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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 2022). 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 modest 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 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).
  7. Do as many extra practice problems as are necessary to master the material! Yes, the homework assignments are already long. Yes, you probably are devoting a significant amount of time to this course outside of class hours. Yes, it seems like the workload is already out-of-line with many of your other courses -- but that's often what it takes to succeed at this content. Physics doesn't get easier just because you want it to. Some people will be able to master this material only doing the assigned homework, but others will need to work through extra ungraded homework to master the material. You aren't graded on how easy it was for you, but rather your mastery at test-times. Do whatever you need to do in order to become confident in solving new problems using the ideas and principles discussed in your textbook, class, and in the homework. For me, at least, this meant I had to practice. A lot. Generally speaking, there are no shortcuts.

- 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 likely will be updated/modified through the semester.)
Class Date Suggested Reading Topics/Halladay Chapter 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 Dimensional Analysis, Sig Figs, and Vectors Walter Lewin's Lec 1 Lewin on Vectors, Lewin on Coordinate Systems, Full Lewin Lecture on Vectors (watch first 30 minutes) Vectors PhET
Aug 29th Vectors and One-Dimensional Motion Full Lewin Lecture on Vectors (watch first 30 minutes), Lewin Lecture on 1D Kinematics Vectors PhET, Moving Man PhET
Aug 31st One-Dimensional Motion Cont'd. Lewin Lecture on 1D Kinematics, Another Lecture on 1D constant acceleration motion Moving Man PhET, Another applet, similar to Moving Man PhET
Sep 2nd One-Dimensional Motion Cont'd. Lewin Lecture on 1D Kinematics, Another Lecture on 1D constant acceleration motion Moving Man PhET, Another applet, similar to Moving Man PhET
Sep 5th One-Dimensional and Two-Dimensional Motion Lewin Lecture on Projectile Motion Projectile Motion PhET , 2D Motion PhET
Sep 7th Two-Dimensional Motion Cont'd. Another Treatment of Projectile Motion, Some problem Solving Tips and Tricks Projectile Motion PhET, 2D Motion PhET
Sep 9th Two-Dimensional Motion Cont'd. Another Treatment of Projectile Motion, Some problem Solving Tips and Tricks Projectile Motion PhET, 2D Motion PhET
Sep 12th Introduction to Newton's Laws Lewin Lecture on Newton's Laws (watch first 31 minutes) Forces and Motion PhET
Sep 14th Introduction to Newton's Laws "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 Different Forces in Mechanics Introduction to the Normal Force, Introduction to Tension A different Force and Motion Applet, Simple Normal Force Applet
Sep 19th Friction Lewin Lecture on Frictional Forces Static Friction Applet, Force and Motion with Friction
Sep 21st Friction cont'd. Kinetic and Static Friction Problem Solving Static Friction Applet, Force and Motion with Friction
Sep 23rd TEST DO EXTRA BOOK PROBLEMS TO PREPARE N/A
Sep 26th Work and Energy Lewin Lecture on Work and Energy (watch first 20 minutes or so) "The Ramp" PhET
Sep 28th Work and Energy Cont'd Lewin Lecture on Work and Energy (watch remainder of video) "The Ramp" PhET
Sep 30th Potential Energy and Springs Khan Academy Video Working a Sample Problem, Another Sample Problem, and The remainder of the second problem. PhET Energy Skate Park Basics
Oct 3rd Potential Energy and Springs Basic video on springs PhET Energy Skate Park Basics
Oct 5th Energy Conservation and Introduction to Momentum Basic video on springs, Lewin Lecture on Momentum PhET on collisions
Oct 7th Momentum and 1D Collisions Lewin Lecture on Collisions PhET on collisions
Oct 10th 1D and 2D Collisions, Brief Description of Rocket Motion and Center of Mass Anderson on Collisions PhET on collisions (Play with 2D part), Billiards Applet
Oct 12th 1D and 2D Collisions, Brief Description of Rocket Motion and Center of Mass Anderson on Collisions PhET on collisions (Play with 2D part), Billiards Applet
Oct 14th Uniform Circular Motion Lewin Lecture on Uniform Circular Motion 2D Motion PhET and Ladybug Motion PhET
Oct 17th Uniform Circular Motion Cont'd., Rotational Kinematics Video on Rotational Kinematics Problem Solving Comparison between 1D translational and rotation motion
Oct 19th Rotational Kinematics Video on Rotational Kinematics Problem Solving Comparison between 1D translational and rotation motion
Oct 21st TEST DO EXTRA BOOK PROBLEMS TO PREPARE N/A
Oct 24th Torque and Rotational Kinetic Energy Lewin Lecture on Rotational KE(first 26 minutes),Lewin Lecture on Angular Momentum and Torque Torque PhET
Oct 26th Torque and Rotational Kinetic Energy Cont'd Lewin Lecture on Torques, Oscillating Bodies, and Physical Pendulums, Lewin Lecture on Angular Momentum and Torque Balancing Act PhET, Another Torque Applet
Oct 28th Angular Momentum and Rolling Lewin Lecture on Angular Momentum and Torque, Race Between Shapes, Rolling Things, Lewin's Racing Things
Oct 31st Oscillations and Waves Lewin Lecture on Simple Harmonic Motion Mass on a Spring PhET
Nov 2nd Oscillations and Waves 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 quesitonable), Resonance Example 1, and Resonance Example 2 Pendulum PhET and Resonance PhET
Nov 4th Resonance 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 quesitonable), Resonance Example 1, and Resonance Example 2 Pendulum PhET and Resonance PhET
Nov 7th Introduction to Fluids Lewin Lecture on basic Fluids (watch first 28.5 minutes) PhET on Fluid Pressure and Flow
Nov 9th More Fluids Lewin Lecture on basic Fluids (watch remainder of video) PhET on Fluid Pressure and Flow
Nov 14th Introduction to Gravity Veritasium Mini-Lecture on Gravity and Gravity inside a uniform sphere PhET Gravity Force Lab
Nov 16th Introduction to Gravity (again) Veritasium Mini-Lecture on Gravity and Gravity inside a uniform sphere PhET Gravity Force Lab
Nov 18th TEST DO EXTRA BOOK PROBLEMS TO PREPARE N/A
Nov 21st Introduction to Thermodynamics -- Temperature, Thermal Expansion, Latent Heat, 0th and 1st Law of Thermo Khan Academy 1st Law Video
Nov 28th Kinetic Theory of Gases / Molecular Speed Distributions Khan Academy Boltzmann Distribution Video Applet Showing Cartoon of Molecular Motion, PhET on Gas Properties/Thermodynamics
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 5th Semester Wrapup/Catch-Up
Dec 9th Final Exam; 8-10 AM

- Homework Assignments -

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

Assignment 2(PDF) (due date: 9/2/22)

Assignment 3(PDF) (due date: 9/9/22)

Assignment 4(PDF) (due date: 9/16/22)

Assignment 5(PDF) (due date: 9/30/22)

Assignment 6(PDF) (due date: 10/7/22)

Assignment 7(PDF) (expected due date: 10/14/22)

Assignment 8(PDF) (expected due date: 10/28/22)

Assignment 9(PDF) (expected due date: 11/4/22)

Assignment 10(PDF) (expected due date: 11/11/22)

Assignment 11(PDF) (expected due date: 12/2/22)




- Test Information -

We plan to have 3 in-class midterms as well as a final exam. Our tentative exam dates are as follows:
Friday, September 23rd, 2022
Friday, October 21st, 2022
Friday, November 18th, 2022

The (cumulative!) final exam is anticipated to be scheduled for Friday, December 9th, from 8-10 AM


Last updated: 25 September 2022