Mechanics and Electronics 1

Module aims

The aims of this module are: To introduce students to the principles of mechanics and electronics To demonstrate the mathematical connections between these topics To build students practical experience in electronics and mechanics labs To show how these concepts can be used to study bioengineering problems


Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module you will be able to: Explain and be able to apply the fundamental relationships describing the DC and AC properties of components and a wide variety of circuits within which they are connected Undertake circuit design at an elementary level. Describe Newton's laws and express them in vector form to solve both simple static and dynamic mechanics problems Use the moment of inertia to calculate angular momentum and rotational kinetic energy and deduce equations for rotational dynamics by analogy to linear dynamics. Apply the appropriate laws of physics and use 1st and 2nd order differential equations to be able to describe mechanical and electrical vibrations and wave travel. Work in laboratories in a safe an effective manor and use typical electronics equipment such as oscilloscopes, breadboards etc.

Module syllabus

This module will cover the following topics Mechanics: Statics Trajectories Work/Energy/Momentum Solving Differential Equations, Oscillations Systems of Particles Centre of Mass, Inertia Rigid Body Motion Electronics: Components: resistors and sources: Ohms law Interconnections: Kirchhoff’s Laws Equivalence. Circuit analysis: systematic, leading to nodal equations; Superposition. Voltage-controlled current sources Nonlinear components; load-line analysis Operational amplifiers; large-signal and linear operation. Common circuits employing opamps: A-D converters, Schmitt Triggers, D-A converters, integrators Alternating current behaviour; phasor diagrams Complex currents and voltages AC properties of capacitors and inductors. AC circuit analysis Similarity between DC and AC circuit analysis; examples Frequency domain behaviour: asymptotes The analysis of change: example using Zener diode circuit Waves and vibrations: Free oscillations RLC first order response. Simple and damped harmonic motion: SHM of mechanical and electrical oscillators; damped oscillation, light, critical and heavy damping, Forced oscillations Steady-state, variation of displacement and velocity with the frequency of the driving force; resonance, transients. Transverse wave motion Travelling waves; characteristic impedance and phase velocity; reflection and transmission at boundaries; dispersion. Waves on transmission lines Circuit model, phase velocity, impedance, dispersion, reflection at mismatches

Teaching methods

Students will be taught over three terms using a combination of lectures, labs and study groups. Lecture sessions will be made available on Panopto for review and supplemented with technologies to promote active engagement during the lecture such as 'learning catalytics'. Study groups focusing on problem sheets will be based on taught content from lectures to reinforce these topics and allow students to test their understanding. Labs will focus on building practical skills and reinforcing the theoretical topics discussed in lectures.

Feedback : Full solutions for all mechanics problem sheets will be made available on blackboard. General feedback on formative assessments such as class polls, online quizzes and problem sheets will be given either orally in lectures and study groups or electronically as an email or announcement on Blackboard. General feedback on whole class performance for mastery examinations, progress tests and lab reports will be provided either orally in a lecture or as an email within 10 days of completion. Numerical results for the final examination will be communicated after the examiners board meeting. Written feedback will be given on the Vibrations and Waves element. 


The module will be assessed by a coursework, submission of two lab reports, two progress tests and a final exam to assess performance across all learning outcomes.

Reading list