Mar 26, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog
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PHY 1110A - Physics I - Mechanics and Thermodynamics

4 lecture hours 2 lab hours 4 credits
Course Description
Calculus-level physics course, topics include mechanics, thermodynamics, simple wave theory, and special relativity. This course meets the following Raider Core CLO requirement: Think Critically. (prereq: none) (coreq: MTH 1110 )
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Apply calculus to kinematic quantities such as the position, velocity, and acceleration vectors of an object as a function of time
  • Apply Newton’s laws of motion to solve statics and dynamics problems
  • Identify forces related to each other through Newton’s third law of motion
  • Compute work and apply the work-kinetic energy theorem
  • Apply the conservation of energy to solve problems
  • Calculate linear momentum and apply the conservation of linear momentum to solve problems
  • Apply Newton’s law of universal gravitation to solve problems
  • Apply Newton’s law of universal gravitation to calculate gravitational field, gravitational force, and gravitational potential energy
  • Analyze simple harmonic systems, relating properties like period and frequency for periodic systems
  • Solve rotational kinematics problems by using the kinematic equations for constant angular acceleration or using calculus to relate angular kinematic quantities as functions of time
  • Calculate torque (evaluating the vector cross product if required) and relate it to moment of inertia and the angular acceleration of an object
  • Apply the standing and traveling wave equations and be able to extract information such as wavelength, frequency, amplitude, and direction from a given wave
  • State Einstein’s two postulates of special relativity, relate them to time dilation, length contraction, mass-energy conversions, and relativistic momentum and energy, and be able to perform calculations involving them
  • Relate temperature and the first law of thermodynamics to heat energy to thermodynamic processes
  • Use kinetics to relate microscopic quantities like RMS speed and RMS molecular kinetic energy to macroscopic quantities like pressure and temperature
  • Use the ideal gas law to perform calculations relating pressure, temperature, volume, number density, and molecular kinetic energy
  • Calculate both analytically and graphically (PV diagrams) the heat, internal energy and work done when a gas undergoes constant temperature, constant pressure, constant volume, adiabatic, and cyclic processes

Prerequisites by Topic
  • None

Course Topics
  • Position, velocity, acceleration
  • Newton’s laws of motion
  • Work done on an object
  • Kinetic energy and potential energy
  • Gravitational field and force
  • Momentum
  • Conservation of energy and linear momentum
  • Collisions in 1 and 2 dimensions
  • Simple harmonic motion
  • Torque
  • Moment of inertia
  • Time dilation and length contraction
  • Relativistic kinetic energy, velocity and momentum
  • Mass - energy equivalence
  • 1 dimensional transverse sinusoidal waves
  • Superposition of sinusoidal waves
  • Temperature including absolute temperature
  • Thermal equilibrium and the zeroth law of thermodynamics
  • Heat transfer by conduction
  • Heat transfer by radiation including Blackbody radiation, Wien’s law and Stefan’s law
  • Ideal gas law and kinetic theory of gasses
  • Specific heat and latent heat
  • First law of thermodynamics including PV diagrams in thermodynamic processes

Laboratory Topics
  • Uncertainties in measurements
  • Free fall
  • Projectile motion
  • Friction
  • Air resistance
  • Work and energy
  • Momentum and energy in collisions
  • Heat transfer
  • Blackbody radiation

Dr. Robert Olsson

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