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University Physics (Alternative Free Textbook Option) Volume 1

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GENERAL PHYSICS I
                                                           

- WELCOME! -

This is the web-page for PHYS 111, General Physics 1 (sections 1 and 2, fall 2021). Materials on this webpage are meant to supplement information given to you in class itself. I'm not a big fan of OAKS, therefore any on-line supplementary material for the course you need can be found here. To the left and below, you'll find important links/syllabi/etc.

If you'd like to find out more about me or the research we do in my lab, check out my main webpage.

- About This Course -

This course is the first in a two-semester survey of Calculus-based General Physics. Throughout this year, you will be introduced to most of the major areas of Physics including Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Oscillations and Waves, Electricity and Magnetism, Special Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and various other elements of Modern Physics like Atomic and Nuclear Physics.

The first semester of the sequence (this course) is devoted to the study of mechanics (kinematics and dynamics of solids and fluids), thermodynamics, and oscillations/waves.

This course is meant to be introductory in nature (in that you aren't expected to be familiar with the basic concepts we will be discussing prior to taking the class), but that does not mean it will be easy. (100 level courses do not mean easy -- they mean little prerequisite knowledge expected). This is a challenging course that may require continuous and substantial effort to achieve success. I will do everything within my power to assist you in the learning process, and I desperately want you to succeed. That being said, Physics is a quantitative and objective discipline -- you will be evaluated on your success in applying the principles we will be introducing in this course in a problem solving context. Some of you will excel at this, others will struggle. Effort alone is not enough to ensure a good grade.


- When you are struggling.... -

Part of maturing as a thinker is learning how and when to get help. When I was a student, I had an aversion to seeking extra help from my professors and classmates and ultimately I now know this was to my detriment. I encourage you to work with your classmates on the homework, form study groups, come to office hours/help sessions, and make use of the tutoring opportunities available to you. Make use of these resources! You don't get bonus points for figuring it out totally on your own, and you'll be surprised how much you can gain out of the process of talking through this stuff with other people, whether they are your professors, your classmates, or your pets. If, at any time, you feel like things aren't going like they should in this class -- see me immediately! I can help you get the assistance you need, or maybe even put you on the right path myself.


- Step by Step Guide in How to Succeed in PHYS 111 -

Like all classes, what you ultimately will get out of taking this class is directly related to how much effort you put into the course. This material is challenging -- especially for a 100 level course -- but it CAN be done, if you put in the necessary effort.
  1. Attend class daily, pay attention, and be an active participant. (Take notes, ask questions, etc.)
  2. Read your textbook and/or watch the linked videos before class! (It may be confusing on this first exposure, but this way when you hear it in lecture you'll be hearing it for the second time. If you hear it in lecture the first time, you will almost certainly be confused. If you are kind-of/sort-of familiar with the content in advance, then -- when hearing it in lecture -- you can identify what things are still confusing and ask effective questions). Reading a textbook -- especially before hearing the lecture on the topic -- is likely the most important thing you can do to succeed in this class.
  3. Complete all homework (including reading a text!).
  4. When confused or lost, seek help right away! (Via office hours -- normally scheduled or by appointment, sessions at the tutoring center, attending and participating at the regularly scheduled problem solving sessions, or through help from private tutors. There are many resources available for extra help if you need it, but you can't wait until the end of the semester to turn things around!)
  5. When preparing for tests, rework problems you've seen before -- the ones done in class, during problem solving sessions, or non-assigned questions in assorted texts (most introductory physics texts have at least some of the answers in the back of the book). Get help on any questions you do not understand. I'm happy to work any problems for you independently, except for assigned homework problems before they are do. (I will give you help/hints on these problems if you come see me, but I won't just do the homework for you.)
  6. Don't wait until the last minute to start your homework! Sometimes you'll struggle for a while with a problem, and need to come back to it several times to develop a plan of attack. You can't do that if you're starting it 6 hours before it is due. My homework is not easy! Sometimes, successfully solving a single problem is a productive evening's work. Budget your time accordingly! (If you have any doubts about this, ask around the Physics upper-classmen; they will vouch for the seriousness of my homework sets).

- Class Readings / Videos -

As mentioned above, you should be reading the appropriate parts of a text and/or watching the videos posted here BEFORE class. Success in class may depend on it, so don't take this lightly. Even though the only graded homework is listed below, that doesn't mean that this is less important. All readings are described by basic topic, since I suspect you might use a variety of different texts to support your learning in this class.

(Chart will be updated/modified through the semester.)
Class Date Suggested Reading Topics Suggested Video(s) Suggested Applet(s)
Aug 24th Even I think reading before 1st day unlikely -- but Dimensional Analysis & Sig Figs Walter Lewin's Lec 1 --
Aug 26th Vectors Full Lewin Lecture on Vectors, Lewin on Coordinate Systems Vectors PhET
Aug 31st 1-Dimensional Motion Lewin Lecture on 1D Kinematics, Another Lecture on 1D constant acceleration motion Moving Man PhET, Another applet, similar to Moving Man PhET
Sep 2nd 1 and 2 Dimensional Motion Lewin Lecture on 1D Kinematics, Another Lecture on 1D constant acceleration motion, Lewin Lecture on Projectile Motion, Another Treatment of Projectile Motion, Some problem Solving Tips and Tricks Moving Man PhET, Another applet, similar to Moving Man PhET, Projectile Motion PhET , 2D Motion PhET
Sep 7th 2 Dimensional Motion Lewin Lecture on Projectile Motion, Another Treatment of Projectile Motion, Some problem Solving Tips and Tricks Projectile Motion PhET , 2D Motion PhET
Sep 9th Intro to Newton's Laws Lewin Lecture on Newton's Laws (watch first 31 minutes) Forces and Motion PhET
Sep 14th Newton's Laws Cont'd. "Shoot the Monkey" Video, Lewin Lecture on Newton's Laws (watch whole video) "Shoot the Monkey" Applet, Projectile Motion Applet. Forces and Motion PhET, Another Forces and Motion PhET
Sep 16th Applications of Newton's Laws and Friction Another Video Introduction to Newton's Three Laws of Motion,Introduction to the Normal Force, Introduction to Tension, Lewin Lecture on Frictional Forces "Shoot the Monkey" Applet, Projectile Motion Applet. Forces and Motion PhET, Another Forces and Motion PhET, Yet Another Forces and Motion PhET, A different Force and Motion Applet, Simple Normal Force Applet, Static Friction Applet, Force and Motion with Friction
Sep 21st Friction Cont'd. Lewin Lecture on Frictional Forces Static Friction Applet, Force and Motion with Friction
Sep 23rd TEST DO EXTRA BOOK PROBLEMS TO PREPARE N/A
Sep 28th Work and Energy Lewin Lecture on Work and Energy "The Ramp" PhET, PhET Energy Skate Park Basics
Sep 30th Energy and Springs Khan Academy Video Working a Sample Problem, Another Sample Problem, and The remainder of the second problem. Hooke's Law and Elastic Potential Energy PhET Energy Skate Park Basics, Hooke's Law PhET
Oct 5th Introduction to Momentum Lewin Lecture on Momentum PhET on collisions
Oct 7th Momentum, Collisions, Explosions, Center of Mass, and Rocket Motion Anderson on Collisions PhET on collisions (Play with 2D part), Billiards Applet
Oct 12th Uniform Circular Motion Lewin Lecture on Uniform Circular Motion 2D Motion PhET and Ladybug Motion PhET
Oct 14th Rotational Kinematics Video on Rotational Kinematics Problem Solving Comparison between 1D translational and rotation motion
Oct 19th NO CLASS -- FALL BREAK! MIGHT WANT TO USE THIS DAY TO CATCH UP AND PREPARE FOR THE SECOND EXAM! N/A
Oct 21st TEST DO EXTRA BOOK PROBLEMS TO PREPARE N/A
Oct 26th Torque and Rotational Kinetic Energy Lewin Lecture on Rotational KE,Lewin Lecture on Angular Momentum and Torque, Lewin Lecture on Torques, Oscillating Bodies, and Physical Pendulums Torque PhET, Balancing Act PhET, Another Torque Applet
Oct 28th Angular Momentum Lewin Lecture on Angular Momentum and Torque --
Nov 2nd Rotational Wrap-Up; Rolling without Slipping Race Between Shapes, Rolling Things --
Nov 4th Oscillations and Resonance Lewin Lecture on Simple Harmonic Motion, Link Between Uniform Circular Motion and Simple Harmonic Motion 1, Link Between Uniform Circular Motion and Simple Harmonic Motion 2 (though the narrator says a couple things that are a little questionable), Resonance Example 1, and Resonance Example 2 Mass on a Spring PhET, Pendulum PhET and Resonance PhET
Nov 9th Oscillations, Resonance, and Fluids Lewin Lecture on Simple Harmonic Motion, Link Between Uniform Circular Motion and Simple Harmonic Motion 1, Link Between Uniform Circular Motion and Simple Harmonic Motion 2 (though the narrator says a couple things that are a little questionable), Resonance Example 1, and Resonance Example 2, Lewin Lecture on basic Fluids Mass on a Spring PhET, Pendulum PhET and Resonance PhET, PhET on Fluid Pressure and Flow
Nov 11th Fluids Cont'd. Lewin Lecture on basic Fluids PhET on Fluid Pressure and Flow
Nov 16th Introduction to Gravity Veritasium Mini-Lecture on Gravity and Gravity inside a uniform sphere PhET Gravity Force Lab
Nov 18th Introduction to Thermodynamics -- Temperature, Thermal Expansion, Latent Heat, 0th and 1st Law of Thermo Khan Academy 1st Law Video --
NOV 23rd TEST DO EXTRA BOOK PROBLEMS TO PREPARE N/A
NOV 25th NO CLASS -- THANKSGIVING REFRESH AND PREPARE FOR THE FINAL PUSH N/A
Nov 30th Kinetic Theory of Gases / Molecular Speed Distributions Khan Academy Boltzmann Distribution Video Applet Showing Cartoon of Molecular Motion, PhET on Gas Properties/Thermodynamics
Dec 2nd Entropy and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics Khan Academy on Entropy --
Dec 13th Final Exam; 8-10 AM -- --

- Homework Assignments -

Assignment 1(PDF) (due date: 8/26/21)

Assignment 2(PDF) (due date: 9/2/21)

Assignment 3(PDF) (due date: 9/9/21)

Assignment 4(PDF) (due date: 9/16/21)

Assignment 5(PDF) (due date: 9/30/21)

Assignment 6(PDF) (due date: 10/7/21)

Assignment 7(PDF) (due date: 10/14/21)

Assignment 8(PDF) (due date: 10/28/21)

Assignment 9(PDF) (due date: 11/4/21)

Assignment 10(PDF) (expeted due date: 11/11/21)

Assignment 11(PDF) (expected due date: 12/2/21)




- Test Information -

We plan to have 3 in-class midterms as well as a final exam. Our tentative exam dates are as follows:
Thursday, September 23rd, 2021
Thursday, October 21st, 2021
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

The (cumulative!) final exam is scheduled for Monday, December 13th, from 8-10 AM


Last updated: 25 October 2021