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.