Physics 1020: Conceptual Physics

MWF 10:40-11:35 2025 Science Hall

This is a three or four credit course depending on whether the lab is taken or not. Survey of physics concepts with minimal quantitative effort. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of physics concepts starting from the foundations of measurements, describing motion, and Newton's Laws. Building on these foundations they will be able to explore the concepts of conserved quantities, states of matter, temperature and heat, waves and sound, electricity and magnetism, optics, atomic physics, nuclear physics, relativity, elementry particles, and cosmology.

The plan is to spend about three fourths of the class giving a standard lecture and the other fourth of the class in a discussion of the key points of daily material. These will almost always be variants of Questions and Problems that are given at the end of each chapter. These are also the basis of what appears on the exams.

Withdrawal Deadline: This semester it is Saturday 22 March.

Students with Disabilities: If you have a documented disability that requires accommodations, you will need to register with Student Disability Services for coordination of your academic accommodations. The Student Disability Services (SDS) office is located at 1600 David Adamany Undergraduate Library in the Student Academic Success Services department. SDS telephone number is 313-577-1851 or 313-577-3365 (TTY: telecommunication device for the deaf; phone for hearing impaired students only). Once you have your accommodations in place, I will be glad to meet with you privately during my office hours to discuss your special needs. Student Disability Services’ mission is to assist the university in creating an accessible community where students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to fully participate in their educational experience at Wayne State University.

I do not intend to make paper copies of this syllabus available. Please print it for yourself or reference the electronic copy.

Professor: David Cinabro(333 Physics, 313-577-2918,,
Office Hours: 9:30-10:30 MW or by appointment
Texts: Inquiry Into Physics, Seventh Edition, Ostdiek and Bord. ISBN: 978-1-133-10468-1 (1-133-10468-1)
Exams(67% - 3 Credit, 50% - 4 Credit)
Three in class, short answer, exams. The best two scores of the three will be used for the final score. Note that these take awhile to grade. Please be patient. There are no make-up exams; please do not ask.
Final(33% - 3 Credit, 25% - 4 Credit)
Tuesday 29 April 8:00-10:30. PLEASE NOTE THE SPECIAL TIME. THE FINAL CANNOT BE DROPPED even if you took all three of the in class exams. Please do not ask about taking the final at some other time. Short answer format. Half will be on the material since the last exam and the other half will be on all the previous material.
Labs(25% - 4 Credit)
Labs are in 142 Physics. The lab manual will be available on Blackboard to download. It is essential that you print a copy of the lab manual and bring it to every meeting of the lab. The lab score is based on the best 10 of the 12 lab reports that are turned in. If you have to miss a scheduled lab, you can attend another meeting of the lab scheduled in the same week.
i>clicker quizes

Extra credit will be given for in class quizzes using the i>clicker system. In general there will be 2-3 questions asked during the course of the in class lectures with students responses recorded with the i>clicker system. For each class students earn a half point for attendance and one for answering the majority of the questions correctly These points are not simply additions to the total, but reduce the weight of the other requirements. For example if 50 points were earned in i>clicker quizzes then the contributions for the 3-credit course would be i>clicker quizzes 50%, Exams 33%, and Final 17%.

The i>clicker2 has been adopted campus wide and is being used for many classes at Wayne State. You can purchase or rent one at the Wayne State Bookstore or elsewhere. Unfortunately the i>clicker app for smart phones is not supported, the wifi network is not reliable enough for many simultaneous users in a single class, and you need to obtain the dedicated i>clicker device. Once you have the i>clicker you have to register it for this class. Find the link to do so on Blackboard in Tools. You will not get extra credit for the in class quizzes unless you do this.

Wayne State Planetarium Shows
One show will be offered during the course of the semester for viewing by Physics 1020 students. They are over a two week period. Attendance at a show, you can only see the show once, is worth 5 Extra Credit points. These are a great way to get extra credit, and are highly recommended. Sign up will be off the Wayne State Planetarium Home Page and follow the WSU Students link. Further details will be given later in the semester.
Grade Scale
Usually 100-90% = A, 90-80% = B, etc. It is difficult to write exams that do not have unforeseen problems. Often a "curve" is needed to correct for these problems. I usually include a total course score and a projected grade when each exam is handed back, so that students should have a very good idea of how they are doing in the course.

While this is not a particularly difficult class, there is a large amount of material. Get the text, read it before class, go to class, do well on the i>clicker quizzes, take notes, listen to and participate in the discussion. This is the opportunity to ask about things that are either interesting or not clear to you. Do so. Often. To make things easier, I do post the lectures in blackboard after I give them in class. They can be found in the "Content" link on the class blackboard page. These are valuable for going over your notes. Do not ignore the class until just before exams. Spending some time on it regularly is the best way to stay on top of the material.

Often I go too fast in lecture. Do not hesitate to ask me to go over something again, slow down, or simply to leave a slide up for you write something down.

With the large amount of material I can either ask more questions that cover everything, or fewer that do not cover everything. I choose the latter, but try to give you clues about what will appear on the exams in the "Questions for Discussion" and the "Reviews" given before the exams. Go over your notes and get plenty of rest before the exams.

PLEASE NOTE THE SPECIAL TIME OF THE FINAL. Every semester a small number of students wander in two hours late for the final. The final is a pain. Prepare extra for that. I do some things to make it easier.

Taking the in class quizzes seriously is a good way to ensure that you will get a good grade. There is a very high correlation between those who show up to class every day and those who do well on the exams. Thus not only do students get in class extra credit, but also seem to learn the material that appears on the exams by reading the material before class and paying attention to the presentation and discussion in class. At some level, this should be obvious.

Day by Day in Class

Date Topic Text Sections Lab
6 Jan Introduction, Math, Scientific Method Prologue No Lab
8 Jan Units, Conversions, Time Prologue-1.1 No Lab
10 Jan Position and Motion 1.1-1.2 No Lab
13 Jan Vectors and Graphs 1.2 2. Measurement and Prediction
15 Jan Acceleration 1.3-1.4 2. Measurement and Prediction
17 Jan Force and Mass, 1st Law 2.1-2.3 2. Measurement and Prediction
20 Jan MLK Day: No Class - No Lab
22 Jan Projectiles, 2nd Law 2.4-2.6 No Lab
24 Jan Motion and Force, 3rd Law 2.6-2.7 No Lab
27 Jan Gravity and Orbits 2.8 3. Velocity and Acceleration
29 Jan Planets and Tides, Review 2.9 3. Velocity and Acceleration
31 Jan Exam 1 Prologue-2.9 3. Velocity and Acceleration
3 Feb Conservation of Momentum 3.1-3.2 4. Free Fall
5 Feb Work and Potential Energy 3.3-3.4 4. Free Fall
7 Feb Conservation of Energy 3.5-3.7 4. Free Fall
10 Feb Angular Momentum 3.8 5. Newton's Laws
12 Feb Matter, Density, and Pressure 4.1-4.4 5. Newton's Laws
14 Feb Fluids 4.5-4.7 5. Newton's Laws
17 Feb Temperature 5.1-5.3 6. Conservation of Momentum
19 Feb Heat 5.6-5.7 6. Conservation of Momentum
21 Feb Waves I 6.1-6.2 6. Conservation of Momentum
24 Feb Waves II 6.2-6.3 9. Density
26 Feb Sound and Review 6.4-6.6 9. Density
28 Feb Exam 2 3.1-6.6 9. Density
3 Mar Electricity 7.1-7.2 10. Heat
5 Mar Circuits 7.3-7.5 10. Heat
7 Mar Magnetism 7.6-8.1 10. Heat
10-14 Mar Spring Break: No Class - No Lab
17 Mar E+M and Transformers 8.2-8.3 13. Periodic Motion
19 Mar E+M Waves and Blackbody 8.5-8.6 13. Periodic Motion
21 Mar Light 9.1 13. Periodic Motion
24 Mar Relection and Refraction 9.2-9.3 11. Circuits
26 Mar Optics I 9.4 11. Circuits
28 Mar Optics II and Review 9.5-9.7 11. Circuits
31 Mar Exam 3 7.1-9.7 12. Electromagnetism
2 Apr Atomic Physics 10.1-10.2 12. Electromagnetism
4 Apr Quantum Mechanics 10.3-10.5 12. Electromagnetism
7 Apr Atomic Structure 10.6-10.8 15. Wave Nature of Light
9 Apr Nuclear Physics 11.1-11.3 15. Wave Nature of Light
11 Apr Nuclear Reactions 11.4-11.6 15. Wave Nature of Light
14 Apr Fusion and Special Relativity 11.7-12.1 16. Spectroscopy
16 Apr Fundamental Particles 12.2-12.5 16. Spectroscopy
18 Apr General Relativity and Cosmology Epilogue 16. Spectroscopy
21 Apr Review 10.1-Epilogue No Lab
29 Apr Final Prologue-Epilogue No Lab

Last modified: Fri Aug 26 17:31:59 EDT 2005