Mechanical point
Principles of Newtonian mechanics
Fondamental : First law of motion : principle of inertia
« An object remains at rest or in a uniform rectilinear motion, unless a force is acted on it and forces it to change direction ».
This principle is only viable in inertial frames of reference.
Another version exists :
There exist a set of frames of reference, qualified as inertial (or Galilean), in which an isolated object is either at rest or in a uniform rectilinear motion.
Fondamental : Inertial frames commonly used
An inertial frame is one in which the principle of inertia holds true.
The Kepler frame : the frame in which the origin is the center of the sun, and the three axes are oriented towards « fixed » stars.
The geocentric frame : its origin is the center of the earth, its axes are parallels to the ones in the Kepler frame.
The terrestrial frame (the frame of the laboratory) : the one commonly used.
All inertial frames of reference are translating uniformly one in relation to the other.
Fondamental : Second law of motion
It is used to calculate changes of momentum that are caused by resulting forces on a punctual objet (of constant mass ).
In an inertial frame, the second law is :
In an inertial frame, we consider material points M_{i} of mass .
The motion of the center of mass of a system of material points is the same as a point which has the total mass of the system, to which is applied the sum of external forces applied on the system (according to the third law, the sum of the internal forces is equal to zero) :
Where is the total mass of the system.
The center of mass G of material points M_{i} of mass is the barycenter of the points divided by the mass of each point :
If O is the origin of the frame, then :
Fondamental : Third law
If a body exerts a force on a body , then this body exerts on an opposite force :
Exemple : Examples :
A JAVA animation by JeanJacques Rousseau (Université du Mans) about Cavendish experiment :
Cavendish experiment : click HERE
Fondamental : Torque and angular momentum :
Let O be a fixed point in an inertial frame of reference.
A material point M as a velocity in this frame.
A force is exerted on it.
Let :
Be the angular momentum of M with respect to O.
It follows that :
Where is the torque of with respect to O.
Interpretation :
The norm of the torque of with respect to O is : (see figure)
is the « moment arm » of .
The moment arm (lever arm) of a force is the perpendicular distance from the line of action of the force and point O.
In other words, moment arm determines the quality of the torque.
Fondamental : Kinetic Energy and WorkEnergy theorem
The second law of motion is applied to a point in an inertial frame of reference (R) :
We dotproduct by the velocity vector :
We have :
Then :
Two ways to write it :
The variation of kinetic energy of a material point is equal to the sum of the work of the forces that are applied to it. (Work energy theorem)
The power of the forces is equal to the rate of change of kinetic energy.
Fondamental : Mechanical energy and integrals of motion
Force 
integrals of motion 
Tension d'un ressort 

Champ de pesanteur 

Champ gravitationnel (newtonien) 

Champ électrostatique (coulombien) 

Exemple : escape velocity (gravitational force)
What is the minimum initial velocity required to make a material point on the surface of the Earth escape Earth's gravitational pull ?
The material point has to reach infinity (where potential energy is zero) with no velocity (to have the smallest ). Then :
So :
With :
It follows :
Simulation : JAVA animation by JeanJacques Rousseau (Université du Mans)
Escarpolette (ou comment faire de la balançoire ?) : click HERE