Physics with Applications (PHYS*1130)

Code and section: PHYS*1130*01

Term: Fall 2021

Instructor: James Ball, Daniel Siegel


Course Information


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

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

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:

  • Use a web browser to go to the Courselink website.
  • Follow the Courselink login instructions.

Text & Other Materials


There are four distinct required resources that students will need for this course:

  1. Textbooks
  2. Study Guide
  3. Lab Equipment rental/purchase
  4. This Course Outline

There are TWO Textbooks:  You will need BOTH books – however, they are each used in another course in the following semester: 

  • The Hawkes book will also be used in PHYS*1010 in the winter semester.
  • The Hibbeler book will also be used in ENGG*1210 in the winter semester. 

Don’t sell them at the end of the term!!

a) PHYSICS FOR SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS, 2ND EDITION, Hawkes, Iqbal, Mansour, Milner-Bolotin, Williams. Print and eBook copies available.
b) ENGINEERING MECHANICS – STATICS & DYAMICS, 14TH EDITION, Hibbeler. Print and eBook copies available.  Includes access to the online resource, Mastering Engineering.

Study Guide:  This is available for purchase in the campus bookstore in eBook format.  The Study Guide provides textbook readings to guide you through course content and practice questions in the form of “Self-Tests”, with answers provided at the end of each Guide.  Additional Textbook questions are also suggested to prepare students for weekly quizzes. 

Lab Equipment:  Labs in PHYS*1130 will be conducted remotely and will make use of iOLab devices to acquire and analyse data at home.   There are two required components:

  • iOLab version 2.0
  • accessory pack for Electricity & Magnetism (look under ‘Study Extras’)

iOlab version 2.0 can be purchased or rented from MacMillan Learning.
Note:iOLabs will also be used in winter semester for PHYS*1010, so the 10 month period is the best option for most students

This Course Outline: includes important dates and deadlines, lecture schedule, evaluation information.

Course Administration

Course Contacts

Role Name Office Email
Course Administrator Cindy Wells Off campus
Quiz Technical Support JP East Off campus

Contact the Course Administrator for inquiries/issues related to:

  • Illness
  • errors in your posted grades in your CourseLink record
  • situations related to course administration (i.e. not questions about physics)

Contact Quiz Technical Support if you experience issues accessing your quiz or uploading/submitting your quiz solutions
When emailing support staff, include the course code, PHYS*1130, in your subject line


Instructor Office Phone Email
James Ball  MACN 330  x53985
Daniel Siegel   MACN 425C x53983

Teaching Assistants

Name Office Email
Raphael Caruso MACN 114
Haomiao Jiang MACN 401
Benjamin Morling MACN 537
Michael Mueller
Sajjad Salimi MACN 406
Sally Valbuena Burbano MACN 401

Lecture Sections

Additional details for lectures can be found below in the “Course Structure” section.

Section Day Time Location
01 Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 am - 9:20 am ROZH 104
02 Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:30 pm - 13:20 pm WMEM 103
01 & 02 Monday (only in quiz weeks) 4:30 pm - 5:20 pm Courselink

Tentative Lecture Schedule

Week Lecture Dates Topic(s) Study Guide
0 & 1 1-3 Sept 10
Sept 13-17
  • Introduction to Course
  • Dimensional analysis
  • significant digits, error analysis
2 4-6 Sept 20-24
  • Simple harmonic motion
  • damped harmonics
3 7-9 Sept 27-Oct 1
  • traveling waves
  • superposition and standing waves
4 10-12 Oct 4-Oct 8
  • acoustics, nature of sound
  • resonance
  • intensity, intensity levels
  • Doppler effect
5 13-14 Oct 13-15
  • Optics - refraction and Snell’s law
  • Thin lens equation
6 15 -17 Oct 18-22
  • 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 25-29
  • vector operations (dot & cross products)
  • Midterm review
8 21-23 Nov 1-Nov 5
  • Newton’s Laws, equilibrium
  • free body diagrams
  • equilibrium of a particle (2D and 3D)
9 24-26 Nov 8-12
  • forces on rigid bodies
  • moment of force (scalar & vector notation)
10 27-29 Nov 15-19
  • principles of moments
  • moment about specific axis
  • moment of a couple
11 30-32 Nov 22-26
  • Electromagnetic waves
  • diffraction of light
  • wave/particle duality
12 33-35 Nov 29- Dec 3
  • 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 Structure

Assessment Weight
Quizzes (7 x 4%)  (details and deadlines provided below)  28%
Labs (5 x 4%)  20% 
Midterm 17%
Final Exam 35%

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 


Lectures will be delivered on-campus, as outlined in the schedule above.  Students must adhere to the health and safety measures put in place by the University when attending lectures.  Lecture notes are often posted on CourseLink following the lectures – ask your instructor for details.

Formal lectures will be given and you will find a detailed timetable of dates and topics in this course handout.  The course is designed so that it can be completed independently by the student, as a self-study, using the Study Guide; lectures will support and reinforce content in the study guides.  Lecture attendance is not mandatory; however, you are strongly advised to attend your lecture section until you are sure that a self-study method works for you.  Whether you attend lectures or not, it is your responsibility to check CourseLink for important weekly notices regarding the course.

Study Guide

The Study Guide (SG) contains the eight modules (Study Guides 1 to 8) for this course, which are summarized in this outline.  These eight modules cover the entire course and are designed so that you need never actually join a lecture if you follow their advice scrupulously. You must however complete labs. Each module provides:

  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 self-tests, 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 studied with care.


Quizzes will be administered through CourseLink and occur Mondays at 4:30 pm beginning in week 3.  Each quiz will be out of eight marks. It will consist of 1-2 multiple choice questions, 1-2 calculation-based questions in which only the final answer is submitted and 1 problem worth 4-5 marks, that students will complete work on paper, then upload a picture of their work into Dropbox. This question will be hand marked by the graduate teaching assistants.

Students can access their quiz within the first 10 minutes of their period and will be given 40 minutes to complete their quiz.  

8 quizzes will be offered during the course; however only 7 quizzes will count for marks in the course – this is to accommodate for students who miss a quiz due to illness or unforeseen circumstances.  If you complete all 8 quizzes, your best 7 quiz grades will be used for the quiz evaluation portion of your final grade.  Each quiz then is worth 4% of your final grade i.e. 7 x 4% = 28%

Alternate attempts will not be provided for missed quiz attempts, so ensure that you are prepared to begin each quiz within the 10-minute access time each week.


There are 5 experiments to be done, associated with Study Guide units 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 These experiments are done using iOlab devices (carts). Experiments have been designed to be completed ‘at-home’, however, students will have access to TA support during the virtual help sessions (see Courselink for schedule and access)

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

Quiz and Lab Deadlines and Important Notes

Week Date Notes
3 Monday September 27th
Friday Oct 1st
Quiz on Study guide 1: Uncertainty, units etc
Lab 1 due: Uncertainty
Monday Oct 4th  Quiz on Study Guide 2: Simple Harmonic Motion, Travelling and Standing waves
5 Friday Oct 15th Lab 2 due: Simple Harmonic Motion
6 Monday Oct 18th Quiz Study Guide 3: Acoustics, Resonance, Energy, Power, Intensity and the Doppler Effect
7 Monday Oct 25th
Saturday Oct 30th 
Quiz Study Guide 4: Optics
Midterm exam TDB
8 Monday Nov 8th
Friday Nov 12th
Quiz Study Guide 5: Vectors
Lab 3 Speed of Sound due
9 Monday Nov 15th
Friday Nov 19th
Quiz Study Guide 6: Forces
Lab 4 Forces due
10 Monday Nov 22rd Quiz Study Guide 7: Sections 1-3
11 Monday Nov 29th
Friday Dec 3th
Quiz Study Guide 7: Sections 4-6
Lab 5 Torque due
12   Exam review
    Final Exam 

Midterm and Final Examinations

Midterm Exam Date:  Saturday, October 30th , location and time TBA
Final Exam Date:  Monday December 13, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

The midterm and final exams for PHYS*1130 are intended to be administered on campus.  However, if the situation with COVID-19 dictates remote delivery of the exam, it will be offered online via CourseLink, using the Respondus Lockdown Browser system.  Students will be notified well in advance of the final exam details.

The exams typically consist of 20 - 25 multiple-choice questions of equal weight.  The copy of the formula sheet used for writing quizzes and is also found in your Study Guide, on CourseLink and will be provided for the final exam.

It should be noted that many students have found the final examination 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.

Obtaining Course Help

  1. Student learning will be supported by providing access to teaching assistants (TAs) who can answer questions regarding course content.  Virtual TA-help sessions will run using; access to sessions, and a schedule of office hours will be posted on CourseLink.
  2. Your instructor will also have regular office hours posted on CourseLink.
  3. CourseLink contains a considerable number of resources to support student learning, including:
    a.    A practice midterm and final exam from previous semesters.
    b.    Several online tutorials are also available, which contain explanations, examples and self-check questions. 

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 ( 


If you are away for brief periods of time due to medical, psychological or compassionate reasons, email the Quiz Room Supervisor Cindy Wells ( immediately.  There are no quiz extensions provided as the course offers 10 quizzes counting your best 8 to accommodate students who have circumstances arise throughout the semester.  If you miss the final examination because of illness or for other reasons, consult regulations in the current Undergraduate Calendar.

Course Notices

Notices pertaining to the course will be posted on CourseLink 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 December 3, 2021. 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 councillors will email me (Cindy Wells) stating your approved accommodations which will be incorporated into quizzes and the final exam.

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.

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.