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Course Code: PHYS 1110
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Physics
Credits: 5.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab, Hybrid
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter
course overview

This is a calculus-based (derivatives and anti-derivatives) course in mechanics intended for students pursuing a career in Engineering or Physics. Topics include vectors, particle kinematics and dynamics, work and energy, thermodynamics, heat engines, momentum and impulse, motion of systems, rotational motion, statics and equilibrium, oscillatory motion, wave motion, and sound.

Course Content

  1. Kinematics of a particle - one dimension:
    • Position, velocity and acceleration
    • Linear motion with constant acceleration
  2. Vectors:
    • Vector versus scalar
    • Unit vector notation
    • Vector addition
    • Multiplication of vectors
  3. Kinematics of a particle - two dimensions:
    • Projectile motion
    • Uniform circular motion
  4. Dynamics of a particle:
    • Newton’s laws of motion
    • Friction
    • Gravitation
    • Centripetal force
  5. Work and energy:
    • Work done by constant and variable forces
    • Kinetic energy
    • Work-Kinetic energy theorem
    • Gravitational potential energy
    • Elastic potential energy
    • Conservative and non-conservative forces
    • Power
    • Conservation of energy
  6. Heat and Thermodynamics
    • Heat and temperature
    • Thermal expansion of solids, liquids, gases
    • Specific heat capacities
    • Kinetic theory
    • Zeroth and first law of theromodynamics
    • Second law of thermodynamics; entropy
    • Heat engines
  7. System of Particles:
    • Centre-of-mass motion and determination
    • Linear momentum
    • Impulse
    • Collisions
    • Conservation of linear momentum
  8. Rotational motion:
    • Kinematics of pure rotation
    • Torque and moment of inertia
    • Dynamics of pure rotation
    • Angular momentum
    • Angular momentum conservation
  9. Statics:
    • Conditions for equilibrium
    • Equilibrium of a rigid body
  10. Oscillatory Motion:
    • Simple harmonic motion
    • Block on a spring motion
    • Pendulum motion
  11. Wave motion:
    • Mechanical waves
    • Wave speed
    • Superposition principle and interference of waves
    • Standing waves
    • Doppler effect
    • Sound waves and sound intensity level

Laboratory Experiments:

  • Simple Pendulum
  • Graphing Straight Line Motion
  • One-dimensional accelerated motion
  • Projectile Motion
  • Friction Coefficients
  • Orbital Motion and Centripetal Force
  • Conservation of Energy
  • Collisions
  • Rotational Dynamics and Moment of Inertia 
  • Hooke's Law and Simple Harmonic Motion
  • Standing Waves on a String

Methods of Instruction

Classroom time will be divided between the presentation and discussion of concepts on the one hand and the application of these concepts in problem solving on the other. The laboratory program will involve weekly, three hour sessions during which students will perform a set number of experiments. Some group work will be required.

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.   The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester.  

Evaluation will be based on the following:

  • final exam - minimum of 30% / maximum of 40%;
  • at least one midterm test - minimum of 20% / maximum of 30%;
  • laboratory experiments - 20%;
  • quizzes and/or assighments (possibly online) - minimum of 10% / maximum of 20%.

Learning Outcomes

The student will be able to:

1. Identify the following quantities and their appropriate units and dimensions; displacement; velocity; acceleration; force; mass; work; kinetic energy; potential energy; power; temperature; pressure; heat; entropy, linear momentum; impulse; angular displacement, velocity and acceleration; moment of inertia; rotational kinetic energy; angular momentum; torque; amplitude, period and frequency of motion; wavelength; wave intensity; intensity level;

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the following concepts, procedures and principles of mechanics and heat through the solution of problems: vector algebra via components and unit vector notation; average velocity and instantaneous velocity; average acceleration and instantaneous acceleration; uniformly accelerated motion; free-fall motion; Newton’s laws of motion; friction and coefficient of friction; conditions for equilibrium; work-energy theorem; conservation of mechanical energy; conservation of energy; heat, temperature, thermal expansion of solids and liquids; calorimetry; first and second law of thermodynamics; kinetic theory; specific heat capacities; heat engines, centre of mass motion; conservation of linear momentum; centripetal acceleration and force; universal law of gravitation; rotational motion; rolling motion; conservation of angular momentum; statics; Hooke’s law; simple harmonic motion; wave parameters; superposition principle; standing waves, resonance; intensity level versus intensity of sound; Doppler effect.

3. Perform laboratory experiments and analyze the data obtained using appropriate graphing techniques, scientific notation, significant figures and experimental uncertainty consideration.

4. Write a laboratory report in a conventional format required of submissions to scientific journals.

course prerequisites

BC Physics 12 (C or higher) or PHYS1107 or PHYS1108 and BC Pre-Calculus 12 (B or higher) or MATH1110.


MATH 1120


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.