Introductory Mechanics SUSTAIN PHYS-141, PHYS-121 Winter 2015

MTWR, in Building 53-201. This is the “Science North Building”
Pete Schwartz, Cal Poly Physics, Pete’s Webpage:, 756-1220, 180-608
Office hours: M(10:10), T(2:10), W(1:10), Th(10:10), F(11:10)
Liz Schlemer, Cal Poly Industrial Manufacturing Engineering, Liz’s Webpage,, 756-2183, 192-228
Linda Vanasupa, Cal Poly Materials Engineering, Linda’s Webpage,,756-1537, 41-226
The Syllabus explains the class policies.

Teaching “flipped”, “parallel”, open-online text, and mixed 121 and 141. Please see video explaining How we are learning physics. A recent publication 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 space out and revisit the concepts over a longer period of time.

I’m building the timeline as we go along. Many of the links (distinguished by *) on this page are still from a Previous Class and remain to be updated. I will be updating the links to new pages during winter quarter with SUSTAIN. See YouTube direct links from the Previous Class.

Please see: the Student Project Website where you can post your project, and the Project Description so you know how to do your project.

Problem Sets: PS#1, PS#1 Solutions, PS#2, Tracker Instructions, Excel for PS#2, PS#2 Solutions, video for boat on river, PS#3, PS#3 Solutions, Calculus for PS#3, PS#3 Calculus Solutions, PS#4, read first solutions to PS#4, PS#4 solutions PS#5, PS#5_Solutions_1,2,3, PS#5_Solutions 4-7, PS#6, PS#6 Baseball Excel, PS#6_Answers Q3-Q9, PS#6 Solutions overview, PS#6 extra solutions Q5-Q9, PS#7, PS#7 Solutions Q1-4, PS#7 solution Q5 , PS#7 Q6 – see Big Exam 4, PS#7 Solutions Q7, PS#8-pg1, PS#8-pg2, PS#8-pg3, PS#8-pg4, PS#8 Solutions, PS#8 Solutions Q5, PS#8 Solutions Q7, PS8_solutions_Q10, PS#9, PS9_solutions_Q3, PS9_Solutions_Q4, for PS#9 solutions Q1, Q2, see videos for week 10, day 4.

Exam#1, Exam#1 Solutions, Exam #2, Exam #2 Solutions, MT1_141_concept and answers, MT1_121 Concepts and Answers, MT1 Retake Q1 121, MT1 Retake Q1 141, MT1 Retake Q2 both classes – 121 is just first part, MT1 Retake Q3 141, MT1 Retake Q3 121, Exam#3 Solutions, MT2_answers, MT2_Solutions, Nice MT2 Solutions for 1,3, Big Exam #4 Solutions, MT2_Retake_Answers, Big Exam 5 Solutions, Improved Big Exam 6 Solutions

More Practice:
Want more practice problems? Try: F11 total quizzes with answers, last quarter’s MT2 with answers
Try some problems in your textbook. Try some notes and questions from Professor Ron Brown: Introduction, 1. Forces, 2. Kinematics, 3. Newton’s Laws, 4. Work and Energy, 5. Momentum, 6. Rotational Motion,

Response to Thursday Feedback: Wk 1, Wk 4, Wk 5, Wk 7, Wk 8, Wk 9, After End of Quarter
See all the problem sets and exams from last quarter at PHYS_141_F2014

Week page Topic Learning Objectives

4 day

Introduction to learning model
4 kinds of questions
Time rate of change
1. Our Learning Model
2. Intro to 4-Concepts: qualitative approach to looking at phenomena
3. Units and formulas – learning to be careful with units
4. Rate of change. speed, acceleration

4 day

1. Track Field Trip/ Project 1
2. Analyze outing
3. Time derivatives and Power and Force
4. changing reference frames
Acceleration, velocity, etc. Beginning to put formulas on the concepts.

1. Solve different problems like distance, velocity, acceleration using all 4 concepts and test them out.
2. What is your power, force?


3 day

Forces and Vectors
1.What is an equal and opposite force?
2. Role of force in “Four Questions.”
3.The inclined Plane
Trigonometry: force components
4. Energy Diagrams
Using vectors.

1. How do we distinguish displacement, velocity, and acceleration from the scalar analogues?

2. Introduce FBD’s

3. what affect does this have on:
a. energy problems (e.g. pendulum swinging has max potential energy when it is at its maximum in the y-direction, max kinetic energy when at minimum y-direction)
b. Force problems? (pulling a sleigh with an angled rope)
c. momentum problems?


4 day

Midterm 1 on Day 3
1. Springs
2 . Ballistic Pendulum
What affect does friction have on:
1. energy problems? (e.g. energy lost to heat)
2. force problems? (e.g. relation between normal force and frictional force)
3. conservation of momentum problems?
4. What are vectors’ relation to friction?

4 day

Universal Gravity and
1. Understand the scaling of gravity with distance (the “ubiquitous inverse square law”)
2. Use energy conservation with universal gravitational potential energy
3. The two remaining kinematics equations: identify when you can and can’t use them.

4 day

2D Projectile Motion
Systems – pulleys, etc.
Elastic Collisions
Systems: Ask students how they can make complicated problems easier to manage. Then introduce techniques on how to solve these concepts as systems.
How does changing Reference Frames help us solve problems?

3 day

Midterm 2 on Wed.
Circular Motion 4 kinds
rotational questions
After students have mastered both the quantitative and qualitative components of the 4-concepts. Reintroduce these concepts to them in the lens of circular motion. Place importance on the fact that they already know these concepts, this is just another situation.

4 day

Statics, Moment of Inertia, Rotational Dynamics
Rotational energy,
Distinguish angular acceleration from centripetal acceleration

4 day

Dynamics of centripetal acceleration.
Angular Momentum and Precession.
Big Picture of Rotation
Please see the week timeline for detailed concepts
4 day
Student Projects
Students will prepare and share their videos. Review for final exam: Provide students with lots of practice problems and work through them in class.
Exam week Do it! 10 AM Monday, March 16, in the same classroom.

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