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Syllabus

Quick Links

Before You Begin
Course Materials
Assignments
Exams
Grading

Prerequisites

The prerequisites for this course are:

At BYU, the prerequisite courses are Math 112 (Calculus 1) and Math 113 (Calculus 2).

BYU Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to

  1. Convert quantities from one set of units to another and use a reasonable number of significant digits when expressing answers.
  2. Compute a particle’s classical translational motion in one or two dimensions, including circular motion, both in Cartesian coordinates and in polar coordinates.
  3. Use the ideas of energy, work, power, linear momentum, and angular momentum to arrive at conclusions about the motion of a system, including the motion of satellites and the planets.
  4. Use Newton’s Second Law to calculate the motion of objects, including those in simple harmonic motion, as well as the forces and torques acting on systems in equilibrium.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic scientific principles which undergird the scientific process, including the strengths and weaknesses of this process.

Course Learning Outcomes

When you complete this course you should be able to:

  1. Understand and apply the primary concepts we will study: kinematics, Newton’s laws of motion, work and energy, power, momentum, rotational motion, and simple harmonic motion.
  2. Model and solve representative problems analytically and computationally.
  3. Explain what each term and symbol in each fundamental equation means and what physical situation each equation applies to.
  4. Explain the concepts studied without reference to equations.

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Before You Begin

When you register for this course, immediately send an e-mail to p121is@physics.byu.edu. Introduce yourself briefly, so that we know you have registered for the course. Include this information:

  1. Your full name
  2. Your BYU net ID
  3. Your e-mail address

The TA will send a reply with the username and password you will use to access the data for the problems and submit your answers.

Please be aware: You will not be able to do your coursework without this information.

IMPORTANT! Be sure to thoroughly read the Directions for Using Logger Pro, Directions for Problem Assignments, and Directions for Quizzes that follow this syllabus.

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Course Materials

You will need to purchase the textbook and Logger Pro software. The Independent Study PHSCS 121 course DVD is mailed (at no extra cost) to you.

Internet Access

You will need access to the Internet to complete the assignments for this course, because the information for the assignments is online, and you will submit your answers online as well.

Textbook

The publisher makes a custom paperback edition just for this course at BYU. It includes all of the chapters used in this course. You may order it when you register for this course:

Or, you may use any of these textbook editions:

If you intend to take the later portions of this course, there may be some advantage to buying the entire text, since it is used in both Physics 123 and Physics 220. Make sure that whatever version of the text you buy includes chapters 1-13 and chapter 15.

The textbook provides Quick Quizzes and “What If?” questions for study, which you will use as you complete the course. I encourage you to read them; the Quick Quizzes appear at the end of each section, and the “What If?” questions appear in the example boxes.

Computer Resources

You will need Internet access and two computer discs to do this course.

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Course Organization

This course is divided into fourteen lessons. Each lesson contains a study guide, activities and assignments, and a quiz.

The study guide (the material you’re currently reading) contains an overview of the most important concepts you should learn. Each concept can usually be described by some mathematical equation. It is important to learn these equations, but it is also important to understand them. Be able to explain each symbol and term in the equation as well as which physical situations the equation can be applied to. Also be able to explain the concepts in words without reference to equations.

Assignments

The activities and assignments include reading assignments, videos and problem assignments, including lab exercises. Each group of assignments also includes a concept concept mastery quizzes to help you verify that you have understood the main concepts in that part of the assignment.

The reading assignment is from the textbook and contains the information that you need about the concepts in this course. You should do more than just read the material in the assignment. You should study it and think about it. Try to find places where the ideas apply in the real world around you. Pay special attention to the concepts listed in the study guide, because they are the ones that are more central to your understanding. Pay attention to how the concepts are applied in the examples in the text, these will often be your guides in solving the problems. There are also videos of live demonstrations that illustrate the concepts and some interactive animations to help you better grasp what you have read about.

Problem Assignments

The problem assignments are the most challenging part of the lesson. You need to apply what you have read in the text and seen in the videos. You will often find that you did not understand the material as well as you thought you did. Solving problems is one way to test your true understanding of the material.

Solving problems involves mathematical equations. Some problems will only require you to plug some numbers into an appropriate equation and solve for an unknown quantity. Other problems will require you to combine several equations, many times equations from earlier lessons. One important goal of this class is to help you improve your problemsolving skills. On average each lesson contains 9 problems.

Some of the assigned problems will actually be lab exercises. A video will show students performing the lab. From the video you will obtain the data you need to complete the calculations required by the lab. These labs are taken from the labs performed in the on-campus version of Physics 121 and we attempt to reproduce the experience as much as possible in an online course.

The problem assignments are nothing like the questions that you will be asked in the quizzes and in the final exam, but they are a necessary step in gaining the understanding you will need to answer those questions. Years of experience in teaching physics has shown that there is no real substitute for working problems to gaining the basic understanding of the physics. You just have to apply the physics in different circumstances to fully grasp it. Learning to solve problems also has value, independent of its usefulness in teaching you physics concepts.

Concept Mastery Quizzes

There is an online Concept mastery quizz associated with each major portion of the study assignment. This quiz consists of two or three multiple-choice questions that test you on the basic concepts you have just studied. You must complete this online quiz before you can go on to the next set of problems. You will receive 1 extra credit point for each question you answer correctly on the first try. When you answer incorrectly you will be given an explanation of why that is the wrong answer, and you will be allowed to try again. When you answer correctly you will be given access to all the explanations for the incorrect answers, so you can learn from them.

Quizzes

There is a closed-book online quiz at the end of each lesson. The questions in the quizzes are multiple-choice and do not require any computation beyond multiplying or adding two numbers. They emphasize the understanding of the concepts, especially in the context of real physical situations. Doing well on the online quiz is an indication that you have truly mastered the material in the lesson. On average there are about 9 questions on each quiz.

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Exams

The final exam will be proctored. It will be closed book and closed notes and will contain about 70 questions in the same style as the questions in the quizzes at the end of each lesson. You should prepare for the final exam in the same way that you prepare for each quiz. In addition, you should review the quizzes.

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Grading

The score for each lesson consists of points for the problem assignment and for the quiz. Each problem in the problem assignment is worth 5 points, except for multiple-choice problems and other problems with nonnumerical answers. Those are each worth either 1 or 2 points, depending on the question. The question will indicate how much it is worth.

Each quiz question is worth 4 points. We will take the percent of points that you get for each lesson and round it to the nearest integer percent. This will then be combined with the weights given below for its contribution to your total class score.

Not all lessons have the same weight in the final grade. Some lessons have shorter assignments and quizzes and therefore less weight. Extra credit points will be added to your score for a given lesson, but are limited to bringing that lesson score up to 100 percent; they cannot affect a score outside of that lesson.

Here is the weight of each lesson as well as the final exam. You may not resubmit assignments.

Lesson 1 3% Lesson 2 5% Lesson 3 5%
Lesson 4 8% Lesson 5 8% Lesson 6 5%
Lesson 7 5% Lesson 8 7% Lesson 9 8%
Lesson 10 5% Lesson 11 5% Lesson 12 3%
Lesson 13 3% Lesson 14 5% Final Exam 25%
TOTAL 100%

Grades will be based on the percentage of points you earned on each lesson, rounded to the nearest whole percent times the weight of each lesson. These numbers will be summed and will produce your final percentage. Your grade will be based on this final percentage, with this breakdown:

Grade Scale
A 93%–100% C 70%–74%
A− 90%–92% C− 66%–69%
B+ 86%–89% D+ 61%–65%
B 82%–85% D

57%–60%

B− 79%–81% D− 53%–56%
C+ 75%–78% E (fail) 52% or below

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.

Assignments

14 instructor-graded quizzes completed through a separate web application. No resubmissions allowed.

Exams

1 proctored, computer-graded final exam. One retake is allowed for a fee. You must pass the final exam to pass the course.

Retake an exam for a fee.

Getting Help

You may contact us by e-mail at p121is@physics.byu.edu. A teaching assistant (TA) assigned to this course will respond to your e-mail. If the TA cannot answer your question, he or she will refer the question to me.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514
USA

BYU Copyright Notice for TEACH ACT

COPYRIGHT NOTICE
The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.
“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment…
Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy.

Copyright notice for specific, individual copies
All copies are intended for non-commercial, educational purposes in connection with this registered course and only for students enrolled in this course. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws.