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Course Information


Physics 201 is the first semester of a 2-semester introduction to physics for students preparing for careers in engineering, science and medicine. The main topics are mechanics, including kinematics, dynamics, statics, fluids, and oscillations. There are two lectures, two discussions and one three-hour lab per week. Our goal is for you to develop an understanding and intuition for physics so that you can solve practical problems. We feel that the only way to accomplish this goal is by thinking about and solving lots of problems and experimenting in the lab. We hope that Physics 201 will develop the critical thinking and collaborative skills you will need in your future career.

Prerequisites:  Calculus (Math 221 or equivalent)



Professor Yibin Pan
4283 Chamberlin Hall

Office Hours
by appointment

Teaching Assistants:

Brown Jonathan 303 311

Crow Daniel 305 306

Ji Haoshuang 301 309

Knapp Trevor 310 312

Huang Yu 308 313

Trestrail Akire 302 307




  • Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 9th edition, (Chapter 1-15 will be covered.)
    Thomson - Brooks/Cole
  • Laboratory Manual: Physics 201/207 Lab Manual: Mechanics, Heat, Sound/Waves, by R. Rollefson, H.T. Richards, M.J. Winokuravailable in bookstore; web link is here.



Lectures: 9:55am Tuesday and Thursday in 2103 Chamberlin Hall.   The lecture topics and assigned reading are given in the syllabus.    You may be called upon to answer questions in lecture and/or to assist with demonstrations.


Homework: Done online through the WebAssign site.

Exams: Three evening midterm exams and one final exam (location TBA).  Follow link on the left panel for details.

If you have a scheduling conflict with any of the exam times, please inform both the Professor  in  charge and your TA by email at least 2 weeks before the exam in question, so that we can consider accommodating you. All requests for alternative test time shall be backed by valid reasons such as academic conflicts or medical emergence. Non-medical or non-academic excuses, such as visiting friends or attending somebody's wedding,  are not considered as valid excuse.

Discussion Sections: Discussion sections are held two times per week. They are most useful for help on HW, lecture topics, and exam preparation.

Laboratories: Laboratories are three hours long, once per week. Labs are mandatory; each missed lab will automatically lower your final grade by half a letter point.  

Missed labs can only be made up with an approved excuse (it needs to be a good one!), and your TA's approval.  Pending approval, makeup labs will be scheduled during the three midterm exam weeks (see the syllabus).  Please see the laboratory link at left for further details.

Homework 100 pts
Laboratory 50 pts
Discussion (Quizzes and attendance) 50 pts
Midterm Exam 1 100 pts
Midterm Exam 2 100 pts
Midterm Exam 3 100 pts
Final Exam 200 pts

The course will be graded on students' ranking in class (ie. curved). Each exam will be curved (normalized) individually before weighted into final grading.


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