PHYS 131
Introduction to Mechanics Fall 2014
Division III Quantative/Formal Reasoning
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

We focus first on the Newtonian mechanics of point particles: the relationship between velocity, acceleration, and position; the puzzle of circular motion; forces; Newton’s laws; energy and momentum; and gravitation. The physics of rotations and vibrations will also be discussed. We finally turn to the basic properties of waves, such as interference and refraction, as exemplified with sound and light waves. We also study optics of lenses and mirrors. This course is intended for students who have not studied physics before, or who have had some physics, but are not comfortable solving “word problems” that require calculus.
The Class: Format: lecture, three hours per week; laboratory, three hours every other week
Limit: 24/lab
Expected: 60
Class#: 1551
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on exams, labs, and weekly problem sets, all of which have a substantial quantitative component
Prerequisites: MATH 130; students who scored 4 or 5 on the AP Physics B exam or on the AP Physics C (mechanics) exam, or 6 or 7 on the IB Physics HL exam may not take this course and are encouraged to take PHYS 141 instead
Unit Notes: PHYS 131 can lead to either PHYS 132 (for students wanting a one-year survey of physics) or PHYS 142 (for students considering a Physics or Astrophysics major)
Distributions: Division III Quantative/Formal Reasoning

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