PHYS& 110: Physics for Non-Science Majors with Lab

Class Program
Degree Code
Lab Science
Credits 5 Lecture Hours 44 Lab Hours 22

This course is a general physics course for the non-science major. The course helps develop an awareness of the physical concepts which govern our everyday experiences and emphasizes problem-solving.  Topics will include most of the following, depending on class preparation and interest: describing motion, Newton’s laws of motion and gravitation, energy and conservation laws, states of matter and its behavior, thermodynamics, waves, electricity and magnetism, optics, atomic and nuclear physics, special relativity. Conceptual reasoning is stressed, and mathematics is kept to the level of intermediate algebra. Laboratories emphasize concepts learned in lectures, and graphing and data handling techniques are learned. (formerly PHYS& 100 and 101)


MATH 098, placement in MATH 099, or instructor permission

Quarters Offered
Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate the following knowledge or skills:

  1. Identify the fundamental laws of physics in those areas we study, and describe how these laws are manifested in natural events.
  2. State qualitative descriptions of velocity, acceleration, force, momentum, work, and energy, and calculate these quantities for simple physical situations.
  3. Use mathematics at the level of elementary algebra to describe and analyze physical situations.
  4. Use the concepts of momentum and energy conservation to analyze physical situations.
  5. Use the atomic model of matter to explain such phenomena as pressure, expansion, buoyancy, and thermodynamic effects.
  6. (If time permits) Describe the quantum-mechanical model of the atom, and use it to describe the current model for the emission and absorption of light.
  7. (If time permits) Qualitatively describe the theory of special relativity. Use elementary algebra and graphs to determine relativistic effects on time, length, momentum, and energy.
  8. Make, analyze, and interpret graphs of experimental data.
Institutional Outcomes
IO2 Quantitative Reasoning: Students will be able to reason mathematically.
Course Content Outline
  1. Mechanics
    Describing motion: speed, velocity, and acceleration
    Newton’s laws of motion
    Gravitation: projectile and satellite motion, tides, weight, acceleration due to gravity
    Momentum and its conservation
    Work, types of energy, and energy conservation
    Rotational motion
  2. Physics of Matter
    States of matter
    Bernoulli’s principle
    Archimedes’ principle
    Temperature, heat, and thermal expansion
    Heat transfer
    Changes of phase
    First and second laws of thermodynamics
  3. Waves
    Types of waves
    Characteristics of waves
    Propagation of waves
    Sound waves
    Characteristics of sound
    Perception of sound
  4. Electricity and Magnetism
    Electric charge, Coulomb’s law, and electric fields
    Electric currents, circuits, and Ohm’s law
    Power and energy in electric circuits
    Interactions between electricity and magnetism
    Electromagnetic waves
  5. Optics
    Properties of light waves
    Reflection, refraction, diffraction, interference, and polarization
    Properties of mirrors, lenses, and refracting surfaces
    Optical properties of the eye and correction of vision problems
  6. Atoms and Nuclei
    History of 20th-century physics
    Light emission and absorption, light quanta
    The quantum-mechanical atom
    Quantum-mechanical application
  7. Special Relativity
    Time dilation and length contraction
    Relativistic energy and momentum
Department Guidelines

Exams and Quizzes: 50-60% Homework: 20-30% In-Class Discussion: 20%

PO5 should be assessed: Students will be able to solve problems by gathering, interpreting, combining and/or applying information from multiple sources.