PHYSICS 220: PHYSICS WITH CALCULUS I - MECHANICS

TEXTS: This class is the first in a three semester sequence in introductory Physics. We aim to discuss a large fraction of Classsical Physics at an elementary level. This course acts as a prerequisite to more advanced classes in the physical sciences as well as giving a good basis of general knowledge about physics to those of you in other majors. This course also exhibits the ways in which scientists in general, and physicists in particular, think about the problems they have to solve. The problem solving and analysis you will learn in this class are the skills you are most likely to use in your future employment.

Physics is fun, and I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I do. Of course, a good deal of work is also required. You should read the appropriate section of the text before coming to class, always review your lecture notes after class, and do all the assigned problems.  The textbook is available in the book store, and may also be ordered directly from the publisher, or from Amazon.com.. If you prefer, you may purchase volume 1 for Physics 220, and volume 2 for Physics 230. As you read the book, you should try to do all of the in-chapter exercises (solutions are at the end of the chapter) and all of the questions and problems in the BASIC SKILLS section at the end of the chapter. These items will allow you to test yourself on your understanding of the material.

Problems will be assigned weekly, according to the following schedule. A student study guide, written by Jon Celesia, is available from the book store. There is also a student solutions manual. An online problem solving tutorial includes at least one problem from each week's assignment.

The instructors will be available during office hours to help you with the problems, and to discuss lecture material. Please feel free to discuss all aspects of the course with us as the semester progresses. We can help you to ensure that your work is directed efficiently.

Course procedures.

1. Prerequisites: 1 semester of calculus (Math 220 or Math 226 at SFSU) with a grade of C or better. High school physics or equivalent. If you did not take your calculus at SFSU, please put proof that you have satisfied the calculus prerequisite in an envelope with your name on it and give it to Dr. Lea on or BEFORE Sept 11th. This proof may be in the form of a grade report,  a transcript or an advanced standing evaluation form. If requested, your records will be returned to you. Please take these prerequisites seriously. You must be reasonably competent with mathematical manipulations as well as with reading and writing. If you are unsure of your abilities, please see one of us for advice.

A pre-test will be administered during the first lab period (this week, Thursday Aug 31 and Fri Sep 1). Please attend the lab section in which you are currently enrolled. If you are not enrolled in lab yet, then just go to a section that is convenient for you. This test is designed to determine whether you are ready to take Physics 220. Test results will be available before the add deadline (Sept 15).  A "Preparation for Physics" course (Physics 140) is offered for those who need more preparation. (Tu-Th at 12.35 in TH 327)  If you do not take the pre-test then you will not be allowed to enroll in Physics 220 or Phsyics 222.  This applies to all students, even if you are repeating the class, and whether or not you have taken Physics 140.

2. Corequisites. Concurrent registration in, or completion of, second semester of calculus (Math 221 or Math 227) and Physics 222 (lab) are required.

3. Adds/drops. To add you must see your instructor in person. Last day to add is September 15th. Drops can be handled through touch-tone, but please let me know that that you intend to drop by leaving me a note or sending an e-mail message. After Sept 27th drops are NOT ALLOWED. To WITHDRAW from the class for a serious and compelling reason you must submit a withdrawal petition. Withdrawals leave a record of W on your transcript. Last day to withdraw is Nov 26.  All withdrawal petitions must be accompanied by a copy of your transcript.  You mst submit two withdrawal petitions- one for Phsyics 220 and one for Physics 222.  You may not withdraw from Physics 220 without withdrawing from Physics 222 unless you maintain enrollment in Physics 220 through the 2nd midterm.  This means that you have been making a serious effort (attending lectures, completing homework, etc.) through the 2nd midterm.  This is Physics department policy, and cannot be changed by your instructor.

4. In-class work You will be asked to work on a short exercise each class period. You will be working in groups. Please come equipped with 8x11 loose-leaf notepaper.  Paper torn from a spiral-bound notebook is not acceptable.  Be sure to do the assigned reading before coming to class so that you will be prepared for the in-class work. Occasional "pop"-quizzes may be given on the reading without further warning. Your in-class work plus quiz scores contribute to your class participation grade.

5. Exams and tests . There will be two midterm exams, and a comprehensive final. Exams will be closed book.  No formula sheets are allowed.

6.Homework is crucial!!!! We cannot overemphasize how important it is to do problems. That is how to learn physics. The assigned homework is a minimum! Homework is due each week at the beginning of the class period, according to the attached schedule. Please check with me if you have any questions about the assignment. Please use 8x11 loose leaf paper. Write on one side of the page only. Put your name on the top right corner of each page, and staple the pages together. Thank you. Solutions will be posted on the first floor of Thornton Hall, in one of the glass cases. HELP SESSIONS will be set up during the first week of classes. These sessions are designed to help you learn to solve problems. Everyone should plan to attend at least one session each week.

Problem solving tutorials are avilable. I will try to keep one problem from the current assignment available, and there are links to other sites that provide problem solving help. The class schedule is also available.

7. Laboratory. Your lab work complements the lecture work. Concurrent enrollment in Physics 222 is REQUIRED. In lab you should develop a better feel for how things work as well as learning the basics of experimental science.  If you do not pass Physics 222, you will receive a grade of "Incomplete" in Physics 220 until such time as you pass 222.

I will be posting class lists for the lab sections outside my office door.  These class lists are the official, definitive record of who has been assigned a space in the lab, so please check them regularly through the first three weeks of the semester.  Also be sure to check your schedule through touch tone to be sure you really are enrolled in both lab and lecture.
 

8. Grading

Your grade will be based on the following algorithm:

In addition, you must receive a score of  at least 50% on the homework assignments and an average, computed according to the algorithm above, of a least 50% to receive a grade of C or better in the class.

Students who show continuous improvement will receive a higher grade for the same numerical score than those whose performance is deteriorating. That is, a poor score on the first midterm need not be devastating if you improve throughout the semester.

9. Computer disk  The computer disk to accompany the text may be obtained as follows:
Click here to download the zip file.
OR:
Bring me a blank disk labelled with your name and the computer system you have (Windows or Mac).  I will copy the files onto the disk  and return it to you.

Office hours are posted on my web site. Office hours are subject to change during the first couple of weeks. I will try to announce any such changes, but check the web for the latest information. I would particularly like to see physics or astronomy majors or prospective majors, so that we can get acquainted.
 
 

Welcome to the study of Physics!