Fun Physics with Practical Applications
Dave Letterman Physics
PHYS 1000                                     Dave Letterman Physics                                       Spring 2009

Instructor:  
     Dr. Michael J. Bozack, 310 Allison, 844-4363
Email:               bozack@physics.auburn.edu
Text:                 Conceptual Physics, Paul Hewitt, 9th ed; Lecture Notes (Sofy Copy Center)
Meetings:        MWF 10-10:50 am (bring early lunch snacks)
Who says physics can't be fun?  Dave Letterman Physics focuses on practical and
real-world applications of physics.  We illustrate how physics is used throughout society
and forms the basis of the greatest inventions of mankind.  In the process, students find
that physics is understandable, enjoyable, and sensible.

Here is a sample syllabus for the course from an earlier year.
Final Exam (comprehensive):  Tuesday, May 6, 11-1:30 p.m

Grading:  The final grade will be determined by the following scheme.

           Exams (Best 3)                         45%
           Final Exam                                 30%
           Lab                                              15%
           Homework                                 10%

                       Total                              100%

PS 1000 is not graded on an absolute grading system (e.g., 90-100% = A etc) but rather on a
relative (curved) system, where performance is compared to other students in the course
based on the class average.  After each test I post a scale of scores vs letter grades so each
student knows what a score of say, 68, on a test means in terms of a letter grade.  This
enables you to know how you are doing in the course.  For the final course grade, I apply the
weighting factors above to each grade component, drop your lowest test score, and generate
a total raw score for each student that is compared to the class average raw score.  The
calculation is completely based on numbers and there is no bias.  Exams will cover material
covered in class, lab, and homework.

Homework:  Homework is to be neatly written and presented in an organized manner.  
Sentences or phrases are to be used to describe what you are doing.  Having the right
answer is not sufficient.  No words, no credit.  It is due at the beginning of class on the day
assigned.  The first page should have your full name written neatly in the upper right hand
corner.  Each subsequent page should have your initials in the upper right hand corner and
stapled if possible.  No late homework will be accepted.

Attendance Bonus:  I will take attendance five times during the semester (on dates chosen
randomly).  If you are in attendance at least 4 of 5 times, and your final grade turns out to be
within two students of the borderline between two grades, I will give you the higher grade.

Excused Absences:  In the event of an excused absence, appropriate scaling of other
grades will be used to assign a grade for the missed test and/or homework.  Under no
circumstances will makeup exams be given.  If you have a legitimate excuse, provide me
with written request including any documentation available.  For example, "Please excuse
name of student from specific test that was held on give date because provide explanation
and supporting evidence."

Office Hours:  Anytime.  Just drop by or make an appointment.

Laboratory:  We have a set of new labs this year that are geared toward PHYS 1000.  The
Lab Packet for the course will be emailed to you during the first week of labs.  The lab
schedule and room numbers (usually Parker 108) will be listed outside the Physics Lab
Office on the first floor of Parker Hall as well as in a handout that will be distributed.

Lab Schedule:

  • Lab Section 001 meets Tuesday, 4-6 pm
  • Lab Section 002 meets Thursday, 4-6 pm
  • Lab Section 003 meets Tuesday, 6-8 pm
  • Lab Section 004 meets Thursday, 6-8 pm

Frequently Heard Comments:

  • Is this on the test?  Answer:  yes.
  • The questions on the test are not like those in the homework.  Response:  To the
    extent that you understand the concepts of physics, you will realize that they are more
    closely related than you might have thought.  Also, they are not supposed to be the
    same questions.
  • I studied, read the book, read the notes, did the homework, came to class, and
    understood the labs, yet I'm still not doing well in the course.  Response:  If that is
    true, there is something wrong with the way you are approaching this class.  Please
    come and see me early in the semester so we can attempt to fix the situation.  Don't
    wait too long to ask for help.
Week
Lecture
Material
Exercises
Test
1
1/6 - 1/10
Ch. 2
Newton's First
Law
2:6,11,13,17,22,29,33,3
8
 
2
1/13 - 1/17
Ch. 3
Ch. 4
Linear Motion
Newton's
Second Law
3:4,7,11,13,20,29,P4,P
9
4:4,9,19,24,29,33,42,P3
,P6
 
3
1/20 - 1/24
Ch. 5
Newton’s Third
Law
5:2,7,13,17,27,32,P1,P
4
 
4
1/27 - 1/31
Ch. 6
Momentum
6:2,5,10,14,27,29,39,P1
,P3,P6
Exam 1
F, 1/31
5
2/3 - 2/7
Ch. 7
Energy
7:9,14,19,22,24,40,44,P
2,P4
 
6
2/10 - 2/14
Ch. 11
Atomic Nature
11:3,13,19,22,25,32,33;
P1,P8
 
7
2/17 - 2/21
Ch. 12
Solids
12:4,8,11,13,18,24,36,P
5
Exam 2
F, 2/21
8
2/24 - 2/28
Ch. 13
Liquids
13:7,12,15,18,20,35,42,
P8
 
9
3/3 - 3/7
Ch. 14
Gases and
Plasmas
14:23,24,30,33,40,42,4
8,P7
 
10
3/10 - 3/14
Ch. 15
Ch. 16
Temperature
Heat Transfer
15:3,13,14,18,20,23,25,
P2,P4
16:4,8,19,22,26,P2,P3
Exam 3
F, 3/14
11
3/17 - 3/21
Ch. 17
Ch. 22
Change of Phase
Electrostatics
17:7,11,21,27,29,32,34,
40,P1,P7
22:3,11,15,16,18,22,P1,
P2,P3
 
12
3/24 - 3/28
Wild on Panama City Beach
13
3/31 - 4/4
Ch. 23
Electric Current
23:7,9,11,13,14,20,25;P
4,P7
 
14
4/7 - 4/11
Ch. 24
Magnetism
24:5,8,10,15,21,27,36
Exam 4
F, 4/11
15
4/14 - 4/18
Ch. 26
Properties of
Light
26:6,16,21,22,24,26,29;
P3,P4,P5
 
They may not be enjoying
physics during a test, but most
students find PHYS 1000 to be
interesting and refreshing.