Physics 231: University Physics I
James Cook's University Physics I Homepage

Useful Links and Info:
  1. Course Planner this shows the tentative plan for lectures and my recommended due dates for WebAssign.
  2. You Tube Playlist (I usually post Lectures soon after they're given).
  3. Wolfram Alpha is a nice math tool. I use it to check integrals, derivatives, ugly numbers and graphs.
  4. WebAssign homework with immediate feedback.
  5. You Tube Playlist from 2015 course (you are not expected to watch these).
These notes are from a previous year. I do not plan to post new notes this year, however, I do plan to teach the topics in a rather different order and there are bits here and there I will add and others I will completely skip. In any event, I would like for you to read the Lectures I assign in the Missions.
  1. Lecture 1: on units and dimensional arguments.
  2. Lecture 2: on vectors, magnitude, standard angle, components, dot-product.
  3. Lecture 3: on one-dimensional motion.
  4. Lecture 4: on one-dimensional constant acceleration.
  5. Lecture 5: motion in several dimensions, relative velocities.
  6. Lecture 6: on projectile motion.
  7. Lecture 7: on circular motion, centripetal acceleration.
  8. Lecture 8: on allowable coordinates, Newton's Laws, accelerated frames.
  9. Lecture 9: on applying Newton's Second Law.
  10. Lecture 10: on Second and Third Laws of Newton, spring force, tension.
  11. Lecture 11: on friction and further application of Newton's Laws.
  12. Does not exist.
  13. Lecture 13: on drag force, synopsis, see Lecture 4 for mathematically complete example.
  14. Lecture 14: does not exist as a real lecture.
  15. Lecture 15: on work along curve in 3D, conservative forces, Work-Energy Theorem, potential energy, brief course in calculus III.
  16. Lecture 16: on calculus-based work examples.
  17. Lecture 17: on friction and energy, the nonconservative case.
  18. Lecture 18: on spring energy and energy analysis.
  19. Lecture 19: on pendulums and pulleys.
  20. Lecture 20: does not exist.
  21. Lecture 21: on momentum, collision, ballistic pendulum, relativistic energy and annilation.
  22. Lecture 22: on momentum conservation, elastic and inelastic collisions.
  23. Lecture 23: does not exist as a real lecture.
  24. Lecture 24: on rocket propulsion. (ignore comment about Test 2, that is only relevant to 2011 class)
  25. Lecture 25: on rotations, radian measure, angular velocity and acceleration, rotational KE of finite collection of particles.
  26. Lecture 26: on rotation of rigid body, moments of inertia, rolling without slipping.
  27. Lecture 27: on torque and rotational dynamics. Analogy table to linear case.
  28. Lecture 28: further examples or rotational dynamics.
  29. Lecture 29: on torque as vector, anglular momentum.
  30. Lecture 30: on momentum conservation.
  31. Lecture 31: on baby version of Kepler's Laws.
  32. Lecture 32: example of Kepler's Law, table-top angular momentum conservation.
  33. Lecture 33: on bound orbits and energy analysis.
  34. Lecture 34: on gravitational field and absolute vs. gauge pressure.
  35. Lecture 35: on bouyancy and Bernoulli.
  36. Lecture 36: on Simple Harmonic Motion and the general solution of the spring with friction problem, energy analysis.
  37. Lecture 37: further examples of SHM, ideal and physical pendulums.

Test Advice:
What I want is simple: I want you to understand what I cover in lecture and what I assign you in the homework as best you can. I want you to understand the physical concepts and I want you to be capable of applying mathematical techniques to unravel interesting word problems. In a nut-shell I want you to learn mathematically-aided problem solving; this is the heart of physics. I'm always happy to hear your questions about physics or math in office hours. However, I would enourage you to form study groups with serious students, teaching each other physics will engrain the thinking much more deeply. Personally, I could do physics before I tutored it, but I only understood physics once I tried to communicate it to others. By the way, there are no tutors for this course. Even if someone in the Math Help Center was willing, I would strongly discourage you seeking their help. The process of not understanding and then working and working and working until the break-through is an integral part of your academic maturing. If you just get answers from others then you will never properly "level-up". That time you get nothing done but are working is not lost, it is part of the process. That said, I do not assign grades on process, graduation date, scholarship qualification, pick your favorite club and/or university activity getting in the way scheduling, or ability. I will assign grades on the basis of what you write in the tests primarily. You should think about how you will prove to me you understand physics. Effort is necessary, but it may not be sufficient. Physics is worth the effort. If not for the content, then for the sake of the problem solving. I hope you all succeed this year!

Supplements from previous offerings of Physics 231:
  1. on monkeys and shooting
  2. on why the cross product has the formula it does. Given two vectors A and B I find the formula for another vector C which is perpendicular to both A and B. Of course there are infinitely many choices but we see one interesting choice is precisely what we call the cross product of A and B; C = A x B. Notice that if the vectors had 4 components then the solution would have had two free parameters and we would find a whole plane of vectors which were perpendicular to A and B. This is why three dimensions are special, the orthogonal complement of the plane spanned by A and B is simply a normal line which points along the cross product. (don't worry if you don't get all the jargon in that last sentence, I'm using linear algebra terminology since my point is an algebraic one).
  3. summary notes on vectors and the calculus of space curves.
  4. notes on constant acceleration and projectile motion.
  5. notes on Work Energy Theorem. contains concrete line integral example.
  6. notes on rotating frames of reference. Coriolis effect derived. (no this is not covered in physics 231)
  7. notes on Energy and Momentum. contains ellastic collision derivation.
  8. Test 1 of Spring 2012 and solution.
  9. Test 2 of Spring 2012 and solution.
  10. Test 3 of Spring 2012 and solution.
  11. note to self, delete this later: final exam solution.
  12. The problems below were assigned as homework in a previous year.

Physics 201 from Yale by Professor Ramamurti Shankar:
These videos are from a course similar to ours. However, we do not cover a couple topics at the end and I'll include a bit more mathematics. These are a nice supplement to my lectures by an honest to goodness physicist: Back to my Home

Last Modified: 1-12-16