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.


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

  • 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

Serway, R.A., & Vuille, C. College Physics. 11th edition, Vol. 1. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2018.
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.


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

Assignment 1: Vectors 6%
Assignment 2: Force 6%
Assignment 3: Energy and Momentum 6%
Assignment 4: Circular Motion 8%
Assignment 5: Thermal Physics and States of Matter 6%
Assignment 6: Vibrations and Waves 8%
Final examination * 60%
Total 100%

* Mandatory

Open Learning Faculty Member

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 Environment's "Mail" tool if you are taking the online version. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

Search To Top