PHYSICS P201 General Physics I

IUPUI Summer I Term 2017


Course Information Calendar


The URL for this webpage is

Acceptable textbooks for Woodahl PHYS-P 201/P202 (New and Used), click HERE.

Course Description:

This is the first semester of a two-semester introduction to non-calculus physics intended for students preparing for careers in the sciences and health professions.

Topics covered: mechanics, conservation laws, gravitation; simple harmonic motion and waves; kinetic theory, heat, and thermodynamics, 5 credits.

NOTICE:  There are two algebra-based intro physics courses -- You may be enrolled in the wrong course!  If you need the first-semester, algebra-based course, you might satisfy your degree requirements with Physics 21800.  Physics P201, this course, is more rigorous and designed for students preparing for the professional schools entrance exams (pre-med, pre-vet, pre-dental, pre-law, pre-pharm, etc.) as well as students earning science degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Math, and Physics.  Almost all the students in P201 have already had a minimum of one year of physics in either high school or college, and many students have AP credit in physics. Students who struggle in P201, generally have an insufficient math background, notably trigonometry and algebra. This material will not be covered in this course, all students must satisfy the pre-reqs. If you are not well-versed in these areas of mathematics, you would be better served by enrolling in Physics 21800 (and taking this course the following semester).

Course Fee:

You will be required to pay a $100 fee for the use of the WebAssign homework server for this course. The WebAssign class key is

iupui 5665 5649

This includes an electronic version of the course text. Note that there is no required purchase of a physical textbook for this course, a typical new physical textbook will generally run between $90 and $150. Also note that there is no fee for the lab manual (these will be provided as free PDFs). The link to a list of acceptable used, previous editions, and out-of-print (and even new) physical texts is given above.

WebAssign Homeworks:
Late homework submittals will not be allowed -- due dates/times will not be modified/extended.  If you miss the due date/time, for any reason, you will receive a zero for that homework set.  On the first few assignments, more latitude, for incorrect responses, is given -- you will have multiple opportunities to submit the correct answer. On homework set #1 (HMK 01), you have five opportunities. On HMK 02, you have four, and on HMK 03, you have three opportunities. The remaining homeworks, HMK 04 to HMK 13, you have two opportunities to submit the correct answer. The "An Intro to WebAssign" will not be graded by me and will not count against your homework score, but you are required to complete it order to access the other homework sets. No adjustments to a student's homework score will be made for any issues, i.e, "user input error", "calculator mistakes", "internet was down", etc. 

Contrary to common belief, the WebAssign System for our homework sets does not score your answer wrong for missing significant figures (therefore feel free to insert as many digits as you wish). However your submission does need to be within +/- 3% of the answer to receive credit. No additional points will be added to your score if your answer lies outside the +/- 3% range.

Textbook: PHYSICS, (any) Edition, by Cutnell & Johnson, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 20xx.

Lab Manual:    

Go to the Calendar page to download the current lab procedure.

Class Schedule:

Lecture (all sections)
1:00-2:10 pm
HR 101
Recitation (all sections)
2:30-3:20 pm
HR 101
Laboratory I (9507)
3:30-5:20 pm
LD 011
Grad TA
Laboratory II (9510)
3:30-5:20 pm
LD 011
Grad TA
Laboratory III (10287)
5:30-7:20 pm
LD 011
Grad TA


Lecture Instructor:

Brian Woodahl,

Office: LD 156-S, 278-9244

Recitation Instructor:

Justin Williams,

Office: LD 154, (no office phone)

Laboratory Instructors:

(Graduate TA Staff)


MATH 15300-15400 (Algebra and Trigonometry I/II) or MATH 15900 (Precalculus) or equivalent. Students must have a working knowledge of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. Non-IUPUI students: Please see Dr. Woodahl immediately to discuss this requirement.


There is a lecture everyday, a recitation every other day, and a lab every other day.  Bring your calculator to lecture, recitation, and lab.  For recitation assignments we are using the WebAssign homework server. Go to the Calendar page for more information.  An assignment, submitted through the internet, will be due approximately every other day. Tutoring: For the latest Physics Department free tutoring schedule, click here. Please first contact our physics tutors before seeking help from recitation/lecture instructors. Also, the instructors (Lec, Rec, and Lab) do not rotuinely have access to Canvas Messages, please send only emails directly (and not thru Canvas). Exam format is 12 to 14 multiple choice problems (4 possible answers), students darken correct bubble on provided scantron sheet, length is 55 minutes. Scantrons are machine graded and scores will be provided the following day (hopefully). Neither the scantrons nor exam booklets will be returned/shown to students (the exams that follow are non-comprehensive). Student may request that their scantron be visually checked that it agrees with the machine scoring. AES students must see Dr. Woodahl on policy regarding the last exam and its timely completion for course grade.


Three 1-hour Exams (100 pts each)
= 300 pts
WebAssign Homework
= 100 pts
= 100 pts
=     5 pts
= 500 pts


* There is a single grade for the course determined by exam scores and points earned in lab and on online homework assignments.

* To avoid an automatic F in the course, per Departmental policy, you must accumulate at least 150 points (50%) on the three exams.

* One lab session may be missed with the accompanying loss of points. For each additional missed lab, the overall course grade will drop by two letters. If two missed labs occur at the beginning of the semester, student will likely be dismissed from the course by administrative withdrawal. There are no make-ups on missed labs.
* Bonus points, earned after Exam 3, based upon discussions among lab, recitation, and lecture instructors, are subjectively awarded to students who maintain good rapport and strive to improve (all facets: exams, homeworks, labs) throughout the semester.
* Students who are repeating the course and successfully passed the lab portion in their previous P201 have the option of using that lab grade for this semester. The following protocol must be followed: You must contact your previous Lab TA (via email, also cc me in your email) and have those lab scores transmitted to your new Lab TA. Until the lab scores are received by your new Lab TA, you must continue to attend the lab this semester. Failure to follow these instructions will likely result in an administrative withdrawal due to the fact you are not attending lab.


The following letter grades are guaranteed based on total points:

450 pts  A-
390 pts  B-
330 pts  C- 
280 pts  D-


Withdrawal Deadlines:

Late Withdrawal requires an extraordinary circumstance and rarely is granted by the Dean, even after the instructor and advisor have signed the forms. Poor performance in a course is not considered grounds for a late withdrawal.

'14 Mallards 1 '14 Mallards 2 '14 Mallards 3 '14 Mallards 4 '14 Mallards 5 '14 Mallards 6 '14 Mallards 7

UPDATED: May 12, 2017 at 11:08 AM EDT