General Physics Syllabus


Instructor: Mr. Tully

Office: Administrative Wing Tech building

Physics Textbook:

Physics for Career Education 10th ed., Ewen, Dale, Schuter, Neill, Gundersen, P. Erik (Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2012)

References: internet sources A sample report format and some discussions of experimental error.

  • A Beginners Guide to Uncertainty and Measurement written by Stephanie Bell addresses the relationship between experimental measured error and the standard deviation.
  • Uncertainty written by D. Deardorff defines standard and random errors.
  • Errors written by D. Simanek covers similar information using different nomenclature and slightly different perspective. He considers experimental error to be either determinate or indeterminate.
  • Another Physics Textbook from the OpenStax College will provide an alternate view of the topics covered in the class.

Course Description:

General Physics should:

1. … provide a basic conceptual model of the interaction of natural forces.
2. … provide a general understanding of how effectively basic mathematics can describe these general interactions in our everyday world.
3. … provide a reasonable explanation of the usefulness of mathematics within a technical vocation.

Course Objectives:

1. An understanding of unit conversions.
2. An understanding of Inertia, Force, Momentum.
3. An understanding of Action and Reaction.
4. An understanding of the interaction of static forces.
5. An understanding of rotational motion. 6. An understanding of the basic properties of matter.
7. Work in a Team environment to design and construct an original Trebuchet.
8. An introduction to basic electricity.

Teaching Style: Lecture will be used to introduce the basic scientific concepts of mechanics, matter, heat, wave motion, electricity, and magnetism and provide example problems and solutions to assigned problems. The laboratory experiments will reinforce and support the lecture material. Equipment: Students will need to have a scientific calculator. Assignments: Problems from textbook will be supplemented with worksheets. The experiments will require written reports that are modeled on the  sample report format  (One report per lab group.) Lab groups will also build trebuchets. Not sure what a trebuchet is here are a couple links to get you started.

This game is quite limited but, it may suggest the relationship between the ratios of the counterweight and the projectile.

Category  Grading scale
Quizzes / Problems 25%   A: 90 – 100%
Tests 25%   B: 80 – 89%
Lab reports 20%   C: 70 – 79%
Trebuchet project 25%   D: 60 – 69%
Final test   5%  F:     0 – 59%
Total 100%

Note: (I reserve the right to change the “total points” without notice.)

Due Dates: Assignments should be completed by the due dates; deadlines missed due to absence must be completed within ONE WEEK of the due date. Assignments turned in late will receive a penalty equivalent to a 10% of the total assignment score per scheduled class period after the due date. Prompt completion of tasks is a basic requirement for most employment. It is your responsibility to complete the assignments on time and to inform the instructor if a concept is eluding you. Circumstances requiring more time for a student to complete assignments will be up to the discretion of the instructor. This applies to tests, quizzes, lab assignments and homework.

Examinations: Examinations will be given during the class sessions. While the examinations may cover only the material presented since the previous test, the final test is cumulative. Therefore, preparation for the exams should include a review past material. Unannounced quizzes may be given during any class!

Attendance: Attendance, a basic requirement for employment is also a basic requirement for this course and a responsibility of the student. Attendance includes both lecture and laboratory hours. It is the responsibility of the student to make up missed assignments.

Cheating: Each student is responsible for his or her own work. Duplication of work will result in both students receiving a failing grade for their assignments, and reported to the dean of academic affairs for further disciplinary action.

OpenStax College. (2014, March 7). College Physics. Retrieved from the OpenStax_CNX Web site: