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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Physics - PHYS

University Physics I PHYS-2425

  • Spring 2014
  • Section SECTION_308 CRN-21020
  • 4 Credits
  • 01/13/2014 to 05/06/2014
  • Modified 01/08/2014

Meeting Times


  • Tuesday, Thursday, 12:00 PM to 1:15 PM, G213


  • Tuesday, Thursday, 1:25 PM to 2:40 PM, G233

Contact Information

Professor: Dr. Terrence Honan

Office Hours

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
  • Monday, Wednesday, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM


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.  The full two-semester e-book including Mastering Physics may be purchased for $110 at the Mastering Physics link shown below.
  • Required Homework System:  Students must purchase an access key to Mastering Physics, 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 textbook above (with proper edition) to pair with the Mastering Physics.  The Mastering Physics Course ID for this section is:  BLINN2425308SP14 .
  • Required Laboratory Manual:  Each student must print out a copy of the labs for the semester.  It is in the form of a single .pdf file and can be found here.
  • Scientific Calculator:  Students must have a proper scientific calculator with them for every class.
  • Interactive Lecture Notes:  Lecture notes will be provided in two formats.  For printing a standard .pdf format file will be posted.  An interactive version will also be available as an .cdf file format; to open these one must have a computer (Windows, OS X or Linux) with Wolfram CDF Player installed on it.  To download this free player go to: .  Students may bring notebook computers to class but must use them only for following these notes.
  • Other Web resources: problems with solutionslabs, the exam formula list and previous exams with answers.

Course Requirements

There will be three major exams, several unannounced quizzes, labs, online homework and a cumulative final.

  • Major Exams and Final: The three major exams and final will be closed book/closed note tests. A formula list will be provided; the exam formula list can be found at the web site. There will be a curve given for each major exam and the final.  The curve will be based on the performance of the class relative to the expectations of the instructor.  The curve will be a simple function that converts the raw grade to the standard scale.
  • Quiz:The quiz grade will consist of 30 point quizzes.  There will be no make-up quizzes, for any reason. At least 20% of the quiz grades will be dropped. Quizzes will typically be open book / open note.  After dropping, all the remaining quiz grades will be added and rescaled to 100 points.
  • Credit for Work: On the major exams, final and all quizzes, all work must be shown and clearly documented for any show-your-work problem.  The starting point in problem solving must be some expression on the official exam formula list for the class.  Memorized intermediate expressions will receive no credit unless their derivation is included.
  • Labs: Labs will be held without being previously scheduled. There will be no make-up labs, for any reason. Only students who attend laboratory may get credit for the lab.  At least 20% of the lab grades will be dropped.  Lab time will be used to collect data. Students should expect to complete calculations and write-ups outside of class.
  • Online Homework: We will use the textbook publisher’s online homework system.  Each assignment will have a due date.  One assignment will be dropped, the one that gives the student the maximum benefit.  The final point total for the semester will be rescaled to 100 points. 


Criteria for Grading

There will be 3 major exams, each worth 16%.  The quiz grade, the lab grade and the homework grade are each 10%.  The remaining 22% is the final.  An alternative method is provided to partially alleviate a poor performance on one major exam; half of the lowest (curved) exam grade is replaced with the curved final exam grade.  The final average is calculated both ways; the grade will be the higher of the two.





Three Major Exams

16% ×3

16% ×2 + 8%







Online Homework



Final Exam



The grading system of Blinn College is as follows*:


90 - 100



80 - 89

Above Average


70 - 79



60 - 69



< 60


*from Board Policy Manual EGA(LOCAL)

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

Attendance Policy Reminder: Missing lecture, lab or both will count as one absence.  For classes that meet twice a week during the spring semester two absences counts as one week's absence.  Students accumulating two week’s worth of absences (four unexcused absences) will be dropped.

Problem Resolution: If you have a complaint about your class, you should first request a conference with your instructor to try and 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, [email protected].

Eating and Drinking: Eating and drinking are not allowed in classrooms or laboratories.

Electronic Devices:  It is never acceptable to leave a class to answer a cell phone.  Texting during class is totally unacceptable.  Any use of a cell phone or other wireless device during an exam will be considered a major incident of scholastic dishonesty.


Course Content and Approximate Schedule

   Chapter from Lecture Notes

Textbook Chapter

A - Units and Dimensions


B - One Dimensional Kinematics


C - Vectors and Two Dimensional Kinematics

1.7-1.9, 3 excluding 3.4

D - Newton’s Laws and Applications

4, 5.1-5.3

E - Circular Motion and More Applications

3.4, 5.4, 5.5

F - Work and Energy

1.10 (Scal. Prod.), 6, 7

G - Momentum and Systems of Particles


H - Rotational Kinematics and Energy


I - Rotational Dynamics and Equilibrium

1.10 (Vec. Prod.), 10, 11.1-11.3

J - Universal Gravitation


K - Oscillatory Motion


L - Waves


M - Temperature and Heat

17.1-17.3, 17.5-17.6

N - Ideal Gases and the First Law of Thermo.

18.1, 18.2, 19.1-19.5

O - Entropy and the Second Law of Thermo.


     Day / Date

     Material Covered


Tu., Jan. 14

Review Syllabus, Chap. A


Th. Jan 16

Chap. B through Calculus Review, Group Quiz 1


Tu., Jan. 21

Finish Chap. B, Exp.: Free Fall


Th., Jan. 23

Chap. C through Vectors, Group Quiz 2


Tu., Jan. 28

Continue Chap. C, Exp. - Force Table


Th. Jan. 30

Finish Chap. C, Start Chapter D, Group Quiz 3


Tu., Feb. 4

Finish Chap. D, Group Quiz 4


Th., Feb. 6

Return and Review Quizzes, Exp. - Atwood’s Machine


Tu., Feb. 11

Test 1 – Chapters A through D


Th., Feb. 13

Start Chap. E, Return Test 1


Tu., Feb. 18

Finish Chap. E, Start Chap. F, Group Quiz 5


Th., Feb 20

Continue Chap. F, Exp. - One Dimensional Dynamics


Tu., Feb. 25

Continue Chap. F, Group Quiz 6


Th. Feb. 27

Finish Chap. F, Start Chap. G, Group Quiz 7


Tu., Mar. 4

Finish Chap. G, Group Quiz 8


Th., Mar. 6

Start Chap. H, Rev. Quizzes, Exp. - Cons. of Lin. Mom.


Tu., Mar. 18

Test 2 – Chapters E through G


Th., Mar. 20

Continue Chap. H, Return Test 2


Tu., Mar. 25

Finish Chap. H, Start Chap. I, Group Quiz 9


Th. Mar. 27

Chap. I, Exp. - Conservation of Angular Momentum


Tu., Apr. 1

Finish Chap. I, Start Chapter J, Group Quiz 10


Th. Apr. 3

Finish Chap. J, Chapter K


Tu., Apr. 8

Finish Chap. K, Chap. L, Group Quiz 11


Th., Apr. 10

Return and Review Quizzes, Exp. - Kepler’s Laws


Fri., Apr. 11

Last day to drop with a Q


Tu., Apr. 15

Test 3 – Chapters H through L


Th. Apr. 17

Chap. M, Return Test 3


Tu., Apr. 22

Chap. N, Exp. - Simple Pendulum


Th., Apr. 24

Chap. O, Group Quiz 12


Tu., Apr. 29

Finish Material, Return Quiz and Review


Th., May 1

Cumulative Final – G233, 12:45-2:45