- Instructor: Prof. David S. Armstrong
Office: Small 123A
Thursdays noon-3:00pm, and by appointment.
- co-Instructor: Dr. Simone Chiesa
Office: Small 151
Thursdays 9:00am-noon, and by appointment.
"College Physics", which is published by OpenSTAX, and is available for free online
At that site, you can
download a free pdf copy, read the book via your Web browser, or order a printed copy if you
wish (the printed cost is $49.73 for roughly 1300 color pages).
- Laboratory: The laboratory
(Physics 107L) is a separate one-credit course. It is possible
to take Physics 107 without taking Physics 107L, although it
is highly recommended to take both. The lab cannot be taken without
either being enrolled in Physics 107, or having previously passed 107.
Labs will meet for the first time the week of September 2. More
information on the Lab, including the detailed schedule, is available
- Email: Feel free to communicate
with me by email: email@example.com. I can't guarantee
that I will read emails sent in the evening until the next day.
- Syllabus: A schedule of what sections of the text
will be covered, when the tests are, and when the homework is
due is attached.
- Homework: A
set of homework problems is due at midnight on Thursday each week. The
homework answers will be entered via the WWW using
This software will
provide instant feedback on which problems were answered
correctly (and which were not). You will be allowed multiple attempts
to upload answers (up to a maximum of 3 attempts per problem), and your
grade will be based on the last submission.
Solutions will be available on
the WWW the morning after the due date.
To access WebAssign for the first time, you will need to pay a
$22.95 access fee, which you can do via a credit/debit card on
the WebAssign site. You will need to login to WebAssign and enroll
for this course. You will be prompted for a "class key"; the
class key is "wm 1012 9945". Please select a username for WebAssign that
is the same as your W&M username (eg. mine is dsarms).
You will have free access to WebAssign until Wed. Sept 11, after
which time you will need to have paid the access fee. If you don't
have a credit card, you can bring me the cash and I will sign you up.
- In-class Quizes: Roughly once per
week, there will be a short one-question multiple choice quiz during class. You will
be given a few minutes to answer, and will be encouraged to talk to the people
around you to discuss the question. Then you will put your name and the answer
on a piece of paper and turn it in. These will be graded; half credit will
be given for incorrect answers. These quizzes will count for 5% of your final
grade (see below).
- Tests: There will be three
50-minute, closed-book tests during the semester. Calculators are
permitted (but not PDAs, cell phones or messaging devices). The basic
relevant equations will be provided.
- Exam: The final exam
will be Wednesday December 11, 2:00 - 5:00 PM.
Letter grades will be assigned as follows:
A 93-100% A- 90-93
B+ 87-90 B 83-87 B- 80-83
C+ 77-80 C 73-77 C- 70-73
D+ 67-70 D 63-67 D- 60-63
F < 60
The grades will be calculated based on either
Homework - 20%
Quizzes - 5%
Tests - 40%
Final Exam - 35%
Homework - 20%
Quizzes - 5%
Final Exam - 75%
The "Tests" grade will be based on the top two test grades for each
student, i.e. the lowest test grade will be dropped.
Then, for each student, the final grade will be calculated using both
equations, and the result with the larger numerical grade
will be the one used to determine the letter grade.
This procedure means that students who may have had difficulty
with one or more of the in-class tests have the chance to make up
for it with a good performance on the final exam;
after all - what is relevant
is how much physics you have learned at the end of the
- General Education Requirement:
Physics 107 satisfies the GER 2A (physical sciences) General Education Requirement.
The associated laboratory,
Physics 107L, if taken, satisfies GER2L (science laboratory).
The GER2A requirement is intended to introduce the student to the
nature of scientific inquiry, including how scientific theories are
developed and tested, the nature of empirical knowledge (as well as
the limits of science), and the historical, cultural and intellectual
context of science. Physics 107 will explore many of the underlying
fundamental laws governing all of the natural world, primarily those
related to the motion of objects subject to forces. Topics include
kinematics, dynamics, circular motion, gravitation, work, energy,
linear and angular momentum, torque and static equilibrium, static and
dynamic behavior of fluids, vibrations and waves, and sound and
hearing. In particular, the role of mathematics in describing the
physical universe will be a central underlying theme of the
course. The presentation will follow a logical (rather than
historical) ordering, however, the historical development of major
physical ideas will be discussed as appropriate.
Together, the Physics 107-108 sequence will provide the student with
a broad, general introduction to the essential aspects of our
understanding of the physical universe, with a specific emphasis on
topics of relevance for medicine and the life sciences.