Course content: This course covers Mechanics. The bulk of the material roughly corresponds to Chapters 1-16 of the textbook (Please note that in this course we will not be able to cover all the material listed above). Mechanics was a field of study pioneered by Isaac Newton in the 17th century and is primarily concerned with describing the motion of macroscopic objects in response to forces. In developing this subject we will encounter several important concepts such as energy, momentum and angular momentum. In the last part of the course we will study oscillations, waves, and sound, as well as the behavior of fluids.
For the complete course schedule, see here
Course objectives: This course has several rather broad goals. They include that you
Lectures: During the lectures we will discuss important highlights from the reading assignments, study demonstrations which illustrate key topics, work through sample problems, and consider relevant conceptual questions, where everyone in the auditorium can respond by using the rf clicker system. This will allow us to distinguish between concepts which students are having difficulty with and require more explanation and concepts which everyone grasps where we can move more quickly. These clickers are available at the bookstore and each one has a unique identification code. Thus, your effort can be registered with your name and used to assign extra credit points at the end of the semester. If you purchase a new copy of the Randall D. Knight textbook, there should be a coupon so that you can get a rebate from the rf clicker company, PRS -- make sure to save the receipt from your textbook purchase.
A shell of the upcoming lecture slides will be posted on the course website the evening before. During the lecture, the instructor will write on top of these slides -- deriving expressions, clarifying key concepts, and solving sample problems. In the past, some students have benefited from printing out these online slides beforehand, then making their own notes directly on these pages. Often, due to differences in the timing of demonstrations or questions, there may be a few slides at the end of the set posted on the website that are not covered during a lecture. These slides, or at least the concepts on them, will be discussed in the subsequent lecture.
Attending the lectures will greatly improve your odds for success in the course. However, if you have something pressing which will prevent you from focusing on the lecture, for example, talking on a cell phone, working on homework for another class, or talking with your neighbor on a topic unrelated to the lecture, please respect your fellow students and the instructor and leave the auditorium during such activities.
Workshops: There are two one-hour workshops each week in which you will be asked to work on Conceptual and Problem Solving Activities. Attendance is required. You may miss up to two workshop sessions over the course of the semester with no grade penalty; further absences will reduce your workshop participation score. The workshops are organized so that you can gain the maximum benefit from completing the worksheet activities in collaboration with your peers, as well as with assistance from the teaching assistant and coaches. The worksheets that you complete in the workshop will not be turned in and they will not be graded. Do make your sincerest effort to complete these assignments. Research has shown these activities greatly enhance student learning. Solutions for these worksheets will not be posted on the website.
Tutorials: Wednesday's workshop hours will usually be spent on worksheets from the Student Workbook. You are expected to work in groups of 3 or 4 students. You will need to bring the worksheet volume to each workshop. Completed worksheets will not be turned in, but homework problems that are closely related to each workshop will be assigned, collected and graded for credit (see Homework below). The Wednesday workshop prior to each of the three mid-semester exams will be used to work through sample problems from exams from previous semesters.
Problem Solving: Friday's workshop will usually be spent on problem-solving activities. These worksheets or textbook problems will be handed out in class. You are expected to work in groups of 3-4 students.
Homework: There will be two types of homework
1. Wednesday homework
2. Friday homework
The Wednesday homework assignment will be collected at the beginning of the Wednesday workshop on the date indicated. There will be one Wednesday homework per week. Many of the homeworks will be drawn from the Student Workbook.
The Friday homework assignment will be collected at the beginning of the Friday workshop on the date indicated. The Friday homework assignment will consist of, but not limited to, end-of-chapter problems from the textbook.
If your homework is not complete by the beginning of your workshop, we will
allow you to put your completed assignment into your TA’s mailbox by 6:00 p.m.. Their silver mailboxes are located in the hallway just
outside of the Physics Main Office (Room 201) on the 2nd floor of
All homework will be checked for completeness and selected parts will be graded in detail by the TA of your section in a conventional manner. At the end of the semester, your lowest Wednesday homework score and your lowest Friday homework score will be dropped. Solutions to some homework problems will be provided at the course web site.
In all cases, late homework will not be accepted.
Exams: There will be three eighty-minute exams throughout the semester during the regularly-scheduled lecture period. Each exam will focus on material from the three or four weeks prior to the week of the exam but may include earlier material as well. Sample problems from exams from previous semesters will be posted on the course website and will be discussed in the Wednesday workshops before each exam. The lowest exam score for each student will be dropped. In addition, there will be a two-hour final. The final exam will be comprehensive.
All exams will be closed book, although you may bring one double-sided sheet (8.5" x 11") of handwritten notes (no photocopies). Each student is responsible for bringing a scientific calculator to the exams. There will be NO makeup exams. Students who do not take the final or who miss more than one of the other exams will not be given a passing grade. Seating arrangements for the exams will be posted outside of the auditorium before the exam.
Regrading requests: If you think a serious error has been made in the grading of your exam, you may request a regrade. To do so, please fill in a copy of the Regrade Request Form (available on the course web page), attach it to your exam, and resubmit at the beginning of the lecture period following the return of the exams. It is important that you do not make any changes or marks on the exam. Please note that you must have a specific complaint. Unspecified requests for additional points will not be accepted.
Course grade: The course components will contribute to your final grade as follows:
Extra credit from clicker questions:
The grades are normalized such that the average course grade is a B- or better, depending on the performance of the class as a whole.
Laboratory course: You are required to enroll in the accompanying laboratory course (Physics 221). The two courses cover the same subject matter, but you will receive a separate grade for each one.
Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Students who
are in need of disability-related academic accommodations must register with
the Office of Disability Services (ODS),
Academic integrity: During the exams, it is a violation of the academic code to give or seek assistance -- the only person you may communicate with is the instructor or other proctor. In the case of violations, the academic integrity policy from the Office of the Vice Chancellor & Provost will be followed.
Clinic: Physics teaching assistants will be available for consultation in the Physics Clinic, located in room PB113. Clinic hours will be posted on the Physics department web page.This page maintained by Sam Sampere, last updated 19 August, 2008.