PH 101 - Fundamentals of Physics
Some or all of the PH 101,2,3 sequence can be taken in any order. The ‘Fundamentals of Physics’ courses provide an introduction to a broad range of fundamental physics concepts. PH 101,2,3 are recommended for anyone seeking a good basic level of physics literacy. The sequence is designed for non-science majors, but also serves prospective science majors who want to gain a better conceptual grounding before taking General Physics. Emphasis is on everyday phenomena and conceptual understanding more than calculations. PH 101 focuses on the nature of science, data analysis, Newton’s explanation of motion, momentum, energy, gravity, the atomic nature of matter, and properties of solids, liquids, gases, and plasmas. The class environment includes labs, demonstrations, discussion, and individual and group activities. Lab included.
Prerequisite: MTH 052 or above with grade of ‘C-’ or better or pass placement test.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:
1. Gain familiarity with a wide variety of physical phenomena involving mechanical motion and the means by which they are described and explained.
2. Correctly use elementary physics concepts regarding mechanical motion in some simple situations, and gain a significantly increased basic conceptual understanding of mechanical motion explained by Classical Mechanics.
3. Converse and comprehend through communication using elementary descriptions and dynamical laws of mechanical motion and elementary diagrammatic (e.g. free body diagrams) and motion graph representations.
4. Have familiarity with, the use of, and an elementary understanding of precision in measurement, drawing conclusions from experimental data about possible explanations of mechanical motion.
5. Have familiarity with the use of scientific equipment to investigate mechanical motion.
6. Formulate questions to move their thinking forward concerning the subject matter of the class.
7. Be familiar with elementary application of basic Classical Mechanics concepts, including Newton’s Laws, Work and the Work-Energy Relation, Conservation of Energy, Impulse and the Impulse-Momentum Relation, Conservation of Momentum, Torque, and Angular Momentum.
8. Be aware of possible uses and impacts of this physics knowledge.
9. Be able to converse and write about the nature of science with increased sophistication and see physics as a science, rather than a body of knowledge.
10. Appreciate that the insights provided by classical mechanics are valuable and useful even though physics has developed beyond Classical Mechanics and beyond mechanical theories - of which Classical Mechanics is a premier example - which are fundamentally limited.
11. Have a greater appreciation that energy and technology have profound implications for humanity, which involve choices by society generally and scientists as well.
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