Course Syllabus


Fall 2020

UFO PHY2004: Applied Physics 1

Instructor Information

photo of Dr. McGill Dr. Kathryn McGill
Office: NPB 2112
Phone: (352) 846-2548

Email via Canvas mail
(email ONLY if Canvas is down AND it's time-sensitive)

Zoom Office Hours: Mondays 10-11 am; Wednesdays 1-2 pm

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

Course Objectives

This is an introductory physics course with no prerequisites. Knowledge of high-school math is expected, including algebra, basic trigonometry, logarithms, and exponents.

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:

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

Course Activities

  • In lecture videos and in the textbook readings students will learn to analyze physical situations in terms of fundamental principles - for example learning about Newton's Laws, conservation of energy, conservation of momentum etc.
  • Students then apply this knowledge and understanding to solve homework problems for practice. 
  • Throughout this course there will be both algebraic and numerical problem solving examples and activities. 
  • Students will practice scientific communication of ideas using the correct terminology in group work, on the discussion board and in examinations.

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.
  • Have proficiency in using Canvas, Zoom, Mastering Physics, and Honorlock, as well as Microsoft Word and Excel (or equivalent packages). 
  • Read the assigned chapters in the textbook and to view the corresponding lecture videos.
  • 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 reading quizzes and homework assignments to self–assess understanding of the module’s concepts and problem solving strategies on a weekly basis.
  • To seek help from the instructor 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 requires an extensive amount of time to do all of the above, and students should plan accordingly to spend 9 hours per week on course preparation and practice.

Required Materials

Course content, grades, and communication for this course will reside in Canvas. To access the course, log in to Canvas at with your Gatorlink ID.

The required text for this course 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 for the course. The opt-in procedure begins with this link:, and further steps are explained in this All-Access instruction sheet. If you experience difficulty, check out the virtual Pearson help desk the first week of classes.

The required online homework system is Mastering Physics, access to which is included in the purchase of the online textbook described above. You may access Mastering Physics by clicking on the "MyLab and Mastering" link in the left-hand navigation menu of the Canvas course.

In order to take your exams, you will need a quiet room where you can take the exam in privacy, access to a computer with a video camera, a microphone, and a good internet connection, the Google Chrome browser, and the Honorlock extension for Google Chrome. (Honorlock is the online proctoring service for your exams.)

Technical Support

For Canvas, passwords, or any other computer-related technical support, please contact the UF Help Desk: (Links to an external site.): (Links to an external site.)

For issues related specifically to Mastering Physics, contact Pearson.

Course Policies

ATTENDANCE POLICY:  You are expected to watch the lecture and problem-solving videos and to attempt the online reading quizzes, homework, and exams by their assigned deadlines. You are also expected to interact with the instructor and with your fellow students through discussions of the material through the Canvas discussion forum.

CANVAS MAIL POLICY: You should use Canvas mail as your primary means of communicating with your instructor. Please do not email me at my address unless Canvas is down and you are writing about a time-sensitive matter. You can expect a response from me within 24 hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

HOMEWORK POLICY: Homework sets are completed online through Mastering Physics at any time between the opening of the assignment and the deadline announced in the course calendar. (All homework sets will be due Mondays at 11:59 pm.) 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. You may not copy another student's work and submit it as your own. No credit is available for late assignments.

READING QUIZ POLICY: You will take conceptual reading quizzes weekly on the assigned readings. Reading Quizzes will be due Wednesdays at 11:59 pm. These quizzes are subject to the UF Policy on Academic Misconduct (see below).

EXAM POLICY:  Three mid-term exams and a cumulative final exam will be taken online, each under the supervision of Honorlock during a time window announced in the course calendar. You only get 1 attempt at each exam; the second attempt is programmed into the system in case of catastrophic technical failure. Exams are not collaborative and are completed alone. You are responsible for checking ahead of time that you have the right technology requirements for the exam. Use the Honorlock Practice Quiz for this purpose.

GROUP WORK: Groups will be assigned in the course and you are expected to fully participate in group work in this course. This will take the form of working with your classmates during a certain time to prepare for an exam by working through assigned problems together. Additional details will be announced in the course announcements. The purpose of this activity is to strengthen your problem-solving skills and your physics communication skills. Additionally you will learn to work in a team, which is the way most science is conducted these days.

CLASS DISCUSSION: Each week will introduce a new module (corresponding to a chapter in your book) on physics. Please post your observations or questions on the material, or help answer your fellow classmates’ questions, using the Canvas discussion forum. Your discussion postings are graded based on the quality of the questions posed about course content, the quality of the feedback offered to other students, and the amount of interaction you offer to the course. You are expected to follow the Netiquette Policy as described in this syllabus. Posts that are deemed inappropriate may be deleted without notice. Discussion postings are evaluated four times throughout the semester, coinciding with each exam.

MECHANICS SURVEYS: You will receive full credit for completing Mechanics Surveys I and II (you will not be graded on your responses). You do not need to prepare in any way for these surveys; simply answer the questions to the best of your ability.

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.

PRIVACY POLICY: My Zoom office hours may be recorded for you to refer back to. Students who participate with their camera engaged or utilize a profile image are agreeing to have their video or image recorded.  If you are unwilling to consent to have your profile or video image recorded, be sure to keep your camera off and do not use a profile image. Likewise, students who un-mute during office hours and participate orally are agreeing to have their voices recorded. If you are not willing to consent to have your voice recorded during class, you will need to keep your mute button activated and communicate exclusively using the "chat" feature, which allows students to type questions and comments live. The chat will not be recorded or shared. As in all courses, unauthorized recording and unauthorized sharing of recorded materials is prohibited. You may also find the privacy policies of Zoom and Mastering Physics helpful. to an external site.

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Online Proctoring with Honorlock

In order to maintain a high standard of academic integrity and assure that the value of your University of Florida degree is not compromised, course exams will be proctored. You will take your exam electronically using the course website and these exams will be proctored with Honorlock. With Honorlock, there is no scheduling required with a testing proctor, and you can complete the exam anytime during the 48 hour testing window. Please make sure you complete and submit the exam before the end of the testing window. You will need a webcam, speakers, microphone and reliable Internet connection to be able to take your exams. Wireless internet is not recommended. You may also need a mirror or other reflective surface. Google Chrome is the only supported browser for taking exams in Canvas.

Important: Prior to each exam, visit the Honorlock system check (Links to an external site.) to evaluate your equipment and software. Also, take the practice quiz, worth 0 points, to get familiar with the Honorlock procedure for beginning and taking proctored exams.

Download and read through the Honorlock Student Prep handout for an overview of test taking tips and requirements. There will be questions answerable from information presented on this handout on your syllabus quiz.

If you experience any difficulties with the proctoring system, contact Honorlock's free 24/7 LiveChat and phone support. The LiveChat is available by clicking on the chat window at the bottom right of the exam. Of course, the support team can't answer questions to help you on answering questions about the contents of the exam, but they will be willing to diagnose and offer solutions for technical difficulties with the proctoring system.

Grade Calculation

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


Max Points

Exam 1 (Mod. 1-3)


Exam 2 (Mod. 4-7)


Exam 3 (Mod. 8-12)


Final Exam (Mod. 1-14)


Group Work




Reading Quizzes


Mechanics Surveys


Discussion Postings


Total Course Points


There will be extra credit reflection activities worth up to 2 extra grade percentage points.

Grade Scheme

Grades will be assigned based on your overall course percentage as follows:

Letter Grade Course Percentage
A 100% to 85%
A- <85% to 80%
B+ <80% to 75%
B <75% to 70%
B- <70% to 65%
C+ <65% to 60%
C <60% to 55%
C- <55% to 50%
D+ <50% to 45%
D <45% to 40%
D- <40% to 35%
E < 35%

Course Schedule

New modules will become available at 12:00 am Eastern time Sundays each week, providing access to lecture videos, worked example videos, and the homework assignment. Homework is due Mondays at 11:59 pm Eastern time. Quizzes based on your conceptual understanding of the reading are due by 11:59 pm the Wednesday before the corresponding homework is due. See the Course Summary below for specific homework and reading quiz deadlines.

Exam windows are open for 48 hours. Go to  'Quizzes' to see the date and time of the exam in advance.  Please note that Florida observes Daylight Savings Time.


Week Starting

Honorlock Exams




Mechanics Survey I
opens 12:00 am Mon 8/31

Orientation, Introductions, Math Review, Scientific Notation, Units

Reading: Ch. 1.1-1.8



Describing Motion in One Dimension

Reading: 2.1-2.8



Mechanics Survey I
closes 11:59 pm Sun 9/13

Describing Motion in Two Dimensions
Reading: 3.1-3.7



Exam 1 (Mod. 1-3)
opens 12:00 am Fri 9/25
closes 11:59 pm Sat 9/26

Newton's Laws of Motion
Reading: 4.1-4.8



Circular Motion and Gravity
Reading: 5.1-5.7



Work and Energy
Reading: 6.1, 6.3-6.10



Mechanics Survey II
opens 12:00 am Mon 10/12
closes 11:59 pm Sun 10/18

Linear Momentum
Reading: 7.1-7.8



Exam 2 (Mod. 4-7)
opens 12:00 am Fri 10/23
closes 11:59 pm Sat 10/24

Rotational Motion
Reading: 8.1-8.4



Equilibrium and Elasticity
Reading: 9.1-9.2, 9.4-9.5



Oscillations and Waves
Reading: 11.1-11.9



Reading: 12.1-12.2, 12.4, 12.7, 12.8



Exam 3 (Mod. 8-11)
opens 12:00 am Fri 11/20
closes 11:59 pm Sat 11/21

Temperature and Kinetic Theory
Reading: 13.1-13.9



No new material.
Happy Thanksgiving!



Heat and Thermodynamics
Reading: 14.1-14.3, 14.5, 15.1-15.2, 15.4-15.6



Note: 12/10-12/11 are Reading Days; all work to be graded must be submitted by 11:59 pm Wed. 12/9.

No new material.
Review for Final Exam (cumulative)



Final Exam (Mod. 1-14)
opens 12:00 am Mon 12/14
closes 11:59 pm Tues 12/15

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.

Institutional Policies and Procedures

NETIQUETTE POLICY: All members of the class are expected to follow UF's Netiquette Guidelines in all email/Canvas messages, threaded discussions, and chats.

UNIVERSITY POLICY ON ACCOMMODATING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: Students requesting accommodation for disabilities must first register with the Disability Resource Center (352-392-8565, (Links to an external site.)) 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. Students may also find these links to the accessibility features of Zoom and Mastering Physics nks to an external site.)helpful, as well as information about accessibility at UF generally.

UNIVERSITY GRADING POLICY: You may find UF's policies on grades and grading here.

UNIVERSITY POLICY ON ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT:  UF students are bound by The Honor Pledge which states, “We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honor and integrity by abiding by the Honor Code. On all work submitted for credit by students at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: “On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment.” The Honor Code specifies a number of behaviors that are in violation of this code and the possible sanctions. Click here to read the Honor Code. Furthermore, you are obligated to report any condition that facilitates academic misconduct to appropriate personnel. If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with the instructor or TAs in this class. (Links to an external si

COURSE EVALUATION: Students are expected to provide professional and respectful feedback on the quality of instruction in this course by completing course evaluations online via GatorEvals. Click here for guidance on how to give feedback in a professional and respectful manner. Students will be notified when the evaluation period opens, and can complete evaluations through the email they receive from GatorEvals, in their Canvas course menu under GatorEvals, or via Summaries of course evaluation results are available to students here.

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


U Matter, We Care: If you or someone you know is in distress, please contact, 352-392-1575, or visit U Matter, We Care website to refer or report a concern and a team member will reach out to the student in distress.

Counseling and Wellness Center: Visit the Counseling and Wellness Center website or call 352-392-1575 for information on crisis services as well as non-crisis services.

Student Health Care Center: Call 352-392-1161 for 24/7 information to help you find the care you need, or visit the Student Health Care Center website.

University Police Department: Visit UF Police Department website or call 352-392-1111 (or 9-1-1 for emergencies).

UF Health Shands Emergency Room / Trauma Center: For immediate medical care call 352-733-0111 or go to the emergency room at 1515 SW Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32608; Visit the UF Health Emergency Room and Trauma Center website.


E-learning technical support: Contact the UF Computing Help Desk at 352-392-4357 or via e-mail at

Career Connections Center: Reitz Union Suite 1300, 352-392-1601. Career assistance and counseling services.

Library Support: Various ways to receive assistance with respect to using the libraries or finding resources.

Teaching Center: Broward Hall, 352-392-2010 or to make an appointment 352- 392-6420. General study skills and tutoring.

Writing Studio: 2215 Turlington Hall, 352-846-1138. Help brainstorming, formatting, and writing papers.

Student Complaints On-Campus: Visit the Student Honor Code and Student Conduct Code webpage for more information.

On-Line Students Complaints: View the Distance Learning Student Complaint Process.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due