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Introduction and Summary

Kinematics, the part of physics we have studied up to this point, deals with describing motion. We have looked at position, velocity and acceleration as the three basic properties of a particle in motion. In Dynamics, we look at the causes of the motion that we have already studied. In studying these causes, which we shall call forces, we can get a more complete picture of a given physical situation. Starting with a given set of forces, through dynamics we are able to describe all resulting motion. Dynamics is thus the basis for the rest of the study of classical mechanics, and is applied in every branch of physics.

The study of Dynamics begins with an introduction of the concepts of force and mass, then goes on to introduce the basic laws of Dynamics, Newton's Three Laws. From here, we will look at how Newton's Laws are applied to a variety of forces, including tension, friction, and gravity. We will also examine the Dynamics of uniform circular motion.

Studying Newton's Laws is perhaps the most important part of classical mechanics. Kinematics, which you have already studied, lays the groundwork for Newton's laws. For the most part, the subject matter studied after Newton's laws simply applies the laws to a variety of physical situations, and derives further concepts from them. Newton's laws are the axioms of classical mechanics; brilliant not only in their applicability, but in their simplicity.