Physics 1401

Physics for Nonscience Majors
Spring Semester 2018
Course Outline

Instructor: Thomas L. Gibson Office: Sc 27 Office Hours: 01:30-3:00 pm T,Th or 10:00-11:00 am M,W (or by appointment)
Required Texts: Conceptual Physics, 12th edition, by Paul G. Hewitt with MasteringPhysics online homework license and Physics 1401 Laboratory Manual
Course Coverage: The course will cover topics from the eight sections in the text by Hewitt.
Web page:

This course satisfies part of the Natural Science core curriculum requirement. The objective of the study of the natural sciences component of a core curriculum is to enable the student to understand, construct, and evaluate relationships in the natural sciences, and to enable the student to understand the bases for building and testing theories. The natural sciences investigate the phenomena of the physical world.

Course Purpose:
Students graduating from Texas Tech University should be able to explain some of the major concepts in the natural sciences and demonstrate an understanding of scientific approaches to problem solving, including ethics.

Expected Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcome Assessment
Distinguish between a scientific theory and speculation. Evaluation of test question responses.
Understand at a conceptual level the fundamental elements of energy, motion, and thermodynamics. Evaluation of test question responses.
Verify the importance of measurement to the scientific method. Evaluation of measured data and conclusions from laboratory exercises.

Grading Policy:
The following six scores will be accumulated during the course of the semester:
OHLQ; Exam 1; Exam 2; Exam 3; Final Exam; Final Exam.
The course grade will be the weighted average of the OHLQ (40%) and the four highest exam scores (15% each) of the five exam scores listed above. NO MAKEUP EXAMS will be given. Your letter grade will be determined on the following scale:
(55-65) D; (66-81) C; (82-91) B; (92-100) A. I do use +/- grades one point either side of a grade boundary, e.g., grades of 80 or 81 earn a C+ while grades of 82 or 83 earn a B-.
OHLQ:(Average of Online Homework + Laboratory + Online Quizzes Bonus)
Online homework (course ID MPGIBSON43742) from the Mastering Physics website will be assigned and graded on a regular basis. This will constitute half of the credit for the OHLQ category.
Laboratories will be conducted during the assigned lab periods. Your laboratory grade will constitute the other half of the credit for the OHLQ category. Since this is a lab-credit course, you must pass the lab in order to pass the course.
Finally, if you take all of the online quizzes and achieve a final average ≥ 92 before the due date (11:00 p.m. May 09, 2018), then at the end of the semester you will receive 10 bonus points in your OHLQ category. No other extra credit or bounus points are available.
Exams: Three regular in-class exams will be given that cover the course material from lecture, reading, and homework. You will need a scantron sheet for each exam.
Final: A comprehensive 2.5-hour final exam will be given. You will also need a scantron sheet for the final exam.
Important Dates:
January 18 = Thursday---Classes start for the Spring 2018 Semester.
March 10-18 = Saturday-Sunday---Spring Vacation.
March 28 = Wednesday---Last day to drop course.
April 02 = Monday---Day of no classes.
May 08 = Tuesday---Last day of classes.
May 15 = Tuesday---Final Exam (Chapters 1-18) (04:30-07:00 pm) in SC010 unless we are notified otherwise.
Approximate Dates for In-Class Exams:
  • Exam 1 Friday February 09, 2018.
  • Exam 2 Wednesday March 07, 2018.
  • Exam 3 Friday April 20, 2018.
Course Goals:
This course is intended to acquaint students with the basic laws of physics and to develop a better understanding of physical science in general. To this end, we will emphasize concepts over mathematical manipulation and student participation in class. The laboratory portion of this course, Physics 1401 Laboratory, is an important component of developing "hands on" understanding of the material that we will cover in the lecture portion.
Strategy for Success:

Important Notes:
Any student who, because of a disability, may require special arrangements in order to meet the course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible to make any necessary arrangements. Students should present appropriate verification from Student Disability Services during the instructor's office hours. Please note instructors are not allowed to provide classroom accommodations to a student until appropriate verification from Student Disability Services has been provided. For additional information, you may contact the Student Disability Services office in 335 West Hall or 806-742-2405.
The faculty is strongly committed to upholding standards of academic integrity. These standards, at the minimum, require that students never present the work of others as their own. Further, rude, disruptive, or disrespectful behavior has no place in the classroom and will not be tolerated.
Texas Tech University is committed to providing and strengthening an educational, working, and living environment where students, faculty, staff, and visitors are free from gender and/or sex discrimination of any kind. Sexual assault, discrimination, harassment, and other Title IX violations are not tolerated by the University. Report any incidents to the Office for Student Rights & Resolution, (806)-742-SAFE (7233) or file a report online at Faculty and staff members at TTU are committed to connecting you to resources on campus. Some of these available resources are: TTU Student Counseling Center, 806-742-3674, (Provides confidential support on campus.) TTU Student Counseling Center 24-hour Helpline, 806-742-5555, (Assists students who are experiencing a mental health or interpersonal violence crisis. If you call the helpline, you will speak with a mental health counselor.) Voice of Hope Lubbock Rape Crisis Center, 806-763-7273, (24-hour hotline that provides support for survivors of sexual violence.) The Risk, Intervention, Safety and Education (RISE) Office, 806-742-2110, (Provides a range of resources and support options focused on prevention education and student wellness.) Texas Tech Police Department, 806-742-3931, (To report criminal activity that occurs on or near Texas Tech campus.)