General Physics I (PH 101)
Spring 2003

Instructor: Andreas Piepke (202A Gallalee; 348-6606;
Time and place: Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 to 10:45 in room 200 (Gallalee Hall)
Laboratory: Monday 12:00 to 14:50 in room 338 (Gallalee Hall)
Supervisor: Dr. Garry J. Mankey
Office hours: 10:00 to 12:00 Wednesday or by appointment
Text used: Giancoli, Physics (Fifth Edition)
Prerequisite: MATH 100
Credit: 4 hours
Web site:

Class Format

This course is composed of a lecture and a laboratory segment. The class format will be formal lectures with occasional short quizzes. Your answers to the quiz questions will be collected and graded and used to keep attendance. The quizzes are intended to test and improve your understanding of the material being presented.


Students are expected to attend the classes. Regular attendance is a crucial element in being able to pass the exams. Studies have shown a clear and direct correlation of attendance with grades.


The class will cover the following topics: The corresponding textbook material may be found in chapters 2-12 (mechanics, fluids, waves and sound) and 13-15 (thermodynamics) of Giancoli. Regular reading assignments will be given in the homework. Reading of the appropriate chapters in Giancoli is essential for a thorough understanding of the course subjects. The lectures will not cover all the material. There is a web site associated with the text book:, where you may find practice problems and detailed solutions.
After completing this class you should have a conceptual understanding of the description of motion, the nature of forces and the concepts of momentum and energy. You will have developed some understanding of oscillations, waves, fluids and heat.
An essential goal of this class is to teach you general problem solving. The homeworks will be mostly text problems to help you to develop your problem solving skills.


Homework assignments will be posted to the web site (click on "Homework") each Tuesday by 5 pm. Answers to the questions and problems assigned in homework are due in class the Tuesday of the following week. The answer paper must be turned in flat, stapled and legible. The answer key for the questions and problems will be posted to the web later that day. No homework will be accepted after the solutions have been posted.
Each student is expected to turn in his/her own assignment. However, students may work together in groups.
Include the derivation of your result in the homework. It is important that you understand how to work a problem and not just submit a correct answer. Therefore numerical answers for which no work is shown will receive zero credit, even if the answer is correct. This is the reason why I will not assign multiple choice tests. Words are just as important as formulae and numbers. Write down your thoughts. Use scientific notation and always give units with the numerical results. SI units will be used throughout this class.


Two one hour exams will be administered: Thursday, February 13 (9:30 to 10:45) and Thursday, March 27 (9:30 to 10:45). The comprehensive final exam is scheduled for Wednesday May 7 (8:00 to 10:30). All exams will be given in room 200 (Gallalee Hall) and will be open book exams. There will be no makeup exams. If you have a legitimate reason for missing a major exam, then you must inform me as soon as possible. If the reason is acceptable, then the final exam will count proportionally more. All work must be done in pen. Any work in pencil will be discarded.


The exams, homeworks and quizzes will be weighted towards the final grade as follows: Each homework/exam problem will be assigned a point value. Problems marked with a * are optional and will earn extra credit when correctly solved. 100% is calculated excluding the * problem.

Grading Policy

Letter Grade
Numerical Grade

(Min. percentage points)




Superior ability or attainment significantly beyond all minimum expectations (93%)






Good ability or attainment which meets and exceeds many minimum expectations (83%)






Ability or attainment which is acceptable and meets all minimum (required) expectations (73%)






Ability or attainment which does not meet all minimum (required) expectations (63%)




Attainment of some but not a number of important minimum expectations and is, thus, not appropriate for a minimum professional level of performance (0-59%).

Academic Misconduct

Students are expected to follow the Code of Student Conduct, as laid down by The University of Alabama. All acts of dishonesty in any work constitute academic misconduct. In particular each student is expected to do his/her own work on quizzes and exams. Suspected violators of this policy will be referred to the Dean's Office in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students are encouraged to work together when studying and preparing for homework.

Disability Accommodations

To request disability accommodations, please contact Disability Services (348-4285). After initial arrangements are made with that office, contact Dr. Piepke.