Syllabus Spring 2018 Physics 20700 ST

The City College of New York

Department of Physics Spring 2018

Physics 20700 - Section ST - ST4

Prof. S. A. Vitkalov: office: CDI 11382; 212-650-5460;

Office hours: Tuesday from 11:00-1:00 pm in CDI 11382 (or by appointment)

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

Class schedule in MR3     Tu &Th 5:00-6:40 PM







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

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

3(1-7): vectors;

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


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

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

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) (Tuesday!)


 Monday schedule (no classes)

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. 


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

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


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.


Spring Recess

Spring Recess


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


1/29                 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)


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


2/5                   circular motion, relative velocity,                    4(56,62,70)

force, mass.

Newton’s 1st and 2nd laws                               5(3,4,7,17,31,49,55,57,65)

                        weight, Newton’s 3rd law,


2/12                 free body diagrams

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


2/19                 EXAM 1 (Ch. 1-6) on 2/22    


2/26                 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)                  

center of mass, momentum, impulse,           

3/5                   conservation of momentum                           9(2,9,12,13,18)

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


3/12                 EXAM 2  (Ch. 7-9) on 3/15


3/19                 rotation of rigid bodies, torque            10(4,9,10,15,33,35,44,45,52,58)

dynamics and energy of rotation,

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


3/26                 equilibrium of a rigid body,                              12(3,5,12,17,21,40)

                        lines of action of normal forces

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

gravitational PE, escape speed                                 

4/2                   SPRING RECESS


4/9                   fluid mechanics, density, pressure,                14(3,4,14,18)


4/16                 fluid flow, Bernoulli’s equation             14(31,32,51,52,57,67)

EXAM 3 (Ch. 10-14) on 4/19


4/23                oscillatory motion, simple harmonic motion,   15(1,7,11,15,27,29,30,31)

energy in SHM, reference circle, pendulum.  15(39,41,42)                          

                        introduction to thermodynamics, temperature


4/30                 thermal expansion, ideal gas law, heat,          18(8,9,21,23,24,30)

internal energy, work and heat,

first law of thermodynamics                           18(43,46,48)


5/7                  kinetic theory of gases,                                 19(3,4,11,15,19,2642,48,58)




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.  A discounted version of this book with the WileyPLUS access is at

You have to use the access card (code) that comes with your textbook. 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 at using six-digit course ID shown below for different sections:

Section ST:   615358

Section ST2: 615359

Section ST3: 615360

Section ST4: 615361


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 on line at

The Physics Department Lab schedule is available on line 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.


Recitations: Please be aware that each week there will be either a lab or a recitation. The lab TA will be responsible EVERY week to teach the lab alternating with the recitation at the time and in the same room that is scheduled for the lab. The recitation sections for Intro Physics 207 are mandatory for students to attend. TAs are responsible for both lab and recitation for the assigned section: TAs will take attendance for recitations just as they do for the labs.


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.