Syllabus Physics 21900 General Syllabus


Syllabus Physics 21900

Physics for Architecture Students

Designation: Undergraduate

Catalog description:  A one-semester course for students of Architecture. Translational and rotational equilibrium. Newton’s laws of motion and vibrations. Work, energy and power. Fluids and temperature. Heat and energy transfer.

3 LECT., 2 REC. HR./WK.; 4 CR.



Prereq.: completion of all mathematics requirements through trigonometry or be eligible for Math 20500.


Textbook and other suggested material:

Giancoli, Physics, Principles with Applications (6th ed.) (required), Prentice Hall Giancoli, Physics, Principles with Applications, Student Guide (6th ed.) (optional), Prentice Hall


Course Objectives:

After successfully completing this course, students should be able to

  1. to understand and use units for physical quantities and carry out units conversions
  2. to understand and use the concepts of displacement, velocity and acceleration
  3. to understand and apply Newton’s Laws of motion to problems of equilibrium and circular motion, etc.
  4. to understand and use the concepts of work & energy as well as kinetic & potential energy    
  1. to understand and use the concept of linear momentum
  2. to understand the principles of rotational motion and the concepts of torque and angular momentum
  1. to understand the principles of elasticity & fractures
  2. to understand and use the concepts of density, pressure, Pascal’s principle, Archimedes Principle and the Bernoulli equation as applied to fluids
  3. to understand the principles of vibrations & waves
  4. to understand the principles of thermal physics as applied to expansion, thermal stress, the ideal gas law, specific heat and calorimetry
  5. to understand and use the concepts of electric field & potential, electric current and Ohm’s law
  6. to understand the principles of lighting & optics as applied to reflection & refraction and total internal reflection


Topics Covered:

  1. Units and Conversions
  2. Displacement, velocity, acceleration
  1. Newton’s Laws of motion
  2. Equilibrium & Center of Mass.
  3. Circular motion:  centripetal force
  4. Work & Energy;  Kinetic & Potential Energy
  5. Linear Momentum
  6. Rotational Motion:  Torque, Angular Momentum
  7. Elasticity & Fractures
  8. Fluids: Density, Pressure, Pascal principle Archimedes Principle, Bernoulli Equation
  9. Vibration & Waves
  10. Natural frequencies, resonance
  11. Sound: Decibels, vibrating air columns
  12. Thermal Physics:  Expansion, Thermal Stress
  13. Ideal Gas Law
  14. Heat:         Specific Heat,  Calorimetry Conduction heat loss    Convection heat loss (briefly) Radiation heat loss
  15. Electric Field & Potential
  16. Electric Current:   Ohm’s Law Power in Household Circuits
  17. Lighting & Optics: Reflection & Refraction Total Internal Reflection


Class schedule:


two 125 minute classes


Relationship of course to program outcomes:

The outcomes of this course contribute to the following departmental learning outcomes:

  1. students of other disciplines will be able to synthesize and apply their knowledge of physics and mathematics to solve physics-related problems at an appropriate introductory level in important fields of classical physics, including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, optics, and experimental physics, as appropriate to their majors.
  2. students of other disciplines will have the background in physics needed to perform well in advanced courses in their own disciplines for which introductory physics courses are a prerequisite.


Assessment Tools

  1. Attendance
  2. Homework assignments
  3. Results of quizzes
  4. Class participation
  5. Results of Final Exam

Person who prepared this description and date of preparation:

Chang, NgeePong 1/18/2007