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 we hope that you will enjoy it as much as we 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. We are pleased that we will be able to use Dr. Lea's new textbook. The book is available in the book store. 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 through the Physics and Astronomy Club, TH 104. 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 with a grade of C or better. High school physics or equivalent. Please put proof that you have satisfied the calculus prerequisite in an envelope with your name on it and place in the envelope on Dr. Lea's office door (TH308) on or BEFORE February 11th. This proof may be in the form of a grade report, an unofficial transcript (available from student records for a nominal fee), or, for transfer students, a transcript or an advanced standing evaluation form. 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 test will give you guidance as to whether you are ready to take this course. A "Preparation for Physics" course will be offered, starting in Fall 1997, for those who need more preparation.

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

.3. Adds/drops. To add you must see your instructor in person. Last day to add is February 11th. Drops can be handled through touch-tone, but please let us know that that you intend to drop by leaving us a note. After February 26th drops are NOT ALLOWED. To WITHDRAW from the class you must submit a withdrawal petition. Withdrawals leave a record of W on your transcript. Last day to withdraw is ######## ##.

4. Exams and tests . There will be two midterm exams, and a comprehensive final. Exams will be closed book.

5.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 us 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 outside TH 308. However, if any posted solution is taken down, even for 5 minutes, no more will be posted. RECITATION SECTIONS 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 and current problem assignments are also available.

6. 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.

7. Grading

The lowest homework score will be dropped.

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.

Office hours are listed below, but are subject to change during the first couple of weeks. I will announce any such changes. We would particularly like to see physics or astronomy majors or prospective majors, so that we can get acquainted.


Dr. Lea TH 308
  • Mon 2-3 pm
  • Wed 3-4 pm
  • Fri 11-12 am
  • or by appointment
    Welcome to the study of Physics!