Introduction

Physics 135, section 003, is a web-based, first-year physics course.  While students can meet with the instructor during office hours, the only time students are required to show up in person is during the tests.  Students are required to complete all the course assignments on time following the schedule published on the web.  A student must have good study habits and be self-motivated to succeed in this course.  Students who do not like the web-based format should register for sections 001 or 004, where Physics 135 is offered in a studio-physics format.

All the class material can be viewed by everyone, except the assignments and the tests.  Assignments and test are accessed via Blackboard.  Students can submit each assignment three times, and the highest score counts. 

Please do not hesitate to ask questions before your last submission.  Come to the department of physics tutorial center, to my the office hours, make an appointment, or send email.

Please read the syllabus carefully and always check the schedule and the laboratories pages for due dates.  You are responsible for completing all class assignments on time.  Also check the the Class Pages on Blackboard regularly.  They contain additional course information, class announcements, and some course document that are only available to registered students.

The Vocabulary of Physics

Most disciplines have their own special vocabulary.  The vocabulary of physics includes words whose meaning in everyday language may depend on the context in which they are used.  In physics, these words have only one precisely defined, context-independent meaning.

Take, for example, the word "force".

bulletThe force of gravity is acting on every object on the surface of this planet.
bulletHe is a force to be reckoned with.
bulletMay the force be with you.

Only the first of these three sentences uses the word "force" to refer to the concept it describes in physics.

Words such as position, velocity, acceleration, energy, power, etc, all have context-dependent meaning in everyday language.  It is important that when communicating about physics, you always use the precise, context-independent definition of these words.  Words whose definitions you should keep in mind appear in bold, red font in the Web material.