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Unit information: Engineering Physics in 2014/15

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Unit name Engineering Physics
Unit code EMAT10005
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. John Hogan
Open unit status Open

A-level common core in mathematics, or equivalent



School/department Department of Engineering Mathematics
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This unit gives a comprehensive introduction to applied mechanics, covering mechanics of materials and the dynamics of particles and rigid bodies. There is a strong emphasis on practical engineering applications.

Topics covered include:

Dynamics of particles and rigid bodies:

  • Origins of classical mechanics. Basic concepts
  • Vector definitions of position, velocity and acceleration. Motion in a straight line, in a circle, normal and tangential co-ordinates, polar co-ordinates.
  • Newton's laws of motion. Work, energy, linear momentum and angular momentum, impulse, impacts. Conservation laws. Orbits. Rocket dynamics
  • Rigid body properties: free body diagrams, moments of inertia.
  • Oscillatory motion. Conservative systems. Simple harmonic motion of particles. Damping, forced oscillations and resonance.

Mechanics of materials:

  • Definitions of stress and strain. Elastic and plastic behaviour
  • Hooke's law, Poisson's ration. Free body diagrams
  • Stress and strain of axially-loaded structures. Statically indeterminate structures. Thermal expansion Strain energy. Impact loading. Stress concentrations. Simple stress calculations. Bending of planar beams. Point loads and distributed loads. Shear forces and bending moments. Curvature of beams. Buckling.

The main aim of this unit is to ensure that all first year students in Engineering Mathematics and Engineering Design have a firm grounding in the mechanics of materials and in classical mechanics, with applications to engineering.

Intended learning outcomes

Students should acquire an understanding of the basic theoretical concepts, be able to derive fundamental formulae from first principles, be able to apply theory to solve practical problems and develop an intuitive feel for the 'right answer' in any given situation.

Teaching details


Assessment Details

3-hour written examination: 100% (all learning outcomes)

Reading and References

Adequate lecture notes are provided, recommended textbook:

An Introduction to Mathematics for Engineers – Mechanics Stephen Lee. Publ. Hodder Education. ISBN 978-0-340-96552-8 (2008)

Useful books for background reading are:

Engineering Mechanics: Statics and Dynamics Principles Bedford, A, Fowler, W L, & Fowler, W T, Prentice Hall (2002)

Mechanics of Materials 5th Edition Gere J.M, & Timoshenko, S P, Brooks/Cole (2001)

Engineering Mechanics Volume II: Dynamics (4th edition) Merriam J. L. & Kraige L. G. Published by John Wiley (1998)