Skip to main content
Before choosing courseIM1601 Elementary Physics 9.0 creditsAdministrate About course
Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
* Retrieved from Course syllabus IM1601 (Autumn 2016–)

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

  • Mechanics: Vectors, forces, inertial systems, Newton's laws, work, power, energy, circular motion, center of mass, inertia, particle systems and CG motion, linear fluctuations, harmonics, damped oscillations.
  • Waves: harmonic and spherical waves, wave propagation, mechanical waves, intensity, reflection, standing waves. Electromagnetic waves, polarization, interference, diffraction, lasers, basic geometrical optics.
  • Electrostatics (electric and magnetic properties): Electrical power, field strength and potential, Gauss' theorem, electric field and electric potential in metals and dielectrics, the principle of the capacitor, electrostatic energy. Magnetic force, magnetic materials, magnetic energy. Electromagnetic induction.

Intended learning outcomes

The course aims to provide students with a basic knowledge and skills in applying Newtonian mechanics, wave theory and electrostatics and apply these skills to practical problems. Below is a list of specific goals that students must meet after completing the course.

Newtonian mechanics:

  • Apply Newton's three laws of motion for simple mechanical systems.
  • Solve simple equations of motion.
  • Apply the laws of the kinetic energy and momentum.
  • Solve problems with harmonic oscillation with and without damping.
  • Draw the forces and moments as well as set up the equations of motion and energy relations for a body.
  • Use the equations of motion and energy to determine properties such as velocity and position as a function of time.


  • Relate to and apply the basic differences between mechanical and electromagnetic waves.
  • Relate a real harmonic or spherical wave to its mathematical description.
  • Apply basic concepts such as interference, beats, diffraction, standing waves and polarization.

Electrostatics (electric and magnetic properties):

  • Relate to fundamental questions of and solve technical problems related to electric and magnetic fields.


  • Applying all of the above to solve realistic problems.
  • For higher grades: all the above should be applied in diverse areas of wave physics, mechanics and electrostatics. This includes applications that have not been discussed in the course.
  • Develop and deepen the student's understanding of basic concepts and methods in science.
  • Performing and critically assess the results of some physics experiments and report the results in a well written and concise lab report.

Course Disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Basic and specific requirements for engineering program.

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


No information inserted


"Sears and Zemansky's university physics : University physics”, R.A. Freedman, H.D. Young, A.L. Ford

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • INLA - Written assagnments, 1,5 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • LABA - Partial exam, 1,5 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • TENE - Examination Electromagnetics, 2,0 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • TENM - Examination Mechanics, 2,0 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • TENV - Examination Waves, 2,0 hp, betygsskala: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

The course grade will be established from the combined results of TENE, TENM, and TENV.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Profile picture Jonas Weissenrieder

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web IM1601

Offered by

SCI/Applied Physics

Main field of study


Education cycle

First cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted

Supplementary information

The course will be given in a Swedish version with mainly English litterature and will provide releveant knowledge for further studies in the fields of numerical analysis, dynamics, and thermodynamics.

The course is replaced by SK1151 as from autumn term 2017.