Introductory Physics I for Engineers

Physics 1425 - Section 3   Spring 2023

Course Instructor: E. Craig Dukes

Academic Integrity Assessment Attendance Course Rules
Exercises (Homework) Exercises (In-class) Final Exam Midterm Exams
Office Hours Calendar Text Free Engineering Tutors
GradeScope Entry Code: 2KY7WK Mastering Physics Portal Emergency Procedures Instructors

Course Objectives

This course provides an introduction to essential concepts in the physical world, with an emphasis on analytic thinking and problem solving. The lectures include demonstrations and examples intended to reinforce an understanding of physical concepts and problem-solving strategies. The first semester (1425) focuses on kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, work and energy, momentum, static and dynamic equilibrium, simple harmonic motion, fluids, heat, and temperature. The second semester (2415) addresses electricity and magnetism, optics, and selected topics from solid state, atomic, and subatomic physics.

Should I take this course?

This course is most commonly taken by students who wish to fulfill requirements for their engineering degrees. However, we welcome all students who wish to take the course, regardless of their majors, and it provides a solid grounding in the principles of physics for any student interested in a technical field such as chemistry, astronomy, or environmental science.


The class is Calculus based, although it is not Calculus intensive by any means, and any student who has had Calculus in high school, or is taking it concurrently with the class should find themselves most comfortable with what is given in this class. A reasonable degree of comfort with algebra, geometry, and trigonomtry is essential.


Concurrent with this class is an introductory physics lab, PHYS 1429. The physics department has no requirement that it be taken in concert with this course; however, the engineering may require it. The lab course is administered independently from the lecture course. Should you have questions about the PHYS 1429 please contact Maxim Bychkov (mab3ed).

Course Organization

Typically there will be two lectures followed by a workshop session. usually, but not always, the lecturese are given on Monday and Wednesdays, followed by a workshop session on Fridays. Because of midterm exams and snow days, this M/W/F sequence (described further below) can vary, so check the Course Calendar carefully.

Each week, I will remind the student of the material given in the course calendar to be covered in the following week in the form of reading assignments from the textbook. Lectures will be posted on Collab after the lecture is given.

What you need to do each week:

Class Web Site
Refer to the class web page for up to date information. However, announcements made in class always supersede any information given on the class web page.

Location and Time

Chemistry Building 217
Section 3: MWF 10:00-10:50 AM

Course Instructor

Note: the course instructor has his office in the High Energy Physics Laboratory and not Jesse Beams Laboratory (the main Physics building), which is under renovation. Office hours are by Zoom (link on Collab webpage) unless otherwise stated by special appointment.

Section 3
Craig Dukes
Room 121
High Energy Physics Laboratory
Telephone: 434-982-5364
E-mail: ecd3m

Teaching Assistant

The teaching assistant is to help you understand solving physics problems.

You may go see any TA during his/her office hours irrespective of your section. All TA office hours are to be determined.

Troy Meink
Telephone: tbd
E-mail: ked6na(at)
Christine Qian
Telephone: tbd
E-mail: jnd8vu(at)
Olivia Yang
Telephone: tbd
E-mail: uge8pq(at)


The grader manages day-to-day issues involving the Learning Catalytics and Mastering Physics.
Abigail Sublett
E-mail: zdn3db(at)

Office hours and Location

Office hours are available as a resource for questions about the text, lectures, and homework exercises.

Teaching Assistant office hours found at link .
Dukes office hour times are below. Location is by Zoom (link can be found on UVACollab.

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
Dukes (121 HEP): 5-6 pm 5-6 pm

Text and Mastering Physics

We will be using Giancoli, Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 5th Ed.

Note that there are other Giancoli texts with similar names. Do not buy those texts!

This book is offered through UVA BookStorei's Inclusive Access program. ALL students enrolled in the class will have immediate access to your digital course materials through UVA Collab for the first 2 weeks of class for free starting one week prior to semester start. After the Add/Drop deadline, your student account will be charged ~$70. If you choose to drop the course, there will be no charge to your account. On the other hand, if you stay with the course, you must convert to a paid subscription to avoid interruption of accessing to HW. This inclusive access program is optional but if you choose to acquire your textbook elsewhere, you must opt out by the Add/Drop deadline to avoid being charged and you will lose online access after you opt out. Due to the special pricing, no refunds can be processed. This program aims to offer all students accessibility and affordability. If you have any questions regarding the program, please email

We will use Modified Mastering Physics to administrate the online portion of the homework assignments. Whne you register for Mastering Physics you will be prompted for an ID. Use your uVA-assinged email ID, not any other ID or email account.

For more on Inclusive Access click here for a short write-up. For a video that explains how to register for Inclusive Access and to register for Mastering Physics click
There are a lot of other similar textbooks written by Giancoli.

  • If you decide to rent a textbook or buy a used copy, you will also need to purchase the Modified Mastering Physics homework access card separately. The separate code is available for purchase in the UVA bookstore. However, please note that the combined cost of the rented/used book and the access code may be more expensive than buying the new book/access code package in the bookstore because of the special price negotiated with the publisher Pearson.

  • I strongly suggest that you do not purchase your access codes from any site other than the UVA store or Pearson. Many of the codes sold on Amazon Marketplace and like sites are defective or already activated and will not work. You will then need to purchase a second code, causing greater expense and a delayed start to the semester.

Exercises (Homework) Mastering Physics

Physics, like any other mental or physical endeavor, cannot be learned without practice, which is the purpose of the exercises that will be assigned weekly. MasteringPhysics is a Web-based learning and tutorial interface developed by physics teachers. It has an excellent record for improving student problem. Late submissions will be accepted with an automatic score reduction on the assignment. Get your work in early: a down internet connection will not be accepted as an excuse for a problem set to be forgiven.

How to Register

Instructions on how to register can be found here. Register here.

You will need to register:

  • Course ID: dukes32681
  • Access code: This you get with Inclusive Access; otherwise you need to buy it directly from Mastering Physics when you first register.
  • An email account: You should use your UVa email account if at all possible, although this is not manditory.
  • UVa computing ID. You will be asked for this. Make sure you use your UVa computing ID, e.g., the part before "", and not a Gmail account.

Note that the Modified Mastering Physics we are using allows students to create an account for two weeks until you are prompted to enter your access code. To do so please register into the program and on the screen, where you enter the access code, look down towards the bottom of your screen and you will see an option for choosing "temporary" (2 week) access.

Problems with MasteringPhysics or Learning Catalytics:

  • Pearson support link
  • Pearson Support (students): 1-833-585-1828
  • Pearson Support (faculty): 1-800-922-0579

Upgrading from Temporary Access:

  • See instructions here

If you need a refund

Exercises (In-Class) Learning Catalytics

Problems will be given during class, where your response will be recorded using Learning Catalytics. In order to do so you will need to bring to each class either a laptop, tablet, or smart phone in which to record your responses.

You will need an account with Learning Catalytics. Instructions on how to get an account and how to start a session are found here. Note:

  • Do not go to the Learning Catalytics website and create a separate Learning Catalytics account.
  • Join Learning Catalytics sessions from your Mastering Physics home page.

If you need help with Learning Catalytics contact support here.

For each problem you will receive 70% for any answer, and another 30% for getting it right. In order to account for illness, forgotten or malfunctioning laptops, tablets, or smart phones, and other unavoidable absences, you are allowed 5 pre-excused absences in which a zero for your in-class scores are forgiven.

Learning Catalytics in-class scores are available on Mastering Physics. It is your responsibility to make sure that yours are being recorded properly. Should you have any problems with your Learning Catalytics, please contact the grader: do not contact either of the course instructors.

Midterm Exams

Two closed-book, multiple-choice, midterm examinations are scheduled during the semester (see the syllabus).

The midterms will be given in class.

Exams are multiple-choice, closed-book and problem-oriented.

Formulas and constants will be provided for the midterm and final exams and posted ahead of time. You may not bring your own.

If you miss an exam without a valid excuse, you will receive a score of zero. Valid excuses include university-sponsored travel, serious illness, personal crises, and other emergencies. Except in the case of emergencies, you must contact your instructor prior to the exam to approve your absence. Supporting documentation from your doctor or dean may be required. If approved, you will be exempted from the exam, with the other scores that go into your final grade reweighted accordingly.

Final Exam

The final exam will be closed-book and comprehensive of the course, although with extra emphasis on material not covered by the other midterms. Formulas will be given. See the calendar for the date. You must take the final exam scheduled for your section unless you have explicit permission from the course instructor.


The relative weights of the components to your final grade are given as follows:
In-Class exercises
Homework assignments (chapter summaries & Mastering Physics assignments with SYW)
Weekly quizzes
Final exam

At the end of the semester, your numerical grade will be converted to a letter grade. The grading thresholds (the cutoff grade for A, B, C, etc) follows roughly the default Collab values. Midterm and final exams are never curved down, but sometimes curved up depending on the difficulty level of the exams.

Historically, roughly 40% of those who complete the course may receive A (including A+, A, A-), and the class average has been between B and B+ (class GPA between 3.0 and 3.3).


You should attend class as many studies have shown that students who do poorly as those who have missed the most classes. Also, in-class questions are given during class and represent 5% of your class grade.

Attendance will be taken for each workshop session (group activities). Attending 10 out of 12 such group activity sessions will earn you full attendance grade, which will contribute to a small portion of your 20% quiz grade. By the end of the semester, those of you who fill out the course evaluation will have the lowest HW grade exempt from the final grade. Additionally, each of you will receive a "free pass" on quizzes which means one of the weekly quizzes is exempt. This should take care of occasional illness or other unexpected absences. Please note that Chapter Summaries are not excused.

Incompletes are not given for the course; if for whatever reason you cannot keep up with the course requirements, then you are expected to withdraw from the course.

Academic Integrity

You are encouraged to work with your classmates on the online homework assignments. Peer-to-peer teaching can be one of the most effective forms of instruction. However, submission of solutions by groups or direct copying of solutions from the internet or another student is not acceptable (and a poor strategy). Talk to your friends about how to do a problem, but make sure you actually do it yourself!

Be aware that MasteringPhysics has online tools to detect cheating. If evidence suggests an assignment was copied, it will be assigned a score of zero. Repeated offenses may be reported to the Honor Committee.

For midterm and final exams, you must work by yourself. Collusion with other students or use of non-allowed resources is a clear violation of the honor code. If you cheat, you will be assigned a score of zero on the exam and reported to the Honor Committee.

Course Rules

Please read these course rules. By registering for this course you are agreeing to abide by these rules.

For Instructors/TAs

  • How to present from laptop and access classroom mics and cameras link