physics one

david feldman

college of the atlantic

fall 2007

Instructor: Dave Feldman
Office: Second floor, Turrets Annex.
Phone: x249, 276-5284
Email: dave_At_h0rnacekD0TcoaD0Tedu
Class mailing list: physics1_At_h0rnacekD0TcoaD0Tedu
Teaching assistant: Cecily Swinburne, others?

Course Goals

I have several main goals for this course:
  1. I want to help you improve your quantitative literacy, problem solving skills, and mathematical confidence.
  2. I want you to learn several big physics ideas: conservation of energy, momentum, and angular momentum; and Newton's Laws.
  3. I want you to gain experience working effectively and solving problems in groups.


As our primary text we will use the Six Ideas books by Tom Moore. I would like to cover all of unit C and about a quarter of unit N. We may also do a short unit on optics. Important Note: Be sure to get the second edition of the text. If you're purchasing the book online, be sure to check the ISBN. This is usually the most reliable way to see what edition of a book you're getting; each edition has a unique ISBN.


Your evaluation will be based roughly on the following: I recommend against grades; I believe they are more likely than not to interfere with genuine, reflective learning. However, I will assign grades (for those who so opt) by following the guidelines in the COA Course Catalog. I do not have any quota of A's, B's, etc.

Policies, Advice, and Stuff:

  1. Homework will be due Fridays at the end of the day. More than one unexcused late homework assignment will result in me mentioning this in your narrative evaluation and may result in a lowering of your grade.
  2. You are strongly encouraged to work together on homework. You can also consult me, class tutors, other faculty, friends, and family. However, the homework you hand in should represent your own understanding. This means that if your friends get a homework problem and you don't understand how they did it, you shouldn't photocopy their solution and turn it in.
  3. Exams will be open notes, open book, and (essentially) untimed. You may not, however, get any help from any humans during the exam.
  4. I will almost always assign reading for each class. You should do the reading. I strongly recommend reading over the chapter before class and being prepared with questions and comments.
  5. More than two missing homework assignments will result in a grade no higher than a C.
  6. You'll want a calculator that can handle scientific notation, trigonometry, and logarithms. There's no need to buy an expensive graphing calculator.
  7. I expect you to attend labs.
  8. I will be sending out class info via email. Thus, it's important that you check your email.
  9. Academic misconduct -- cheating, plagarizing, etc. -- is bad. Any cases of academic misconduct may result in a judicial hearing, as per p. 15 of the 2007-08 COA course catalog. Possible consequences range from failure of the assignment to expulsion.
  10. A more informal description of this course can be found here.