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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Physics (PHYS)

PHYS 150 (GN) Technical Physics I (3) Elementary treatment of topics in mechanics, heat, wave motion, and sound leading toward an understanding of technical applications.

PHYS 150 Technical Physics I (3)

PHYS 150, Technical Physics I, provides an algebra-based introduction to mechanics, heat, wave motion, and sound exemplifying scientific method and leading toward an understanding of technical applications. It is the first course in a two-course sequence with PHYS 151 surveying all of physics. It includes topics such as measurement, dimensional analysis, systems of units, describing motion in one dimension, scalars and vectors, describing motion in two and three dimensions, projectile motion, circular motion, particle dynamics via Newton's Laws of Motion, forces, work and energy, momentum, systems of particles, collisions, rotational motion of rigid bodies, torque, moment of inertia, static equilibrium, mechanical advantage, mechanical properties of materials, fluids, vibrations, wave motion, sound, temperature, heat, thermodynamics, and heat transfer.

Students attend two lecture/recitation classes and one two-hour laboratory/activity period per week. Classes emphasize conceptualizing the basic ideas, terminology, and principles of the physical phenomena of nature; their quantitative expression through algebra and trigonometry; their relation to applications in science and technology; and their use in quantitative problem solving. Both computer-based and traditional lab exercises and activities illustrate class material and scientific method while giving students experience with a variety of measuring tools and the general principles of measurement, including the analysis of error. Students work collaboratively in small groups to plan their measurements, collect and analyze data (often using modern computer hardware and software), make judgments based on their results, and communicate their efforts and conclusions in a written lab/activity report.

The prerequisite for this course is 1 1/2 units of algebra. Prerequisite or Concurrent: MATH 021, 081. It is a prerequisite for PHYS 151 and is a required course for many engineering technology programs. It is offered at least once per academic year at all Penn State locations with engineering technology programs. Class size varies up to about 40 students per lecture section and 21 to 24 students per lab/activity section.

Course evaluation is based on a combination of regular homework assignments and/or quizzes, written lab/activity reports, two or three exams, and a final exam.

General Education: GN
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: Natural Sciences
Effective: Spring 2007
Prerequisite: 1 1/2 units of algebra. Prerequisite or concurrent:MATH 021 orMATH 081

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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