Welcome to Essentials of Physics I

Physics 211, Fall 2008
Tentative course schedule, syllabus, and list of assignments:


Mon., Wed., Fri. 9:05--9:55am, PSC Bldg. Rm. 205


Wed. 2:30--3:20pm, PSC Bldg. Rm. 205


M. N. Kunchur, Office: PSC 303


Phone: 777 1907, Email: kunchur@sc.edu


Homepage: http://www.physics.sc.edu/kunchur

Office hours:

Course website:

You may drop by at anytime on Mon., Wed., or Fri. or call/email to make an appointment.

backup server: http://frost.physics.sc.edu/p211 

Text: Fundamentals of Physics by Halliday, Resnick, and Walker, 8th Edition, John Wiley & Sons. Clickers are not required.

Learning outcomes:
Students will demonstrate knowledge of the definitions of scalar and vector physical quantities and know examples of each.
Students will demonstrate the ability to apply vectors and vector operations to solve problems in physics.
Students will demonstrate a knowledge of Newton's laws and be able to apply them to solve problems involving rigid bodies.
Students will be able to use the relationships between work, kinetic, and potential energies to solve problems.
Students will be able to apply the conservation of angular momentum to solve problems.
Students will be able state and apply the Law of Universal Gravitation to solve problems.

The approximate goal will be to cover parts of the material from chapters 1—17 of the text.
The text will not be followed exactly and some sections may be dropped or additional material outside the book covered. Also the style and treatment may be different from the book, so attendance at all classes is essential. If you do miss a class, please get notes from someone immediately—it may be difficult to learn the missed material just from reading the book. The quizzes, tests and final exam will be based on what is actually covered in class and the assigned homework.

Homework (HW) will consist of assignments from the back of each chapter plus other questions/problems given in class. You will have an in-class quiz almost every week. This will check how well you have understood the HW as well as the general concepts and theory. This course will emphasize gaining a conceptual understanding of physics and a qualitative feel for the topics, besides being able to solve numerical problems. Accordingly the tests and quizzes will contain not only problems but also qualitative (essay type) questions and derivations. However, the questions will not be open ended (like "What's your philosophy of life?").

The overall grade will be based on quizzes (20%), 3 tests (50%), and a cumulative final exam (30%). Plus there is a 2% bonus for participation in classroom discussions. You are advised to save all course material (especially the graded tests that you get back) until the course has ended and a final letter grade has been assigned. Quizzes and tests are fully closed-book. Usually no quizzes or tests are dropped!

Note that there is no capa. The Wed. 2:30pm class is like any other and requires mandatory attendance. Quizzes and tests are often given during this period.




You will need to bring a scientific calculator for the quizzes, tests, and final. Graphing calculators, cell-phones, PDA’s, and other instruments with large memories are not allowed.

Notes (usually brief outlines) and other materials and announcements will be posted on the course web site from time to time, so keep an eye on that site.

The following grades boundaries will serve as a guide:

0 F < 50 D < 56 D+ < 63 C < 70 C+ < 76  B < 83 B+ < 90  A 100

I may adjust these if the overall curve is much lower. Makeup exams will be given for exceptional situations such as valid medical excuses.

Please don't hesitate to ask questions at any time - either in class or in my office.


Dates for the tests and final

Test 1

Wednesday, September 17


Test 2

Wednesday, October 15


Test 3

Friday, November 7


Final exam

Saturday, December 13