Courses Is this normal for a first calculus based physics course

  1. my course uses university physics with modern physics but it only goes through chapter 1 -10 and if time permits 13
    they are:

    1 Units, Physical Quantities, and Vectors
    2 Motion Along a Straight Line
    3 Motion in Two or Three Dimensions
    4 Newton's Laws of Motion
    5 Applying Newton's Laws
    6 Work and Kinetic Energy
    7 Potential Energy and Energy Conservation
    8 Momentum, Impulse, and Collisions
    9 Rotation of Rigid Bodies
    10 Dynamics of Rotational Motion
    13 Periodic Motion
    It doesn't cover thermodynamics or fluid mechanics. So I am wondering are they considered essential or optional topics of first physics course?
  2. jcsd
  3. jtbell

    Staff: Mentor

    Do they cover the "missing" topics in the second semester? We do thermo at the beginning of second semester.
  4. For a semester course that seems pretty normal.
  5. first of all since I am not sure that the length of the course here is the same as the length internationally 1 course is usually only 3.5 months because we have a lot of vacations also in the second course phy 102 they cover
    here the summer vacation is long (about 3.5 months)

  6. In my country where I did my undergrad (a French Uni) the topics you mention are part of a first semester university physics, but part only, as we covered also thermodynamics and fluid mechanics and some other topics as well. The second semester was focused on electromagnetism, wave theory (an indepth coverage extending the periodic motion chapter of the mechanics first-semester course) and introductory modern physics, including an informal first approach of quantum mechanics.

    Thermodynamics and fluid mechanics are important because , thermdynamics can be seen as an interesting approach of systems of particles in general, while fluid mechanics gives a way to enter into the world of tensors in more advanced course in the second year. The concept of flui in physics is quite important as it plays a role in various branches (the model of perfect fluid in general relativity, or the tools it provides to study fields, and i dont even mention non-linear dynamics and chaos theory) so an introduction to fluid mechanics, even at an elementary level, is certainly not a waste.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  7. We use the same book in the course, called Newtonian Mechanics and Relativity (first Physics course, first semester), and we're going to be doing chapters 1 - 12, 37 and some concepts from 44 (but that's just because the professor is a particle physicist :smile:). Next semester we have Fluids and Waves, but I don't really know what topics we'll cover.
    Yeah, I think everywhere but in the US and Canada you cover more stuff than that, so it's hard to compare.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  8. yes I know other foreign friends who used the book with fluid mechanics and thermodynamics so I started my topic.Even though I am in engineering major I am looking for good physics education.
  9. In fact the first physics calculus-based course we had was Douglas Giancoli's Physics books (the three books), in case you know. I really liked it.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thead via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Similar discussions for: Is this normal for a first calculus based physics course