Course Syllabus

Fall 2022 Welcome to PHY2004 - 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. It covers the mechanics of motion, forces, energy, momentum, wave motion, and heat. 3 credits.


Physics, like all human endeavors, is something that is learned. Physics is practiced and advanced by a scientific community of individuals with diverse backgrounds and identities and is open and welcoming to everyone. I recognize 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.

My aim is to foster an atmosphere of learning that is based on inclusion, transparency, and respect for all. I acknowledge the different needs and perspectives we bring to our common learning space and strive to provide everyone with equal access. I hope you truly believe, as I do, that by meeting the prerequisites, you belong in this physics class and are well-positioned for success.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any concerns, or with any suggestions for improving the inclusivity of this course.

Instructor Information

Spring 2020 Faculty Photo.jpg

Prof. Kathryn L. McGill

  • Office: NPB 2112
  • Phone: (352) 846-2548
  • Email via Canvas mail [best way to reach me]
    (email ONLY if Canvas is down AND it's time-sensitive)
  • Office Hours: MW Period 9 (4:05-4:55 pm)

Course Objectives

My goal for you is that by the end of this course, you will have improved your existing intuition about how the world works. This includes being able to:

  1. Analyze particular physical situations in order to make successful predictions about their future behavior. Identifying the fundamental principles pertinent to those situations will be key to your success in meeting this objective.
  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.
  4. Communicate unambiguously both the principles that apply to a situation and the results of specific calculations resulting from the steps above.

My Expectations of You

In order to achieve the learning outcomes stated above, I expect you to:

  • Attend lecture. This is very important! We will talk extensively about the physics problem-solving process, which is what you're aiming to master by the end of this course.
  • Complete the homework assignments to self–assess your understanding of the concepts and problem-solving strategies presented every week.
  • Complete 4 of 5 in-class Group Work assignments over the course of the semester, as posted in the Course Schedule (which you will also find below).
  • Complete the Group Project with your groupmates.
  • Take two mid-term exams and the final.
  • Seek help from me, the Learning Assistants (LAs) and your peers when specific content does not make sense, including seeking help for the problem-solving process itself.
  • Seek out additional practice when you need it to gain mastery over current material before moving on to future topics. This additional practice should include problems at the end of the chapter that are not assigned as part of your homework.
    • Don't forget to work through the examples presented in the text in order to learn the physics concepts, principles, and problem-solving techniques essential for success in this course.

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

Required Materials

  • Textbook
  • Homework System
    • The required online homework system is Mastering Physics, access to which is included in the purchase of the online textbook described above. Access Mastering Physics using the link provided in the Canvas course; note that it is called 'My Lab and Mastering' in the left-hand navigation.  You must register your access code from the Canvas course.
  • iClicker
    • Part of your grade is calculated based on your in-class participation. You will use the iClicker Reef system to participate. This software is free to UF students and can be used on either a computer or mobile device. Note that you must create an account/login with your UF email address. Further details about your iClicker grade can be found below in the Course Policies section.
    • You will need to bring either a laptop or mobile device with you to class in order to participate in the clicker questions. If this poses a hardship for you, please reach out to me ASAP so that we can find an appropriate solution.
  • Calculator
    • 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. Cell phones as calculators are not permitted, and use of them does constitute academic fraud. This includes the use of smartwatches; all smartwatches must be put away prior to the start of the exams.

Technical Support

Course Policies

  • Attendance Policy & Clicker Points
    • You are expected to attend lecture MWF as scheduled. You are also encouraged to attend office hours to clarify any doubts arising from your studies.
    • I will record and post lectures after they occur; I will not be live-streaming lectures. In order to earn participation points, you must attend class in person.
    • At least one clicker question will be posed each class period. You will receive 2 points for answering a clicker question correctly, 1 point for answering it incorrectly, and 0 points for no submitted answer. There is a 20% forgiveness factor on the clicker points to account for any sort of absence(s) and/or technological malfunction(s).
  • Lecture Slides Policy
    • I will post my slides before class for you to take notes on. However, I may need to make last-minute updates, so the final slides presented in class will likely be slightly but not significantly different than the posted draft. The final slides will also include the clicker questions. I will post my completed lecture slides (I write on them during lecture) after class. You can find the lecture slides on the Course Schedule page.
  • Homework Policy
    • Homework sets are to be completed individually online through the Assignments tab in the left-hand navigation, or directly in Mastering Physics via the MyLab and Mastering tab. Your homework will auto-submit on the due date and time. There may be a slight delay between the submission of your homework and the syncing of your grade in Canvas. Please only reach out to me if 24 hours has passed without the two properly auto-syncing.
    • Homework is generally due Mondays at 11:59 pm.
    • Your homework is not timed or proctored, but it is subject to the UF Policy on Academic Misconduct. (See the University Policies section.)
    • It is permissible to seek assistance on homework from me, the LAs, 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. Ultimately, however, submitted answers must be your own.
    • A 20% forgiveness factor will be applied to your total homework score at the end of the semester to account for unexpected barriers preventing you from finishing your homework in a given week.
  • Reading Quiz Policy
    • You will take conceptual reading quizzes according to the assigned Course Schedule. These quizzes are open-book but still subject to the UF Policy on Academic Misconduct (Links to an external site.). (See University Policies section.) All answers must be your own.
    • Reading Quizzes are typically due by 3 pm on each lecture day.
    • A 20% forgiveness factor will be applied to your total reading quiz score at the end of the semester to account for unexpected barriers preventing you from finishing your reading quizzes in a given week.
  • Mechanics Surveys
    • You will receive full credit for completing Mechanics Surveys I and II in class (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.
    • You will need either a laptop or mobile device with you in class to take the surveys on the assigned days. If this is a hardship for you, please reach out to me ASAP so that we can find an appropriate solution.
  • Group Work Policy
    • Physics is learned by doing. Hence you will have required in-class problem solving sessions with harder problems than you are expected to solve individually on the exams. There will be Learning Assistants (LAs) on hand to help with this. LAs are students who have completed Physics 1.
    • Your group will be assigned after the add/drop deadline, and will be visible in the Groups tab in the blue far left menu.
    • I expect everyone in the group to be able to explain the solutions to the assigned problems. Your group will have an assigned day on which I will ask questions of a few group members whom I will choose at the time.
    • I will drop your lowest Group Work score from your final grade calculation. This means that you can miss one Group Work day without consequence. However, you cannot make up your assigned questioning day unless you have an approved excuse.
      • Note that for bookkeeping in your grade, you will be assigned 0.5 points for missing a regular Group Work day and 0 points for missing your group's specific questioning day.
    • Full details on how Group Work will function this semester can be found on the Group Work page in the left-hand navigation menu.
  • Group Project
    • You will complete a group project as one of the requirements for this course. You will be grouped by major into groups of about 4 students, and you will meet the various deadlines laid out in the Course Schedule to keep you on track. Full details about the Group Project can be found on the Group Project page.
  • Exam Policy
    • Two mid-term exams and a cumulative final exam will be administered during the course. All midterms will be administered in class. Please see below for all exam dates. Exams are not collaborative and will be completed alone.
    • As stated above in the Materials section, 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. Cell phones and smartwatches as calculators are not permitted, and use of them constitutes academic fraud
    • Exam Dates
      • Exam 1: Wednesday, October 5, 2022 in class in NPB 1001
      • Exam 2: Wednesday, November 9, 2022 in class in NPB 1001
      • Final Exam: Friday, December 16, 2022 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm in NPB 1001
  • Make-up Policy
    • Requirements for class attendance and make-up exams, assignments, and other work are consistent with University Attendance Policies (Links to an external site.). For a foreseeable absence, it is your responsibility to identify yourself as requiring an accommodation at least one week prior to the absence.
    • There are no make-ups for the clicker points, reading quizzes, or homework assignments. All of these grade categories will have a 20% forgiveness factor applied to them at the end of the semester to account for misses for any reason.

Course Schedule

Week Date Day Class Schedule Topic RQ Schedule (due 3 pm) Assignment Schedule (due 11:59 pm)
1 22-Aug Mon.      
  23-Aug Tues.        
  24-Aug Wed. Semester Start Intro to Course    
  25-Aug Thurs.        
  26-Aug Fri. Math Review I Right Triangles & Graphs    
  27-Aug Sat.        
  28-Aug Sun.        
2 29-Aug Mon. Math Review II Solving Systems of Equations    
  30-Aug Tues.        
  31-Aug Wed. Ch. 1.1-1.6 Measurement & Units RQ1 Due  
  1-Sep Thurs.        
  2-Sep Fri. Mechanics Survey I (in class)      
  3-Sep Sat.        
  4-Sep Sun.        
3 5-Sep Mon. Labor Day Holiday      
  6-Sep Tues.      

HW1 Due;

Anthology Topic Due (Group)

  7-Sep Wed. Ch. 2.1-2.3 Displacement & Velocity RQ2 Due  
  8-Sep Thurs.        
  9-Sep Fri. Ch. 2.4-2.5, 2.7 Acceleration & Free Fall RQ3 Due  
  10-Sep Sat.        
  11-Sep Sun.        
4 12-Sep Mon. Ch. 2.6-2.8 1D Motion Graphs & Problem Solving RQ4 Due HW2 Due
  13-Sep Tues.        
  14-Sep Wed. Ch. 3.1-3.4 Vectors RQ5 Due  
  15-Sep Thurs.        
  16-Sep Fri. Group Work 1 (in class) Ch. 1.1-1.6, 2.1-2.8, 3.1-3.4    
  17-Sep Sat.        
  18-Sep Sun.        
5 19-Sep Mon. Ch. 3.1-3.5 2D Motion RQ6 Due

HW3 Due;

Anthology Source List Due (Group)

  20-Sep Tues.        
  21-Sep Wed. Ch. 3.5-3.6 Projectile Motion RQ7 Due  
  22-Sep Thurs.        
  23-Sep Fri. Ch. 4.1-4.5 Dynamics & Newton's Laws RQ8 Due  
  24-Sep Sat.        
  25-Sep Sun.        
6 26-Sep Mon. Ch. 4.6-4.8 Free Body Diagrams & Solving Force Problems RQ9 Due HW4 Due
  27-Sep Tues.      
  28-Sep Wed. Ch. 4.7-4.8 Solving Force Problems RQ10 Due  
  29-Sep Thurs.        
  30-Sep Fri. Group Work 2 (in class) new material since GW1    
  1-Oct Sat.        
  2-Oct Sun.        
7 3-Oct Mon. Ch. 5.1-5.3 Uniform Circular Motion RQ11 Due

HW5 Due;

1st Anthology Source Intro Due (Individual)

  4-Oct Tues.        
  5-Oct Wed. Exam 1
(in class)
RQ1-10, HW1-5, & GW1-2    
  6-Oct Thurs.        
  7-Oct Fri. Homecoming Holiday      
  8-Oct Sat.        
  9-Oct Sun.        
8 10-Oct Mon. Ch. 5.5-5.7 Gravity RQ12 Due HW6 Due
  11-Oct Tues.        
  12-Oct Wed. Ch. 6.1, 6.3-6.5, 6.10 Energy, Work, & Power RQ13 Due  
  13-Oct Thurs.        
  14-Oct Fri. Ch. 6.6-6.9 Conservation of Energy RQ14 Due  
  15-Oct Sat.        
  16-Oct Sun.        
9 17-Oct Mon. Ch. 7.1-7.3 Momentum & Impulse RQ15 Due

HW7 Due;

2nd Anthology Source Intro Due (Individual)

  18-Oct Tues.        
  19-Oct Wed. Ch. 7.3-7.6 Collisions RQ16 Due  
  20-Oct Thurs.        
  21-Oct Fri. Group Work 3 (in class) new material since GW2    
  22-Oct Sat.        
  23-Oct Sun.      
10 24-Oct Mon. Ch. 8.5-8.8 Moment of Inertia & Angular Momentum RQ17 Due HW8 Due
  25-Oct Tues.      
  26-Oct Wed. Ch. 7.8, 8.4-8.5, & 9.1-9.4 Center of Mass, Torque, & Equilibrium RQ18 Due  
  27-Oct Thurs.        
  28-Oct Fri. Ch. 9.5-9.6 Elasticity & Fracture RQ19 Due  
  29-Oct Sat.        
  30-Oct Sun.        
11 31-Oct Mon. Ch. 11.1-11.4 Simple Harmonic Motion RQ20 Due

HW9 Due;

3rd Anthology Source Intro Due (Individual)

  1-Nov Tues.        
  2-Nov Wed. Ch. 11.7-11.9 Waves RQ21 Due  
  3-Nov Thurs.        
  4-Nov Fri. Group Work 4 (in class) new material since GW3    
  5-Nov Sat.        
  6-Nov Sun.        
12 7-Nov Mon. Ch. 11.10-11.12, 12.1, 12.4 Standing Waves & Sources of Sound RQ22 Due HW10 Due
  8-Nov Tues.        
  9-Nov Wed. Exam 2
(in class)
RQ11-21, HW6-10, & GW3-4    
  10-Nov Thurs.        
  11-Nov Fri. Veterans Day Holiday      
  12-Nov Sat.        
  13-Nov Sun.        
13 14-Nov Mon. Ch. 12.2, 12.7 Sound Intensity Level & Doppler Effect RQ23 Due

HW11 Due;

Anthology Intro Due (Group)

  15-Nov Tues.        
  16-Nov Wed. Ch. 13.1-13.4, 13.9 Temperature & Thermal Expansion RQ24 Due  
  17-Nov Thurs.        
  18-Nov Fri. Ch. 13.6-13.7, 13.11-13.12 Ideal & Real Gases RQ25 Due  
  19-Nov Sat.        
  20-Nov Sun.        
14 21-Nov Mon. Ch. 14.1-14.3, 14.6-14.8 Heat RQ26 Due HW12 Due
  22-Nov Tues.        
  23-Nov Wed. Thanksgiving Break      
  24-Nov Thurs. Thanksgiving Break      
  25-Nov Fri. Thanksgiving Break      
  26-Nov Sat.        
  27-Nov Sun.        
15 28-Nov Mon. Ch. 15.1-15.3 The First Law of Thermodynamics RQ27 Due No HW Due
  29-Nov Tues.        
  30-Nov Wed. Ch. 15.4-15.9 The Second Law of Thermodynamics RQ28 Due  
  1-Dec Thurs.        
  2-Dec Fri. Group Work 5 (in class) new material since GW4    
  3-Dec Sat.        
  4-Dec Sun.        
16 5-Dec Mon. Mechanics Survey II (in class)    

HW13 Due;

Anthology Due (Group)

  6-Dec Tues.        
  7-Dec Wed. Final Exam Review      
  8-Dec Thurs. Reading Day      
  9-Dec Fri. Reading Day      
  10-Dec Sat.        
  11-Dec Sun.        
17 12-Dec Mon.        
  13-Dec Tues.        
  14-Dec Wed.        
  15-Dec Thurs.        
  16-Dec Fri. Final Exam, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, NPB 1001 Cumulative  

Grade Calculation

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


Grade Percentage

Mechanics Surveys I & II


Clicker Points

(20% forgiveness)

Reading Quizzes

(20% forgiveness)


(20% forgiveness)

Group Work

(lowest dropped)

Group Project


Exam 1


Exam 2


Final Exam


Grade Scheme

There is no curve in this class; if you earn at least 85% of the available points in this class, you will get an A, and so on down the list:

Grade Range
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%

Note that I round at 0.50. For example, 79.50% would round up to 80%, an A-, while 79.49% does not round and earns a B+.

University Policies

    • Academic honesty and integrity are fundamental values of the University community. Students should be sure that they understand the UF Student Honor Code (Links to an external site.).
    • University Honesty Policy
      • 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 (Links to an external site.) specifies a number of behaviors that are in violation of this code and the possible sanctions. 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.
    • All members of the class are expected to follow rules of common courtesy in all email messages, threaded discussions.
    • All faculty, staff, and students of the University are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use.  Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator.  Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.  We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to uphold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.
    • There are federal laws protecting your privacy with regards to grades earned in courses and on individual assignments.  For more information, please see the FERPA (Links to an external site.) page by the Registrar.

Health & Wellness Resources

Academic Resources


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.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due