Physics 20, Fall 2010 - Prof. Nelson

Practice Final

Problem Set 10 is available below. Due Dec. 7 at the final.

About the final: it will emphasize post-midterm material, although physics is cumulative, so you can't forget the pre-midterm material. The length will be about twice as long as the midterm; a bit more `stump you' kind of problems, given the 3 hours available in the final. One page of notes allowed, bring a calculator, no cell phones or wireless enabled devices, bring blue books.

The final is, again, Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 8am in 1640 Broida.

Please return your midterm so I can check something on it. Best if you can turn it in with Problem Set 9. If you forget, bring it to class the week of Nov. 29.

Returned graded midterms in class on Oct. 29. Rough grading guidance... A- is 93 and above, B- is 77 and above, C- is 60 and above. Definitely seek assistance if you got less than 60. The average was in the low 80's. In general, I could see the great variation in high school preparation.

Solutions to the midterm are available through a link in the table at the bottom of this page.

Times and People

Welcome to Physics 20 for Fall, 2010. Our lectures are MWF 10-10:50 am in Broida 1640. Attendance is required also at one of three sections; attend the one you are enrolled in. The three sections are all on Thursday afternoons: 12-12:50pm in Phelps 3523 (taught by Hyejin Ju); 2-2:50pm in Girvetz 2116; and 3-3:50pm in Bldg. 434 Room 121 (both taught by Yoni BenTov).


We plan to cover the first 5 chapters of the text.

Required Items

The text is Kleppner and Kolenkow, An Introduction to Mechanics, which we call `KK'. Unfortunately, the bookstore has not yet received copies of the text, although many copies are available over the web. Five copies of KK are on reserve for Physics 20 in the Libary. Because of the delay at our bookstore, I've made available:

  1. Table of Contents, Preface, etc.
  2. Chapter 1.
  3. Chapter 2.
  4. Chapter 3.
  5. Chapter 4.
  6. Chapter 5.

An `iClicker' is required as well; these are available at the UCSB Bookstore. Please register your iClicker... use your Perm # as your Student ID.

Calculations must be done, so a scientific calculator (must have trig, exponential, etc) is essential.

Recommended Items

Kleppner and Kolenkow is a challenging textbook, and assumes that you have or are rapidly developing good ability in calculus. For those who want to turbocharge or refresh their calculus, Kleppner and Ramsey, Quick Calculus is a good resource... this book is on reserve for Physics 20 in the library.

A second useful resource is the `old' (4th) edition of Physics by Resnick, Halliday and Krane (RHK4). You can obtain used copies of RHK4 for only a few dollars over the internet. Some of the problems that are assigned will originate from RHK4. A lot of copies of RHK4 are on reserve for Physics 20 in the library.

A laptop is very useful for a variety of reasons, among them... it is really nice to do calculations in Excel.


The heart of this course is the working of problems. Much of the discussion sections will consist of doing problems. Weekly problem sets will be due Mondays, to be turned in to the Physics 20 boxes in the lobby of Broida Hall, by 5pm. The problems are generally not the type of problems that you can get done in a few minutes... some may take a few hours, so start early, and utilize our office hours. You are also encouraged to work together to figure out how to do problems, but, you must write up your own solutions independently.

Write up your solutions carefully and neatly. Generally, make a clear diagram, introduce algebraic variables for unknowns, and solve for answers symbolically. Plug in numbers at the end, and, do some cross checking as well as consideration of limiting cases (like, what if each mass in the problem becomes very large or very small?).

Grading and Tests

The plans for grading are: Class Participation (measured with the iClickers), 10%; Problem sets, 25%; Midterm (currently planned on Oct. 27 in class), 25%; Final (currently Tuesday, Dec. 7, 8am, 1640 Broida), 40%.

Office Hours

Hyejin Ju is in the Physics Study Room, on the first floor of Broida Hall behind the elevators, 11:00-11:30am, 12-1pm on Mondays. Jonathan BenTov is available there 4:00-5:00pm on Mondays and 2:00-4:00pm on Fridays. Professor Nelson's office hours are either by appointment, or, Fridays 12:00-2:00pm in Physical Science South, room 2712.

Treat Everyone with Respect

Some serious issues of harassment have from time to time arisen in our classes. If you feel you have experienced hazing or harassment, this document can help you do something about it.

The first column shows the week number.
The second column has the lecture number, and a link to the course lecture notes, when available... don't count on these!
The third column has the date.
The fourth column has the textbook sections in KK to read.
The fifth column has the corresponding KK textbook pages.
The sixth column has a partial list of topics.
The seventh column has the problems due for the week.
The last column has links to some pertinent web pages, and comments about corresponding material in RHK4.

Web Sylabus

Week # Date Reading Pages Partial Topics Problems Links/Comments
1 1 9/24 1.1 thru 1.6 2-19 Course Organization, Basics Due 10/4, Solutions Also read RHK4 Chapter 3 for help. Yoni's Notes 1
2 2 9/27 " " Vectors I Vec. Arith., Vec. Cross Prod.
3 9/29 " " Vectors II
4 10/1 Vectors III Yoni's Notes 2
3 5 10/4 " " Vectors IV Due 10/11, Solutions (correction 10/21) The next two lectures will follow RHK4 Chapter 2.
6 10/6 " " 1-d Motion I
7 10/8 " " 1-d Motion II Yoni's Notes 3
4 8 10/11 1.7 19-27 2-d Motion I Due 10/18, Solutions The next three lectures will follow RHK4 Chapter 4.
9 10/13 " " 2-d Motion II
10 10/15 " " 2-d Motion III Yoni's Notes 4
5 11 10/18 2.1-2.4 52-75 Newton's Laws I Due 10/25, Solutions See also RHK4 Chapter 5.
12 10/20 " " Newton's Laws II
13 10/22 " " Newton's Laws III Excel Spreadsheet from class. Plots accelerations from block on a finite-mass incline.
6 14 10/25 1.9 27-38 Circular Motion I Due 11/1, Solutions See also RHK4 Chapter 4 pp. 62-64.
15 10/27 MIDTERM the test solutions practice test solutions
16 10/29 " " Circular Motion II First half of class was seminar by Anna Nierenberg
7 17 11/1 2.4-2.5 75-95 Circular Motion III, Friction Due 11/8, Solutions See also RHK4 Chapter 6.
18 11/3 " " Circular Motion IV, Friction II "
19 11/5 " " Circular Motion V, Friction III "
8 20 11/8 2.5 80-86, 97-101 Gravity I Due 11/15, Solutions See also RHK4 Chapter 15, pp. 317-320 and Chapter 16, pp. 343-352
21 11/10 " " Gravity II, SHO I "
22 11/12 " " SHO II "
9 23 11/15 3 112-145 Momentum Due 11/22, Solutions See also RHK4 Chapter 9; skip over mentions of energy. Nice computer demo of trajectory of two weights joined by a bar. Also, MIT has a nice YouTube of the actual throwing of complex objects.
24 11/17 " " Center of Mass, 2-body Problem YouTube of dancers and athletes manipulating their centers of mass during jumps:
  1. Diana Vishneva does two `saut de chat' near the beginning (0:01 and 0:06 in), where the rapid rise in her legs provides the upward motion of the center of mass, so that her head and torso stay more level.
  2. Ivan Vasiliev does three double turning jumps near the beginning (0:05, 0:10, 0:15 in) where his leg is kicked up to stabilize his torso, and later (starting 0:45 in) grand `jete's' or jumps while running where leg kicking keeps his head level. Mikhail Baryshnikov hovers too.
  3. Michael Jordan kicks his legs back when he jumps, presumably to stablize his torso for assessment of a shot or where to move.
  4. Javier Sotomayor's world record high jump, where the `flop', the bending of his back and legs, keeps his center of mass below or at the level of the bar.
25 11/19 " " 2-body, Impulse Information about Antiope, a binary asteroid system.
10 26 11/22 3 112-145 Impulse, Rockets Due 11/29 (revised), Solutions Nice page with Animation of GRS 1915+105; the pertinent research paper for our problem set is here.
27 11/24 4 pp. 152-158 Work Also RHK4 Chapter 7, pp. 131-138.
11 28 11/29 4 152-173 Work, Energy Due 12/7 at final, Solutions We will follow RHK4 Chapters 7 and 8 in class