Courses

General Physics: Mechanics

Course Description

Mechanics is a calculus-based introduction to classical mechanics, including topics ranging from measurement to gravitational forces and oscillations. This course is designed to provide students with a working knowledge of these elementary physics principles, as well as their applications, and to enhance their conceptual understanding of physical laws. The introduction of data acquisition and analysis methods will be stressed in a laboratory setting.

Lecture videos can be found on my YouTube page [link], or by clicking the links for each chapter below. We will use the free text "University Physics Volume 1" by OpenStax, found here [link]. You can also order a print copy through our bookstore or from their website at low cost.

Lectures

Homework Assignments

  • Ch 1 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 2 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 3 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 4 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 5 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 6 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 7 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 8 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 9 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 10 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 11 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 12 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 13 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 15 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 16 Assignment PDF

Practice Exams

  • Exam 1 (Ch 1-4) PDF
  • Exam 2 (Ch 5-8) PDF
  • Exam 3 (Ch 9-11) PDF
  • Exam 4 (Ch 12-13,15-16) PDF

Photonic

Motion of a Pendulum

When a pendulum swings back and forth, its velocity and acceleration are constantly changing. Pay close attention to when (and where) the velocity goes to zero. Notice that the acceleration is maximum at this moment. Also, notice that the acceleration is not necessarily in the direction of motion!

General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism

Course Description

Electricity and Magnetism is a calculus-based introduction to classical electricity and magnetism, including topics ranging from electric charge to electromagnetic oscillations. This course is designed to provide students with a working knowledge of these elementary physics principles, as well as their applications, and to enhance their conceptual understanding of physical laws. The introduction of data acquisition and analysis methods will be stressed in a laboratory setting.

Lecture videos can be found on my YouTube page [link], or by clicking the links for each chapter below. We will use the free text "University Physics Volume 2" by OpenStax, found here [link]. You can also order a print copy through our bookstore or from their website at low cost.

Lectures

Homework Assignments

  • Ch 5.1 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 5.2 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 6 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 7 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 8 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 9 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 10 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 11 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 12 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 13 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 14 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 15 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 16 Assignment PDF

Practice Exams

  • Exam 1 (Ch 21-22) PDF
  • Exam 2 (Ch 23-25) PDF
  • Exam 3 (Ch 26-28) PDF
  • Exam 4 (Ch 29-31) PDF

Photonic

Polarization of Water

When electrons are exchanged between the wool and plastic rod, they separate with equal but opposite net charge. When the rod is brought near a stream of neutral water, we see the water deflect toward the rod. In fact, this would happen even if we instead brought the wool close. The water seems to be attracted to all charged objects! This is due to polarization, i.e., the redistribution of charges in an object resulting in a net force.

General Physics: Fluids and Thermal Physics

Course Description

Fluids and Thermal Physics is a calculus-based introduction to the basic concepts of fluids and sound, heat, kinetic theory, and entropy. This course is designed to provide students with a working knowledge of these elementary physics principles, as well as their applications, and to enhance their conceptual understanding of physical laws. The introduction of data acquisition and analysis methods will be stressed in a laboratory setting. The class meets for a one hour lecture and a two hour recitation/lab each week.

Lecture videos can (eventually) be found on my YouTube page. We will use the free texts "University Physics Volume 1" [link] and "University Physics Volume 2" [link] by OpenStax. Note that the material below comes from two different volumes, as indicated. You can order a print copy of each volume through our bookstore or from their website at low cost.

Lectures

  • Chapter 14 (V1) - Fluids PDF
  • Chapter 16 (V1) - Waves I PDF
  • Chapter 17 (V1) - Waves II PDF
  • Chapter 1 (V2) - Temperature and Heat PDF
  • Chapter 2 (V2) - Kinetic Theory of Gases PDF
  • Chapter 3 (V2) - First Law of Thermodynamics PDF
  • Chapter 4 (V2) - Second Law of Thermodynamics PDF

Homework Assignments

  • Ch 14 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 16 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 17 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 1 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 2-3 Assignment PDF
  • Ch 4 Assignment PDF

Practice Exams

  • Exam 1 (Ch 14, 16, 17; V1) PDF
  • Exam 2 (Ch 1-4; V2) PDF

Photonic

Buoyancy and Displacement

When an object is placed in a fluid, how do we know if it will float or not? And, if it floats, how high above the water will it float? To answer these questions, we must understand buoyancy and displacement. This demonstration seems to indicate that the amount of fluid displaced is related to the mass of the floating object.

General Physics: Wave Motion and Quantum Physics

Course Description

Wave Motion and Quantum Physics is a calculus-based study of the basic concepts of wave motion, geometrical optics, interference phenomena, photons, wave mechanics, and the structure of matter. This course is designed to provide students with a working knowledge of these elementary physics principles, as well as their applications, and to enhance their conceptual understanding of physical laws. The introduction of data acquisition and analysis methods will be stressed in a laboratory setting. The class meets for a one hour lecture and a two hour recitation/lab each week.

Lecture videos can (eventually) be found on my YouTube page, or by clicking the links for each chapter below. We will use the free text "University Physics Volume 3" by OpenStax, found here [link]. You can also order a print copy through our bookstore or from their website at low cost.

Lectures

  • Chapter 1 - The Nature of Light PDF
  • Chapter 2 - Geometric Optics PDF
  • Chapter 3 - Interference PDF
  • Chapter 4 - Diffraction PDF
  • Chapter 6 - Photons/Matter Waves PDF
  • Chapter 7 - Quantum Mechanics PDF
  • Chapter 8 - Atomic Structure PDF
  • Chapter 9 - Condensed Matter Physics PDF
  • Chapter 10 - Nuclear Physics PDF

Homework Assignments

Homework assignments are taken from the book and are listed in the syllabus on Canvas.

Practice Exams

  • Exam 1 (Ch 32-36) PDF
  • Exam 2 (Ch 38,39,41-43) PDF

Photonic

Double Slit Experiment

When individual electrons or photons are fired at two slits, we would expect them to make a pattern of two slits on the other side if they behave like marbles. However, what we find is an interference pattern, as if the "particles" behave like waves. But if they interfere like waves, and we only send a single particle at a time, this implies that the single particle went through both slits and interfered with itself! The explanation for this seemingly impossible demonstration is to realize that in quantum mechanics, electrons are described using a wave function that is not localized to a single point but instead spreads out to cover both slits.