Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Worldwide Campus
Updated - March 31, 2009

Course Number:  PS 102

Course Title:   Exploration in Physics

(03 Credit Hours Lecture;
42.75 Classroom Hours;
00 Credit Hours Laboratory)

Instructor::    Michael D. Warner

Email Address:
Phone Number(s): Work (480) 967-1661, Personal (480) 239-6371, Campus (480) 279-1149
Availability: Before or after class, or by appointment only.
Class Location: 2155 W. Pecos Road Suite #1, Chandler, AZ 85224, Room #TBD
Day/Time Held: TBD/1700-2200 (5:00 pm - 9:45 pm)

Course Text: Ostdiek, V. J., Bord, D. J., and Highland, S.R. (2004). Inquiry into physics (6th ed.). Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.

Course Description:

This is a survey course in elementary physics.  Stress will be placed on basic concepts, principles and history of the development of physics. Presentations will include selected topics in mechanics, heat, light, sound, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics. (This course cannot be used for credit in physics for degrees in Computer Science, Engineering Physics, Civil, Aerospace or Electrical Engineering, Aircraft Technology, Aeronautical Science, or Avionics Technology.) Prerequisites: MATH-106,111 or 140.

Course Goals:

This course isdesigned to provide a 3-credit hour physical science course for students in academic areas of concentration other than flight or engineering. The basic goal of the course is to introduce and demonstrate the basic physics laws emphasizing the unified character of physical interactions throughout the Universe. Its purpose is to help future administrators and executives to make technically oriented decisions. The course also intends to expose students to popular articles from periodic publications to be able to read an article, emphasize basic ideas and make an independent educated judgement of its content.

Course Learning Outcomes:

1. Assess the role of science, and in particular, physics, in understanding the complex, technological society of which we are a part.
2. Define and apply the concepts and fundamental physical laws of mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, optics, atomic, nuclear physics and elements of special relativity theory.
3. Understand how the physics laws can be applied in everyday life and aviation related activities.
4. Interpret the results of simple experiments and demonstrations of physical principles.


Grading Policy:

The course grade will be determined from the results obtained from two area content quizzes, a student report and presentation of an instructor approved research paper, assigned in-class/homework, participation, and a final exam using the following weights:

Class Participation and Involvement


1 % per class period


30 PTS/ 15% earned per quiz

40 %

Individual Research Report/Presentation

15 PTS

15 % of total points

In-Class/Homework Assignments

21 PTS

21 % of total points

Final Exam

25 PTS

25 % of total points


100 PTS

100 %


Grade Scale



90 — 100 PTS

A (Superior)

90-100 %

80 — 89 PTS

B (Above Average)

80-89 %

70 — 79 PTS

C (Average)

70-79 %

60 — 69 PTS

D (Below Average)

60-69 %

00 — 59 PTS

F (Failure)

59-00 %

Supplemental Resources:

Library Resources

The Jack R. Hunt Library, located on the Daytona Beach Campus, is the primary library for all Extended Campus students. The Dean of Academics strongly recommends that every faculty member, where appropriate, make it a requirement for all students in their class to access the Hunt Library or a comparable college-level local library and perform research. The research can be used for class projects such as research papers, group discussion, or individual presentations.

If you need reference assistance, you may call the Hunt Library at (800) 678-9428. A Reference Librarian will be available to help you from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm (Eastern) with voicemail after normal hours, or 24/7 access via email through Reference librarians can provide detailed advice on research strategies, referrals to relevant reference sources, or assistance with literature searches. ERAU's library website may be found at .

Internet Resources:

Phoenix/Chandler Campus
APA 5.0 Style Reference
Blackboard (via ERNIE) httP://
ERAU Computer Support 1-866-227-8325
ERAU Library 1-800-678-9428
FAA Website
Backup site for Blackboard
Homework Assistance
Homework Assistance
Publisher Assistance

Other Resources:

Scientific Calculator is required.

Academic Honesty and Integrity

Embry-Riddle is committed to maintaining and upholding intellectual integrity. All students, faculty, and staff have obligations to prevent violations of academic integrity and take corrective action when they occur. The adjudication process will include the sanction imposed on students who commit the following academic violations, which may include a failing grade on the assignment, a failing grade for the course, suspension, or dismissal from the University.

1. Plagiarism: Presenting as one's own the ideas, words, or products of another. Plagiarism includes use of any source to complete academic assignments without proper acknowledgement of the source. All papers submitted for grading in this course may be submitted to where the text of the paper is compared against information contained in the database. Papers submitted will be included in the database and become source documents for the purpose of detecting plagiarism.

2. Cheating: A broad term that includes the following:
a. Giving or receiving help from unauthorized persons or materials during examinations.
b. The unauthorized communication of examination questions prior to, during, or following administration of the examination.
c. Collaboration of examinations or assignments expected to be individual work.
d. Fraud and deceit, that include knowingly furnishing false or misleading information or failing to furnish appropriate information when requested, such as when applying for admission to the University.

Attendance and Absences
The faculty of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University affirms the importance of prompt and regular attendance on the part of all students. Quality instruction clearly dependsupon active student participation in the classroom or its equivalent environment. Your participation is particularly important in this course, since each class constitutes a significant percentage of the total course. All absences, regardless of reason, require a make-up assignment, mutually arranged between the instructor and the student. If an absence is anticipated, the student should notify the instructor, preferably in advance. Students are encouraged to assist each other with access to class notes for missed classes. Note that part of the grade performance is class participation. Students not attending class periods may receive less than full credit, even where make-up assignments are completed.

Guidelines for Project:

The Individual Research Report and presentation topic will be selected by mutual agreement between the student and instructor by the third week of class. A report outline will be submitted, preferably by email, to the instructor by the sixth week of class. A rough draft of the report will be due by the end of week seven of the class. The ten minute oral presentation will be delivered to the class during the eighth week and the written report will by due following the presentation. The report should be four to six pages in length, double space typed, with a minimum of three references of which no more than two shall be online sources. The style shall conform to APA 5.0 Style Reference formatting.

Course Schedule:

Note: Specific problems assigned for each Section can be found on the class website at





Introduction/Syllabus Overview
Class Discussion: Introduction, Motion
and the Language of Science

Read Syllabus
Read/Review Text Prologue & Chapter 1,
Problems as assigned


Class Discussion: Newton's Laws

Read/Review Text Chapter 2,
Problems as assigned


Class Discussion: Conservation Laws

Read/Review Text Chapter 3,
Problems as assigned,
Individual Research Topic
selection due,
Quiz: Chapters 1 - 2


Class Discussion: Physics of Matter,
Temperature and Heat

Read/Review Text Chapter 4 &
5, Problems as assigned


Class Discussion: Waves, Sound, and

Read/Review Text Chapter 6 &
9, Problems as assigned


Class Discussion: Electricity,
Magnetism, and the Electromagnetic

Read/Review Text Chapter 7 &
8, Problems as assigned,
Individual Research Project
outline due,
Quiz: Chapters 3-6, 9.


Class Discussion: Atomic Physics

Read/Review Text Chapter 10,
Problems as assigned,
Individual Research Project
rough draft due


Class Discussion: Nuclear Physics,
Project Presentations

Read/Review Text Chapter 11,
Problems as assigned,
Research Project/Presentation


Class Discussion: Special Relativity
and Elementary Particles,
Final Exam

Read/Review Text Chapter 12,
Final Exam




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