Syllabus Fall 2019 Physics 20700 GH, GH2, GH3

The City College of New York
Department of Physics Fall 2018

Physics 20700 - Section GH – GH3

Prof. S. A. Vitkalov: office: CDI 11382; 212-650-5460; " rel="nofollow">

Office hours: Mo and Wed from 10:00 -11:00 am in CDI 11382 (or by appointment)

Text: Fundamentals of Physics (10th ed.) by Halliday, Resnick and Walker, Vol.1.

Class schedule in MR1    Mo &Wed 5:00-6:40 PM








. (no classes)

 1(1-7): Introduction, physical quantities, units;

2(1-10): motion in one dimension, position, velocity, acceleration, freely falling objects


4(4-7): circular motion, relative velocity;

5(1-6): force, mass, Newton’s 1st and 2nd laws

The lecture is on Thursday 09/05!!

 3(1-7): vectors;

4(1-3): two-dimensional motion, projectile motion.



5(7-9): weight, Newton’s 3rd law, free body diagrams.

6(1-3,5): friction forces, circular motion; Applications of Newton’s Laws


. REVIEW: (Ch.1-6)

EXAM 1 (Ch. 1-6)


7(1-9): work, kinetic energy, work-energy theorem, work done by gravity and by spring, power; scalar products of vectors.

8(1-8): potential energy, conservation of mechanical energy, effect of external forces.


(no classes)

9(1-6): center of mass, linear momentum, and impulse, conservation of momentum.


9(7-11): conservation of momentum, collisions

(no classes)


College Closed

REVIEW (Ch.7-9)


EXAM 2 (Ch. 7-9)

10(1-8): rotation of rigid bodies, torque, dynamics and energy of rotation.


11(1-11): angular momentum, conservation of angular momentum.

12(1-5): equilibrium of a rigid body, lines of action of normal forces.


13(1-8): gravitation, gravitational PE, satellites, escape speed.

14(1-7): fluid mechanics, density, pressure, buoyancy.


14(8-10): fluids in motion, Bernoulli’s equation

REVIEW (Ch.10-14)


EXAM 3 (Ch. 10-14)

15(1-5):  oscillatory motion, simple harmonic motion, energy in SHM.. 



15(5-7): reference circle, pendulum;

18(1-5): Introduction to thermodynamics, temperature, thermometry

18(6-9): thermal expansion, heat, specific heat; work and heat, internal energy.



18(10,11): first law of thermodynamics;

19(1-3): kinetic theory of gases, ideal gases

19(4,5,8,11): kinetic theory of gases II.


20(1-5): heat engines, second law of thermodynamics

REVIEW of P207











Week  Topics covered         Homework Assignment


8/26                 physical quantities, units, motion                    1(1,3,9,12,21,23)

                        in one dimension, position, velocity,               2(2,3,17,19,25,30,45,46,49,77)



9/2                   freely falling objects, vectors,                        3(1,2,3,6,9,11,16,46)

two-dimensional motion,                                 4(1,6,7,8,15,19,22,26,33)

                       projectile motion

                        circular motion, relative velocity,                    4(56,62,70)

force, mass,

Newton’s 1st and 2nd laws                               5(3,4,7,17,31)


9/9                   weight, Newton’s 3rd law,                                5(49,55,57,65)

free body diagrams

friction forces, circular motion                        6(1,7,10,16,23,27,29) 


9/16                 EXAM 1 (Ch. 1-6) on   9/18


9/23                 work, kinetic energy, potential energy            7(2,8,9,12,16,19,20,26,30,34,36,45)  

energy conservation, power                           8(1,2,3,5,10,11,13,49,54)       


9/30                 center of mass, momentum, impulse,

conservation of momentum                           9(2,9,12,13,18)           


10/7                 collisions, ballistic pendulum                           9(25,39,49,52,58)




10/21               EXAM 2 (Ch. 7-9) on 10/21

rotation of rigid bodies, torque            10(4,9,10,15,33,35,44,45,52,58)

dynamics and energy of rotation


10/28               angular momentum                                        11(2,14,7,19,26,28,29,31,37,38,45,51)

equilibrium of a rigid body,                              12(3,5,12,17,21,40)

                        lines of action of normal forces

11/4                 gravitation, satellites,                                       13(3,4,8,19)

gravitational PE, escape speed

fluid mechanics, density, pressure,                14(3,4,14,18)



11/11               fluid flow, Bernoulli’s equation             14(31,32,51,52,57,67)


11/18               EXAM 3 (Ch. 10-14) on 11/18

oscillatory motion, simple harmonic               15(1,7,11,15,27,29,30,31)

motion, energy in SHM  


11/25              reference circle, pendulum.                            15(39,41,42)                           

                        introduction to thermodynamics                     18(8,9,21,23,24,30)

thermal expansion, ideal gas, heat,   

internal energy, work and heat


12/2                 first law of thermodynamics                           18(43,46,48)

kinetic theory of gases,                                 19(3,4,11,15,19,2642,48,58)               


12/9                 heat engines,                                                   20(1,2,5,11)

second law of thermodynamics                   




Important Information for Physics 20700 students:


Course Objectives: Students are expected to understand the basic physics involved in mechanics (the study of motion and its causes) and in thermodynamics (the study of heat and work) which is needed for science and engineering. The emphasis will be on analytical reasoning and problem-solving skills. A list of course objectives is given below.


Reading Assignment: The text material that will be covered in class each day is listed on the Class schedule. You should read the indicated sections in the textbook before coming to class. Solutions of some illustrative examples will be presented in lectures.


Homework: The homework problems are taken from the textbook and will be graded via WileyPLUS.  If you have purchased a used textbook with no code, you can purchase the access to WileyPLUS online. To use WileyPLUS you have to register for the class:

  1. go to
  2. use six-digit course ID shown below to find your section:
  3. enter your registration code or purchase instant access or use a grace period

course ID

Section GH:              719360

Section GH2:            719376

Section GH3:            719388


Grades: Grade will be based on the highest score obtained in a) and b):

a)         exams (3 midterms + final)             80%

            homework (WileyPLUS)                 10%   

            lab reports (7)                                    10%


b)         exams (3 midterms + final)             90%   

            lab reports (7)                                    10%


Exams: There will be three midterm exams (120 min.) and a final exam (140 min.). No exam grades will be dropped and no make-ups will be given except in the case of documented illness.


Labs: The Physics Department Lab manual is available online at

The Physics Department Lab schedule is available online at

There are seven labs to be completed during the semester. Note that the grade of incomplete (INC) will be assigned for Physics 20700 if all seven lab reports have not been submitted by the required dates. As detailed in your lab section, attendance and participation in all lab sessions and completion of associated lab reports is required to pass the course. Your grade in the lab sessions will comprise 10% of your grade for the course. In addition, material covered in the lab sessions may appear on the midterms and final.


Effort required: Don’t underestimate the amount of effort required for you to succeed in this course. Many students, in particular those who have not taken a previous course in physics, will need to spend 5-10 hours per week, every week, studying physics and doing the assigned homework problems, in addition to the time spent in lecture and lab (7 hours per week).


Academic Integrity: Academic dishonesty is prohibited in the City University of New York and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion.


Course objectives: After successfully completing this course, students should be able to

1. recognize and use SI units and be able to use vectors and their components.

2. understand the relationships between position, velocity, acceleration and time in the motion of physical objects

3. understand the concepts of force and equilibrium and their relation to Newton’s laws of motion.

4. understand and apply the concepts of work and energy, including kinetic and potential energy; understand and be able to use the principle of conservation of energy.

5. understand and apply the concepts of momentum and impulse; understand and be able to use the principle of conservation of momentum.

6. understand how to describe the rotation of physical objects; understand the concept of torque as applied to the equilibrium of objects.

7. understand gravitational interactions and their relationship to satellite motion.

8. understand the phenomenon of simple harmonic motion.

9. understand and apply the basic principles of fluid mechanics as applied to buoyancy and fluid flow.

10. understand the properties of temperature and heat.

11. understand and apply the first and second laws of thermodynamics involving work, heat and internal energy.