STEM Lessons for College Students

8. Dynamics of Multiple-Body System and Law of

For more information about Professor Shankar’s book based on the lectures from this course, Fundamentals of Physics: Mechanics, Relativity, and Thermodynamics, visit

Fundamentals of Physics (PHYS 200)

The dynamics of a many-body system is examined. Through a variety of examples, the professor demonstrates how to locate the center of mass and how to evaluate it for a number of objects. Finally, the Law of Conservation of Momentum is introduced and discussed. The lecture ends with problems of collision in one dimension focusing on the totally elastic and totally inelastic cases.

00:00 – Chapter 1. Multi-body Dynamics — The Two-body System
05:41 – Chapter 2. The Center of Mass
32:05 – Chapter 3. Law of Conservation of Momentum — Examples and Applications
56:32 – Chapter 4. The Rocket Equation
01:03:19 – Chapter 5. Elastic and Inelastic Collisions

Complete course materials are available at the Yale Online website:

This course was recorded in Fall 2006.

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