Basic Physics

PHYS 118/6.0


This is an algebra-based course dealing with basic Physics concepts, including dynamics, fluids, waves, electromagnetism and basic optics. Emphasis is placed on the development of problem-solving skills through the use of Mastery based course delivery. 

PHYS 118 may be taken as an elective or in place of PHYS 115 + 116 in the following programs: BSCH MAJ BIOL, GEOL, PSYC and ENSC, and in the BSC General in Geology and Life Sciences.

PHYS 118 does not include a physical lab component and will not substitute for PHYS 117 in the following BSCH programs: Physics, Chemistry.

For more information, please consult the Undergraduate Chair in your department, or an academic advisor.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to: 

  1. Students will be able to identify and interpret the laws of nature as summarized by the fundamental concepts that constitute the foundations of classical physics.
  2. Students will apply nature’s basic laws describing forces and motion, energy and momentum, and the conservation rules that constrain these laws to real world applications.
  3. Students will be able to analyze the information contained in various problem scenarios within the context of recognizable physics laws and utilize systematic problem-solving strategies to solve for unknown quantities.


Summer (May–July) 2023
Course Dates
Delivery Mode


3% - Mastery-Based Questions

10% - Live Tutorials

5% - Weekly Online Homework (EWA)

22% - Term Tests (x2)

60% - Proctored Final Exam

*Evaluation subject to change*

Please note that this course may have synchronous sessions. Please contact the instructor for more details.

Proctored Exams

If a student is enrolled in ONLY online courses (section 700), they may choose either of the following options to write the exam:

  • Write the final exam online: you will write in onQ with Examity proctoring. A $100 online exam fee will be charged to your SOLUS account.  
  • Write the final exam in-person: you will write on Queen’s campus in Kingston. You will not be charged an extra fee to write on campus. 

If a student is enrolled in ANY in-person courses (section 001, 002, etc), you MUST write all your final exams in-person on Queen’s campus, including for an online course. You may not choose to write your exams online. 

Location and Timing of Final Exams

Once the exam schedule has been finalized the exam date will be posted on your SOLUS account. The exam dates for each Term are listed in the Academic Calendar. Student exam schedules for the Fall Term are posted via SOLUS immediately prior to the Thanksgiving holiday; for the Winter Term they are posted on the Friday before Reading Week, and for the Summer Term they are individually noted on the Arts and Science Online syllabi. Students should delay finalizing any travel plans until after the examination schedule has been posted. Exams will not be moved or deferred to accommodate employment, travel/holiday plans or flight reservations. 

Instructor Information

Anne Topper

Textbook and Materials

ASO reserves the right to make changes to the required material list as received by the instructor before the course starts. Please refer to the Campus Bookstore website at to obtain the most up-to-date list of required materials for this course before purchasing them.

Required Textbook:

Available from Queen's Campus Bookstore:

  • Introductory Physics (Serway & Vuille, 11th Edition, e-book comes with Enhanced Webassign (EWA) required for homework assignments)

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend approximately 15-20 hours a week (228 hours per term) on this course.