Physical Sciences 12a

Mechanics from an Analytic, Numerical and Experimental Perspective

This is the first term of a two-semester introductory physical science and engineering course sequence.The focus is on quantitative scientific reasoning, with the first term’s exploration framed in the context of basic mechanics. Students will gain competence in both analytic (using pencil, paper and single-variable calculus) and numerical (using computer modeling) approaches to modeling simple physical systems and for the analysis of experimental data. Topics include kinematics, linear and rotational motion, forces, energy, collisions, gravitation, simple fluids and a brief introduction to waves. Examples are drawn from across the physical sciences and engineering.The course is aimed at first year students who have an interest in pursuing a concentration in the sciences and/or engineering. The course structure includes lecture, discussion and laboratory components.

Spring 2017

  • Lab 1: Smiley Face
  • Lab 2: Ball on Ramp
  • Lab 3: Beanie Baby Spinner
  • Lab 4: Spring-Loaded Cannon
  • Lab 5: Air Drag on the Air Track
  • Lab 6: Magic Cylinders on Ramp
  • Lab 7: Analyzing Cylinder Data
  • Lab 8: Euler’s Method
  • Lab 9: Runge-Kutta and Phase Space

Spring 2016

Spring 2015

Spring 2014


Spring 2013