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114-115-116 Courses

The PHYS 114-115-116 introductory physics sequence is targeted for students in life sciences. Upon successful completion students should be able to develop algebra-based models to describe the physical world and apply them to other fields of science and everyday phenomena. Each course consists of two major components: lecture and tutorial. There is no lab component in these courses. But there are associated lab courses, PHYS 117-118-119. If you would like to take the lab course, or if your major requires the associated lab course, then we recommend taking the associated lab course concurrently.

PHYS 114

  • Prerequisites: None
  • Recommendations: A previous algebra course covering concepts such as trigonometry and exponential functions is strongly recommended, but it is not required.
  • Associated lab course: PHYS 117
  • Contents:
    • Scaling
    • One- and two-dimensional kinematics
    • Forces
    • Circular and rotational motion
    • Rotational dynamics
    • Static equilibrium
    • Momentum
    • Work and energy

PHYS 115

  • Prerequisites: PHYS 114 with a minimum grade of 1.7
  • Associated lab course: PHYS 118
  • Contents:
    • Electric force, field, potential, and potential energy
    • Electric circuits
    • Magnetic field and force
    • Thermodynamics
    • Ideal gas law
    • Fluids

PHYS 116

  • Prerequisites: PHYS 115 with a minimum grade of 1.7
  • Associated lab course: PHYS 119
  • Contents:
    • Oscillations
    • Mechanical waves
    • Physical optics
    • Geometric optics
    • Electromagnetic waves
    • Matter waves
    • Atomic physics
    • Nuclear physics

Grading Standard

A student who understands some of the material very well but needs some improvement in the remaining material should get a grade of about 3.0.


College Physics A Strategic Approach, 4th edition, by Knight Jones Field

The online homework system used with this course comes with access to an electronic copy for this textbook. See this page for how to get access to the online homework system. If you would also like a hardcopy of the textbook, it is available for purchase at the University Bookstore.