PHY2020 Introduction to Principles of Physics
Class number 18897
Spring 2019

This is the syllabus for the in-class sections of PHY2020. There is also an online section of PHY2020, which is taught in a different manner with a different schedule. As you have chosen to take the in-class section, the teaching is based upon the fact that the students will be in the classroom three times a week for the entire semester. The HITT ("clicker") quizzes are an integral part of the grade. If you don't want to come to class, don't take it - take the online class!

Course Professor:  
Prof. John Yelton  
Lecture MWF 1:55 p.m (7th Period), NPB 1002
Office hours (in NPB 2031): 4 p.m. Wednesday and 3 p.m. Friday (or by arrangement - use e-mail).
The Professor and Teaching Assistant from the online course know the course very well and are available at:
  • Prof. Kevin Ingersent, NPB 2201, Monday 1 p.m.
  • Ms. Shinjini Basu, NPB 2030, Tuesday 4 p.m. and Wednesday 3 p.m.

  • Text: Paul Hewitt, "Conceptual Physics", published by Addison-Wesley
    Douglas Giancoli, "The Ideas of Physics", published by Brooks/Cole.
    The textbooks are not obligatory. Note that these books are around in various editions. There are many copies available second hand in auction sites and online booksellers. We have deliberately chosen books that should not cost you a lot of money - $20 should buy a decent copy. In general the Hewitt book is more conceptual with words and pictures, whereas Giancoli is more formal and quantitative. Different students might find that they have different views as to which is preferable.

    Preparation: High school math (basic algebra, geometry and trigonometry) is expected.

    HITT Clicker Registration and Operation:

    During lectures, we will administer quick quizzes, which you will answer using your HITT remote control. When you respond to a question during class, you will see your remote ID number appear on the screen. The computer will store the response under the remote ID number, but it is up to you to tell us that is your remote ID by registering it at:  When registering your remote, you must use your UF email address for e-mail. At the same web page, you will find instructions on which type of the remote control is acceptable and how it should be configured. It is your responsibility to ensure that your remote is functioning properly and that you are sending your response on the correct channel.
    Setting your Remote to the correct frequency for NPB 1002
    Perform the following operation every time you come to class to ensure that the H-ITT remote is set to the proper frequency:

    1. Press & Hold "down arrow" until light turns red.
    2. Press "0" until light flashes green
    3. To link to the room receiver for NPB1002: Press "9" until light flashes green
    4. Press "down arrow" until light blinks green.
    5. Done!
    (Alternatively, Softclick is a way of using your phone rather than the remote. It is allowed, but not recommended. If you use "Softclick" to enter your responses, the two word random code you will need will be provided on the screen projecting the HITT responses.)
    Clicker questions are worth 2 points for a correct answer, 1 point for incorrect. The total number of points for the semester will be large, maybe 100 or more, then we scale that to 20% of the grade. Clearly half of this component of the grade is for just being there!
    Outline: The course is divided into topics and sub-topics thus:
    Introduction to Physics
    Course Introduction, Scientific Notation, Units of Measurement
    Math Review
    Vectors, Right Angle Geometry, Vector Components
    Description of Motion and Falling Bodies
    Displacement, Velocity, Acceleration, 2D motion
    Newton's Laws
    Newtons 1st Law, Newton's 2nd Law, Newton's 3rd Law, Weight as a Force, Application of Newtons Laws
    Circular Motion and Newtonian Gravity
    Circular Motion and Centripetal Acceleration, Newton's Universal Law of Gravitation, Applications of the Universal Law
    Work and Energy
    Work, Potential energy, Energy Conservation,Power
    Momentum, Collision Types, Impulse
    Rotational Motion and Equilibrium
    Radians, Angular Speed and Velocity, Angular Acceleration, Torque, Center of Mass, Stability, Statics, Rotational Inertia, Rotational Kinematic Energy, Angular Momentum
    Structure of Matter
    The Atom, Phases of Matter, Scaling Laws
    Fluids and Archimedes Principle
    Pressure, Pascal's Principle, Archimedes Principle, Applications of Pressure, Bernoulli's Principle, Terminal Velocity
    Temperature and Heat
    Temperature, Temperature and Gases, Heat Transfer, Phase Change
    Waves and Sound
    Springs, Energy in Springs, Wave Mathematics, Sound Waves, Doppler Effect
    Electric Charge, Electric Force, Electric Potential
    Electric Current
    Electric Current, Electric Circuits, Alternating Power
    Magnets and Magnetism
    Magnets, Magnetic Fields, Applications of Magnets
    Light Rays
    Ray Optics, Refraction, Lenses, Interference, Polarization, Color Mixing

    Grading policy. Maximum total possible 100 points The 100% consists of 5 components adding to 100 points.
    In-class quizzes (multiple-choice using the HITT clicker system) 20 points
    Exam 1: 18 points
    Exam 2: 18 points
    Exam 3: 18 points
    Exam 3(final): 26 points
    Tests: The tests are generally "fill-in-the-blank" rather than multiple choice. They are closed book and closed note, but essential formulae are given. Most answers are considered "right" or "wrong". Any calculators (without internet access!) are allowed on all the exams, but most questions will not need calculators.
    The following is the guaranteed grading scale:
    76% A
    72% A-
    68% B+
    64% B
    60% B-
    55% C+
    50% C
    45% C-
    40% D+
    35% D
    Please note that the grading scale, at first sight, may seem "generous". This is because the scores on tests that are "fill-in-the-blank" are typically lower than for multiple-choice tests. All grades and other course-specific material can be accessed through e-learning Canvas here. Scores on each test will appear in the Canvas gradebook ("grades" on the LHS), as will HITT scores periodically. Students can therefore calculate, at any time, their projected grade. In general there will be a small number of clicker questions each Monday and Friday class, and several each Wednesday. Please don't ask for individual extra credit - it is against the rules for good reasons!

    Philosophy of the course: This course is designed for so that it can be taken by students who do not have a background in physics. However, it is not a course about the philosophy or history of physics (though both will be touched on), but a genuine science course. Therefore some mathematics (at the level of the SAT quantitive) is necessary. It should be taken by people who want a one semester overview of physics. It counts as a Physical Science for "P" credits. It may be useful for students, especially those who have not taken a physics course in high school, as preparation for Physics I courses such as PHY 2053 and PHY 2048.

    Calender of Events
    The following calendar may be changed as we go along, but gives an outline of what to expect.
    Monday, January 7th - First day of class. "Introduction to PHY2020"
    Wednesday, January 9th - "Math Review. Scientific Notation, Units"
    Friday, January 11th - "Math Review. Vectors, Right Angle Geometry"
    Monday, January 14th - "Description of Motion, Displacement, Velocity, Acceleration"
    Wednesday, January 16th - Clickers begin to count. "Kinematics in 2D"
    Friday, January 18th - "Motion in 2D continued"
    Monday, January 21st - No Class, Martin Luther King Day.
    Wednesday, January 23rd - "Introduction to Newton's Laws of Motion"
    Friday, January 25th - "Newtons Laws of Motion part 2"
    Monday, January 28th - " Newton's Laws of Motion, part 3"
    Wednesday, January 30th - "Applications of Newton's Laws of Motion "
    Friday, February 1st - "Circular Motion "
    Monday, February 4th - "Circular Motion part 2"
    Wednesday, February 6th - Exam 1 - up to work covered so far
    Friday, February 8th - "Review of Exam Into to Newton's Universal Law"
    Monday, February 11th - "Universal Law of Gravity"
    Wednesday, February 13th - "Planets and Tides"
    Friday, February 15th - "Work and Energy"
    Monday, February 18th - "Conservation of Energy"
    Wednesday, February 20th - "Power"
    Friday, February 22nd - "Momentum, Collisions, Impulse"
    Monday, February 25th - "Momentum etc. part 2"
    Wednesday, February 27th - "Rotational Motion"
    Friday, March 1st - "Rotational Inertia/Angular Momentum Conservation"
    MWF, March 4,6,8 - No Class, Spring Break
    Monday, March 11th - "Torque and Center of Mass"
    Wednesday, March 13th - Exam 2 -
    Friday, March 15th - "Statics"
    Monday, March 18th - "Structure of Matter, Scaling Laws, Terminal Velocity "
    Wednesday, March 20th - "Fluids"
    Friday, March 22nd - "Pascal's and Archimedes' Principles"
    Monday, March 25th - "Bernoulli's Principle"
    Wednesday, March 27th - "Heat and Temperature"
    Friday, March 29th - "Specific Heat"
    Monday, April 1st - "Latent Heat"
    Wednesday, April 3rd -"Waves"
    Friday, April 5th - "Sound"
    Monday, April 8th - "Sound/Electrostatics"
    Wednesday, April 10th - "Electrostatics"
    Friday, April 12th - "Electric Current, part 1"
    Monday, April 15th - "Electric Current part 2"
    Wednesday, April 17th - Exam 3
    Friday, April 19th - "Light"
    Monday, April 22nd - "Color Mixing, Polarization"
    Wednesday, April 24th - Last Day of Class - Overall Review and Summary
    Tuesday, April 30th - Final Exam, 3 p.m. NPB 1002

    Hints on how to do well:
    Listen to every lecture. The course is based on the lectures The syllabus is defined by what is covered in lectures, and you will not be tested on material not presented, whereas the books also cover other material which you are NOT expected to know.

    Because this course covers all of physics in one semester, we move fast. If you sleep through a lecture or two, you will miss material. Make-ups will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the instructor.

    Students requesting classroom accommodation 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 accomodation. However, it is impractical to ask for accommodations for in-class clicker questions. Remember that there is a online version of the course which might be a better option if this is a concern.

    Information on current UF grading policies for assigning grade points can be found in the undergraduate catalog

    This is a University of Florida General Education course, for which credit may be obtained in the "P" (Physical Sciences) category.
    Here is the 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 as:
    Student Learning Outcomes: 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 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 many in-class quizzes, 3 in-class closed-book exams, and the final exam. Quiz and exam questions will cover all subjects listed in the syllabus. 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 stress is on understanding how to apply the principles to a variety of situations; rote memorization is minimal.

    Students are expected to provide feedback on the quality of instruction in this course. These evaluations are conducted online at Evaluations will be open towards the end of the semester and students will be informed at that time. Summary results of these assessments are available to students at

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

    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 ( 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.

    Contact information for the Counseling and Wellness Center:, 392-1575; and the University PoliceDepartment: 392-1111 or 9-1-1 for emergencies.