PHYS 100 :: Physics Illinois :: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

9/21/2021 - Physics Dept. offering Math Skills Clinic

Hi all,

In Phys100, we need to be able to use math in the following ways:

If you're following along in lecture and on homework, then you're doing great!  As always, office hours are a great place to ask questions about any of these topics.


If lecture and homework are still confusing, then you might be interested in a math skills clinic offered by the physics department.  Each week, the clinic will cover one of these four skills. 

To view the schedule and sign up, visit:

9/13/2021 - Bonus activity

In addition to helping prepare students for Phys211, the purpose of Phys100 is also to help students at U of I transition into their college careers (especially since many of you are freshmen).

There is a bonus activity in smartPhysics to help you reflect on your start at U of I.  It's units 16 and 17 in smartPhysics, under "Bonus." 

It is not required, but if you complete it by Oct 16, you'll receive 8 bonus points in the course.  

I hope you can use this opportunity to really reflect on the start of your college careers.


9/10/2021 - Quest 1 reminder

Hi all,

This is just a reminder that you have to reserve a time to complete Quest 1 between 9/12 - 9/14 @ the CBTF.  The quest is 50 mins long and will cover Units 1 and 2.  There is a practice quest on PrairieLearn that illustrates what the quest will look like (in terms of questions, difficulty, and length).

For info about how to reserve a time slot and what you'll have to do when you arrive at the CBTF, see
-Read: “CBTF info for students”
-Reserve a time


Also, a reminder that aspeople are starting to take Quest 1, this is just a reminder NOT to discuss the Quest 1 questions before Wed (after everyone has taken it). It's perfectly alright to discuss the Practice Quest, just not the in-CBTF Quest questions.

- Eric


8/29/2021 - Week 2 Email Announcement

Hi everyone,

I hope you had a good first week (and first weekend) of the semester.  Here are some quick notes for week 2 in Phys100. 

1) Your iClicker scores from Friday lecture have been uploaded to the gradebook (accessible through the course website).  If you brought your iClicker to lecture on Friday and answered at least 75% of the questions, then you should see a 100 as your "lecture #1" grade.  If you see a 0 as your grade, and you think that's an error, it's likely that your iClicker registration ID needs to be set in the gradebook (see here for details:  If this was the problem and you fix this, your lecture scores will be updated next week.  If this isn't the problem, you can email me directly, and we can try to troubleshoot.

2) A reminder that you have homework 1A due 8 AM Tuesday and homework 1B due 8 AM Friday.  Questions about the homework problems or logistics can be addressed to Piazza.  Also, like in week 1, you have your discussion section and a prelecture/checkpoint due at 8 AM before Friday's lecture.  

- Eric


8/20/2021 - Week 1 Email Announcement

Welcome to Phys100 - fall 2021!  I'm your instructor this semester, and I'm excited to have you all in the class. I wanted to give you a heads-up about a few things as we get started with classes during week 1.

1) There's a start-of-semester Q&A on our course website that tells you what you have to do for the first week of class:

2) Our Phys100 lecture + discussion sections are in-person in Loomis Lab.  As with all campus buildings, you have to show the checkmark on the SaferIllinois App and be wearing a mask properly to attend Phys100 class.  I'm pretty strict about this, and I'm making all the instructors in the course check these regularly.  We want Phys100 to be as safe as possible for everyone, so be prepared to follow the rules.  Students who don't follow these rules will not be allowed to attend class and will have to leave the building.

3) Please bring a laptop/tablet to your discussion sections.  You will have to access online pdfs in discussion.

- Eric


Start of Semester Q&A

Q: What are the required materials I need to buy?

A: Look to the "Required Materials" link on the sidebar.

Q: What should I do before my first class?

A: Read this document for what to do before your first discussion section/lecture.

Q: Do we have any assignments due before the first lecture?

A: Yes! (They're listed in the document above.)

Q: Calculus I is a co-requisite for this course. How much Calculus will I need to know?

A: There's no expectation that you'll know calculus coming into the course. There are lots of connections between calculus and physics, and we'll talk about the important ones in class. However, most of the homework and other problems that you'll do don't really require you to know calculus. Two main things that you will need (that we will cover) is that the derivative of a function is the slope of the graph and that the integral of a function is the area under the graph. Sometimes the prelecture videos incorrectly assume that the viewer knows calculus, so you might be confused by some things in the prelecture videos.

Don't worry if things don't make sense initially. If you're taking calculus concurrently with Phys100, you'll see how they're connected as we go through the semester.

COVID-19 Rules

COVID-19 is still here.

If you ever have to make a choice between health/safety and physics, please choose health/safety. We have policies for excused absenses and make-up work, but if you are facing challenges that go beyond these, please get in contact with me (Eric) and we'll work it out.

Q: What if someone attends lecture/discussion/office hourswithout building access granted or refuses to wear a mask?

A: To ensure everyone's safety, this person will be asked to leave the building. If they refuse to leave, then class or office hours will be cancelled.