2023-2024 / MECA0201-1

Analytical Mechanics I


30h Th, 30h Pr

Number of credits

 Bachelor in mathematics6 crédits 
 Bachelor in physics6 crédits 


Pierre Dauby

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Newtonian Mechanics is a physical theory describing the motions of bodies in space. The objective of Analytical Mechancis I is first to introduce the basic notions (inertial frames, force,...) and principles (the Newton's laws) of the theory. Several mechanical phenomena are then studied in the frame of this theory. Futhermore, Newtonian Mechanics provides a quite appropriate application field for many mathematical notions and allows to illustrate the fundamental role played by mathematics in physical theories. Analytical Mechanics I is divided into three parts. The first is kinematics, which consists in the study of motion independently of its causes (geometrical point of view). The object of dynamics is the relation between the motion of a body and the forces acting on this body. The second part of the course is devoted to the study of the dynamics of particles. The Newton's laws are presented, as well as the conservation principles. Several examples are then discussed: simple and forced harmonic oscillator, non linear forced oscillations (subharmonic and chaotic responses), pendulum, planetray motions (Kepler problem). The laws of mechanics in non inertial frames are then introduced and used to study the Foucault pendulum. Finally, in the last part of the course, the dynamics of systems of particles, and the dynamics of solids, are presented. As application, the Euler-Poinsot problem is discussed.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of the course, the students will have understood the physical concepts and principles of particle and solid mechanics. They will also be able to solve problems similar to those presented and discussed as exercices.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

A good knowledge of vector algebra and elementary calculus and geometry is essential.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The theoretical part of the course is presented as lectures (30h). Practical work sessions (30h) are also devoted to solving problems and making exercices.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Face-to-face teaching (except in the case of problems related to the pandemic).

Recommended or required readings

Notes and slides (in French) can be downloaded from eCampus. A printed version of the notes can also be provided on demand.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam

Additional information:

An optional test will be organised (if admininistrative constraints allow). The result of this test will participate for 25% in the final mark for the January session in case its influence is favorable. 

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Practical details will be provided on eCampus.


  • Pierre C. DAUBY, Professeur Institut de Physique (local 2/57), Bât. B5a, Allée du 6 août 19, B-4000 Liège  Phone: 04/366.23.57 Email: PC.Dauby@uliege.be  
  • Guillaume SICORELLO, research and teaching assistant,, email: guillaume.sicorello@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs