Skip to main contentSkip Navigation or Skip to Content
Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

PHYS 1103: General Physics I

This course is an introduction to mechanics, heat, wave motion, and vibration at a first-year university level.

PHYS 1105, the laboratory component of PHYS 1103, is usually offered once per year in the summertime in Kamloops BC.

Learning outcomes

  • Describe the basic laws that govern the mechanics of the universe.
  • Explain the concepts of vectors, energy, momentum, force, and motion that are used to describe mechanics.
  • Solve problems involving motion in one and two dimensions.
  • Describe statics (equilibrium conditions) and the equilibrium of extended bodies, and the concept of torque balance.
  • Describe the dynamics of objects that can be treated as point sources at the level of a particle.
  • Extend the rules of basic mechanics of straight-line motion to circular motion, gravitational effects, fluids, vibrations, and mechanical waves.
  • Solve problems related to motion, gravitation, waves, and vibrations.
  • Explain the dynamics of heat and temperature.
  • Explain the importance of the application of physics in science, engineering, and technology.
  • Outline the development of the methods used to explain the mechanical universe and the limitations of each method.

Course topics

  • Unit 1: Mathematical Introduction and Vectors
  • Unit 2: Force
  • Unit 3: Energy and Momentum
  • Unit 4: Circular Motion
  • Unit 5: Thermal Physics and States of Matter
  • Unit 6: Vibrations and Waves

Required text and materials

The following materials are required for this course:

  1. Serway, R.A., & Vuille, C. (2018). College Physics, 11th edition, Vol.1. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
    Type: Textbook: ISBN: 978-1-305-96551-5

Additional requirements

A scientific calculator capable of scientific notation (10x), logarithms, ex, yx and trigonometric functions including inverse functions. The calculator must be capable of working in radians as well as degrees. You will also need a set of simple drawing instruments (i.e. ruler, protractor).

Note: For the final exam you will only be allowed to use a non-programmable scientific calculator.


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory examination.

Note: The final exam for this course is only available as a in-person exam and must be taken at an approved Testing Centre. Please email with any questions.

Assignment 1: Vectors 8%
Assignment 2: Force 8%
Assignment 3: Energy and Momentum 8%
Assignment 4: Circular Motion 9%
Assignment 5: Thermal Physics and States of Matter 8%
Assignment 6: Vibrations and Waves 9%
Final examination (mandatory) 50%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

Search To Top