As human beings we are composed of matter and thus interact in some very fundamental ways with our physical environment. Some of these interactions are highlighted by questions such as: Why do we stay "connected" to the surface of the Earth? How can the motion of the Moon about the Earth be understood? (Both of these interactions are described by the concept of gravity.) What is different about objects we see as having a red color and those we see as blue? How can we predict what musical note will be produced by an organ pipe of a given length? (Both light and sound are wave phenomena.) How can we model the stretching of springs? What is involved in our understanding of electrical circuits? This course will attempt to address these interactions and other aspects of our physical world in a very fundamental way.

This one-semester course is designed to introduce students to some of the basic concepts underlying our present understanding of the mathematical models that fit our physical universe. Together we can make an interesting and informative course. Let's begin this journey together. 


Dr. Richard L. Bowman

Dr. Richard L Bowman received his PhD degree from Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA, in biophysics in 1979. He is now the A. Leroy and Wanda H. Baker Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at Bridgewater College (Bridgewater, VA, USA) after retiring in 2012 from teaching physics at Bridgewater for 26 years.

His research has included using light from a synchrotron to probe the structure of molecules. He has also published papers and given talks in iterative function system fractals, evaluating random number generators, web-based science simulations, and other topics related to pedagogy and teaching.

To contact Dr. Bowman, use the form at the bottom of this page or send him an email at


During the first quarter of this course, students will learn:

1. some of the history and development of physics as a science;

2. to understand the philosophy, methods, scope and limitations of science as a means of studying our physical world;

3. how data collection and analysis of data are used to create models that describe the characteristics and interactions of the physical world;

4. the basic laws characterizing the motion of objects in one-, two-, and three-dimensions;

5. basic definitions of the forces that govern the known interactions between matter in the physical world;

6. the forms, descriptions and transformations of energy;

The second quarter of this course will follow the same format but will move on to the topics of thermodynamics, sound, light, electricity, and some concepts of modern physics.

Since mathematics is the language of the physical sciences, this course will use general arithmetic, some algebra and some geometry as a tool for most of what we do. Where necessary in dealing with vectors, the small amount of necessary trigonometry will be introduced  in class. From time to time calculus will be referenced as a fuller description of some material.


The textbook we will be using in this class is an e-books in pdf format. The first book is our primary source for reading with the other two being used for worked problems and for connected videos.

Benjamin Crowell . Light and Matter. Benjamin Crowell , 1998-2010 (rev. 2016). (here)

James J. Dann and James H. Dann. People’s Physics Book-Basic. CK-12 Foundation, 2014. (here)

James H. Dann and Alex Zaliznyak. People’s Physics Book Version 3 (with Videos). CK-12 Foundation, 2015. (here)

The topics covered in Physics 12 at Lezha Academic Center will be mainly selected from the above book. However, from time to time, the instructor may add material that is not explicitly in the textbook, so students need to take good notes, understand them well, and ask questions in class.


The topics listed here are the basic ones we will cover during this course. However, some adjustments will be made as the quarter goes by due to the needs and interests of the students and the teacher.

Week 1: Introduction (Defining Science, SI Units, Powers of Ten Notation, Significant Digits, and Vectors)
Week 2: Describing 1-D Motion
Week 3: More about Vectors and Motion
Week 4: Describing 2-D and 3-D Motion
Week 5: Forces and Newton's Three Laws of Motion
Week 5: More on Newton's Three Laws of Motion and Their Applications
Week 7: Circular Motion and Centripetal Force
Week 8: Linear Momentum and its Conservation.
Week 9: Kinetic and Potential Energy, Work, and Power
Week 10: Final Review

Students will be informed of which pages in the textbook relate to which topic as the class advances through the semester.


Class time will be devoted to various activities. There will be input from Dr. Bowman on a given topic followed or proceeded by some-hands-on student investigations (individually and in groups). In class problem solving and take-home assignments will aid in students learning the material. See the course page in Moodle to find how to do any of these activities and when they are due (if not by the end of the class period).


Students must obey the regulations already set out by Lezha Academic Center in the handbook given to the students.. In addition there are several policies that are emphasized below for our class.

  1. Attendance at all class activities is expected of each student. When sickness, special events, or emergencies make it impossible for a student to attend a class, then it is the responsibility of the student to notify Dr. Bowman (via the form below)  or other appropriate school officials as soon as possible. (This can either be by a call to the school.) This should be done prior to the time of the scheduled activity when the student knows of the event before it happens.
  2. Being present in class does not guarantee that a student will learn the material being presented. Active learning is very important. Students should take good notes in their notebooks, ask questions as appropriate, listen to all discussions, and participate in all of the hands-on activities and homework. Asking anyone else to do your work for you will not help you to learn the concepts and techniques being presented and is actually cheating.
  3. Any report, homework, quiz, test or exam not turned in to Dr. Bowman will be given a grade of zero points.
  4. Missed quizzes and tests may be made up when given prior approval by Dr. Bowman or in cases of emergency. In an emergency or sickness, contact Dr. Bowman or other approved school officials as soon as possible. It is the responsibility of the student to contact Dr. Bowman to make up any missed quiz or test.


During this course, the level of students' learning will be evaluated by the following:

Items Percentage of Total
Tests 35
Quizzes 20
Attendance/Participation  5
Classwork/Homework 10
Investigations 10
Final Exam 20
Total 100

In general there will be a test will be given every two to three weeks and quizzes in between tests. Precise dates of tests, quizzes, and all other assignments will be announced in class at least two class periods ahead of the due date. These deadlines will also be recorded on the course page in Moodle.


You may use the form below to contact Dr. Bowman. However, please be aware that due to the occasional unreliability of the Internet, your message may not get to him when you would like it to get there. You may also write to with an email message.

Your Name:

Your Email Address:
Confirm Email Address:

Your Questions or Other Comments:

By submitting your comment, you give permission for Dr. Bowman to respond to you via email. No other use of your name or email address will occur except to respond to any question you raised.