Physics 243, College Physics I, Spring 2012

PHYS 243 Spring 2012



Joseph Lieb                                                            e-mail:

Office: ST1 305                                                       Tel: 703- 993-1284

Office Hours: Tuesday:  2:00p.m.-3:30 p.m.             I prefer e-mail communication to phone.

Wednesday: 3:30p.m.-4:30p.m.,

Thursday  10:30am-11:30am, 4:30p.m.-5:30pm


Intended Audience for This Course: This is a two-semester, non-calculus based physics course intended for majors in biology and other sciences, excluding math, physics, or engineering. Generally it is not taken by liberal arts students to satisfy the natural science requirement.


Prerequisites: A college-level math course, and a working knowledge of algebra and trigonometry.   If you are uncertain if you are properly prepared for this course, please discuss it with me.


Required Texts and Equipment:


Physics – Principles With Applications (6th ed.) by Giancoli is the required text. We will cover chapters 1à15 in PHYS 243. You are also required to have a scientific calculator without wireless connections or physics formulas included, which should be brought to all recitations, especially to exams. Programmable calculators or those with wireless capabilities are not permitted in the Testing and Tutoring Center, which will be used for multiple-choice tests.


Mastering Physics:  (  All recitation assignments will require access to the Mastering Physics problem solving system.  You may purchase access with the text or separately.  The Mastering Physics registration cost covers PHYS 243 and 245 for two years.  Problems worked on MasteringPhysics are preparation for the recitation sections.  MasteringPhysics counts 9% and the recitation grade counts 9%. There are three different sections depending on the day your recitation meets. The class codes is



Each week’s recitation assignment must be completed by 9:30am on the day your recitation meets.  If you miss the deadline a penalty assessed on solutions based on the number of days late. The maximum penalty is 50%.  You may work with other students on the problems but it would be cheating if another student actually entered answers for you. MasteringPhysics is also used for quizzes after most of the 34 units. These quizzes are worth a total of 6% and you may not get help from other students on the quizzes.


Computer Equipment:  The hardware and software requirements for using Blackboard are available on the course site. The course notes are in powerpoint so if you don’t have that software you will need to download a free reader. There is also a version of the notes in PDF format with a script if you can’t use powerpoint.  Contact me immediately so we can work out any problems.


Grade Calculation:There will be three in-class tests and 3 multiple choice tests during the semester and a comprehensive final. Except for the final, multiple choice testing will be done in the Testing and Tutoring Center (Room 2 of Science and Technology 1).

Final Exam: The final exam is scheduled for May 5. The final exam will be comprehensive covering all chapters. There will be extra emphasis on chapters not covered on any of the tests. The final will include worked-out problems and multiple


Tests: During the semester, there will be three in-class tests and three multiple-choice tests for a total of 6 tests. The lowest two test grades will be dropped..


Comprehensive Final 24%
Tests (best 4 out of 6 counted, 13% each) 52%
Recitation 9%
MasteringPhysics 9%
Unit Quizzes 6%


Since the lowest two test grades (out of six) will be dropped, no rescheduled in-class tests will be allowed for any reason.  Consideration will be given for missed multiple choice tests for well- documented excuses. Since the multiple choice test will be available for about a week, there are likely to be some penalties attached to most late tests even with an excuse. It is important that you be on time for in-class tests since it will be difficult to give extra time if you are late. You must take tests and the final exam in the class you are registered in.


The lowest recitation grade will be dropped as well as the lowest MasteringPhysics recitation assignment grade. The lowest three of the Unit Quiz grades will be dropped


In the event of an unforeseen school closing on a test day, the test will be given at the very next lecture session after the university reopens. If the weather forecast indicates a strong possibility of heavy snow, hurricane etc., I might decide to postpone the test until the next class day. The course Blackboard page will have any announcements posted as soon as possible.


Tests and Exams:The tests in this course will be multiple choice and free-form problems. Equation lists will be provided for the final exam and all tests.


In-class Tests:  The in-class tests will be given during the recitation periods. Will consist of about three free-form problems with multiple parts.  Each problem requires a complete solution starting from basic formulas and with all steps shown.  Free-form problems will be similar to recitation problems, examples worked in class, problems from old tests and examples from the book. The exams will test both your understanding of concepts as well as your ability to solve problems. Time is likely to be a factor for many students, so you must budget your time carefully on tests.


In-class tests will be shown to students at the start of the next recitation or during regular office hours.  I will collect the tests after you have reviewed them.  You are encouraged to review each test when you receive and request a re-grade of the specific problem if you think that a grading mistake has been made. This request must be made in writing on a separate sheet of paper and include a signed pledge that you have not written anywhere on the test.  Also, since memories fade as to how much credit was taken off for a particular mistake, any request for re-grades must be made within three weeks of the first day the test was returned.  It should be remembered that a re-grade could result in a lowered score, especially in the case of frivolous requests.


Multiple Choice Tests in the Testing and Tutoring Center: Because the class is only 50 minutes, I plan to give the multiple choice tests in the Testing and Tutoring Center.  To take at test you must have access to the Blackboard 9.1

Learning System.

The username and password is the same as your GMU mail account.  A schedule of times when each multiple choice may be taken will be posted on the website.  You will have about a week to visit the center and take the test.  Each lecture class

will have a different deadline.  Students who miss the deadline will usually not be able to take the test.  If you are permitted, there will likely be a penalty.


The questions will be randomized to make cheating difficult.   Paper is limited in the center and only non-programmable calculators without wireless capabilities may be used.  If technical problems occur at the testing center, I reserve the right to make adjustments to the way I handle the multiple choice part of the tests.


Students are expected to bring a Scantron Form 882E (green) to the final exam.  Please put your name as it appears on the roll (first name followed by last).  The time for taking a test is limited, so you must stop writing when told to do so. The scantron must be finished by this time or you will be penalized 2%.


Academic Integrity:  . You are expected to observe the GMU Honor Code on tests and exams. Cheating on exams will be dealt with very severely. It can even result in your dismissal from the University.  There should be no communication of any kind between students during tests and exams.  If you don’t understand a question, please ask the instructor.


While taking the multiple choice test in the Testing and Tutoring Center you may not view any web page other than the test.  You may not talk to anyone or look at any materials on the computer, in your calculator or on paper.  Anyone doing this will be turned into the Honor Council for cheating.  It is important that you know that the center uses software that allows the monitor to view and save the screen of any computer in the center.  It is cheating to pass any information about the test given in the Testing and Tutoring Center to anyone else in any form.


Recitation:   ALL STUDENTS REGISTERED FOR THE LECTURE MUST ALSO BE REGISTERED FOR ONE OF THE RECITATION CLASSES. RECITATION IS MANDATORY. Students must attend recitation sections for which they are registered unless they have permission. Your recitation instructor will discuss the grade components (quizzes, class participation), which will make up your recitation grade.


University Resources

Counseling and Psychological Servicesoffers psychological services, a variety of learning services, multicultural services, and educational programs that support students’ educational goals.  They also offer faculty and staff consultation

about how to help students who are experiencing difficulties that impact their learning, including how to respond to students in crisis.

English Language Instituteholds workshops for students whose first language is not English.

Mathematics Tutoring Centeroffers tutoring on a walk-in basis for all George Mason students enrolled in math courses up to MATH 290

Office of Alcohol, Drug and Health Education Servicesprovide health-related information, education and training, and resources for the Mason community.

Office of Disability Services  implements and coordinates reasonable accommodations and disability-related services that

afford students with special needs equal access to university programs and activities.

Office of Diversity Programs and Servicesserves students, cultural organizations, and the Mason community by promoting an environment that fosters and values human understanding and diversity.  The office seeks to provide

services and programs that will instill university-wide appreciation for diverse perspectives and ensure equal levels of

inclusion, participation, and retention of underrepresented student groups in their quest for a quality education. Sexual Assault Servicesprovides direct services for survivors of sexual assault and sexual assault education and information to the university community.  All services are available to survivors, and to their families, significant others, and friends at no cost.

Student Health Servicesprovides high quality health care, counseling, education and prevention services in support of student learning and retention.


Schedule:  The schedule listed below is subject to change, although test dates would only be changed under extreme circumstances. The tests shown on the schedule will be taken in class. There will also be a multiple choice test which must be completed at the Testing and Tutoring Center.   A schedule for multiple choice testing will be posted on Blackboard.  It may be necessary to change test coverage or recitation assignments; you are responsible for being aware of any such changes.  Major changes will be announced in class and posted on Blackboard.


PHYS 243 Spring 2012 Schedule




Sections in Text Quiz Due
Week 1 M 1/23W  1/25F  1/27 Unit 01 Units and MeasurementsUnit 02 Displacement, Velocity and AccelerationUnit 03 Motion at Constant Acceleration 1-1à1-82-1à2-42-5, 2-56 M 1/30W  2/01F  2/03
Week 2 M 1/30W  2/01F  2/03 Unit 04 Vertical MotionUnit 05 Vectors 2-73-1à3-4 W  2/08F  2/10
Week 3 M 2/06W  2/08F  2/10 Unit 06 Vector Problems and Relative MotionUnit 07 Projectile MotionUnit 08 Newton’s Laws of Motion 3-4, 3-83-5à3-74-1à4-5 M 2/13W  2/15F 2/17
Week 4 M 2/13W  2/15F 2/17 Unit 09 Applications of Newton’s LawsUnit 10 Friction and Inclined PlanesUnit 11 Work and Energy 4-6à4-74-8à4-96-1, 6-4 M 2/20W  2/22F 2/24
Week 5 M 2/20F 2/24 Unit 12 Conservation of Energy*TEST 1 Ch. 1à4.4Last Day to drop 6-5à 6-9 M 2/27W 2/29F  3/02
Week 6 M 2/27W 2/29F  3/02 Unit 13 Power, Efficiency and Human MetabolismUnit 14 Uniform Circular MotionUnit 15 . Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation 6-10, 15-35-1à5-3,5-55-6à5-8,5-10 M 3/05W 3/07F  3/09
Week 7 M 3/05W 3/07F  3/09 Unit 16 Momentum and ImpulseUnit 17 Collisions and Center of MassUnit 18 Angular Motion 7-1à7-37-4, 7-6, 7-88-1à8-3 M 3/19W 3/21F  3/23
Spring Break
Week 8 M 3/19W 3/21F  3/23 Unit 19 Torque and Rotational InertiaUnit 20 Rotational Energy and MomentumUnit 21 Statics 8-4à8-68-7à8-89-1à9-2 M 3/26W 3/28F  3/30
Week 9 M 3/26W 3/28F  3/30 Unit 22   Muscles and JointsUnit 23 Pressure and Archimedes’ Principle*TEST 2 Ch 4.5à49, 5, 6, 7,8-1à8-3 9-3à9-410-1à10-7 M 4/2W 4/4
Week 10 M 4/2W 4/4 Unit 24 Bernoulli’s EquationUnit 25 Poiseuille’s Law and the Circulatory System 10-8à10-910-10à10-12 M 4/9W 4/11
Week 11 M 4/9W 4/11F  4/13 Unit 26 Harmonic Motion and ResonanceUnit 27 Wave MotionUnit 28 Superposition and Standing Waves 11-1à11-611-7à11-8,11-1111-12à11-13 M 4/16W 4/18F  4/20
Week 12 M 4/16W 4/18F  4/20 Unit 29 Sound and the decibel scaleUnit 30 Vibrating Strings, Air Columns, etcUnit 31 Doppler Effect and Shock Waves 12-1à12-312-4à12-512-6à12-78 M 4/23W 4/25F  4/27
Week 13 M 4/23W 4/25F  4/27 *TEST 3 Ch. 8-4à8-8, 9, 10, 11Unit 32 Ideal Gas Law and Kinetic TheoryUnit 33 Thermodynamics and Heat Engines 13-6à13-1014-2,15-215-4à15-5 W 5/02F  5/04
Week 14 M 4/30 Unit 34 Heat Transfer 14-6à14-8 No quiz.
Final Exam: May 5 ( Time TBA).  In case GMU is unexpectedly closed, make-up is May 12.

*In-class tests will be given in recitation section, multiple-choice tests will be given in the Testing

and Tutoring Center during the week.