PHYS 2A - Green Sheet

PHYS 2A - Fundamentals of Physics: Newtonian (Classical) Mechanics

Instructor: Dr. Ray Kwok
Lectures: Section 1: MWF 8:30 – 9:20 am (Sci 258)
Office Hours: MWF 8:00 - 8:30 am (Sci 310), TuTh 8:00 - 9:00 am (Engr 363), & by appointment
Office: SCI 310
Phone: (408) 924-5252
Textbook: College Physics, Serway, Faughn & Vuille (Thomson)

Course Description:

This course is the 1st semester in the algebra-based introductory physics for biology, premedical, technical, and liberal arts majors. It covers classical mechanics, sound waves and fluid dynamics.


  • Any Physics textbook is good. e.g. Physics, 3rd ed., James Walker (Prentice Hall)
  • The Flying Circus of Physics, J. Walker (Wiley)



Tentative topics:

Tentative topics is listed in my web site under PHYS 2A. The list is intended to help students to prepare and review lectures, and not to encourage students to miss classes. Students are responsible for any material presented in lectures even though it might not be on the list. Please review this page from time to time and check out the illustrations linked there. If you find any site relevant to the topics we cover and would like to share with the class, please email me.


Each student must enroll in one section of the Physics 2A Laboratory. The lab grade will be based on your lab reports and lab quizzes. You MUST pass the Laboratory to pass this course even though the Lab grade only counts for 10% of the total grade here.


homework / classwork 10%, 2 mid-term each 25%, final 40%

Final Letter grades will be assigned roughly according to the following percentage of maximum points earned as long as you pass the Laboratory section as well.

  • A 80% or above
  • B 65 - 80%
  • C 50 - 65%
  • D 35 - 50%
  • F below 35%

Students' responsibilities:

You are expected to come to class & be responsible for understanding all materials presented. If you have to miss a class, make sure you get a copy of the lecture notes from your classmates. If you need extra help to understand my lecture, please come see me.

You are expected to study your lecture notes and the textbook after each class. Although I highly encourage you study in small groups, that does not mean you split the homework. Understand the homework and write your own solution to the problems.

We all learn from mistakes. It is more important to understand why you cannot solve the problem a certain way than to remember how to solve the problem. Usually there are more than one way to get to the right answer. It is also more important to develop the problem solving skills than to remember the material (although it could be helpful).



9/1 - Labor Day
mid-terms (tentatively 10/6 Mon, 11/10 Mon)
11/27-28 - Thanksgiving Holidays
final exam (12/16 Tue 7:15 - 9:30 am)


Honor Code:

"I have read the Honor Code and agree with its provisions. My continued enrollment in this course constitutes full acceptance of this code. I will NOT:

  1. Take an exam in place of someone else, or have someone take an exam in my place
  2. Give information or receive information from another person during an exam
  3. Use more reference material during an exam than is allowed by the instructor
  4. Obtain a copy of an exam prior to the time it is given
  5. Alter an exam after it has been graded and then return it to the instructor for re-grading
  6. Leave the exam room without returning the exam to the instructor."


If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities register with the Disabilities Resource Center (DRC) to establish a record of their disability.


For More Information, contact:

Ray Kwok at SJSU