Registering for your firstyear Physics courses
Registering for your first University courses can be confusing. There is a variety of programs,
and options, and rules to account for.
This note is offered in an attempt to make some Physicsspecific details more clear, but it could
never replace an academic advising session with an expert. In all cases where further clarification
is required, please book an academic advising session with one of our Physics Academic Advisers,
by sending an email to physics@brocku.ca.
Firstyear courses and scheduling
Department of Physics offers three firstyear Physics halfcredit courses and two firstyear
Astronomy halfcredit courses. Each of the three Physics courses comes in two versions: with (1P9x) or
without (1P2x) labs. Labs typically are recommended for most Science majors, and for many people planning
to enter professional programs (medicine, dentistry, etc.). The lab component does add 3hrs every
two weeks to the course load, but in return the marks tend to be higher in courses with lab components,
even in the other, nonlab, aspects of the course: some very important learning is taking place
in the labs. Plus, you get to play with some really cool equipment!
The courses are:
Course 
Title 
Normally offered in 
ASTR 1P01 
Introduction to Astronomy I 
FW D2, SP D2 
ASTR 1P02 
Introduction to Astronomy II 
FW D3, SP D3 
PHYS 1P21/1P91 
Mechanics and Waves 
FW D2, FW D3 (1P21 only) 
PHYS 1P22/1P92 
Electromagnetism, Optics and Modern Physics 
FW D3, SP D1 
PHYS 1P23/1P93 
Fluids, Heat and Light 
FW D3 
FW D2: SeptDec; FW D3: JanApr; SP D2: MayJune; SP D3: JuneJuly; 1P9x: with labs; 1P2x: without labs
Physics' majors take all three of PHYS 1P91/2/3; for most other majors a combination
of two halfcredit courses constitutes a valid fullyear Physics credit.
As you can see from the above table, PHYS 1P21/1P91 is offered in D2 (the Fall term) and
also in D3 (the Winter term, PHYS 1P21 only), PHYS 1P23/1P93 and
and PHYS 1P22/1P92 only in D3 (the Winter term). In principle, PHYS 1P23/1P93 does not have a
prerequisite beyond the normal complement of highschool math, and therefore
can be taken before PHYS 1P21/1P91. Similarly, PHYS 1P21/1P91 before PHYS 1P22/1P92
is recommended, but not necessary, especially for students who have taken Grade 11 or
Grade 12 Physics. However, the regular expected sequence of the
firstyear Physics courses is:

Fall Term (D2) 
Winter Term (D3) 
Physics' majors 
PHYS 1P91 
PHYS 1P92 and 1P93 
Natural Sciences' majors 
PHYS 1P91 
PHYS 1P92 
Life Sciences' majors 
PHYS 1P91 
PHYS 1P93 
NonSciences' majors 
PHYS 1P91 or 1P21 
PHYS 1P93 or 1P23 
or

PHYS 1P91 or 1P21 
PHYS 1P92 or 1P22 
or

ASTR 1P01 
ASTR 1P02 
It must be added that scheduling conflicts often arise that require that some of the courses
be taken outofsequence; this is typically only a minor impediment. The specifics of
scheduling will very much depend on the context credit courses that a particular student may wish to take.
Remediation
Students who may not have the required highschool grades in Chemistry or Mathematics, or who do not
score high enough on the appropriate placement tests for MATH 1P05 or CHEM 1P90/1P91, should incorporate
MATH 1P20 and/or CHEM 1P00 courses into their program. These are typically offered in D2 (Fall term)
and the students should follow them up with MATH 1P05 and/or CHEM 1P90 in D3 (Winter term), with the
secondhalf courses (MATH 1P06, CHEM 1P91) to be taken either in the Spring session immediately following
or in the Fall/Winter session of the next academic year. Because of the scheduling complications that
may arise, students are strongly encouraged to seek an appointment with an Academic Adviser.
Firstyear course format
In addition to lectures, all firstyear Physics courses have smallgroup
tutorial sessions (no more than 12 students each) during which students under the guidance of a TA
work through a set of problems closely related to the assigned weekly homework. These are submitted
at the end of the tutorial and are graded.
In addition, the Department of Physics has a regular Physics Help Desk as a dropin center for questions related
to homework and tutorial problems. Times and locations are announced during the lectures.
When registering for 1P21/2/3 be sure to register for two components: the primary (lecture)
and one of the secondaries (a tutorial section); for PHYS 1P91/2/3, there are three components to
register for: one lecture section, one tutorial, and one lab (run on alternate weeks on
individuallyassigned schedules, with the lab writeup due a few days after the lab).
All lab writeups are to be submitted electronically, through Sakai, and are automatically processed
through turnitin.com. The latesubmission penalty on the labs is 100%, in other words
no late submissions are accepted, so be sure to have it in on time and in the right format. There
is no penalty for early submissions!
The details are found on the course pages of the specific courses:
PHYS 1P21 
PHYS 1P91 
PHYS 1P22 
PHYS 1P92 
PHYS 1P23 
PHYS 1P93
The individual lab schedules will be available through the "Marks" links on each course page,
at the beginning of term.
To prepare for your firstyear Physics courses
The best preparation is to make sure you are confident in your math skills. Elementary algebra such
as linear and quadratic equations, trigonometry including trigonometric identities, plotting of
algebraic and trigonometric functions, etc. If you are a little rusty, please review your high
school textbooks. Grade 12 Physics is not a prerequisite.
To assist you, the Department offers an online set of modules called PPLATO that cover a wide range of Physics and, more importantly here, of Math topics. You may need to scroll through
the long list of Physics topics to see the section on Math. On the left, there are effectively chapters
of a full online textbook that can be studied onebyone, while on the right are the smaller tutorialstyle
modules dedicated to some specific problem areas. All modules contain selftest questions. Also included
is a full high school mathematics textbook, the Maths
for Science (it was developed for The Open University in Great Britain, hence the Britishsounding title).
PPLATO is an excellent resource for selfstudy and review.
Once you have mastered the highschool math skills covered by it, you can be
confident in your preparedness for the firstyear physics courses, and you can continue to use it during your
studies at Brock to help you with advanced Math and Physics topics as well.
Making sure that you are confident in your math skills is not just for Physics. You will find
that other disciplines require this as well. In 200910 the Department of Mathematics introduced
the online
Math Skills Tests.
Students enrolled in MATH 1P01 or MATH 1P05 are required to complete with a minimum of 70%
a series of several Mathematics Skills Tests by late September as one of the requirements for
receiving a credit in those two courses. The good news is  you can start early, as soon as you are
registered. All students in Physics are encouraged to do just that: start now, to ease your
transition into the University life. You can attempt the tests multiple times, and each has a
series of practice problems you can use to strengthen your skills, if you discover that
a particular area needs work. The best news is that it's free!
