Sep 24, 2022  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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PH 2011 - Physics I - Mechanics

3 lecture hours 2 lab hours 4 credits
Course Description
This course is a calculus based introduction to mechanics. Topics include: linear and rotational kinematics and dynamics, work, energy, and momentum. The mathematical level of this course includes the use of vector algebra and elementary applications of differential and integral calculus. The laboratory part of the course emphasizes measurement precision, experimental technique, analysis of data, and report writing. Together with Physics II and Physics III (PH 2021  and PH 2031 ), this course provides one year of university level physics. No more than 4 credits can be counted in any combination with PH 113  or PH 130 . (prereq: one year of high school physics with a grade of B) (coreq: MA 136  or MA 136A )
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Be able to use calculus to develop kinematics equations for the position, velocity, and acceleration of an object as a function of time, and use these to solve kinematic problems
  • Be able to use Newton’s Second Law of Motion to solve dynamics problems
  • Be able to identify forces related to each other through Newton’s Third Law of Motion
  • Be able to determine the work done on an object
  • Be able to use the Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem to solve problems
  • Be able to use the Conservation of Energy Principle and Conservation of Linear Momentum
  • Be able to use the gravitational force law to solve dynamics problems
  • Be able to relate the gravitational potential energy to the idea of a gravitational field
  • Be able to evaluate the behavior of simple harmonic motion
  • Be able to develop the kinematics equations for the angular velocity and angular acceleration of an object as functions of time, and use these to solve rotational kinematics problems
  • Be able to evaluate the torque on a system and determine the angular acceleration and the moment of inertia of an object

Prerequisites by Topic
  • Be able to perform arithmetic operations using scientific notation and significant figures
  • Be able to convert from one set of units to another (SI and British)
  • Be able to resolve a vector into its components, and add and subtract vectors
  • Be able to solve one-dimensional kinematics problems with constant acceleration, and to understand the difference between velocity and speed
  • Be able to perform basic laboratory techniques involving measurements, graphing, and error analysis
  • Be able to evaluate the derivatives of algebraic and trigonometric functions
  • Be able to interpret the derivatives (and slopes of graphs) in terms of position, velocity, and acceleration of a moving particle

Course Topics
  • One dimensional kinematics with constant acceleration (1 class)
  • Kinematics in two dimensions with constant or non-constant acceleration (4 classes)
  • Application of Newton’s Laws of Motion, for both static and dynamic problems (9 classes)
  • Work & Energy, Impulse & Momentum (6 classes)
  • Simple harmonic motion (1 class)
  • Gravitation (3 classes)
  • Torque and angular motion (3 classes)
  • Testing (3 classes)

Laboratory Topics
  • An object in free fall
  • Projectile motion
  • Uncertainties in Measurements; graphical analysis
  • Propagation of Uncertainties
  • Friction
  • Free fall with air resistance
  • Conservation of mechanical energy
  • Work and Energy
  • Oscillatory motion
  • Experimental design and analysis

Robert Olsson

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