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PHY2053 (Physics 1), fall term 2009

Prerequisite: High school algebra and trigonometry, or equivalent.

Description: PHY 2053 is the first semester of introductory physics de-emphasizing calculus. Topics covered are: structure and properties of matter; kinematics, dynamics and statics; momentum and energy; rotation, elasticity; vibration; fluids; wave motion and sound.

Time: Tuesday and Thursday, Period 4 (10:40 -11:30 am) OR 5 (11:45-12:35 am) depending on your section.

Place: 1001 New Physics Building (NPB). 

Amlan Biswas
Gary Ihas
Office: 2255 NPB
Office: 2352 NPB
Phone: 352 392 8592
Phone: 352 392 9244
Bernard Whiting
Office: 2079 NPB
Phone: 352 392 8746

Office hours: Tuesday and Thursday 6th and 7th periods. If Biswas lectures then Ihas will have the office hours during period 6 and Biswas during period 7. If Ihas lectures then Biswas will have the office hours during period 6 and Ihas during period 7. All other times you should make an appointment through email. You can also walk in to the office if the instructor is available.

Textbook: The required text is Serway and Faughn, COLLEGE PHYSICS WITH WEBASSIGN, Publisher: CENGAGE Edition: 8TH VOL1, ISBN: 0495760897 (Note that this ISBN number is unique to the University of Florida and is sold only at local bookstores. The text includes a code used for the required on-line homework.) There will also be an optional course packet, sold by the Society of Physics Students. This course packet contains photocopies of old Phy2053 exams. Many students find it to be a useful study guide. A student solution manual to accompany Serway and Faughn is also available.

Lectures and Discussion sections:

By enrolling in PHY 2053, you have been scheduled to attend four class meetings each week. Two meetings (Tuesday and Thursday, 4th or 5th period) will be in NPB 1001 -- this is the lecture portion of the course. The other two meetings are in your discussion section, a small gathering of 20 - 30 of your fellow students with a TA as discussion leader. Your discussion leader will tell you his/her policies for the operation of his/her section. This website describes the policies for only the lecture section of this course.


Homework will be assigned, collected, and graded entirely online. No paper homework will be accepted or graded. There will be homework due each week on WEDNESDAY for a total of about 12 homeworks.


There will be two midterm exams with 20 problems each. The final exam will be comprehensive and compulsory. It will have 20 problems. A formula sheet and a calculator will be allowed for each exam subject to the following conditions:

Formula sheet: Both sides of a single, letter sized (8.5”x11”) paper in your own handwriting, no copies, no printed material.You can even write down entire problems provided they are in your own handwriting.

Calculator: All calculators allowed provided they are NOT communication devices.

Grading policy:

The grade for this class will be calculated as follows:

Discussion section
2 midterm exams 20% each
Clicker quizzes, (We will use H-ITT clickers/remotes to gather student response to in-class quizzes. For details and clicker registration, click here.)
Final exam

The letter grade scale is:

85% and above
83% to 84.99%
80% to 82.99%
70% to 79.99%
68% to 69.99%
65% to 67.99%
60% to 64.99%
58% to 59.99%
55% to 57.99%
52% to 54.99%
50% to 51.99%
Below 50%

Sample grade calculation:

Normalized Homework = 12.2 (Normalized HW = (Your score/Maximum possible)*150/9). The factor 150/9 normalizes your score so that a 90% is increased to 100% and then converts it to a number between 0 and 15 (maximum possible is 15 even if you get a number greater than 15 after normalization).

Discussion section - 16/20 (Average for all discussion sections is 15/20)

Midterm 1 = 14/20

Midterm 2 = 18/20

Final exam = 15/20

Clicker quizzes : If total 60 questions are asked, student answers 30 correctly (2 points each), 20 incorrectly (1 point each), and 10 no response (0 points) then total score is 80 out of a possible 120. Clicker quiz credit = (80/120)*50/9 = 3.7 (The factor 50/9 normalizes your score so that a 90% is increased to 100% and then converts it to a number between 0 and 5. maximum possible is 5 even if you get a number greater than 5 after normalization)

The total score is = 12.2 + 16 + 14 + 18 + 15 + 3.7 = 78.9 = B grade

Email and E-learning

Send email only from your gatorlink accounts to We cannot respond to other email addresses because we cannot be sure about the identity of the sender. E-learning will be used to display exam and quiz grades. We will also use vista for a weekly online chat session. Do not send email in vista.

Make-up policy

In general, make-ups will not be allowed, subject to all University regulations currently in force. If you feel there is a legitimate reason for varying this policy, you should bring it, and any supporting documentation, to our attention well prior to the missed event.

Students with disabilities

Students who require accommodation for disabilities must first contact the Dean of Students Office. That office will provide documentation, which the student must bring to his/her instructors during the first week of the semester.

Academic honesty:

Each student is expected to hold himself/herself to a high standard of academic honesty. Under the UF academic honesty policy, unauthorized assistance or the use of unauthorized resources is strictly forbidden on work-for-credit. You are to work alone on all graded assignments. This includes exams and online homework. Fabrication or falsification of excuses or related documentation is also a violation of the UF academic honesty policy. See

Violations of this policy will be dealt with severely. There will be no warnings or exceptions.

Last modified: 12/15/09 by Amlan Biswas

New Physics Building
Gainesville, FL 32611-8440
Ph: (Lab) (352) 392 3667
Ph: (Office) (352) 392 8592