General Physics 1 - Honors: PHYS 101H
[Fall 2023]


Course details

Class schedule: In-person classes take place in Small Hall 111 at 11:00 to 11:50 am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and at 3:30 to 4:20 pm on Thursdays.

Office hourse: (Preliminary and subject to change.) In person on Thursday 2:00-3:00 pm and Friday 3-3:30 pm. I will also be in my office Monday 10:00-10:30 am. My office is 326C Small Hall.

Textbook: We will use the (free) Open Stax University Physics textbook by Ling, Sanny, and Moebs.

Prerequisites: Prior exposure to calculus will be assumed, although I will introduce new concepts from calculus as needed. This means you should be comfortable with the definition of derivatives, Taylor series, and one-dimensional integrals (including the mathematical sense of ``anti-derivatives''). You should be able to calculate derivatives, Taylor series and integrals of simple functions of one variable, including basic trigonometric functions.

Instructor: Chris Monahan (he/his/him), Small Hall 326C. Email: cjmonahan'at'

Course grading: The grades will be calculated based on either 40% Problem Sets, 30% Midterm Tests and 30% Final Exam, or 40% Problem Sets, 10% Midterm Tests and 50% Final Exam. For each student, the final grade will be calculated using both equations, and the result with the larger numerical grade will be the one used to determine the letter grade. Problem Sets will include both written components and online submissions. I will drop the lowest grade on your Problem Sets.

Course description

This course is an introduction to topics in classical mechanics, including Newton's Laws, conservation of energy and momentum, angular motion, gravitation, and wave motion. This course is for students who intend to major in physics or physical sciences and offers a more in-depth treatment of topics covered in PHYS 101, with more sophisticated examples. Prior exposure to calculus will be assumed.

We will cover:

We will also have time to discuss some more advanced topics that are not examinable, such as special relativity and quantum mechanics.


A draft syllabus can be found here (pdf). This syllabus will get updated!

Physics Fun!

There are a number of organisations, societies and other opportunities to have some physics fun. I encourage you to check some of these out: