ISBN 9789987083701
Pages 362
Dimensions 280 x 216mm
Illustrations B/W Illustrations
Published 2019
Publisher Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania
Format Paperback

Introduction to Classical Mechanics

Kinematics, Newtonian and Lagrangian

by Pushpendra K. Jain, John S. Nkoma

This book introduces Tanzanian students to the fascinating world of Mechanics - the science of motion and equilibrium. Concepts of mechanics namely vector and scalar quantities, forces, the laws of motion, work, energy, the conservation laws, gravitation, circular, orbital and oscillatory motions cut across not only most branches of physics such as electromagnetism, atomic, molecular, nuclear, astro and space physics, but are also applied to most branches of engineering and technology. This makes mechanics an important component of physics which students must master well at an early stage before branching to various career options. That is why undergraduate programs in sciences at most universities offer mandatory courses on basic mechanics within the first year of study. This book meets the needs of students and academics at the entry level courses.

This book covers three crucial subareas of mechanics namely Kinematics, Newtonian mechanics and Lagrangian mechanics. Chapter 1 covers introductory aspects. Kinematics is discussed in chapter 2. Newton's laws of motion are introduced in chapter 3. Chapter 4 deals with the conservation of linear momentum. Work, energy and power are covered in chapter 5. Circular motion, Gravitation and planetary motion, and oscillations are covered in chapters 6, 7 and 8 respectively. Chapter 9 presents the aspects of rigid body dynamics, and Lagrangian mechanics is introduced in chapter 10, which lays a foundation for advanced courses in mechanics.

The language of physics is universal, and the book is suited to students globally. However, the book recognises and addresses the specific needs of students in African Universities. There is a marked heterogeneity in the background of students ranging from those who are well prepared to those who are not so well prepared. The book meets the needs of all students. It presents detailed explanations of difficult-to-grasp topics with the help of simple but clearly drawn and labeled diagrams. The discussions and conclusions are presented point-wise, and key words, definitions, laws, etc., are highlighted. A unique feature of the book is a number of ‘Recipes’ which give students tailor made guidance to problems solving. Application of the recipe is illustrated by a solved example, followed by a similar exercise for students to practice. There are a large number of problems and exercises at the end of each chapter to further sharpen their skills.

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About the Author

John S. Nkoma

Professor John S Nkoma obtained his BSc in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and later his MSc and PhD in Physics from the University of Essex, UK. Prof. Nkoma has over 30 years experience of university teaching and research in Botswana, Italy, Tanzania and UK, and has been external examiner to several universities. His research interests are in condensed matter physics, materials science and ICTs regulation in telecommunications, internet, broadcasting and postal communications. He is a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences. He also served as the Director General/CEO of the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) during 2004 to 2015.