Physics 1408 Sections: H01 (Honors) & 090 (Majors)

Principles of Physics I
Course Outline
Fall Semester 2018

Instructor: Thomas L. Gibson Office: Sc 27 Office Hours: 08:00-09:20 am T,Th or 02:00-02:50 pm M,W (or by appointment).
Required Texts and Material: OpenStax University Physics Volume 1, by Samuel Ling, Jeff Sanny, and William Moebs Available from the bookstore or as a free downloadable pdf file at University Physics Vol. 1 from OpenStax. You will also need the online homework system from TheExpertTA as well as the Laboratory Manual for Physics 1408 Principles of Physics I also availabe from the bookstore. You must have your lab manual with you to attend the lab.

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 exam questions.
Understand and Compute the fundamental
elements of energy and motion.
Evaluation of exam questions.
Verify the centrality of experiment to the scientific method. Evaluation of written laboratory reports.

Course Coverage: Time permitting, the course will cover material from chapters 1-15 in the text.
Course Web page:

Grading Policy:
The following six scores will be accumulated during the course of the semester:
OHLD; Exam 1; Exam 2; Exam 3; Final Exam; Final Exam.
The course grade will be the weighted average of the OHLD at 40% and the four highest exam scores of the five listed above at 15% each. 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-.
OHLD:(Online Homework + Laboratory/Discussion)
Online homework from The Expert TA website or direct links: PHYS 1408-H01 (Honors) or PHYS 1408-090 (Majors) using your name and TTU student ID, for example R000000001) will be assigned and graded on a regular basis. This will constitute half of the credit for the OHLD category.
Laboratory will be conducted during the assigned periods. Discussion will be conducted online and will be aligned with the weekly laboratory. Your laboratory+discussion scores will constitute the other half of the credit for the OHLD category.
Exams: Three in-class exams will be given on the approximate dates listed below. You will need a scantron sheet for each exam.
Final: A comprehensive two-and-a-half-hour final exam will be given. You will also need a scantron sheet for this exam.

Important Dates:
August 27 = Monday---Classes start for the Fall Semester.
September 03 = Monday---Labor Day, University Holiday.
October 29 = Monday---Last day to drop course.
November 21-25 = Wednesday-Sunday---Thanksgiving Holiday.
December 05 = Wednesday---Last day of classes.
December 08 = Saturday---PHYS 1408-H01 Final Exam (Chapters 1-15) (7:30-10:00 am) in SC112 unless we are notified otherwise.
December 11 = Tuesday---PHYS 1408-090 Final Exam (Chapters 1-15) (01:30-04:00 pm) in SC112 unless we are notified otherwise.
Course Goals:
This course is intended to acquaint students with the basic laws of physics, to develop a better understanding of physical science in general, and help prepare you for other upper-division physics and engineering classes. To this end, the course will emphasize a mix of laboratory, conceptual understanding and standard "end-of-chapter" homework solving skills.
Approximate Dates for PHYS 1408-H01 Exams
  • Exam 1; Thursday, September 27, 2018.
  • Exam 2; Thursday, October 18, 2018.
  • Exam 3; Thursday, November 15, 2018.
Approximate Dates for PHYS 1408-090 Exams
  • Exam 1; Friday, September 28, 2018.
  • Exam 2; Friday, October 19, 2018.
  • Exam 3; Wednesday, November 14, 2018.
Strategy for Success:

Important Notes: