us, expressed in the language of mathematics and the testing of such hypotheses through experiment. In this course you will train the skills required to contribute in both area. You will learn how to describe the behavior of mechanical systems occurring in the world around us through mathematical models, be it the linear and rotational motion of massive bodies, oscillatory motion or wave phenomena. On the way you will encounter some of the most fundamental laws physicists have identified: Newtons laws of motion and the conservation laws for mechanical energy, linear momentum and angular momentum. At the same time the lecture includes two laboratory exercises, in which you will setup, carry out and analyse experiments on linear motion and oscillatory motion. These will allow you to put into practice the concepts of units, uncertainty and hypothesis testing that we will discuss in the lectures.

Concretely we will cover the following topics:

  • Kinematics
  • Vectors
  • Newton's laws
  • work-energy relation
  • conservative forces
  • linear momentum
  • center of mass
  • rotation of rigid bodies
  • torque and angular momentum
  • moment of inertia
  • static equilibrium
  • simple harmonic motion damped and forced oscillations
  • waves

Learning outcome

After completing this course, the student shall have achieved the following learning outcomes:


K1: I can recall central concepts of classical mechanics, such as Newton's laws of motion and the conservations laws of mechanical energy, linear momentum and angular momentum.


F1: I have acquired an understanding of Newtons laws of motion and am able to apply them to describe different mechanical systems

F2: I have developed the skill to apply the conservation laws for mechanical energy, linear and angular momentum to answer questions related to the motion of point masses and rigid bodies

General competency

G1: I understand the value of reducing complicated systems to their basic building blocks, whose behavior I can describe by simple mathematical relations.

G2: I have learned to use well justified approximations to gain insight into the world around me.

G3: I have acquired the ability to use the language of mathematics to describe phenomena in the world around me.

Required prerequisite knowledge


Recommended prerequisites

It is highly recommended that the students have proper depth in physics (Fysikk2/3FY) from (junior) high school.


Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written exam 1/1 5 Hours Letter grades Specified printed and hand-written means are allowed. Definite, basic calculator allowed

Coursework requirements

6 out of 9 compulsory assignments must be approved, 2 lab-reports

Hand-in assignments must be approved by subject teacher 3 weeks ahead of examination date. Otherwise the student will be barred from the exam.

Similarly the two laboratory reports must be approved by the subject teacher 3 weeks ahead of the examination date. Otherwise the student will be barred from the exam.

The hand-ins will comprise the main elements of the course syllabus and give the student proper training in working with problems relevant for the final exam. The laboratory exercises complement the theoretical education of the students, allowing them to apply main concepts of the course syllabus in a practical setting.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Alexander Karl Rothkopf

Head of Department:

Bjørn Henrik Auestad

Method of work

6 hours lectures and 2 hours exercises every week. The exercises will be carried out under the supervision of teaching assistants. From among the hours devoted to exercises, 8 hour in total are reserved to work on the laboratory experiments, under the supervision of the lab engineer and teaching assistants.

Language of tuition: English or Norwegian.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Physics (BIT100_1) 10
Physics (TE0557_1) 6
Physics (TE0557_A) 6
Physics for data/electro (RED102_1) 2.5
Physics for data/electro (FYS102_1) 2.5

Open for

Civil Engineering - Bachelor in Engineering Computer Science - Bachelor in Engineering Control Engineering and Circuit Design, Vocational Path - Bachelor in Engineering Control Engineering and Circuit Design - Bachelor in Engineering Chemistry and Environmental Engineering - Bachelor in Engineering Mechanical Engineering - Bachelor in Engineering Admission to Single Courses at the Faculty of Science and Technology City and Regional Planning - Master of Science Degree Programme, Five Years Industrial Economics - Master of Science Degree Programme, Five Year Structural and Mechanical Engineering - Master of Science Degree Programme. Five Years Mathematics and Physics - Five Year Integrated Master's Degree Programme Petroleum Engineering - Master of Science Degree Programme, Five Years

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital course evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


The syllabus can be found in Leganto