Physics with Applications (PHYS*1130)

Code and section: PHYS*1130*01

Term: Fall 2023


General Information

PHYS*1130 Physics with Applications
Fall 2023 Course Outline
University of Guelph
Department of Physics
Credit Weighting: 0.50 credits

For Course Instructor, Class Time and Location, please check CourseLink.


Course Information

Calendar Description

PHYS*1130  Physics with Applications  Fall Only  (LEC: 3, LAB: 1)  [0.50]  
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.

Prerequisite(s): (4U Calculus and Vectors or equivalent), (4U Physics or equivalent)  
Restriction(s): IPS*1500, PHYS*1080  
Department(s): Department of Physics  
Location(s): Guelph  

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

Learning Outcomes

This is not a complete list of all you will be asked to study and encouraged to learn. However, after successfully completing this lecture and laboratory course you should at least be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to think critically and to use appropriate concepts to qualitatively analyze situations involving the fundamental principles of physics.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to use appropriate mathematical techniques and concepts to obtain quantitative solutions to problems in physics.

Course Materials

Textbooks, study guides and the lab-kits are available to order through the campus bookstore using the following link:

  1. Textbooks (2)
  2. Study Guide (eBook)
  3. This Course Outline


  1. 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 EDITION9T, Hawkes, Iqbal, Mansour, Milner-Bolotin, Williams. eBook copies available.
    b) ENGINEERING MECHANICS – STATICS & DYNAMICS, 14TH EDITION, Hibbeler. Print and eBook copies available.  Includes access to the online resource, Mastering Engineering.
  2. 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 quizzes. 
  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 some of the 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.


Tentative Lecture Schedule

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!

Week Lecture Dates Topic(s) Study Guide
0 & 1  1-3 Sept 8
Sept 11-15
-    Introduction to Course
-    Dimensional analysis
-    significant digits, error analysis
2 4-6 Sept 18-22 -    Simple harmonic motion
-    damped harmonics
3 7-9 Sept 25-29 -    traveling waves
-    superposition and standing waves
4 10-12 Oct 2-Oct 6 -    acoustics, nature of sound
-    resonance
-    intensity, intensity levels
-    Doppler effect
5 13-14 Oct 11-13
-    Optics - refraction and Snell’s law
-    Thin lens equation, 
6 15 -17 Oct 16-20 -    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 23-27  -    vector operations (dot & cross products)
-    Midterm review 
8 21-23 Oct 30-Nov 3 -    Newton’s Laws, equilibrium
-    free body diagrams
-    equilibrium of a particle (2D and 3D) 
9 24-26 Nov 6-10 -    forces on rigid bodies
-    moment of force (scalar & vector notation) 
10 27-29 Nov 13-17 -    principles of moments
-    moment about specific axis
-    moment of a couple
11 30-32  Nov 20-24 -    Electromagnetic waves
-    diffraction of light
-    wave/particle duality
12 33-35 Nov 27- Dec 1 -    course review and evaluation N/A

* last topic on midterm exam


Course Structure


Assessment Weight
Labs - 1 prelab worth 0.5 %, 5 labs, each worth 2.9%  15%
Online Pretests - 10 pretests; equally weighted 10%
Tutorial Quizzes - 5 quizzes; equally weighted 25%
In-person Midterm 20%
In-person Final Exam  30%
TOTAL 100%


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.

The course is designed so that it can be completed independently by the student, as a self-study.  The Study Guides are meant to guide students through the entire course; 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 join 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 ten 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 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, plus answers to self-tests, and sometimes
  5. 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.

Labs and Tutorials

For Tutorial Time and Location, please check CourseLink.

Lab/Tutorial Schedule

Week Lab Tutorial/Quiz
Lab 0: Introduction N/A
2 Lab 1: Simple harmonic motion  N/A
3 N/A Tutorial + Quiz 1(SG 1, 2.1-2.3)
4 Lab 2: Pendulum N/A
6 N/A Tutorial + Quiz 2 (SG 2.4-2.7, 3.1-3.5)
7 Lab 3: Optics N/A
N/A Tutorial + Quiz 3 (SG 3.6, 4)
9 Lab 4: Forces N/A
10 N/A Tutorial + Quiz 4 (SG 5, 6)
11 Lab 5: Torque  N/A
12 N/A Tutorial + Quiz 5 (SG 7)

Online Pretests (10% of final grade)

The purpose of the online pretests is to provide students with the opportunity to test their understanding of course concepts, prior to taking their in-person Quizzes (see below for Quiz details).  By identifying any questions that were answered incorrectly, this feedback highlights areas that may require additional study prior to attempting the corresponding Quiz. 

  • Pretests will be available on Courselink under the Pretests & Labs section
  • Each 20-minute pretest consists of five questions of equal value, in multiple-choice and short calculation formats.  
  • Students can attempt pretests at any time prior to the scheduled deadline.
  • Upon submission, students can review their attempt to see questions that were answered incorrectly.
  • Students may take TWO attempts at each pretest; the higher scoring attempt will count towards their grade.
  • The pretest mark is awarded for scores of 3/5 or better on an attempt; scores less than 3/5 will receive a mark of zero.
Pretest Content  Due Date
1 Study Guide 1 Sunday Sept. 17
2 Study Guide 2 (Sections 1-4) Sunday Sept. 24
3 Study Guide 2 (Sections 5-7) Sunday Oct. 1
4 Study Guide 3 Wednesday Oct. 11
5 Study Guide 4 Sunday Oct. 15
6 Study Guide 5 Sunday Oct. 22
7 Study Guide 6  Sunday Nov. 5
8 Study Guide 7 (Sections 1-2) Sunday Nov. 12
9 Study Guide 7 (Sections 3-6) Sunday Nov. 19
10 Study Guide 8 Sunday Nov. 26
  • Note: Pretests will be available well in advance of the posted deadlines.  Students are encouraged to begin and even complete work before the due dates.
  • Study Guide 8 will be tested on the final exam.

Midterm and Final Examinations

For Exam Times and Locations, please check CourseLink.

The final examination is two hours and will be held in-person; it typically consists of 18 - 25 multiple-choice questions of equal weight. Usually there are 2-3 questions from each of the Study Guide modules. Sample final exams are available through Courselink.
A copy of the course formula sheet 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.


Obtaining Course Help

  1. Student learning will be supported by providing access to teaching assistants (TAs) who can answer questions regarding course content.  Both in-person and virtual TA-help will be provided; help hours, location and online access instructions will all 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 practice midterm and final examination from previous semesters.
    •    Online tutorials are also available, which contain explanations, examples and self-check questions. 

    i.      Vectors
    ii.    Exponential growth and decay
    iii.    Logarithms
    iv.    Trigonometry
    v.    Free body diagrams
    vi.    Graphing log paper
    vii.    Graphing simple functions
    viii.    Dimensional analysis
    ix.    Torque and rotational motion


Course Statements

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 Course Administrator through the Online Student Request Form.

If you are away for brief periods of time due to medical, psychological, or compassionate reasons, immediately contact the Course Administrator through the Online Student Request Form.  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.

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.”


University Statements

Academic Consideration

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the Undergraduate Calendar for information on regulations and procedures for academic consideration.

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.


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 (SAS) as soon as possible.

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.

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 areas of improvement. In addition, student assessments provide part of the information used by the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee in evaluating the faculty member’s contributions in the area of teaching. You are therefore encouraged to take the evaluation procedures seriously, and to provide feedback about this course and its instructor.

Drop date

The last date to drop one-semester courses, without academic penalty, is 1 December 2023. For regulations and procedures for Dropping Courses, see the Undergraduate Calendar.