PHYS 1108 -- Changes

Mon Feb 23 11:23:54 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 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, Simple Fluid Mechanics, the basic principles of Thermodynamics, Waves and Sound, Electricity, Magnetism, Electromagnetic Waves and Optics.  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 use materials in a kit and use computer simulations. The textbook references are to Serway and Vuile, Essentials of College Physics, 2007.

Week-by week summary  

Week 1: Fluids- pressure and buoyancy (Serway and Vuile chap. 9)       
Week 2: Fluids/ Thermal Physics- temperature (Serway and Vuile chap. 9/10)
Week 3: Thermal Physics- calorimetry and kinetic theory (Serway and Vuile chap. 11)
Week 4: Waves and Sound 1- formulas, standing/traveling (Serway and Vuile chap. 13)
Week 5: Waves and Sound 2- interference and doppler (Serway and Vuile chap. 14)
Week 6: E forces and fields- Coulombs law and e field (Serway and Vuile chap. 15)
Week 7: Electrical Energy and caps- potential and chargacap (Serway and Vuile chap. 16)
Week 8: Current and Resistance- current and Ohms law (Serway and Vuile chap. 17)
Week 9: DC Circuits- Kirchoffs laws (Serway and Vuile chap. 18)
Week 10: Magnetism- currents and Amperes law (Serway and Vuile chap. 19)
Week 11: Optics 1 – reflection, Snells law (Serway and Vuile chap. 22)
Week 12: Mirrors and Lenses- lensmakers formula (Serway and Vuile chap. 23)
Week 13: Wave Optics- interference and diffraction with light (Serway and Vuile chap. 24)
Week 14: Relativity- constant c and its consequences (Serway and Vuile chap. 26)
Week 15: QM- matter on very small scales, matter and light (Serway and Vuile chap. 27)

Describe how the course meets the specific criteria for the proposed designated themes requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or methods.

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Writing Intensive
What types of writing (e.g., reading essay, formal lab reports, journaling) are likely to be assigned? Include the page total for each writing assignment. Indicate which assignment(s) students will be required to revise and resubmit after feedback by the instructor or the graduate TA.

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How does assigning a significant amount of writing serve the purpose of this course?

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What types of instruction will students receive on the writing aspect of the assignments?

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How will the students' grades depend on their writing performance? What percentage of the overall grade will be dependent on the quality and level of the students' writing compared with the course content?

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If graduate students or peer tutors will be assisting in this course, what role will they play in regard to teaching writing?

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How will the assistants be trained and supervised?

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Write up a sample assignment handout here for a paper that students will revise and resubmit after receiving feedback on the initial draft.

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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.

Phys 1108 Distance Learning Syllabus

Course Details (subject to change)
PHYS 1108:
A 4-credit 15-week online course
Current Term: Spring
Semester 2009
Current Section: A84
Section Dates:
Jan. 20 - May 8, 2009
Call Number: 79414
Registration Status:
Nov. 11, 2008 - Jan. 23, 2009
Course Instructor
Pete Border E-mail:
Course at a Glance
Educational Purpose:
Phys 1108 is the second semester of the University of Minnesota's introductory algebra-based
physics sequence, presented online. We will cover thermal physics, electricity and (a little)
magnetism, waves and some modern physics. Throughout the course the emphasis will be on
understanding and problem-solving rather than mathematical rigor. Laboratories are a
required part of the course.
• Phys 1101W (Introductory Physics) or Phys 1107 (Introductory Physics Online)
• This fully online course requires computer and Internet skills such as word processing,
browsing the Web, uploading and downloading files, and using e-mail with file attachments.
For computer requirements, see "Browser Set Up" at WebVista (will open in new window).
• Access to a scanner will be needed for submitting weekly handwritten problems
electronically. You don't need to own a scanner, although this would be convenient; access
through a library or copy center (e.g., a Kinko's store) will suffice.
Grading Options: A through F only
Course Requirements:
The following graded activities are required:
• Weekly problem sets from the textbook (35%)
• 6 multipart labs, including data analysis activities and lab reports (20%)
• Proctored, "paper and pencil" midcourse and final exams (45%)
Note: This information is subject to change at the instructor's discretion as needed to support
the learning objectives of the course.
Course Materials
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Text: Serway & Vuille (2007). Essentials of College Physics, 1st Edition. Brooks/Cole,
Cengage Learning.
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
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
Lesson 01: Solids and Fluids 1
Lesson 02: Fluids 2 and Thermal Physics 1
Lesson 03: Thermal Physics 2
Lesson 04: Waves and Sound 1
Lesson 05: Waves and Sound 2
Lesson 06: E Forces and Fields
Lesson 07: Electrical Energy
Lesson 08: Current and Resistance
Lesson 09: DC Circuits
Lesson 10: Magnetism
Lesson 11: Optics 1
Lesson 12: Optics 2
Lesson 13: Optics 3
Lesson 14: Relativity and Quantum Mechanics
Lesson 15: Final exam

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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