PHYS 161 BETZ - Heartland Community College

Syllabus for Physics 161
College Physics I
Fall 2003
Section 01
TR 1:00 – 2:50
ICB 1405
R 3:00 – 4:50
ICB 1405
Office Hours:
3:00 - 5:00
3:00 - 5:00
3:00 - 5:00
10:00 - 10:50
& By appointment.
Peter Betz
ICB 2405
(309) 268-8643
[email protected]
Course Information:
Introduction: The first semester of a year-long general physics course, based on mathematics through
algebra and trigonometry, but not including calculus. Topics include mechanics, heat and
thermodynamics, wave motion, and sound. Laboratory activities stress development of measurement,
observational, and analytical skills, and are based on lecture topics.
Topic outline for the course:
1: Introduction to the science of physics
a. Scientific measurement; errors
b. Coordinate systems; trigonometry review
2: Motion in one dimension; speed, acceleration, and freely falling objects
3: Vectors and two dimensional motion
a. Velocity and acceleration as vector quantities
b. Projectile motion
4: Newton’s Laws of Motion
5: Work and energy
6: Momentum and collisions
7: Circular motion; gravitation
8: Rotational motion
a. Angular velocity and angular acceleration
b. Angular momentum
9: Solids and fluids; pressure
10: Sound; wave motion
a. Interference, reflection, and diffraction of waves
11: Hooke’s Law
a. Simple harmonic motion
12: Thermal physics
a. Heat and temperature
13: Thermodynamics
Page 1 of 4
Syllabus for Physics 161
College Physics I
Fall 2003
Course Objectives (Learning Outcomes): This is a general (non calculus) physics course. By the end of
the first semester, students will have increased their skills in analytical thinking, problem solving and
scientific reasoning, and will have developed laboratory skills in measurement and analysis of data. In
particular, students will have developed increased understanding of the nature of science and application
of scientific reasoning and analysis, by solving problems related to the following major physics subjects.
Students are encouraged to work in pairs or groups, not only in lab sessions but also in problem solving
efforts outside class.
1. One and two dimensional motion; calculation of speed, velocity, and acceleration from given
physical situations.
2. Calculation of resultant forces; applications of Newton’s Second Law of Motion.
3. Application of energy conservation to problems in mechanics.
4. Application of momentum conservation principles to problems in mechanics.
5. Analysis of rotational motion; calculation of moments of inertia, angular accelerations, and angular
velocity for rotating objects.
6. Pressure, wave motion, and thermodynamics.
The most important skill stressed in this course is the development of problem solving skills related to
physics topics. To that end, problem solving and analysis is strongly emphasized in lecture, homework
assignments, and in examinations. Students will not only analyze physical situations but also describe their
method of attack and their solution clearly in writing. Lab reports will be judged not only on the basis of
their content and analysis, but also on the clarity of the written description of the work and the results.
Prerequisite: MATH 109 or MATH 127 with a grade of “C” or higher, or assessment, with MATH 128 or
equivalent recommended.
Text: College Physics, 6th edition, by Serway & Faughn, published by Thomson/Brooks/Cole
Required Technology: A TI-83 graphing calculator.
Relationship to Academic Development Programs and Transfer: PHYS 161 fulfills 5 of the 7(A.A.) or
8(A.S.) semester hours of credit in the Life/Physical Sciences required for the A.A. or A.S. degree. It
also satisfies the laboratory requirement for the A.A. degree. PHYS 161 should transfer as part of the
General Education Core Curriculum described in the Illinois Articulation Initiative to other Illinois
colleges and universities participating in the IAI. However, students should consult an academic advisor
for transfer information regarding particular institutions. Refer to the IAI web page for information as
well at
Page 2 of 4
Syllabus for Physics 161
College Physics I
Fall 2003
Grading Policy:
Course grades: The grade you receive will be based on your exam scores, homework, class projects, labs,
quiz scores, and final exam score. Note, the final is cumulative.
90% will guarantee a grade of at least A
80% will guarantee a grade of at least B
70% will guarantee a grade of at least C
60% will guarantee a grade of at least D
Exams: Attendance is required at scheduled exams and the final exam. Homework assigned for the current
exam will be collected at the start of the exam.
Make-up of Exams: Students will be allowed to make up a missed exam provided the student may
provide a valid (to be determined by the instructor), verifiable, pre-approved (by instructor) reason
for missing the exam. Students not meeting these criterion will receive a zero for the missed exam.
Attendance: Regular class attendance is an important part of educational success and is expected of all
students. Students who miss class are responsible for the material covered that day, including obtaining
the homework assignments and lecture notes. Attendance will not be a calculated part of your grade, but
you are responsible for all announcements made in class. I also reserve the right to give unannounced
Classroom restrictions:
Children will not be allowed into the classroom.
Food will not be allowed into the classroom.
Beverages, except water, will not be allowed into the classroom.
Required Writing and Reading: Students are expected to read the material in the textbook for each section
studied. Required writings will be part of most assignments and exams as students explain how they
found the solution, describe their solution graphically, and interpret their answer in the context of the
Homework: You are expected to do the assigned homework. It is expected that, at a minimum, 2 hours of
outside work will be required for each hour in the classroom. This is a minimum. Some students will
require more outside homework time. Also note that nothing precludes you from doing more than the
required work. Extra work may be brought up by you in class or during office hours for questions and
Incomplete grade: An incomplete grade may be given to a student who, by the withdrawal date, can
reasonably be expected to pass the course. An incomplete grade may be granted only when justified by
extreme circumstances (e.g., serious illness, accident, death or serious illness in the immediate family).
Incomplete grades are not given for such reasons as unjustified failure to appear for the final
examination. A written agreement that outlines the requirements to be met, must be signed by the
instructor and the student. The agreed upon requirements must be completed no later than the end of the
following semester. By the agreed upon date, the instructor will assign a grade or the incomplete will be
changed to an `F’ if the requirements are not completed.
Page 3 of 4
Syllabus for Physics 161
College Physics I
Fall 2003
Student Learning: Learning is a life-long process. In order to enhance the learning process, students need
to take responsibility for their learning. This means being responsible in completing assignments,
attending and participating in classes, and studying. It also means taking the initiative to ask questions
when something is not understood and seeking assistance outside of class, from the instructor or tutors if
there are further unanswered questions or problems.
Instructor’s Role: The instructor’s role is to aid the students by creating a positive learning environment
where students feel free to ask questions, feel free to learn from mistakes, and are encouraged to develop
their curiosity. The instructor’s role is to help the students develop problem solving skills and to provide
guidance to students in discovering concepts and solutions themselves.
Methods of Instruction will include lectures, discussions, and group work that will emphasize applying
problem solving strategies to discover and reinforce concepts.
Academic Integrity, Plagiarism, and Student Conduct:
Syllabus Disclaimer: This syllabus is subject to change.
Page 4 of 4
Please refer to the student handbook.
Any changes will be announced in class.
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