6 ECTS / Semester / Portuguese

Objectives and competences

OBJECTIVES: Transmit the fundamentals of Mechanics, practice the ability to recognize the application of those principles in everyday life situations, and also in other CUs of the curriculum.

COMPETENCES: comprehension of the fundamentals of Mechanics


Teaching Methodologies

The CU has both lectures and tutorial sections. The lectures enable the initial and formal presentation of the subjects, but simultaneously to discuss and solve model problems. In the tutorials, the students discuss and solve a large set of problems, under the supervision of the instructor, that aim to consolidate and apply the knowledge transmitted in lectures.

In the class meetings, there is a frequent utilization of illustrative videos, available from didactic CD-ROMs or DVDs, or from the Web. Situations of the everyday experience are brought out for discussion as well. Furthermore, the students are motivated to look into supplementary sources of information by their initiative. In all classes, the students are supposed to take active role.




I. Mechanics.
1. Introduction. Kinetimatics of unidireccional motion.
2. Vectors. Motions in 2-dimensions.
3. Newton´s Laws. Applications. Static and kinetic friction.
4. Circular uniform motion. Reference to motion in accelerated reference frames.
5. Energy.
      Work of constant and variable forces.
      Kinetic energy and the work-energy theorem.
      Conservative and non-conservative forces. Gravitational and elastic potential energies.
      Notions on internal energy.  
      Principle of conservation of energy.
6. Linear moment and collisions.
7. Rotation of rigid objects in turn of fixed axes.
      Kinematics of rotational motion. Moment of inertia.
      Torque. Relation between torque and angular acceleration.
      Trabalho e energia do movimento rotativo.
8. Angular moment. Conservation of angular moment.
9. Static Equilibrium in rigid bodies


In these sections, problem sets that cover the subjects discussed in lectures are solved. The selection of those problems is very criterious, with examples that illustrate clearly the concepts and equations studied, from situations of everyday life, or from situations the students analyse in other CUs.
Extra class meetings, the students carry out group (3 elements) projects, based on computer applets, and also a few experimental ones, using set-ups constructed by themselves. Although some of the following works are interchanged from year to year, they include:

  • Determination of velocities, accelerations and speeds of a moving balloon, or of a basketball ball.
  • Kinematics of objects in inclined planes.
  • Dynamics of bodies with friction.


Associate Professor
Prof. João Paulo Ferreira has a diploma in Chemical Engineering from Porto University, 1987, and a Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute…
Teresa Brandão graduated in Chemical Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering / University of Porto in 1990. She completed the curricular part of the…