April 21, 2019

Course Notes

Electrostatics & Circuits

Topics include Charge, Coulomb’s Law, Electric Fields and Potential, Current, Resistance, Ohm’s Law and Circuit Analysis.

Waves & Wave Phenomena

The basics of waves including wavelength, frequency, period, wave speed, amplitude, rays and wave fronts. Phenomena include reflections, superposition and interference, standing waves, resonance, diffraction and refraction.

Simple Harmonic Motion

Relationship to UCM. Period, frequency, angular frequency, amplitude, phase and phase constant. The SHO (simple harmonic oscillator). Conservation of energy. Simple, physical & torsional oscillators.

Rotational Dynamics

Part IV: Angular Momentum.

Part III: Rolling Objects and the Yo-Yo.

Part II: Atwood Improved, Work and Energy.

Part I: Notes through the Parallel Axis Theorem.

Rotational Kinematics

Angular variables defined, angular variables as functions of time, angular variables related to linear variable, etc.


Complete momentum notes including collisions.


The energy notes are available in two pieces. Download Part 1:

Download Part 2:


Gravity & Orbits

Kepler’s Laws, Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation, gravitational force and gravitational field, fictitious forces.

Uniform Circular Motion (UCM)

Period, frequency, orbital speed, centripetal force, centripetal acceleration and applications including friction and banked curves.

Applications of Newton’s Laws

Force, Mass & Newton’s Laws

Tension and Inclined Planes

Tension incorporates ropes and mechanical advantage. Inclined planes are treated both with and without friction.

Normal Force and Friction

Both static and kinetic friction are treated.

Newton’s Laws & Free-Body Diagrams

All three laws, drawing free-body diagrams, computing net force, calculating weight.

Kinematics in Multiple Dimensions

Part II

Relative motion and Galilean relativity.

Part I

Projectile motion, initially horizontal motion, motion graphs and more!


Part II

The cross product. We will discuss this when we discuss torques.

Part I

Vector notation including polar, Cartesian/rectangular & unit vectors. Addition, subtraction, scalar multiplication and the dot product.

Kinematics in One Dimension

More Motion Graphs

Given a graph of position, velocity or acceleration versus time, reconstruct the other two.

Intersecting Trajectories

If, when and where trajectories intersect in one dimension.

Horizontal Motion & Free Fall

Applications of the equations in the earlier sections and introducing the acceleration due to gravity.

Motion Graphs

Solving problems with slope and area under the curve. Derivation of the full position equation and the time-independent kinematic equation.

Position, Velocity & Acceleration

These are the basics with simple examples.


Working with Data

Lines, inverse and direct relationships, power laws and fitting equations with log-log plots.

Measurement & Units

Numbers, units, conversions and the SI KMS metric system.

What is Physics

These notes are not all that complete, but they might jog your memory as to some of the things we discussed. URLs to simulations and videos are included.

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