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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Physics - PHYS

University Physics I PHYS-2425

  • Fall 2013
  • Section SECTION_301 CRN-10774
  • 4 Credits
  • 08/26/2013 to 12/13/2013
  • Modified 08/23/2013

Meeting Times


  • Tuesday, Thursday, 7:45 AM to 9:00 AM, G213


  • Tuesday, Thursday, 9:10 AM to 10:25 AM, G233

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Elaine Tennant

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Office: G202
  • Phone: 979 209 8932
  • Website:

Office Hours

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 10:25 AM to 11:25 AM, G202


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 course id is PHYS2425TENNANT.

  • 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 or here:

  • Scientific Calculator: Students must have a proper scientific calculator with them for every class.

Course Requirements

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


  • Exams and Final: All exams will be closed book/closed note tests. Cell phones or other electronic devices are not allowed. If I see any electronic devices I will assume the person is cheating and that person will recieve a zero on the test.

  • Quiz: The quiz grade will consist of group quizzes and individual quizzes. Group quizzes are open note/open book, and I encourage you to collaborate with your classmates. The lowest quiz grade will be dropped.


  • 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 initial starting equation must be clearly indicated. Memorized intermediate expressions will receive no credit unless their derivation is included.


  • Labs: Labs may be held without being previously scheduled. Students will work in groups, but each student must submit their own calculations and write-ups. Only students who attend the laboratory period may get credit for the lab. In–class time is to be used for collecting data; students are expected to finish the analysis on their own time. 

  • Online Homework: We will use the textbook publisher's online homework system: Mastering Physics. Students are encouraged to work in groups, but it is up to each individual to make sure that they understand the problem and the process to arrive at the solution. Please pay attention to the due date of each assignment; they are not necessarily due at regular intervals. 



There will be three midterm exams, each worth 15% of the total grade. The labs, quizzes, and homework are each worth 10%, and the remaining 25% is the final exam.



Three Major Exams

15% ×3





Online Homework


Final Exam


The grading system of Blinn College is as follows*:



90 - 100


80 - 89


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

All the functions of all personal electronic devices designed for communication and/or entertainment (cell phones, pagers, beepers, iPods, and similar devices) must be turned off and kept out of sight in all College District classrooms and associated laboratories.  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

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 Asst. Division Chair, Dr. Terry Honan, [email protected]



Tentative Schedule




Lecture Topic



8/26, M  

Intro & Ch. 1

Units, physical quantities, and vectors


8/28, W

Ch. 2

Motion along a straight line,


9/2, M

Ch. 2, 



9/4, W

Ch. 3

2- D Kinematics.


9/9, M

Ch. 4, 

Newton’s laws. 


9/11, W

Ch. 5, 

Applying Newton’s laws. 


9/16, M

Ch. 5, Ch, 6



9/18, W

Exam 1

Ch. 1 – 5


9/23, M

Ch. 6 

Work and kinetic energy.


9/25, W

Ch. 6,



9/30, M

Ch. 7

Potential energy and conservation of energy


10/2, W

Ch. 8

Linear momentum, impulse, and collisions


10/7, M

Ch. 9

Rotation of rigid bodies,


10/9, W

Ch. 9 cont.



10/14, M

ch. 10

Dynamics of rotational motion


10/16, W

Ch. 10

Conservation of angular momentum


10/21, M

Ch. 11



10/23, W

Exam 2

ch 6-11


10/28, M

Ch. 13



10/30, W

Ch. 13, 14

Periodic motionKepler’s laws


11/4, M

Ch. 14



11/6, W

 Ch. 15

 mechanical waves


11/11, M

Ch. 15. 16



11/13, W

 Ch. 16



11/18, M

ch. 17

Temperature and Heat


11/20, W

ch. 18

Thermal properties of matter


11/25, M

Exam 3

chap 12-18





12/2, M

Ch. 19, 20

The first and second law of thermodynamics


12/4, W

Ch 20



12/11, W


7:45 – 9:45 AM, G213


Course calendar and related activities
When Topic Notes