Basic Concepts of Physics for Scientists and Engineers (NS 213)

2020 Fall
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Natural Sciences(NS)
6.00 / 6.00 ECTS (for students admitted in the 2013-14 Academic Year or following years)
Mehmet Ali Alpar,
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Observing and understanding the workings of nature and expressing this understanding in models and mathematical language is fundamental to the study of science and technology. This course introduces the basic concepts of physics and the methods of modeling and solving problems in science. The subjects to be covered are (mathematical content is noted in parantheses):
1. Mechanics: Newton's Laws of Motion. Energy Momentum and Angular Momentum. The Kepler problem. The study of systems near stable equilibrium: harmonic oscillators. Periodic motion; (the sinusoidal functions). Exponential damping and growth (the exponential function).
2. Statistical physics: The ideal gas law derived from mechanics. Meaning of temperature and pressure. Boltzmann definition of entropy based on the number of possible states (probability), with one simple example, the partitioning of a gas of N molecules into two half volumes: In a macroscopic system (large N), the most parobable situation is much much much more porbable than anything else- the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.
3. Electromagnetism. Electric and magnetic fields. The concepts of flux and circulation. Maxwell?s Equations and applications in the simplest geometry of two parallel plates (simple line and surface integrals). Electromagnetic wave propagation (the wave equation).
4. Quantum Physics. The Bohr model of the atom. Wave-particle duality and the Uncertainty Relation are needed to understand the properties of matter: What determines the size and structure of an atom? Relation between wavelength and system size. Why is there a Periodic Table?: The Pauli Principle.


Formulating and solving the equations of motion (Newton's 2nd Law) .
Understanding and being able to use conservation laws.
Relating macroscopic properties (pressure and temperature) of the ideal gas to microscopic motion properties (force and kinetic energy)
Understanding the physical meaning of entropy and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.
Understanding the laws of electromagnetism and being able to use them in simple situations.
Understanding the basic properties of matter with quantum mechanics in terms of wave - particle duality.


1. Understand the world, their country, their society, as well as themselves and have awareness of ethical problems, social rights, values and responsibility to the self and to others. 1

2. Understand different disciplines from natural and social sciences to mathematics and art, and develop interdisciplinary approaches in thinking and practice. 5

3. Think critically, follow innovations and developments in science and technology, demonstrate personal and organizational entrepreneurship and engage in life-long learning in various subjects. 5

4. Communicate effectively in Turkish and English by oral, written, graphical and technological means. 3

5. Take individual and team responsibility, function effectively and respectively as an individual and a member or a leader of a team; and have the skills to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. 3

1. Possess sufficient knowledge of mathematics, science and program-specific engineering topics; use theoretical and applied knowledge of these areas in complex engineering problems. 5

2. Identify, define, formulate and solve complex engineering problems; choose and apply suitable analysis and modeling methods for this purpose. 5

3. Develop, choose and use modern techniques and tools that are needed for analysis and solution of complex problems faced in engineering applications; possess knowledge of standards used in engineering applications; use information technologies effectively. 3

4. Ability to design a complex system, process, instrument or a product under realistic constraints and conditions, with the goal of fulfilling specified needs; apply modern design techniques for this purpose. 2

5. Design and conduct experiments, collect data, analyze and interpret the results to investigate complex engineering problems or program-specific research areas. 1

6. Knowledge of business practices such as project management, risk management and change management; awareness on innovation; knowledge of sustainable development. 1

7. Knowledge of impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, health and societal context; knowledge of contemporary issues; awareness on legal outcomes of engineering solutions; understanding of professional and ethical responsibility. 1

1. Use mathematics (including derivative and integral calculations, probability and statistics, differential equations, linear algebra, complex variables and discrete mathematics), basic sciences, computer and programming, and electronics engineering knowledge to (a) Design and analyze complex electronic circuits, instruments, software and electronics systems with hardware/software. or (b) Design and analyze communication networks and systems, signal processing algorithms or software

1. Comprehend key concepts in biology and physiology, with emphasis on molecular genetics, biochemistry and molecular and cell biology as well as advanced mathematics and statistics. 1

2. Develop conceptual background for interfacing of biology with engineering for a professional awareness of contemporary biological research questions and the experimental and theoretical methods used to address them. 2

1. Applying fundamental and advanced knowledge of natural sciences as well as engineering principles to develop and design new materials and establish the relation between internal structure and physical properties using experimental, computational and theoretical tools. 4

2. Merging the existing knowledge on physical properties, design limits and fabrication methods in materials selection for a particular application or to resolve material performance related problems. 2

3. Predicting and understanding the behavior of a material under use in a specific environment knowing the internal structure or vice versa. 3

1. Design, implement, test, and evaluate a computer system, component, or algorithm to meet desired needs and to solve a computational problem. 1

2. Demonstrate knowledge of discrete mathematics and data structures. 1

3. Demonstrate knowledge of probability and statistics, including applications appropriate to computer science and engineering. 3

1. Familiarity with concepts in statistics and optimization, knowledge in basic differential and integral calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, complex variables, multi-variable calculus, as well as physics and computer science, and ability to use this knowledge in modeling, design and analysis of complex dynamical systems containing hardware and software components. 4

2. Ability to work in design, implementation and integration of engineering applications, such as electronic, mechanical, electromechanical, control and computer systems that contain software and hardware components, including sensors, actuators and controllers. 2

1. Formulate and analyze problems in complex manufacturing and service systems by comprehending and applying the basic tools of industrial engineering such as modeling and optimization, stochastics, statistics. 1

2. Design and develop appropriate analytical solution strategies for problems in integrated production and service systems involving human capital, materials, information, equipment, and energy. 1

3. Implement solution strategies on a computer platform for decision-support purposes by employing effective computational and experimental tools. 1


  Percentage (%)
Final 25
Midterm 50
Participation 25



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