Physics 141 Fall 2018

PHYS-141-03, MTWR 9:10 – 10:00 AM, 53-201

If you want to get an idea of what to expect from this class, please see Last Winter’s Class.

Pete Schwartz, Cal Poly Physics, Pete’s Webpage
Email:, 756-1220, My office is at 180-608, the new science building
Office hours: 10:00 M-F, with an extra office hour 9:00 Friday

Physics Department Learning Center Hours… these tutors are available most of the day every day, free of charge. I personally think it’s more effective to work in groups with other students in the class, but if this isn’t working for you, please give the learning center a try.

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. In May of 2017, I published about our learning method in The Physics Teacher. You can see that A recent 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.

I wrote a Textbook to follow our curriculum. It has about 1/10 the amount of text as a normal textbook. It’s short, so I expect students to read each section as we go through the material.

Group project: see the first project description, the Second Project Description, and the Second Project Website past classes have posted their projects and your class projects will also be posted. Also, see the page for our Empathy Self-Intervention Activity (explained in week 6).

Problem Sets: PS#1, PS#1 Solutions (Pete’s Work), PS#1 Solutions (student work)PS#2, PS#2_solutions (some notes from Pete), PS#2_Solutions_student_workPS#3PS#3_Solutions, PS#4PS#4_SolutionsPS#5, PS#5_SolutionsPS#6PS#6_SolutionsPS#7, PS#7_Solutions, PS#8, PS#8_SolutionsPS#9, PS#9 solutionsPS#10PS10_141_F18_SolutionsPS#11, PS#11 Solutions

Exams: BE#1_SolutionsBE#2 solutions, Big Exam #3BE3 solutionsMT#1MT#1_Solutions, Big Exam #4 Solutions, BE#5_Solutions, MT#2, MT#2 with commentsMT2_Solutions, BE#6: see PS#9 solutions, Big Exam #7 Solutions

Response to Feedback: Week 2 Feedback, Class 8, and Empathy Self-Intervention, Week 9 class 31141 Year End Stud. EvalsSurveyMonkeySurveyMonkey Comments

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 0
Only 1 Day:
Our Learning Model and Introductions
Wk 1
4 lenses and
One-dimensional motion
Wk 2
Project on Tuesday!
Wk 3
Springs, Ballistic Pendulum, Potential Energy graphs, Elastic collisions, Friction
Wk 4
Midterm #1 on Tuesday,
Wednesday, Switch Working Groups
Wk 5
Wk 6
Wk 7
MT #2 on Tuesday!
Wk 8
3 days, Poly Closed Monday
2nd project proposal due Thursday!
11-19 Thanksgiving, no classes
Wk 9
2nd project due Midnight, Saturday, Dec. 1
Wk 10
Exam week Cal Poly exam Schedules  Thurs. Dec. 13, 10:00 AM

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