Text Image: Department of Physics

UF Logo

PHY2020 Home






PHY2020 Introduction to the Principles of Physics - Spring 2018
Instructor: Sergei Obukhov(obukhov  at ufl.edu, put 2020 in subject line), Office 2164 in the Physics Building (NPB) phone 352-392-8752,
meets M W F
1:55-2:45 p.m.(7th period) in NPB room 1002,
final exam group: 30A, which is Monday, April 30 7.30-10.30 am.



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

Text Book:
Conceptual Physics, 12th edition, by Paul G Hewitt. This is a surprisingly good but gentle introduction to physics. It is an expensive book, if bought new in the campus bookstore.  Online version is available for a more modest cost but cannot be resold at the end of the semester.

n class H-ITT questions (student response system) will be used throughout the semester primarily as a tool to help the instructors assess the class's overall understanding of the current lecture as well as for the students to assess their own understanding. The H-ITT questions are not a required component of your course grade, i.e. the exams, homeworks and quizzes account for 100%, however you may be able to obtain up to an additional 5 bonus points based on your performance on the H-ITT questions. H-ITT questions/responses will be officially recorded starting third week of classes, however, you are encouraged to obtain your remotes as soon as possible, since there will be practice questions during the first two weeks of the semester to help you become familiar with the system. To get the H-ITT credit you must register on the system. To register visit http://www.phys.ufl.edu/~hitt/ at your earliest opportunity and follow the instructions on that page.

Reading assignments and homework assignments are given on the homework web-page. Homework is not graded.


  •   3 tests in class are each worth 30 points. The lowest of your in-class tests will not be counted.
  • The final exam is worth 40 points.
  • Your grade will be based upon a maximum of 100 points.

Final Exam: The final exam is required and is given during the final exam test time which is assigned by the registrar.

  • One page of notes is allowed during the tests and exam. All tests are closed book.


  • The following is a guaranteed grading scale:

           80% A
           75% A-
           70% B+
           65% B
           60% B-
           55% C+
           50% C
           45% C-
           40% D+
           35% D
           30% D


UF Grading Policy
Information on current UF grading policies for assigning grade points can be found in the undergraduate catalog https://catalog.ufl.edu/ugrad/current/regulations/info/grades.aspx

General Education Course
This is a University of Florida General Education course, for which credit may be obtained in the "P" (Physical Sciences) category.

UF Relevant Area Objective
The physical and biological sciences provide instruction in the basic concepts, theories and terms of the scientific method. Courses focus on major scientific developments and their impacts on society, science and the environment, and the relevant processes that govern biological and/or physical systems. You will formulate empirically-testable hypotheses derived from the study of physical processes and living things, apply logical reasoning skills through scientific criticism and argument, and apply techniques of discovery and critical thinking to evaluate the outcomes of experiments. To achieve these goals, students will be expected to:
a) analyze particular physical situations, and thus identify the fundamental principles pertinent to the situations
b) apply principles to particular situations
c) solve any equations arising from the application of identified principles of physics
d) communicate results unambiguously

Student Learning Outcomes
This course will also assess Student Learning Outcomes which can be defined via Content and Skills.

Content: Students demonstrate competence in the terminology, concepts, theories and methodologies used within the discipline.

Communication: Students communicate knowledge, ideas and reasoning clearly and effectively in written and oral forms appropriate to the discipline.

Critical Thinking: Students analyze information carefully and logically from multiple perspectives, using discipline-specific methods, and develop reasoned solutions to problems.

The Student Learning Outcomes will be assessed through 3 graded exams in class in addition to a final exam. Typical questions will require students to complete successfully all four steps outlined in the area objectives above. Obtaining the correct result to the question posed in the form requested in the question will be taken as evidence that all four of the steps have been correctly and successfully completed. In some questions students will be expected to choose between a series of possible explanations of physical outcomes; such explanations may be presented as graphs, numerically or in words. Although knowledge of the fundamental principles of physics is necessary for success in the course, the emphasis is on understanding how to apply the principles to a variety of situations; rote memorization is minimal.

Teaching Evaluations Students are expected to provide feedback on the quality of instruction in this course based on 10 criteria. These evaluations are conducted online at https://evaluations.ufl.edu. 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 https://evaluations.ufl.edu/results/.

Classroom Accommodation Students requesting special accommodations must first register with the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the instructor when requesting accommodation.

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."

The University of Florida Honor Pledge 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 ( http://www.dso.ufl.edu/sccr/process/student-conduct-honor-code/ ) 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 in this class. Phone numbers and contact sites for university counseling services and mental health services are http://www.counseling.ufl.edu/cwc/Default.aspx 392-1575, University Police Department 392-1111 or 9-1-1 for emergencies.