Physics 220, Mechanics I

Physics 108
College Physics I
Summer 2011
Office Hours
Daniel Holland
Moulton 313C or Hovey 408
438-3243 or 438-8736
After class, by appointment, or just drop by (I suggest you call first.)
Course Times
MTWR 9:00-10:50 in MLT 214
Lab MW 1:00-3:50 in MLT 203
Cutnell & Johnson Physics 6th edition (but any addition will suffice.) If you do not
like/understand the way a topic is presented in this book there are a lot of others available
in the library. You may also come and see me about any questions you may have.
The course meets for lecture for two hours four days a week and laboratory section approximately once a
week. It will greatly enhance your understanding if you review the material before we reach it in class
The lectures will present the main ideas of the course and will include topics that deserve emphasis. I tend to
derive all of the important equations so that you have a good understanding as to where the results come
from and when they might be applicable. I have seen too many instances in which people (from students to
professional researchers) have just pulled out a formula that on the surface looks like it should work but in
reality the situation being modeled violates the underlying assumptions in the equation. I will attempt to
show real world examples of where the physics learned in the course is important and will works out many
examples in class. Physics, however, is NOT a subject that can be learned simply by listening to lectures
and/or reading books: you need to work things out for yourself! I highly encourage you to form study
groups and work together. Homework assignments are an essential part of learning the course material. I
will assign a number of problems in each chapter and will post the solutions on line. If you want to do more
problems, I have put the instructors solution manual on reserve in Milner Library. I highly recommend that
you do all of the problems, but I will not collect them. Similar problems are likely to appear on exams. In
physics we stress the understanding of basic concepts and creative problem solving using those concepts, not
memorization of facts. Hence, in solving problem sets, the student should try to understand the underlying
physics rather than treating each problem as a completely new adventure. I guarantee that the more
homework you do, the more you will learn. It is only through solving problems that you develop your
analytical skills and your physical intuition
You will also have a daily homework assignment (4 problems) that is to be turned in the following day. The
assignments and solutions will be posted on the web page for the course.
There will be four hour long exams (including the comprehensive final exam) and eight labs. A typical exam
will test for both conceptual understanding and problem solving ability. This is the first time I have taught
this course, so I do not have any practice exams available. You will be allowed to bring a calculator and a
single 8 1/2 x 11 "cheat sheet" to exams. This sheet may have anything you want written on it. (I will not
look at them or collect them.) Make-up exams will only be given in cases of excused absences due to
illness, serious illness or death in your immediate family, or other significant reasons. If you know that there
will be a problem, let me know ASAP so we can work something out.
There will be eight labs. Laboratory reports will be graded on a 15 point scale. The first 5 points is based on
attendance and the prelab sheet. The remaining 10 points are for the report itself. I will ask the UTA to take
attendance each lab period. NO MAKE-UP LABS WILL BE GIVEN. (This is because the lab set ups are
put away after the lab is done.) If you know in advance that you cannot attend your lab section, it is
generally not a problem to go to another section. To account for possible absences, the lowest lab grade will
be dropped.
The final score will be determined from the following weights:
Hour Exams (3)
Final Exam
Letter grades are not assigned on an individual exam, but will be determined at the end of the course when
all scores are in. There are no hard and fast letter grade boundaries (i.e. I do not grade on a strict percentage
basis) nor is there a statistical formula used to determine grade boundaries (i.e. I do not grade on a curve).
Instead, statistics are used as a guide to determine underlying standards. When needed, factors such as class
participation, improvement, industriousness, etc. may be used in borderline cases. Statistics will be given on
each exam so that you may estimate where you stand in relation to the rest of the class.
May 16 – May 20
No Lab
May 23 – May 27
A1 (Mon)
May 30 – Jun 03
Work and Energy, Impulse and Momentum
Jun 06 –Jun 10
A2 (Mon)
A3 (Wed)
A4 (Mon)
Jun 13- Jun 17
B1 (Mon)
Simple Harmonic Motion, Fluids
Jun 20 – Jun 24
B2 (Mon)
Temperature and Heat, Heat Transfer
Jun 27 – Jul 01
A7 (Mon)
The Ideal Gas Law and Kinetic Theory, Thermodynamics
Jul 04 – Jul 08
C1 (Mon)
Waves and Sound, Linear Superposition and Interference
Introduction, Mathematics review, Kinematics in one and two
Forces and Newton’s Laws, Dynamics of uniform circular motion
Rotational Kinematics and Dynamics
Final Exam: Thursday, July 7, 2011 9:00 AM