Physics_125_Syllabus_Spring_09

Physics_125_Syllabus_Spring_09 - Physics 125 Professor...

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Physics 125 Physics for Architects Professor Douglas Burke Office SSC 220 burked@usc.edu Cell Phone: 949-887-6926 Physics 125 Syllabus Introduction Physics 125 is a course in introductory physics designed for architecture majors. There are several things that we should keep in mind. First of all, you are taking this course because it contains material (both conceptual and quantitative) that you will need in your future courses in architecture. Because physics is by itself such a well-defined discipline, there is a natural tendency to follow the discipline rather than to relate what we are learning to another discipline (such as architecture). That line of thinking gets students into thinking that physics is not terribly important for their own career. For that reason, I invite you to ask the question “how does this relate to something that I need to know to become a better architect?” at any time. Hopefully, I will work in enough examples as we go that will make the connections, but whenever asked, I will be happy to come up with more. The second thing that we should keep in mind is that we will be working on two levels of understanding. The first is getting a conceptual framework for physics. That can be fairly simple e.g. I drop a ball and gravity causes it to accelerate towards the floor. Then the concepts gets a little more complex e.g. a ball that I throw vertically into the air stops momentarily at the top of its flight but is being accelerated downwards the entire flight . Along with the conceptual understanding, we are very much interested in improving your problem solving skills. In physics, “problem solving” means translating a situation, often described in words, into some (algebraic) equations and using those to solve a problem. Developing good problem solving skills requires patience and we will try to provide you with as much help as you need. On the other hand, those very skills may be the most important for your future. They are very much a part of breaking down a complex project into solvable components. Finally, I have chosen to emphasize topics that are of the most relevance to future architects. That means that if you want to hear about the latest ideas in elementary particle theory or astrophysics, you should consider another course. We will focus on 1) describing motion (kinematics) 2) the natural laws of motion (Newton’s laws), 4) static equilibrium (why structures don’t fall down) 3) conservation of momentum and energy 4) rotational motion and torques 5) properties of materials, 7) thermal properties, 8) light and sound, 9) electricity. That is a pretty tall order for one semester. I have decided to supplement the textbook in the area of static equilibrium because of the importance of “statics” to architecture. There is a printed supplement that is available as part of the textbook package. In addition I will place another short section on torque on BlackBoard. Several special problems will be assigned. These are called “Studio Problems” because I
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This note was uploaded on 08/12/2010 for the course PSYC 100 taught by Professor Madigan during the Spring '07 term at USC.

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Physics_125_Syllabus_Spring_09 - Physics 125 Professor...

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