DCF Banner

General Physics I


General Information

Course Description

Texts and Materials

Rules, Regulations, Grades

Course Objectives

Teaching Methodologies/Activities

Course Outline

General Information

Course:           General Physics I, 3 credits (3 hours lecture, 3 hours corequisite laboratory)

Semester:        Fall 2004

Lecture:          04/FA PHYS 2102.21 and its corequisite

Laboratory:     04/FA PHYS 2202.xx (various)


Prerequisite:   Intermediate algebra, trigonometry, and analytic geometry

Corequisite:    Physics Laboratory I (PHYS 2202)


Class times:    Mon, Wed, & Fri 11:00 am to 11:50 am in Becton 208


Lab times:      See the Fall 2004 Course Offerings. Meets in Becton 203

Instructor:      Prof. David Flory

Office:            Becton Hall Room B111, Mail Stop T-BEC2-03

Office Hours: By Appointment or Walk-in B111

                       Tuesday, 5:30 pm or 9:30 pm in Becton 202

Telephone:     201-692-7064

Email:             mailto:flory@fdu.edu

Web page:      http://inside.fdu.edu/pt/david_flory.html

[back to Contents]

Course Description

The first semester of a survey of physics: mechanics, heat, and sound. A quantitative non-calculus treatment oriented toward the biological sciences.

This course sequence satisfies the physics requirement for curricula that require a year of non-calculus physics with a laboratory. This includes most pre-professional options.                             

[back to Contents]


Texts and Materials

Main Text:     Physics, 2/E  

Author:           James S. Walker, Western Washington University. 

Publisher:       Pearson/Prentice Hall (2003). 

ISBN:             0-13-101416-1


Laboratory:     Physics Laboratory Manual II

                          PHYS 2202 

Authors:         Physics Staff

Publisher:       School of Natural Sciences

                       University College

                       Fairleigh Dickinson University


Resources:      http://TheFlorys.org/David.Flory/PhysicsResources.php 


Web Site:       http://TheFlorys.org/David.Flory/Physics.php

[back to Contents]


Rules, Regulations, Grades

Each student in General Physics must register for a section of laboratory. The laboratory is a mandatory co-requisite.

Attendance in lecture is required. Students are expected to arrive on time for all classes. Cell phones and pagers must be turned off at all times in lab and lecture. For further information, refer to the University Attendance Policy.

There will be an examination every other week on Monday. Each exam will cover the previous two week’s work. The exams will consist of problems to solve. The problems will be based on the homework assigned. The exams will be closed book. A calculator is mandatory.

The course grade will be determined from the average of the grades from the exams and on the completeness of the homework handed in.

Fairleigh Dickinson University has an Academic Integrity Policy that each student must read and understand. It also has a formal procedure for appealing a grade. Both documents can be found in the Student Handbook and on the FDU web site. Students should be aware that material downloaded from the Internet is subject to the same conditions as material copied from any other source.

[back to Contents] 


Course Objectives

The overall objectives of General Physics are to present in a quantitative format the primary laws of physics that underlay all of the other sciences.

[Under construction].

          Show the way science progresses from observation and classification of phenomena through model building to the development of comprehensive theories that can explain and predict and that can be tested by experiment.

          Discuss the criteria for a successful scientific theory and apply those criteria to the real world.

          Apply the methods and procedures of science through elementary laboratory exercises and observation. Analyze simple experiments and discuss whether they support or confront a theoretical prediction.

          [Add more specifics]


[back to Contents] 


Teaching Methodologies/Activities

General Physics is taught as a formal lecture supplemented with some demonstrations and audio/visual materials. Questions are welcomed. Homework is assigned in lecture. The homework will be collected and graded for completeness but not for correctness. Problems that proved difficult will be solved in class.

The student is expected to read the text along with the lectures. The lectures will be easier to understand if you read the text first. There are also several supplements to the text that are available. In particular, the Student Study Guide & Selected Solutions Manual, 2/E, is recommended.  

[back to Contents]

Course Outline

1. Introduction.

Physics and the Laws of Nature. Units of Length, Mass, and Time. Dimensional Analysis. Significant Figures. Converting Units. Order-of-Magnitude Calculations. Problem Solving in Physics.


2. One-Dimensional Kinematics.

Position, Distance, and Displacement. Average Speed and Velocity. Instantaneous Velocity. Acceleration. Motion with Constant Acceleration. Applications of the Equations of Motion. Freely Falling Objects.

3. Vectors in Physics.

Scalars versus Vectors. The Components of a Vector. Adding and Subtracting Vectors. Unit Vectors. Position, Displacement, Velocity, and Acceleration Vectors. Relative Motion.

4. Two-Dimensional Kinematics.

Motion in Two Dimensions. Projectile Motion: Basic Equations. Zero Launch Angle. General Launch Angle. Projectile Motion: Key Characteristics.

5. Newton's Laws of Motion.

Force and Mass. Newton's First Law of Motion. Newton's Second Law of Motion. Newton's Third Law of Motion. The Vector Nature of Forces: Forces in Two Dimensions. Weight. Normal Forces.

6. Applications of Newton's Laws.

Frictional Forces. Strings and Springs. Translational Equilibrium. Connected Objects. Circular Motion.

7. Work and Kinetic Energy.

Work Done by a Constant Force. Kinetic Energy and the Work-Energy Theorem. Work Done by a Variable Force. Power.

8. Potential Energy and Conservative Forces.

Conservative and Nonconservative Forces. Potential Energy and the Work Done by Conservative Forces. Conservation of Mechanical Energy. Work Done by Nonconservative Forces. Potential Energy Curves and Equipotentials.

9. Linear Momentum and Collisions.

Linear Momentum. Momentum and Newton's Second Law. Impulse. Conservation of Linear Momentum. Inelastic Collisions. Elastic Collisions. Center of Mass. Systems with Changing Mass: Rocket Propulsion.

10. Rotational Kinematics and Energy.

Angular Position, Velocity, and Acceleration. Rotational Kinematics. Connections between Linear and Rotational Quantities. Rolling Motion. Rotational Kinetic Energy and the Moment of Inertia. Conservation of Energy.

11. Rotational Dynamics and Static Equilibrium.

Torque. Torque and Angular Acceleration. Zero Torque and Static Equilibrium. Center of Mass and Balance. Dynamic Applications of Torque. Angular Momentum. Conservation of Angular Momentum. Rotational Work. The Vector Nature of Rotational Motion.

12. Gravity.

Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation. Gravitation Attraction of Spherical Bodies. Kepler's Law of Orbital Motion. Gravitational Potential Energy. Energy Conservation. Tides.

13. Oscillations about Equilibrium.

Periodic Motion. Simple Harmonic Motion. Connections between Uniform Circular Motion and Simple Harmonic Motion. The Period of a Mass on a Spring. Energy Conservation in Oscillatory Motion. The Pendulum. Damped Oscillations. Driven Oscillations and Resonance.

14. Waves and Sound.

Types of Waves. Waves on a String. Harmonic Wave Functions. Sound Waves. Sound Intensity. The Doppler Effect. Superposition and Interference. Standing Waves. Beats.

15. Fluids.

Density. Pressure. Static Equilibrium in Fluids: Pressure and Depth. Archimedes' Principle and Buoyancy. Applications of Archimedes' Principle. Fluid Flow and Continuity. Bernoulli's Equation. Applications of Bernoulli's Equation. Viscosity and Surface Tension.


16. Temperature and Heat.

Temperature and the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics. Temperature Scales. Thermal Expansion. Heat and Mechanical Work. Specific Heats. Conduction, Convection, and Radiation.

17. Phases and Phase Changes.

Ideal Gases. Kinetic Theory. Solids and Elastic Deformation. Phase Equilibrium and Evaporation. Latent Heats. Phase Changes and Energy Conservation.

18. The Laws of Thermodynamics.

The Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics. The First Law of Thermodynamics. Thermal Processes. Specific Heats for an Ideal Gas: Constant Pressure, Constant Volume. The Second Law of Thermodynamics. Heat Engines and the Carnot Cycle. Refrigerators, Air Conditioners, and Heat Pumps. Entropy. Order, Disorder, and Entropy. The Third Law of Thermodynamics.

[back to Contents]

©2008-2014 David Flory.   Last modified on Jul 23, 2016, 1:26 am.