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Physics Honors/AP 1 and 2

Introduction to Physics: Homework

Course Materials are always under revision! Weblecture content may change anytime prior to two weeks before scheduled chat session for content.

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Physics Chapter 1: Introduction to Physics

This homework page has some extra introductory material to help you get started.

Organizing your Work

The following list gives you a general idea of each task you need to complete for our meetings. You may want to copy it to another file or spreadsheet to help you keep track of your assignment completion.

  • To prepare for the next Honors course chat session:
    1. ____Check the homework page on the course content site for reading assignments, weblecture links, study activities, optional web reading
    2. ____Read the textbook sections assigned, making notes for review and listing questions to ask in chat
    3. ____Read the web lecture posted by the teacher, making notes for review and listing questions to ask in chat
    4. ____Complete the mastery exercises for the section.
    5. ____Write your answer to the question assigned to you in the forum
    6. ____Study the lab assignment and make note of any questions you have on performing the lab; be sure to ask these in chat or email the instructor
    7. ____Attend chat and ask your questions, defend your forum essay, and participate in the discussion
  • After completing a chapter in the text (check Moodle for due dates)
    1. ____Complete the mastery exercises and achieve 85% or better
    2. ____Take the Moodle Chapter Quiz: note these have limited availability dates and plan accordingly!
    3. ____Perform the assigned lab, analyze your data, and post your lab report by the due date

Getting to know the textbook

Take the time to get familiar with the organization of topics in the text, so that you understand the overall structure of the course. The first ten chapters deal classical mechanics, the study of matter (particularly solid objects or liquids) in motion. The study of simple motions is called kinematics; the study of motions and forces is called dynamics. The next two chapters (11 and 12) consider wave motion, especially that which produces sound. Three chapters (13-15) cover thermodynamics--the motion of particles which undergo temperature changes, primarily gas particles, and the laws that govern the flow of heat energy, including the laws of entropy and enthalpy. Chapters 16-21 cover electricity, including phenomena as charge, field forces, and current flow. We will also study magnetism during this section, since it is closely related to electrical force and current. After we finish studying electricity and magnetism separately, we look at the phenomena they produce together: light, and its properties as it moves through different media (optics). Finally, we look at topics of "modern" or twentieth century physics: relativity, which is the study of the relationship of space and time; and quantum mechanics, which covers the forces at work on the atomic level.

Homework problems: Homework assignments are posted in the Moodle. You will need to solve every problem assigned, and post one problem from each problem set for the enlightenment of your fellow students.

To practice posting, go to the Physics page and create and introduction for yourself (your name, some information about where you live, your hobbies, how long you've been doing online courses, why you want to learn physics, and what in particular you want to learn about physics) under the Introductions topic.

Check out the Physics 6/e for the Sixth edition of this text at Prentice Hall. You'll notice a series of numbers along the top of the web page. Those are chapter numbers. Click on "1" to see the resources available to you -- practice quizzes, applications, links to other websites. While we will be using the seventh edition for this course, you may find the sixth edition's helps and quizzes useful as well. You may want to use the practice quizzes at the Prentice-Hall site to drill yourself before taking the "official" quiz for a given chapter in our Moodle.

You should review the mathematical concepts listed in Appendix A. Let me know if any of the topics mentioned there are not familiar from your previous math courses. Depending on which math texts you have been using, you may not have covered or feel comfortable with trigonometric functions or logarithms; that's okay, as long as you tell me so that I will know what I need to cover in class.

Be sure to read the page facing chapter 1, which explains the use of colors and symbols in the diagrams. Knowing these will make it much easier to identify forces and vectors in the early chapters. You should also read the preface, which tells you something about the author's approach and assumptions. All books have an agenda, no matter how objective the author tries to be; even the most politically neutral textbook writer still has to choose what of all the topics to include and what to exclude in order to produce a text you can actually lug home from the bookstore. Understanding why the author chose to put these topics in this particular order will help you organize the material in your own mind.


Reading Preparation

Reading assignment: Giancoli, Physics - Principles with Applications, Text Preface; Appendix A; Chapter 1: Sections 1-8.

Study points

Web Lecture

Read the following weblecture before chat: The Matters of Physics

Study Activity

The study activities homework may include simulations you should try or other activities to help you understand how the concepts you are studying work in the real world.

Optional Websites

Optional websites are just that: optional. You may check these out or not as you chose, but if you are having problems with concepts in the chapters, these sites may help you.

  • The Introduction to physics lectures at Bellevue College provide further examples of each of the topics in this chapter. You should review any areas where you feel uncertain of the concepts.
  • The NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) is in charge of monitoring and publishing formal definitions of standard units.
  • There is a companion website for Giancoli, Physics: Principles with Applications (sixth edition). You may find some of the features at this site useful in providing practice problems, questions, and (somewhat dated now) notes on applications. This site is no longer maintained, but at least it is still freely available. With edition seven, Pearson went to a "Mastering Physics" online course support system which requires students purchase additional access. I have not required that you get access to this site, since we have Moodle exercises that accomplish similar tasks with greater security.

    The Physics Tutoring Site has a page on Measurements that deal with mechanics.

Chat Preparation Activities

Chapter Quiz

Lab Work

If you want lab credit for this course, you must complete at least 12 labs (honors course) or 18 labs (AP students). One or more lab exercises are posted for each chapter as part of the homework assignment. We will be reviewing lab work at regular intervals, so do not get behind!