TTU Physics Department.

Principles of Physics I - PHYS 1408-001 & -004 (Winter 2016): Syllabus

Lecture Syllabus

PHYS 1408-001 Meeting Time: M,W,F 08:00 to 08:50 in SC 007   |  PHYS 1408-004 Meeting Time: M,W,F 13:00 to 13:50 in SC 010

Instructor: Dr. P. W. Mengyan

Office: SC 019

Instructor E-Mail: Rick.Mengyan 'at' ttu_dot_edu

Office Hours: 45 min immediately following class. Other times by appointment.

Webpage: General Course Information and Online Homework, electronic textbook and additional resources

Required Text for Lecture: Serway and Jewett. Physics for Scientists and Engineers (With Enhanced WebAssign). 9th ed. (Brooks/Cole, 2014).
The Varsity Bookstore and the Texas Tech Barnes and Noble have these in stock.
NOTE: Be sure to purchase the version that comes with the enhanced WebAssign access. The cost for WebAssign access only is almost as much as the book packaged with access and you must have access to WebAssign to earn credit for your homework.

Required Text

Required Lab Text: Only available through Texas Tech Society of Physics Students, out of room SC 004 from 25-29 Jan 2016 (specific hours will be posted outside SC 004) and must be purchased no later than 15:00 29 Jan 2016

WebAssign ID: ttu 7047 5582

Course Description (outline and expected outcomes)

This calculus based introductory Physics course will cover the basics of classical Newtonian mechanics, encourage critical thinking and general problem solving skills. Progress towards these outcomes will be assessed through in-class exams, homework assignments, quizzes, laboratory and discussion exercises. More information is available via the teaching section of the instructor’s webpage.


Assigned periodically via Due date and time indicated on each assignment. Late assignments are not typically accepted. Assignments are generally made available before the material is covered in class. Late assignments are not typically accepted. The homework will take time and effort to work and may be difficult. Do yourself a favor and start the homework a soon as it is available and allow enough time to work through each question. In order to access the homework and other course materials, every student must register for the appropriate course on You must self-register yourself for the correct section using the webassign class key (shown below). Upon registration, you will need to report your full legal name (as on record with TTU), create a username (eraider ID), associate an email address (your official 'at' address) and include an ID number (MUST be your COMPLETE R number, including the R; e.g.: R12345678) so that I can uniquely identify each student. If these specific self-registration instructions are not followed exactly you may not receive credit for any activity you complete via webassign.

Additional course resources and all homework: will all be mediated through WebAssign (Course ID: ttu 7047 5582)



There will be at least three (3) scheduled exams during the semester plus a final exam. Exams will be administered in the normal lecture room and during the normal class meeting time. No assistance from notes, books or electronic gizmos of any sort will be permitted on the exams. Make up exams will not be administered. If an exam is to be missed due to extenuating circumstances, contact me via email BEFORE the scheduled exam time to see about making the appropriate arrangements.

Tentative Exam Schedule

Exam 1: Mon 15 Feb 2016, CH 1-5

Exam 2: Wed 09 Mar 2016, CH 5-9

Exam 3: Fri 22 Apr 2016, CH 10-14

Final Exam PHYS 1408-001: 07:30 to 10:00, Sat 14 May 2016, All material covered in class

Final Exam PHYS 1408-004: 13:30 to 16:00, Thu 12 May 2016, All material covered in class

The exam times and content coverage may be adjusted to accommodate the course schedule. Deviations from this tentative schedule will be discussed in class as they become relevant. The final exam time is predetermined by TTU and will not be modified by the instructor.


Lab*, Discussion**, Quizzes, Homework etc: 30%

*A minimum grade of 60% in the laboratory component in addition to appropriate performance in the rest of the course, is required to earn an overall passing grade in this course.

**A minimum grade of 60% in the discussion component in addition to appropriate performance in the rest of the course, is required to earn an overall passing grade in this course.

Exams (1+2+3+Final+Final; Best 4 of 5): 70%

To determine your total exam score write down each exam score and your final exam score twice. Cross off the one lowest score. These 4 remaining values will be summed to comprise your total exam score.

A > 90%; B > 80%; C > 70%; D > 60%; F < 60%


Lab (PHYS 1408-5XX) is a separate course in which you must be enrolled. A minimum score of 60% is required in order to qualify for a passing score in the lecture. To be clear, that means if your final lab score is any less than 60.0%, you will have earned a FAILING grade in your lecture section. The laboratory section of this course has been designed to give you some hands on experience with the topics covered in lecture.


Discussion (PHYS 1408-7XX) is a separate course in which you must be enrolled. A minimum score of 60% is required in order to qualify for a passing score in the lecture. To be clear, that means if your final discussion score is any less than 60.0%, you will have earned a FAILING grade in your lecture section. Discussion has been designed to give you an opportunity to have a more in-depth look at working Physics questions and problems; reviewing concepts covered in lecture and allowing you an additional opportunity to ask questions relating to any aspect of the course.

Important Notes:

ADA Statement: In compliance with the ADA, TTU OP 34.22 and TTU OP 10.08
"Any student who, because of a disability, may require special arrangements in order to meet the course requirements should contact the instructor as possible to make necessary arrangements. Students must present appropriate verification from Student Disability Services during the instructor’s office hours. Please note that instructors are not allowed to provide classroom accommodation to a student until appropriate verification from Student Disability Services has been provided. For additional information, please contact Student Disability Services office in 335 West Hall or call 806-742-2405."

Religious Holidays: Pursuant of TTU OP 34.19, a student who intends to observe a religious holy day should make that intention known, in writing, to the instructor prior to an absence. A student who is absent from a class, exam or exercise for the observance of a religious holy day shall be allowed to complete an assignment or exam scheduled for that day within a reasonable time around that absence.

Academic Integrity: TTU OP 34.12 outlines grading policy as well as the definitions of scholastic dishonesty; all of which will be followed in all aspects of this course.
Excerpt: It is the aim of the faculty of Texas Tech University to foster a spirit of complete honesty and high standard of integrity. The attempt of students to present as their own any work not honestly performed is regarded by the faculty and administration as a most serious offence and renders the offenders liable to serious consequences, possible suspension. Scholastic dishonesty includes but [is] not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, falsifying academic records, misrepresenting facts and any act designed to give unfair academic advantage to the student [...]"

Appropriate Behavior: I expect students to behave in a respectful and courteous fashion in any activity related to this course (e.g. Lecture, lab, recitation, office hours etc).
Rude, disrespectful or disruptive behavior will never be tolerated.

Final Notes and Suggestions to Succeed:

Course Assistance: A plethora of options are available to support your success in this course including your instructors (Lecture [Dr. Mengyan], lab and discussion via class, office hours, email or special appointment), your text book, the library, SI sessions and tutoring. Do not hesitate to ask questions when you have them and take advantage of the available resources!

Preparation is key!
- Read your book material before AND after we cover it in class
- Study your notes
- Take advantage of the available resources (i.e. ASK QUESTIONS, actually attend class [and pay attention], read the book!)

Start your homework assignments as soon as possible. Give yourself plenty of time to complete the assignments as you will likely need to think carefully about the questions, review the relevant sections of the text or your notes and then work towards a solution.

Use a dedicated notebook to fully work out homework questions and supplemental work. Practicing solving Physics questions with an appropriate process is the best way to set yourself up to succeed in implementing the same critical thinking required for any situation that is likely to come your way -- not only Physics questions!

Studying for an exam should be an ongoing exercise - structured reviews of relevant materials built into your schedule will promote a better long-term retention and higher understanding of the material.


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