Course Syllabus

Text S19 PHY 2004 - Applied Physics 1

Course Description

PHY2004 - Applied Physics 1: Emphasizes the practical applications of basic physics to a range of professions, including architecture, agricultural sciences, building construction and forest resources. Mechanics of motion, forces, energy, momentum, wave motion and heat. 3 credits

Instructor: Dr. Kathryn McGill

Contact: via Canvas mail (see "Inbox" in far left blue navigation pane)

Class (NPB 1001): MWF Per. 6 (12:50-1:40 pm)

Course Website:

Office Hours (NPB 2112): M Per. 7 (1:55-2:45 pm); R Per. 5 (11:45 am-12:35 pm)

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will have improved their existing foundation in the concepts, principles, terminology, and methodologies used to describe motion (translational, rotational and combined) of simple objects, the basic properties of matter, harmonic oscillations, and wave motion. Specifically, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze particular physical situations, and thus identify the fundamental principles pertinent to those situations to make successful predictions of system behavior,
  2. Apply fundamental principles to formulate mathematical equations describing the relation between physical quantities in these particular situations,
  3. Solve mathematical equations to find the values of physical quantities, and
  4. Communicate unambiguously both the principles that apply to a situation and the results of specific calculations resulting from the steps above.

Student Expectations

To achieve the learning outcomes, students are expected to:

  • Visit the weekly module page at the beginning of the week to understand the module learning objectives and to plan your engagement with course content for the week ahead.
    • In addition to the in-class lectures, there are also lecture videos (by a different professor) and, of course, your text book available for explanations and examples. It is up to you to determine the most effective use of these resources to meet your own needs with regard to learning course content.
    • Don't forget to work through the examples presented in the text and in the practice problem videos in order to learn the physics concepts, principles, and problem-solving techniques of introductory physics.
  • Complete homework assignments to self–assess your understanding of the module’s concepts and problem solving strategies on a weekly basis.
  • To seek help from your instructors and other students when specific content does not make sense, and to seek out additional practice when needed to gain mastery before moving on to future modules. These additional materials should include problems at the end of the chapter that are not assigned as part of your homework.

This course is worth 3 credits, so you should expect to spend about 9 hours per week learning physics.

Required Materials

The required text is Physics: Principles with Applications by Douglas Giancoli, 7thed, published by Pearson. The course is set up for an All-Access opt-in to purchase the text online for students who have registered in the course. A complete walk-through of the opt-in process is provided here.

The required online homework system is MasteringPhysics, access to which is included in the purchase of the online textbook described above. Access MasteringPhysics using the link provided in the Canvas website menu item "MyLab and Mastering".

n.b. While a loose-leaf edition of the book is available in the bookstore for $37.50, it does not include the MasteringPhysics subscription, which you will need in order to complete the homework for this course.

Make sure you work through all of the steps on the Orientation page, which will bring you up to speed using the Canvas & MasteringPhysics software.

Optional, but strongly encouraged: H-ITT clicker for in-class participation; registration information here. You will receive 2 points for a correct answer, 1 point for an incorrect answer, and 0 points for no answer. At the end of the semester, I will apply a 20% forgiveness factor to your H-ITT clicker scores to account for unexpected absences, malfunctioning clickers, etc., after which I will convert your overall H-ITT clicker score to give you up to 5% extra credit in your final grade.

Canvas & MasteringPhysics Information

Canvas is the place where course content, grades, and communication will reside for this course. MasteringPhysics is integrated into Canvas and is the source of your homework problems.

  • Canvas:
  • MasteringPhysics: access through Canvas, "MyLab and Mastering" menu item
  • For Canvas, passwords, or any other computer-related technical support contact the UF Help Desk:
    • phone: (352) 392-HELP (4357)
    • website:
    • email:
  • Brad Maynard from Pearson is hosting a help desk on Friday, January 11th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm to assist with MasteringPhysics registration and troubleshooting technical difficulties.

Course Policies

ATTENDANCE POLICY: You are expected to attend lecture MWF from 12:50-1:40 pm (Per. 6) in NPB 1001. You are also encouraged to attend office hours with Dr. McGill in NPB 2112, W from 1:55-2:45 pm (Per. 7) & R from 10:40-11:30 am (Per. 4).

I will be posting my slides and lecture notes here after each class. I cannot guarantee that I will have them posted before the start of class. However, you should not feel pressured to write down every word while taking notes in class, since everything will be posted shortly thereafter. Focus on writing down the explanations of what the variables mean in each equation, as well as the practice problems we work through together during lecture.

HOMEWORK POLICY: Homework sets are completed online through the Assignments tab in the left-hand navigation, or directly in MasteringPhysics via the My Lab and Mastering tab at any time between the opening of the assignment and the deadline announced in the course calendar. These assignments are not timed or proctored, but they are subject to the UF Policy on Academic Misconduct (see below).

It is permissible to seek assistance or collaborate on homework with your instructor or your classmates. This assistance may include help with interpreting the problem, identifying relevant information in the textbook or course videos, or identifying one’s errors. No credit is available for late assignments. (See “Getting Help” below for what to do in the event of technical problems with the Canvas e-Learning system.)

A 20% forgiveness factor will be applied to your homework grade at the end of the semester to account for unexpected barriers preventing you from finishing your homework in a given week.

EXAM POLICY:  Three mid-term exams and a cumulative final exam will be administered during the course. All midterms will be administered in class. Please see the schedule below for all exam dates. Exams are not collaborative and will be completed alone.

You may use any scientific or graphing calculator on the exams, as long as it does not have the ability to communicate with other devices electronically. Mobile devices and laptops are not permitted, and use of them constitutes academic fraud.

I will provide you with a formula sheet (to be posted) and scratch paper for each of your exams. Private formula sheets are not allowed, and use of them constitutes academic fraud.

Since the Final Exam is cumulative, I will use your Final Exam score to replace your lowest midterm score in the final calculation of your grade - but only if your Final Exam score is higher than your lowest midterm score (i.e. your grade will either stay the same or improve).

The Final Exam is on Monday, April 29th, from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm.

MAKE-UP POLICY: Requirements for class attendance and make-up exams, assignments, and other work are consistent with university policies that can be found here. For a foreseeable absence, it is your responsibility to identify yourself as requiring an accommodation at least one week prior to the absence.

Grade Calculation

Grades in the course are awarded based on an overall course score calculated as follows:


Grade Percentage

Exam 1

(Modules 1-4)

Friday, February 8th,



Exam 2

(Modules 5-7)

Friday, March 1st,



Exam 3

(Modules 8-11)

Friday, April 5th,



Final Exam

(Modules 12-14; cumulative)

Monday, April 29th,

10 am - 12 pm



generally due Mondays

at 11:59 pm


H-ITT Participation

(extra credit)

up to 5%


Please also see the following document: How to Estimate Your PHY2004 Grade

Grade Scheme

There is no curve in this class; if you earn at least 84.5% of the available points in this class, you will get an A, and so on down the list:

Grade Range
A 100% to 84.5%
A- < 84.5% to 79.5%
B+ < 79.5% to 74.5%
B < 74.5% to 69.5%
B- <69.5% to 64.5%
C+ < 64.5% to 59.5%
C < 59.5% to 54.5%
C- < 54.5% to 49.5%
D+ < 49.5% to 44.5%
D < 44.5% to 39.5%
D- < 39.5% to 34.5%
E <34.5% to 0.0%


Institutional Policies and Procedures

UNIVERSITY POLICY ON ACCOMMODATING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: Students requesting accommodation for disabilities must first register with the Disability Resource Center (352-392-8565, by providing appropriate documentation. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the instructor when requesting accommodation. You must submit this documentation prior to submitting assignments or taking the quizzes or exams. Accommodations are not retroactive, therefore, students should contact the office as soon as possible in the term for which they are seeking accommodations.

UNIVERSITY POLICY ON ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT:  Academic honesty and integrity are fundamental values of the University community. Students should be sure that they understand the UF Student Honor Code at

NETIQUETTE: COMMUNICATION COURTESY:  All members of the class are expected to follow rules of common courtesy in all email messages, threaded discussions and chats.

COURSE EVALUATION: You will be asked to evaluate the course by completing online evaluations at Evaluations are typically open during the last two or three weeks of the semester, but students will be given specific times when they are open. Summary results of these assessments are available to students at

ATTENDANCE AND MAKE-UP POLICY: Excused absences and allowances for make-up work are consistent with university policies in the undergraduate catalog ( and require appropriate documentation.

Course Schedule and Calendar



HW Due Date/Exam Date


Module 1


Orientation, Math Review, Scientific Notation, Units
Reading: 1.1-1.8

Module 2


Describing Motion in One Dimension
Reading: 2.1-2.8

Module 3


Motion in Two Dimensions
Reading: 3.1 –3.7

Module 4


Newton’s Laws of Motion
Reading: 4.1-4.8

Exam 1



Modules 1-4

Module 5


Circular Motion and Gravity
Reading: 5.1-5.3;5.5-5.7

Module 6


Work and Energy
Reading: 6.1,6.3-6.10

Module 7


Linear Momentum
Reading: 7.1-7.8

Exam 2



Modules 5-7


Spring Break: No assignments due.


Module 8


Rotational Motion
Reading: 8.1-8.6, 8.8

Module 9


Reading: 9.1-9.6

Module 10


Oscillations and Waves
Reading: 11.1-11.9

Module 11


Reading: 12.1,12.2, 12.4,12.7,12.8

Exam 3



Modules 8-11

Module 12


Temperature and Kinetic Theory
Reading: 13.1-13.12

Module 13


Reading 14.1-14.8

Module 14


     Laws of Thermodynamics        Reading: 15.1-15.9

Final Exam


10:00 am

Cumulative across all modules


Disclaimer: This syllabus represents my current plans and objectives. As we go through the semester, those plans may need to change to enhance the class learning opportunity. Such changes, communicated clearly, are not unusual and should be expected, and this syllabus will be updated accordingly.

Course Summary:

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