Course Syllabus


Instructor: Prof. Amlan Biswas

Contact Information:

  • Email Address: (all email communication related to the course will be through canvas)
  • Office: NPB 2255
  • Office Phone Number: 352 392 8592

Class hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, period 6, 12:50 pm - 1:40 pm

Location of classes: NPB 1002

In addition, lectures will be livestreamed and recorded (and then posted on zoom) for the first few weeks. The quizzes and exams will all be in the F2F mode.

COVID-19 Information:

In response to COVID-19, the following practices are in place to maintain your learning environment, to enhance the safety of our in-classroom interactions, and to  further the health and safety of ourselves, our neighbors, and our loved ones.  

You are expected to wear approved face coverings at all times during class and within buildings even if you are vaccinated.  Please continue to follow healthy habits, including best practices like frequent hand washing.  Following these practices is our responsibility as Gators.  

  • If you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated.  Vaccines are readily available at no cost and have been demonstrated to be safe and effective against the COVID-19 virus. Visit this link for details on where to get your shot, including options that do not require an appointment: Students who receive the first dose of the vaccine somewhere off-campus and/or outside of Gainesville can still receive their second dose on campus.
  • If you are sick, stay home and self-quarantine.  Please visit the UF Health Screen, Test & Protect website about next steps, retake the questionnaire and schedule your test for no sooner than 24 hours after your symptoms began. Please call your primary care provider if you are ill and need immediate care or the UF Student Health Care Center at 352-392-1161 (or email to be evaluated for testing and to receive further instructions about returning to campus. UF Health Screen, Test & Protect offers guidance when you are sick, have been exposed to someone who has tested positive or have tested positive yourself. Visit the UF Health Screen, Test & Protect website for more information. 
    • Course materials will be provided to you with an excused absence, and you will be given a reasonable amount of time to make up work.  
    • If you are withheld from campus by the Department of Health through Screen, Test & Protect you are not permitted to use any on campus facilities. Students attempting to attend campus activities when withheld from campus will be referred to the Dean of Students Office.
  • Continue to regularly visit and for up-to-date information about COVID-19 and vaccination.  

Tech support: If you have a technical issue with Canvas or Zoom, please consult UF IT Help immediately (352-392-HELP / 352-392-4357)

Office hours: Office hours will be in-person but if you are unable to wear a mask during the meeting, you can make an appointment on zoom. In-person office hour times: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, period 8, 3:00 pm - 3:50 pm.

Textbook: The required text is Classical Mechanics by Taylor (University Science Books) ISBN: 9781891389221.

Prereq: PHY 2049 or equivalent

Coreq: MAP 2302 or equivalent

Synopsis: First part of PHY 3221/4222 sequence in classical mechanics emphasizing matrices, vector calculus, Newtonian mechanics, frames of reference, conservation laws and harmonic oscillation. We will cover Chapters 1-7 of the textbook, with supplemental materials to be posted on this website. Topics to be covered include: kinematics in one and two dimensions with velocity dependent resistive forces, conservation laws, oscillations (forced and damped, resonance, some simple Fourier analysis), conservative forces, and potentials. 

Course objectives: To obtain an understanding of mechanics with detailed mathematical treatment. The mathematical methods used in this course will also be useful in courses on electromagnetism and quantum mechanics. Applications to modern technology will be emphasized along with a historical perspective.

Grading policy:

Homework and in-class quizzes: There will be ten UNGRADED homework assignments during the semester. The homeworks will be discussed in class and the partial solutions to the homework will be made available on the course website 3 to 4 days later. About a week after the homework is assigned, there will be a short (20 minutes) in-class quiz based on that homework. There will be a total of 10 such quizzes (Q1 to Q10) and the minimum two scores will be dropped. Each quiz will be worth 5% of the course grade for a total of 40% of the course grade. The problems will usually be multiple choice but partial credit will be given if the calculations shown are partially correct. Also, if your work for the quiz does not show how you arrived at the correct answer, then no points will be given even if you have selected the correct answer in the multiple choice. See course schedule for homework and quiz dates. You can have your own work for the corresponding homework assignment and your notes during the quiz.

Mid-term exams: There will be three in-class mid-term exams of 50 minutes duration, scheduled for September 29, October 27, and November 17. Each of these exams will be worth 12% of the total grade. Hence the mid-term exams will constitute 36% of the total grade. The mid-term exams will be based on the homeworks assigned in the previous weeks and the quizzes. The exams will be open notes and open homework.

ALC test: The ALC is a field test on selected topics created by faculty in the department. The student scores are used for review of the physics program. The Mechanics 1 ALC test will consist of 15 multiple choice questions on various topics expected to be covered in a mechanics course. The test will be given during class on December 6, 2021 with a time limit of 50 minutes (12:50 pm to 1:40 pm). This test will be worth 4% of the total grade.

Final exam: There will be a 120 minutes, cumulative final exam on December 16 from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm. Details about the exam format will be posted here.  The final exam will be worth 20% of the total grade.

Extra credit programming project: There will be a programming project worth 2 extra credits. The project will be based on concepts and techniques learned during the semester. Basic matlab techniques will be discussed in class or in the assigned homeworks. However, students can choose to use a different programming language.

Make-ups: Make-up tests and quizzes will be given if a situation satisfies the make-up policy (see below).

Grade calculation:

3 mid-term tests
36% (12% each)
Best 8 of 10 quizzes
40% (5% each)
ALC test
2 extra credits (programming project) 2%
Final exam


Letter Grade Percent Score LaTeX: \left(x\right)
A LaTeX: x\ge90\%
A- LaTeX: 90\%\:>x \:\ge87\%
B+ LaTeX: 87\%\:> x\:\ge85\%
B LaTeX: 85\%\:>x \:\ge80\%
B- LaTeX: 80\%\:> x\:\ge75\%
C+ LaTeX: 75\%\:> x\:\ge70\%
LaTeX: 70\%\:> x\:\ge65\%
C- LaTeX: 65\%\:> x\:\ge60\%
D+ LaTeX: 60\%\:> x\:\ge57\%
D LaTeX: 57\%\:> x\:\ge53\%
D- LaTeX: 53\%\:> x\:\ge50\%
E LaTeX: < 50\%

The percent score ranges may be lowered, depending upon numerous factors, but will not be raised. The course grades are not curved. Link to UF grading policy.

Attendance and make up assignments/tests: Regular attendance is expected but not enforced. In class quizzes are announced in advance. Make up quizzes/exams will be given for valid excused absences. Requirements for class attendance and make-up exams, assignments, and other work in this course are consistent with university policies. Excused absences must be consistent with university policies and require appropriate documentation.  Click here to read the university attendance policies.

Holidays (no classes): Labor Day (September 6), Homecoming (October 8), Thanksgiving (November 24 and 26)

Course evaluations: 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.

Accommodations: Students with disabilities who experience learning barriers and would like to request academic accommodations should connect with the disability Resource Center. Click here to get started with the Disability Resource Center. It is important for students to share their accommodation letter with their instructor and discuss their access needs, as early as possible in the semester.

Academic Honesty: 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.

In-class recording: 

Students are allowed to record video or audio of class lectures. However, the purposes for which these recordings may be used are strictly controlled.  The only allowable purposes are (1) for personal educational use, (2) in connection with a complaint to the university, or (3) as evidence in, or in preparation for, a criminal or civil proceeding.  All other purposes are prohibited.  Specifically, students may not publish recorded lectures without the written consent of the instructor.    

A “class lecture” is an educational presentation intended to inform or teach enrolled students about a particular subject, including any instructor-led discussions that form part of the presentation, and delivered by any instructor hired or appointed by the University, or by a guest instructor, as part of a University of Florida course. A class lecture does not include lab sessions, student presentations, clinical presentations such as patient history, academic exercises involving solely student participation, assessments (quizzes, tests, exams), field trips, private conversations between students in the class or between a student and the faculty or lecturer during a class session.    

Publication without permission of the instructor is prohibited. To “publish” means to share, transmit, circulate, distribute, or provide access to a recording, regardless of format or medium, to another person (or persons), including but not limited to another student within the same class section. Additionally, a recording, or transcript of a recording, is considered published if it is posted on or uploaded to, in whole or in part, any media platform, including but not limited to social media, book, magazine, newspaper, leaflet, or third party note/tutoring services. A student who publishes a recording without written consent may be subject to a civil cause of action instituted by a person injured by the publication and/or discipline under UF Regulation 4.040 Student Honor Code and Student Conduct Code.

Statement on inclusion and diversity:

Physics is practiced and advanced by a scientific community of individuals with diverse backgrounds and identities and is open and welcoming to everyone. The instructor recognizes the value in diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of this course. This includes, but is not limited to differences in race, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, religion and disability. Students may have opportunities to work together in this course. I expect respectful student collaborations such as attentive listening and responding to the contributions of all teammates.

Physics, like all human endeavors, is something that is learned. My aim is to foster an atmosphere of learning that is based on inclusion, transparency and respect for all participants.  I acknowledge the different needs and perspectives we bring to our common learning space and strive to provide everyone with equal access. All students meeting the course prerequisites belong here and are well positioned for success.

Campus resources:

Health and Wellness

Academic Resources

Course Summary:

Date Details Due