Dr. Richard A. Lindgren, Research Professor of Physics
Department of Physics, University of Virginia
Professor Lindgren is very experienced in teaching online courses and has taught over a thousand students the past 10 years.
For information about the Instructor, click here
Office Phone: 434-982-2691
E-mail: ral5q@virginia.edu

Dr. Louis A. Bloomfield, Professor of Physics
Department of Physics, University of Virginia
The demonstrator and lecturer on the video is Professor Louis Bloomfield, who has originated and developed the courses How Things Work I and II at UVa.

This course is a practical introduction to physics and science in everyday life. The course considers objects from our daily environment (baseballs, frisbees, roller coasters, vacuum cleaners, rockets, clocks and much more!) and focuses on their principles of operation, histories, and relationships to one another. This course emphasizes motion, mechanics, liquids, heat, gases, and sound. To view a sample lecture, click on the radio button Sample Lecture Video. The lecture is in MP4 format and can be viewed using the software Quicktime on your computer. When you get your UVa email and password, you may download any lecture from the UVa COLLAB course website.

This course is organized around COLLAB, the UVa version of Sakai, which is a learning management system used by over 350 educational organizations. You will obtain access to the complete organization of this course on COLLABafter you are registered for the course. COLLAB access is password protected. All the lecture videos, PowerPoint slides, and simulations are accessed through COLLAB. There are 39 lecture videos (each approximately 40-50 minutes long) and PowerPoint slides for each lecture. After you have activated your email address, you must obtain your username and password to use features of COLLAB at UVa. Click on the button called Log-in-Instructions to learn how to log onto COLLAB. Your UVa email address must be activated before you an log onto COLLAB. We will use COLLAB as the central point for all information after you have registered. When you access COLLAB, click on Discussion Board and post a comment to let me know you made it.


All homework and exams are submitted through an online learning delivery system called WebAssign. Homework will be due every two weeks on Monday nights at 11:59 PM. You may get help from myself or other students in the class by using the Discussion Board on COLLAB. Each asssignment will have its own thread for discussion. Homework will have 70% conceptual questions and 30% numerical questions. See sample homework questions. After I get confirmation from the School of Continuing and Professional Studies that you have registered, I will set up a user name and password on WebAssign for you. I will notify you by your personal email and you will be able to log on to WebAssign. Click on the button on the left called Log-in-Instructions to learn how to log onto WebAssign.  You then must learn how to submit homework by taking the "Practice Test : Intro to WebAssign for Physics Students" on Webassign that teaches you how to use the system. Also click on the Guide on WebAssign to learn how to use it.

Homework   25%
Midterm       35%
Posting           5%
Final             35%

You must activate your UVa email since all correspondence will be through your UVa email address. Click on the button on the left called Log-in-Instructions to learn how to activate your UVa email address.

After you log on to COLLAB, click on radio Button "Resources". Each virtual class meeting is called a Session. You can see the schedule of the Sessions on the Syllabus. Click on Lecture Video to view the video of the lecture. The videos are in mp4 format and can be viewed with RealPlayer. Click on the Computer Requirements button for more information. Click on Resources and then click on Lecture Videos, Lecture Slides, etc to view them. The Lecture Slides are in PDF format and you will need the software program Acrobat Reader or similar program to read them. You can download Acrobat Reader for free by clicking the image below.

A new edition of How Things Work is being considered. This will be updated soon.