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PHYS2053 General Physics I

Spring 2018

Class Syllabus

Announcement: Exam 1 has been moved to Tuesday, February 13

Exam 1 Review Questions: here

Exam 1 with Solutions

Exam 2 Review Questions

Exam 2 Formula Sheet


Exam 3 Review Questions (Gravity, Oscillations, and Waves)

Exam 3 Formula Sheet

Exam 3 with Solutions

Final Exam (Due at Midnight, May 3, 2018)

Section #: 584771
Class Time: TR 12:30PM - 1:45PM
Room: TBA

(Official) Office Hours:

M : 11A - 12P
T : 1130A - 1230P and 330P - 430P
W : 11A - 12P and 4P - 5P
R : 2P - 4P

If I'm in my office, feel free to ask me questions, whether or not it's during the "official" office hours.

Course Materials:

For this course, you will be required to buy two items:
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

For a great review of all the mathematics necessary for physics, I don't think you can beat Paul's Online Math Notes. It has thorough reviews of algebra, trigonometry, pre-calculus, etc., all of which are essential to suceeding in a physics course. The number 1 issue that students have in learning physics, from what I've seen, is a lack of comfort with algebra; so the best thing you can do to ease the learning process is to make sure your math skills are honed and up-to-date.

Course Topics:

We will meet for lecture twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays from noon to 1:50PM. If you've never taken a physics class before, you should read my note on how to succeed in a physics class here. During the semester, we will cover the following topics:
If you have a question that you need answered, but don't have tine to meet me in my office during office hours, email me at TBA; make sure you include the class you're in with the section number, e.g. PHY2053 584771, so that I know what class you're in. I'm teaching seven courses this semester, so I might not be able to remember which class you're in off the top of my head.


Your grade in the course will be based on your performance on the homework assignments, the 3 exams, and the cumulative final exam. See the grading scheme below. The exams will be a mixture of multiple choice questions and free response problems, with 10 multiple choice questions worth 2 points each (total of 20 points) and 4 free response problems worth 20 points each (total of 80 points). There will actually be FIVE available free response problems, of which you only need to answer FOUR; you CANNOT do the fifth problem for extra credit. The material covered on each exam is going to break down like:
Grade Calculation:

You can compute your grade in the class with the following formula (were HW is your grade on the homework, LG is the lowest-graded exam, MG is the mid-graded exam, HG is the highest-graded exam, and FE is the final exam):

Grade = (%HW*15) + (%LG*10) + (%MG*20) + (%HG*25) + (%FE*30)

For example, if you get a 94% on the homework, a 75% on exam 1, a 92% on exam 2, an 85% on exam 3, and an 83% on the final exam, your grade in the course will be: (0.94*15) + (0.75*10) + (0.85*20) + (0.92*25) + (0.83*30) = 86.5, which is a B (refer to the grading scale given below). For final grades, I round to the first decimal place; for instance, an 86.92 = 86.9, which is a B, but an 86.96 = 87.0, which is a B+.

Tentative Course Schedule: TBA

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

January 8 Vectors 1d Motion
January 15 1d Motion 2d Motion
January 22 2d Motion Newton's Laws Assignment #1, Due Thurs, Jan 25
January 29 Applications of Newton's Laws Applications of Newton's Laws
February 5 Class Cancelled Review for Exam 1
February 12 Exam 1 (Ch 2 - 6) Work & Energy Assignment #2, Due Tues, Feb 13
February 19 Work & Energy Conservation of Energy
February 26 Momentum & Collisions Momentum & Collisions
March 5 Spring Break Spring Break
March 12 Rotation of a Rigid Body Rotation/Dynamics of a Rigid Body
March 19 Dynamics of a Rigid Body Review for Exam 2 Assignment #3, Due Tues, Mar 20
March 26 Exam 2 (Ch 7 - 11) Class Cancelled Assignment #4, Due Tues, Mar 27
April 2 Gravity Gravity
April 9 Oscillations Waves
April 16 Heat/Thermodynamics Review for Exam 3 Assignment #5, Due TBA
April 23 Exam 3 Review for Final Exam Assignment #6, Due TBA
April 30 No Class During Finals Week Final Exam, 12:30PM - 2:20PM Assignment #7, Due TBA

*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 15 points
Lowest-Graded Exam 10 points
Mid-Graded Exam 20 points
Highest-Graded Exam 25 points
Final Exam 30 points
Total 100 points

Grading Sale:

Letter Grade Points Earned
A 85.0 - 100.0
B 75.0 - 84.9
C 65.0 - 74.9
D 55.0 - 64.9
F < 55.0