Fundamentals of Physics for Engineers (PHY1124 – Undergraduate Course)

Motivation of the course

The modern science, in the current form, has been developed during last 400 years. It is impossible to learn these developments in science historically. Thus, they will be chosen selectively for your undergraduate programme by the faculty and your school. Fundamentals of Physics for Engineers (PHY1124) covers two important subjects in physics; classical mechanics, and electromagnetism. In this course, undergraduate students will learn the basic concept and formalism to describe the motion of objects. In particular, they study basic concepts of kinematics, reference frames, relative motion, Newton’s laws of motion, forces, and the concepts of work, energy and power. Furthermore, they learn fundamentals of electrostatics, such as Coulomb and Gauss’ laws, and magnetostatics (Bio-Savart).

This course is intended for undergraduate students in electrical and computer engineering.

Main textbook

The course will be based on Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics (9th Edition) by Raymond A. Serway and John W. Jewett. Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 23, 24, 25, 29, and 30 of the book will be covered during this course.

Class meeting time

The lectures will be held each Monday from 8:30 to 10:00 and Thursday 10:00 to 11:30 in 800 King Edward (STE), G0103. This course has a DGD, which will be held each Tuesday from 16:00 to 17:30 in MHN 257. DGD will be conducted by graduate assistants. Though DGD sessions are not mandatory, they are strongly recommended. It will help students to improve their problem-solving skills.


The course grade will be determined based on (1) assignments and activities during lectures (15%), (2) midterm examinations (30%), and (3) final examination (55%). Note that in addition to the standard grading there will be an optional (5%) assigned to pre-lecture quizzes. 

The physics laboratory is run independently from the rest of the course. To learn about the duties and scheduling please visit the laboratory website on virtual Campus or communicate with Dr Michael C. H. Wong (STE 3040).

After the semester is over the final grade for the whole course will be calculated using the following formula

Final grade = 0.8 × Course grade [out of 100] + 0.2 × Lab grade [out of 100]

Letter grades submitted to Faculty:

90-100 85-89.99 80-84.99 75-79.99 70-74.99 66-69.99 60-64.99 55-59.99 50-54.99 40-49.99  0-39.99
A+ A A B+ B C+ C D+ D E F


There are two midterm examinations for this course; one will be taken at 10:00-11:30 of the Thursday, February 8th, and the second one will be taken at 10:00-11:30 of the Thursday, March 22nd. Students are not allowed to use books, notes, and calculator for all exams associated with this course. The midterm with a lower score will be worth 10% of the course grade.

  • Midterm -1 (8th of February 2018) [SOLUTION].
  • Midterm -2 (22nd of March 2018) [SOLUTION].
  • Final Exam (24th of April 2018) [SOLUTION].


There will 10 bi-weekly assignments, which will be available below in a PDF format (the link will be activated two weeks before the deadline). The assignment sheets have to be printed out and filled. The completed assignments will have to be returned to the drop-off box in the STE building (4th floor) by 18:00 of the date specified below. Each assignment is comprised of 4 to 5 problems of equal value, which the total point value for all assignments will be announced and converted to 15 % at the end.

Lecture notes

The course notes will be available a week after each lecture and can be downloaded via the following links:

Pop quiz

There will be pre-lecture pop quizzes with a marking weight given above –  Pop quizzes and their answers will be available a week after each quiz and can be downloaded via the following links:

  • Quiz -1 [QI].
  • Quiz -2 [QII]. 
  • Quiz -3 [QIII].
  • Quiz -4 [QIV].
  • Quiz -5 [QV].

Important notes

Academic Fraud

What is academic fraud?

Academic fraud is defined as “any act by a student that may result in a distorted academic evaluation of that student or of another student.” Academic fraud occurs if you do any of the following:

  • Plagiarize (copy) or cheat in any way (for more information on plagiarism and how you can avoid it, see the academic fraud section in the student guides).
  • Submit work you have not completely written yourself (with the exception of quotations and references). This can include an assignment, an essay, a test, an exam, a research report or a thesis, whether you present your work in writing, orally or in another form.
  • Present research data that has been falsified or made up in any way.
  • Attribute a statement of fact or reference to a made-up source.
  • Submit the same work or a large part of the same work in more than one course, or a thesis or other work that has been presented elsewhere without the prior approval of the appropriate professors or academic units.
  • Falsify or misrepresent an academic evaluation, using a forged or altered supporting document or facilitating the use of such a document.
  • Undertake any other action for the purpose of falsifying an academic evaluation.

Missed Midterm

The only valid reasons for missing the midterms are:

  1. Sickness confirmed by the note from a physician(s). The note has to be dated on the date of the test or before it, and has to clearly indicate that student was sick on the date of the test.
  2. Serious injury and/or hospitalization – the note from the hospital will be needed.
  3. Representing university as an athlete, scholar or researcher.

If you missed the midterm examination(s), please contact me as soon as you are back in school. I would prefer to see you in person – visit me with the original doctor’s note at my office ARC463 (during office hours or by appointment).

  1. I will need to have Xerox-copy of the doctor’s note, stapled to the brief letter explaining your situation.
  2. Your name, student number, date of the test etc. should be stated clearly in your letter.
  3. I will decide on the form of the supplementary evaluation after all of the students who missed the test have contacted me.

Your make-up midterm test will happen at the end of the semester-last week of classes.

It is student’s responsibility to attend supplementary midterm:
I will announce the time date and place during the lecture within last week of classes as well as on the class website.