University Physics I – PHYS 231

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 03/28/2022

Course Description

A calculus-based study of mechanics, momentum, and energy. Includes lab.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


Physics is one of the primary cornerstones of a university education. Physics is an experimental science which uses mathematically precise language to describe the natural world. Since the time of Newton the laws of nature have been expressed by differential and integral calculus as well as differential equations. We study motion and the forces which give rise to motion. In addition, we study momentum, energy and wave motion to better understand the forces and motion. Physics is part of God’s general revelation. The very laws of physics speak to His existence. We know, every good thing comes from our Creator and physical law is no exception to this over-arching reality. This course serves as a theoretical backdrop to many other fields of inquiry. Chemistry, engineering, biology, nearly all the physical sciences are in some sense applied physics. This course is useful wherever physics can be applied. In addition, the challenge of understanding physics brings academic maturity to a student which few other fields may offer.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Homework Assignments (8)

In each module, you must complete homework assignments utilizing what the student has learned in the course Learn material. Homework assignments are used to test mastery of the material. These will be based on the end-of-chapter problem sets. Students will be required to submit all of the problems. Homework Assignments must be submitted and uploaded as .pdf documents (CLOs: A, B, C, D, E). 

Lab Experiment Assignments (3)

The Lab Experiment Assignments are hands-on labs that use materials in your lab kit and the MATLAB software for data acquisition and analysis. In each lab there will be a set of questions to answer while you are going through the steps, and in some there are also questions for post-lab analysis. All instructions and information about what you are to submit is within the lab experiment links. In all cases, a single .pdf or .docx must be submitted as the final assignment (CLOs: B, C, D). 

Quizzes (8)

Reading quizzes with a time limit of 5 minutes are to be completed for each module. It is expected that you read all of the provided material in each chapter in order to be successful on these quizzes. These are NOT a test of mastery of the material, but rather just a test of whether you took the time to read the material and absorb basic concepts and definitions (CLOs: A, B, C, D, E). 

Quiz: Exams (2)

The Quiz: Midterm Exam will take place during Module 4, and the Quiz: Final Exam will take place at the end of Module 8: Week 8. The midterm will cover Learn material from the first four modules and the final will cover the last four modules. These quiz: exams will be worked out by hand and submitted digitally as a .pdf file. Besides just arriving at the correct numerical answer or expression, the student's work will be graded on correct use of notation which is crucial for success as a physicist. Students must work alone on these quiz: exams, but they may use the course textbook and other materials they have from the course. However, no other outside resources are permitted during the exam (CLOs: A, B, C, D, E).