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PSC 1010 PBC

PSC 1010—Physical World

Three Semester Hours

CB 1/14


None; WARNING: not PSC 1011

Course Overview

Designed for non-science majors. Fundamental ideas of measurement, motion, energy, electricity and magnetism, heat, atomic and nuclear physics. Introduction to relativity and quantum phenomena.

Methods of Course Instruction

All material for this course is print-based. Instructor and students communicate and exchange materials through postal mail. 

E-Print Option

In this course, an option exists to use e-mail to submit your lesson assignments. Your assignment will be returned to you either as an e-mail attachment or as a hard copy sent through the postal mail, depending on the preferences of the instructor and/or program. 

Textbooks and Supplies

Shipman, James T., et al. An Introduction to Physical Science. 13th ed. Houghton-Mifflin, 2011. [ISBN: 9781133109099]

A basic calculator may help you solve the problems in your writing assignments, but it is not required. You may also use a calculator for the midcourse and final examinations, if you provide it.

Number of Lessons

The course has 12 lessons, including one midcourse examination and a final examination. The lessons include:

  • Lesson 1: Measurements  
  • Lesson 2: Motion 
  • Lesson 3: Force and Motion 
  • Lesson 4: Work and Energy 
  • Lesson 5: Temperature and Heat  
  • Lesson 6: Midcourse Examination Information 
  • Lesson 7: Waves and Sound 
  • Lesson 8: Optics and Wave Effects  
  • Lesson 9: Electricity and Magnetism  
  • Lesson 10: Atomic Physics  
  • Lesson 11: Nuclear Physics  
  • Lesson 12: Final Examination Information

Types of Writing Assignments

When you are ready to do the lesson writing assignment in this course guide:

  • Answer all of the questions and exercises to the best of your ability. If you have trouble answering a question or exercise, refer to appropriate sections of the text and this course guide for help. The lesson assignments are open book assignments, and you may use your textbook and course guide as much as necessary.
  • Oftentimes, when a problem cannot be solved at once, it is a good idea to put it aside for a while and return to it later. Make sure that you understand what is asked for and identify all of the information given to you. Often this information was hidden in a word or a phrase that slipped by you when you first attempted to solve the problem.
  • When you have completed the written assignment, it is a good idea to go over the entire chapter again by scanning the section headings and looking over the figures. At this stage, you should have a good understanding of the subject. If you still feel that you are having difficulty comprehending the chapter, include any questions as part of your written assignment and your instructor will try to help.
  • Before you submit your assignment, it is a good idea to make a copy of it as a useful backup in case something happens to the original.

Grading Criteria

The final course grade will be determined as follows:

  • Lesson Assignments — 1/3
  • Midcourse Examination — 1/3
  • Final Examination — 1/3

All lesson assignments and the two exams will be graded on a 100-point basis, and the average of the lesson assignments will be added to the midcourse and final examination scores. This total will be divided by three to determine your percentage grade, and a letter grade will then be assigned.