Home About Teaching Notes Research Publications

PHY2053 General Physics I

Fall 2019

Course Announcements:

Mastering Physics Course Code: laurence41927

Class Cancelled Tuesday, September 3, due to Hurricane Dorian

Exam 1 Practice

Exam 1 Solutions

Exam 2 Practice

Exam 2 (Take-Home, Due Saturday Nov 9 by Midnight)

Exam 3 (Take-Home, Due Tuesday Dec 10 by Midnight)

Section #: 652535
Class Time: TR 12:30PM -- 1:45PM
Room: 7/277

Instructor: Douglas H. Laurence
Office: 7/135
Office Hours: Here

Course Materials:

For this course, you will be required to have the following materials:
Further, you are expected to have a notebook (or paper of any form), a writing utensil, etc., so that you can properly take notes during the class. Feel free to record audio of the lectures to playback later; whatever helps you learn, I'm on board with it.

Reviews and Review Material

There are two more references I would recommend. For math, noting beats Paul's Online Math Notes, which provide an excellent review of all necessary math. For physics, MIT's Physics I lectures from 1999, given by Walter Lewin, are sort of the gold-standard for online lecture videos for physics. YouTube still has the videos uploaded, and a playlist for them can be found here. Note that these videos are with calculus, but they can still provide a lot of useful information for our course without calculus.If you need more reference materials, feel free to ask me and I'll be more than happy to recommend additional sources.

Course Topics:

During the semester, we will cover the following topics. Note that these topics are subject to change with notification by the professor.

The exams will be multiple choice, containing 15-20 problems each. For each exam, you will need a Scantron sheet to fill in your answers; this means you need a total of 3 Scantron sheets for the class. The material covered on each exam is going to break down (roughly) as follows:
Exam 3 will be given during Finals Week, though it will not be a comprehensive exam; it will only be on the material covered since exam 2. There will be no cumulative final exam for the course.

Make-up exams will not be offered in this course. Instead, if you have a legitimate emergency and cannot make it to the exam, I will replace your missed exam with the average of your other two exams. If you know ahead of time that you will have to miss an exam, please let me know in advance. Legitimate reasons to miss an exam are outlined in the Student Handbook for Broward College; any other reason is up to the discretion of the professor.


Homework will be assigned through MasteringPhysics (course code laurence41927), with roughly one assignment due each week, though it depends on how long a particular topic takes us to cover in class; you will be able to see the homework schedule through the MasteringPhysics website. To access MasteringPhysics, you must go to the following website: http://pearsonmylabandmastering.com. This website, speficically, offers a 2 week free trial for MasteringPhysics in case you need time to purchase your access code. You should watch this video on how to get started with MasteringPhysics.

While each homework assignment will vary in the number of questions asked, each assignment will be worth the same number of points, i.e. each homework assignment will be equally weighted. Some homework assignments which have a lot of subject matter to cover will have extra credit questions assigned. Each homework assignment will also be available for you to turn in late up to one-week after the due date, so even if you're running a bit late, make sure to turn it in! If, for any legitimate reason, you absolutely need an extension for your homework, please let me know before the due date of the homework, and I'll be happy to provide you a reasonable extension.

Tentative Course Schedule:

This syllabus is subject to change with prior notification from the professor

August 19 Introduction / Ch 3: Vectors Ch 3: Vectors
August 26 Ch 2: 1d Kinematics Ch 2: 1d Kinematics
September 2 Ch 4: 2d Kinematics Ch 4: 2d Kinematics
September 9 Ch 5: Newton's Laws Ch 5: Newton's Laws
September 16 Ch 6: Applying Newton's Laws Ch 6: Applying Newton's Laws
September 23 Exam 1 (Ch 2 - 6) Ch 7: Work and Energy
September 30 Ch 7: Work and Energy Ch 8: Energy Conservation
October 7 Ch 8: Energy Conservation Ch 9: Momentum and Collisions
October 14 Ch 9: Momentum and Collisions Ch 10: Rotational Kinematics
October 21 Ch 10: Rotational Kinematics Ch 11: Rotational Dynamics
October 28 Ch 11: Rotational Dynamics Exam 2 (Ch 7 - 11)
November 4 Ch 12: Gravitation Ch 13: Periodic Motion
November 11 Ch 13: Periodic Motion Ch 14: Mechanical Waves
November 18 Ch 16: Temperature and Heat Ch 16: Temperature and Heat
November 25 Ch 17: Phases and Phase Changes Thanksgiving Holiday
December 2 Ch 18: Laws of Thermodynanics Ch 18: Laws of Thermodynanics
December 9 Exam 3 (Ch 12 - 14, 16 - 18), 12:30PM - 2:20PM End of Class

*Blue days are days off, red days are exam dates

Grading Scheme:

I use a sliding grading scheme, with exam grades dependent on how well you do.

Homework 25 points
Lowest-Graded Exam 15 points
Mid-Graded Exam 25 points
Highest-Graded Exam 35 points
Total 100 points

Grading Sale:

Letter Grade Points Earned
A 90.0 - 100.0
B 80.0 - 89.9
C 70.0 - 79.9
D 60.0 - 69.9
F < 60.0