Physics 105 - Fall 2009

Welcome to Physics 105!

Fall 2009

Instructor: John S. Colton
 Email address: "john_" (including the underscore) plus "colton" at "byu dot edu"
 Office hours: Wed 2:30 - 4 pm, Fri 3:30 - 5 pm, in the Tutorial Lab N304 ESC.
 Office: N335 ESC, available by appointment
 T.A./grader: Sara Hyde
 TA's email address: "byuphysics105" plus "at" plus "gmail dot com". This is NOT Dr. Colton's address. Don't send stuff to him here.
TA's office hours: Thurs 3 - 3:50 pm and Fri 11 - 11:50 am, in the Tutorial Lab N304 ESC (times now finalized)


  • 21 Dec 2009 - Final exam solutions posted, final grade boundaries set. Grades will probably be reported to Registrar on Dec 23.
  • 11 Dec 2009 - I gave people who took the "Colton course improvement survey" 3 bonus points. You should see them on your computer grade reports in extra credit category 7.
  • 4 Dec 2009 - Exam 3 FBDs have finally all been graded and recorded. Please pick up old exams, etc., from the "turn back" boxes
  • 2 Dec 2009 - Exam 4 solutions posted (sorry, I had meant to do that a day or two ago).
  • 27 Nov 2009 - The front pages from the previous exams were removed and the front page of the final exam was posted. Some of the equations from the last part of the semester were changed from what is written on exam 4.
  • 18 Nov 2009 - I added two problems (on Wednesday morning) to the lecture notes for the in-class exam review, so if you printed out a copy of the notes before then, you might want to print the additional problems (HW19-3 and 19-5b).
  • 17 Nov 2009 - The front page for exam 4 edited another time or two.
  • 9 Nov 2009 - I posted the front page for exam 4 below, since I changed it just a little from the front page for exam 3.
  • 13 Oct 2009 - Exam 2 solutions posted
  • 28 Sep 2009 - The TA-led review for the 2nd midterm has been set: Thurs 6 - 7:30 pm, in room 455 MARB.
  • 28 Sep 2009 - I posted a simulation of the "racing balls" demo in the "videos of demos" section, since I couldn't film the actual demo.
  • 28 Sep 2009 - I posted the first 1.2 pages of exam 2. That's the page of equations, plus instructions for the exam.
  • 14 Sep 2009 - I have to cancel my Friday office hours this week (I'll be out of town). That's Fri, 9/18/09.
  • 8 Sep 2009 - The "moving man" and "vector web demo" links from lecture 3 posted at the very bottom. A few links from lecture 4 posted also.
  • 7 Sep 2009 - Sara (the grader/TA) has finalized her office hours. If you have a grading question regarding extra credit, free body diagrams, etc., you can talk to her in person.
  • 24 Aug 2009 - These links now working: homework submission, check grade, obtain CID, register clicker.
  • 17 Aug 2009 - Wed office hour changed to 2:30 - 4 pm (instead of 3:30 - 5 pm). The syllabus has the incorrect hour listed.
  • 6 Jul 09 - Posted syllabus/course packet below
  • 29 Jun 09 - Website set up, now open for business. As I add things to the website, I will post announcements here in this section.


The textbook for the class is College Physics, by Serway & Faughn (5th, 6th, 7th editions) or by Serway & Vuille (8th edition). Only volume 1 is needed for Physics 105; but volume 2 is used in Physics 106, so if you’re planning to take that course too it may be cheaper to get a book with both volumes combined. Feel free to obtain an inexpensive used copy.

Syllabus and Course Packet

  • Physics 105 syllabus - Fall 09.pdf - The syllabus will also be available in the bookstore for purchase (for about $2.34). Or, if you prefer you can print out your own copy from this pdf file.

Warm-Up Exercises

Lecture Notes

Videos of Demos

Here are videos of nearly all the demos I will do/have done in Physics 105. Some were recorded last year.

Discussion Forum (Google Groups)

Old Exams

I strongly recommend working through the old exams entirely on your own before looking at the solutions. Pre-curve averages are listed for the multiple choice parts of the exams. I intend to make this year's exams a bit easier, but no guarantees! Notice that there are some major differences between the old exams and what I plan for this year. Some key differences: no time limit this year, no note cards, and calculators should not be needed. In style, this year's exams will likely be closest to the Fall 2008 final exam.

This year's exams

How to get started

  • You need to do the following things as soon as the semester begins. (If you have added the class late, it's even more important to do them ASAP.)
    → If you have not received one in an email, get a "class ID number" using the "Obtain your class ID number" link on this page. You will use the CID as your personal identifier for all your assignments.
    → Read the syllabus, available either as a pdf file elsewhere on this web page, or from the bookstore. Among other things, the HW problems are found in the syllabus.
    → Get a copy of the textbook (see textbook info, elsewhere on this web page). If you can't get one soon, you can use one of the copies available in the Tutorial Lab (see Tutorial Lab info elsewhere on this web page).
    → Do the reading assignments for each upcoming lecture as marked on pg 1 of the syllabus; if joining late, do the past reading assignments.
    → For each upcoming lecture, answer the warm-up quiz for the lecture via the website form. Those quizzes are due by 8 am the day of the lecture.
    → Get an "i-clicker" at the bookstore if you don't already have one. Bring your clicker to each class.
    → Register your clicker (via the link elsewhere on this page) so that you get credit for in-class clicker quizzes.
    → Get your individualized homework data numbers which you will plug into the HW problems in your syllabus, using the "Print HW data sheet" link on this page.
    → Start working HW problems! The first assignment is due Sat, Sept 5. You can get credit for late assignments, so work the HW sets you miss/have missed, in addition to the ones coming up. The syllabus has much more about our online HW system.
    → Submit your HW answers via the online system using the "Submit HW" link. Again, read how to do this in the HW section of the syllabus. Learn how to get partial credit by re-submitting the problems you get wrong. Talk to other students to figure this out, if necessary. HW due-dates are marked on page 1 of the syllabus.
    → Register for the class Google group.

Supplementary Material

Current Topics in Physics