Jun 24, 2024  
2020-2021 Course Catalog 
2020-2021 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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PHYS 1020 - Physics Concepts

Credits: 4
Hours/Week: Lecture 3 Lab 2
Course Description: Why does a car slip when it corners too quickly? How does electricity light a bulb? What is happening as an astronaut orbits the Earth? This course introduces ideas that answer each of these questions and more. It is a comprehensive study of the basic pillars of physics that describe and explain the world around us: motion, force, energy, electromagnetism, and optical phenomena. While this course is a problem-solving course, its focus is on the concepts of physics rather than on detailed quantitative analysis. This course is intended for beginning students of physics who have not had a recent course in physics at the high school or college level. The laboratory associated with this course emphasizes measurement, interpretation of data, and synthesis of results.
MnTC Goals
3 Natural Science

Prerequisite(s): Course placement into MATH 0070  or above or completion of MATH 0030  or MATH 0060  with a grade of C or higher.
Corequisite(s): None
Recommendation: None

Major Content
1. Kinematics

  1. Basic Kinematic Quantities
  2. One-Dimensional
  3. Two-Dimensional

2. Newton’s Laws of Motion

  1. Inertia
  2. Acceleration
  3. Interactions Between Objects

3. Circular Motion

  1. Centripetal Force
  2. Orbital Motion

4. Work and Energy

  1. Definition of Work
  2. Kinetic Energy
  3. Potential Energy
  4. Conservation of Energy
  5. Oscillatory Motion

5. Temperature and Heat

  1. Definition of Temperature
  2. Heat Capacity
  3. Gas Behavior

6. Electromagnetism

  1. Electric Charge
  2. Conductors and Insulators
  3. Electric Current
  4. Electric Circuits

7. Optics

  1. Color and Wavelength
  2. Interference of Light
  3. Polarization

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. explain one- and two-dimensional motion in terms of kinematic quantities such as position, velocity, and acceleration
  2. analyze linear and circular motion of objects in terms of Newton’s Laws of force.
  3. explain the motion of objects within the framework of work and energy.
  4. analyze basic circuits using the principles of electricity.
  5. explain how light interacts with matter through the basic rules of optics.
  6. analyze problems in thermal physics and heat transfer.
  7. synthesize the concepts of basic physics in order to develop solutions to a wide variety of problems involving the motion of objects.

Competency 1 (1-6)
03. 01. Demonstrate understanding of scientific theories.

03. 02. Formulate and test hypotheses by performing laboratory, simulation, or field experiments in at least two of the natural science disciplines. One of these experimental components should develop, in greater depth, students’ laboratory experience in the collection of data, its statistical and graphical analysis, and an appreciation of its sources of error and uncertainty.

03. 03. Communicate their experimental findings, analyses, and interpretations both orally and in writing.

Courses and Registration

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