

Course Description
Mechanics is the study of motion. This course focusses on the
classical theory of motion as understood using Newton's laws,
dividing the material into three broad subjects. In the first
part of the course, the student is introduced to basic kinematics (the description
of how things move) with an overview of motion concepts and a
couple of simple examples: motion with constant velocity and
motion with constant acceleration (especially projectile motion
and circular motion). The course continues with a study of dynamics (the explanation
of why things move) and an exploration of several common types
of force: gravity, string tension, friction, drag and
(introducing Newton's third law) thrust. The final part of the
course involves the study of conservation laws  especially in
their relation to momentum, energy and mechanical work  and
how they facilitate the study of motion. Instruction
concentrates on basic principles of physics and general
problemsolving techniques, both in class and in webbased
homework assignments.
The lectures follow the first 11 chapters of the textbook
(Randall Knight, Physics for
Scientists and Engineers), in order. Weekly homework
assignments are hosted by Pearson Education's Mastering Physics
online homework system. There are three exams. A laboratory
section is also associated with the course, with a 2hour lab
every other week. The labs are managed separately from the
lecture course, but contribute to one course grade at the end of
the semester. See the "Labs" sidebar link for details.
System Requirements
 No prior knowledge of physics is assumed in this course,
though it is often helpful if the student has previously
resided in the physical world. A solid working knowledge of
algebraic manipulation, geometry and trigonometry is
critical. Knowledge of calculus is helpful in
understanding several connections in the course, but is not
absolutely necessary. (Calculus is absolutely necessary in subsequent
physics courses.) Math 131 (Calculus I) is a corequisite; you
should take it concurrently with Physics 151, if not before.
Coenrollment in an associated laboratory section is required,
and the lab contributes part of the overall course grade (see
the sidebar link to "Grade Policy" for details). Patience and
perseverance are absolute requirements, and a sense of humor
is strongly recommended.