Course Description: Physics is the study of how things work from the smallest components of matter to the structure of the universe itself. To do this, physicists must be experts in gathering, interpreting, and representing data. Most people call this MATH, but more broadly it is a DISCIPLINE of thought and methodology. When it is well understood, physics allows one to use the language of mathematics to accurately predict physical behaviour. This is the backbone of engineering and technology. As a course goal, we will show that each theory can be used to predict the physical outcome of an experiment. This introductory course aims to lay out the basic techniques of measurement and then use it to understand the physics of

motion and

waves, and some dabbling in

nuclear physics and

special relativity.

Term 1

measurement techniques - uncertainty, graphing, and "best practice"

kinematics - describing motion

dynamics - forces and the causes of motion

Term 2

momentum - the study of collisions

work, power, and energy - using energy flow to study motion

thermodynamics - the application of energy to large groups of particles

special relativity- Einstein's radical redesign of space and time

Term 3

nuclear & particle physics - study of the smallest components of matter

wave mechanics - the basic behaviour of waves

acoustics - sound waves

optics - light and the electromagnetic wave

Evaluation:

25% = Term 1

25% = Term 2

25% = Term 3

25% = Final Exam

75% = Tests

25% = Projects and Labs

Comments: The following tips (in order of importance) will help you do well in physics courses:

1) Keep Up. New lessons make more sense when you get the stuff from last lesson.

2) Understand, don't memorize. There are an infinite number of physics questions that all look the different at first--memorization is a bad idea. Ask questions until you "get it" and they will all start to group together and look like a smaller number of similar questions.

3) Draw Diagrams. A good diagram is perhaps the single most important aspect of introductory problem solving. Learn the joys of laying out your questions with a good sketch!

4) Hone your math skills. Math is the language of physics. To apply the general principles of physics and access the finer details of the theory, you will need to practice your math (especially algebra and trigonometry)!