Nicholas W. Taylor
Lecturer, Department of Physics, Cornell University
General Physics (Individualized Instruction)
Quantitative two-semester introductory physics for nonphysics majors with particular attention to transferable skills and applications of physics principles in biology and medicine. Prerequisites: three years high school mathematics, including algebra and trigonometry. Students without high school physics should allow extra time for Phys 1101-1102. Textbook: College Physics, 4th ed., by Giambattista, Richardson, and Richardson. These courses satisfy the physics requirements for life science majors, including pre-med, pre-dental, and pre-vet students.
The courses emphasize both conceptual understanding and quantitative problem-solving skills. Most instruction occurs in the learning center where individualized tutoring is available. Readings, problems, demonstrations, laboratory experiments, videotaped lectures, short videos, online tutorials, and sample tests are assigned with a flexible schedule of deadlines. The oral and written tests are considered part of the learning process (formative assessment). Students must pass an oral test on each of the 7 or 8 units. Written tests can be repeated up to three tries per unit, with solutions and tutoring available on tests taken. The course format provides flexibility, but in some ways is more demanding than a course with a traditional format. Success requires discipline and well-developed study habits.
4 credits, including laboratory. College Physics chapters 1-15.
Acceleration and Newton’s Second Law of Motion
Motion with Constant Acceleration
Conservation of Energy
Torque and Angular Momentum
Temperature and the Ideal Gas
Heat and Thermodynamics
4 credits, including laboratory. College Physics chapters 16-29.
Electric Forces and Fields
Electric Current and Circuits
Magnetic Forces and Fields
Reflection and Refraction of Light
Interference and Diffraction
Quantum Physics and the Photon