NYU Physics 1

This page is for the Fall 2009 semester.

Physics 1 (V85.0091) is an introductory mechanics course in the NYU Department of Physics intended for Physics Majors and other science majors.


name contact office
lecture Prof David W. Hogg [email] Meyer 501
recitation and lab Giga Chkareuli [email] Meyer 220
Fengji Hou [email] Meyer 925
Ted Malliaris [email] Meyer 621
tutoring Roman Baglay [email]
Philip Ponce de Leon [email]
administration William LePage +1.212.998.7704 Meyer 424


There are several aims of this course, not limited to

Textbook and materials

Make sure you get the second edition of Chabay & Sherwood as it is very different from the first edition.

Please send to Prof Hogg any errata you find for either book (along with any other comments) in your reading memos (described below). There are lists of errata for Chabay & Sherwood maintained at NYU and maintained by the authors (PDF).


Grades will be based on a strict numerical ranking generated with the percentages given in this table.

reading memos 5
recitation worksheets10
problem sets 35
mid-term exam 15
final exam 35

Reading memos

There is a small amount of reading assigned (in the schedule below) for each week. 24 hours before each Tuesday lecture (that is, by 12:30 each Monday) you will be expected to have emailed to Prof Hogg a short memo about the reading. Please put the words reading memo in the subject line of your email; please do not send Word documents; just type a plain text email.

Each reading memo can say whatever you like, but it is most helpful if it describes what, in the reading, you did not understand, what you found confusing, and what you would like to hear more about in class in the coming week. The primary purpose of the memos is to communicate to the instructors challenges encountered in the assigned reading.

Reading memos will be graded (leniently) on the basis that they demonstrate some serious attempt to understand the content of the reading. The secondary purpose of the memos is to ensure that you take the reading seriously and make an attempt to learn from it.

Reading memos emailed late will be graded zero unless there is a medical excuse.


In most recitations, you will work through problems and discuss them with your recitation instructor and fellow students. Some of these problems will be organized into a worksheet that you sign and hand in at the end of the recitation.

It is not possible to do a recitation worksheet in advance of recitation or after the fact. If you are not going to be able to attend a recitation, ask for an excused absence from Prof Hogg in advance. Recitation worksheets missed without excused absences will be graded zero unless there is a medical excuse.


The laboratories form a completely separate and independent class (V85.0092), with an independent grade. This grade will be based on your written laboratory reports.

It is not possible to perform a laboratory experiment in advance of the scheduled laboratory time or after it. If you are not going to be able to attend a laboratory, ask for an excused absence from Prof Hogg in advance. Laboratory experiments missed without excused absences will be graded zero unless there is a medical excuse. Importantly, if you miss more than two laboratory experiments for any reason (medical or otherwise), you will not receive a passing grade for the laboratory class; the best grade you can receive in this situation is "Incomplete".

Problem sets

A small number of problems are assigned each week to hand in as your problem set (see the table below). These problem sets are to be handed in at the Tuesday lecture.

Please feel free to discuss problem set questions with other students. Working together can be very educational and helpful; we encourage it! However, you must ensure that the work you hand in is your own. This is required by the principles of academic integrity; but it is also the case that you will not learn the material and not perform well on the exams if you have not worked out the problem sets yourself.

Problem sets serve a double purpose. They provide you with practice problems, and they provide the instructors with an evaluation of the abilities of the class. Keep these goals in mind as you work on the problem sets. Even a wrong problem set can get points awarded, but it is your responsibility to make sure your answers contain enough explanation, illustration, and physical reasoning to warrant it.

If you are not going to be able to complete a problem set on time, ask for an extension from Prof Hogg by email in advance. Problem sets handed in late without granted extensions will be graded zero unless there is a medical excuse.


All of the staff have office hours (given in the weekly schedule below), and you should feel free to contact them at any time about the material of the course. In addition there is free tutoring available for this course, supplied by the Department and the Engineering program. The standard tutoring session times and locations (note: locations may vary) are listed in the weekly schedule below. If the location is given as email for location, then email the tutor in advance to arrange where to meet. This valuable resource is most useful when you come to the session with a very specific question in mind.


There will be one mid-term examination during the term and a final exam at the end, on dates given in the schedule below.

With few exceptions, each exam question will be a problem you have seen before, in lecture, in recitation, or on a problem set, with small changes or shortened for time. The idea is that good performance on the exams will demonstrate that you really have understood the assigned work throughout the semester.

If you have to miss any examination for any non-medical reason, you must make arrangements with Prof Hogg by email in advance. Missed exams will be graded zero unless there is a special arrangement made or a medical excuse. No special arrangements will be made for travel conflicts.


audio recordings: While you are not forbidden from making audio recordings during class, you must not post, publish, or share them without the written permission of every student in the class (which you are unlikely to get). This is because the classroom setting is a private setting in which everyone should feel free to speak plainly and without regrets.

feedback: Please ask questions during lectures and recitations. If there is something you don't understand, many other students are having the same trouble, guaranteed. If there is some aspect of the pace, content, or structure of the course you don't like, or any other feedback you would like to give, please let Prof Hogg know as soon as possible. If you wait until course evaluation forms are handed out at the end of the semester, you will have benefited next year's class at the expense of your own!

Weekly schedule

Monday 12:30 by emailreading memo due
12:30–15:30email for locationBaglay tutoring
12:55–15:15Meyer 223 Hou lab
17:00–19:00Meyer 425BdeLeon tutoring
Tuesday 09:00–11:00email for locationBaglay tutoring
11:00–12:15Meyer 501 Hogg office hour
12:30–13:45Meyer 122 lecture, problem set due
14:00–16:20Meyer 223 Malliaris lab
16:00–17:00Meyer 220 Chkareuli office hour
Wednesday 09:30–11:50Meyer 223 Chkareuli lab
12:30–15:30email for locationBaglay tutoring
14:00–15:15Meyer 264 Chkareuli recitation
15:00–18:00Meyer 639BdeLeon tutoring
16:00–17:00Meyer 925 Hou office hour
16:00–17:00Meyer 621 Malliaris office hour
Thursday 09:00–11:00email for locationBaglay tutoring
09:30–10:45Meyer 105 Malliaris recitation
10:30–12:30Meyer 424 deLeon tutoring
12:30–13:45Meyer 122 lecture
14:00–15:15Meyer 264 Hou recitation
Saturday 13:00–16:00Silver 402deLeon tutoring

Assignment schedule

The following table is subject to change; please check back here frequently. C&S Chapter numbers refer to chapters in Chabay & Sherwood; SR Chapter numbers refer to chapters in the Hogg special relativity notes.

start of week reading memo due Monday problem set due Tuesday laboratory recitation worksheet Tuesday lecture Thursday lecture
Sep 07 none none no lab no recitation mass of the Earth no lecture; read dropped bucket
Sep 14 C&S ch 1 ps 0 collisions in one dimension numerical integration thrown stone acceleration, velocity, position
Sep 21 C&S ch 2 ps 1 motion 1 no worksheet momentum and relativity bouncing ball
Sep 28 C&S ch 3 ps 2 motion 2 dimensional analysis of orbits circular orbit icy, banked curve
Oct 05 C&S ch 4 ps 3 no lab friction mass on a spring roller-coaster design
Oct 12 C&S ch 5 ps 4 no lab no recitation strings and pulleys mid-term exam
Oct 19 C&S ch 6 ps 5 no lab small variations radial orbits damped harmonic oscillator
Oct 26 C&S ch 8 ps 6 equilibrium of forces potential energy rolling energy elastic collisions
Nov 02 C&S ch 9 ps 7 Newton's second law bouncing inelastic collisions the rocket
Nov 09 SR chs 2,3 ps 8 work and energy space-time diagrams time dilation and length contraction space-time diagrams
Nov 16 SR chs 4,5,6 ps 9 conservation of energy the interval relativity's paradoxes relativistic collisions
Nov 23 C&S ch 10 ps 10 no lab no recitation rolling with and without slipping holiday
Nov 30 none none conservation of energy rolling statics collisions of finite bodies
Dec 07 none ps 11 ballistic pendulum tbd solid-body rotation gyroscopes
Dec 14 none ps 12 no lab no recitation celestial mechanics final exam (details below)
The final exam is on Thursday 2009 Dec 17 at 12:00 in Meyer 122.

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