Physics 100: Descriptive Physics

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Sonoma State University

Fall 2007

Class: Tuesday and Thursday, 9:20 - 10:35 am, Darwin 29

Instructor: Dr. Hongtao Shi

Phone: 664-2013


Office: Darwin 300J

Office Hours: Monday 10-11 am, Thursday 4-5 pm, or by appointment

Learning Objectives

Course Description and Goals: Physics is the most fundamental of all the sciences. This practical course, satisfying GE, category B1, covers a wide range of interesting phenomena with the emphasis on ideas that can be demonstrated in class and that will be of use in later life. You are going to learn the basic concepts of physics and apply your understanding with some use of trigonometry and algebra to different problems. You will explore the nature of basic things such as motion, forces, energy, heat, sound, light, electricity, magnetism, and the insides of atoms. Studying physics will not only help you understand the world around you, but will also help you study more advanced science topics in the future.

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite. But you are expected to be able to solve basic trigonometry/algebra problems.

Required Text: Paul G. Hewitt, Conceptual Physics (ISBN: 0-8053-9375-7) with Practicing Physics (ISBN: 0-8053-9198-3), 10th Edition.

Homework Assignments and Exams

Summary of Important Concepts

How Good Are Your Math Skills? (Answers)

Grading Policy:

Homework, Quizzes and Exams 30% Final Exam, Thursday, December 13, 2007, 8:30 - 10:00 am
  20% Midterm Exam 1, Week of October 8
  20% Midterm Exam 2, Week of November 12
  15% Homework Assignments
  15% Quizzes
Course Grade Percent
A 90-100
B 80-89
C 70-79
D 60-69
F Below 60

Final Exam: Thursday, December 13, 2007, 8:30 - 10:00 am.

References and some selected web sites:

Attendance is not mandatory. But my experience tells me that your grades will suffer if you often miss the classes.

2. Reading and homework will be assigned every week from the book. Homework assignments are due the following week.

3. There is no tolerance for late assignments without medical or tragic reason, as solutions will usually be posted the day after due date.

4. The lowest homework grade will be dropped when I compute your term grade.

5. You are encouraged to work in a study group in doing the homework, discussing the problems. I expect each of you to write up your own solutions handed in for grading.

6. All quizzes, exams are closed book/notes and must be taken at the assigned time. You can bring one index card to the class with equations and formulas. No makeup will be given without a legitimate reason such as medical emergency. So arrange accordingly. Be aware the makeup exam/quiz may be entirely different from the original one.

7. I reserve the right to raise your grade if exceptional effort and class participation are observed through the semester.

Disability: If you have a disability and need special consideration, please contact the Office of Disabled Student Services ( DSS ). Located in Salazar Hall, Room 1049, Phone 664-2677.

Important University policies, such as add/drop classes, cheating and plagiarism, grade appeal procedures, etc., can be found here.

Email me if you have questions or comments.

Last updated: 12/04/07