Department of Chemistry, Physics, & Geology

Fall 2017          Course: PHYS 201 (001) - General Physics I
Credit hours:
4                 Co-requisite:

Pre-requisite: Completion of General Education Quantitative Skills requirement with a grade of C or above. 

Lecture: TR 12:30-1:45, Sims 209.                     Course  Schedule


Professor: Dr. Ponn Maheswaranathan (Mahes).
Office: 213-B, Sims, Office Hours: M & W: 9:30 - 11:00, or by appointment.
Phone: 323 4940, E-mail:

Textbook: College Physics, by OpenStax, Free Online Textbook,

Students need to register for one of the lab sections, PHYS 201L.
Physics laboratory will start during the second week, Aug. 30-31, Sims 205.   

Course Description:
The PHYS 201-202 sequence covers the major branches of classical physics: PHYS 201 deals with mechanics, fluids, wave motion, and sound while PHYS 202 covers thermodynamics, electromagnetism, and optics. The course emphasizes understanding of fundamental physics concepts and principles as well as the development of conceptual and analytical problem solving skills. Physics concepts, principles, and mathematics (algebra and trigonometry) will be used in solving interesting and challenging real world problems. 


Course Objectives:

University-Level Competency:

General physics I introduces students to the role of scientific reasoning in solving introductory physics problems (e.g. describing motion and calculating force, forces involved in circular motions, how automobile air bags reduce injury during a collision, and describing the laws that govern wave motion).  They will apply the scientific methodologies of inquiry during the laboratory, PHYS 201L, and write well-reasoned conclusions. They will also be introduced to the history of scientific discovery (e.g., topics and devices are introduced with historical perspectives) and learn that the theories in physics evolve into laws after continuous re-evaluations and arguments. In addition they will see how the scientific advances made in a laboratory transforms into useful technological devices (e.g., the development of the transistor from vacuum tube to silicon chip).   

Attendance and Participation:
The attendance policy described in the Winthrop University undergraduate catalog will be followed. Students are encouraged to attend all the lectures and to actively take part in classroom activities. Regular attendance and good participation efforts will help in the final letter grade assignment for borderline cases.


Chapter sections, questions, and problems are assigned for each lecture. It is important that you read the chapter sections before coming to a lecture. After attending the lecture you should re-read the chapter, answer the questions and solve problems. Get help when needed.     

Students with Disabilities/Need of Accommodations for Access:
Winthrop University is committed to providing access to education.  If you have a condition which may adversely impact your ability to access academics and/or campus life, and you require specific accommodations to complete this course, contact the Office of Accessibility OA) at 803-323-3290, or, Please inform me as early as possible, once you have your official notice of accommodations from the Office of Disability Services. 

Winthrop’s Academic Success Center:
Winthrop’s Academic Success Center (ASC) is a free resource for all undergraduate students seeking to perform their best academically.  The ASC offers a variety of personalized and structured resources that help students achieve academic excellence, such as tutoring, academic skill development (test taking strategies, time management counseling, and study techniques), group and individual study spaces, and academic coaching.  The ASC is located on the first floor of Dinkins, Suite 106.  Please contact the ASC at 803-323-3929 or  For more information on ASC services, please visit

Winthrop’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards (ONCA) identifies and assists highly motivated and talented students to apply for nationally and internationally competitive awards, scholarships, fellowships, and unique opportunities both at home and abroad.   ONCA gathers and disseminates award information and deadlines across the campus community, and serves as a resource for students, faculty, and staff throughout the nationally competitive award nomination and application process. ONCA is located in Dinkins 222. Please fill out an online information form at the bottom of the ONCA webpage and email for more information.

Student Conduct Code: The policy on student academic misconduct is outlined in the “Student Conduct Code Academic Misconduct Policy” in the online Student Handbook (

Syllabus change policy: The instructor will make changes to this syllabus as deemed necessary for the progression of the course.

Tests & Final: Three tests (T1: 10%, T2: 10%, and T3: 10% ) and a comprehensive final (35%) are scheduled as follows.


Tests and Final


Content Description


Test #1

1,2, & 3

Kinematics in one dimension, Kinematics in two & three dimensions, and Projectile, Circular, & Relative Motions.  


Test #2

4,5,6, 7, & 8

Newton's laws of motion, Friction, Circular motion, Work, Energy, Power, Conservation of Energy, Center of Mass, and Momentum.

11-16-17 Test #3

9,10, 11, & 12

Rotational Kinematics & Dynamics, Angular Momentum, Equilibrium, Elasticity, and Fluids.


16 & 17

Wave motion and Sound.

Course Evaluation   Course Code: 10168

12/07/17, 11:30 AM 

Final Exam

1-12, 16,17



Points & Grade:
Tests: 30%, Homework: 8%, Laboratory: 25%, Course Evaluation: 2%, and Final: 35%.
The letter grade will be assigned as follows:

100% - 90% = A     89% - 87% = A-    86% - 84% = B+    83% - 80% = B    79% - 77% = B-   
    76%-74% = C+   73% - 67% = C     66% - 64% = C-     63%-60% = D      59%- 0%  = F