Mechanics I (PHYS*2310)

Code and section: PHYS*2310*01

Term: Fall 2014

Instructor: Paul Garrett


Course Information

The Purpose of this Course

This course and the following one, PHYS*2450, continue building the foundation in mechanics begun in the first year. These courses are intended for students proceeding to advanced studies in the physical sciences. Topics include analysis of experimental uncertainties (errors), one, two and three dimensional motion, damped and forced harmonic oscillator, gravitation and orbital motion. The laboratory work requires a formal treatment of error analysis, as well as computer programming for data analysis.

The course will offer lectures on uncertainty analysis, coordinate transformations, 1d, 2d, and 3d motions, damped and forced harmonic oscillator, gravitation and orbital motion, and other topics may be introduced depending on the time available.

Prerequisite: one of IPS1500, PHYS1000, or PHYS1080, one of IPS1510, MATH1210 or MATH2080.


Lecturer Office Extension Email
Paul Garrett MacN 220 52192

Teaching Assistants

Name Office Email
Philippe Landry MacN 402
Daryl Good MacN 413

Lectures, Labs and Tutorials


Day Time Location
MWF 12:30 – 13:20 MCKN 029


Section Day Time Location
Lab 1 Tues 14:30 to 17:20 MACN 414
Lab 2 Thur 14:30 to 17:20 MACN 414
Tutorial Wed 19:00 to 20:50 MCKN 029

Required Materials

It is expected that students will acquire the textbook for the course “Classical Mechanics” by J.R. Taylor, University Science Books, ISBN 189138922X. Course notes will be available on the CourseLink page for the course.

NOTE: the laboratory procedures can be found at the course webpage.

Evaluation Schemes

Evaluation: (2440)

Assessment Weight
Assignments 15%
Laboratories 20%
Midterm test 20%
Final examination 45%

Evaluation: (2310)

Assessment Weight
Assignments 20%
Midterm test 30%
Final examination 50%

The assignments will be handed out and submitted in class, and returned to students in the tutorial periods. No assignments will be accepted after the posting of the solutions on the course webpage. Submitted assignment solutions must show calculation details, be legible, and written with a logical flow. Marks on assignments will rapidly trend to zero if not presented well. A total of 6 assignments are planned, with 3 before the midterm and 3 following the midterm.

If you miss the midterm examination due to illness or compassionate reasons, you need to provide the instructor with a waiver slip. See your Program Counsellor if you require assistance. If you miss the final examination, see your Program Counsellor. Please refer to “General Information for Academic Consideration and Appeals” in the 2014/15 Undergraduate Calendar.

Tentative Schedule

Week Date Tutorial/Laboratory
1 08/09/14 No tutorial or experiment
2 15/09/14 Tutorial MCKN 029
3 22/09/14 Laboratory MacN414
4 29/09/14 Tutorial MCKN 029
5 06/10/14 Laboratory MacN414
6* 15/10/14 Midterm Examination MCKN 029
7 20/10/14 No tutorial or laboratory
8 27/10/14 Tutorial MCKN 029
9 03/11/14 Laboratory MacN414
10 10/11/14 Tutorial MCKN 029
11 17/11/14 Laboratory MacN414
12 24/09/14 Tutorial/review MCKN 029

*Note: Oct. 13(M) and Oct. 14(Tu) classes/labs will be rescheduled for Nov. 28(F), and Nov. 27(Th), respectively.

Midterm test: Tentatively scheduled Wednesday Oct 15th, 19:00 to 21:00 Location: MAKN 029

Final Examination: Thursday Dec. 4, 14:30 to 16:30 Location: TBA

Course Policies

(Not) Working With Other Students

All work submitted for grading in this course must be each individual student's own work. While
students are encouraged to share thoughts and ideas, it is not acceptable to share assignment solutions, experiment reports, etc. The assignments and experiment reports are not group projects. It is important that you do not show your final written solutions, experiment reports, etc., to other students.


One of your best sources of help is your tutorial/lab instructor. In addition, I will be happy to answer questions in my office (MacN 220). I do not keep office hours per se, but have an open door policy; if my office door is open (the majority of the time), I am willing to see students and answer questions. However, coordination by email (i.e., appointments) is strongly recommended. Short questions can often be handled in the lecture room just before or after lectures.

Laboratories & Tutorials

The weekly laboratories and tutorials are co-ordinated with those in PHYS*2460 (EM I). If you are registered in both courses, in a given week you will have a laboratory in one of the two courses (2460 or 2440) and a tutorial in the other course. You will not have both a lab and tutorial in one course in the same week.
In this course you will be keeping your experimental records in a portfolio. The portfolio will be submitted for grading. In addition, for one of the labs you will be writing a formal report. More details will be provided during the laboratory sessions with respect to expectations for the portfolio and the formal report.

Laboratories are held in MacN 302 for PHYS*2460 and in MacN 414 for PHYS*2440. Tutorials are held in MCKN 029 for Mechanics I.

Course Assessment

The Department of Physics requires student assessment of all courses taught by the Department. These assessments provide essential feedback to faculty on their teaching by identifying both strengths and possible areas of improvement. In addition, annual student assessment of teaching provides part of the information used by the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee in evaluating the faculty member's contribution in the area of teaching.

The Department's teaching evaluation questionnaire invites student response both through numerically quantifiable data and written student comments. In conformity with University of Guelph Faculty Policy, the Department Tenure and Promotions Committee only considers comments signed by students (choosing "I agree" in question 14). Your instructor will see all signed and unsigned comments after final grades are submitted. Written student comments may also be used in support of a nomination for internal and external teaching awards.

NOTE: No information will be passed on to the instructor until after the final grades have been submitted.

E-mail 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. See the undergraduate calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration.

Drop Date

The last date to drop one-semester courses, without academic penalty, is October 31. For regulations and procedures for Dropping Courses, see the Undergraduate Calendar.

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 of Guelph is committed to creating a barrier-free environment. Providing services for students is a shared responsibility among students, faculty and administrators. This relationship is based on respect of individual rights, the dignity of the individual and the University community's shared commitment to an open and supportive learning environment. Students requiring service or accommodation, whether due to an identified, ongoing disability or a short-term disability should contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities as soon as possible.

For more information, contact CSD at 519-824-4120 ext. 56208 or email or see the website:

Academic Misconduct

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 discourages misconduct. 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.

The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Recording of Materials

Presentations which are made in relation to course work – including lectures – cannot be recorded or copied without the permission of the presenter, whether the instructor, a classmate or guest lecturer. Material recorded with permission is restricted to use for that course unless further permission is granted.
ResourcesThe Academic Calendars are the source of information about the University of Guelph’s procedures, policies and regulations which apply to undergraduate, graduate and diploma programs.