Physics 101-003/4, Introductory Physics I

Spring 2014

MWF 11:00-11:50

Room 125 RHSC

Dr. Chris Fragile

Office: 127 RHSC

Office hours: MW 1:00-2:00, Th 3:00-4:00

Or by appointment

Phone: 953-3181

Tentative Schedule (Subject to change as we go.)

We will cover chapters 1-14 of the book this semester. The remainder of the book is covered in PHYS 102. Note that there are only 14 weeks in the semester, so this works out to one chapter per week. However, some chapters will be covered in more depth than others, and some sections will be omitted altogether.

To be fair to all students planning travel during and after the semester, consider all test dates to be set in stone. If you think you might have a conflict with one of these dates, you need to talk to me about it ASAP.

8 Jan 1.1-1.5 Measurement (1/10 & 1/14)
10 Jan 2.1-2.4 Velocity & Acceleration (1/17 & 1/21)
13 Jan 2.5  
15 Jan 2.6  
17 Jan 3.1-3.3 Vectors (1/24 & 1/28)
22 Jan 3.4  
24 Jan 3.4 (cont.) Projectiles (1/31 & 2/4)
27 Jan 3.5  
29 Jan Snow Day  
31 Jan 4.1-4.3  
3 Feb 4.4-4.5  
5 Feb 4.5 (cont.)  
7 Feb 4.6 Friction (2/7 & 2/11)
10 Feb Ch. 4 recap Inclined Plane (2/14 & 2/18)
12 Feb Snow Day  
14 Feb 5.1-5.2  
17 Feb Test 1, chaps 1-4  
19 Feb 5.3-5.4  
21 Feb 5.5-5.6 Ballistic Pendulum (2/21 & 2/25)
24 Feb 6.1-6.2  
26 Feb 6.3  
28 Feb 6.4  
10 Mar 7.1-7.3  
12 Mar 7.4 Circular Motion (2/28 & 3/11)
14 Mar 8.1-8.4 Torque (3/14 & 3/18)
17 Mar 8.5  
19 Mar 8.6-8.7  
21 Mar Test 2, chaps 5-8  
24 Mar 13.1-13.4  
26 Mar 13.5 SHM - Pendulum (3/21 & 3/25)
28 Mar 13.7-13.11 Waves on a String (3/28 & 4/1)
31 Mar 9.1-9.2  
2 Apr 14.1-14.3  
4 Apr 14.4  
7 Apr 14.6-14.7  
9 Apr 14.8 & 14.10 Sound (4/4 & 4/8)
11 Apr 9.4-9.6  
14 Apr 9.7-9.8 Fluids (4/18 & 4/15)
16 Apr 10.1-10.3  
18 Apr 10.4-10.5  
21 Apr Test 3, chaps 13, 14, 9-10  
23 Apr 11.1-11.3  
25 Apr 11.4-11.5  
29 Apr Final Exam, 8-11 am, RHSC 125  


Syllabus Fine Print

Required materials:


Preparation is one of the most important things you can do to succeed in this class. I will be posting my own notes for every chapter on WebAssign before we cover them. I want you to read the relevant material in the book and look over my notes before coming to class. Jot down any questions you have about the material so you can ask them during class. We will use class time to review difficult material, work problems, and see examples of the physics we are studying. I will not simply be rehashing what is in the book or in my notes, which is why it is so important for you look at that material on your own ahead of time. I know this is asking a lot, but I am going to have faith that your are all serious students.

Also, I suggest you bring your calculator to class every day. It will be helpful for working example problems and for quizzes.

Class Policies:

Communicating: If I need to communicate with you outside of class, I will most often do so via your CofC email. Please check it regularly! Often the messages will appear to come from WebAssign. Please ensure these don't end up in your Spam folder.

Students with Disabilities: If there are any students in this class who have been approved to receive accommodations through SNAP Services, please see me to discuss this during my office hours.

Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs): Laptops, tablets, and even smart phones are welcome in the classroom. However, they are NOT to be used for texting, receiving calls, checking/sending email, web surfing, or following social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. If your use of PEDs becomes a problem, you will be asked to turn them off or leave the classroom. This policy is subject to change if classroom use of PEDs becomes a general problem.

Cheating: Violations of the College of Charleston Honor Code (including cheating or attempted cheating) will be referred to the Office of Student Affairs for adjudication. Examples of cheating relevant to this course include copying test or quiz answers, using cellular technology to communicate information during a test or quiz, or copying homework answers verbatim from an external source.

Collaboration: You are welcome, even encouraged, to work together in small groups on homework and in-class assignments. Just be sure everyone in your group is contributing. Don’t let someone else “carry” you through the course; otherwise you’ll sink on the quizzes and tests. Collaboration is not allowed on quizzes or tests.


As you will see below, attendance counts as a small portion of your final grade in this class. These are basically free points that I am offering as an incentive for you to learn the good habit of attending class.

A few other words on attendance: Failure to attend class on the day an assignment is given or due does not mean that you may turn it in late without penalty. There will be no makeup quizzes, though your lowest quiz score for the semester will be dropped. If you miss a scheduled test, then you will be given a 0 for that test until you take the final exam. Once you have taken the final, your final exam grade will count as the replacement grade for any tests that you missed.

Heaven forbid that you have a catastrophe this semester that keeps you out of class, but if you do, please contact the office of the Associate Dean of Students to get it documented. After I am notified by the Dean's office I will make the final determination whether you get an excused absence or a zero for any late or missed material.

Finally, I shouldn't have to say this, but experience tells me I do: Each student who attends class is expected to participate in a positive manner. This means being on time (so as not to disturb the learning of others) and making positive contributions to the learning environment. Students who disturb others (including me) will be asked to leave.

General Education Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students apply physical/natural principles to analyze and solve problems.
  2. Students demonstrate an understanding of the impact that science has on society.

Learning Outcomes:

Demonstrate competence (through quizzes and tests) in numerical problem solving in the following areas:

  1. Correctly use units, unit conversions and significant figures in all of the following.
  2. Apply kinematic equations to calculate distance, time or velocity under the conditions of constant acceleration including free fall.
  3. Express vectors in component form. Add two or more vectors together.
  4. Apply kinematic equations and vector methods to solve problems involving objects projected horizontally and at an angle.
  5. Apply Newton's laws, free-body diagrams and vector methods to solve one and two-dimensional problems related to objects in equilibrium and accelerating objects including objects in uniform circular motion. Forces include gravitational force, spring force (Hooke's Law), friction, normal force, tension and buoyant force.
  6. Solve problems based on the work-energy theorem and conservation of energy including frictional energy loss, kinetic energy, gravitational and spring potential energy.
  7. Solve one and two dimensional problems involving elastic and inelastic collisions.
  8. Solve problems related to centripetal force, moment of inertia and angular momentum.
  9. Apply the relationship between wave speed, frequency, and wavelength to solve problems.
  10. Use the Doppler effect to determine the direction of a frequency shift where there is relative motion between a source and an observer.
  11. Use Archimedes' principle, Pascal's Law and the Bernoulli equation to solve fluid problems.
  12. Define specific and latent heats and solve related problems. Explain the laws of thermodynamics and apply cycle analysis to simple ideal heat engines and calculate the efficiency.

Demonstrate conceptual understanding (through quizzes and tests) of the following topics:

  1. Describe the processes of scientific method, understand the use of significant figures in measurements and calculations, and distinguish between Metric and English system of units.
  2. Identify displacement, distance traveled, speed, velocity, and acceleration in various scenarios.
  3. Recognize the difference between scalar and vector quantities.
  4. Employ Newton's Laws to explain systems with constant or changing motion.
  5. Use energy conservation to discuss real life situations.
  6. Use the concept of linear and angular momentum conservation to analyze real life situations. Identify elastic and inelastic collisions and discuss momentum and energy conservation.
  7. Recognize the difference between the scientific and ordinary definitions of work. Understand work-energy theorem, conservation of energy, and power.
  8. Identify the conditions of simple harmonic motion and list systems that are modeled as SHM. Explain how displacement, velocity, and acceleration change as an object undergoes simple harmonic motion.
  9. Understand the definition of a wave and model appropriate systems as waves.
  10. Explain centripetal force, moment of inertia and angular momentum. Understand how angular momentum conservation plays an important role certain real life situations.
  11. Apply Archimedes' principle and the Bernoulli Equation to evaluate flow through a system in real life situations.
  12. Understand the connection between heat and mechanical work. Define specific and latent heats. Explain the laws of thermodynamics.


Homework problems will be assigned following just about every lecture of the semester through the on-line homework system - WebAssign. The best practice will be for you to attempt the problems prior to the next lecture, while the material is still fresh in your head. To encourage you to do so, you will be given 50% extra credit for the assignment if you complete it prior to the next lecture. Note that this is the only opportunity to earn extra credit in this class. If you don't do the assignment in this window, then you will need to request an extension in WebAssign. Extensions are only available for 7 days following any given assignment's original due date. You may only request 1 extension for each assignment, and you will have 2 days to complete the assignment after you request the extension. Pay attention to due dates and times! No additional extensions will be granted. You are encouraged to work together on homework assignments; however, working together does not mean copying. Also, a message board is available within WebAssign; this is an effective medium to post questions and comments about homework.


Even though you will be submitting your homework answers through WebAssign, you are required to keep a hardcopy of all of your homework assignments with detailed solutions in a single location (a notebook or folder just for this purpose). You should also keep copies of your quizzes and tests in your portfolio. You will be required to periodically turn this in for grading. You will only be graded on the completeness of your portfolio - the assignments themselves will have already been graded. You are also asked to bring your portfolio with you any time you stop by my office for help.


You will have in-class quizzes almost every week. I will not be announcing when these will be. The quiz problems will come from the homework. You will be provided necessary formulae on the quiz, but will not be able to use your notes or your book. There will be NO make-up quizzes. Instead, your lowest score will be dropped at the end of the semester.


There will be 3 in-class tests during the semester. Each test will be 45 minutes long, and will have multiple-choice conceptual questions as well as problems. A calculator may be used during the tests. However, using the calculator to store formulae, text, or other information is not permitted.

Final exam:

A comprehensive 3-hr final examination covering all chapters will be held on Monday, Apr 28 (8 - 11am).


The grading scale for the course will be:


A -




























Your final grade will be based upon the following weightings:


% of final grade









Midterm exams (3)


Final exam





There are numerous resources available if you need help with the material: