Physics 102.002 (Call No. 16175) Syllabus: Fall 2008

Announcements: Webassign is acting up. Here are the keys for homework 10 and homework 11
E-mail to class on August 20, 2008; E-mail to class on August 28, 2008
Practice test #1 now available. Practice test #2 now available, and Practice test #3 now available

Course Description and Goals: In this class we will learn about basic concepts in Physics, including motion, gravity, heat, electricity and magnetism. We will range from the building blocks of matter on the atomic scale to the building blocks of our Galaxy on astronomical scales. We will discuss current ideas about our place on Earth, and in the Universe. By the end of the course you should have a good enough grasp of the fundamentals and vocabulary to easily follow articles on physics in the popular press. You will also learn about the methods used by modern physicists.

Instructor: Prof. Greg Taylor;; 277-5238; web page

Class Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00 - 3:15pm

Class Location: 103 Regener Hall

Class Web page:

Course Text: Conceptual Physics Fundamentals, Hewitt

Office Hours: Tu 9-11am Room 180, Physics and Astronomy Bldg. (NE corner of Lomas and Yale, or by appointment)

Required Materials: i-clicker, course textbook, webassign access, two number 2 pencils. If you purchase the textbook and clicker together you can get a rebate. NOTE: You will need to register your i-clicker at following the directions provided. And be sure to make note of the CLASS-ID that you obtain in the process as this is how your test scores will be listed since we are not allowed to post scores by name or Banner ID. If you have problems with clicker or web-assign registration you can get help from Cathy Webster. Her e-mail is

Pre-Requisites: None. We will learn some physics concepts and make use of occasional high-school level algebra and trigonometry.

Homework: There will be regular reading and homework assignments. Homeworks will be available through webassign starting at 5:05pm one week before they are due. Homeworks will be due at 5pm on the class day indicated in the syllabus. Access to webassign can be purchased on-line or from the UNM bookstore. Your webassign username is your UNM e-mail username (everything before the "@" symbol so for example if your e-mail address is, then your username is example) and the password for everybody is phys102. You should change that when you login to webassign. If you need a class key then use the following: "unm 9309 8492". The reading assignments should be completed before the class time. At the end of each chapter you will find a set of review questions. You should go over these questions as you finish each chapter. If you have questions on the material, please bring them up in class.

Lectures: I will present lectures in powerpoint, with occasional class demonstrations, and will work through problems on the board. Some material drawn from my own research, or current events, may not be covered in the book. The lectures will be interactive in that I will ask true/false or multiple choice questions of the class and then review the answers. Your participation in responding, and in asking questions of your own is strongly encouraged and will count toward your grade in the class.

Grades: There will be four tests including the final exam, which will not be cumulative, but will only cover material from the last quarter of the class. There will be NO make-up exams, but the lowest exam score will be dropped, so even if one exam is missed it will still be possible to obtain an A in the course. Grades will be based on the exams (75%), homework (15%), and class participation (10%). Answers given during class using the i-clickers will not be scored, but participation will be recorded - note that you must answer more than half the questions during each class to get credit. Clicker questions are also likely to show up on tests. You are responsible for bringing your i-clicker to class - it is not possible with a class this large to arrange for loaned clickers. Note: If you take this class "Credit/No Credit", according to university policy, your final grade must be a "C" or better in order to receive credit.

Tutoring: Free tutoring for this class is available through CAPS. Go to We also have a Supplemental Instruction Leader, Mr. John Tennison. John will hold SI Sessions as follows: Mon 4-4:50pm in Hum. 309; Wed 11-11:50am in Hum. 309; Fri 1-1:50pm in Hum. 309.

Schedule of Topics and Reading Assignments
Date Topic Reading Homework
25 Aug Introduction -- What is Science?
27 Aug Atoms to Stars Ch. 1,2
3 Sep Equilibrium and Motion Ch. 3 HW 1 grades
8 Sep Newton's Laws Ch. 4
10 Sep Momentum Ch. 5.1-5.8 HW 2 grades
15 Sep Energy Ch. 5.9-5.16
17 Sep Review HW 3 grades
22 Sep Test #1
24 Sep Gravity Ch. 6
29 Sep Phases of Matter and Fluid Mechanics Ch. 7
1 Oct Temperature, Heat, and Thermodynamics Ch. 8 HW 4 grades
6 Oct Heat Transfer and Phase Changes Ch. 9
8 Oct The Earth and Global Warming HW 5 grades
13 Oct Special Relativity
15 Oct Review Ch. 9 HW 6 grades
20 Oct Test #2
22 Oct Static Electricity Ch. 10.1-10.5
27 Oct Currents Ch. 10.6-10.10
29 Oct Magnets Ch. 11 HW 7 grades
3 Nov Sound and Waves Ch. 12
5 Nov Electromagnetic RadiationCh. 13 HW 8 grades
10 Nov Properties of Light Ch. 14
12 Nov Black Holes
17 Nov Review HW 9 grades
19 Nov Test #3
24 Nov Quantum Theory Ch. 15
26 Nov Radioactivity Ch. 16
1 Dec The Four Fundamental Forces HW 10 due
3 Dec The Energy Crisis
8 Dec Cosmology and the Runaway Universe HW 11 due
10 Dec Review
17 Dec 3-5pm, Test #4

This page was last modified on October 22, 2008

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