Semester: Winter 2013

Welcome to PHY 2130 (General Physics I).  Here you'll find all the information you need about this course. Below is some general info; my lecture notes can be found at the bottom of this page.

Course info
Lecture notes
Learning Tips
Problem-solving Tips
Additional material
(homework solutions, exams, ...)
online homework


Prof. Alexey A. Petrov , Room 260 Physics Building,
Phone: 313-577-2739, or 313-577-2720 (for messages)
e-mail: , Web:

Office Hours:

MWF 10:40-11:35 AM, at 2009 SCI (Lecture)
Monday and Wednesday, 3:00-4:00 PM, Physics Research Building, Room 358
or by appointment.  

Course Information:


The laboratory is a separate part of the course, with its own grades and procedures. These will be covered by your lab instructor. The experiments provide tangible demonstration and reinforcement of the ideas presented during the lectures. In addition, the laboratory is meant to show the importance of experiments in science. Your laboratory Manual is available on Blackboard. For further details please inquire with Dr. Scott Payson at 313-577-3280.

Academic Dishonesty:

If you are willing to put forth the effor t, you should have no problem earning a respectable grade. Cheating and other forms of dishonesty will not be tolerated. Anyone found cheating on any activity will receive a zero for that part of their grade and suffer the possibility of receiving a failing grade for the course.

Students with disabilities:

If you have a physical or mental impairment that may interfere with your ability to successfully complete the requirements of this course, please contact the Education Accessibility Services (EAS) in Room 583 of the Student Center Building to discuss appropriate accommodations on a confidential basis. EAS can also be reached by phone at 313-577-1851.

Lecture Notes

Here you can find my lecture notes (as Adobe Acrobat PDF files). Normally, these notes will appear here in the afternoon of the next day after the lecture. Please note that the posted files do not include animations, movies, or problem-solving exercises that are done in class. This is done on purpose (guess what the purpose is).

Lecture 1 [January 7] (pdf file) [Introduction. Scientific notation.]

Lecture 2 [January 9] (pdf file) [Significant figures. Units. Graphs.]

Lecture 3 [January 11] (pdf file) [Displacement. Velocity. Acceleration.]
    Web-based visualizations for lecture 3: [position vs. time] [velocity vs. time] [acceleration vs.time]
    Movies for lecture 3: [position-time] [acceleration and velocity]

Lecture 4 [January 14] (pdf file) [Motion along a line. Constant acceleration. Free fall.]

Lecture 5 [January 16] (pdf file) [Vectors.]
    Web-based visualizations for lecture 5: [geometrical vector addition] [component vector addition]
    Handouts for lecture 5: [vectors]

Lecture 6 [January 18] (pdf file) [Velocity, acceleration, motion in a plane]
    Web-based visualizations for lecture 6: [projectile motion] [monkey and a hunter]

Lecture 7 [January 23] is available as a second part of Lecture 6 above

Lecture 8 [January 28] (pdf file) [Force. Newton's laws of motion.]

Lecture 9 [January 30] (pdf file) [Gravitation. Contact forces.]

Lecture 10 [February 1] (pdf file) [Connected Objects. Tension. Applications.]

Lecture 11 [February 4] (pdf file) [Uniform circular motion.]
    Web-based visualizations for lecture 11: [general ideas] [Earth and a Sun]

Lecture 12 [February 6] (pdf file) [Orbits. Non-uniform circular motion.]

Lecture 13 [February 8] (pdf file) [Artificial gravity. Kepler laws.]

Lecture 14 [February 13] (pdf file) [Energy. Work. Kinetic energy.]

Lecture 15 [February 15] (pdf file) [Potential Energy. Work done by variable forces.]

Lecture 16 [February 18] (pdf file) [Work done by variable forces. Elastic potential energy. Momentum.]

Lecture 17 [February 20] (pdf file) [Momentum and impulse. Momentum conservation.]

Lecture 18 [February 22] (pdf file) [Collisions.]

Lecture 19 [February 25] (pdf file) [Rotational kinetic energy. Torque. Work.]

Lecture 20 [February 27] (pdf file) [Equilibrium. Newton 2nd Law. Rolling.]

Lecture 21 [March 4] (pdf file) [Rolling. Angular Momentum. Conservation of Angular Momentum.]
    Movies for lecture 21: [angular momentum] [angular momentum conservation]

Lecture 22 [March 6] (pdf file) [Fluids. Pressure. Pascal's principle.]

Lecture 23 [March 8] (pdf file) [Fluid pressure, buoyancy, fluid flow]

Lecture 24 [March 18] (pdf file) [Oscillations. Simple Harmonic Motion.]

Lecture 25 [March 20] (pdf file) [Oscillations. Pendulum. Damped oscillations.]
    Movies for lecture 25: [Resonance (Takoma Narrows bridge collapse)]

Lecture 26 [March 22] (pdf file) [Oscillations. Waves.]

Lecture 27 [March 25] (pdf file) [Waves. Interference. Diffraction.]
    Web-based visualizations for lecture 27: [Interference and diffraction]

Lecture 28 [March 27] (pdf file) [Standing waves. Sound. Doppler effect.]
    Movies for lecture 28: [Old good movie about sound waves]

Lecture 29 [March 29] (pdf file) [Doppler effect. Thermal physics.]

Lecture 30 [April 1] (pdf file) [Thermal physics.]

Lecture 31 [April 5] (pdf file) [Ideal gas law. Kinetic theory of gases.]

Lecture 32 [April 8] (pdf file) [Kinetic theory of gases. Internal energy. Heat. Specific heat.]

Lecture 33 [April 10] (pdf file) [Heat. Specific heat and heat capacity of the ideal gas.]

Lecture 34 [April 12] (pdf file) [Heat transfer. Conduction. Convection. Radiation.]

Lecture 35 [April 14] (pdf file) [First Law of Thermodynamics.]

Lecture 36 [April 17] (pdf file) [Heat engines.]

Lecture 37 [April 19] (pdf file) [Enthropy.]

You need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar pdf-reading software installed on your computer.  See the note at the bottom of this page if you have troubles viewing the lectures.

Additional material:

Here you can find additional material that could be useful for you.

Seating Chart for 2013 PHY 2130 Final  [Chart]

How to prepare for physics 2130 exam:  [exam preparation tips]

Last year's PHY 2130 Final  [Exam] (note that not a single problem from this exam will be on this year's final)

Virtual Physics Instructor:  [demo] (this is an old software that I developed that helps with solution of physics problems)

Math helpers:  [systems of linear equations]

Current formula sheet:  [for Exam 3]

Webassign Info:

Exams:  [Exam 1 answers: version A] [Exam 1 answers: version B] (note: there was a misprint in problem 8: everybody was awarded full credit)
               [Exam 2 answers: version A] [Exam 2 answers: version B]
               [Exam 3 answers: version A] [Exam 3 answers: version B]

Exam 1 scores:  [Version A] [Version B] (those who did not bubble in their ID number please come and see me)
Exam 2 scores:  [All Versions] (those who did not bubble in their ID number please come and see me)
Exam 3 scores:  [All Versions]

Honors Option assignments:  [assignments]

Additional (non-graded) problem assignments:  (now available with WebAssign)

WHAT's MY PRELIMINARY GRADE?  [click here to download the Excel file] (you'd need your exam grades so far, quiz section performance and HW performance)

NOTE:  In order to view lectures on-line (not only for this but also for many other courses) you have to have Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar pdf-reading software installed on your computer. Adobe Acrobat Reader is available free of charge, somost of the computer systems come with Acrobat Reader already installed. In case that Adobe Acrobat Reader is not installed on your system, you can download it (free of charge) from the following web address: Please contact your system administrator if you have problems installing this software.

Web-based visualaizations are based on PhysLet technology (interactive Java applications). You need to have Java enabled on your computer. At this time, PhysLets can only be viewed with Microsoft Internet Explorer. These problems were developed at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College and are based on Physlets developed by Davidson College .