Physics 105 - Fall 2014

Welcome to Physics 105 - Fall 2014!

General Information

  • Instructor: John S. Colton
  • Email: Directory Page
  • Office hours: M 1:30-3 pm, W 2:30-4 pm, in the Tutorial Lab N304 ESC
  • Office: N335 ESC, available by appointment

T.A./grader: Jerika McKeon

  • TA's email address:
  • TA's office hours: M 3-5 pm, W 5-6 pm, in the Tutorial Lab N304 ESC
  • TA weekly review: F 1-3 pm**, in 108 MARB     **changed to F 12-3 pm on 18 Nov 2014

Exam reviews

  • Exam reviews for exam 1: Wed Oct 1, 7 - 8:30 pm and Thurs Oct 2, 6 - 7:30 pm, both in room C295 ESC
  • Exam reviews for exam 2: Wed Oct 29, 7 - 8:30 pm and Thurs Oct 30, 5:30 - 7 pm, both in room C295 ESC
  • Exam reviews for exam 3: Sat Nov 22, 10 - 11:30 am and Mon Dec 1, 5:30 - 7 pm, both in room C295 ESC
  • Exam reviews for final exam: Thurs Dec 11, 5:30 - 7 pm and Fri Dec 12, 6 - 7:30 pm, both in room C295 ESC

Quick Links

The following links are explained more below.


The textbook for the class is College Physics, by Serway & Faughn (6th, 7th editions) or by Serway & Vuille (8th, 9th, 10th editions). 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

You can download the syllabus here: syllabus - physics 105 colton - fall 2014.pdf. It will also be available in the bookstore for purchase (for about $2).

Max: Homework, Warm-Up Exercises, Clicker Registration, CID number, and Grades

  • Link to Max: Homework, warm-up exercises, clicker registration, finding your student "Class ID" number (CID), and grade checking are all handled through the Max website.
  • Clickers should be registered at the start of the semester.
  • Warmups must be completed by 15 minutes before class.
  • Homework must be completed prior to 11:59 pm on the due-date.
  • Use your CID instead of your name on all work that you turn in via the homework boxes (e.g. free body diagrams).
  • Grades can be checked at any time throughout the semester. If you detect any errors in your grade, please let me know.
  • If you want to calculate your grades for various scenarios, you can download this excel spreadsheet: grade calculation worksheet. Just change the numbers in yellow according to what you think you'll get in the various categories and it will calculate your final grade.

Prayer Sign-up

  • Please sign up on this google doc if you are interested/willing to offer a prayer in class: link removed

Reading Assignments/Warmup Quizzes

  • Warmup quizzes are done on Max:
  • The reading assignment for a given lecture is listed at the top of the warmup quiz for that lecture.
  • In case it's helpful, here's a list of all the reading assignments for the entire semester: reading assignments - fall 2014.pdf

Class Discussion Forum

  • See here for the class discussion forum: Use it to get help on the homework, offer help to others, look for people with whom to form study groups, etc.

Lecture Notes

Videos of Demos

Here are videos of nearly all the demos I will do/have done in Physics 105. Most if not all were recorded in previous years.

Videos of Homework Solutions

I've decided to post HW solutions to their own website. Videos will generally be posted the day after the HW was due.

Tutorial Lab Info

  • Main tutorial lab site (includes a map)
  • Tutorial lab schedule (note this is just the current schedule; it's not set in stone)
  • Feedback form
  • Find tutors you can hire, at this physics tutoring Google group

Old Exams

I strongly recommend working through the old exams entirely on your own before looking at the solutions. Pre-curve averages (medians) are listed for the multiple choice parts of the exams. No guarantees as to whether this year's exams will be the same difficulty, easier, or harder than past exams. Also note that on some past exams I allowed students to bring a note card whereas on others I supplied a formula sheet.

WARNING: In past years I gave 4 midterms. This year I'm giving 3 midterms. Plus, the order I'm presenting some of the topics has changed. Here's how this years' exams compare to the posted exams from previous years:

Exam 1 this year = previous years' Exam 1 + first half of Exam 2 (Newton's Second Law) + centripetal acceleration from Exam 3

Exam 2 this year = previous years' second half of Exam 2 + Exam 3 (minus centripetal acceleration)

Exam 3 this year = previous years' Exam 4

* There was an error in the latent heat of water on this exam, which would affect the answer to problem 23

Notes from Jerika's exam reviews

Here are some notes from Jerika's exam reviews (in pdf and pptx formats).

This year's exams

Here is the first page of exams for this semester: first page of exams - Fall 2014.pdf

Here's where I will post my solutions to 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.)

  • Find your "class ID number" via the Max website. You will use the CID as your personal identifier for all your turned-in assignments.
  • Read the syllabus, available either as a downloadable pdf file or from the bookstore.
  • 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 given on the Warm-up assignments on Max; if joining late, do the past reading assignments.
  • For each upcoming lecture, answer the Warm-up quiz for the lecture via Max. Those quizzes are due 15 minutes before lecture.
  • Get an "i-clicker" at the bookstore if you don't already have one. Bring your clicker to each class.
  • Register your clicker on Max so that you get credit for participating in the in-class clicker quizzes.
  • Start working HW problems! They are found on Max. The first assignment is due Thurs, 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.
  • Submit your HW answers via Max. Learn how to get partial credit by re-submitting the problems you get wrong.
  • Visit the class discussion forum, //, for help finding a study group, help with HW problems, etc. (not set up yet)

Supplementary Material

Current Topics in Physics