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PHYSICS 1010-400 and 401 Online (20738 and 20739)

Tentative Elementary Physics Syllabus

Spring Semester, 2017

9 January through 10 May

Note: Please read the Course Syllabus thoroughly.

Instructor: David Schaffer
B.S. Meteorology University of Utah 1982
M.S. Physics Wichita State University 2007

918-3023 Cell (urgent). 957-5063 Office (not checked regularly)

(Office 113D Lifetime Activities Center (LAC) on the west side of the Redwood campus;
hours by appointment)

E-mail: canvas email (primary), (secondary), (tertiary) and (last resort)

Text: Conceptual Physics by Paul Hewitt, 12th ed. (this is an excellent book if you dont like
it that means you havent seen the others). We will be using the accompanying online service
which is called Mastering Physics (MP). Much of our homework will be done through MP. You
will need to get access to MP.

How to gain access correctly to Mastering Physics: Youll do this through the course in
canvas using the Mylab and Mastering tab. You will not need a course ID. I will send
instructions on how to proceed from that point at the beginning of the semester when the class
is ready in canvas.

Overview: In addition to fulfilling a requirement for various programs of study, this is an

excellent general class for anyone who wants to learn about physics, one of the most basic of
the sciences. But I have a warning for you. If you get deep enough into physics there is a siren
song that will lure you farther in. And you will lose any desire to return to shore. After years of
swearing that I would never take another physics class thats what happened to me.

If you have ever wondered whether reality is as it really appears to be or if instead

superficial appearances can be deceiving, by the end of this class you will know that
there is a lot going on behind the scenes. Many of the principles and much of the
information we will read about or discuss were unknown for most of human history.
Some of the material will come from the time known as thirty years that shook physics
and includes ideas, confirmed by experiment, that are usually regarded as science
fiction and, it can be safely said, are not completely understood, even now, by any
human scientist.

It will take a LOT more time than you think:

For most of us, including me, physics classes are never easy. They always take far more
time than expected and the development of disciplined thought and hard work. This one
is no exception, partly because I will require that you actually learn things.

My no-nagging Policy

This semester I will have a lot of projects, ePortfolio Signature Assigments and Reflective
Writing Essays to grade and record. That means that I will not always have time to nag
you or remind you about things that havent been done or when to schedule makeup
work. It is your responsibility to get all this done on time and to check with me to see
that everything is in. If your stuff is not there I cant give you a grade on it!

How to Answer Questions

This is some advice about how to answer physics questions on quizzes and tests.

Do not rely on your common sense. This has proved to be a poor guide to understanding
the world. For that reason it is also a poor tool in getting good grades on physics tests.
Apply the concepts.

Do not answer the question immediately. First review what scientific knowledge and
concepts apply to the question, think and then answer.
If you have time, review the appropriate subject matter in the book.

Do NOT answer the question UNTIL you have marshaled and thought about all the
information you have at hand in the time you have.

Why People Have Trouble with Physics

Well, we have already talked about time and some other issues. Those are
important. And you have to remember that everyone has trouble in physics. But
there is a psychological aspect that you might not be aware of. Usually when
people get into trouble in physics they feel dumb and quit because of that. Dont
be hard on yourself; it adds greatly to stress. Come to me for help if you need it. I
am a resource that is available to you as for any of my non-internet classes.

Also, in physics, terminology is very precise and physical quantities have very
specific definitions. Terminology that is used casually in everyday conversation
will cause you serious trouble if used casually in physics. A classic example is
the difference between speed and velocity. These are used interchangeably in
everyday life. However, in physics, while related, these two things are NOT the

You will learn that equations are your friends.

Mathematics is another area of study that has a reputation of erasing happiness,

making life generally unpleasant and causing various negative issues.

Happily, this is a class where the emphasis is on concepts instead of

mathematics. This course is the physics course I wish I had had first.

I do not teach this class devoid of mathematics. The math you wont have is kind
that traditional physics classes employ, consisting of using equations and
calculators to solve problems to get a numerical answer.
What I am going to teach you is how to learn from equations with mathematics that is usually at the elementary grade
level. Most people think of equations in the context of traditional physics, as I just mentioned. Hardly anyone is aware of
how to use equations to learn. I have never seen this formally taught, even to physics students. I will teach you. Once you
learn this you will never look at an equation as an enemy again.
Office Hours and Class Schedule Spring 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9-9:50 am Office Hours Office Hours Office Hours Hours Office Hours

Physics Physics Physics Physics

2010-001 in 2010-001 in 2010-001 in 2010-001 Physics 2011-
10-10:50 am SI 285 SI 285 SI 285 in SI 285 001 in SI 285

Physics Physics Physics Physics

2020-001 in 2020-001 in 2020-001 in 2020-001 Physics 2021-
11-11:50 am SI 285 SI 285 SI 285 in SI 285 002 in SI 285

Physics Physics
1010-005 in 1010-005 in Office Physics 1010-
12-12:50 pm SI 285 Office Hours SI 285 Hours 005 in SI 285

Physics Physics
1010-008 in 1010-008
1-2:20 pm Office Hours SI 291 Office Hours in SI 291

2:30-3:00 pm Office Hours Office Hours Office Hours Hours

The Core Themes of SLCCs Mission focus on Access and Success, Transfer Education, Workforce
Education and Community Engagement. As such, all courses and programs address one or more of the
below College-Wide Learning Outcomes. Upon successful completion of any program at SLCC, students

Acquire substantive knowledge throughout the General Education Core and Distribution areas.
Communicate effectively.
Develop quantitative literacies necessary for their chosen field of study.
Think Critically and Creatively.
Develop the knowledge and skills to be a community engaged learner and scholar.
Develop the knowledge and skills to work with others in a professional and constructive manner.
Develop computer and information literacy.
Develop the attitudes and skills for lifelong wellness. (For AA and AS students only)


In order to fulfill the goals of the College-Wide Learning Outcomes, the following course learning
outcomes have been established for this course:
Students will acquire substantive knowledge of the basic principles of mechanics, heat, light,
sound, electricity, magnetism, and modern physics and how these principles apply in their
everyday lives.
Students will organize, present, and explain physics concepts.
Students will communicate well in a group setting.
Students will apply concepts and methods of inquiry to physics problems.
Students will apply the scientific method to the inquiry process.
Students will think critically as they discuss the scientific method and how it applies to the
discovery of physics principles at work in their everyday lives.
Students will apply basic problem solving skills as applied to physical situations.
Grading scale:

A 93-100% B 83-86% C 73-76% D 63-66%

A- 90-92% B- 80-82% C- 70-72% D- 60-62%
B+ 87-89% C+ 77-79% D+ 67-69% E <59%

Components of your Grade:


Well have 7 of these. Each will be multiple choice. All will be worth 100 points. There will be no
final exam, just a last midterm.

I encourage you to study together, if possible. However, I expect you to do the tests
yourself without any help from other people. There will be a time limit for all tests so
simply planning on getting what you need out of the book without any thought or
studying is not going to work.

Special Equations Test: I will have a special test available at the end of the semester. This test
will be optional. If you take it and score better than you did on your lowest midterm score I will
replace that score with the one you get on the special test. If your score on the special test is
lower than your lowest midterm score I will not count the special test score (in other words, you
have nothing to lose by taking it). This special test will generally have to do with equation
analysis using techniques that I will teach you. The actual arithmetic involved will be simple. I
will give you the equations in the test so you do not need to memorize equations. You will need
to study the files in the Learning from Equations module in the section of canvas with our

What this means is that I am giving you a way to replace your lowest score on tests. That way,
if you get into trouble and tank a test, always very easy to do in physics, you can still

There are a couple of exceptions. The Special Equations Test Score will NOT replace:

1) Your signature assignment and reflective writing essay

2) Any skipped tests. Tests that are zeroes stay zeroes


We will have most of our homework using Mastering Physics (the online service that comes with
the book). Generally, there will be one mastering physics (MP) homework assignment per
chapter. The schedule for those is in this syllabus. There may be some additional assignments
from time to time on canvas or MP.

Chapter homework will usually be 4-10 points each. Since homework is a learning experience I
dont want to have high point totals for homework.

Note: Having to take tests or quizzes late will involve a 10 point per week late penalty for
tests and a 1 point per week late penalty for quizzes.
Occasional assignments, experiments and exercises:

These will come on an irregular basis as needed or as I can get them ready.

Signature Assignment (Semester Project) and Reflective Writing Essay:

There will be 70 points for the Signature Assignment and 30 points for the Reflective Writing
Essay about your signature assignment, for a total of 100 points. The signature assignment
(semester project) itself consists of a medley of things to do. The reflective writing essay is
about your project and how it fits into your general education experience. Both the project and
your reflective writing will go on your ePortfolio page. I will then log in to your ePortfolio to make
your grades (youll have to send me the url).

Academic Calendar for Spring 2017

1-9 Monday First Day of Class

1-16 Monday Martin Luther King Day (No Class)
1-18 Wednesday Last Day to Add Classes
1-25 Wednesday Tuition Due
1-30 Monday Last Day to Drop Classes (full refund)
2-20 Monday Presidents Day Holiday (No Class)
3-13 Monday Spring Break (No Class)
3-14 Tuesday Spring Break (No Class)
3-15 Wednesday Spring Break (No Class)
3-16 Thursday Spring Break (No Class)
3-17 Friday Spring Break (No Class)
3-21 Tuesday Last Day to Drop Classes (no refund)
4-27 Thursday Last Day of Class
4-28 Friday Reading Day (no class but I am in my office)
5-10 Wednesday Grades Available

Semester Project Deadlines

1-22 Sunday Project Selection Deadline (email your selection)

2-27 Monday Last Day for 10 points extra credit for finishing early
3-13 Monday Last Day for 5 points extra credit for finishing early
4-1 Saturday First Day for 5 point penalty for late finish
4-15 Saturday First Day for 10 point penalty for late finish
4-22 Saturday First day for 15 point penalty for late finish
4-28 Friday No Projects Accepted After This Date

Schedule of Tests and Homework:

Item Date Open Last Day Chapters Covered

C. HW 1-11 1-30 1
C. HW 1-11 1-30 2
C. HW 1-11 1-30 3
C. HW 1-11 1-30 4
C. HW 1-11 1-30 5

Test 1 1-18 1-30 1-5

C. HW 1-31 2-13 6
C. HW 1-31 2-13 7
C. HW 1-31 2-13 8
C. HW 1-31 2-13 9
C. HW 1-31 2-13 10

Test 2 2-6 2-13 6-10

C. HW 2-14 2-27 11
C. HW 2-14 2-27 12
C. HW 2-14 2-27 13
C. HW 2-14 2-27 14

Test 3 2-21 2-27 11-14

C. HW 2-28 3-13 15
C. HW 2-28 3-13 16
C. HW 2-28 3-13 17
C. HW 2-28 3-13 18

Test 4 3-6 3-13 15-18

C. HW 3-14 4-3 22
C. HW 3-14 4-3 23
C. HW 3-14 4-3 24
C. HW 3-14 4-3 25

Test 5 3-27 4-3 22-25

C. HW 4-4 4-17 26
C. HW 4-4 4-17 28
C. HW 4-4 4-17 29
C. HW 4-4 4-17 30
C. HW 4-4 4-17 31

Test 6 4-11 4-17 26, 28-31

C. HW 4-18 5-4 32
C. HW 4-18 5-4 33
C. HW 4-18 5-4 34
C. HW 4-18 5-4 35
C. HW 4-18 5-4 36

Test 7 4-26 5-4 32-36

Test 5-1 5-5

Notes: these are the dates that the tests will be open online to take.

Your Semester Project (Signature Assignment) is a special assignment that will be

sent to you early in the semester. There will be some weeks to finish it and you may
wish to finish it early for extra credit instead of on time or late (for late penalty points).
The project is worth 70 points. The associated reflective writing essay is 30 points.

Note: you are considered finished with your signature assignment and reflective writing
essay when both are on your ePortfolio, you have sent me the url for your ePortfolio
(complete with user name and password, if necessary) and I can go online and use the
url to see on your ePortfolio and grade your signature assignment (the semester
project) and your reflective writing essay.

What is your Reflective Writing Essay? This is an essay about your signature
assignment. A signature assignment and associated reflective writing essay is
mandated by the college for all general education classes.

Your reflective writing essay should be a coherent and unified composition rather than
just a series of answers to questions or just a recitation of what you did with your
signature assignment. I recommend writing an outline first so you can get your thoughts

Some of the issues you may want to talk about are:

What did you have to do to finish your signature assignment? (You should post your
signature assignment with your reflective writing on your ePortfolio).

What was unexpected in your signature assignment?

What were the most difficult aspects of your signature assignment and why do you think
those particular aspects were more difficult?

What interesting information did you learn while doing your signature assignment and
why did you find it interesting?
What did you learn about doing extended assignments like your signature assignment?

Have you ever had an assignment like your signature assignment in this class?

How do your signature assignment and reflective writing essay fit into your general
education experience at SLCC?

Be specific! Im not real interested in general banalities like I learned a lot and the
project enriched my education here at SLCC yada yada. WHAT did you learn and WHY
was it interesting and significant?

What is ePortfolio?

ePortfolio is an online collection of personal information (only that which you wish to be
public), goals in school, your educational experience and the signature assignments you
have done as part of each general education class.

A good ePortfolio should be a major help in getting into other schools or applying for
jobs since it will highlight your general education work and show what you have learned.
If you devote some time and effort to your ePortfolio at any job or school interview you
will have something readily available on the internet that will be a concrete example of
what you can really do. And it should be fun. You can include text, pictures and/or video
clips. A picture of something you built for class or the calculational project you did
should look really nice.

For this class you will do a signature assignment plus some reflective writing (an essay)
about the signature assignment. I will have more details on this signature assignment
and reflective writing early in the semester. You must post this material online in your
ePortfolio to get a grade for this in this class.

A good thing to do now is to go to

to get started.

There are two platforms available for use with your ePortfolio (you can use whichever
you like):

General Education ePortfolio

Each student in General Education courses at SLCC will maintain a General Education
ePortfolio. Instructors in every Gen Ed course will ask you to put at least one
assignment from the course into your ePortfolio, and accompany it with reflective
writing. It is a requirement in this class for you to add to your ePortfolio.
Your ePortfolio will allow you to include your educational goals, describe your
extracurricular activities, and post your resume. When you finish your time at SLCC,
your ePortfolio will then be a multi-media showcase of your educational experience.

For detailed information including a Student ePortfolio Handbook, video tutorials for
each ePortfolio platform, classes, locations and times of free workshops and other in-
person help, visit

Important Note 1:

I am always glad to help with signature assignments and reflective writing

essays. I can do this by email or on an appointment basis. Remember that later in
the semester appointment time can get scarce.

Important Note 2:

It is YOUR job to keep track of these deadlines and to make and keep
appointments. Thats why they appear in the syllabus before the semester starts. I
sometimes actually do attempt to do some nagging about deadlines but my
ability to do so is limited (the more nagging I do the less teaching I can do) so
dont assume that not hearing from me means that there are no deadlines coming

Important Note 3:

For most students, signature assignment and reflective writing essay ePortfolio
scores are grade raisers. This is a deliberate intention of mine. The downside is
that if you dont get the job done your project then turns into a grade killer. Every
semester I have students who take a major hit on grades or dont pass the course
because they miss tests and do not make them up or dont turn in signature
assignments, reflective writing essays or the ePortfolio url with signature
assignment and reflective writing essay on the web page. I am asking you to
spare me some mental wear and tear: dont be one of them.

Important Note 4:

Extra Credit Points for finishing early will be added to signature assignment
scores. Penalty points for finishing late will be subtracted from signature
assignment scores.

Remember that your signature assignment and your reflective writing essay are
separate things and get separate grades although they are both included on your
ePortfolio page.
Remember that I cannot give you a grade for your signature assignment or
reflective writing essay unless I see it on your ePortfolio web page. You must
send me the URL to allow me to do this.

Important note number 5:

I will NOT replace the project/reflective writing with your special equations test score
because your project and reflective writing are assignments required by the college.

Extra Credit:

I often include an extra credit question or two on quizes and tests. There is also extra credit for
getting your signature assignment and ePortfolio done early.

There will also be a special equations test at the end of the semester. This test is optional. If you
take it and get a score higher than your lowest midterm score I will replace that midterm score
with the score on this test. Exception: the special equations test score will not substitute for
skipped tests.

Syllabus StatementImportant Information for Students

General Education Regardless of your major, General Education courses build a

foundation of broad knowledge and skills that help you in your further career and life.

General Learning Support & Tutoring Services provide support for SLCC students
enrolled in any class at the College. All resources are provided free-of-charge. Ask your
instructor about discipline-specific learning support and tutoring services.

The Tutoring and Learning Centers provide free assistance in Math, Science,
Accounting, CSIS and Allied Health Classes at 6 campus locations.

The Student Writing Center provides in-person and online feedback on all writing

The Academic Literacy Center provides tutoring in reading and conversation. Library Services provides
research help, print and online resources, computers and study space.

The ePortfolio Lab provides drop-in assistance for all ePortfolio questions.

eLearning Support provides support for navigating online and hybrid classes.
The Business Resource and Innovation Center provides tutors and a study space for
students in Business and CSIS courses. Located in BB 226 on Taylorsville-Redwood

Advising and Counseling Support Services provide support for students enrolled in
any class as the college.

The Center for Health and Counseling provides health care, mental health
counseling, massage therapy services and healthy lifestyle programs.

Veterans Services assists hundreds of students in using their VA education benefits

each semester.

Academic and Career Advising helps students plan, explore, make decisions, access
resources and evaluate their academic and career goals. And the Academic
Achievement Center helps students achieve GPA requirements for graduation.

Student Code of Conduct:


SLCC values inclusive learning environments and strives to make all

aspects of the College accessible to our students. If you have a disability
and believe you need accommodations to improve access to learning
materials or the learning environment, please contact the Disability
Resource Center: (phone) 801-957-4659; (email);

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Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in any
educational institution that receives federal funding. Salt Lake Community College does not
tolerate sex discrimination of any kind including: sexual misconduct; sexual harassment;
relationship/sexual violence and stalking. These incidents may interfere with or limit an
individuals ability to benefit from or participate in the Colleges educational programs or

If you have questions or concerns regarding your rights or responsibilities, or if you would like to
file a Title IX complaint please contact:
Kenneth Stonebrook, J.D. Title IX Coordinator Salt Lake Community College Taylorsville
Redwood Campus STC 276A (801) 957-5027

Online Reporting Form:

Students may also report incidents to an SLCC faculty or staff member, who are required by law
to notify the Title IX Coordinator. If a student wishes to keep the information confidential, the
student may speak with staff members of the Center for Health and Counseling, (801) 957-
4268. For more information about Title IX, go to:

Churchill, Winston will occasionally stumble over the truth, but usually manages to pick himself up,
walk over or around it, and carry on.

Asimov, Isaac

The young specialist in English Lit. lectured me severely on the fact that in every
century people have thought they understood the Universe at last, and in every century
they were proved to be wrong. It follows that the one thing we can say about our
modern "knowledge" is that it is wrong. ... My answer to him was, "... when people
thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was
spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as
wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put

Feynman, Richard P.

What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or
fourth year of graduate school... It is my task to convince you not to turn away because
you don't understand it. You see my physics students don't understand it... That is
because I don't understand it. Nobody does.

(this quote applies to what physicists call quantum mechanics or the study of the very

Lord Kelvin (1894)

There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and
precise measurement.
(A particularly spectacular scientific case of famous last words, spoken just prior to the
discovery of Special and General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics)

Bell, John

Suppose for example that quantum mechanics were found to resist precise formulation.
Suppose that when formulation is attempted, we find an unmovable finger pointed
obstinately outside the subject, to the mind of the observer, to the Hindu scriptures, to
God, or even only Gravitation? Would that not be very, very interesting?

(John Bell, late physicist at the European Center for Nuclear Research, who formulated
Bells Theorem, allowing the actual experimental test of the Einstein-Podolsky- Rosen
paradox, proposed 50 years earlier, with astonishing results.)