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PHY3221 (Mechanics I), spring term 2017

Instructor:  Arthur Hebard
Office: 2257 NPB 
Phone:  392-8442
Lab: B38/39 NPB
Phone:  392-9228
Fax: 392-3591
Meeting time: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, period 6, 12:50-1:40 AM in NPB 1011.
Office hours: Monday, 2:00-3:00 PM; Thursday 9:30-10:30 AM. At other times, please email and confirm.
Textbook: The required text is Classical Mechanics by J.R. Taylor
References: Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems by S. T. Thornton and J. B. Marion  An Introduction to Mechanics by D. Kleppner and R.J. Kolenkow (These books are on course reserve at the Smathers Library)
Corequisites: PHY 2048 or the equivalent. Fluency in algebra, trigonometry and calculus is necessary for your success in Mechanics I. A course in differential equations is highly recommended. Calculus III will be used extensively throughout the course.

Synopsis: This course is the first part of two-semester sequence (PHY 3221-4222) in undergraduate level classical mechanics. The goal of the first semester is to develop a bridge from the elementary course (PHY2048) to the Lagrange and Hamilton formulation of mechanics to be studied in depth in the second semester (PHY4222) of the course. Topics include matrices, vector calculus, Newtonian mechanics, frames of reference, conservation laws, harmonic oscillator, and calculus of variations. Physics 3221 will cover selected chapters of the textbook. See Calendar for details. Lecture slides will also be posted on the Calendar.

Words of Advice for success in this course

Requirements for class attendance and make-up exams, assignments, and other work in this course are consistent with university policies that can be found at:

Grading policy:

Homework: There will be ten GRADED homework (HW) assignments during the semester, due on the dates indicated on the schedule. Homework assignments, subject to change, are posted on the Homework link of this website.Homework will be collected in class on the due date. HWs will not be accepted out of class and overdue HWs will not be graded Make your solutions neat, concise, and intelligible. Points may be deducted if it is difficult to find and/or understand the solutions.  If you miss a homework deadline for any reason, there is no need for you to provide an excuse because there is little possibility of a makeup or extension. Instead the lowest homework score will be dropped at the end of the semester.The graded HWs will be worth 15% of the total grade.

In-class exams : In addition to the homework assignments, there will be FOUR in-class exams of 50 minutes duration, tentatively scheduled for January 25, February 17, March 15 and April 19 (the last day of class). The lowest-grade exam will be dropped and the remaining three will count for 20% each for a total of 60% of your final grade. Single page formula sheets and calculators will be allowed.

In-class quizzes: There will be eight quizzes each of approximately 10 min duration as listed on the calendar. The lowest will be dropped and the remaining seven will constitute 20% of your grade. One additional quiz near the end of the semester will be used the fulfil the academic learning compact (ALC) requirement. The ALC quiz is compulsory and constitutes 5% of your total grade.

Final exam: There is no final exam for this course

Grade calculation:

Best 3 out of 4 in-class tests
20% each for a total of 60%

Your grades will be posted on CANVAS. If you have not used CANVAS, please learn how to use it by visiting

Here is a guideline for your final letter grade: 85%-100%, some type of A; 65%-84%, some type of B; 50%-64%, some type of C; below 50, will be decided by the instructor. These thresholds may be lowered, depending upon numerous factors, but will not be raised. The course grades are not curved.

The grader for the course is Abhishek Kumar,

C is the lowest passing grade for physics majors!

Holidays (no classes): Martin Luther King Day (Monday, January 16) and Spring Break (Monday, Mar 6- Friday, March 10)..

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: “Students with disabilities requesting accommodations should first register with the Disability Resource Center (352-392-8565, by providing appropriate documentation. Once registered, students will receive an accommodation letter which must be presented to the instructor when requesting accommodation. Students with disabilities should follow this procedure as early as possible in the semester.

ON LINE COURSE EVALUATIONS: Students are expected to provide feedback on the quality of instruction in this course by completing online evaluations at 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

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. Although discussions among the students are highly encouraged, you are to work alone on all homework assignments unless specified otherwise. Fabrication or falsification of excuses or related documentation is also a violation of the UF academic honesty policy. Violations of this policy will be dealt with severely. There will be no warnings or exceptions. Expectations with respect to student conduct and the Honor Code can be found at where a number of behaviors that are in violation of this code and the possible sanctions are described..

Last modified: 12/20/2016 by Arthur Hebard

New Physics Building
Gainesville, FL 32611-8440
Ph: (Lab) (352) 392 9228
Ph: (Office) (352) 392 8842