Physics with Applications (PHYS*1130)

Code and section: PHYS*1130*01

Term: Fall 2020

Instructor: James Ball


Course Information

Important: Please retain this material and consult it regularly during the semester. This information will be important to you as the course progresses.

Course Prerequisite: 4U Calculus and Vectors or equivalent, 4U Physics or equivalent 
Credit Weighting: 0.50 credits


Please note that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may necessitate a revision of the format of course offerings and academic schedules. Any such changes will be announced via CourseLink and/or class email. All University-wide decisions will be posted on the COVID-19 website and circulated by email.  


This is an introductory physics course for engineering students. Topics include measurement and error analysis, translational and rotational kinematics and dynamics, simple harmonic motion, waves, acoustics, and optics, with an emphasis on relevant applications of these physical concepts. The course will conclude with an introduction to quantum phenomena.

Course Objectives

  1. Improvement of analytical problem-solving skills
  2. Ability to communicate (in writing) a logical problem solution
  3. Improvement of the proper use of calculus in mathematical problem solving
  4. Expansion of breadth of knowledge, particularly in the application of physics to engineering 
  5. Development of proper experimental and data collection techniques by participation in hands-on laboratory sessions
  6. Growth in physical understanding of everyday phenomena

Text & Other Materials


  1. There are TWO Textbooks:

    a) PHYSICS FOR SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS, 2ND EDITION, Hawkes, Iqbal, Mansour, Milner-Bolotin, Williams. Available in the Campus Bookstore (1st floor MacNaughton) or the Co-op Bookstore (Johnston Hall).

    b) ENGINEERING MECHANICS – STATICS & DYAMICS, 14TH EDITION, Hibbeler. Available in the Campus Bookstore (1st floor MacNaughton) or the Co-op Bookstore (Johnston Hall). Includes access to Mastering which is an online resource. Students can purchase either the hard copy which includes Mastery and the ebook or just the ebook with Mastery

    NOTE: You will need BOTH books. The Hawkes book will be used again in PHYS*1010 in the winter semester. The Hibbeler book will be used again in ENGG*1210 in the winter semester. Don’t sell them at the end of the term!! 
  2. Study Guide (2020 printing) 
  3. This Course Outline: includes important dates and deadlines, lecture schedule, evaluation information.

Course Access

Students in this course are required to access Courselink to complete all course evaluations. As soon as possible, you should log-in to Courselink and establish a course profile:

Course Related Information and Contact

1st Main Course Contact

Quiz Room Supervisor Office Extension Email
Cindy Wells Off campus

Please contact the Quiz Room Supervisor with all course related inquiries and immediately email to report any illness or errors in your Courselink record.


Lecturer Office Extension Email
James Ball Off campus

Lecture Sections

Section Day Time
01  Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:30am - 11:20am
02  Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:30 pm - 13:20 pm

Tentative Lecture Schedule

Week Lecture Dates Topic(s) Study Guide
0 & 1 1-3 Sept 11
Sept 14-18
  • Introduction to Course
  • Dimensional analysis
  • significant digits, error analysis
2 4-6 Sept 21-25
  • Simple harmonic motion
  • damped harmonics
3 7-9 Sept 28-Oct 2
  • traveling waves
  • superposition and standing waves
4 10-12 Oct 5 -Oct 9
  • acoustics, nature of sound
  • resonance
  • intensity, intensity levels
  • Doppler effect
5 13-14 Oct 14-16
  • Optics - refraction and Snell’s law
  • Thin lens equation
6 15 -17 Oct 19-23
  • Lens systems and vision correction*
  • force vectors in 2D & 3D
  • unit vector notation, components
  • vector addition/subtraction (resultant force, net displacement, etc.)  
7 18-20 Oct 26-30
  • vector operations (dot product, cross product)
  • Midterm review 
8 21-23 Nov 2-Nov 6
  • Newton’s Laws, equilibrium
  • free body diagrams
  • equilibrium of a particle (2D and 3D) 
9 24-26 Nov 9-13
  • forces on rigid bodies
  • moment of force (scalar and vector notation)
10 27-29 Nov 16-20
  • principles of moments
  • moment about specific axis
  • moment of a couple
11  30-32 Nov 23-27
  • Electromagnetic waves
  • diffraction of light
  • wave/particle duality
12 33-35 Nov 30- Dec 4
  • course review and evaluation

 * last topic on midterm exam

Note: The information in the “Lecture Topic” column is provided as a rough guide for the term. Future announcements about changes to the table or of any kind will be made in class and posted on Courselink; these announcements take precedence over the original course outline!


Course Assessment

Assessment Weight
Quizzes (7 x 4%)
(see below for information on quiz deadlines and notes)
Labs (3 x 4%)  12 %
Midterm 20%
Final Exam 40%


Each quiz will be out of ten marks. It will consist of 3 multiple choice questions, 3 calculation-based questions in which only the final answer is submitted and 1 problem worth 4 marks, that students will complete work on paper, then upload a picture of their work into the Courselink quiz. This question will be hand marked by the graduate teaching assistants.
There are 8 quizzes and your best 7 grades make up the quiz evaluation portion of your final grade.  Quizzes are marked out of 10 points and you awarded a mark out of 10.  Each quiz attributes 4% of your final grade ie 7 x 4% = 28%


There are 3 experiments to be done, associated with Study Guide units 1, 2, 3, and 6, These experiments are done using IO carts. Students will meet with TAs virtually a week before the lab is due. Students will work in zoom groups to prepare for the labs. The labs will be submitted via Courselink by the dates indicated in the evaluation section  

No lab exemptions will be granted for labs completed in another semester.

Quiz and Lab Deadlines and Important Notes

Week Date Notes
3 Thursday Oct 1st Study guide 1: Uncertainty, units etc
4 Monday Oct 5th 
Thursday Oct 8th
Lab Simple Harmonic Motion(midnight)
Study Guide 2: Simple Harmonic Motion, Travelling and Standing waves
5 Thursday Oct 15th Study Guide 3: Acoustics
6 Thursday Oct 22nd Study Guide 4: Optics
7 Monday Oct 26th
Friday, Oct 30th
Acoustics Lab Due (midnight)
Midterm exam 18:00-20:00
8 Thursday, Nov 5th Study Guide 5: Vectors
9 Thursday, Nov 12th Study Guide 6: Forces
10 Monday Nov 16th
Thursday Nov 19th
Final Lab due (midnight)
Study Guide 7: Sections 1-3
11 Thursday Nov 26th  Study Guide 7: Sections 4-6
12   Exam review
  Friday December 18th Final Exam 11:30-13:30

Midterm and Final Examinations

Midterm Exam Date: Friday October 30th 18:00-20:00

Final Exam Date: Friday December 18th 11:30-13:30

The midterm and final examinations will consist of approximately 20-25 multiple-choice questions each. Many students have found that these examinations difficult, even with a perfect mark on the Quizzes.  A thorough review of all of the relevant course material is highly advisable in preparing for the midterm and final examinations.

How the Course Works


Students' study schedules at University are often based on a crisis-to-crisis approach (When's my next midterm exam?) rather than on organized learning. To reduce this problem, Physics with Applications is offered using a "Personalized Instruction" method which gives the student some flexibility in scheduling study time.

The central idea of this teaching method is the accommodation of both the student who needs or likes formal lecture teaching and the student who prefers guided self-instruction.  Indeed, in this course, any combination of these two extremes may be mixed to the student's own taste. Prior to each lecture students are expected to go through the pre-lecture videos posted on Courselink. This allows the lecture to be primarily a problem-solving period with assistance from graduate teaching assistants. Students will be working in groups solving both numerical and conceptual based problems 

The present version of the study materials incorporates a large number of constructive suggestions made by students.  We hope you will continue to point out errors, omissions and weaknesses so that the course and its teaching materials can be regularly upgraded.


Formal lectures will be given and you will find a detailed timetable of dates and topics in this course handout.  Students may attend all of the lectures or select only those topics in which they feel they need lecture support.  You are strongly advised to attend lectures until you are sure that the self-study method works for you.  In any case, the entire course content will be covered in these lectures.  Whether you attend lectures or not, it is your responsibility to check Courselink for important weekly notices regarding the course.


The Handbook contains the eight Study Guide modules (SG 1 to 8) for this course.  These eight modules cover the entire course and are designed so that you need never actually attend a lecture if you follow their advice scrupulously. Each module provides you with:

  1. a brief introductory discussion of what the module is about,
  2. the educational objectives of the module,
  3. a detailed study guide (reading and problem lists, etc.)
  4. self tests,
  5. answers to problems, and sometimes
  6. extra problems.

These self-study modules are your chief help; the Study Guide is a teacher at your side constantly and should be followed with care.

Obtaining Help in the Course

  • Help may be obtained from the lecturer before and after lectures, or during his office hours. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 8:30 am-10:30 am via zoom
  • TA support:  ( days and times TBA)
  • The following can be accessed from Courselink:

a.    Dimensional analysis
b.    Trigonometry
c.    Logarithms
d.    Graphing simple functions
e.    Graphing log paper
f.    Oscillating functions
g.    Graphing

Course and University Policies

Academic Misconduct

The University of Guelph takes a serious view of academic misconduct and will severely penalize students, faculty and staff who are found guilty of offences associated with misappropriation of others' work, misrepresentation of personal performance and fraud, improper access to scholarly resources, and obstructing others in pursuit of their academic endeavors.  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. Each student is assumed to be familiar with the regulations surrounding academic misconducts, as spelled out in the Undergraduate Calendar academic misconduct section.

Accuracy of Records

It is your responsibility to use Courselink to check that your marks are recorded correctly.  Please check your record often and report any discrepancies immediately to the Quiz Room Supervisor Cindy Wells ( As an aid, a ‘Personal Record Form’ is provided on Courselink. You should use this form to record your quiz attempts, etc., and from time to time check the computer record against your personal record.


"The University will not normally require verification of illness (doctor's notes) for fall 2020 or winter 2021 semester courses.  However, requests for Academic Consideration may still require medical documentation as appropriate".

If you miss the midterm or final examination because of illness or for other reasons, consult regulations in the current Undergraduate Calendar.

Course Notices

From time to time, notices pertaining to the course will be posted on Courselink as a news item, and/or given in lectures. It is your responsibility to keep yourself informed regarding these special announcements.

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.

Drop Date

The last date to drop one-semester courses, without academic penalty, is Friday, Dec 4th. For regulations and procedures for Dropping Courses, see the Undergraduate Calendar “Dropping Courses” section.


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 Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible. SAS will email the Quiz Room Supervisor (Cindy Wells) with approved accommodations that will be documented in the quiz room. 

For more information, contact SAS at 519-824-4120 ext. 56208 or email or refer to the SAS website.

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.

The University of Guelph’s primary mode of course delivery has shifted from face-to-face instruction to remote and online learning due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, some learning activities (e.g., synchronous lectures or student presentations) may be recorded by faculty, instructors and TAs and posted to CourseLink for grading and dissemination; students may be recorded during these sessions. 
The following statements may be added to the course outline and it is recommended these are discussed in any synchronous courses during the first week of classes.  

By enrolling in a course, unless explicitly stated and brought forward to their instructor, it is assumed that students agree to the possibility of being recorded during lecture, seminar or other “live” course activities, whether delivery is in-class or online/remote.
If a student prefers not to be distinguishable during a recording, they may:

  1. turn off their camera
  2. mute their microphone 
  3. edit their name (e.g., initials only) upon entry to each session
  4. use the chat function to pose questions.  

Students who express to their instructor that they, or a reference to their name or person, do not wish to be recorded may discuss possible alternatives or accommodations with their instructor. 

Use of Personal Information 

Personal information is used by University officials in order to carry out their authorized academic and administrative responsibilities and also to establish a relationship for alumni and development purposes. The University of Guelph’s policy on the Collection, Use and Disclosure of Personal Information can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Final Examination Conflicts

The University’s policy regarding examination conflicts, as stated in the Undergraduate Calendar, is as follows: “Students who drop and add courses are required to consult the examination timetable to avoid conflicts in examination times.  Written approval must be obtained from the dean or director and the instructor-in-charge of the course to register in courses that have conflicting examination times.”

Course Evaluation

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. 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.