Introduction to Mechanics

Purpose of Course  showclose

This course will survey physics concepts and their respective applications.  It is intended as a basic introduction to the current physical understanding of our universe.  Originally part of “Natural Philosophy,” the first scientific studies were conducted after Thales of Miletus established a rational basis for the understanding of natural phenomena circa 600 BCE.  One of the Seven Sages of Greek philosophy, Thales sought to identify the substances that make up the natural world and explain how they produce the physical phenomena we observe.  Prior to Thales, humans had explained events by attributing supernatural causes to them; his work represents the very beginning of scientific analysis.

The Scientific Method used today builds on this early foundation, but adds the essential underpinnings of evidence based on experiments or observation.  Briefly, the modern scientific method involves forming a hypothesis about the cause of a general phenomenon, using that hypothetical model to predict the outcome of a specific example, and then testing that prediction by experiment or observation.  A true prediction for a specific example does not prove the general hypothesis.  However, one false prediction proves the general hypothesis invalid, or at least limited to special cases.  Because of this property, Karl Popper, a noted 20th century philosopher, proposed that any scientific knowledge must be falsifiable—that is, there must be an experiment which could, in principle, show some prediction of the hypothesis to be false.

This is still the quest of physics today: to develop descriptions of the natural world that correspond more and more closely to actual observations.  Given this definition, the story behind everything in the universe is in fact one of physics.  In practice, however, the field of physics is more often limited to the discovery and refinement of the basic laws underlying the behavior of matter and energy.  While biology is founded upon physics, in practice, the study of biology generally assumes that the present understanding of physical laws is accurate.  Chemistry is more closely dependent on physics, but still assumes that physical laws provide accurate predictions.  Engineering is little more than applied physics, and so on.

In this course, we will study physics from the ground up, learning the basic principles of physical law, their application to the behavior of objects, and the use of the scientific method in driving advances in this knowledge.  This first course of a three-course series (the subsequent courses in the series are Introduction to Electromagnetism and Introduction to Quantum Mechanics) will focus on describing how objects move and interact.  While mathematics is the language of physics, you will only need to be familiar with high school-level algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.  The small amount of additional math and calculus we will need will be developed during the course.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course you must:
 
√    Have access to a computer.
 
√    Have continuous broadband Internet access.
 
√    Have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash).
 
√    Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer.
 
√    Have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.).
 
√    Be competent in the English language.
     
√    Have read the Saylor Student Handbook.

Unit Outline show close


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  • Unit 1: Introduction to Physics  

    Our first step in this course is to gain a basic understanding of the language and analytical techniques that are specific to physics.  This unit will include a brief outline of physics and the scientific method, measurement units and scientific notation, and the concepts of significant figures, order-of-magnitude estimates, and scaling.

    Unit 1 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 1 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 1.1 Physical Quantities and Units  
    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read the Preface and sections 1.1 and 1.2 of “Chapter 1: Introduction: The Nature of Science and Physics,” on pages 7 to 24. Look over the corresponding conceptual questions to test your understanding of the sections. Work on solving problems 4 and 10 on page 33. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve the problems before looking at the solutions. Hint: For question 10, assume that the orbit is perfectly circular and recall that circumference can be found by multiplying the distance x 2 pi.

      Reading this section and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here. Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Optional Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Subunit 1.1 Notes”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Subunit 1.1 Notes” (DOC)
       
      Instructions: This notes page includes some high-level takeaways and equations covered in this subunit. Feel free to add to this document; we deliberately left it in DOC format to encourage you to add to and expand it. Consider sharing your notes with your classmates on our discussion forum for this course.

  • 1.2 Accuracy, Precision, and Significant Figures  
    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read sections 1.3 and 1.4 of “Chapter 1: Introduction: The Nature of Science and Physics” (pages 25 to 32).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions to test your understanding of the sections. Work on solving problems 15, 21, and 27 on page 33. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve the problems before looking at the solutions.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Texas A&M University: “Math Skills Review, Significant Figures”

      Link: Texas A&M University: “Math Skills Review, Significant Figures” (HTML)

      Instructions: After reading the College Physics material, please click on the link above, and review these rules on significant digits.

      Reading this webpage should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 1 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 1 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 1 Assessment”
       
      Instructions: Answer the questions in this assessment to test your knowledge of the material covered in this unit. The answers will be displayed when you click “Submit.”
       
      Note: You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this assessment.  If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.

  • Unit 2: Motion in a Straight Line  

    Our formal study of physics begins with kinematics, which is defined as the study of motion without considering its causes.  The word “kinematics” comes from a Greek term meaning “motion.”  In this unit, we will study motion without worrying about what forces cause or change it.  Such considerations come in later units.  In this unit, we will examine the simplest type of motion – namely, motion along a straight line, or one-dimensional motion.

    Unit 2 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 2 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 2.1 Vectors, Scalars, and Coordinate Systems  
  • 2.2 Velocity, Speed, and Acceleration  
    • Lecture: Khan Academy’s “One-Dimensional Motion: Acceleration”

      Link: Khan Academy’s “One-Dimensional Motion: Acceleration” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this lecture series, pausing to take notes, before moving on to the reading below.

      Watching this lecture series should take approximately 45 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read sections 2.3 and 2.4 of “Chapter 2: Kinematics” (pages 39 to 51).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions on pages 77 and 78 to test your understanding of the sections. Work on solving problems 14 and 15 on page 81. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve them before looking at the solutions.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: University of Toronto: Professor David Harrison’s Physics Flash Animations: “Constant Acceleration”

      Link: University of Toronto: Professor David Harrison’s Physics Flash Animations“Constant Acceleration” (Flash)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and select the play button to launch the animation.  Make sure you understand both the slope (derivative) and areal (integral) meanings of position, velocity, and acceleration.

      Reviewing this material should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 2.3 Motion with Constant Acceleration  
    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read sections 2.5 and 2.6 of “Chapter 2: Kinematics” (pages 51 to 61).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions on page 78 to test your understanding of the sections. Work on solving problems 21, 26, and 32 on pages 81 and 82. The solutions arein the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve them before looking at the solutions.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 2.4 Falling Objects  
  • 2.5 Graphical Analysis  
    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read section 2.8 of “Chapter 2: Kinematics” (pages 68 to 75).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions on pages 78–80 to test your understanding of the sections. Work on solving problem 59 on page 83. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve the problem before looking at the solution.

      Reading these sections and completing the problem should take approximately 2 hours.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: University of Toronto: Professor David Harrison’s Physics Flash Animations: “Racing Balls”

      Link:  University of Toronto: Professor David Harrison’s Physics Flash Animations“Racing Balls” (Flash)

      Instructions:  Before running the animation, make an educated guess about which of the two balls will reach the wall first. If your prediction is wrong, figure out why.  To view the animation, click on the link above and then select the play button.  Hint: Think of a speed vs. time graph.

      Reviewing this material should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: Saint Anslem College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems”

      Link: Saint Anselm College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems” (PDF)

      Instructions: Work on solving problems 1, 2, and 3 from SAC108. The solutions are available, but make a serious attempt to solve the problems before looking at the solutions.

      Completing this activity should take approximately 45 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 2 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 2 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 2 Assessment”
       
      Instructions: Answer the questions in this assessment to test your knowledge of the material covered in this unit. The answers will be displayed when you click “Submit.”
       
      Note: You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this assessment.  If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.

  • Unit 3: Kinematics in Two Dimensions  

    Most motions in nature follow curved paths rather than straight lines. Motion along a curved path on a flat surface or a plane is two-dimensional and thus described by two-dimensional kinematics. Two-dimensional kinematics is a simple extension  of the one-dimensional kinematics covered in the previous unit. This simple extension will allow us to apply physics to many more situations, and it will also yield unexpected insights about nature.

    Unit 3 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 3 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 3.1 Kinematics in Two Dimensions  
    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read section 3.1 of “Chapter 3: Two-Dimensional Kinematics” (pages 85 to 88).

      Reading this section should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.2 Vector Addition and Subtraction  
  • 3.3 Constant Acceleration Motion  
    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read sections 3.2 and 3.3 of “Chapter 3: Two-Dimensional Kinematics” (pages 88 to 100).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions on pages 116 and 117 to test your understanding of the sections.  Work on solving problems 1, 7, 13, and 19 on pages 118 and 119. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve them before looking at the solutions.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: Saint Anselm College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems”

      Link: Saint Anselm College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems” (PDF)

      Instructions: Work on solving problems 1, 2, and 3 from SAC106 and problems 1 through 4 from SAC109A. The solutions are available, but make a serious attempt to solve the problems before looking at the solutions.

      Completing this activity should take approximately 2 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.4 Projectile Motion  
  • Unit 3 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 3 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 3 Assessment”
       
      Instructions: Answer the questions in this assessment to test your knowledge of the material covered in this unit. The answers will be displayed when you click “Submit.”
       
      Note: You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this assessment.  If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.

  • Unit 4: Dynamics  

    The study of motion is kinematics, which  describes the way objects move, their velocity, and their acceleration. Dynamicsconsider the forces that affect the motion of moving objects. Newton’s laws of motion are the foundation of dynamics. These laws provide examples of the breadth and simplicity of principles under which nature functions. They are also universal laws in that they apply to similar situations on Earth as well as in space.

    Unit 4 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 4 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 4.1 Newton's First and Second Laws of Motion  
    • Lecture: Khan Academy’s “Newton’s Laws of Motion”

      Link: Khan Academy’s “Newton’s Laws of Motion” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this lecture series, pausing to take notes, before moving on to the reading below.

      Watching this lecture should take approximately 45 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read sections 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3 of “Chapter 4: Dynamics: Force and Newton’s Laws of Motion” (pages 123 to 132).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions on pages 155 and 156 to test your understanding of the sections.  Work on solving problems 1, 7, and 13 on page 157. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve them before looking at the solution.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.2 Newton's Third Law of Motion and Normal and Tension Forces  
  • 4.3 Applications of Newton's Laws of Motion  
  • 4.4 Friction  
    • Lecture: Khan Academy’s “Inclined Planes and Friction”

      Link: Khan Academy’s “Inclined Planes and Friction” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this lecture series, pausing to take notes, before moving on to the reading below.
       
      Watching this lecture series should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read section 5.1 of “Chapter 5: Further Applications of Newton’s Laws: Friction, Drag, and Elasticity” (pages 163 to 169).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions on page 182 to test your understanding of the sections.  Work on solving problems 8 and 14 on page 184. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve them before looking at the solutions.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here. Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: Saint Anslem College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems”

      Link: Saint Anselm College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems” (PDF)

      Instructions: Work on solving problem 3 from SAC102. The solution is available, but make a serious attempt to solve the problem before looking at the solution.

      Completing this activity should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.5 Springs  
    • Lecture: Khan Academy’s “Tension”

      Link: Khan Academy’s “Tension” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this lecture series, pausing to take notes, before moving on to the reading below.
       
      Watching this lecture series should take approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read section 16.1 on Hooke’s Law and motion and energy associated with a spring (pages 550 to 553).  Look over the corresponding conceptual question on page 582 to test your understanding of the sections.  Work on solving problems 2 and 5 on page 584. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve them before looking at the solutions.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here. Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: University of Toronto: Professor David Harrison’s Physics Flash Animations: “Hooke’s Law”

      Link:  University of Toronto: Professor David Harrison’s Physics Flash Animations: “Hooke’s Law” (Flash)

      Instructions: Please take a look at the web resource linked above.  Note that the spring always exerts force in the direction that returns the spring to its original un-stretched length.

      Reviewing this material should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: Saint Anslem College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems”

      Link: Saint Anselm College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems” (PDF)

      Instructions: Work on solving problems 1 and 2 from SAC102 and 1, 2, and 3 from SAC109. The solutions are available, but make a serious attempt to solve the problems before looking at the solutions.

      Completing this activity should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.6 The Simple Pendulum  
  • Unit 4 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 4 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 4 Assessment”
       
      Instructions: Answer the questions in this assessment to test your knowledge of the material covered in this unit. The answers will be displayed when you click “Submit.”
       
      Note: You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this assessment.  If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.

  • Unit 5: Circular Motion and Gravity  

    In this unit, we will study the simplest form of curved motion: uniform circular motion, or motion in a circular path at constant speed. In some ways, this unit is a continuation of the previous unit on dynamics, but we will introduce new concepts such as angular velocity and acceleration, centripetal force, and the force of gravity.

    Unit 5 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 5 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 5.1 Angular Velocity and Acceleration  
  • 5.2 Centripetal Force  
  • 5.3 Newton's Law of Gravity  
    • Lecture: Khan Academy’s “Newton’s Law of Gravitation”

      Link: Khan Academy’s “Newton’s Law of Gravitation” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this lecture series, pausing to take notes, before moving on to the reading below.
       
      Watching this lecture series should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read sections 6.5 and 6.6 of “Chapter 6: Uniform Circular Motion and Gravitation” (pages 201 to 212).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions on page 216 to test your understanding of the sections.  Work on solving problems 33, 39, 45, and 49 on pages 219 and 220. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve them before looking at the solutions.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: Saint Anslem College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems”

      Link: Saint Anselm College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems” (PDF)

      Instructions: Work on solving problems 1 through 4 from SAC115. The solutions are available, but make a serious attempt to solve the problems before looking at the solutions.

      Completing this activity should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 5 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 5 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 5 Assessment”
       
      Instructions: Answer the questions in this assessment to test your knowledge of the material covered in this unit. The answers will be displayed when you click “Submit.”
       
      Note: You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this assessment.  If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.

  • Unit 6: Work and Energy  

    Energy is the capacity of a physical system to perform work. It plays an essential role both in everyday events and in scientific phenomena. You can probably  name many forms of energy from that provided by our foods to the energy we use to run our cars to the sunlight that warms us on the beach. Not only does energy have many interesting forms, but it is involved in almost all phenomena and is one of the most important concepts of physics.
     
    Energy can change forms, but it cannot appear from nothing or disappear without a trace. Thus, energy is one of a handful of physical quantities that we say is conserved.

    Unit 6 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 6 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 6.1 Work and Kinetic Energy  
  • 6.2 Conservative Forces and Potential Energy  
    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read sections 7.3 and 7.4 of “Chapter 7: Work, Energy, and Energy Resources” (pages 228 to 236).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions on page 254 to test your understanding of the sections.  Work on solving problem 16 on page 256. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve the problem before looking at the solution.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.3 Conservation of Energy  
  • 6.4 Power  
    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read sections 7.7, 7.8, and 7.9 of “Chapter 7: Work, Energy, and Energy Resources” (pages 243 to 251).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions on page 255 to test your understanding of the sections.  Work on solving problems 30, 36, 42, 46, 52, and 58 on pages 257–259. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve them before looking at the solutions.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 3 hours.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: Saint Anslem College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems”

      Link: Saint Anselm College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems” (PDF)

      Instructions: Work on solving problems 1 through 4 from SAC124. The solutions are available, but make a serious attempt to solve the problems before looking at the solutions.

      Completing this activity should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 6 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 6 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 6 Assessment”
       
      Instructions: Answer the questions in this assessment to test your knowledge of the material covered in this unit. The answers will be displayed when you click “Submit.”
       
      Note: You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this assessment.  If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.

  • Unit 7: Momentum and Collisions  

    We use the term momentum in various ways in everyday language. We speak of sports teams gaining and maintaining the momentum to win. Generally, momentum implies a tendency to continue on course – to move in the same direction – and is associated with mass and velocity. Momentum has its most important application in analyzing collision problems, and, like energy, is important because it is conserved. Only a few physical quantities are conserved in nature, and studying them yields fundamental insight into how nature works, as we shall see in our study of momentum.

    Unit 7 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 7 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 7.1 Momentum and Impulse  
    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read sections 8.1, and 8.2 of “Chapter 8: Linear Momentum and Collisions” (pages 261 to 265).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions on page 282 to test your understanding of the sections.  Work on solving problems 1, 9, and 15 on page 284. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve them before looking at the solutions.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: Saint Anslem College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems”

      Link: Saint Anselm College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems” (PDF)

      Instructions: Work on solving problems 1 through 4 from SAC125. The solutions are available, but make a serious attempt to solve the problems before looking at the solutions.

      Completing this activity should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 7.2 Conservation of Momentum in Collisions  
    • Lecture: Khan Academy’s “Momentum”

      Link: Khan Academy’s “Momentum” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this lecture series, pausing to take notes, before moving on to the reading below.
       
      Watching this lecture series should take approximately 45 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read sections 8.3, 8.4, and 8.5 of “Chapter 8: Linear Momentum and Collisions” (pages 266 to 274).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions on page 282 to test your understanding of the sections.  Work on solving problems 23, 33, 38, and 44 on pages 284–286. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve them before looking at the solutions.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: University of Toronto: Professor David Harrison’s Physics Flash Animations: “Collisions on an Air Track”

      Link:  University of Toronto: Professor David Harrison’s Physics Flash Animations: “Collisions on an Air Track” (Flash)

      Instructions: This is a classic physics demonstration.  Vary the conditions as allowed by the animation and solve the equations of motion based on conservation of momentum and (in the case of elastic collisions) energy.  Develop an explanation for any apparent discrepancies.

      Reviewing this material should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: Saint Anslem College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems”

      Link: Saint Anselm College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems” (PDF)

      Instructions: Work on solving problems 1 through 5 from SAC104. The solutions are available, but make a serious attempt to solve the problems before looking at the solutions.

      Completing this activity should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 7.3 Collisions in Two Dimensions  
    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read sections 8.6, and 8.7 of “Chapter 8: Linear Momentum and Collisions” (pages 274 to 280).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions on page 282 and 283 to test your understanding of the sections.  Work on solving problems 49, 55, 57, and 61 on pages 286 and 287. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve them before looking at the solutions.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 7 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 7 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 7 Assessment”
       
      Instructions: Answer the questions in this assessment to test your knowledge of the material covered in this unit. The answers will be displayed when you click “Submit.”
       
      Note: You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this assessment.  If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.

  • Unit 8: Statics and Torque  

    What might desks, bridges, buildings, trees, and mountains have in common – at least in the eyes of a physicist? The answer is that they are ordinarily motionless relative to the Earth. Thus, their acceleration in the Earth frame of reference is zero. Newton’s second law states that net F = ma,so the net external force is zero on all stationary objects and for all objects moving at constant velocity. There are forces acting, but they are balanced. That is, the forces are in equilibrium.

    Unit 8 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 8 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 8.1 Conditions for Equilibrium  
    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read sections 9.1, 9.2, and 9.3 of “Chapter 9: Statics and Torque” (pages 289 to 298).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions on page 310 to test your understanding of the sections.  Work on solving problems 1, 6, and 14 on pages 312 and 313. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve them before looking at the solutions.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: Khan Academy’s “Cross Product and Torque”

      Link: Khan Academy’s “Cross Product and Torque” (YouTube)

      Instructions: This video discusses torque as a cross product of the lever arm and the force vector and illustrates how the direction of the torque is related to the directions of the lever arm and the force.

      Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take you approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: University of Toronto: Professor David Harrison’s Physics Flash Animations: “Vector Cross Product”

      Link: University of Toronto: Professor David Harrison’s Physics Flash Animations: “Vector Cross Product” (Flash)

      Instructions:In this animation,  you will vary the angle between the two vectors and observe the effect on the cross product.

      Reviewing this material should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: Saint Anslem College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems”

      Link: Saint Anselm College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems” (PDF)

      Instructions: Work on solving problems 1 and 2 from SAC118. The solutions are available, but make a serious attempt to solve the problems before looking at the solutions.

      Completing this activity should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 8.2 Applications of Statics  
  • 8.3 Simple Machines  
    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read sections 9.5 and 9.6 of “Chapter 9: Statics and Torque” (pages 301 to 309).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions on pages 310 and 311 to test your understanding of the sections.  Work on solving problem 32 on page 314. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve the problems before looking at the solutions.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 8 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 8 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 8 Assessment”
       
      Instructions: Answer the questions in this assessment to test your knowledge of the material covered in this unit. The answers will be displayed when you click “Submit.”
       
      Note: You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this assessment.  If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.

  • Unit 9: Angular Momentum  

    Why do tornadoes spin so rapidly? The answer is that the air masses that produce tornadoes are themselves rotating, and when the radii of the air masses decrease, their rate of rotation increases. An ice skater increases her spin in an exactly analogous way. The skater starts her rotation with outstretched limbs and increases her spin by pulling them in toward her body. The same physics describes the spin of a skater and the wrenching force of a tornado. Clearly, force, energy, and power are associated with rotational motion. These and other aspects of rotational motion are covered in this unit. We will see that all important aspects of rotational motion either have already been defined for linear motion or have exact analogs in linear motion.

    Unit 9 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 9 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 9.1 Kinematics of Rotational Motion  
    • Lecture: Khan Academy’s “Torque, Moments, and Angular Momentum”

      Link: Khan Academy’s “Torque, Moments, and Angular Momentum” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and watch this lecture series, pausing to take notes, before moving on to the reading below.
       
      Watching this lecture series should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read sections 10.1 and 10.2 of “Chapter 10: Rotational Motion and Angular Momentum” (pages 317 to 326).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions on page 348 to test your understanding of the sections.  Work on solving problems 1 and 3 on page 352. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve them before looking at the solutions.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: James H. Dann and James J. Dann’s People’s Physics Book: “Chapter 9: Rotational Motion”

      Link: James H. Dann and James J. Dann’s People’s Physics Book: “Chapter 9: Rotational Motion” (PDF)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above, scroll down the page to “Ch 9: Rotational Motion,” and  select the link to open the PDF document.  Read the entirety of Chapter 9.  From pages 9-4 to 9-10, solve problems 1-4, 10-13, 16, and 21.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 9.2 Dynamics of Rotational Motion  
    • Reading: OpenStax College’s College Physics

      Link: OpenStax College’s College Physics (PDF)

      Instructions: Read sections 10.3 and 10.4 of “Chapter 10: Rotational Motion and Angular Momentum” (pages 326 to 336).  Look over the corresponding conceptual questions on page 349 to test your understanding of the sections.  Work on solving problems 10, 16, 24, and 30 on pages 352 and 353. The solutions are in the Student Solution Manual found here under Learning Resources, but make a serious attempt to solve them before looking at the solutions.

      Reading these sections and completing the problems should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This content is available for free here.  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Activity: Saint Anslem College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems”

      Link: Saint Anselm College: Jeffery W. Schnick’s Calculus-Based Physics: “1st Semester SAC Physics Problems” (PDF)

      Instructions: Work on solving problems 3 from SAC103 and 1, 2, and 3 from SAC123. The solutions are available, but make a serious attempt to solve the problems before looking at the solutions.

      Completing this activity should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 9.3 Conservation of Angular Momentum  
  • Unit 9 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 8 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 8 Assessment”
       
      Instructions: Answer the questions in this assessment to test your knowledge of the material covered in this unit. The answers will be displayed when you click “Submit.”
       
      Note: You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this assessment.  If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.

  • Final Exam