Preparatory Physics: PH100-LB Course Information

Day and Time: Lecture: Tue. & Thur., 10:20AM-12:25PM
Room: BEC215
Suggested Textbook: Cutnell and Johnson: Physics, 7th Ed. (Wiley, 2007), Volume I
Instructor: Dr. Ryoichi Kawai
phone: (205) 934-3931
Office Hour: Wed. 12:30-1:30pm
Course Website:
Online Homework Website: WebAssign

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Course Description:   This is a one-semester introduction into how to solve simple kinematics and dynamics problems, utilizing basic algebra, trigonometry, vectors and other mathematical tools. The main objective of the course is to aquire basic skills and knowledge necessary to enter regular college physics courses. Mastering college level physics is not a main goal of this course and thus this course may not be used to satisfy Area III of Core Curriculum.

Prerequisite: MA106: Pre-Calculus Trigonometry

Learning Objectives
  • To develop the ability to translate nonscientific prose into the language of physics
  • To enchance mathematical skills necessary to solve physics problems. The key methamatical methods used in this course are
    1. Simple algebra including quadratic equations and simultaneous equations
    2. Trigonometry
    3. Graphing (data value, slope and curvature)
    4. Simple geometry (lines, angles, triangles, rectangles, circles, length, circumference, area, volume)
    5. Cartesian coordinates
    6. Vectors
  • To gain the ability to apply principles and laws to specific situations. Key principles introduced in this course are
    1. Kinematics (position, displacement, velocty, acceleration, and time)
    2. Forces (normal force, tension, uniform gravity, and friction)
    3. Newton's laws of motion
Expected Outcomes:
Students successfully completing this course will have mathematic skills and physics background sufficent to succeed in regular physics courses such as PH201 or PH221.

Test and Final Exam
Three medterm exams and one comprehensive final exam will be given. No textbook nor notebook is allowed in the exams. One letter-size hand-written information sheet is allowed. You can write down mathematical formulae, laws and priciples of physics, physical formulae, physical contants, and other concepts related to physics and mathematics on the information sheet. However, you are not allowed to write solutions of any particular problem including homework problems, example problems in textbook. A calculator may be used during exam. A make-up test may be given if unforeseen problems should happen. However, no more than one test can be made up. You must notify the instructor within a day or two of the exam day with a written reason for the make-up.
Homework are electronically processed by WebAssign: http://www/ In order to solve homework problems, you need Internet access and a web browser (Firefox is recommended.) Homework due is strictly enforced by computer. You are strongly advised to start homework as soon as it is assigned.

Course grade is determined based on the three midterm exams (15 pts each), final exam (40 pts), and Homework (15 pts). The following table shows a general guideline of the letter grades. The border lines may be adjusted depending on the class average and standard deviation. Incomplete "I" is given to students who completed more than 70% of homework, and at least three exams before the end of of the term (May 1, 2008).
Letter GradeTotal Score
A > = 90
B > = 80
C > = 70
D > = 60
F < 60

Withdrawal from the course
Last day to withdraw from the course with "W": July 7, 2008.     Medical withdraw: If you developed serious medical problems during the term, you can withdraw from the course at any time before the end of the term. Consult with your adviser. If you have missed two or more exams due to major medical problems, you should consider medical withdraw.