Have questions about Physics classes? Read through some of our more frequently asked questions to get your answers!

Frequently Asked Questions

Alfred Cauthen <acauthen@ccsf.edu>
Jill Evans <jevans@ccsf.edu>
Roger King <rking@ccsf.edu>
Shridevi Kumar <skumar@ccsf.edu>
Stephen Swingle <sswingle@ccsf.edu>
Karl Westerberg <kwesterb@ccsf.edu>
Thomas Dodge <tdodge@ccsf.edu>

Rosa Alvis <ralvis@ccsf.edu>
Michael Bollinger <mbolling@ccsf.edu>
Ourida Kaci <okaci@ccsf.edu>
Joel Ng <jkng@ccsf.edu>
Alice Pevyhouse <apevyhouse@ccsf.edu>
Pearl Tesler <ptesler@ccsf.edu>
Polin Yadak <pyadak@ccsf.edu>
Helen Yan <hyan@ccsf.edu>

Dack Lee <dklee@ccsf.edu>
Diana Markham <dmarkham@ccsf.edu>
Annette Rappleyea <arappley@ccsf.edu>
Norman Whitlatch nwhitlat@ccsf.edu
William Maynez <wmaynez@ccsf.edu>

If you received a message when you register that states that you have a pre-requisite block and you feel that it is an error, please contact the department chair. This may happen if you have taken a course at a different school and you have not transferred the course to CCSF. If that is the case, send a copy of your transcript, your CCSF student ID number, and the CCSF physics course that you would like to add to the department chair. It can usually be cleared up within a day or two.

Both classes are conceptual introductions to physics or physical science, and emphasize topics that lead to a better understanding of our technological society and physical environment. Both Conceptual Physics and Conceptual Physical Science were developed by Paul Hewitt an emeritus professor of Physics at CCSF. Neither course has a math prerequisite, although ratios and some simple algebra are used, so there is a math advisory attached to each: see catalog for current advisories. Equations are used as guides for thinking and not for "plug and chug" exercises.

Conceptual Physics covers topics in physics including motion, forces, energy, heat, sound, light, and nuclear physics. Conceptual Physical Science covers a shorter version of the physics topics in addition to topics in Chemistry, Earth Science, and Astronomy.

Physics 10 and Physical Science 11 lectures may be taken with or without the corresponding lab. Whether you need to take the lab depends on your program of study, and you are strongly encouraged to consult with a counselor to see whether you need to take the lab. Generally, for an associates degree at CCSF you only need the lecture to satisfy GE area C, but some specific programs such as Diagnostic Medical Imaging require the lab as well. The California State University System and the University of California system generally require at least one science class with a lab. This may be satisfied by taking Physics 10 lecture and lab (PHYC 10 and 10L), or Physical Science 11 lecture and lab. You may enroll in PHYC 10L or P SC 11L concurrently with the lecture, or in a subsequent semester.

For the Physics 4 and Physics 2 series, lab classes are strongly advised. Nearly all programs that require Physics 2 or 4 also require the lab as well. Furthermore, the labs may be prerequisites for other courses in the sequence. Putting off or skipping the labs for these courses may seriously delay students from completing their programs.

Strong students may be allowed to take the last two semesters concurrently. The lab class is a co-requisite of its corresponding lecture and a required component for transfer in almost all cases. Contact the department chair if you believe you may be an exception.

The policy for AP tests is in the CCSF Catalog. Currently, a score of 3/4/5 on the Physics 1, 2, C Mechanics, or C Elect. and Magnetism may be used for 3 units towards CCSF GE Area C

For course equivalency please contact the department chair. The reason for the consultation with the department chair is that AP test policy varies widely for different 4-year institutions, and it is possible that students could wind up in a position of having to go back and retake courses.


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If you have questions or comments regarding any of the Physics Department webpages, please contact Dack Lee at dklee@ccsf.edu.



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