Physics 141 Fall 2019

PHYS-141-06, MTWR 4:10 PM – 5:00 PM, 53-201
See last Fall’s 141 class – with all material, exams, etc.
Pete Schwartz, (Office: Baker Science, 180-608) Cal Poly Physics, Pete’s Webpage, directory of my other classes, my Research
Professor Jennifer Klay, (Office: Baker Science, 180-620) Cal Poly Physics, is facilitating her class (MTWR 10:10, 53-201) in collaboration with ours. We will have final exams together and share office hours.
Kaitlin’s Office Hours, next to Pete’s Office: 9 AM – 10 AM on Fridays
Email:, 756-1220, My office is at 180-608, the new science building, room 608
Office hours:
Pete (Baker Science, 180-608) : M 1:10, T 10:10, W 11:10, R noon, F 1:10
Dr. Klay (Baker Science, 180-620): M 3:10, T noon, W noon & 2:10, F noon
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 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 Textbook 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.
For more worked examples, use any text you like. There are free, online textbooks at OpenStax. You can view it online or download a .pdf. I don’t recommend it as a textbook, just a source of additional worked examples.

Physics Department Learning Center Hours… these tutors are available most of the day every day, free of charge. However, I personally 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 (Pete’s Work)PS#1 Solutions (student work), PS#2,  PS#2_solutions (some notes from Pete), PS#2_Solutions_student_work, 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, PS#10_Solutions, PS#11, PS#11_Solutions

assessments: Assessment #4, Assessment #4 solutions, Assessment #7, Assessment #8 Solutions, Assessment #9 Solutions, Assessment #10 Solutions

Student Communication: Week 2, class 9 student experiences and Empathy Intervention, Empathy Reflection, Reflections in Week 8, year-end Student Evals F2019, Survey Monkey 141 Exit Survey

On Pete and Cheating

Final Exam Clarification Fall 2019, details about our FINAL EXAM

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
Develop complexity, intro to dynamics. Project on Wednesday!
Wk 3
Ballistic Pendulum, Springs, Potential Energy graphs, Elastic collisions, Friction
Wk 4
Switch Working Groups, Review linear mechanics, Introduce rotational mechanics
Wk 5
Statics, Angular Momentum, Centripetal Acceleration
Wk 6
Universal Gravity, Simple Systems, Parallel Axis Theorem
Wk 7
Review Rotations, Introduce 2-dimensions with simple components
Wk 8
Inclined Plane, Conical Pendulum, Angular Momentum
Wk 9
Precession, Trigonometry 2nd project due Midnight, Saturday,
11-25 Thanksgiving, no classes
Wk 10
Kinematics Equations, Review, Ladder Problem, Bicycle Transmission
Exam week Final Exam: We will have a common final exam, Wednesday, 7:00 PM in the business building, 03-213

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