PH 2201, Intermediate Mechanics I
This course emphasizes a systematic approach to the mathematical
formulation of mechanics problems and to the physical interpretation of
the mathematical solutions. Topics covered include: Newton's laws
kinematics and dynamics of a single particle, vector analysis, motion
of particles, and gravitation. Recommended background: PH
PH 1120, PH 1130, PH 1140,
MA 1021, MA 1022, MA 1023, MA 1024 and concurrent registration
in or completion
of MA 2051. (The more
courses are in bold.)
The concepts of PH 1110 serve you very well for PH 2201. The
in this course are more challenging, however, and emphasis is placed on
your problem-solving skills and effective communication of your
solutions. PH 2201 problems tend to be very practically
you continue on to PH 2202, you will learn new, more theoretical
The text is "An
Introduction to Mechanics," 2nd edition,
by Kleppner and Kolenkow (ISBN 978-0-521-19811-0),
available in the bookstore. Clickers may be borrowed from ATC, to
the right of the Helpdesk in the Gordon Library. Beware that
failure to return them at the end of the term will result in a $75
charge to your account, in addition to a hold on your account.
We meet in OH 223 on MTThF at 11:00. Instructor:
- Students shall understand the fundamental principles behind
force, linear and angular momentum, energy, and orbits.
shall be able to apply the above principles to solve
physics problems in cartesian, polar, cylindrical, and spherical
using algebra, geometry, trignometry, calculus, and differential
shall be able to
their dimensionally correct solutions clearly in writing.
Final grade determination
|The three exams. 10%
penalty for make-ups.
two scores of the twelve homework assignments dropped. No
make-ups or late
submissions are allowed.
| 10 %
|Answers to clicker questions
during class. You earn one point for answering and two points for
answering correctly. Four lowest daily scores dropped; no
make-ups or late submissions are allowed. Proper operation of
clicker is your responsibility.
Your class attendance is expected,
although not required. If your
grade lies on the border line between two letter grades, then your
participation will determine which letter grade you shall
After the second exam,
I'll give you an
indication of how you are doing. Please respect my decision not
to discuss grades by email.
syllabus is embodied by this calendar. The colors of the text are
help you distinguish between the three units of the course on:
mathematics and forces (Chaps. 1-3); ii)
linear momentum and energy (Chaps. 4-6); iii) angular
momentum and orbits (Chaps. 7, 10).
Chaps. 7, 10
The exam problems will be similar to the assigned homework.
Typically, there will be three problems. One problem will be
similar to C15 homework and two similar to C14 homework, the solutions
to which are already posted at our myWPI site. The
closed book and closed notes, although you may bring a formula sheet,
limited to one
side of a Letter page. There is a 10% penalty on make-ups.
Each exam is
worth 20 %
of your final grade. No
calculators or other electronic
devices are allowed.
are twelve homework sets of four problems each.
you cannot attend class, I expect to see your work in
mailbox (near the Physics Department office) at 11 am on the due
you are not able to perform your homework on time, I still recommend
you do it, as exam problems will be similar. You
encouraged to collaborate on the homework problems, but you must each
your own solutions. The grader will use the grading guidelines
below. No homework shall be accepted
|1.11, 1.15, 1.21, 1.22
2.12, 2.17, 2.A
2.6, 3.12, 3.A
3.C, 3.D, 3.E
4.A, 4.B, 4.C.
Symbolic solutions first!
4.22, 4.26, 4.D. Symbolic
5.A, 5.B, 5.C
5.E, 5.F, 5.G
7.8, 7.9, 7.14
(And what is the minimum period?), 7.23, 7.31, 7.36
||10.A, 10.B, 10.C, 10.D
|10.8, 10.9, 10.10, 10.11.
Symbolic solutions first!
I will use the following scheme for grading. You'll notice a big
on effective communication, an aspect of your education that
corporations examine during the hiring process. You will not be
graded on your answer, you will be
graded on your solution.
problem (out of five possible points):
||No symbolic solutions
|Symbolic solution has wrong
|-1 to -5
||Write-up hard to read or understand
||Vectors confused with scalars or vice versa
|Missing or incorrect units on
||No boxes around symbolic and numerical answers
for any given problem:
| 5 =
||Excellent -- write-up clear and
| 4 =
||Good -- write-up clear and mostly correct, or understandable
| 3 =
||Acceptable -- write-up understandable and mostly correct, or
poor write-up and correct, or clear write-up and incorrect
||And for an
Communication and office
My office is OH 219. I am sometimes in my lab, OH 009, in the
OH 118, or in the department office, OH 119. My mailbox is
doors of OH 118 and 119. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
(checked twice daily),
web www.wpi.edu/~nab, office
with voice mail (508) 831-5365; fax (508) 831-5886; my basic weekly
schedule, with office hours, is posted at www.wpi.edu/~nab/Sched.html.
Please put "PH 2201" in the subject line of your emails for a faster
response. The web address for this page is
My research is described at
www.wpi.edu/+AFM and at links
There is often
graduate student in the physics library, OH 118. He or she sits
sign labeled "Physics Help". The principal reason for Physics
actually introductory physics, not our class. Still, the Helpers
to assist you. There should be a schedule posted on the library
The PLA for this
course is William C McCarthy. His email address is
and his office
hours in OH 118 are 9-10:00
TF and 12-1:00 MWR.
If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a
disability or if you have medical information to share with me, please
see me. Students with disabilities are encouraged
contact the Disability Services Office (DSO) as soon as possible to
ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely
The DSO is located in Daniels Hall, (508) 831-5235.
Individual integrity is vital to the academic environment because
education involves the search for and acquisition of knowledge and
understanding, which are, in themselves, intangible. Evaluation
student’s level of knowledge and understanding is a vital part of the
teaching process, and requires tangible measures such as reports,
examinations, and homework. Any act that interferes with the
evaluation by misrepresentation of the relation between the work being
evaluated (or the resulting evaluation) and the student’s actual state
of knowledge is an act of academic dishonesty. The moral
academic dishonesty in larger society is treason.
In Intermediate Mechanics, you are encouraged to collaborate on the
homework, although you must prepare the homework for submission
yourself. You may bring to the classroom exams a formula sheet;
limited to one side of a standard Letter-sized page. During an
exam, you may have only the exam, your formula sheet, and writing
implements on your desk. (No calculators, telephones, or other
electronic devices.) You
may not give or receive information during exams, except to ask the
instructor to clarify a question.
Educational research has shown that:
Above three sections adapted from: Disability Services Office,
Dean of Students Office, Prof. Phillies, Prof. Demetry.
- The most learning occurs in an environment characterized by
high expectations and respect and care for individual students, and
the value of collaboration is stressed over competition.
- The most learning occurs in an active classroom environment
where students take responsibility for learning rather than being
receptors of the professor’s knowledge.
- Students can learn as effectively or more effectively from peers
than from a professor.
- Facilitating development of students’ communication, teamwork,
and interpersonal skills is as important as helping them learn physics.
- Professors and students are equals in the learning process.
I have as much to learn about teaching and people as they have to learn
||Top of this page
||WPI Department of Physics Home page
||WPI Home page
N.A. Burnham, January 2015