General Physics I

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Course Number: PHY250
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Physics involves the study of matter and energy and the interaction between them. In this course, you’ll investigate the science that describes and explains the nature and behavior of physical systems. You will learn about:

  • Kinematics, the branch of mechanics that describes motion
  • Energy, Power, and Momentum
  • Angular, Rotational, and Oscillatory Motion
  • Newton’s Laws
  • Gravity
  • Relativity
  • Waves
  • Fluids
  • And more…

This engineering Physics course requires a solid foundation of algebra, trigonometry and basic calculus, including derivatives, limits and integrals. A strong background in math is recommended. Please refer to the Prerequisite recommendations below.

Taught by Steven Pollock, 2013 U.S. Professor of the Year, this video-based Physics curriculum is dynamic, engaging and easy to understand.

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3
college credits
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Self Paced
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Science
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8 Reviews
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  • 9/22/14 by preshisqt
    This was the most challenging course so far that I've taken!
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  • 9/22/14 by preshisqt
    This was the most challenging course so far that I've taken!
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  • 9/21/14 by peteschroen
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  • 9/21/14 by peteschroen
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  • 8/17/14 by gballetlover
    The general physics 1 course material was clearly explained by the professor and you are given ungraded quizzes in order to help check your understanding where you can get the correct answers after the quiz and retake it for practice. It is definitely one of the better courses I have taken during my college years and I highly recommend the course.
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  • 8/17/14 by gballetlover
    The general physics 1 course material was clearly explained by the professor and you are given ungraded quizzes in order to help check your understanding where you can get the correct answers after the quiz and retake it for practice. It is definitely one of the better courses I have taken during my college years and I highly recommend the course.
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  • 6/20/14 by antoinettapayne
    It was many things.
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  • 6/20/14 by antoinettapayne
    It was many things.
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Course Objectives

After completing this Online Physics Course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the basic principles pertaining to Newtonian mechanics
  • Apply these principles to solve practical problems in these areas of study
Topic Lesson Topic Objectives
Chapter 1: Kinematics
  • Lesson 1: Motion in One Dimension
  • Lesson 2: Motion in Two Dimension
  • Understand and apply the general relationship among position, velocity, and acceleration for the motion of a particle along a straight line.
  • Understand and apply the special case of motion with constant acceleration.
  • Know how to deal with displacement and velocity vectors.
  • Understand the general motion of a particle in two dimensions so that, given functions x(t) and y(t) which describe this motion, they can determine the components, magnitude, and direction of the particle’s velocity and acceleration as functions of time.
  • Understand and apply the principle of motion of projectiles in a uniform gravitational field. Understand and apply the uniform circular motion of a particle.

  • Chapter 2: Newton's Laws of Motion
    • Lesson 3: Newton's First Law
    • Lesson 4: Newton's Second Law
    • Lesson 5: Newton's Third Law
    • Lesson 6: Applications of Newton's Laws
    • Analyze situations in which a particle remains at rest, or moves with constant velocity, under the influence of several forces.
    • Understand and apply the relation between the force that acts on a body and the resulting change in the body's velocity.
    • Understand Newton's Third Law so that, for a given force, they can identify the body on which the reaction force acts and state the magnitude and direction of this reaction.
    • Understand how Newton's Second Law, F = ma, applies to a body subject to forces such as gravity, the pull of strings, or contact forces.
    • Analyze situations in which a body moves with specified acceleration under the influence of one or more forces so they can determine the magnitude and direction of the net force or of one of the forces that makes up the net force.
    • Understand the significance of the coefficient of friction.
    • Understand the effect of fluid friction on the motion of a body.
    • Apply Newton's Third Law in analyzing the forces of contact between two bodies that accelerate together along a horizontal or vertical line, or between two forces that slide across one another.
    • Know that the tension is constant in a light string that passes over a massless pulley and should be able to use this fact in analyzing the motion of a system of two bodies joined by a string.
    • Solve problems in which application of Newton's Laws leads to two or three simultaneous linear equations involving unknown forces or accelerations.
    Chapter 3: Work, Energy, and Power
    • Lesson 7: Work and Work-Energy Theorem
    • Lesson 8: Conservative Forces and Potential Energy
    • Lesson 9: Conservation of Energy
    • Lesson 10: Power

  • Understand and apply the definition of work.
  • Understand and apply the work-energy theorem.
  • Understand the concept of a conservative force.
  • Understand the concept of potential energy.
  • Understand the concepts of mechanical energy and of total energy.
  • Understand conservation of energy. 
  • Understand and apply the definition of power.

  • Chapter 4: Systems of Particles, Linear Momentum
    • Lesson 11: Center of Mass
    • Lesson 12: Impulse and Momentum
    • Lesson 13: Conservation of Linear Momentum, Collisions

    • Understand and apply the technique for finding center of mass.
    • State, prove, and apply the relation between center-of-mass velocity and linear momentum, and between center-of-mass acceleration and net external force for a system of particles.
    • Define center of gravity and to use this concept to express the gravitational potential energy of a rigid body in terms of the position of its center of mass.
    • Relate mass, velocity, and linear momentum for a moving body, and calculate the total linear momentum of a system of bodies.
    • Relate impulse to the change in linear momentum and the average force acting on a body.
    • State and apply the relations between linear momentum and center-of-mass motion for a system of particles.
    • Define impulse, and prove and apply the relation between impulse and momentum.
    • Calculate the force that is required in order to hold fixed a body that is emitting, absorbing, or reflecting particles at a specified rate.
    • Understand and apply linear momentum conservation.
    • Understand frames of reference.
    Chapter 5: Circular Motion and Rotation
    • Lesson 14: Uniform Circular Motion
    • Lesson 15: Angular Momentum
    • Lesson 16: Torque and Rotational Statics
    • Lesson 17: Rotational Kinematics and Dynamics

     

    • Understand and apply the concept of torque.
    • Analyze problems in statics.
    • Understand the analogy between translational and rotational kinematics so they can write and apply relations among the angular acceleration, angular velocity, and angular displacement of a body that rotates about a fixed axis with constant regular acceleration.
    • Use the right-hand rule to associate an angular velocity vector with a rotating body.
    • Develop a qualitative understanding of moment of inertia.
    • Develop skill in computing moments of inertia.
    • Understand the dynamics of fixed-axis rotation.
    • Understand the motion of a rigid body along a surface.
    • Use the vector product and the right-hand rule.
    • Understand angular momentum conservation.
    Chapter 6: Oscillations and Gravitation
    • Lesson 18: Simple Harmonic Motion
    • Lesson 19: Mass on a Spring
    • Lesson 20: Pendulum and Other Oscillations
    • Lesson 21: Newton's Law of Gravity
    • Lesson 22: Orbits of Planets and Satellite
    • Sketch or identify a graph of displacement as a function of time, and determine from such a graph the amplitude, period, and frequency of the motion.
    • Write down an appropriate expression for displacement of the form A sin(wt) or A cos(wt) to describe the motion.
    • Identify points in the motion where the velocity is zero or achieves its maximum positive or negative value.
    • Find an expression for velocity as a function of time.
    • State qualitatively the relation between acceleration and displacement in simple harmonic motion.
    • Identify points in the motion where the acceleration is zero or achieves its greatest positive or negative value.
    • State and prove the relation between frequency and period for simple harmonic motion.
    • Recognize that for a system that obeys a differential equation of the form d2x/dt2 = -kx must execute simple harmonic motion, and determine the frequency and period of such motion.
    • State how the total energy of an oscillating system depends on the amplitude of the motion, sketch or identify a graph of kinetic or potential energy as a function of time, and identify points in the motion where this energy is all potential or all kinetic.
    • Calculate the kinetic and potential energies of an oscillating system as functions of time, sketch or identify graphs of these functions, and prove that the sum of kinetic and potential energy is constant.
    • Calculate the maximum displacement of velocity of a particle that moves in simple harmonic motion with specified initial position and velocity.
    • Develop a qualitative understanding of resonance in order to identify situations in which a system will resonate in response to a sinusoidal external force.
    • Derive the expression for the period of oscillation of a mass on a spring.
    • Apply the expression for the period of oscillation of a mass on a spring.
    • Analyze problems in which a mass hangs from a spring and oscillates vertically.
    • Analyze problems in which a mass attached to a spring oscillates horizontally.
    • Determine the period of oscillation for systems involving series or parallel combinations of identical springs, or springs of differing lengths.
    • Derive the expression for the period of a simple pendulum.
    • Apply the expression for the period of a simple pendulum.
    • State what approximation must be made in deriving the period.
    • Analyze the motion of a torsional pendulum or physical pendulum in order to determine the period of small oscillations.
    • Determine the force that one spherically symmetrical mass exerts on another.
    • Determine the strength of the gravitational field at a specified point outside a spherically symmetrical mass.
    • Describe the gravitational force inside and outside a uniform sphere, and calculate how the field at the surface depends on the radius.
    • Understand the motion of a body in orbit under the influence of gravitational forces.
    Review Course Review
    • Review of the course topics

    StraighterLine suggests, though does not require, that students take Calculus I or its equivalent before enrolling in General Physics I.

    • There is no text required for this course.

    StraighterLine provides a percentage score and letter grade for each course. A passing percentage is 70% or higher.

    If you have chosen a Partner College to award credit for this course, your final grade will be based upon that college's grading scale. Only passing scores will be considered by Partner Colleges for an award of credit.

    There are a total of 1000 points in the course:

    Chapter Assessment Points Available
    3
    Graded Exam I 150
    6 Graded Exam 2 150
    7 Midterm Exam 200
    9
    Graded Exam 3 150
    13 Graded Exam 4 150
    Final Exam 200
    Total
    1000

    You are required to take an online proctored final exam in order to be eligible for transfer credit. You can take your proctored final exam at home or anywhere you have access to a webcam with a microphone and a reliable, high-speed internet connection. For additional questions, please refer to the FAQ on Online Proctoring or contact your student advisors at 877-787-8375.

    Physics involves the study of matter and energy and the interaction between them. In this course, you’ll investigate the science that describes and explains the nature and behavior of physical systems. You will learn about:

    • Kinematics, the branch of mechanics that describes motion
    • Energy, Power, and Momentum
    • Angular, Rotational, and Oscillatory Motion
    • Newton’s Laws
    • Gravity
    • Relativity
    • Waves
    • Fluids
    • And more…

    This engineering Physics course requires a solid foundation of algebra, trigonometry and basic calculus, including derivatives, limits and integrals. A strong background in math is recommended. Please refer to the Prerequisite recommendations below.

    Taught by Steven Pollock, 2013 U.S. Professor of the Year, this video-based Physics curriculum is dynamic, engaging and easy to understand.

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