PHYSICS 2053C – College Physics A                                                                                       Fall 2009


Text:  College Physics, by Nicholas J. Giordano, published by Brooks/Cole.



Prof. David Lind

Office: 405 Keen


Phone: 644-1576

Prof. Peng Xiong

Office: 409 Keen


Phone: 644-5849


Recitation Instructors:

Prof. Marcia Fenley

Office: 402 KLB (Kasha Lab)


Phone: 644-7961

Prof. Aferdita Ishmaku

Office: 318 Keen


Phone: 644-6476

Prof. Per Rikvold

Office: 413 Keen


Phone: 644-6814


This course is intended to provide a general knowledge of the basic concepts of physics relating to mechanics, fluids, heat, thermodynamics, vibrations and waves. The level of mathematical skills necessary to complete this course is a strong proficiency with algebra (especially word problems) and trigonometric functions.



Class Meetings


Each student is registered for four class meetings.


·         Two lectures: Monday and Wednesday in 101 Richards (UPL) from 10:10 to 11:00 (Lind) or 12:20 to 1:10 (Xiong).

·         One recitation class: Friday at registered time and classroom.

·         One laboratory session at registered time and classroom.


Lectures:          The Monday and Wednesday lectures will be used primarily to outline the course material, especially the core physics concepts, for which the student is responsible for. They are also to be used to conduct experimental demonstrations, to discuss examples of problems, and to administer the biweekly mini-exams. Lecture highlights will be posted on the course web page. These highlights will indicate the exact topic covered during lecture and which textbook sections they were drawn from. However, these highlights do not contain all the information and explanations which will be presented during the lectures. Therefore, students are strongly encouraged to attend the lectures, since it is a demonstrated fact that there is a strong correlation between lecture attendance and student performance. Several conceptual questions will asked in each lecture and the student will answer these questions using the personal response system (PRS), and the student can earn bonus points.


Recitation:         The Friday class will be a “recitation style” session, during which the focus will be on working through assigned problems (either from the WebAssign homework set or from the recommended textbook problems). This session will be particularly valuable since the exams will consist of problems similar to those that will be discussed on Fridays. Every week, a couple of problems will be assigned, and the detailed written solutions are to be handed to the recitation instructor at the beginning of the recitation class. They will be graded and returned to you in the next week’s recitation class.


Laboratory:       The purpose of the laboratory sessions is to gain hands-on experience with laboratory apparatus, to develop skills in performing experiments, to learn methods for analyzing scientific data, and to relate the physics concepts covered in lectures with real experimental situations. Each student must complete a lab report, following the format prescribed by the lab instructor, before leaving the lab session. Attendance at each lab session is a requirement of the course. Lab manuals can be downloaded from the course web site. Several on-line conceptual questions and/or simple calculation problems will be assigned via LonCAPA and are to be completed before the lab.


Student Responsibilities


This course is no pushover. Physics is based on understanding, not remembering. We will do all we can to help you, but you have to be prepared to put some serious effort in to make sure you really do understand the concepts. Below is what is expected of you:


Class Participation:        Attend all lectures including the Friday recitation; what you retain from these classes may surprise you. Students are expected to arrive at class on time and remain in class for the entire class period. Class participation is part of the final grade.


Homework:       Success in this course depends to a large extent on the effort put into completing the weekly homework assignments. The homework will be a significant component of the final grade, and it is the best way to prepare for the exams. There will be three homework assignments each week: 1) weekly WebAssign homework sets; 2) pre-lecture WebAssign problems; 3) pre-recitation written problems.


Laboratory:       Each student is required to attend a laboratory session at registered time and classroom. The student must actively participate in the experiment and complete an individual lab report, following the format prescribed by the lab instructor, before leaving the lab session. Attendance at each lab session is a requirement of the course. A pre-lab LonCAPA problem set must be completed before the laboratory session.


Mini-Exams:      Six mini-exams will be given during the semester on designated Wednesdays.


·         These mini-exams will be given on the designated Wednesdays and each will take the time of an entire lecture.


·         The material covered in each exam will be that specified in the syllabus and based on concepts related to the weekly homework assignments and recommended textbook questions and problems.


·         No make-up exams will be given.


·         Students arriving late will be required to submit their exams by the same deadline as the rest of the class.


·         Each student is responsible for bringing a working calculator to each exam. No sharing is allowed.


·         Do not program the formulae into your calculator – this is cheating and will be treated as such.


·         Don’t cheat. The first cheat on an exam results in a grade of zero for that exam, the second results in an “F” for the course. Remember the FSU Honor Code.


·         Any questions you have with the grading of the exams must be resolved within 2 weeks of the hand-back date.


Final Exam:       Each student is required to attempt the final exam on Monday, December 7, 2009 (see the “Block Examination” schedule in the FSU Directory of Classes). The final exam will be cumulative. An equation sheet with all the necessary equations and constants will be given. The site for the final exam will be announced late in the semester.



Course Material on the Web 


This syllabus, lecture notes, solutions to homework and exam problems, and important announcements can be found on the Web via Blackboard.



PHYSICS 2053C SYLLABUS GUIDE                                                                                  FALL 2009


Text:  College Physics, by Nicholas J. Giordano

Faculty:  David Lind, Peng Xiong, Marcia Fenley, Aferdita Ishmaku, and Per Rikvold



Reading and Homework




M Aug 24

W Aug 26

F Aug 28

Ch. 1: Introduction; Ch. 2: Motion and Force;



No Lab

This Week

M Aug 31

W Sep 2

F Sep 4

Ch. 3: Motion in 1D;  Ch. 4: Motion in 2D;

HW Set #1 due



Math Review:

Algebra & Trigonometry


W Sep 9

F Sep 11

No Class on Monday

HW Set #2 due

Ch. 3-4: Newton’s Laws;


Exam 1

(Ch 1-4)

No Lab

This Week

M Sep 14

W Sep 16

F Sep 18

Ch. 3-4: Newton’s Laws; Ch. 5: Circular Motion and Gravity; 

HW Set #3 due



Expt I


M Sep 21

W Sep 23

F Sep 25

Ch. 6: Work and Energy; 

HW Set #4 due



Exam 2

(Ch 2-5)

Expt II

Newton’s Laws

M Sep 28

W Sep 30

F Oct 2

Ch. 7: Linear Momentum; 

HW Set #5 due




Expt III

Circular Motion

M Oct 5

W Oct 7

F Oct 9

Ch. 8-9: Rotational Motion; 

HW Set #6 due



Exam 3

(Ch 6 & 7)

Expt IV

Computer Analysis

M Oct 12

W Oct 14

F Oct 16

Ch. 8: Equilibrium and Torques; 

HW Set #7 due




Expt V

Linear Momentum

M Oct 19

W Oct 21

F Oct 23

Ch. 11: Vibrations;

HW Set #8 due



Exam 4

(Ch 8 & 9)

Expt VI

Rigid Bodies


M Oct 26

W Oct 28

F Oct 30

Ch. 12-13: Waves and Sound; 

HW Set #9 due




Expt VII

Harmonic Motion

M Nov 2

W Nov 4

F Nov 6

Ch. 10: Fluids;

HW Set #10 due



Exam 5

(Ch 11-13)



M Nov 9


F Nov 13

Ch. 15: Kinetic Theory & Temperature;

No Class on Wednesday; HW Set #11 due




No Lab

This Week

M Nov 16

W Nov 18

F Nov 20

Ch. 14: Heat & Calorimetry;

HW Set #12 due



Exam 6

(Ch 14 & 15)

Expt IX

Ideal Gas Law

M Nov 23

W Nov 25


Ch. 16: Thermodynamics; 

HW Set #13 due

No Class on Friday



No Lab

This Week

M  Nov 30

W Dec 2

F Dec 4


HW Set #14 due



Expt X

Specific Heat


FINAL EXAM: Monday, December 7, 12:30 – 2:30 pm.   *** GOOD LUCK!***