Mar 03, 2024  
2012-2013 Official General Catalog 
2012-2013 Official General Catalog [Archived Catalog]

PHY 090 - Preparatory Physics

In this course, students will learn how to apply basic numerical, algebraic, and trigonometric procedures to the solution of physical problems.  Topics are selected from the fields of mechanics, heat, wave motion, electricity, optics, and electromagnetic radiation.  Numerous laboratory exercises and in-class activities are integrated into the course to reinforce understanding of the physical principles.  The course is designed for students who have not had high school physics, or need a basic introduction to physics before taking higher level physics or technology courses.

Prerequisite- Corequisite
Prerequisite:  MAT 096 Elementary Algebra and Trigonometry

Credits: 4
3 Class Hours; 2 Laboratory Hours
Course Profile
Learning Outcomes of the Course:

Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

1.  Discriminate between fundamental and derived units of measurement.
2.  State an appropriate SI unit for each physical quantity studied throughout the course.
3.  Correctly assess the number of significant figures in a given or measured quantity.
4.  Perform calculations with inputs of differing accuracy and state the result with the appropriate number of significant figures.
5.  Perform calculations involving numbers in scientific notation.
6.  Perform unit conversions within the SI system and between SI and the English system.
7.  Measure physical quantities in the laboratory.
8.  Analyze experimental data and graphs.
9.  Solve algebraic motion problems.
10.  Distinguish between vector and scalar quantities.
11.  Find the components of a vector.
12.  Determine a vector given its components.
13.  Add vectors.
14.  State Newton’s laws of motion.
15.  Solve simple problems using Newton’s Second Law.
16.  Discriminate between weight and mass.
17.  Solve problems involving equilibrium of forces.
18.  Define concepts of work and power.
19.  Distinguish among gravitational potential energy, kinetic energy and elastic potential energy.
20.  State the work energy theorem and conditions under which it leads to conversation of total mechanical energy.
21.  Solve problems using the work energy theorem, or the law of conservation of energy, where appropriate.
22.  Distinguish between temperature and heat.
23.  Solve problems involving thermal equilibrium and heat transfer.
24.  Explain the physical principles behind the operation of a thermometer.
25.  Describe the present theory of the composition of matter in terms of the Standard Model of Elementary Particles.
26.  Solve electrostatic force problems using Coulomb’s Law.
27.  Use Ohm’s Law to solve simple problems.
28.  Compute electric power, electric energy and cost of operation of ordinary household appliances.
29.  Solve simple series and parallel circuit problems.
30.  Define open and short, and state the consequence of having each in a series or in a parallel circuit.
31.  Define electric  and magnetic fields.
32.  Describe the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction.
33.  Distinguish among the parts of the electromagnetic spectrum on the basis of wavelength, frequency, and energy.
34.  Use the mathematical relationships among wavelength, period, frequency, and speed to solve problems.
35.  Compute the energy of electromagnetic radiation given either its frequency or wavelength.
36.  Describe the relationship between electromagentic energy and transitions between electron energy levels.