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RELLIS · Natural Sciences · Physics - PHYS

University Physics I

  • Fall 2020
  • Sections 52J CRN-20661, 52K CRN-20662
  • 3 Credits
  • 08/24/2020 to 12/10/2020
  • Modified 08/27/2020

Meeting Times


  • Tuesday, Thursday, 5:40 PM to 6:55 PM, SCHW 220 / Remote

All courses with a face-to-face component will be enhanced with simultaneous remote instruction in Fall 2020. For example, a course with 30 or fewer students that meets twice a week would on the first day have one group face-to-face one day with the other group watching live on Zoom remotely and then the face-to-face and remote groups would swap the second day. This limits face-to-face meetings to 15 or fewer students at a time.

This class breaks into two sections: 52J and 52K, where on Mondays: 52J is face-to-face  and 52K is live-remote and then on Wednesdays: 52J is live-remote and 52K is face-to-face.

  Mondays Wednesdays
Section 52J  Face-to-Face on Campus   Live Videoconference
Section 52K  Live Videoconference Face-to-Face on Campus  
In order to access your course remotely, you should follow the following procedure:
1) Log in to eCampus.
2) Access the course like you would normally to find the content and syllabus.
3) Click on "Zoom" in the blue horizontal bar near the top.
4) A time-sorted list of current and upcoming scheduled meetings should be displayed. Find the meeting that corresponds to your class and there should be a button to join that meeting. This should automatically connect you to the Zoom meeting.
It is quite possible, even likely, that some days face-to-face classes will need to be canceled and the class will be done only remotely. If anyone in a class gets sick, then that class, including me, is quarantined. Moreover, if anyone in any of my classes gets sick, then I am quarantined and the class will be held remotely. Check the News on the front page of the eCampus class page every day before coming to class.
It is also possible that if there may be a significant surge in infections causing the entire college to switch again, like last Spring, to all remote. If so we will proceed with a live-remote classroom and successfully complete the semester. Much is uncertain, but I am very confident we will have a successful semester.

Contact Information

Professor: Dr. Terrence Honan

Office Hours

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM, by Zoom


3 lecture hours per week; 48 total contact hours. Credit:  3 semester hours.

Fundamental principles of physics, using calculus, for science, computer science, and engineering majors; the principles and applications of classical mechanics, including harmonic motion, physical systems and thermodynamics; and emphasis on problem solving.


Prerequisites:  MATH 2413.

Core Curriculum Statement

This course is not a core curriculum course.


  1. Determine the components of linear motion (displacement, velocity, and acceleration), and especially motion under conditions of constant acceleration.
  2. Solve problems involving forces and work.
  3. Apply Newton's laws to physical problems.
  4. Identify the different types of energy.
  5. Solve problems using principles of conservation of energy.
  6. Define the principles of impulse, momentum, and collisions.
  7. Use the principles of impulse and momentum to solve problems.
  8. Determine the location of the center of mass and center of rotation for rigid bodies in motion.
  9. Discuss rotational kinematics and dynamics and the relationship between linear and rotational motion.
  10. Solve problems involving rotational and linear motion.
  11. Define equilibrium, including the different types of equilibrium.
  12. Discuss simple harmonic motion and its application to real-world problems.


  • Required Textbook: Young and Freedman, University Physics, 15th edition.  The full two-semester e-book including Mastering Physics may be purchased for around $115 through the Mastering Physics link in eCampus. Because of my extensive interactive lecture notes, I discourage students from buying the expensive paper text. 
  • Required Homework System:  Students must purchase an access key to Mastering Physics, the textbook publisher’s online homework system. If you have a copy of Mastering Physics from the previous semesters then it should still be valid. Students should log in to Mastering Physics only through eCampus (there is a link on the front page of eCampus) and those who need to purchase a copy can also do so through the eCampus link.
  • Scientific Calculator:  Students must have a proper scientific calculator with them for every class and exam.
  • Online Course: Computer with webcam and reliable internet access.  REQUIRED:
    • a full computer (not a Chromebook, tablet, or smartphone),
    • a webcam and microphone (for simultaneous remote participation and test proctoring),
    • headphones (if using a computer on campus)
    • reliable internet access
  • photo ID - students are required to show photo Identification (such as you Blinn ID or official photo ID) when taking online testing.  Students are encouraged to cover confidential information such as ID number, address, etc.
  • 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 .nb file format; to open these one must have a computer (Windows, OS X or Linux) with Wolfram 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.
  • Lecture Videos: Video lectures will be provided for each chapter in the lecture notes. I will make voice-over recordings as I scroll through the notes. The videos for each chapter are broken into several segments that are shorter than a typical face-to-face lecture. The video links for a given chapter will be in the same submodule with the chapter's lecture notes.
  • Other Web resources: problems with solutions, the exam formula list and previous exams with answers. All these resources including the interactive lecture notes are also available in eCampus under Content > Table of Contents > Chapters
  • Mathematica and Wolfram Alpha Pro: Blinn now has an unlimited site license to Mathematica and to Wolfram Alpha Pro.  Students may download free copies of these programs for their personal computers. The download links can be found here: Mathematica/AlphaPro Download
  • Microsoft Office: Through Blinn students may also download a copy of the Office 365 Suite.
  • CampusClear: All students must download and install the phone app CampusClear. You must certify with that app every day before you come to campus. It is a very easy process.

Course Requirements

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

  • Major Exams and Final: The four 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 and on eCampus.
  • Group Quizzes: The quiz grade will consist many of 30-point quizzes.  There will be no make-up quizzes, for any reason. The lowest quiz grade will be dropped. Quizzes are unproctored and open book / open note. Students may discuss quizzes amongst themselves.  After dropping one, all the remaining quiz grades will be added and rescaled to 100 points. Students will submit the quizzes in the eCampus Dropbox shown in the submodule for that specific quiz. The quiz must be submitted as a properly-scanned single PDF document. To create the single PDF file, students must use a scanner or a phone app like Adobe Scan, Google Drive (has a built in feature), Clear Scan, Office Lens or Cam Scanner. It is the burden of the student to guarantee the PDF file is readable. It is certainly fine to use a tablet with stylus to do the entire quiz without printing or scanning but the final product must be a single PDF file. Any submission other than a single, readable, PDF file will not be graded. The due date is very rigid. Posted solutions will be available after the deadline, so late submissions will not be accepted.
  • Online Homework: We will use the textbook publisher’s online homework system, Mastering Physics.  Each assignment will have a due date. One assignment will be dropped, the one that gives the student the maximum benefit. Mastering Physics will not be reopened at the end of the semester; assignments must be completed by the due date for credit. The final point total for the semester will be rescaled to 100 points. 


Criteria for Grading

There will be 4 major exams; the lowest will be dropped and the remaining three will each be worth 16%.  The group quiz grade is 10% and the Mastering Physics homework grade is 5%.  The remaining 27% is the cumulative final exam.  




Four Major Exams

16% ×(3 best)

Group Quizzes


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

All policies, guidelines, and procedures in the Blinn College CatalogBlinn College Board Policies, and the Blinn College Administrative Regulations are applicable to this course.

Specific information on civility, attendance, add/drop, scholastic integrity, students with disabilities, final grade appeal, alternative retailers, campus carry and proctoring arrangements and cost.

Notice of any action taken under these protocol and procedures, by Blinn College or its employees, may be delivered by hand, through the U.S. Postal Service, or electronically to the student’s Blinn Buc e-mail account. Notice shall be deemed received upon actual receipt, on deposit in the U.S. Mail, or upon entering the information processing system used by Blinn College for Blinn Buc e-mail accounts, whichever first occurs.

Information about the changes Blinn has made to the Fall semester: Back with Blinn.

Course Policies

Please read: Fall 2020 General Course Policies.

Attendance policy: You must attend class each class period either live or remotely via zoom as scheduled.  If, on some day, you wish to take class remotely instead of live, please contact me via email. Each class day, I will take attendance for live students, zoom will record students who attend remotely and I will transfer this to my attendance roster at at later date.

Since attendance can occur remotely, excused absences will generally not be given.  Exceptions are rare and at the discretion of the instructor.  If you have an unusual situation that may prevent your attendance please contact the instructor.  Exceptions may be rare, but I am much more willing to work with you to find solutions if I’m contacted early.  Proof may be required.

Any student who accumulates more than 4 absences will be dropped from the class.  Exceptions are rare and at the discretion of the instructor.

Conflict Resolution: If a conflict arises with your instructor, you must follow proper procedure.  First attempt to resolve the issue directly with your instructor.  If the issue is not resolved, then you may proceed to make an appointment with the Department Head (Ms. Rachel Sanchez [email protected]).  The three of us will have a meeting where we will try to resolve the issue.  If your issue is still not resolved, please consult the Blinn College website Student Rights and Responsibilities, and submit a written complaint via the Student Complaint Portal.  You can also find this site by doing a web search for “Blinn college Student Complaints.”  In the portal you will find names and contact information for Blinn College employees who can assist you with your complaint.  Do not go directly to the Dean with complaints.

COVID-19 Precautions: When on campus, all students and Blinn faculty and staff must wear a face mask. I will enforce this in the classroom without exception; students not in compliance will be asked to leave class. Everyone must have a proper mask covering both the mouth and nose at all times. Masks with valves that allow you to exhale freely are not allowed in class. Clear plastic face protection may be worn IN ADDITION to the face mask but not as a substitute. If there is some medical reason why you cannot wear a proper mask, then you must document that with the Office of Disability Services and obtain the appropriate paperwork from them.

Eating and Drinking: Eating and drinking are not allowed in classrooms. This will be rigidly enforced because of the COVID-19 precautions.Laboratory Safety: Because this class meets in a laboratory room, all Physics laboratory safety rules must apply. It is the policy of the Natural and Physical Sciences Division that students must wear proper attire whenever in the laboratory.  This excludes open-toed shoes (or one-toed shoes with socks.)  Failure to do so will result in students being sent home from the laboratory with a zero on the resulting assignment. The Food and Drink prohibition will be enforced strictly. Any drink container even empty ones, cannot be visible; hide it in a bag.

Testing Procedure for Major Exams and the Final Exam: All exams are closed book, closed note.  

Taking Exams online

  • You will be monitored with the Honorlock system for each exam. This is a webcam-based system that monitors you with an AI proctor and on occasion a live proctor might jump in. The entire session is recorded and I review these videos, paying most attention to the flags from the AI system. 
  • You must have a full computer (not a Chromebook, tablet, or smartphone) with a working webcam and microphone. You cannot use your phone for a camera. 
  • Make sure your broadband connection is sufficiently robust. You will have a time window to take the exam and make sure you choose a time when no one else who sharing your broadband connection dominates the bandwidth (i.e. streaming video or lengthy downloads) during your exam. 
  • You must have a cleared work zone in which no one else will enter for the duration of the test. The work zone must be a cleared desk or a table; you cannot take the exam sitting on a bed or on the floor.
  • You must remain in-front of the camera for the duration of the test. NO bathroom breaks. Please use the restroom beforehand.
  • You are allowed to have a scientific calculator. Clear the memory before the test.  (Remember to check settings: radians or degrees.)
  • You may have a printed copy of the equation sheet (2 sheets, single-sided or one sheet two-sided). No handwritten annotations are allowed on these sheets. The formula list must be printed; I will not link it.
  • You will be allowed 2 blank sheets of scratch paper. 
  • You will have to do a room scan and show your ID before the test starts. The room scan must clearly show your cleared desktop/work space.  Your ID can have ID numbers & birth-dates covered up.  You will also need to show your equation sheets, blank work sheets and calculator.  Test time does not start until after this process is over.
  • Your eyes must remain on the monitor, or the work pages in front of you. Looking off to the side or up to the side for extended times, or reaching out of the region in front of you can result in a failed test, with a grade of zero. 
  • Please ensure your camera is panned back to show your face and part of your front. Having the camera too close can result in “face-not-clearly-visible” alerts by the AI system.  This could trigger a pop-in visit from a moderator.  Your test time does NOT stop during a live pop-in visit.
  • It’s advisable not to wear shirts with faces on them, or sit in front of pictures or posters with faces showing, as this may cause an “other-person-in-the-room” alert by the AI.
  • No phone, headset, or second computer can be anywhere near you.
  • No other person should enter the camera area or converse with you.
  • No books, or notes (other than you annotated equation sheet.) are allowed.
  • Turn-off any other programs running on your computer. Turn-off/disable any alerts, email, social or communications programs.  These are not allowed to be running.  You may not have any other websites open.  Only one monitor can be connected.  These programs may delay the start of your test, or may cause you to fail the test if the alerts go off during the exam.
  • If you are having any issues with Honorlock during the exam, click the Honorlock Help button on the screen.

How to Succeed in this Course:  Science courses may be challenging and difficult.  Most successful students spend two to four hours studying per week for each credit hour of the course.  

Key Points

  • Have access to all the materials and technology required for this course (webcam, microphone, computer, reliable internet, etc).
  • Attend all classes. Each lecture builds on the previous lecture.  Stay ahead of the material.
  • Come to class prepared by reading the textbook and/or lab manual beforehand and taking notes before class to improve success.
  • If you have a question during lecture, go ahead and ask it. Chances are that at least three other students have this same question.
  • Know your deadlines and course policies by looking at the syllabus, instructor announcements, and eCampus dates, schedules, and news items.
  • Work through lots of practice problems in addition to your homework.
  • Form study groups with your peers.
  • Ask your professors for help, visit office hours, and, if needed, request an appointment to see your instructor one-on-one.
    • Be prepared when you visit with your instructor and have questions related to content ready.
  • Seek help from Blinn College’s tutoring services, if needed.
  • Be responsible for your own learning by actively engaging in the course.


Course Content and Approximate Schedule

  Chapter from Lecture Notes Textbook Chapter
 A - Units and Dimensions  1.1-1.6
 B - One Dimensional Kinematics  2
 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  8
 H - Rotational Kinematics and Energy  9
 I - Rotational Dynamics and Equilibrium  1.10 (Vec. Prod.), 10, 11.1-11.3
 J - Universal Gravitation  13
 K - Oscillatory Motion  14.1-14.6
 L - Waves  15.1-15.5
 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.  20


Wk. Day/Date Material Covered Lec. Mins. Weekly Contact Hours
1 Tues. 8/25  Review Syllabus - Start Chapter A 75 3
Thur. 8/27  Finish Chapter A, Start B 75
2 Tues. 9/1  Finish Chapter B 75 3
 Quiz 1 (thru B.2 before Free Fall) - due 11:59 PM
 MP: Intro. to Mastering Physics - due 11:59 PM
 MP: Units and Dimension - due 11:59 PM
Thurs. 9/3  Start Chapter C 75
 MP: 1D Kinematics - due 11:59 PM
3 Tues. 9/8  Continue Chapter C 75  3
 Quiz 2 (B.2 Free Fall thru C.2 before Projectiles) - due 11:59 PM
 MP: Vectors - due 11:59 PM
Thurs. 9/10  Finish C, Start D 75 
 MP: 2D Kinematics - due 11:59 PM
4 Tues. 9/15  Finish Chapter D  thru D.4, Continue 75  3
 Quiz 3 (thru D.4) - due 11:59 PM
Thurs. 9/17  Continue Chapter D 75 
 MP: Newton's Laws - due 11:59 PM
Fri. 9/18  Test 1 (thru D.4) - 2 hour time limit - 10 AM through 10 PM -
5 Tues. 9/22  Finish Chapter D, Start E 75 3
Thurs. 9/24  Finish Chapter E 75
 Quiz 4 (D.5 thru rest of D) - due 11:59 PM
 MP: Applying Newton's Laws I - due 11:59 PM
6 Tues. 9/29  Start Chapter F 75 3
 MP: Applying Newton's Laws II - due 11:59 PM
Thurs. 10/1  Continue Chapter F 75
 Quiz 5 (E thru F.5) - due 11:59 PM
 MP: Work and Energy - due 11:59 PM
7 Tues. 10/6  Finish Chapter F, Start G 75 3
 MP: Energy and Conservation of Energy - due 11:59 PM
Thurs. 10/8  Continue Chapter G 75
 Quiz 6 (thru rest of F)
Fri. 10/9  Test 2 – D.5 through F - 2 hour time limit - 10 AM through 10 PM -
8 Tues. 10/12  Finish Chapter G, Start H 75 3
Thurs. 10/15  Continue Chapter H 75
 Quiz 7 (on Chapter G) - due 11:59 PM
 MP: Momentum and Systems of Particles - due 11:59 PM
9 Tues. 10/20  Finish Chapter H, Start I 75 3
 MP: Rotational Kinematics and Energy - due 11:59 PM
Thurs. 10/22  Continue Chapter I 75
 Quiz 8 (on Chapter H)
 MP: Rotational Dynamics - due 11:59 PM
10 Tues. 10/27  Finish Chapter I 75 3
 MP: Equilibrium - due 11:59 PM
Thurs. 10/29  Start Chapter J 75
 Quiz 9 (on Chapter I)
Fri. 10/30  Test 3 (G thru I) - 2 hour time limit - 10 AM through 10 PM -
11 Tues. 11/3  Finish Chapter J 75 3
Thurs. 11/5  Start Chapter K 75
 Quiz 10 (on Chapter J)
 MP: Universal Gravitation - due 11:59 PM
12  Tues. 11/10  Finish Chapter K, Chapter L 75
Thurs. 11/12  Start Chapter M 75
 Quiz 11 (on Chapters K and L)
 MP: Oscillations and Waves - due 11:59 PM
13  Tues. 11/17  Finish Chapter M, Start N 75 3
 MP: Temperature and Heat
Thur. 11/20  Continue Chapter N 75
 Quiz 12 (on Chapter M)
Fri. 11/20  Test 4 (J thru M) - 2 hour time limit - 10 AM through 10 PM -
14  Tues. 11/24  Finish Chapter N 75 3
Thur. 11/26  Thanksgiving Break 75
  Mon. 11/30  Last Day to Drop with a Q 
15 Tues. 12/1  Chapter O 75
Thur. 12/3  Finish Material 75
 Quiz 13 (Chapters N and O) - due 11:59 PM
 MP: Ideal Gases and the Laws of Thermodynamics - due 11:59 PM
16    Cumulative Final - 2 hour 15 min. time limit - 10 AM through 10 PM 150 3
Total        48

*Note: In the Carnegie Hours system, 50 minutes = 1 contact hour.