PHYS 131
Introduction to Mechanics Fall 2010
Division III Quantitative/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 extended objects and of fluids also will be discussed briefly. We finally turn to the basic properties of waves, such as interference and polarization, with emphasis on light waves. 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: none
Expected: 60
Class#: 1137
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: Mathematics 103; 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 Physics 141 instead
Unit Notes: Physics 131 can lead to either Physics 132 (for students wanting a one-year survey of physics) or Physics 142 (for students considering a physics or astrophysics major)
Distributions: Division III Quantitative/Formal Reasoning
Attributes: FYCR Open to First-Year Students

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