PHYS 101 :: Physics Illinois :: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Course Description

College Physics:  Mechanics & Heat

Credit: Credit is not given for both PHYS 101 and either PHYS 211 or PHYS 213.

Prerequisite: Trigonometry.

Physics 101 is a non-calculus-based approach to classical mechanics and thermodynamics. Topics covered include:

Course Goals

By the end of this course the student will be able to:

Course Components

All students are required to participate in all course components. 

Credit is granted in each course component. 

All course components are subject to the Academic Integrity Policy.


Lab participation requires the use of an IOLab device: This is a wireless data acquisition system that will allow you to perform hands-on experiments both in and outside the classroom. 

Students need to acquire one at the bookstore (new or used), and bring it to every lab. You will be emailed more information about this before your first lab period.


Course participation requires the use of i>clicker, an interactive audience response system.

Students need to acquire one at the bookstore (new or used), and bring it to every lecture, including the first lecture.

i>clicker Registration

Students' i>clickers must be registered at the beginning of every semester.

Learning Strategy

Our learning philosophy is tailored to help students efficiently process problems in physics by providing the necessary experiences.

In introductory physics, the learning philosophy of the Department of Physics can be summarized as follows:

  1. Think About It! (pre-lectures and bridge sets)
  2. Untangle It! (lectures)
  3. Challenge! (homework)
  4. Experience It! (labs)
  5. Close the Loop! (discussion)

This course covers a large amount of new material:

Component Description

Think About It: Pre-lectures and Bridge Sets

Due before each lecture, these web-based assessments are designed to introduce the key ideas/concepts of the lecture. 

Assignments are due as presented in the course schedule.


Bridge set

Untangle It:  Lecture

Attendance is required for participation credit.  You must have your functional i>clicker at each lecture.

The notes from each lecture will be posted on the course website.

Participation will occur as follows:

Each lecture will focus on a topic of the day as described in the course schedule.  The lecture will be tailored from student responses to the Bridge Set questions.

Lectures are formatted into subunits called interACTive learning segments.  Each ACT includes conceptual questions and numerical problems which students will answer for participation credit.  Students are invited to work in groups,  ask questions of and discuss the problem or question with the lecturer during each ACT problem set.

Challenge: Homework

The web-based homework covering each week's material is due the following week.

Homework is assigned and distributed through flipitPhysics.  The homework is due according to the course schedule.

Homework problems are designed to:

Background for the homework is provided by:

To start work on a homework assignment:

Experience It: Laboratory

Students must be on time for lab. No credit will be granted to students arriving more than 10 minutes late for lab.

The laboratory portion of this course will consist of nine (9) 3-hour laboratories plus a two hour "lab practical" exam.  Students are expected to:

  1. Do the online pre-lab activity, most involving your IOLab device, before each deadline. 
  2. Arrive to your lab section on time with your IOLab device and a laptop computer (Windows or Mac) on which the IOLab software has been installed. 
  3. Participate in the group-based lab activities. 

Close the Loop: Discussion

Students must be on time for discussion. Students arriving more than 10 minutes late for discussion will receive a grade of 0% on their quiz.

Each discussion session will consist of the following:

Each student is expected to:

Quizzes will be administered during the discussion section according to the course schedule.


Also there will be open office hours every week to give students one-on-one assistance if they need more help.  Do not be bashful about taking advantage of these!

Academic Integrity

All activities in this course are subject to the Academic Integrity rules as described in Article 1, Part 4, Academic Integrity, of the Student Code.

Infractions include, but are not limited to:

Violations of any of these rules will be prosecuted and reported to the student's home college.

All aspects of the course are covered by these rules, including: