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This is a one-semester, self-contained, algebra-based course on Newtonian mechanics, including examination of the properties of fluids, waves, and sound. The basic material is supplemented by special attention to the biomechanics of animals, including the concept of "scaling".


WWW: This course outline is maintained at:
http://hep.bu.edu/~kearns/py132 (you are here!).


Prof. Ed Kearns
(617) 353-3425

office hours: MF 3-4 PM PRB-255
Thursday 4:30-5:30 please notify
in advance

Teaching fellow:

Kevin Stokely (stokely@bu.edu)
SCI-201 353-2183
office hours: Friday 10 AM - 12 PM

See the web page at:

HOMEWORK and QUIZ SOLUTIONS are posted here!

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Course grade:

  • 15%     Exam 1
  • 15%     Exam 2
  • 15%     Exam 3
  • 10%     Attendance, participation and exercises in discussion section
  • 20%     Homework assignments
  • 20%     Laboratory reports and notebook
  • 5%       Attendance and participation in lecture

Lectures: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 2 PM to 2:50 PM, SCI-115.
Be prepared to answer questions or work on exercises by reading and working ahead. Attendance is mandatory and unexcused absence will lower your participation grade.


  • Section D1:    PRB 150       Thursday 11-12
  • Section D2:    SOC B63         Thursday 1-2

Discussion sections are a required part of the course. The teaching fellow will supplement the lecture material, assist in problem solving, and help prepare you for exams. Conceptual exercises will be a graded part of each discussion section.


  • Section L1:   SCI basement      Wednesday 10-12
  • Section L2:   SCI basement      Wednesday 3-5

Laboratories are an important element of this course. Lab instructions will be handed out in lecture prior to each session. You should carefully read and prepare before the lab section meets, as that will allow you to make efficient use of your time during the session. You are expected to keep records and write your report in a bound lab notebook- no loose papers! You will hand in your lab notebooks for grading. Record data in pen in your notebook as you take it, and draw neat graphs of your measurements, with clear labels on all axes and a description of the data. With the instructor's permission, you may attend the other lab section for which you are not scheduled. There will be no makeup labs.

Here is a guideline for a good lab report: http://hep.bu.edu/~kearns/py132/lab-report.html

Text: College Physics, 7th Edition
by Raymond A. Serway and Jerry S. Faughn

All you need is Volume 1. There is also a larger book with Volumes 1+2 together, you do not need Volume 2 (Electricity and Modern Physics).

Optional Study Guide: Student Solutions Manual and Study Guide, Volume 1,
by Gordon, Teague, and Serway ISBN: 0030348110


  • Wednesday October 4
  • Monday November 6
  • Monday December 11

Homework: Due in the TF box in SCI basement, each Friday by 5 PM.
The Honors/Bonus problem should be handed in separately to Prof. Kearns on Monday. Solutions are posted on the class schedule page (http://hep.bu.edu/~kearns/py132/schedule.html).

Office hours: Prof. Kearns' office hours will be after lecture, 3-4 PM, each MWF. Office hours will be in the conference room (PRB-261) next to his office (PRB-255). Office hours may also be arranged by appointment. See above for the TF office hours.

Other guidelines: All work submitted for a grade, including quizzes, exams, homework, and lab reports, must represent the effort and the personal understanding of the student. To achieve this understanding, collaboration on homework is acceptable, even encouraged, as long as the final written homework is the student's own attempt and not a copy of another students effort. Cooperation between lab partners is essential, however, each student should record and analyze data and observations in their own notebook. Please see the instructor if you are having difficulty with these guidelines. All work is due by the time and date required, and extensions will rarely be granted. In some instances, extensions will be allowed given good cause (sickness, unavoidable travel, or serious conflicts with deadlines in another class). Extensions must be granted in advance and documented in writing. This class is governed by the CAS Academic Conduct Code.