121 Winter 2020

PHYS-121-05, MTWR 2:10 PM – 3:00 PM, 53-215
See Winter 2019 121 class – with all material, exams, etc…. and/or see Fall 2019 141 if you like.
Pete Schwartz, (Office: Baker Science, 180-608) Cal Poly Physics, Pete’s Webpage, directory of all classes, my Research
Email: pschwart@calpoly.edu, 756-1220, My office is at 180-608, the new science building, room 608
Office hours: M(3:00), T(1:00), W(3:00), R(3:00), F(9:00)
Kaitlin’s Office Hours (by Pete’s Office): M(1:00), W(1:00)
The syllabus explains the class policies including how your final grade is determined.
Teaching “flipped”, “parallel”, with an open-online text. Please see video explaining our unique way of learning physics here (or here if you are not a student). I’ve been doing this for several years, you can see how my student evaluations initially went down and then back up again when I started to better market and explain why this method is good. My comprehensive evaluations are posted on each class website (link to directory above) for you to read if you like.
In May of 2017, I published about our learning method in The Physics Teacher. You can see that a different publication also lends support to several aspects of our learning method:
  • Active learning better engages the brain;
  • asking questions (like in our videos) is an effective way to learn;
  • learning concepts in parallel allows us to revisit concepts over a longer period of time, improving understanding and memory.

I wrote a short Text/Work book for the class. It has about a tenth the amount of text as standard textbooks. It’s short, so I expect everyone to read each section before we address the topic in class and write all over it. This guide is concise and adequate. It’s also short enough to read, so please make a commitment to do that!

Physics Department Learning Center Hours… these tutors are available most of the day every day, free of charge. However, I think it’s more effective to do group work with other students in the class and visit office hours, but please know that the learning center is a resource for you.

Group project: see the first project description, the Second Project Description, and the Second Project Website where you can post your project,

Problem Sets: PS#1, PS#1 Solutions, Rocket Excel Sheet, PS#2, PS#2_Solutions, PS#3, PS#3 Solutions, PS#4, PS#4 Solutions, PS#5, PS#5 Solutions, PS#6, PS#6 Solutions, PS#7, PS#7 Solutions, PS#8, PS#8 Solutions, PS#9, PS#9_Solutions, PS#10

assessments: Asmt #1_Solutions, Assessment #2 Solutions, Assessment #3 Solutions, Assessment #5 Solutions, Assessment #6 solutions, Asmt #7 Solutions, Assmt #8_Solutions, Assmt#9_solutions, Assmt #10_Solutions

Student Communication: Week 2 Feedback

On Pete and Cheating

To see the week’s assignments, please click on the number of the week at left on the table below.


Week Topics
Wk 1
Our Learning Model, Introductions, 4 lenses, and One-dimensional motion
Wk 2
Project on Wednesday!
Wk 3
Springs, Ballistic Pendulum, Potential Energy graphs, Elastic collisions, Friction Post sometime:


Wk 4
Wk 5
Wk 6
Wk 7
Wk 8
Wk 9 2nd project due Midnight, Saturday
Wk 10
Exam week Consistent with Cal Poly’s Exam Schedule, our final is Friday, March 20, 1-4 PM in our classroom

As I try to improve the class, I am keeping Notes to Self