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PY251 Principles of Physics 1

Fall 2014

Professor Steve Ahlen,
Office: PRB 275
Phone: 617 353 8940
Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 10:15 12:15 or by appointment

TEACHING ASSISTANTS: Philip Weinberg (discussion sections)
Ashish Bino George (lab sections)

LECTURE: Tuesday and Thursday 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM in SCI 117

DISCUSSION SECTIONS (no discussion sections first week)
D1: Wednesday 10:00AM - 11:00AM; SCI B58
D2: Wednesday 11:00AM - 12:00PM SCI B58

LAB SECTIONS (no lab sections first week)
L1: Thursday 9:30AM - 12:30PM
L2: Friday 9:00AM - 12:00PM
L3: Friday 12:00PM - 3:00PM

PY251 is an introduction to mechanics, conservation laws, heat, and thermodynamics. The
course is intended primarily for physics, mathematics, and astronomy majors, but is open to
other students with a strong background in mathematics. It carries natural science divisional
credit (with lab) in CAS.

COURSE WEBSITE: This syllabus and other pertinent information can be found at the PY252
course website:

PREREQUISITE: CAS MA 123 or equivalent: Limits; derivatives; differentiation of algebraic
functions. Applications to maxima, minima, and convexity of functions. The definite integral; the
fundamental theorem of integral calculus; applications of integration.

COREQUISITE: CAS MA 124 or CAS MA 127: Logarithmic, exponential, and trigonometric
functions. Sequences and series; Taylor's series with the remainder. Methods of integration.

TEXTBOOK: Physics for Engineers and Scientists, Third Edition, Volume 1, Hans C. Ohanian
and John T. Markert, Norton, 2007. ISBN 978-0-393-93003-0

DISCUSSION SECTIONS: Discussion sections are a required part of the course. You must have
an assigned section. The teaching and learning assistants will supplement the lecture material,
assist in problem solving, and help you prepare for exams. Participation in discussion sections
will account for 10% of your grade.

EXAMS: There will be three exams: two midterms plus a final during the regularly scheduled
final exam period. The exams will represent 70% of your grade: 20% for each midterm and 30%
for the final.

HOMEWORK: Weekly problem sets, consisting of five problems, will be posted on the course
website. Homework is due in Lecture sections on Thursdays of each week. The homework will
be graded and will be returned during the discussion section. The maximum score on each
homework assignment is 15 points. Solutions will be posted on the course website. Homework
scores will account for 10% of your grade.

LABS: Laboratory sections are a required part of the course. You will perform the experiments
and write up your observations in a suitable laboratory notebook. The notebooks are due at the
end of each lab period. The lab teaching assistant is responsible for presenting extra material
related to each lab, helping you with the measurements, and grading your notebook. Lab scores
will account for 10% of your final grade. ALL LABS ARE REQUIRED: Turning in fewer than 7
labs will results in a non-passing grade. Lab write-ups are available from: Be sure to read over the lab and do the pre-lab exercises
before going to lab.

Academic Conduct: You are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the College's Academic
Conduct Code. Cheating on exams or other course work will not be tolerated. The homework
and labs you turn in must be your own work. Evidence of cheating will be reported to your
college's Academic Conduct Committee.

Week of Lab Room
September 8 Position, Velocity, Acceleration MBL 134
September 15 Forces Between Carts MBL 136
September 22 Constant Acceleration 134
October 20 Collisions MBL 134
October 27 Torque & Moment of Inertia MBL 134
November 17 Fluids B9
December 1 Mechanical Equivalent of Heat B15

Not all of every chapter will be covered in class. But it is advised that you read all of each
chapter. You will be primarily responsible on the exams for that material which is covered in
September 2 and 4: Chapters 1 and 2
September 9 and 11: Chapters 3 and 4
September 16 and 18: Chapter 5
September 23 and 25: Chapters 6 and 7
September 30 and October 2: Chapter 8
October 7 and 9: Chapter 9
October 14: No lecture (Monday schedule)
October 16: First midterm exam (in class)
October 21 and 23: Chapters 10 and 11
October 28 and 30: Chapters 12 and 13
November 4 and 6: Chapter 14
November 11 and 13: Chapters 15 and 16
November 18: Chapter 17
November 20: Second midterm exam (in class)
November 25: Chapter 18
November 27: Thanksgiving
December 2 and 4: Chapters 19 and 20
December 9 (last lecturer): Chapter 21
December 18: Final Exam (12-2)

First Midterm Exam: 20%
Second Midterm Exam: 20%
Homework: 10%
Discussion Section Participation: 10%
Lab Reports: 10%
Final Exam: 30%