HOW THINGS WORK MWF 12:00-12:50 p.m., Rood Hall 1104

COURSE NO. 13880
MWF 12:00-12:50 p.m., Rood Hall 1104
(plus 1 two-hour lab session per week)
(Note: course materials can be found at
This is a course in the science of everyday life. Many basic scientific principles can be found in common
objects and everyday experiences. In this course, some of these principles will be discovered by
examining familiar objects and experiences. In this way, you should be able to generalize the ideas that
are discovered and apply them to new and varied situations. Only the simplest mathematics will be used.
Common objects and everyday experiences are approached with the question “What makes it work”?,
from which important scientific concepts are extracted. This course is specifically designed for liberal
arts students who are seeking a connection between science and the world in which they live. As such,
PHYS 1000 satisfies Area VI of the General Education program.
Some of the topics to be covered include: ice skating, falling objects, projectiles (baseballs, footballs, golf
balls, etc.), roller coasters, bicycles, automobiles, airplanes, Frisbees, clocks, guitars, music, "static cling",
radio, mobile phones, microwave ovens, lasers, and CD/DVD/MP3 players.
A separate two-hour laboratory session each week will (hopefully!) reinforce the principles and concepts
learned in class.
(a) Text: How Things Work: The Physics of Everyday Life, 5th edition, by Louis A. Bloomfield, (Wiley,
New York, 2013)
(b) Calculators are not needed and may NOT be used on the tests and the final exam. Mobile phones are
also NOT permitted to be used during a test or exam.
Dr. John A. Tanis
1132 Everett Tower
Office phone: 269-387-4960 (I have voice mail).
E-mail: [email protected] (the best way to reach me)
Office hours: TR 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., W 10:30-11:30 a.m. (other hours by appointment or chance)
Note: Please...feel free to contact me by phone (leave a message) or by email at any time. I
will always reply to you.
From time-to-time I will communicate with you by email. I have your WMU email addresses and these
are the only addresses I will use, so please be sure to check your WMU email!
The objective of this course is to help you learn some of the basic principles of physics and to have fun
while you're doing it. To this end, exercises appearing at the end of each chapter will be "assigned" for
you to look at and to think about. These exercises should help to reinforce the concepts that are learned in
class. However, these assignments will not be collected or graded.
(a) There will be three 50-minute tests during the semester. Each of these tests will consist of 100 points.
These tests will take place during the regular class period on the following days:
Friday, February 5
Wednesday, March 2
Friday, April 8
Please note there are no classes on the following dates:
January 18 (MLK Day); March 4 (Spirit Day); March 7-11 (Spring Break)
(b) A comprehensive final exam consisting of 200 points on Wednesday, April 27 from 12:30-2:30 p.m.
This exam will cover the new material after the last test and the material from the entire semester.
PLEASE NOTE: For each test and the final exam you will be required to show me your WMU ID card
with your picture and your WIN number on it when you turn in your exam. If you do not have your
WMU ID card with you or you do not show it to me, then your test or exam will not be graded.
Each of the tests and the final exam will be held in Room 1104, Rood Hall. Make-up tests and the final
exam will take place on Thursday, April 28 from 7:15 - 9:15 p.m. These make-up tests and the exam will
be taken in my office.
You will not be permitted to bring notes, books, or any other reference materials to the tests or the final
exam. Also, calculators and mobile phones are NOT permitted as mentioned above.
Missed tests or final exam: All students are expected take the tests and the final exam when they are
scheduled. Make-ups for tests or the exam for a WMU-related activity only can be arranged. Make-ups
for any other reason will take place on the make-up day mentioned above. Please let me know in advance
if possible if you must miss a test or the exam. In any case, excuses for missing a test or the final exam
must be presented within one day of the missed test or exam. Otherwise a score of zero will be given for
that test or exam.
(c) Your lab grade will count as 25% of your final course grade, and will be averaged with your lecture
The grade scale will be as follows:
90 - 100 A
65 - 74 C
85 - 89 BA
55 - 64 DC
80 - 84 B
40 - 54 D
75 - 79 CB
< 40 E
Incompletes: Will be given ONLY for reasons listed in the WMU Undergraduate Catalog.
Academic Dishonesty: This is strictly prohibited by university policy and will not be tolerated under any
circumstances. Please consult the Undergraduate Catalog for further information.
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