lecture physics week 1

lecture physics week 1 - Units Forces Motion and the...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Units, Forces, Motion and the Inclined Plane First things First: Units | Ratios, Proportions, and Rates | Chain Calculations | Dimensional Analysis | Motion and Forces | Terms to Research Your first physics module may seem overwhelming. All at once you are introduced to units, dimensional analysis, vectors, and force and motion. What is it all about? Fundamentally, physics is about measurement. Physics gives you tools that allow you to answer specific questions such as “how fast?”, “how far?” or “how much?” To give an example, consider the design of a modern jet airliner. Suppose you were put in charge of selecting engines to power the airliner. You will have many questions to answer such as “How big should these engines be?” Too big and they may be too heavy for the wings or use too much fuel—so the plane would not be able to fly very far. Too small and the plane will never be able to take off in the first place. As you can see, answers to these design questions requires the ability to measure, to quantify, and to calculate very precisely quantities such as weight, force, gravity, velocity (speed) and motion. This week's module will lead us from a basic understanding of units and measurement to the quantification of motion and forces. Our study will culminate in a lab activity in which we examine the behavior of a mass on an inclined plane. This is a classic problem in physics, and it is important that we focus our study so that we will have a good feel for how to solve this type of problem. There is significant supporting material in chapters 1-3 of the text, so be sure to become familiar with it and do the ungraded homework exercises. Practice makes perfect, so doing the homework assignments is essential to being able to master the lab as well as the quiz problems. First things First: Units A fundamental rule in physics is that “if you try to add Apples and Oranges, you will end up with ‘Fruit Salad’”. Think of this line whenever you are given a problem in one set of UNITS, and are required to give an answer in another set of UNITS. Chapter 1 of the text introduces you to the different local and world standards associated with measurement units. One thing scientists learn early on is that it is very difficult to get accurate measurements. It is no small wonder that Archimedes, Galileo, and Newton discovered so much about our world with out the aid of tools to accurately measure time, distance, and mass (used in mechanics). By today's standards their results are extraordinary by any metric. The most commonly used system of measuring units is called the Metric System; on page 9 of the textbook Table 1.1 lists the SI Base Units used in mechanics plus four additional units. All other units of measurement are
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 03/09/2011 for the course PHYS 270 taught by Professor Danielhale during the Spring '11 term at DeVry Chicago.

Page1 / 4

lecture physics week 1 - Units Forces Motion and the...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online