PHYS 1107 -- Changes

Mon Feb 23 11:23:47 2009

Effective Term: New:  1109 - Fall 2010
Old:  1089 - Fall 2008
Department: New:  11140 - Physics & Astronomy, Sch of
Old:  11140 - IT Physics & Astron, School of
Sponsor Name:
New:  James Kakalios
Old:  Kenneth Heller
Sponsor E-mail Address:
this course fulfills:
New:  PHYS - PHYS Physical Sciences
Old:  PHYS SCI/L - PHYS SCI/L Physical Science with Laboratory Core
Criteria for
Core Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed core requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or method.

Core courses must meet the following requirements:

  • They explicitly help students understand what liberal education is, how the content and the substance of this course enhance a liberal education, and what this means for them as students and as citizens
  • They employ teaching and learning strategies that engage students with doing the work of the field, not just reading about it.
  • They include small group experiences (such as discussion sections or labs) and use writing as appropriate to the discipline to help students learn and reflect on their learning.
  • They do not (except in rare and clearly justified cases) have prerequisites beyond the University´┐Żs entrance requirements.
  • They are offered on a regular schedule.
  • They are taught by regular faculty or under exceptional circumstances by instructors on continuing appointments. Departments proposing instructors other than regular faculty must provide documentation of how such instructors will be trained and supervised to ensure consistency and continuity in courses.

The course will give students an understanding of basic physical phenomena and principles, in particular, Statics and Kinematics, Newton’s Laws of Motion, the Principle of Conservation of Energy, the Principle of Conservation of Momentum, Rotational Motion and Angular Momentum.  They will be required to employ mathematical reasoning when applying these concepts and principles to determine quantitative solutions to problems, using math at a level up to and including algebra, plane geometry and trigonometry.  This course is internet delivered. Students will perform hands-on experiments that test and amplify concepts presented in lecture in weekly assignment kits, which are mailed to the instructor and evaluated.  The students are encouraged in lab section to develop hypotheses and make predictions of the expected outcome of their experiments, which they then test through direct measurement.
This is best illustrated by the syllabus. Weekly
labs also have the same topics. The labs need the materials in a kit and access to a computer. The references are to Cutnell and Johnson,
Physics, 6th Ed.

Week 1,2: Kinematics in 1 dimension, general problem solving strategies: Cutnell Chapter 2

Week 3,4: Kinematics in 2 dimensions: Cutnell Chapter 3

Week 5: Forces 1: Newton's Laws, gravitational force: Cutnell Chap 4.1-4.7

Week 6: Forces 2: Free-body diagrams, specific forces:
Cutnell Chapters 4.8-4.12

Week 7: Forces 3: Circular motion and forces: Cutnell Chapters 5.1-5.8

Week 8: Energy 1: Energy and mechanical energy transfer Cutnell Chapters 6.1-6.3

Week 9: Energy 2: Energy Conservation and power: Cutnell Chapters 6.4-6.10

Week 10: Collisions: Conservation of momentum and energy: Cutnell 7.1-7.3

Week 11: Collisions: Momentum in 2 dimensions: Cutnell 7.4-7.6

Week 12, 13: Rotational Kinematics: Cutnell 8.1-8.6

Week 14: Rotational Dynamics: Torque and moment of inertia: Cutnell 9.1-9.4

Week 15: Rotational Dynamics: Conservation of energy and angular momentum:  Cutnell 9.5-9.7
Please provide a provisional syllabus for new courses and courses in which changes in content and/or description and/or credits are proposed that include the following information: course goals and description; format/structure of the course (proposed number of instructor contact hours per week, student workload effort per week, etc.); topics to be covered; scope and nature of assigned readings (texts, authors, frequency, amount per week); required course assignments; nature of any student projects; and how students will be evaluated.

The University policy on credits is found under Section 4A of "Standards for Semester Conversion" at . Provisional course syllabus information will be retained in this system until new syllabus information is entered with the next major course modification, This provisional course syllabus information may not correspond to the course as offered in a particular semester.

New:  Overview
Phys 1107, Distance Learning

Principles of physics in context of everyday world. Use of kinematics/dynamics principles together with quantitative/qualitative problem solving techniques to understand natural phenomena.

• Phys 1107 satisfies all the same requirements as Phys 1101W, except that the online version is not writing-intensive. It uses the same textbook and covers the same topics. (Credit will not be granted for 1107 if credit already given for 1101W.)

• Students will do the labs at home through a combination of a hands-on lab kit and sophisticated online lab simulations.

• This is a semester-length course, so there are no restrictions for financial aid.

High school algebra, plane geometry, and trigonometry. In addition, online students will need Excel, or a similar spreadsheet application, and some previous training. Students should be prepared for a fast-paced course with multiple deadlines per week.

Course Requirements
Grading for this course will be based on the following activities:

• Weekly textbook problems (35%)
• 13 prediction and method questions (5%)
• 13 labs, including data analysis activities (5%)
• 6 lab reports (15%)
• Proctored, "paper and pencil" midcourse and final exams (40%)

Note: The syllabus for this course is subject to change at the instructor's discretion as needed to support the learning objectives of this course.

Practice Problems
To give you a feel for the course, here are a couple of typical math problems. See if you're able to analyze these problems to find the solutions.

1. One possible reason the dinosaurs died off is that the Earth may have been hit by a rogue asteroid. The collision would have vaporized the asteroid, along with lots of Earth rocks, and the resulting clouds of dust would have blocked off the light of the Sun for years, long enough for most life on Earth to die. The evidence for this theory comes from analyzing the chemical mixture of rock strata laid down around the time of the dinosaurs' end. It turns out that an element called iridium is much more common in asteroids than in Earth rocks, so if there were a layer of iridium-rich rock deposited at about the right time everywhere on Earth, it would mean that an asteroid collision could be a prime suspect for the demise of the dinosaurs.

How thick a layer should there be? Let's do some calculating. The radius of the Earth is about 8,000 kilometers, and the incoming asteroid was probably more-or-less spherical with a radius of about 16 kilometers. If the iridium-rich layer was composed half of asteroid dust and half of vaporized-Earth-rock dust, how thick would it be?

2. Al and Bertha are out on a date walking around Round Lake on a sunny January day. The path around the edge of Round Lake (which is circular, as the name suggests) is exactly 3 miles. Halfway around, they have a little disagreement, and Al stomps off on in a huff. Al is like this sometimes, so Bertha isn't all that worried, but she knows he will have to walk fast and grumble for a while to blow off some steam. They came in the same car, and Bertha knows that if Al has to wait for her at the car, he'll just steam up again, so she wants to get back to the car at the same time he does. But it's such a beautiful day that she really doesn't want to rush along as Al is doing. Then it dawns on her that it is January in Minnesota, and she can just walk across the lake on the ice. Going across the ice will be shorter than going along the edge of the lake, and she can reach the car at the same time as Al without being rushed.

If Al is stomping along muttering at 5 miles/hour, how fast does Bertha have to stroll across the ice to reach the car at the same time Al does? Actually, it would be even better if she got to the car first--how fast would she have to walk to reach the car one minute before he gets there?
Course Materials
Text: Physics Volume I: Chapters 1-17 7th Edition (2007), Cutnell and Johnson, John Wiley, ISBN 0471663166
Lab Manual: The complete course lab manual is available as a PDF download from the course Web site.
Lab Kit: The lab kit is available through the University Bookstores; students will also need to assemble supplementary materials for the labs from common hardware-store and household items.

OPTIONAL Compact Disc: Includes simulations and backup sample data for the labs. These features are also available at the course Web site, but students with slower Internet connections may prefer to use the CD version.

Go to the Search page at the University of Minnesota Bookstores Web site, and use the option to "Search for Books by Department, Course, or Author." If your search yields no results, the bookstore does not yet have the textbooks for your course. If you buy your textbooks in person, the books for IDL courses are in a special section at the Coffman Union bookstore. For more information, call 612-625-6000 or 1-800-442-8636 and ask for IDL book service.

Course Outline
The course includes 14 lessons (covering 6 units) with a 15th week for the final exam.

Unit I: Kinematics
• Motion in One Dimension (Constant Velocity)
• Motion in One Dimension (Constant Acceleration)
• Motion in Two Dimensions

Unit II: Forces
• Newton's Laws of Motion
• Friction, Tension & Normal Forces
• Circular Motion

Unit III: Energy
• KE, PE, Work & Gravitational PE
• Energy Conservation, Power & Work by a Variable Force

Unit IV: Collisions
• Impulse & Momentum in One Dimension
• Momentum in Two Dimensions

Unit V: Rotational Kinematics
• Angular Displacement, Angular Velocity & Angular Acceleration
• Centripetal Vs. Tangential Acceleration

Unit VI: Rotational Dynamics
• Force vs. Torque, Center of Gravity & Newton's Second
• Rotational Work & Energy, Angular Momentum

Grading Information
Please see the Course at a Glance section above.
Course Introduction
Physics 1107 is an online, algebra-based course covering Newtonian mechanics. Its topics are kinematics, dynamics, forces, mechanical energy, momentum, rotational kinematics, and rotational dynamics. Each lesson contains a laboratory exercise to be performed at home. Labs are supplemented by online, interactive simulations. Problem-solving is fundamental to Physics 1107, both as a way to learn the concepts of physics and as a skill in itself. You will solve problems on your own and in small online groups, including weekly live chat sessions for questions and help. By the end of the course, you should be able to

• understand and explain fundamental principles of kinematics, dynamics, forces, mechanical energy, momentum, rotational kinematics, and rotational dynamics;
• make predictions and test them;
• gather and analyze data; and
• write up your results in a formal lab report.
Liberal Education Core Requirement
This class satisfies the University of Minnesota Liberal Education requirement of a physical science course with a laboratory component, as part of the Liberal Education Core.  Discoveries and inventions that have profoundly altered the course of human history arose from the physical sciences.  As citizens and voters (whether in the United States or in another country), today’s students will be called upon to make decisions on such topics as global climate change, alternative energy sources and resource management.  A familiarity with the methods and findings of the physical sciences has never been more important and forms a crucial component of a common education.  

This class will expose the student to physical principles and concepts, demonstrate how these principles can be applied to quantitatively describe natural phenomena, and provide the student with an opportunity to perform hands-on experiments and measurements that replicate how physical knowledge is obtained.  All knowledge in the physical sciences is empirically acquired, and a proper exposure to the ways of knowing and thinking in the physical sciences requires a laboratory component to any formal coursework.  The lab component of the class will give you experience in making predictions based upon hypotheses, which are then empirically tested by experiment or observation, through which scientific knowledge is developed.  The language of the physical world is mathematical and students will be expected to employ mathematical reasoning in order to solve problems both qualitatively and quantitatively. Physics is a social endeavor, and the student will gain experience in cooperative problem solving, working in small groups with other students, in the laboratory sections of the course.

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