Department of Chemistry, Physics, & Geology

Fall 2013          Course: PHYS 211 (001 & 002) - Physics with Calculus I
Credit hours:
4                 Pre-requisite: A grade of C or better in MATH 201
                                           Co-requisite: PHYS 211L


Lecture: 001 MWF 9:30-10:20 (WP-001), 002 MWF 11-11:50 (WP-002), Sims 209        Course  Schedule      

Professor: Dr. Ponn Maheswaranathan (Mahes).
Office: 213-B, Sims, Office Hours: M, W, & F 12 - 1, or by appointment.
Phone: 323 4940, E-mail:

Textbook: Fundamentals of Physics; Halliday, Resnick, & Walker, 9th Edition, John Wiley.

Laboratory: Students need to register for one of the lab sections, PHYS 211L.
Physics laboratory will start during the second week, Aug. 26-29, Sims 205.   

Course Description:
The PHYS 211-212 sequence covers the major branches of classical physics: PHYS 211 deals with mostly mechanics, and wave motion while PHYS 212 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 by using physics concepts, principles, and mathematics in the solution of various interesting and challenging real world problems. This course should also help you review and master your algebra, trigonometry, and enable you to appreciate your calculus by putting it to work in physics.


Course Objectives:

University-Level Competency:

Physics with calculus I introduces students to the role of scientific reasoning in solving introductory physics problems using calculus (e.g. describing motion and calculating force, forces involved in circular motions, how automobile air bags reduce injury during a collision, rocket motion where the mass changes with time, and describing wave motion).  They will apply the scientific methodologies of inquiry during the laboratory, PHYS 211L, 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).   

General Education Requirements: PHYS 211 and the co-requisite PHYS 211L together fulfill four hours of general education requirement for natural sciences. Listed below are the seven fundamental student learning outcomes for natural science courses as well as examples of how they will be fulfilled in PHYS 211 and 211L.

Students will be:

1. Conversant with a few fundamental concepts from among the three main areas of natural science, including earth, life, and physical sciences. (e.g., mechanics, fluids, oscillations, wave motion,  and sound)

2. Able to apply the scientific methodologies of inquiry. (e.g., experiments and investigations in the PHYS 211L laboratory)

3. Able to discuss the strengths and limitations of science. (e.g., experimental error and analysis in the PHYS 211L laboratory)

4. Able to demonstrate an understanding of the history of scientific discovery. (e.g., topics and devices are introduced with historical perspectives)

5. Able to discuss the social and ethical contexts within which science operates. (e.g., environmental and health hazards of new devices and materials and sharing of knowledge)

6. Able to communicate about scientific subjects including (lab courses only) the defense of conclusions based on one’s own observations. (e.g., PHYS 211L laboratory reports)

7. Able to discuss the application of scientific knowledge to the social sciences and to non-scientific disciplines. (e.g., application of technology in everyday life)

Writing Component:
The General Education Writing Component will be incorporated into this course via PHYS 211L, which is the laboratory component, where students will write lab reports with conclusion.

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. Homework will be collected via WileyPlus.    

Students with Disabilities:
Winthrop University is dedicated to providing access to education. If you have a disability and need classroom accommodations, please contact Gena Smith, Coordinator, Services for Students with Disabilities, at 323-3290, as soon as possible. Once you have your professor notification, please tell me so that I am aware of your accommodations well before the first {test/paper/assignment}.

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 (10% each) and a comprehensive final (35%) are scheduled as follows.


Tests and Final


Content Description


Test #1

1,2,3, & 4

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


Test #2

5,6,7,8,& 9

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


Test #3

10,11, & 12

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



Gravitation, Oscillations, and Waves.

001: 12-9, 8 AM

002: 12-6, 8 AM

Final Exam




Points & Grade:
Tests: 30%, Wiley-Plus homework: 10%, Laboratory: 25%, 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