Physics 201-General Physics

Physics 201-General Physics

Physics 201-General Physics

Section 1M, 7:30-8:25 am MWF

Beauregard 165

Fall 2010


Dr. Chad Young

Office: 139 Beauregard Hall

Office hours: 7:00-7:30 & 8:25-10:35 am MWF; 8-10 T

Phone: 985-448-4879 (work)


Catalog Description: Phys 201. General Physics. 3-3-0. Prerequisite: Credit or registration in Math 165 and Phys 203. A technical study of mechanics, heat, and sound. Credit toward graduation will not be given for both Phys 101 and 201.

Prerequisite: Credit or registration in MATH 165 and PHYS 203.

Class Materials: Documents discussed in class will periodically be placed on the Blackboard site for download. Exams from previous classes are on the professor’s website (

Student Outcome Objectives:

  • PHYS 201, as a Core Curriculum course, fulfills three hours of general education requirements in the area of the natural sciences and is thus designed to enable students to meet the following broad outcomes for all the natural sciences:
  • Upon completion of the undergraduate curriculum, students will be able to comprehend and to apply the basic principles of science and methods of scientific inquiry.
  • Graduates will be able to comprehend and to use quantitative concepts and methods to interpret and to critically evaluate data and to effectively problem-solve in a variety of contexts demanding quantitative literacy.
  • Graduates will be able to comprehend and to apply the basic principles of science and methods of scientific inquiry.
  • For further explanation of the learning objectives associated with these goals, visit
  • The student will understand the scientific method and be able to apply it in observing and explaining a physical system.
  • The student will be able to understand and manipulate vector quantities; they will apply these skills in various physical problems.
  • The student will be able to analyze motion in multiple dimensions and apply these skills to everyday occurrences.
  • The student will use differential calculus to describe motion and solve problems of motion.
  • The student will understand forces and how they affect bodies of mass in motion. She will apply Newton’s Laws to physical systems.
  • The student will apply concepts of potential and kinetic energy and momentum in analyzing bodies of mass in motion and static.
  • The student will understand how angular motion is similar to linear motion and will be able to understand similar analyses (momentum, forces, motion, etc.) in these scenarios of angular motion. Similarly, they will use calculus to describe angular motion.
  • The student will understand the effects of gravity on Earthly and Heavenly bodies using calculus to describe these effects.
  • The student will understand the physical principles governing fluids and be able to apply these principles to everyday occurrences.
  • The student will demonstrate knowledge of the methods in describing oscillatory motion and how this is relevant to the study of waves. The student will use calculus to analyze the motion of waves.
  • The student will understand principles of thermodynamics and how they apply to gases, solids, and liquids.

Course Content:


1 – Doing Physics

2 – Motion along a straight line

3 – Motion in two and three dimensions

4 – Force and Motion

5 – Using Newton’s Laws

6 – Work, Energy, and Power

7 – Conservation of Energy

8 – Gravity*

9 –Systems of Particles*

10 –Rotational Motion

11 –Rotational Vectors and Angular Momentum

12 –Static Equilibrium*

13 –Oscillatory Motion

14 –Wave Motion

15 –Fluid Motion*

16 –Temperature and Heat

17 –The Thermal Behavior of Matter

18 –Heat, Work, and the First Law of Thermodynamics

19 –The Second Law of Thermodynamics

*We may skip these chapters if time does not permit.

Testing: All examinations will be closed book. Data and constants will be provided. The following are the exam dates:

Exam #1: Friday, September 10, 2010

Exam #2: October 20 or 22, 2010 (TBD)

Exam #3: Friday, November 19, 2010

Final Exam: Friday, December 3, 2010, 10:30 am

Homework: I will assign the homework at the beginning of each segment. I will not collect the homework, but you will have periodic and announced quizzes whose problems will be taken directly from the homework. Solutions for the homework can be found at:

Quizzes: For each segment prior to the hour-exams, you will take 1-2 quizzes. These quizzes will be announced one class before the quiz date. The problems on each quiz will come directly from the homework assignment.

Class Participation: Students will be able to receive a total of 50 points for class participation. These points will come from clicker questions, each of which is worth 0.1 point for any answer and an additional 0.1 point if the answer is correct; additional opportunities for these points will be announced throughout the semester. In case of classroom disturbances, 3 points will be deducted from the student’s class participation credit. The class participation credit will not have a negative value.

Grading: There are a total of 530 points. Each hour exam counts 100 points, and the final exam is worth 150 points (450 points). Quiz grades combine to a total of 30 points. Class participation credit comprises 50 points. The grading scale is percentage-based with A (90-100%), B (80-89%), C (70-79%), D (60-69%), and F (0-59%) grades being assigned at the end of the semester.

For example, a student might receive these grades:

Hour exams: 85, 92, 73

Quiz grades: 10, 10, 4

Class participation: 38

Final Exam: 138

Extra Credit: 15

This student’s final grade would be the total of these points divided by 530, or 88% (B).

Extra Credit: The student will have several opportunities for extra credit. The criteria for these credits are outlined in a separate document available on BlackBoard. A student can receive up to 20 extra credit points.

Make-up Policy: Make-ups for examinations will be determined by the instructor on a case-by-case basis; there are no make-ups for quizzes.Excused absences include illness, university-sponsored activities, or other adverse situations; the student must have written documentation justifying their absence. For unexcused absences, I will deduct fifteen points from your exam grade for the first missed day and 1 point for every subsequent weekday until you contact me to arrange a make-up. For example, if you miss the exam on Tuesday and contact me on the following Monday, 18 points will be deducted from your exam grade.

Academic Honesty Policy: Dishonesty in taking examinations will follow the guidelines set in the “Code of Student Conduct” manual. Consequences for academic dishonesty span from a failing grade on the assignment to suspension from the university.

Attendance Policy: Attendance is essential and mandatory.

Drop Date: Monday, 25 October, 2010, is the final date to receive an automatic “W” when dropping a course or resigning from NichollsStateUniversity.


You are required to purchase an i>clicker remote for in-class participation. i>clicker is a response system that allows you to respond to questions I pose during class, and you will be graded on that feedback and/or your in-class participation. You will register your clickers in class.