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Introduction to the Principle of Physics - Spring 2014


Prerequisites: Elementary algebra and geometry.
This course gives an elementary introduction to the fundamentals of physics. This specifically includes using algebra and geometry to set up and to solve "word problems." We will cover the following subjects: Newton's laws, conservation laws, the motion of small objects, small objects falling in gravity, electric and magnetic fields, electrical circuits, light (electromagnetic radiation) and a bit about how Mankind fits into the universe.


Reading assignments and homework assignments are given on the homework web-page. These should be done before class but are not to be handed in, and will not be graded. Experience shows that if you do not do the reading or the homework then you should not expect to receive a "good grade."


  • 3 Tests: 60%
  • Clicker Questions: 10%
  • Final Exam:30%

Your grade will be based upon a maximum of 100 points.
  • Tests: There are 3 in-class tests during the semester, each of which is scaled to 20 points. There is a 4th in-class test given on the last day of class. This last test is like a practice final, and may be used as a makeup for students who missed a test or for students who want to try to improve one of their test scores. The dates of the in-class tests will be announced soon.

  • Final Exam: There is a two hour final exam, scaled to be worth 30 points, given during the final test time assigned by the registrar.

    All tests and the final exams will be in longhand format - not multiple choice. This allows me to assign partial credit for work towards an answer, and thus allows you to better judge your understanding of how to solve a particular type of problem. Essential formulae will be supplied for the tests. All tests are closed book.

  • In-class Clicker Questions Use of the H-ITT clickers is worth 10% of your grade. Each question is worth 2 points for a correct answer and 1 point for a wrong answer. Your lowest 25% responses are dropped. Missing class and giving your H-ITT clicker to someone else to answer for you is cheating (as well as being stupid), and will be dealt with harshly.

The following is the guaranteed grading scale:
80% for an "A", 75% for an "A-"
70% "B+", 65% for a "B", 60% for a "B-"
55% for a "C+" 50% for a "C", 45% for a "C-"
40% for a "D+", 35% for a "D", 30% for a "D-"
Below 30% is an "E".

Previous tests, written by different instructors, are available at:  Exam 1, Exam 2, Exam 3, Makeup Exam
and at Test 1 (2008), Test1 (2009), Test 1 (2011), Test3 (2009), Test3 (2011)

Honor Code:

The Dean of Students Office web-site has a detailed discussion about academic honesty and the University of Florida Honor Code, which was adopted by the Student Council. The Honor Code says:

"We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity."

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."