Physics 107 Introductory Physics I Fall 2009 Professor:

Physics 107
Introductory Physics I
Fall 2009
Office Hours:
Lab manual:
Dr. Chris Wentworth
Lied 242
826-8257 (office); 826-3003 (home)
[email protected]
M/W/F: 1:00-2:30; T/R: 4:00-5:00; and by appointment
College Physics, 8th Edition. Hugh Young and Robert Geller,
Pearson/Addison-Wesley (San Francisco, 2007).
Locally produced activity guide
Mathematics 107 or 108 (or equivalent)
Course Description and Objectives
This course will provide an algebra-based college level introduction to physics for preprofessional students and others desiring an in-depth overview. Physics topics covered
include the description of motion (kinematics), classical dynamics of a particle, rigid
body motion, rotational motion, harmonic motion, waves, sound, fluids. These physics
topics are developed within the context of understanding the human body. The course
stresses developing higher order reasoning skills such as analysis and synthesis rather
than memorizing facts.
Students who complete the course will
1. be able to describe and formulate problems about the physical world in a way that
allows quantitative analysis in the topic areas listed above;
2. have gained experience in making and describing observations in the area of
3. have gained experience in developing hypotheses concerning mechanics
4. be able to describe how physics principles are used to understand the human
5. have gained experience in organizing experimental data so that it can be analyzed
in a precise and quantitative manner;
6. be able to use the computer as a data acquisition and analysis device;
7. have gained experience in working with a group to achieve intellectually complex
The course will be conducted using the Workshop Physics format. Generally each unit
begins with exploratory observations, progresses to articulation of theory, and ends with
application of theory to more complex situations. The emphasis is on understanding why
we believe in certain theories, not in simply memorizing them. We want students to go
beyond surface learning and develop a deep learning of the physics content.
The use of direct experience, new computer tools, and active participation will enable
you to achieve an enriched set of learning goals. In addition to mastering a traditional
body of knowledge and learning how to solve physics problems, you should be able to
develop your reasoning ability, computer, and laboratory skills to a much greater extent
than you would in more traditional introductory physics courses. In fact, in Workshop
Physics your powers of observation, reasoning ability and the depth of comprehension of
physical theories are considered to be far more important than any memorized facts or
We will learn many physics principles in the context of trying to understand how the
human body works. There are many questions related to human body functioning that
require understanding the physics topics mentioned above. How do humans walk, run,
jump, and throw? How do we produce sound with our voices? How does our circulatory
system work? By the end of the semester you will see that every physics concept we learn
can be used to help us understand how the human body works and how we interact with
the environment.
Course Requirements
Participation/Group: Attending and participating in class will be particularly important
this semester. You will be making many observations of phenomena and discussing these
observations with your group, so your presence in body and mind is required.
Before coming to class you should complete any textbook or other readings, and/or
exercises and problems to be handed in. It is also a good idea to review the previous
day’s activity guide sections and read the appropriate sections for the upcoming day.
During class sessions your willingness to discuss ideas with classmates, devise clever
ways to measure or observe things, articulate your methods, and make brief presentations
to your colleagues and the instructor are important aspects of your participation in the
In-class written work will consist primarily of documenting your class activities by filling
in the requested entries in the guidebook entry spaces provided in this Activity Guide.
You are encouraged to keep your own notes as well.
You will need to work efficiently and responsibly with your group colleagues.
Lab: We will call work done during class time “lab” work. It includes
Activity Guide: These entries describe observations, derivations, calculations, and
answers to questions. Entries will be assessed for completeness, clarity, and
honesty. We are not merely looking for "right answers" as each observation
represents a unique experience. The activity guide entries represent a record of
your developing thinking on the topics encountered during the semester.
Activity Guide Quizzes: The will be several short, unannounced quizzes on the
previous day’s activities. This is to encourage reviewing the previous day’s work
before coming to class.
Monster Problems: These are problems worked collaboratively during class using
a formal problem-solving strategy.
Homework: These assignments are due at the beginning of each class period. Late
assignments will result in a penalty. There will be a variety of homework problems
assigned. We will use a web-based delivery system for much of the homework assigned.
You will be required to log on to the server and answer the questions. The server will
grade your answers and give you a score.
For homework problems assigned from other sources which require you to record your
answers on paper the following rules apply. The problem solutions should be written on
one side of the paper only. The back of the last page should have your name and
assignment number on it. In order to get full credit on a problem, the solution should
contain a diagram, brief description of the physical situation and calculations.
Homework problems generally will not be worked out during class unless there are
explicit requests. However, some example and review problems will be worked for you.
Exams: There will be three exams given during the semester. You will have a full class
period (100 minutes) to complete the exam.
Unless otherwise specified, exams will be closed-book, except that you will have a one
page equation sheet for use on the exam. You may use an electronic calculator.
Practice working problems and questions, as well as reviewing assigned readings and
written work is probably the best way to prepare for an examination. Each exam will
have conceptual questions, observational or data analysis questions, and problems. Rote
memorization of material will not enable you to score well on examinations.
Final: There will be a comprehensive final.
Course work will be weighted according to
the following percentages:
The following scale is used in
assigning grades:
Homework Problems
Academic Integrity
In accordance with Doane's Academic Dishonesty Policy any act of dishonesty in
pursuing course work will be penalized. If it is a first act (no reported incidents in any
course) the penalty is an assignment of zero points for the particular piece of work
involved. Second and subsequent acts of dishonesty will be handled by the Vice President
for Academic Affairs. Each act of dishonesty will be reported to the Academic Affairs
For this particular course acts of dishonesty include representing someone else's work as
your own on exams or homework.
Students With Disabilities
Students with disabilities substantially limiting a major life activity are eligible for
reasonable accommodations in college programs, including this course. Accommodations
provide equal opportunity to obtain the same level of achievement while maintaining the
standards of excellence of the college. If you have a disability that may interfere with
your participation or performance in this course, please meet with the instructor to
discuss disability-related accommodations, and other special learning needs.
Note: This syllabus is subject to change