Lecture Log for PHY 309K

This page logs lectures of the Elementary Physics (I) course (PHY 309 K) taught by Professor Vadim Kaplunovsky in Spring 2014 (unique #58900). Also, at the bottom of this page there is a list of skipped sections.

To help the students follow the class, this log lists the subjects covered by each lecture, with references to appropriate textbook chapters, sections, and subsections, and also external links, if any.

Since the pace of the course will vary depending on how well (or how poorly) the students understand the material, I would not be able to tell in advance which specific subjects I will cover during a particular future lecture. Therefore, at any particular time, this log will be limited to the lectures I have already given, plus one tentative listing of what I plan to say in the very next lecture.


January 14 (Tuesday):
Class organisation.
Introduction: the scope of Physics; major fields of Physics; connection to other hard sciences; Physics from the largest to the smallest; scientific method; theory and experiment; importance of math and qualitative measurement. (Chapter 1 and supplementary notes.)
January 16 (Thursday):
Units and conversion: importance of units; unit algebra; converting units; metric system; basic and derived units (supplementary notes).
Accuracy and significant figures: all measurements are approximate; accuracy; precision and significant figures; significant figures of products and ratios; decimal positions of sums and differences (supplementary notes).
Mathematical description of motion: function x(t); formulae and graphs; describing motion in 2D and 3D; average velocity (§2.4).
January 21 (Tuesday):
Velocity and speed: units of speed; distance and displacement; vectors and scalars; average speed and average velocity; instantaneous velocity and its time dependence; algebraic example; graphic analysis; instantaneous speed (§2.1–2, §2.4).
Acceleration: average acceleration; units; instantaneous acceleration; motion at constant acceleration (§2.3).
January 23 (Thursday):
Graphing motion: examples of x(t), v(t), and a(t); signs of velocity and acceleration; acceleration and velocity on x(t) plot (§2.4).
Motion at constant acceleration: physical examples; x(t) and v(t) for starting from rest; stopping a car; free fall (§2.5).
January 28 (Tuesday):
No Lecture: the University was closed down.
January 30 (Thursday):
Free fall: time to fall (from rest); impact speed; vertical throw with initial velocity; `hanging time' in basketball; general case (§3.1–3).
Vectors: vector equality; adding vectors; subtracting vectors (Appendix C).
February 4 (Tuesday):
Vectors: components of vectors; adding and subtracting vectors in components; converting from magnitude and direction to components and from components to direction and magnitude; subsequent displacements; multiplying vectors by scalars; position, displacement, velocity, and acceleration vectors. (My notes.)
Projectile motion: independent horizontal and vertical motions; vector description. (My notes and §3.4.)
February 6 (Thursday):
Projectile motion: examples; trajectory and aiming; trajectory equation; horizontal range; θ dependence of the range; high and low trajectories. (§3.4–5.)
Relative motion: different motion for different observers; frames of reference; adding velocities; moving upstream and downstream. (§20.1.)
February 11 (Tuesday):
Relative motion across the current or wind.(§20.1.)
Forces and motion: ancient notions; intertia; Newton's First Law; Newton's Second Law; net force vector. (§4.1–2.)
Force of gravity; mass versus weight. (§4.3.)
February 13 (Thursday):
Midterm test #1.
February 18 (Tuesday):
Forces and motion: apparent weight in an accelerated frame; weightlessness; inclined plane; Newton's Third Law; force diagrams; examples; friction forces. (§4.3–5)
February 20 (Thursday):
Friction forces: static and kinetic friction; fs≤μsN, fkkN; acceleration or stopping a car; fluid resistance; terminal velocity. (Supplementary notes.)
Circular motion: centripetal acceleration; car on a curving road. (§5.1–2.)
February 25 (Tuesday):
Circular motion: banking roads; conical pendulum; going over a hill; loop-the-loop (§5.1–2.).
General motion: normal and tangential accelerations.
Ancient astronomy: early notions; Aristotle; Ptolemy and epicycles; early heliocentric models; the parallax problem; Copernicus model.
February 27 (Thursday):
Kepler Laws: history of heliocentric system; elliptic orbits (first law); second law of Kepler (equal areas); third law of Kepler T2a3; orbits of satellites (§5.3).
Newton's Universal Gravity: gravity and orbits; Newton's cannon; law of universal gravity; gravity on Earth and other planets; true gravity and apparent weightlessness in space; circular orbits; speed and period for a circular orbit; non-circular and runaway orbits; escape speed (§5.4).
March 4 (Tuesday):
Planets and satellites: elliptic orbits; escape speed; weightlessness (§5.4).
Mechanical work and power: simple machines and the golden rule of mechanics; mechanical work = force×distance; efficiency; work of forces in different directions; scalar profuct of vectors; mechanical power (§6.1).
March 6 (Thursday):
Examples of power (§.6.1; kinetic energy (§6.2); gravitational potential energy (§6.3); mechanical energy conservation; pendulum and rollercoaster examples (§6.4).
March 18 (Tuesday):
Elastic potential energy; net mechanical energy and its conservation; non-mechanical energies and universal energy conservation (§6.4).
Momentum and impulse; examples.
March 20 (Thursday):
Momentum conservation; recoil; collisions; totally inelastic collisions in 1D and 2D; head-on elastic collisions; examples (§7.2–4).
March 25 (Tuesday):
Midterm test #2.
March 27 (Thursday):
Finished chapter 7: elastic collisions at an angle; rockets.
Torques: lever arm and torque of a force; rotational balance; symmetric and asymetric scales; τ=F×R×sin(φ); examples (§8.2).
April 1 (Tuesday):
Torques and static equilibrium: center of gravity (center of mass) and the torque of gravity; static equilibrium, balance of forces and balance of torques; examples; stability of static equilibrium.
April 3 (Thursday):
Rotational motion: angular displacement, angular velocity, and angular acceleration; speed and accelerations of parts of a rotating body; kinetic energy of rotation; moment of inertia; torque and angular acceleration (§8.1 and §8.3).
April 8 (Tuesday):
Work and power of a torque.
Angular momentum: L=I×ω; angular momentum conservation; examples; Kepler's second law; angular momentum and torque are vectors in 3D; right screw rule; gyroscopes; precession; transfer of angular momentum (§8.4–5).
April 10 (Thursday):
Fluids and Pressure: P=F/A; Pascal's Law for fluids; hydraulic presses; pressure and depth; law of communicating vessels; atmospheric pressure; mercury barometer; absolute and gauge pressures; blood pressure (§9.1–2).
April 15 (Tuesday):
Pressure: gauge pressure and manometers; blood pressure; absolute pressure; Boyle's Law for gases (§9.2).
Buoyant forces: origin; Archymedes Law; measuring density by weighing underwater; floating up; baloons; floating at the survace; icebergs; boats; hydrometers (§9.3).
April 17 (Thursday):
Moving fluids: flow rate and continuity equation; Bernoulli equation; examples; airplane flight; magnus effect and curveballs; viscosity; laminar and turbulent flow (§9.4–5).
April 22 (Tuesday):
Temperature: thermal expansion and qualitative changes; temperature scales; absolute temperatures (§10.1).
Gas Laws; kinetic theory of heat and temperature (§10.4).
April 24 (Thursday):
Midterm test #3.
April 29 (Tuesday):
Gas Laws: Dalton law; molecules and mols; the universal gas law (§10.4).
Heat: heat flow, heat capacity, and specific heat; calorimetry; latent heat; heat as a form of energy; first law of thermodynamics (§10.2–3).
May 1 (Thursday):
Heat: freezing by boiling; first law of thermodymamics; isothermal and adiabatic processes (§10.2–4).
Second law of thermodynamics: perpetuum mobile of 2 kinds and why they do not work; heat engines; efficiency; car engines; heat pumps and refrigerators; Carnot's reversible cycle; limits on efficiency; entropy (chapter 11).

Skipped Sections

When I decide to skip some subjects covered in the textbook, I shall list them here and announce them in class. The exams will not involve the skipped material.

Last Modified: May 1, 2014.
Vadim Kaplunovsky