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December 5, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


This course covers the fundamentals of Newtonian mechanics, including kinematics, motion relative to accelerated reference frames, work and energy, impulse and momentum, 2D and 3D rigid body dynamics.

The course pays special attention to applications in aerospace engineering including introductory topics in orbital mechanics, flight dynamics, inertial navigation and attitude dynamics. By the end of the semester, students should be able to construct idealized (particle and rigid body) dynamical models and predict model response to applied forces using Newtonian mechanics

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction Unlimited
  • Degrees of freedom and constraints, rectilinear motion Unlimited
  • Vectors, matrices and coordinate transformations Unlimited
  • Curvilinear motion; Cartesian coordinates Unlimited
  • Other coordinate systems Unlimited
  • Intrinsic coordinates Unlimited
  • Relative motion using translating axes Unlimited
  • Relative motion using rotating axes Unlimited
  • Linear impulse and momentum; collisions Unlimited
  • Angular impulse and momentum for a particle Unlimited
  • Conservation laws for systems of particles Unlimited
  • Work and energy Unlimited
  • Conservative internal forces and potential energy Unlimited
  • Variable mass systems: the rocket equation Unlimited
  • Central force motion: Kepler’s laws Unlimited
  • Central force motion: orbits Unlimited
  • Orbit transfers and interplanetary trajectories Unlimited
  • Exploring the neighborhood: the restricted three-body problem Unlimited
  • Vibration, normal modes, natural frequencies, instability Unlimited
  • Energy methods: Lagrange’s equations Unlimited
  • 2D rigid body dynamics Unlimited
  • 2D rigid body dynamics: work and energy Unlimited
  • 2D rigid body dynamics: impulse and momentum Unlimited
  • Pendulums Unlimited
  • 3D rigid body kinematics Unlimited
  • 3D rigid body dynamics: the inertia tensor Unlimited
  • 3D rigid body dynamics: kinetic energy, instability, equations of motion Unlimited
  • 3D rigid body dynamics: equations of motion; Euler’s equations Unlimited
  • 3D rigid body dynamics Unlimited
  • 3D rigid body dynamics: tops and gyroscopes Unlimited
  • Inertial instruments and inertial navigation Unlimited
  • Dynamics and control challenges that occurred during the Apollo project Unlimited

About the instructor

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology