Physics 221 Syllabus, Elements of Physics

Fall 2023; Online version
Prof. Andrew W. Steiner; South College room 103
Subject to change, see Canvas for more details
TAs: Priyanka Das and Josiah Elliott
CRN: 53676

Course Description

Physics 221 is a 4 credit-hour, introductory physics course with laboratories designed for asynchronous online delivery. Students do not attend formal lectures or lab sessions at fixed times, but they have to adhere to a strict course schedule.

Required Materials

Topics, Schedule, and Due Dates

Online material Textbook sections Work to be completed Due date
Position and displacement 2.1,2.2 Assign. 1 Aug. 31
Speed, velocity, and acceleration 2.3-2.8 HW 1, Lab 1, Discussion 1 Sep. 5
Newton's 1st and 2nd Laws of Motion 4.1,4.2 Assign. 2 Sep. 7
Weight, Newton's 3rd law 4.3,4.4 HW 2, Lab 2, Discussion 2 Sep. 11
Projectile motion, Hooke's law 3.1-3.5 Assign. 3 Sep. 14
Friction, drag, circular motion 5.1,5.2 HW 3, Lab 3 (delayed until Sep. 21), Discusssion 3 Sep. 18
Work, kinetic, and potential energy 7.1-7.3 Assign. 4 Sep. 21
Conservation of energy, power 7.4-7.8 HW 4, Lab 4, Discussion 4 Sep. 25
Momentum and impulse 8.1-8.2 Assign. 5 Sep. 28
Conservation of momentum 8.3-8.7 HW 5, Lab 5, Discussion 5 Oct. 2
Rotational kinematics and dynamics 10.1-10.3 Assign. 6 Oct. 5
Fall break Oct. 9-10
Rotational energy and angular momentum 10.4,10.5 HW 6, Lab 6, Discssion 6 Oct. 11
Exam 1 Oct. 16
Static fluids, pressure, and buoyancy 11.1-11.6 Assign. 7 Oct. 23
Pumps, surface tension 11.7-11.9 HW 7, Lab 7, Discussion 7 Oct. 27
Fluid dynamics, ideal fluids 12.1-12.3 Assign. 8 Oct. 30
Fluid dynamics, viscous fluids 12.4-12.6 HW 8, Lab 8, Discussion 8 Nov. 2
Temperature and Heat 13.1-13.3 Assign. 9 Nov. 6
Thermal properties of matter 14.1-14.7 HW 9, Lab 9, Discussion 9 Nov. 9
The laws of thermodynamics 15.1,15.2 Assign. 10 Nov. 13
Devices, entropy 15.3-15.7 HW 10, Lab 10, Discussion 10 Nov. 17
Oscillations 16.1-16.5 Assign. 11 Nov. 20
Thanksgiving Nov. 23-24
Mechanical waves 16.7-16.11 HW 11, Lab 11, Discussion 11 Nov. 27
Sound waves 17.1-17.3 Assign. 12 Nov. 30
The Doppler effect 17.4,17.5 HW 12, Lab 12, Discussion 12 Dec. 4
Test 2 Dec. 8


  • Two exams: 20% each
  • Homework and Assignments: 20% (lowest two scores dropped)
  • Discussion on Canvas: 15%
  • Lab work: 25% (lowest score dropped)
  • Extra credit: +10% max

Grading Scale


A       90 and above
A- 87 - 90
B+ 83 - 87
B 80 - 83
B- 77 - 80
C+ 73 - 77
C 70 - 73
C- 67 - 70
D+ 63 - 67
D 60 - 63
F below 60

Contacting Me

  • Prof. Andrew W. Steiner
  • Office hours (on zoom) are Mondays and Wednesdays, 11am to 11:30am
  • Email: -- Please use email carefully, e.g. for setting up appointments. Add "P221" to the subject of your email. It may take me 48 hours (or longer) to reply, depending on my current schedule.

AI Policy: Not Permitted in this Course

In this course, it is expected that all submitted work is produced by the students themselves, whether individually or collaboratively. Students must not seek the assistance of Generative AI Tools like ChatGPT. Use of a Generative AI Tool to complete an assignment constitutes academic dishonesty.

Online Interactions

While interacting online, students should adhere to the UT's Principles of Civility and Community.

Academic Integrity

Each student is responsible for their personal integrity in academic life and for adhering to UT’s Honor Statement. The Honor Statement reads: “An essential feature of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville is a commitment to maintaining an atmosphere of intellectual integrity and academic honesty. As a student of the university, I pledge that I will neither knowingly give nor receive any inappropriate assistance in academic work, thus affirming my own personal commitment to honor and integrity.”

Your Role in Improving the Course Through Assessment

At UT, it is our collective responsibility to improve the state of teaching and learning. During the semester you may be requested to assess aspects of this course, either during class or at the completion of the class, and through the TNVoice course evaluation. Please take the few moments needed to respond to these requests as they are used by instructors, department heads, deans and others to improve the quality of your UT learning experience.

Students with Disabilities


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is committed to providing an inclusive learning environment for all students. If you anticipate or experience a barrier in this course due to a chronic health condition, a learning, hearing, neurological, mental health, vision, physical, or other kind of disability, or a temporary injury, you are encouraged to contact Student Disability Services (SDS) at 865-974-6087 or An SDS Coordinator will meet with you to develop a plan to ensure you have equitable access to this course. If you are already registered with SDS, please contact your instructor to discuss implementing accommodations included in your course access letter.

Accessibility Policy and Training


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, provides reasonable accommodations for individual students with disabilities through its office of Student Disability Services. The university is also committed to making information and materials accessible, when possible. Resources and assistance to support these efforts can be found at


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The Center for Health Education and Wellness empowers all Volunteers to thrive by cultivating personal and community well-being.  The Center can answer questions about general wellness, substance use, sexual health, healthy relationships, and sexual assault prevention. The Student Counseling Center is the university’s primary facility for personal counseling, psychotherapy, and psychological outreach and consultation services.

Any student who has difficulty affording hygiene products, groceries, or accessing sufficient food to eat every day is urged to contact the Big Orange Pantry for support. The Big Orange Pantry, located in Greve Hall, is a free resource for all students, faculty, and staff, no matter how great or small their need is. Students who need emergency financial assistance can also request funding from the Student Emergency Fund.

Students who are experiencing non-academic difficulty or distress and need assistance should call 974-HELP or submit an online referral. The 974-HELP team specializes in aligning resources and support to students experiencing mental health distress.

Emergency Alert System


The University of Tennessee is committed to providing a safe environment to learn and work. When you are alerted to an emergency, please take appropriate action. Learn more about what to do in an emergency and sign up for UT Alerts. Check the emergency posters near exits and elevators for building specific information. In the event of an emergency, the course schedule and assignments may be subject to change. If changes to graded activities are required, reasonable adjustments will be made, and you will be responsible for meeting revised deadlines.