PHYS& 114 - General Physics I
First in a three-course survey of physics for allied health, building construction, biology, forestry, architecture, and other programs. Topics include units, kinematics, vectors, dynamics, work and energy, momentum, rotational motion, and harmonic motion.
Prerequisite(s): MATH 142 or equivalent.
- Laboratory Practice
- Uses standard laboratory instruments appropriately, based on a sufficient understanding of their function;
- Measures physical quantities in the laboratory with appropriate attention to minimizing possible sources of random and systematic error;
- Measures physical quantities in the laboratory with appropriate attention to minimizing possible sources of random and systematic error;
- Makes reasonable estimates of the uncertainties associated with each measurement;
- Recognizes that measurement uncertainty is estimated as an act judgment on the part of the observer and that judgment does not imply arbitrariness.
- Evaluates a hypothesis in terms of its testability and determine the kind and amount of data required to test it;
- Summarizes the properties of a set of data to facilitate analysis, using standard statistics such as mean and standard deviation;
- Determines the uncertainty of a computed quantity that arises from the uncertainties in the measured values of the quantities from which it is computed;
- Analyzes an appropriate set of measurements for consistency with a hypothesis, form and justify a conclusion regarding the fit between the data and the hypothesis;
Scientific Communication Skills
- Produces a compactly and unambiguously worded hypothesis as the starting point for observation or experiment;
- Produces a compact and unambiguous verbal description of an experimental procedure and of the observations/data obtained using it;
- Produces a compact and unambiguous verbal description of a chain of theoretical or experimental reasoning characterized by clarity regarding assumptions, accuracy regarding logical connections, specificity regarding conclusions, and clarity regarding the scope (and limitations) of applicability;
- Recognizes that uncertainty is inherent in measurement rather than being a human failing;
- Will not use the phrase, “human error” in lab reports;
- Expresses data clearly using appropriate units, valid treat of experimental uncertainty and attention to the significant digits in numerical representations.
- Express experimental conclusions clearly, compactly and unambiguously.
Physical Problem Solving Skills
- Habitually sketches the configuration of problem elements as part of the problem-solving process;
- Habitually uses a variety of representations in the problem-solving process;
- Consciously selects an appropriate coordinate system;
- Identifies sub-problems and breaks a large problem into parts (linking variables).
- Habitually develops and interprets algebraic representations before substituting particular numerical values;
- Makes appropriate use of significant figures and units in problem-solving;
- Interprets algebraic and numerical results in words;
Kinematics objectives: Students can distinguish acceleration from velocity in diverse settings, can distinguish accelerated motions from non-accelerated motions, recognize that this is a significant distinction, and can correctly determine the direction of acceleration.
The student will demonstrate competence with verbal, graphical, algebraic and vector algebraic representations of motions as described below.
- Correctly describe the position velocity and acceleration of an object with attention to proper use of the terms “increasing”, “decreasing” or “constant” (steady).
- Given a verbal description of the motion, the student can correctly deduce the values (if given) or relative magnitudes, and signs of the position, velocity and acceleration.
- Given a verbal description or an observation of the motion, the student can produce qualitatively correct graphs for the position velocity and acceleration.
- From graphs of the position velocity and acceleration (and appropriate initial conditions) students can describe the motion and the graphs with proper use of slope vs. value and “increasing”, “decreasing” or “constant” (steady).
- Students are able to obtain quantitative information from graphs utilizing slope, value, area under the curve, and intersections of graph curves or intersections with the axes.
- Students can produce any two of the position velocity or acceleration graphs from the remaining graph and appropriate initial conditions.
- Given a verbal description, graph, or an observation of the motion, the student can write an appropriate equation for the motion correctly choosing signs and values if this information is available.
- Students can represent the position, velocity, relative velocity or acceleration vectorially and decompose the vectors into components where appropriate.
- Students can perform vector arithmetic to find resultant vectors in one and two dimensions.
- Students can solve end-of-chapter problems involving one or two objects in one or two dimensions.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to apply representations to this process, including proper use of coordinates, selection of equations, interpretation of implicitly given information, and symbolic (rather than numeric) algebra steps.
Classical physics proceeds by dividing the universe into two portions; one is the system to be analyzed, the remainder becomes the environment for the system of interest. This analytic dichotomy is a context for describing the objectives below; the ability to make a fruitful system definition is a goal for instruction.
For dynamics the system will be a single object or a small collection of objects. The environment interacts with the system through the action of forces such that the net vector force on the system by the environment completely determines the acceleration of the system. The single property of the system that regulates the resulting acceleration is the mass of the system. The fundamental problem for dynamics then, is to determine the acceleration of the system given the forces that are acting. Given the acceleration, kinematics equations can be used to predict the position and velocity of the object for all future times. The reverse problem is to work from an observation of the motion backward, to determine one or all of the forces that have caused the acceleration. Critical to the success of this program is the ability to reliably determine the forces acting on the system, or in the reverse problem, to reliably determine the acceleration of the system. Thus the emphasis on acceleration in the kinematics section, and on free body diagrams in the present section.
- The student has formed the concepts of inertia and of Newtonian force and distinguishes force from closely related or more primitive concepts of impetus, momentum, velocity, and “the force of inertia” (which is not a Newtonian force at all).
- For small numbers of interacting objects, the student can identify the forces of interaction, properly assign them to the system that experiences the force, and identify the object that makes the force.
- The student can recognize action reaction pairs among the forces acting in common situations, and distinguishes these from “cause/effect” pairs of forces.
- The student recognizes mass as a measure of inertia, distinguishes weight from mass, and distinguishes weight from the supporting force(s) supplied to objects by other objects in the environment.
- The student understands the distinction between active and passive forces and can recognize the circumstances that determine the character of a passive force in various circumstances.
Newton’s Second Law
- The student correctly identifies the net force (rather than any particular force) as the cause of the acceleration (rather than causing velocity).
- The student can apply vector concepts to describe the effects of competing forces acting on a system.
- The student can correctly determine the net vector force acting on a system when three or more forces act, and can express the net force in both common vector forms.
- The student can apply Newton’s Second law to a body in the context of end of chapter problems, utilizing free body diagrams, appropriate coordinates, and any required kinematics equations.
Dynamical Analysis and Synthesis
- The student can apply Newton’s Second law to a body in the context of the end of chapter problems, utilizing free body diagrams, appropriate coordinates, and any required kinematics equations.
- The student can distinguish between inertial and non-inertial reference frames, and understands that Newton’s Second Law only applies to the former.
- The student is able to describe an operational (and non circular) method of defining mass and force using Newton’s Second Law.
- The student can determine from the problem whether to go from dynamics to kinematics or the other way.
Friction and Circular Motion objectives
- The student has a conceptual understanding of frictional forces as demonstrated by the ability to distinguishes and properly identify cases of static friction from cases of kinetic friction, the ability to predict the behavior of objects that are acted on by frictional forces, and by correctly distinguishing the physical meanings of the terms found in the expressions used to describe friction.
- The student can apply their understanding of frictional forces to the solution of end-of-chapter problems involving a small number of objects.
- The student has a conceptual understanding of the dynamics of circular motion as demonstrated by the ability to properly identify the force(s) comprise a centripetal force in a variety of settings.
- Particularly cases in which several forces jointly comprise the centripetal force acting on the object. the ability to predict the behavior of objects that are acted on by centripetal forces when these forces are removed, and by the absence of the appearance of incorrect centrifugal forces and centrifugal accelerations in their subsequent coursework (through the end of the quarter) students can apply their understanding of the dynamics of circular motion to the solution of end-of-chapter problems.
- The student is able to make intellectually fruitful choices of the system and clearly identify what elements are contained in the system and what parts of the problem are in the environment.
- The student can describe general principles that guide the physicist in making the choices above for each of the three potentially conserved quantities addressed in the course: energy, linear momentum and angular momentum.
- The student can apply the non-conservation test (see each section below) for each of the three potentially conserved quantities at the system boundary to detect whether the quantity is conserved, gained, or lost, by the system.
- The student can make appropriate choices of states to compare that will produce an equation that is useful in analyzing the problem.
- The student can apply conservation methods to solve for a variable that links to an associated dynamics problem and the reverse. (The student can integrate these two methods in a single compound problem).
- The student can compute the work done by a force and illustrate this calculation for non-parallel vectors, apply the definition of work correctly to this question in a variety of settings, and can use the concept of work as the test applied to the system boundary to check for conservation of energy in the system.
- The student identifies work as a scalar quantity, treats it as a scalar in solving problems, and correctly interprets positive and negative signs in work calculations.
- The student can identify conservative forces, demonstrate that these forces meet the definition of a conservative force, and identify a potential energy function for each such force.
- The student can compute the translational and rotational kinetic energies of an object or system of objects and employs the Work-Energy Theorem as the embodiment of the program outlined above for applying the conservation of energy.
- The student can compute the total energy for a state of a system typically found in end-of-chapter problems, including translational and rotational kinetic energies, gravitational potential energy, and spring potential energy.
Linear Momentum objectives
- The student can compute the impulse of a force, applies the definition of impulse correctly to this question in a variety of settings, and can use the concept of impulse as the test applied to the system boundary to check for conservation of momentum in the system.
- The student identifies impulse as a vector quantity and treats it as a vector in solving problems.
- The student can compute the momentum of an object or system of objects and employs the Impulse-Momentum Theorem as the embodiment of the program outlined above for the conservation of momentum.
- The student can demonstrate the ability to solve momentum conservation problems in one and two dimensions.
- The student can distinguish elastic from inelastic collisions, apply conservation principles appropriately to problems, describe qualitatively the implications of the general solution to the two body elastic collision problem, and apply this solution to particular problems.
Angular Momentum objectives
- The student can compute the angular momentum for a rotating object or for a translating object when viewed from a particular axis.
- The student can compute the change of angular momentum produced by torque and can use this as the test applied to the system boundary to check for the conservation of angular momentum in the system.
- The student can solve end-of-chapter problems involving conservation of angular momentum.
- The student can correctly apply the definitions of torque, change of angular momentum and angular momentum in the analysis of precession (the so-called gyroscopic effect).
Linear / Angular Momentum, Outcome/Assessment:
Student performance on post-instruction assignments and exams that involve these skills will be sufficiently reliable that less than one-third of the points awarded for the particular task is lost due to errors involving these objectives.
Rotational Kinematics objectives
- Students can distinguish angular acceleration from angular velocity in diverse settings, can distinguish accelerated rotational motion from non-accelerated rotational motions, recognize that this is a significant distinction, and can correctly determine the direction of angular acceleration.
- Given a verbal description of the motion the student can correctly deduce the values (if given) or relative magnitudes, and signs for the angle, angular velocity, and angular acceleration.
- Given a verbal description, graph, or an observation of the motion the student can write an appropriate equation for the motion correctly choosing signs and values if this information is available.
- Students can represent the angular velocity and angular acceleration vectorially using the Right-Hand Rule.
- The student can translate between angular variables and tangential one-dimensional kinematics variables making proper use of radian measure including the translation of other angular measures into radian measure.
- The student can combine the concepts of translational kinematics, relative velocities, and rotational kinematics to the problem of objects that roll without slipping to determine the instantaneous velocity of any point on the object or to determine the angular velocity from appropriate given information.
- Given compound objects having hubs, lips, or rims having different radii, the student can relate the values of translational variables at one radius to the values at another radius.
- This includes compound pulleys, gear assemblies, and rolling objects that have a point of contact other than the outer rim.
Rotational Dynamics objectives
- Students can compute the torque of a force using both the force component and moment arm methods, and determine the direction of the torque using the Right-Hand Rule.
- Students can demonstrate a conceptual understanding of torque as the measure of how effective a force is at producing angular acceleration and consequently make a distinction between torque and force through short written responses concerning observations.
- Students also employ appropriate methods to visualize the effects of torque on a system that use twisting motions rather than following the direction of the torque vector.
- For small numbers of interacting objects, the student can identify the torques of interaction, properly assign them to the system that experiences the torque, identify the object that makes the torque.
- Given an object or system acted upon by several forces, the student can compute the net torque about any specified axis and can make appropriate choices of axes to solve static equilibrium problems.
- The student can apply Newton’s Second law for rotations to a body in the context of the end of chapter problems, utilizing free body diagrams, appropriate coordinates, and any required kinematics equations.
- The student can determine the location of the center of gravity of a regular solid and estimate if for an object of arbitrary shape; can apply the center of gravity concept in static equilibrium problems [and describe the relation between the center of gravity of an extended object and center of mass of a system of objects].
- The student can combine rotational dynamics and the translational dynamics previously described to systems involving two or three objects in the context of end-of-chapter problems.
GenEd Outcomes: Creative and Critical Thinking
GenEd Outcomes: Connections
- Quantitative/Symbolic Reasoning
- Natural Systems (Science and the Natural World)
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