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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Physics - PHYS

University Physics I PHYS-2425

  • Spring 2014

  • Section SECTION_304 CRN-20856

  • 4 Credits

  • 01/13/2014 to 05/06/2014

  • Modified 01/07/2014

Meeting Times


Monday, Wednesday, 2:50 PM to 4:05 PM, G213


Monday, Wednesday, 4:15 PM to 5:30 PM, G233

Contact Information

Instructor: Kristen Pechan

Office: G234
Phone: (979) 492-1430

Alternate Email:

Office Hours:

Monday, Wednesday, 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM, G234

Other times by appointment


A calculus-based course primarily designed for students majoring in engineering and physical sciences. Topics covered include classical mechanics and an introduction to thermodynamics.


Prerequisites: MATH 2413

Core Curriculum Statement

This is a Core Course in the 42-Hour Core Curriculum of Blinn College. As such, students will develop proficiency in the appropriate Intellectual Competencies, Exemplary Educational Objectives, and Perspectives.


  1. Solve problems in 1D and 2D kinematics.
  2. Apply Newton’s laws of motion to problems involving the one- and two-dimensional linear dynamics of particles.
  3. Utilize the definitions of work and potential energy, the work-energy theorem and the principle of conservation of energy in solving physics problems.
  4. Apply Newton’s laws to systems of particles and use the principle of conservation of linear momentum.
  5. For rotations of a rigid body about a fixed axis, use the equations of kinematics, calculate moments of inertia and apply energy considerations.
  6. Apply the equations of rotational dynamics, including the principle of conservation of angular momentum.
  7. Utilize principles such as Newton’s law of universal gravitation, conservation of energy or Kepler’s laws to solve problems in gravitation.
  8. Solve problems involving oscillations and waves.
  9. Solve problems involving temperature and heat, including temperature scales, specific heat and latent heat.
  10. Apply the first and second laws of thermodynamics including examples with ideal gases.
  11. Conduct experiments in classical mechanics and thermodynamics and clearly communicate the results in laboratory reports.
  12. Evaluate the accuracy and precision of physical measurements, identify the potential sources of error and relate experimental results to theoretical principles.
  13. Design experiments involving the fundamental principles of classical mechanics and thermodynamics and document the rationale for this design.


Required Textbook

Young and Freedman, University Physics, 13th edition (Vol I)

Required Homework System

Students must purchase an access key to MasteringPhysics, the textbook publisher’s online homework system.  This is bundled with the textbook at the Blinn bookstore.  Alternatively, the access key can be purchased online at  Be sure to select the Young and Freedman text above to pair with MasteringPhysics.  The MasteringPhysics Course ID for this section is BLINN2425304SP14.

Required Laboratory Manual

Each student must print out a copy of the labs for the semester. The lab manual is in the form of a single pdf file and can be found at

Scientific Calculator

Students must have a proper scientific calculator with them for every class.

Course Requirements

There will be four major exams, a cumulative final exam, quizzes, labs, and online homework.


All exams will be closed-book and closed-note exams. Formula sheets will be provided. No exams will be dropped, however, a student’s lowest exam grade will count for only 5% of his or her total grade.


There will be a lab exercise approximately once per week. Students’ lowest lab grade (percentage) will be dropped.

Online Homework

We will use the textbook publisher’s online homework system, MasteringPhysics.  Students’ lowest score (percentage) will be dropped.


Approximately 12 quizzes will be given. Most of the quizzes will be group quizzes and will be announced in advance. Group quizzes are timed quizzes that you work on in class with the members of your lab group. On group quizzes, you may use your class notes, but not the textbook. Unless otherwise specified, quizzes are due at the end of the class period during which they are handed out.

In addition, it is possible that there could be unannounced quizzes. These are quizzes that you work on individually and that are, of course, not announced in advance.

Students’ lowest quiz score (percentage) will be dropped. 


The grading system of Blinn College is as follows*:

A = 90 – 100   Superior

B = 80 – 89   Above Average

C = 70 – 79   Average

D = 60 – 69   Passing

F =       < 60   Failing

*from Board Policy Manual EGA(LOCAL), issued 05/24/2004


(3) Exams (15% each), (1) Lowest Exam (5%),  Final (20%), Labs (10%), Online homework (10%), Quizzes (10%)

Blinn College Policies

Blinn College policies on civility, class attendance; scholastic integrity; students with disabilities; final grade appeals; and electronic devices as stated in the Blinn College Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, Blinn College Catalog and specific technical program handbooks. All policies, guidelines and procedures in the Student and Faculty Handbook and the Board and Administrative Policy Manuals are applicable to this course

Civility Statement

Members of the Blinn College community, which includes faculty, staff and students, are expected to act honestly and responsibly in all aspects of campus life. Blinn College holds all members accountable for their actions and words. Therefore, all members should commit themselves to behave in a manner that recognizes personal respect and demonstrates concern for the personal dignity, rights, and freedoms of every member of the College community, including respect for College property and the physical and intellectual property of others.

      Civility Notification Statement. If a student is asked to leave the classroom because of uncivil behavior, the student may not return to that class until he or she arranges a conference with the instructor; it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for this conference. 

      This statement reflects step one in a possible four step process.  The Incivility Protocol is detailed in the Blinn College Student Handbook.

Attendance Policy

The College District believes that class attendance is essential for student success; therefore, students are required to promptly and regularly attend all their classes. A record of attendance will be maintained from the first day of classes and/or the first day the student’s name appears on the roster through final examinations. If a student has one week’s worth of unexcused absences during the semester, he or she will be sent an e-mail by the College District requiring the student to contact his or her instructor and schedule a conference immediately to discuss his/her attendance issues. Should the student accumulate two weeks’ worth of unexcused absences, he or she will be administratively withdrawn from class.

There are four forms of excused absences recognized by the institution:

  1. observance of religious holy days—The student should notify his or her instructor(s) not later than the 15th day of the semester concerning the specific date(s) that the student will be absent for any religious holy day(s);
  2. representing the College District at an official institutional function;
  3. high school dual credit students representing the independent school district at an official institutional function; and
  4. military service.

Other absences may be considered excused at the discretion of the faculty member with appropriate documentation.  A student enrolled in a developmental course is subject to College District-mandated attendance policies. Failure to attend developmental classes shall result in removal from the course as defined by the College District.

It is the student’s responsibility to officially drop a class he or she is no longer attending.  To officially drop a class the student must obtain the class withdrawal form from Enrollment Services, complete the class withdrawal form, secure the required signatures, and return the completed form to Enrollment Services. The last day to drop with a Q is according to the Academic Calendar.

Scholastic Integrity

Blinn College does not tolerate cheating, plagiarism, or any other act of dishonesty with regard to the course in which you are enrolled.  The following text defines the faculty member’s responsibility with regard to the scholastic integrity expectation for this and all courses at Blinn College.

It is the responsibility of faculty members to maintain scholastic integrity at the College District by refusing to tolerate any form of scholastic dishonesty.  Adequate control of test materials, strict supervision during testing, and other preventive measures should be utilized, as necessary, to prevent cheating or plagiarism.  If there is compelling evidence that a student is involved in cheating or plagiarism, the instructor should assume responsibility and address the infraction.  Likewise, any student accused of scholastic dishonesty is entitled to due process as outlined in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).  The Scholastic Integrity Policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook. In a case of scholastic dishonesty, it is critical that written documentation be maintained at each level throughout the process.

Students with Disabilities

Blinn College is dedicated to providing the least restrictive learning environment for all students. Support services for students with documented disabilities are provided on an individual basis, upon request. Requests for services should be made directly to the Office of Special Populations serving the campus of your choice.  For the Bryan campus, the Office of Special Populations (Administration Building) can be reached at (979)209-7251.  The Brenham, Sealy and Schulenburg campuses are served by the Office of Special Populations on the Brenham campus (Administration Building Room 104) and can be reached at (979)830-4157.  Additional information can be found at

Final Grade Appeal

If a student wishes to appeal a final grade in a course, Blinn College Board Policy FLDB (Local), Course Grade Complaints, outlines the timeline for the appeal and the four steps in the appeal.  This policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook.

Electronic Devices

Cellular telephones and beepers/pagers must be disengaged while the student is in the Blinn College Library or any classroom/lab, unless otherwise instructed. Any noncompliance with this policy shall be addressed in accordance with the College District civility policy (administrative policy).  This information is contained in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).

Course Policies

Student Email

All Blinn students have been assigned a Blinn email address that must be checked regularly for official communications and course information.  This email account can be accessed at  Your email address (and Windows Live ID) is of the form  (XX = last two digits of Blinn ID.)  Your initial password is your Blinn ID number.  Additional information about accessing this account can be found at

Make-up Work

Students will not be permitted to make up missed work except in extremely rare circumstances. Before any make-ups are permitted, students must provide the instructor with appropriate documentation. Permission to make up work will be granted solely at the discretion of the instructor. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to contact the instructor 

Laboratory Work

Except for a few circumstances, you will have only one lab period in which to work on the laboratory experiments. Additional class time for working on these experiments will be given solely at the discretion of the instructor. This means that when you are working through the experiments, you should focus on making sure you have made all the required measurements and have recorded all the required data. Unless otherwise stated, each student’s data must be initialed by the instructor before the student may leave the laboratory. Laboratory reports turned in without said initials will not receive credit. Only after all measurements are completed should you spend class time working through calculations called for in the experiment.  If you do not complete the calculations in class, I expect you complete them outside of class. Laboratory reports are generally due a week after the experiment is performed.

Due to time constraints during the lab period, it is highly recommended that you print out the necessary lab papers before coming to class. It is your responsibility to take appropriate notes on the instruction at the beginning of the lab period such that you can complete both the in class and out of class portion of the lab successfully. Having a printout of the lab in advance greatly aids in your understanding what you will need to do to complete the lab.

Make-up labs are not permitted due to the tight room scheduling, even during a long semester. This is the reason for the policy that the lowest lab grade is dropped at the end of the semester. You must be in attendance on the day the experiment is performed to receive credit for the lab! This means that you cannot copy data from a classmate who attended and performed the lab, and then turn the lab in for credit.

Late Work

Late work will be penalized as follows:

Turned in after the start of class the day it is due: -5%

Turned in the day after it is due: -10%

Each day after is an additional  -10%, up to one week after the due date, which is -50%

Weekends do not count.

Anything later will not be accepted.

Late work may be emailed on non-class days to be marked according to the day it is received. When emailing work, a copy of all pages in the document must be attached for the work to be counted for credit. The original paper copy must still be turned in, however. Such work will not be graded until the original paper copy is received.

Attendance Policy Reminder

Missing lecture or lab counts as one absence. Missing both lecture and lab periods for a given day counts as only one absence. If a student accumulates four unexcused absences (two weeks), the student will be dropped administratively from the course. No prior notification will be given to the student.

Problem Resolution

If you have a complaint about your class, you should first request a conference with your instructor to try to resolve the problems or issues.  If the problems or issues cannot be resolved at the instructor level, you should request a conference with the Division Chair, Mr. Dwight Bohlmeyer, Science 241,

Eating and Drinking

Eating and drinking are not allowed in classrooms or laboratories.


Course Content and Approximate Schedule






M 1/13

Syllabus, Ch. 1, Start Ch. 2.

Units, significant figures, dimensional analysis (Ch. 1)

1-D kinematics (Ch. 2)


W 1/15

Finish Ch. 2, Start Ch. 3

1-D kinematics (Ch. 2)

Vectors, 2-D and 3-D kinematics (Ch. 3)

Quiz 1 (Ch. 1, 2)



M 1/20


Martin Luther King Day


W 1/22

Finish Ch. 3

Vectors, 2-D and 3-D kinematics

Lab 1:  Free Fall


M 1/27

Ch. 4

Newton’s laws of motion (Ch. 4)

Quiz 2 (Ch. 2,3)


W 1/29

Start Ch. 5

Applying Newton’s laws (Ch. 5)

Lab 2: Force Table



M 2/3

Finish Ch. 5

Applying Newton’s laws (Ch. 5)

Quiz 3 (Ch. 4.5)


W 2/5

Start Ch. 6

Work and Kinetic Energy (Ch. 6)

Lab 3: Atwood’s Machine


M 2/10

Exam 1

Chapters 1-5


W 2/12

Finish Ch. 6

Work and Kinetic Energy (Ch. 6)


M 2/17

Start Ch. 7

Potential Energy and Energy Conservation (Ch. 7)

Lab 4: Numerical and Symbolic Methods in 1D Dynamics


W 2/19

Finish Ch. 7

Potential Energy and Energy Conservation (Ch. 7)

Quiz 4 (Ch. 6)


M 2/24

Start Ch. 8

Momentum, Impulse, and Collisions (Ch. 8)

Quiz 5 (Ch. 7)


W 2/26

Finish Ch. 8

Momentum, Impulse, and Collisions (Ch. 8)

Lab 5: Conservation of Linear Momentum


M 3/3

Start Ch. 9

Rotation of Rigid Bodies (Ch. 9)

Quiz 6 (Ch. 8)


W 3/5

Exam 2

Chapters 6-8


M 3/10


Spring Break


W 3/12


Spring Break


M 3/17

Finish Ch. 9

Rotation of Rigid Bodies (Ch. 9)

Quiz 7 (Ch. 9)


W 3/19

Start Ch. 10

Dynamics of Rotational Motion (Ch. 10)


M 3/24

Finish Ch. 10,

Dynamics of Rotational Motion (Ch. 10)

Lab 6: Conservation of Angular Momentum


W 3/26

Ch. 11

Equilibrium and Elasticity (Ch. 11)

Quiz 8 (Ch.10, 11)


M 3/31

Exam 3

Chapters 9-11


W 4/2

Ch. 13

Gravitation (Ch. 13)

Quiz 9 (Ch. 13)


M 4/7

Start Ch.14

Periodic Motion (Ch. 14)

Lab 7: Orbits and Kepler’s Laws


W 4/9

Finish Ch. 14

Periodic Motion (Ch. 14)

Quiz 10 (Ch. 14)


M 4/14

Ch. 15

Mechanical Waves (Ch. 15)

Lab 8: The Period of A Simple Pendulum


W 4/16

Ch. 16

Start Ch. 17

Sound and Hearing (Ch. 16)

Temperature and Heat (Ch. 17)

Quiz 11 (Ch. 15, 16)


M 4/21

Exam 4

Chapters 13-16


W 4/23

Finish Ch. 17,

Ch. 18

Temperature and Heat (Ch. 17)

Thermal Properties of Matter (Ch. 18)


M 4/28

Ch. 19

The First Law of Thermodynamics (Ch. 19

Quiz 12 (Ch. 17, 18)


W 4/30

Ch. 20

The Second Law of Thermodynamics (Ch. 20)

Quiz 13 (Ch. 19, 20)


Final Exam and Post-test, Monday, May 5, 3:15pm – 5:15pm, G233