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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Victor Polinger
PHYS 114
Seattle Campus

General Physics

Basic principles of physics presented without use of calculus. Suitable for students majoring in technically oriented fields other than engineering or the physical sciences. Mechanics. Credit is not given for both PHYS 114 and PHYS 121. Recommended: working knowledge of algebra and trigonometry; one year high school physics; concurrent registration in PHYS 117. Offered: AWSpS.

Class description

PHYS 114 is the first in a three-quarter sequence of algebra-based introductory physics courses. This class offers an introduction to mechanics. Topics include kinematics, Newton's laws, work and energy, conservation of energy and momentum, rotations, torque, angular momentum, and gravitation.

Student learning goals

Following this course and doing reasonably well in it, students should expect to be able to obtain the foundations of mechanics on which much of everyday phenomena, energy problems, and biological systems operate. The text contains a large number of applications to these practical problems of humanity.

As one of the major results of this course, students will build up conceptual background and develop basic skills necessary for a successful completion of the other two parts of physics covered in PHYS 115 (heat and electromagnetism) and PHYS 116 (sound, light, and modern physics).

General method of instruction

Lectures (the traditional style).

Recommended preparation

Algebra and elements of right-triangle trigonometry will be used frequently. If rusty, see math appendix in the text.

Class assignments and grading

Students are expected to read the material that will be covered in class ahead of time. To encourage students to do this, homework assignments will include pre-class questions that will be assigned daily. Also, full-size homework will be assigned once a week and graded online at the WebAssign web site.

The final course grade is based on student's academic performance in the three midterms (the lowest score dropped)- 40% of the grade, the final exam - 40% of the grade, the WebAssign homework - 10% of the grade, clicker activities and pre-class assignments - 10% of the grade. The overall grade will be based upon student's total score. It will be obtained as the sum of the scores of the above-mentioned components using the respective weights providing that the perfect score of 100% corresponds to the grade of 4.0. If the class average will happen to be below 2.9, the grade distribution curve will be skewed so that the class average reaches 2.9.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Victor Polinger
Date: 09/28/2011