Course: Physics 101, Conceptual Physics, Fall 2003

This course attempts to give a broad introduction to the exciting and wondrous 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 and click on "course pages" and then Physics 101
This semester I have put the entire semester's schedule up to start - but please note - we are in a period of readjustment, due to the budget shortfall. Due to severely reduced grading assistance, I am having to revise my homework, extra credit homework and quiz procedures. Therefore, the homework assignments, other than those for the following week, must be considered to be draft only, subject to change.

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 troubles in seeing this page as well as the text's site.


First class: Thursday August 28, 2003 1235 1350, Science 201.
Last day to add a class to a program via touch-tone with permit numbers: Sept 12
Last day to drop without a W: Sept 24.
Last day to withdraw (with a "W") without "extreme circumstances": Nov 29.
Last day you can possibly drop, but only with permission based on "serious and compelling reasons" (Documentation, Written approval of instructor, Physics Chair and college dean required: Dec 11.
Advising Day (no class): Dec 3
Thanksgiving Holiday: Nov 27-28
Last class day: Thursday December 11.
Final Exam: Tuesday December 16 1045-1315, SCI 201.

Please note that daily attendance is expected, as indicated by the daily homework assignments. 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 an "unauthorized withdrawal". This is a grade that automatically reverts to a grade of F(!), so you want to be sure you are correctly registered. Check your registration confirmation, 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 most of the 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.

We will be covering almost (through chapter 34 out of 38) the whole book, about one chapter per class meeting, and so the syllabus outline is very nearly the table of contents of the book. As pointed out elsewhere, a useful aspect of this book is access to the closely related website:


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

Homework, extra credit and quizzes - will be due once every two weeks, depending on the grading situation. There will not be credit for late work. As soon as I can figure out the exact impact of the budget situation I will be able to determine how the assignments are going to be affected and I will be able to post the assignments for the rest of the semester. You can then 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 expect to drop at least one of your lowest quiz scores. There will also be several longer quizzes during the semester - extra weight quizzes or midterms, as you prefer, at the end of the first, third, fifth and seventh parts of the book. These will be weighted relative to the shorter quizzes in proportion to the additional number of questions. Note that you will need to bring a ZEUS form for EACH quiz.

The 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, though I will provide any needed values of constants, and though you will be responsible for knowing the major equations, I will provide needed secondary equations in order to calculate the answers to some questions.

Be sure to 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.


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. I would also strongly recommend visiting the "PhysicsPlace" website.
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 reading and homework assignment. 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. The quizzes will focus primarily on the reading and the "Review Questions".
As part of your daily 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 briefly grading the exercises and problems that will be assigned. Be sure to show your work, not just your answer! Very Important! Homework must be stapled when ou turn it in. I won't accept it if it isn't.
Possible work for extra credit will be indicated. 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.

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.