Course: Physics 101, Conceptual Physics, Fall 2004

This course attempts to give a broad introduction to the exciting and wondrous world of physics - the "rules of the game" of the universe! 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 2:10 - 3:15 (I can sometimes be available at 1100 on T or TH, but you need to contact me to check), Room TH 317, Office phone 415 338 2944

Course Information:

There will be daily reading, homework, and quizzes. Homework (HW) assignments have two parts; the current chapter Practicing Physics work pages from the workbook that comes with the text, and exercises and problems from the text, but which you will do on the web. These are daily assignments, and it is expected both will be done by lecture the day the chapter is discussed. This semester I am using an online program called WebAssign ( for which you will have to register (and pay, about $10.) for the non-"Practicing Physics" part of the HW assignments and for communications. For up to date schedule changes, dates of quizzes and exams, syllabus, quiz results, etc, go to the course web page at - click on courses then Physics 101. The Practicing Physics pages will be due the day of the "sectional quiz." There will also be a daily in-class quiz, generally based closely on that day's homework. There will be major multiple choice quizzes at the end of Parts 2 &3, 4&5, 6&7 and both half way and at the end of the first section, using questions like those found in the sample quizzes at the end of the workbook. There will be a final that will use the same multiple choice question base as the "sectional quiz".

NOTE - there are email facilities with WebAssign but I don't usually look at it. To contact me, use the email address listed above.

Trouble seeing this page? 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 trouble in seeing this page as well as the text's and the required site.


First class: Tuesday August 26, 2004, 1235 1350, Science 101.
Last day to add a class to a program via touch-tone with first permit numbers: Sept 10.
Last day to drop without a W: Sept 22.
Last day to register for CR/NC option: Oct 24. The student does this by going directly to I won't be involved
Last day to withdraw via petition from class or university, but only with permission based on "serious and compelling reasons" (Documentation, written approval of instructor, Physics Chair and college dean required): Nov 15.
Thanksgiving Holiday - Nov 25 - 26
Last class day: Thursday Dec 9
Final Exam: Tuesday Dec 14m 1045-1315, SCI 201.

Please note that daily attendance is expected, as indicated by the daily homework assignments and quizzes. ALSO NOTE THAT IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO BE SURE that you have taken care of the needed paperwork, and that your registration status is correct. That means that if you drop, YOU have to take care of the paperwork (of course, I'll sign). You will not be dropped if you simply stop attending. If at the end of the semester I find you have turned in little or no work past some point of the semester, I will have no choice but to award you a "WU" (unauthorized withdrawal). This is a grade that automatically reverts to a grade of F(!), so you want to be sure you are correctly registered and/or withdrawn. Check your registration confirmation, and your enrollment in Webassign, which is how I will check for those that have registered for the class and also whether I show you on the class list, as shown by the posted results of the first quiz.


Hewitt: Conceptual Physics (Addison Wesley Ninth edition) required, with bundled "Practicing Physics" workbook - yes, the workbook is required, as it will be used for part of the daily homework. It also contains answers to odd numbered text questions and exercises as well as practice quizzes. This makes it very difficult to buy a used text, since it won't have the workbook.

WEBASSIGN student access enrollment required. To obtain this you need to go to It costs $10.00 on line

We will be covering almost the whole book through chapter 34 (out of 38), about one chapter per class meeting, and so the syllabus outline is very nearly the table of contents of the book.


Percentage grades: HW and extra credit - 33%; quizzes - 33%; final - 33%.

There will not be credit for late work.** Homework assignments will be posted in advance, so that if you expect to absent, you can work ahead to cover. Also, by doing enough work at WebAssign you will receive extra credit points to bring up your homework grade.

I will drop three of your lowest daily quiz scores. As indicated above, there will also be several longer "sectional" quizzes during the semester at the end of the first (and middle of), third, fifth and seventh parts of the book - these will count the equivalent of 3 daily quizzes. I will drop one of the latter. Note that you will need to bring a ZEUS form for the sectional quizzes. Because of my policy on dropping quizzes, there will be no makeup available for missed quizzes.

The sectional quiz questions (as well as those for the final exam will) come from the same question bank as the practice quizzes at the end of the Practicing Physics book. All quizzes and final exams are closed book and notes. We will discuss in class what possible numbers and equations I will expect you to know. Be sure to save all your returned quizzes in order to verify possible mistakes in posting and also be sure to keep a copy of the multiple choice quizzes, both to check on your score and to study from for the final.


Lecture reading, homework, 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 and do the homework assignment before class. The daily quizzes will be based almost completely on the homework that is due that day, but sometimes questions will be based on material specifically covered in that day's lecture.

In class we will be hitting the highlights, only! The class is to reinforce highlights from the text, to illustrate points, and particularly to answer questions. There is about one chapter per class (two chapters for several brief quick reading chapters) reading and homework assignment. As indicated, part of each homework assignment will be the completion of the Practicing Physics pages for the new chapter, part will be on exercises or problems from the chapters. Be sure that the Practicing Physics pages are stapled together when you turn them in.

You will be able to receive extra credit on your homework assignments. Each day's homework will be worth 20 points, five points of that will come from completed Practicing Physics pages, which will be checked off after you turn them in on the day of the sectional exams. The remaining 15 points will come from the WebAssign work. Each question or problem has a given number of points indicated on the WebAssign web page. Fifteen points worth are all you need to get full regular credit for that day. If you do more so that you get more than 15 points worth, the extra will be used to raise assignments where you may have received less than the daily amount. However, if you miss more than 5 daily assignments, the extra credit will not go to compensate for all the missing day's work.

Internet: Go to and click on Course Pages, then Physics 101; then go to go to All access may not be available during the first week of class.

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

Laboratory (Physics 102):

The lab is not required, but I do consider it enormously helpful to learning the material covered in the course. Unfortunately, it is presently overenrolled, although there possibly could be openings. The Thursday lab sections are taught by Ten Le, and the Friday section by Jose Vallin. The lab instructors are available to everyone in the class for one-on-one assistance with the course material. More information on their office hours will be forthcoming, but if you have questions about the material you should try to see them if you are not able to come to my office hours.