University Physics I PHY1930 Fall 2010 Syllabus


University Physics I PHY1930 Fall 2010 Syllabus

University Physics I
PHY1930 Fall 2010 Syllabus


This is the first course in a two-semester sequence of introductory physics. The subjects to be covered this semester include kinematics, dynamics, fluid mechanics and thermal physics. Within this course you will develop an in-depth understanding of the fundamental physics principles through lectures, labs and extensive problem solving. The success in PHY1930 is based on your continuous effort on all aspects of this course, which include attending lectures, handing in lab reports, getting helped in the recitations, and working assigned homework. It is also extremely helpful to constantly think about how the newly learned concepts can be applied to solving the problems.

General Information

Course Credit: 4 hrs

Meeting Times: Tue & Fri 9:00a – 10:20a

Classroom: Sullivan B3

Required Books and Calculator

Text: Physics for Scientists and Engineers by D. C. Giancoli 4th edition (Prentice Hall, 2008). You may also order eBook (electronic book) of the text because it costs about half of the print copy.

Calculator: Any model equipped with trig functions and exponential notation.

Course Website:


Qi Lu, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics

Office: St. Albert Hall Room B29

Phone: 718-990-6437


Office Hours: Tue 1:00p–2:00p, Fri 12:00p–2:00p or by appointment.

Grade Calculation

Your course grade will be weighted according to the following percentages:

Lecture / 70%
Lab / 20%
Recitation / 10%

In particular, the 70% lecture grade is determined by 6 take-home web assignments, one midterm, one final exam and class participation. The 70% lecture grade is made up from:

Six web assignments / 15%
One midterm exam / 20%
One final exam / 30%
Class participation / 5%

Web Assignments

The web assignments are to be worked on your own time and must be submitted before the deadline. The online homework system is powered by the Quest Learning & Assessment system administered by University of Texas. It is free to students. Each student is given the same problem set with different parameters, therefore will have different correct answers. The URL to access the system is The “Get Started” logo on the Quest homepage will take you to the log-on page, where you may sign up for a “UT EID”. You have to keep the UT EID and the password on a written note in case you forget them. The unique course number for the enrollment for this course is “70338”.

Midterm and Final Exams

The midterm and the final exams of the course consist of multiple choice questions focusing primarily on problem-solving. The problems are largely based on the material in the lectures and the web assignments. To excel in the exams, you need to re-work at least the problems covered in the lectures step by step all by yourself. You will acquire understanding not only on the problems and concepts, but more importantly on your own weakness of where you prone to make mistakes. Memorization will speed up your thinking, but not as critical as in other courses. Practice and active thinking is the key to success in this course.


The lab contributes 20% to the total grade. A lab manual can be either bought in the bookstore or downloaded part-by-part from the Internet. The lab instructions are available online at:
Special policies: (1) If you miss three labs or more, you not only fail the lab but also fail the entire course. (2) No missed labs can be made up unless the absence is excused (e.g. doctor’s excuse, athletic responsibility) with proved documentation. (3) The make-up lab must be done the same week or the week after the missed lab. (4) Failure of submission of a lab report will result in a zero for that lab despite the attendance.


Recitation contributes 10% to the total grade. Recitation grade is largely based on class quizzes. You will hone your skill in problem solving in recitations, when the instructors go over selected difficult problems from the textbook.

Supplementary Material

Useful supplements to the text and notes are on the Internet. We are familiar with Hyperphysics, which gives the essentials and is easy to navigate. (URL


The topics covered in the course are based on Concise Notes for Physics by R. Finkel. The order of procession is as tabulated below. The corresponding numbers of chapters in the textbook are listed on the far-right column.



Notes Unit

/ Content / Text Chapter
1 / 1 / Motion Along a Line (1D Kinematics) / Ch 2
2 / 2 / Vectors / Ch 3
3 / 3 / Motion in a Plane (2D Kinematics) / Ch 3
4 / 4 / Newton’s Laws (Dynamics) / Ch 4
5 / 5 / Application of Newton’s Laws / Ch 4 & Ch 5
6 / 6 / Energy / Ch 7 & Ch 8
7 / 7 / Momentum / Ch 9
8 / 8 / Circular Motion & Gravity / Ch 5
9 / 9 / Rotational Motion / Ch 10 & Ch 11
10 / 10 / Equilibrium / Ch 12
11 / 11 / Fluid Mechanics / Ch 13
12 / 12 / Thermal Physics / Ch 17
13 / 13 / Simple Harmonic Motion / Ch 14