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Calculus-Based Physics 1: Mechanics & Kinematics

Fall semester of 2020 I taught Calculus Based Physics 1 Labs: Introduction to Classical Mechanics at Grand Canyon University (GCU) in Phoenix. The first 3 weeks of the lab were done online through Zoom, and consisted of my demonstrations of a ball rolling down a ramp, and students using Vernier analysis video software to determine things like velocity or acceleration.

Students were places into groups of 3-5 for the whole semester and given a new type of lab each week to complete (either in person or online). The students turned in a written lab report as a group once a week; this lab report followed a standard format, making it easy for the students to work with and easy for me to grade as an instructor! Dr. Tom McCarthy was my new faculty mentor and was extremely helpful in helping me get acquainted with GCU and the physics labs.

Topics Covered:

  • Topic 1: Measurements, Applied Math, and One-Dimensional Motion
    • Lab 1: Scientific Method
    • Lab 2: Dimensional, Uniform Motion
  • Topic 2: Vector Analysis and Two-Dimensional Motion
    • Lab 3: Instantaneous Velocity
    • Lab 4: 2-Dimensional Projectile Motion
  • Topic 3: Newton’s Laws of Motion and Applications
    • Lab 5: Vector Addition
    • Lab 6: Atwood’s Machine
  • Topic 4: Work, Energy, and Momentum
    • Lab 7: The Law of Conservation of Energy
    • Lab 8: Impulse-Momentum Theorem
  • Topic 5: Rotational Mechanics
    • Lab 9: Uniform Circular Motion
    • Lab 10: Rotational Dynamics
  • Topic 6: Thermodynamics
    • Lab 11: Efficiency of a Heat Engine
  • Topic 7: Simple Harmonic Motion, Waves, and Sound
    • Lab 12: Simple vs. Physical Pendula
    • Lab 13: Standing Waves

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