Physics 100 is the first semester of a one year algebra-based course, Physics 100 and Physics 105, that provides a general introduction to the subject designed for students whose principle interest is not the study of physics. It is designed to be taken to support study in another science discipline such as biology, chemistry, or geology. It is particularly suitable for pre-med students who do not wish to be physics or chemistry majors and for any student who wishes to gain a general view of the subject but does not intend to pursue physics beyond 105. (Note that it is possible for a student who has done well in 100 and who decides that they might wish to continue on in physics to go into 195 instead of 100 and thus switch into the majors sequence. It is even possible to complete the 100, 105 sequence and then decide to pursue the subject further and to join the major's sequence at that point, although this path is rather more challenging as there is a considerable leap in mathematical difficulty from 105 to 290.) Students with a background in calculus should strongly consider Physics 200/205 which covers the same material but which uses ideas and techniques from calculus to provide a much more coherent view of some topics.
This course aims to provide a grounding in the subjects of mechanics and
thermodynamics. Mechanics is the study of how and why objects move, from the
everyday experiences of pushing a pen around on the table, through the excitement
of a roller-coaster, to the stately motions of the heavenly bodies that have
enthralled humankind since the beginnings of history. Thermodynamics extends
these ideas to explain the movements of heat, the ideas of temperature, and,
ultimately, the workings of engines from the smallest model airplane engine
to the largest electrical power plant.
Athough the course does not require any use of calculus, it will make extensive use of algebra and trigonometry and is quie mathematically challenging. Because many of the students in this class have some background in calculus we may sometimes use ideas from calculus to illuminate the ideas but students will never need to use caculus to solve any problems.
In addition to exploring some of the rules that govern the physical world, we shall learn a little about the history of our understanding of the physical world as it has changed throughout recorded history and shall develop an understanding of the underlying methodology of the subject. Physics seeks to build mathematical models of the behaviors of the world. It then tests those models by comparison with experiment and uses the models to predict the behavior of new situations.
|Physics: Principles with Applications
By Douglas Giancoli, 6th Edition
Pub. Prentice-Hall, 2004
You will need a scientific calculator and will need to bring it to every class and lab. We may not often use it in class but I will not warn you in advance when we do so you should get into the habit of bringing it to every class. In particular you will be expected to have it for quizzes. You will use it in lab all the time. If you have a graphing calculator then that will be ideal. If not, then an inexpensive scientific model that can handle trig functions, logs, and exponentials will be sufficient.
You will need a laboratory notebook that you should bring to every lab. This must be a bound notebook. It is sometimes convenient to have squared paper but there is no need to get the expensive chemistry kind of lab notebook with carbon papers.The best, and least expensive, notebooks are the quad ruled, tape bound composition books. You can get this ahead of time or we normally have some available for a small cost in the first lab.
You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the following policies. They outline your responsibilities in the course. I will go over this material on the first day of class but you should make sure that you have read this carefully.
These policies are based on those used for the past few years in this course and I am indebted to David Craig for their general outline.
Homework assignments will be posted on Blackboard and/or the web site at least one week before the assignment is due. They will NOT be handed out in class but I will send an email notification.
Laboratory handouts will also be posted on Blackboard and an email announcement made. After the first week, you will be responsible for printing out the handout, doing the pre-lab, and bringing the handout and pre-lab with you to the lab. Note that failure to complete the pre-lab exercise before the start of lab will result in a significant grade penalty for that lab.
Quizzes will be held most weeks, normally on Mondays. These will be short, closed book exercises based on the previous week's class work. They will be done on the handouts and handed in in class. They will very often require calculators!
There will be two mid-term exams held approximately one-third and two-thirds of the way through the semester as well as a final held on the Tuesday afternoon of exam week, Tuesday, December 12th, from 2 pm to 5 pm. These will probably consist of two parts. The first part will be closed book and will have about a dozen questions based on the more straightforward homework problems and will cover most of the material to that point in the course. These will test basic familiarity with the material of the course. The second part will be open book, open notes, etc., and will consist of two or three problems based on the more involved homework problems. These will test your ability to use the material in novel situations. Note that the first part will probably include questions based on work done in the labs.
There will be weekly homework assignments in all weeks that do not also include an exam. There will be weekly laboratories that will be written up in you lab notebooks and the lab notebooks will be graded. The complete course grade will be divided between all the activities according to the following formula
We cannot grade what we can't read and we can't give grades to unidentifiable work. You are responsible for presenting your work clearly, for marking it clearly on the first page with your name and the assignment number, and for making sure that you work stays together. This is particularly important this year as I am teaching in a foreign building and will not normally have access to staples or paper clips in class.
Physics homeworks are graded on their presentation of ideas and their working out, NOT on final answers. This doesn't mean that we don't want the correct answer, but it does mean that the answers by themselves are not worth anything, even if they are correct. You are being graded on the working that leads to those answers and all such work must be presented clearly and legibly, with all assumptions made clear, all non-trivial steps explained, and any non-standard notations clearly defined. Except in rare cases, a clear, well labeled, diagram is an essential part of all valid answers. Such diagrams should be large enough that all information can be presented without crowding. You should use my own answer sets as a guide to what I expect your homeworks to look like.
Lab write-ups should also be clearly legible and use large, clear diagrams. Apparatus, methods, and data should all be clearly presented and clearly distinguished. All calculations should done in the lab book. It is fine to have incorrect things, incomplete things, blind alleys, etc. in a lab book just so long as they are marked as such. All lab writups should normally include a clear discussion of the meaning of the results and any conclusions that have drawn. Oh yes, and it is practically never of any interest to tell us that your answer to something is x% different from a standard textbook value but we are always interested to know that you believe that your answer lies within some range of uncertainty as determined from the lab result.
I do not take attendance in lectures. However, I do use them for a lot of different things and you will be held responsible for those things whether you are in class or not. In addition to the obvious lectures, demonstrations, and discussions, these may include announcements, in-class assignments, quizzes, and clicker exercises (see below) that will be recorded. If you know that you must miss a class then it is only polite to let me know in advance (this is especially true of scheduled absences such as sports travel, group performances, or field trips for another course). If you do miss a class then it up to you to find out from your classmates what you have missed and to make up any missed work. In particular, if you are going to miss a class with a quiz or a class when homework is due then you must make arrangements with me to do the quiz or hand in the homework at an other time. This must be done in advance and I will usually ask you to do the work early rather than after the fact.
Attendance at laboratories is mandatory. If you must miss a laboratory then a) you must inform us ahead of time except in the most exceptional cases (such as acute illness) and b) you must arrange ahead to time to make the lab up. In the exceptional case that you miss a lab without prior arrangement then you must contact me as soon as possible to discuss your reasons and to make arrangement to make up the work. There will be only one opportunity to make up a missed lab. Two or more labs missed and not made up will normally result in failure of the whole course.
Most students find that it is extremely helpful to work together in various ways to study physics, especially to do homeworks. This is normal and we encourage it. Indeed, it is possible that once the semester settles down I will be helping the formation of study groups and setting some group exercises in the homeworks. Similarly, the college provides a number of important resources to help you learn the material and apply it in the homeworks. These range from my office hours to the resources provided through the Q. Lit. center. You should get used to talking about physics among yourselves, with your friends from other classes, and with your professors, Q. Lit. tutors, and with students in other physics classes. All of these have something to teach you and you have something to teach them. Similarly, in lab you will be working in groups (usually of two) and will be expected to work very closely together, sharing ideas, checking answers, discussing the meaning of what you are doing.
All this collaboration is a good and vital part of the normal workings of physics. However, you have to exercise some good sense and good manners. In all circumstances, not just in physics, it is good manners to thank someone when they help you. In academic life it is not just good manners, it is a fundamental duty. When you get help, from whatever source, you must acknowledge that help. What does this mean to you? Well, if you do some problems as part of a group working session then indicate that fact on the homework and acknowledge your collaborators by name. If you work with a tutor on some problems, then note that on your work. If you get a particularly good idea from your lab partner mention that specifically in your write-up. (The write up must always list the lab partners name at the beginning anyway, this an extra courtesy.)
So, collaboration is a good thing in physics. Copying, however, is as strictly forbidden here as in all academic work. A common effort that results in a set of answers with clear indication that you worked with others is great for homeworks and labs, though obviously not for quizzes and exams. However, work that you claim for your own but which is actually taken from another or done with another without proper acknowledgement is plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offence. It was responsible for the resignation of Hamilton's last president. Don't let it ruin your life too. Make sure you understand the honor code and its supporting materials because you can be quite certain that I do. If I see indications that you are not being careful in this matter then I will raise it with you and help you understand how it applies to you. But, whether or not I have done that, if I see clear indications of actual dishonesty, such copying on homework or cheating on a quiz or exam, then I will take the matter straight to the honor court. Teaching involves a relationship of trust between the the teacher and the student. I take that trust extremely seriously myself and I will take strong action against anyone that I feel has violated that trust.
Assignments will normally be due at the beginning of class on Fridays and I will accept assignments up to the start of the next class with a 15% penalty. After that time the solutions will have been posted and any assignments arriving after that time will be accepted, commented as usual, and returned with information about what the grade would have been, but the grade will be recorded as zero. If you can see that you are not going to make one of these deadlines then it is up to you to talk and work out some other arrangement before the deadline (this might, for example, result in some kind of extension). In cases such as illness or other serious emergency that prevent you meeting a deadline but don't give you advance warning, you should contact me as soon as possible to work something out.
As described above, after the first week you will be responsible for printing out the handout, doing the pre-lab, and bringing the handout and pre-lab with you to the lab. Failure to complete the pre-lab exercise before the start of lab will result in a significant grade penalty for that lab. Missing a lab is more serious. Normally, missing a lab without discussing it beforehand with an instructor will result in an automatic zero for that lab. Two or more zeros will be grounds for failing the whole course. Accordingly, as always, if you know there is going to be a problem with a lab then come talk to us about it and we can work something out. Usually there is no problem making up a lab some other time in the same week so long as you talk to us ahead of time. In exceptional cases such as sudden illness (an allergic reaction to seafood at lunch for example) you must contact us as soon a possible to explain the problem and make arrangements to make up the work.
If you miss a quiz without telling me in advance and making other arrangements you will get an automatic zero grade for that quiz. There will be no make-up opportunities after the fact.
These policies have been adopted after a number of years experience to make
expectations clear and to help avoid problems before they begin. They look
quite strict and they are meant that way. However, things happen. They happen
to all of us from time to time. That being the case exceptions can be made
if you come talk to me as soon as possible. In almost all cases this means
before the deadline. In exceptional cases where that is not feasible it means
as soon as possible afterwards. What is as soon as possible? Well, for example,
if you are struck down by strep throat on the morning of class and get impounded
by the health center to stop you spreading your nasty germs then as soon as
possible means email or a note sent with a friend that day and getting in
direct touch with me within the next day or so. You shouldn't wait till your
voice comes back--you can write notes to me just fine.
In general you will find that I can be very accommodating. I will always do whatever I can in cases that are not your fault and will usually be helpful even when it is (you suddenly realize that you have left things too late and there is no way you'll be able to get something done in time), so long as you talk to me!