|Titles in the Physical World series|
Predicting motion presents the core ideas of Newtonian mechanics, starting from Newton's laws and the idea that changes in motion are predictable given the forces that cause them. Concepts such as kinetic and potential energy, linear momentum, torque (the rotational analogue of force) and angular momentum are carefully introduced, and their role in predicting motion explained. Particular attention is given to the significance of differential equations in making such predictions, though no prior knowledge of this topic is required. The treatment of mechanics is brought up to date by accounts of relativistic collisions and the implications of chaos theory for the future of the Solar System and for galaxies that contain black holes.
Predicting motion is in a series of books which along with interactive multimedia, is used in the Open University course The Physical World. Each book combines richly illustrated text with questions (and answers) for self-assesment, and is ideally suited for students working independently.