Physics 218: Mechanics
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Physics 218: Mechanics. Instructor: Dr. Tatiana Erukhimova Sections 801, 802, 803 Lecture 1. Dr. Tatiana Erukhimova. [year]. Howdy!. Atmospheric Thermodynamics Elementary Physics and Chemistry Gerald R. North Tatiana L. Erukhimova Texas A & M University.

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Physics 218 mechanics

Physics 218: Mechanics

Instructor: Dr. Tatiana Erukhimova

Sections 801, 802, 803

Lecture 1

Physics 218 mechanics

Dr. Tatiana Erukhimova



Physics 218 mechanics

Atmospheric Thermodynamics

Elementary Physics and Chemistry

Gerald R. North

Tatiana L. Erukhimova

Texas A & M University

Fall 2008: SLATE award

Recipient of 2009 Distinguished Achievement College-Level Award in Teaching

Physics 218 mechanics

Overview of Today’s Class

  • Folders

  • Syllabus and Course requirements

  • Tricks to survive

  • Why study Physics?

  • (we’ll do some demos today)

Physics 218 mechanics

Please take the folders

Section 801 (recitation on Thursday) – red folders

Section 802 (recitation on Friday) – yellow folders

Section 803 (recitation on Wednesday) – green folders

If you forgot your Section number,

please check it with me

Physics 218 mechanics

We’ll use the folders only in class:

Please pick them up before each class and return

back after the class

DO NOT take them home!

I’ll return the tests and quizzes in these folders


Instructor Dr. Tatiana Erukhimova


Office: Engineering-Physics building, Room 530

Physics 218 mechanics

Phone: 845-5644


Class times: MWF: 8:00 am to 8:50 am Sections 801-803

Location: Rich 101

Office hours:

Monday and Wednesday 1 pm – 3pm or by appointment

Physics 218 mechanics

Textbook: “Don’t Panic: Volume I”, by William H. Bassichis, 5th Edition

Dedicated students like it!

No lab manual is required

Physics 218 mechanics

Clickers Bassichis, 5th Edition

We will use CPS clickers for various kinds of assessment: pop quizzes, homework quizzes, in class discussion, etc. You will need to buy the clickers at the MSC Bookstore and register them for this class at

Physics 218 mechanics

Grade Policy Bassichis, 5th Edition

Exams 45%

Lab 5%

Quizzes (including homework quizzes) 10%

Final 40%

Physics 218 mechanics

Grade Policy (cont) Bassichis, 5th Edition

  • You must pass both the lecture

  • (3 midterm exams, final exam, homework)

  • and laboratory (>70%) parts of the course

  • separately in order to pass the course

Physics 218 mechanics

Grade Policy (cont Bassichis, 5th Edition)

  • If your grade on the Final Exam is higher than your lowest grade on one of the three exams during the semester, the grade on the Final will replace that one lowest exam grade in computing the course grade (it will only replace one grade in case of two exams having the same lowest grade).

  • The Final Exam grade cannot be used to replace an exam that has been missed without an University excused absence. The missed exam will count as a zero when computing your final grade.

Physics 218 mechanics

  • All Exams are Bassichis, 5th Edition

  • Closed book

    • No numbers! In general the problems will be formula solutions with variables

      • Problems will be similar to those on homework and recitation

Physics 218 mechanics

Similar does not mean identical! Bassichis, 5th Edition

Many of you have taken high school physics are used to being given formulas and numbers to plug into them…

We are not going to do this on the exams! We’ll use variables…

Good news: If you do the homework the way we ask you to, you’ll be well prepared for the exams!

Physics 218 mechanics

Homework Bassichis, 5th Edition

You’ll have weekly homework assignments

Every week you’ll have hw quiz (for 10-15 min) with one problem from your assignment.

Good news: you are allowed to use YOUR notes

(no books or photocopies)

Bad news: small partial credit (for hw). You have to show your work, get a correct formula, and, if required, a numerical answer

Physics 218 mechanics

Check my webpage for hw assignments Bassichis, 5th Edition

Example for Week 1 (Week Aug 31):

Week Aug 31 (due Sep 7): All Chapter 1 problems and exercises

“Due” means that I’ll give you a hw quiz on that day

Physics 218 mechanics

Exam schedule Bassichis, 5th Edition

All mid-term exams will be in HELD 105  from 7:00 to 9:30 pm

September  29             Exam I

October      27             Exam II

November  24             Exam III

Final             TBA

Physics 218 mechanics

Help sessions are every Monday 30 min before the class Bassichis, 5th Edition

I also make help sessions before each midterm exam and the final.

However, these sessions cannot substitute for regular class attendance.  They are to give you a good guidance on how to prepare for the test and to succeed in problem solving.

Please check my webpage for help sessions schedule

Standards Bassichis, 5th Edition

We’re teaching you how to THINK about how to solve technical problems.

  • If you think this class is “plug and chug” you’re going to be VERY unhappy

  • If you think you can memorize a few formulas and ace this course, you are very mistaken

My advise to you
My Advise to You Bassichis, 5th Edition

  • Be proactive!! Get into it and have fun

  • Be serious aboutan old rule of thumb:you have to study 2-3 hours a week outside the class per each credit hour

  • Don’t miss classes (lectures, recitations, labs)

  • Solve all problems and exercises after each Chapter in the book

  • Don’t fall into the “I understand the concepts but I can’t do the problems” trap. It means you haven’t done enough of the problems in the chapters.

  • Every year we have lots of students who really think they understand but fail during the exams. Don’t let this happen to you!

Why study physics
Why study physics? Bassichis, 5th Edition

  • the most fundamental of the sciencesprovides the basis of our understanding of the Universe;

    We do want to find out how things work!

  • scientists of all disciplines make use of the ideas of physics

  • fun to learn and adventure!

Physics 218 mechanics

Language of physics is math career!

Studies show that you need to be good

at math to solve physics problems

(This is a skill! Anyone can learn it, you just have to learn to deal with the fear and learn it anyways).

First week we will learn some calculus: derivatives and integrals that we’ll need in this course

Track a
TRACK A career!

Some statistics…

# Passed Calc I %

  • 179 44

    468 387 82

Physics 218 mechanics

What happens when physics is ignored? career!

On January 28, 1986, seven astronauts were killed when the space shuttle they were piloting, the Challenger, exploded just over a minute into the flight. The failure of the solid rocket booster O-rings to seal properly at low temperature allowed hot combustion gases to leak from the side of the booster and burn through the external fuel tank.


Physics 218 mechanics

Cooling polymers: transition from rubbery to glass state career!

At low temperature molecular bonds become stronger

Molecules move too slow to respond to bending

Rubber becomes brittle

Physics 218 mechanics

Water career!




100 C (212 F)

-196 C (-322 F)

-183 C (-297 F)



0 C (32 F)

-223 C (-369 F)


-210 C (-346 F)


Our air is ¾ Nitrogen and ¼ Oxygen

Physics 218 mechanics

How cold is it? career!

Vostok station -89 C

Nitrogen boils: -196 C (77 K)

Triton, the moon of Neptune:

-235 C (38 K)

Physics 218 mechanics

Earth career!

We are lucky that here on Earth air is gaseous, while water is liquid!

Why is there smoke

This is how the clouds are formed! career!

Why is there smoke?

This is water vapor! Cold N2 leads to condensation of water droplets in the air.

Why this vapor goes down while water vapor from boiling water goes up?

Because this vapor is cold!

Physics 218 mechanics

Cooling living cells career!

Rubber regains elasticity when it thaws

Living cells are permanently damaged by freezing

Mechanics career!

  • Various forms of motion:

  • mechanical

  • electromagnetic

  • thermal, etc.

    Mechanical form of motion is connected with displacements of various bodies relative to each other and with changes of the shapes of the bodies

Physics 218 mechanics

Have a great day! career!

Please return the folders

Reading: Chapter 1 (derivatives)