Course: Physics 101, Conceptual Physics, Spring 2003

This course attempts to give a broad introduction to the wonderful world of physics. While the course is basically non-mathematical, some knowledge of high-school algebra is pre-requisite, and algebra (such as solving simple equations, or using powers of numbers) will be used regularly. To understand physics, one MUST be able to express central concepts both in words and equations. Little calculational ability is expected, however.


Robert N. (Bob) Rogers; email -; Office Hours: T, TH 3:45 - 4:45 (subject to adjustment), Room TH 317, Office phone 415 338 2944

Course Information:

I will be posting the syllabus and ongoing assignments to the class web page. It is at the Physics and Astronomy web site:

go to the dept page,, click on course pages, then click on Physics 101 and you'll be there.

Or try entering (this doesn't always work)

WARNING: be sure you have a recent copy of Internet Explorer or Netscape. Earlier versions (e.g., Internet Explorer numbered less than 5.0) will have troubles in seeing this page as well as the text's site.


First class: Tuesday January 28, 2003 1235 1350, Science 201.

Last day to add a class to a program via touch-tone with permit numbers: Feb 7

Last day to drop without a W: Feb 21. Last day to withdraw (with a "W"): April 25. Last day you can possibly drop, but only with permission based on "serious and compelling reasons" (Written approval of instructor and college dean required): Nov 20

Spring Recess: March 17 - 22

Advising Day (no class): May 8

Last class day: May 15

Final Exam: Tuesday May 20, 1045-1315, SCI 201.

Please note that daily attendance is expected, as indicated by the daily quiz schedule and homework assignments. Also note that it is your responsibility to both be sure you are enrolled, and if you drop, that you are dropped. If and only if you miss 3 of the first 4 quizzes, I might drop you, but possibly not in time automatically drop you, BUT NOT OTHERWISE. If you decide to drop, it is your responsibility to take care of the paperwork. It is also your responsibility to be sure that your are correctly enrolled. Check your registration confirmation, and also whether I show you on the class list.


Hewitt: Conceptual Physics (Addison Wesley Ninth edition NEW) required, with bundled "Practicing Physics" workbook - the workbook is required, as it will be used for some of the homework and quizzes.).

We will be covering (almost) the whole book, about one chapter per class meeting (we won't talk about relativity), so the syllabus outline is the table of contents of the book.

As pointed out elsewhere, a significant aspect of this book is the closely related website:

There will be the opportunity for extra HW credit involving the web site.


Percentage grade for: HW and extra credit - 35%; quizzes - 35%; final - 30%.

Homework, extra credit and quizzes due daily, no makeup. You can do homework in advance if you are to be away, (hand it to me personally) and you can do homework extra credit for makeup. I will toss out the 3 lowest quiz scores)

There will be a double value quiz at the end of each of the seven parts of the book (not including relativity). You will need to bring a ZEUS form for these double quizzes. (They will come from the same question bank as the practice quizzes at the end of the Practicing Physics book, as will the final exam.)

VERY IMPORTANT! Save all your returned work in order to verify possible mistakes in posting. You should also want to save your work in order to have that material to study from.

All quizzes and final exams are closed book and notes, though I will provide any needed values of constants, as well as other than the central equations.


Lecture reading and quizzes
The book is the primary source for the course. We will be covering approximately one chapter of the text each day. You are expected to read each chapter before class.

In class we will be hitting the highlights, only! There will be a reading assignment and homework, much of it from the Practicing Physics pages for the new chapter. The daily quizzes will focus primarily on the reading and homework for the day, and generally will be derived from the homework pages you have done, or possibly from the "Review Questions. There also may be exercises and/or problems assigned on the previously assigned chapter. The class is to reinforce highlights from the text, to illustrate points, and particularly to answer questions.

Note: I would also strongly recommend visiting the "PhysicsPlace" website.

As part of your homework, you will be asked to turn in daily the indicated the Practicing Physics pages but as the complete answers to the Practicing Physics pages are now included in the booklet, we will only be checking off your work for completion. However we will be grading the exercises and problems that will be assigned. Be sure to show your work, not just your answer!

Possible work for extra credit will be indicated and may be selected from the chapter end projects write-ups, as well as topics from the website In general, extra credit for a given day will count 1/2 that of the regular homework assignment, depending on the complexity.


Go to and click on Physics 101

You will want to check the class website regularly. The Syllabus will be updated, assignments will be given, and an ongoing gradesheet will be posted that will allow you to check to see you have been credited properly.

Again, also, you should look at the web site that is dedicated to supporting the book:

Laboratory (Physics 102):

The lab is not required, although I consider it enormously helpful to learning the material covered in the course. Unfortunately, it is presently overenrolled.