Fundamentals of Physics (PHYS*1300)

Code and section: PHYS*1300*01

Term: Fall 2019

Instructor: Maher Bakri-Kassem, Matt Steffler, Jason Thomas


This course introduces students to fundamental phenomena in physics, with particular emphasis on applications to the biological sciences. Topics include: analyzing one-dimensional and two-dimensional motion; Newton’s laws; momentum, energy and associated conservation laws; interactions between charges, resistive direct-current circuits; the fundamentals of waves, with applications to acoustics; ionizing radiation, radioactivity and medical applications. This course is designed for students who have not completed 4U Physics (or equivalent): students with credit in 4U Physics (or equivalent) may not take this course for credit.

Course Credit Weight: 0.5

Course Related Information and Contact

Quiz Room Location: SSC1101A
Laboratory Location: MacN301
Help Room: LIB370 (see Courselink for operating hours)
Lost and Found: Quiz Room (SSC1101A).
Quiz Room Hours: Posted on Courselink – see Quiz Room Operating Hours

Main Course Contact

Quiz Room Supervisor: Cindy Wells
Office: SSC1101A
Extension: 52445

Please contact the Quiz Room Supervisor with all course related inquiries, to report any illness that prohibits you from meeting the course requirements or to report any errors in your courselink record.


Students in this course will need to use Courselink to check their term marks.  ““As soon as possible, you should check that you can log in to Courselink”“:

  • Use a web browser to go to the Courselink website: ““”“
  • Follow the courselink login instructions.


Jason Thomas “Orbax”
Office: MacN435B
Extension: 53993

Matt Steffler
Office: MacN403

Maher Bakri-Kassem 
Office: MacN330
Extension: 53985 

Lecture Sections

Section Day Time Location
01 Monday, Wednesday and Friday 4:30pm – 5:20pm ROZH101
02 Monday, Wednesday and Friday 1:30pm – 2:20pm ROZH101
03 Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10:30am – 11:20am ALEX 100

Text & Other Required Materials

  1. Textbook: Physics: An Algebra-based Approach bundled with an access kit to the online homework system called Enhanced Web Assign (EWA). Available in the university bookstore or the co-op bookstore.
  2. Students can also order the ebook with EWA from (or from the bookstore) as a more economical option or for those who have second hand books access only can be obtained from
  3. Study Guide/Lab Manual (2018 printing) Available for purchase in the Physics quiz room SSC1101A $30.00. Cash only please. Exact change appreciated. 
    Booksale - The Quiz Room will be open for the sale of manuals Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. September 5,6 & 9,10,11 from 9am – 3 pm.  After Sept. 11th during regular quiz room hours.
  4. Calculator (get one with trig functions, e”“x”“, etc.)  Cell phones, graphing calculators, programmable calculators, and electronic devices are strictly prohibited from use in the quiz room or labs.  They must remain off and in your book bags during your entire quiz room attendance.  
    ***Failure to comply is considered a form of academic misconduct and can/will result in at least a minimum penalty of automatic quiz disqualification or removal from the room***
  5. This Course Outline: includes important dates and deadlines, lecture schedule, evaluation information, etc.
  6. (optional) iClicker or a subscription to Reef polling: we will be using this classroom response system to facilitate in-class discussions.  Please bring your clicker to class regularly or use your mobile device with a Reef subscription.  See for more details.

Tentative Lecture Schedule

Week Topics (Study Guide) Textbook Chapters


  • Unit conversion and sig digits (Study Guide 1.1)
  • Describing motion: speed, velocity, uniform motion (Study Guide 1.2)
  • Acceleration, non-uniform motion (Study Guide 1.3)
  • Acceleration due to gravity (Study Guide 1.4)
  • Vectors (Study Guide 1.5)
  • Displacement and velocity 2-d (Study Guide 2.1)
  • Acceleration in 2-d (Study Guide 2.2)


What controls motion? Forces and Newton’s laws

  • Projectile Motion (Study Guide 2.3)
  • Uniform circular motion (Study Guide 2.4)
  • Forces and FBD (Study Guide 3.1)
  • Newton’s 1st and 2nd law (Study Guide 3.2)
  • Inclined planes (Study Guide 3.3)
  • Newton’s 3rd law (Study Guide 3.4)

Energy & Momentum

Another way of understanding motion

  • work (Study Guide 4.1)
  • kinetic energy and work-energy theorem (Study Guide 4.2)
  • gravitational PE and cons of energy (Study Guide 4.3)
  • Work done by friction (Study Guide 4.4)
  • Power (Study Guide 4.6) 
  • momentum (Study Guide 5.1)
  • cons of momentum 1-d (Study Guide 5.2)
  • elastic and inelastic collisions (Study Guide 5.3)
  • cons of momentum 2-d (Study Guide 5.4)


  • Electric charge and charge transfer (Study Guide 6.1)
  • coulomb’s law and electric force (Study Guide 6.2)
  • electric fields (Study Guide 6.3)
  • Field lines and motion of charged particles (Study Guide 6.4)
  • electric potential energy (Study Guide 6.5)
  • electric potential (Study Guides 6.6, 6.7)
  • current (Study Guide 7.3)
  • resistance and ohm’s law (7.2)
  • batteries and electric circuits (Study Guide 7.3)
  • series and parallel wiring (Study Guide 7.4)

Waves & acoustics

What are waves and how do they behave?

  • introduction to waves, oscillations and SHM (Study Guides 8.1, 8.2)
  • traveling waves (Study Guide 8.3)
  • superposition and standing waves (Study Guides 8.3, 9.1)
  • acoustic resonance (pipes) (Study Guide 9.1)
  • beats (Study Guide 9.2)
  • logarithms (Study Guide 9.3)
  • Loudness/intensity level, decibels (Study Guide 9.4)
  • Energy, Power, Intensity (Study Guide 9.5)
  • ultrasound, infrasound and applications (Study Guide 9.6)
11, 12

Nuclear Physics

  • Structure of the nucleus (Study Guide 10.1)
  • Radioactivity (Study Guide 10.1)
  • Nuclear equations and balancing, types of decay (Study Guide 10.1)
  • Radioactive decay and half lives (Study Guide 10.2)
  • Attenuation (Study Guide 10.3)
  • Medical applications (Study Guide 10.3)

Online Homework

In order to enroll in the EWA course page, you will need to use the following class key;

  • Section 01 (10:30am class) – uoguelph 3007 0937
  • Section 02 (1:30 pm class) - uoguelph 3028 7757
  • Section 03 (4:30 pm class) – uoguelph 2793 3311

During the course of the semester there will be 5-6 optional online homework (EWA) assignments for students to complete. Students have the option of completing these assignments or have their Final exam weight adjusted as shown below.  Mandatory – use your university of Guelph userid when setting up your EWA account.


These two evaluation options are available to students as illustrated below. The course grade will be calculated based on the scheme that produces the highest grade:

Assessment Scheme #1 Scheme #2
Quizzes (5x10%) 50%  50%
Online Homework (EWA) 8% 0%

Experiments (5x2%)
(Pass=2%, Fail =0%)

10%  10%
Final Exam 32% 40%
Total 100% 100%

Evaluation of Quiz Marks

Quizzes are marked out of 10:

  • 8/10 or higher receive 10 out of 10 (highest possible mark per unit) 
  • between 4.0/10 and 7/10 (inclusive) receive 2 marks per attempt 
  • less than 4/10 receive zero

The partial mark of 2 does not add to a mark of 10.  It is awarded on the condition you do not receive a “pass” on any attempt on a unit quiz.  See the examples below.

Four examples:

  1. A student earns 4.0/10 on the first quiz attempt, 6.0/10 on the second quiz attempt, and 8.0/10 on the third quiz attempt. Mark received:  10 out of 10.
  2. A student earns 4.0/10 on the first quiz attempt, 5.5/10 on the second quiz attempt, and 7.5/10 on the third quiz attempt. Mark received:  6 out of 10.
  3. A student earns 2.5/10 on the first quiz attempt, 4.0/10 on the second, and 7.5/10 on the third. Mark received:  4 out of 10.
  4. A student earns 7.5/10 on the first quiz attempt and tries no further quizzes. Mark received:  2 out of 10.

Final Examination

Final Exam Date: Thursday, December 5, 2019, 7:00p - 9:00p, Room TBA. 

The final examination will consist of multiple-choice questions.  

Quiz Deadlines and Important Notes

Week Date Notes
0 Thursday, September 5 Quiz Room Opens for Writing
3 Friday, September 27

Last day for Quiz #1


  1. Study Guide 1
  2. Pretest 1
5 Friday, October 11

Last day for Quiz #2


  1. Study Guide 2
  2. Study Guide 3
  3. Pretest 2
7 Friday, October 25

Last day for Quiz #3


  1. Study Guide 4
  2. Study Guide 5
  3. Pretest 3
9 Friday, November 8

Last day for Quiz #4


  1. Study Guide 6
  2. Study Guide 7
  3. Pretest 4
11 Friday, November 22

Last day for Quiz #5


  1. Study Guide 8
  2. Study Guide 9
  3. Pretest 5
12 Friday, November 29 Quiz Room closes for the semester at 4:00pm

Obtaining Help in the Course

  1. Brief questions can be answered by the course professor after lectures. Otherwise, the instructor will be available during office hours. Office hours will be announced in class. 
  2. Scheduled help sessions – LIB370 weeks 3,5,7,9 & 11 Monday-Thursday 12-3pm.  Help will be available in weeks 1 & 2 Wednesday and Thursday 10-11 and 2-3 in the quiz room.
  3. Step-by-step problemsolving exercises developed specifically for this course, covering each major unit at:
    b. Tutorials


Laboratory Exercises

The laboratory activity will be assigned a pass or fail distinction by the TA at the end of the laboratory period. You must show your TA your results by the end of 90 minutes in the laboratory session. The remaining 20 minutes of your assigned time will be available for students to correct mistakes (when necessary) in order to allow for reassessment by the TA. It is crucial that you read the instructions in your lab before you arrive for the experiment.  Failure to adequately prepare for the session may result in a failing grade for that experiment.

You selected a particular lab section when you registered for the course.  You must attend your lab section; do not attempt to complete the exercise in another time slot.  For all lab sections, each of the experiments will take place as follows:

Week Date Notes
1-2 September 9-20 Experiment #1 – Introduction to Experimental Techniques & Kinematics
3-4 September 23-October 4 Experiment #2 – Newton’s 3rd law 
6-7 October 14-25 Experiment #3 – Conservation of Energy
8-9 October 28 -November 8 Experiment #4 – Ohm’s Law
10-11 November 11-22 Experiment #5 – Acoustics 
12 November 25-29 Experiment #6 (optional) – Ionizing Radiation

Contact your lab TA immediately if you miss your scheduled lab.

Quiz Room Information

Quiz Room Protocol

  • Students must show their U of G photo ID card in order to write a quiz.
  • Only 1 quiz attempt per day allowed on same quiz group.
  • Your 1st attempt should be at least 3 days before the deadline to allow for a possible 2nd or 3rd attempt.  Students will be allowed entry into the quiz room up to closing time only. At the posted closing time, the door will close, turning away those that did not gain access to the room.  All quizzes are available from week 1 and they can be written as early as you want.  The dates above reflect the last possible date that particular quiz is available to write.
  • No credit will be granted for labs or quizzes completed during a previous semester.
  • Book Bag Lock (optional) – Book bags are not allowed to be taken to your quiz writing station in the quiz room.  The designated area for book bags is equipped with cables for locking (you must bring your own lock).
  • If you absolutely cannot stay to have your quiz marked, you may leave it. It will be marked at the end of the day and the mark posted to Courselink.  It will be available for you to look at for two further days.
  • All quizzes, answers and scrap paper remain in the quiz room and must be handed in at the quiz marking submission area.
  • Wait quietly to have your quiz graded by the TAs.  If you miss hearing your name your quiz will be graded in your absence.


You can in principle try quizzes in any order.  However, note that quizzes are withdrawn on specific dates (see page 7), so these should be attempted as appropriate. A sample of each quiz is provided on Courselink for you to look at. The quiz tests mastery of that material, and so you may find that you do not pass the quiz on the first attempt.

You will need your University of Guelph photo ID card in order to write a quiz. The time allotted for each quiz is 20 minutes. When you have completed the quiz, it is marked immediately by a tutor in your presence. In this way, no time is wasted teaching you things you already know, but the quiz will isolate those things (if any) you don't know. The tutor will give you help on the spot when time permits. It is important to emphasize the diagnostic aspect of this quiz; diagnosis is its prime purpose. It is of no value to write one if you are not prepared; you are wasting everyone's time. The level at which you are considered to have "mastered" the material is 80%, i.e., the "pass mark" is 8 out of 10.

Each quiz that is mastered contributes 10% toward your course mark. If you do not get 80% on your first attempt (and you may not), it doesn't matter. There is no stigma attached to failing this quiz; that is not its purpose. You may go away, study, and try again. The quiz will have served to show you what you must study for that section. Obviously, there must be a limit to the number of times you may write a version for each quiz, and this has been set at three. You may not attempt more than one version of each quiz in a single day.

During quizzes (as well as the final examination), you may use a pocket calculator (graphing calculators or any other electronic devices are not allowed). In the quiz room, each desk is provided with a sheet of formulae.  A copy of this sheet will be included in the final exam. No material in the form of quizzes or paper may be brought in or taken from your assigned station in the Quiz Room and all paper used when writing a quiz must be turned in. You should visit the quiz room during the first week of the semester to see how the system operates.

Self-paced study is a new experience for most students. At best, it permits you to work ahead in physics early in the semester, freeing study time for other courses during heavy weeks.  At worst, there is a temptation to leave things too late. To help pace students, deadlines are placed on quizzes.


Before any quiz can be written for credit, a Pretest must be taken and passed at the minimum level of 60%.  These Pretests are designed to permit a self-examination of the basic concepts and objectives of the modules in question. They are a necessary but not sufficient preparation to pass a quiz.  Each Pretest consists of a variety of simple questions in one of 4 formats:

  1. multiple choice
  2. true or false
  3. pairwise matching
  4. enter a number or symbol

The Pretests are delivered via Courselink. Follow the login instructions outlined on page 2 and this will enable you to take the Pretest.  Upon completion it will be marked and an explanation provided for every question for which you selected the wrong answer.  These should be studied carefully.

When you obtain at least 60% on the Pretest (allow 1 hour for your mark to process), you may then proceed to the Quiz Room (SSC1101A) to write a quiz for credit.  If you failed to get 60%, you must repeat the Pretest until 60% is obtained.  Pretests attempts are unlimited. The Pretest must be recorded in your course record as a pass before a Quiz for credit may be written.

Of course, you get the maximum advantage from these Pretests if you do them without help and, as much as possible, without aids (textbook, etc.).

It is a serious academic offence to copy, print or otherwise store this material or to attempt to alter it in any way.

University Statements

Email Communication

As per university regulations, all students are required to check their e-mail account regularly: e-mail is the official route of communication between the University and its students.

When You Cannot Meet a Course Requirement

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons please advise the course instructor (or designated person, such as a teaching assistant) in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. The grounds for Academic Consideration are detailed in the Undergraduate and Graduate Calendars.

Undergraduate Calendar - Academic Consideration and Appeals

Graduate Calendar - Grounds for Academic Consideration

Associate Diploma Calendar - Academic Consideration, Appeals and Petitions

Drop Date

Students will have until the last day of classes to drop courses without academic penalty. The deadline to drop two-semester courses will be the last day of classes in the second semester. This applies to all students (undergraduate, graduate and diploma) except for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Associate Diploma in Veterinary Technology (conventional and alternative delivery) students. The regulations and procedures for course registration are available in their respective Academic Calendars.

Undergraduate Calendar - Dropping Courses

Graduate Calendar - Registration Changes

Associate Diploma Calendar - Dropping Courses

Copies of Out-of-class Assignments

Keep paper and/or other reliable back-up copies of all out-of-class assignments: you may be asked to resubmit work at any time.


The University promotes the full participation of students who experience disabilities in their academic programs. To that end, the provision of academic accommodation is a shared responsibility between the University and the student.
When accommodations are needed, the student is required to first register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS). Documentation to substantiate the existence of a disability is required; however, interim accommodations may be possible while that process is underway.
Accommodations are available for both permanent and temporary disabilities. It should be noted that common illnesses such as a cold or the flu do not constitute a disability.
Use of the SAS Exam Centre requires students to book their exams at least 7 days in advance and not later than the 40th Class Day.
For Guelph students, information can be found on the SAS website
For Ridgetown students, information can be found on the Ridgetown SAS website

Academic Integrity

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity, and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community-faculty, staff, and students-to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring. University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff, and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that encourages academic integrity. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection.
Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.
Undergraduate Calendar - Academic Misconduct
Graduate Calendar - Academic Misconduct

Recording of Materials

Presentations that are made in relation to course work - including lectures - cannot be recorded or copied without the permission of the presenter, whether the instructor, a student, or guest lecturer. Material recorded with permission is restricted to use for that course unless further permission is granted.


The Academic Calendars are the source of information about the University of Guelph’s procedures, policies, and regulations that apply to undergraduate, graduate, and diploma programs.
Academic Calendars


Please note:  This is a preliminary web course description. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description.  An official course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester and/or posted on Courselink.