PHYS 1103
General Physics I

3.0 Credits


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.

Delivery Method

Print-based and Web-based.


One of the Principles of MATH 12, or MATH 0633 or MATH 1001. Physics 11 or PHYS 0501 and a Calculus course (such as MATH 1157, MATH 1171, or MATH1141) are strongly recommended. Physics 12 or PHYS 0601 is also recommended. The combination of PHYS 1103 and PHYS 1203, with their corresponding laboratory courses PHYS 1105 and PHYS 1205, provides the equivalent of a full first year of university-level physics.


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • 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 Outline


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

Maximum Completion

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

  1. Raymond Serway, Chris Vuille. College Physics. 10th edition. Cengage Learning, 2015.
    Type: Textbook: ISBN: 978-1-285-73702-7
  1. Raymond Serway, Chris Vuille. Student Solutions Manual and Study Guide (Vol 1) to Accompany College Physics. 10th edition. Cengage Learning, 2015.
    Type: Study Guide: ISBN: 978-1-285-86625-3

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.

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty member is available to assist students. Primary communication is by phone if you are taking the print version of the course and through the Learning Management System's "Mail" tool if you are taking the web version. You will receive the necessary contact information when you start your course.


In order to successfully complete this course, you must obtain at least 50% on the final mandatory examination and 50% overall. Students who do not submit an assignment will be assigned a mark of zero (0) for that assignment. It is recommended that students complete all assignments in order to achieve the learning outcomes of the course.

Assignment 1 6%
Assignment 2 6%
Assignment 3 6%
Assignment 4 8%
Assignment 5 6%
Assignment 6 8%
Final examination * 60%
Total 100%

* Mandatory