Physics 210 (Sections 1 and 2): University of Evansville: 2012 Spring
This syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor. Any changes will be announced in class as well as made on this page.
The syllabus is preliminary.
which is the page you are maybe viewing right now. This page is the preliminary syllabus and includes syllabus items and the tentative schedules: Tentative Schedule I for intro physics I and Tentative Schedule II for intro physics II.
This page is/will be/may be/probably not be linked from the official physics department course web page.
Labs begin in week of Jan09: i.e., in the week of classes.
Also there is Supplemental Instruction (SI).
Every Thursday, 7--9 pm, Koch 133 SI leader: Alex DiBenedetto, email: ad179#evansville.edu
The earlier editions of HRW set the standard and template for almost all modern calculus-based intro physics books.
In fact, there is not much to choose between intro physics. They are all much the same in content and organization.
There are new editions just so that publishers can make money.
For the course as I teach it, any standard calculus-based intro physics textbook would do with enough adjustments on the part of the students.
So at your discretion, you may use another, possibly much cheaper edition of HRW or another book.
I do NOT recommend buying study guides---the textbook is the study guide.
If you use another book, you do have to make adjustments. Also recall that HRW is used for two semesters (Physics 210 and Physics 211) and the instructor of the other semester may be much more closely tied to HRW.
So to buy HRW or another book is a choice with trade-offs.
Note the following.
I use all my own questions for homeworks and do NOT use HRW problems directly.
I do assign readings and so students without HRW will have to find the equivalent readings in their books.
For Physics 210, we cover HRW chapters 1--13,15--20 and for Physics 211, chapters 21--36???.
There are lots of online physics sources:
But it's NOT complete for semester I (as we teach the course at UE) and is negligible for semester II.
So it cannot be recommended for use with Physics 210 and Physics 211.
At this level, physics is rather abstract and idealized.
We deal with ideal motions, ideal point particles, ideal surfaces, ideal monkeys, ideal systems, ideal charge structures, ideal electric field structures, ideal circuits, ideal optical systems.
Many real everyday motions and systems are much more complex than the cases we deal with: just think about walking, bike riding, skipping rope.
In particular, real everyday motions usually involve resistive media and surfaces. We will consider friction and maybe drag (AKA fluid resistance).
The point of studying such ideal systems is to understand them in terms of the very basic laws of classical physics---pre-20th century physics in terms of discovery, but still very useful in practice.
You don't need know intro physics to walk, ride a bike, or play catch---or to turn on your lights.
Moreover, the oceans were sailed west by Christopher Columbus (c. 1451--1506), east by the Polynesians, and pyramids and cathedrals were build and all without knowing intro physics.
But you do need to know it---and whole lot more---to design a spacecraft or a CD player.
You can only get so far by empirical means alone.
Note the ``alone'': empirical means are still essential.
But first we do the ideal problems---how can you do the real problems, if can't do the ideal ones?
Now some people in his course may not go on to advanced physics or engineering.
But you will go on to advanced something---and an improved understanding how to analyze and predict from basic principles will be a boon---for many students, it may be the most important feature of this course.
That is the empowerment of intro physics.
Of course, studying intro physics is enlightening.
It helps understanding eternity and infinity.
There is some math in this course.
Quite a bit actually---but that's good.
You-all are all in programs that need math skills.
Many of you already know some calculus.
But since some people semester I anyway are taking calculus as a corequisite, the tools of calculus are introduced gradually into our developments and problems.
Calculus courses tend to start off doing limit theorems, and what we need in physics are derivatives and integrals.
It's no surprise to you that this is a pretty hard course.
But as I always say, it's nothing like organic chemistry.
But there are no essays and no term-length projects.
The math is really never more than simple algebra and calculus---if you find yourself doing a page of calculations, you are way off the path.
The hardness is conceptual---and with applying logic.
When confronted with a problem, recognize the concepts needed for a solution, and then you should know or be able to find the right equation and then do the algebra in usually just a couple lines.
There will a fair number of DERIVATIONS in this course---no apologies.
And usually the DERIVATIONS won't be tested in a direct sense---but I've been known to throw a derivation question onto a exam.
But the DERIVATIONS are part of the course and you are expected to understand them---you should review them as they are presented to make sure you do---and understanding them will help with the tested material.
I am trying to convince you NOT to take the seemingly easy path of just trying to memorize a trick for every problem you see.
I am trying to convince you to understand the general approach---that's the way to prepare to deal with problems you've never seen before.
You should put in of study for every hour in class:
---Richard Nixon (1913--1994): quoted approximately from memory.
For anyone, lectures are hard to follow for more than 20 minutes.
There is lots of evidence that active learning methods work better. For example, peruse Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative.
In such methods, there is well organized mix of lecture, group work, laboratory work and individual work.
It takes practice and repetition to develop those---just like lifting weights to develop muscles.
Lots.
But at present, we will do what we can.
There is an associated lab.
In class, we will usuaully lecture for 20 minutes or so and then break for 10 minutes or so of group work on an example problem.
Students should be in groups of 2 or 3. Not 4 or more.
The group work should be intense.
The students should really try to get the problem done and to teach each other.
The instructor will circulate in TA mode.
After the lecturing the instructor will resume lecturing to finish up the day.
Students will usually report the readings on a slip of paper handed in before/after class.
your name.
Just slap the slip on the front table, entering or leaving.
The readings are vital.
There is not enough lecture time to lecture on every aspect that the course will cover.
Quite frequently, yours truly will just omit to lecture in class on the intro or last topics of a chapter.
They still have to be known---unless explicitly ruled out.
So the readings are vital.
There will be about 40 readings collectively worth 9 % of the course grade.
There are three drops.
Special drops for illness, university efforts, or personal necessities will given. You should ask for them reasonably promptly.
The MC problems are generally easy and are meant to teach terminology and simple calculations.
On tests MC problems are really meant mostly as a warm up.
The full-answer problems usually have multiple parts. Ideally, the parts are linked, but can still be done independently---the ideal is seldom realized.
Some homework problems will be done in class as examples or in group work.
The students are strongly encouraged to sweat over the problems alone first---relying on notes, the textbook, and the power of pure thought---and, if needed, then seek help from friends or yours truly.
If you can do every homework problem for a chapter at the drop of hat, you are reasonably well prepared for tests.
But not splendidly well prepared---for that you have to try other problems---the textbook is loaded with them.
If you can answer any textbook problem for a chapter, then you are splendidly prepared for test questions on that chapter.
Homeworks will usually be due the class period after the chapter has been completed.
The due dates will be specified in-class and/or on Tentative Schedule I/Tentative Schedule II.
Homeworks will NOT be fully marked. Usually, only 1 or 2 of the full answer questions will be marked. There will be a mark for having a complete homework.
Solutions will be posted after the due date.
Homeworks count for 10 % of the final grade and there is 1 drop.
Homeworks and homework solutions (and test solutions) are/will be posted on Tentative Schedule I/Tentative Schedule II.
To access the posted homeworks, homework solutions, test solutions, and posted grades, you need the SUPERSECRET username and password---which you can get from the instructor.
One thing you should know is that search engines routinely crawl the web and cache everything they find.
If you want something never to be cached, you have to password protect it.
Typically, the interview is about 10 minutes. You should come prepared with a physics-related question for me and I'll have some questions for you.
The interview is intended to break the ice.
It is due by Feb17, Friday.
The course instructor supervises two lab sections himself: sections 3 and 4.
However, the course instructor is responsible for marking and compiling lab grades.
Mr. David Fentress (Koch Center, Rm 237, email df27#evansville.edu) handles marking and compiling lab grades.
So any queries about lab marks should be addressed to him.
Yours truly can't become a regular middleman taking queries to Mr. Fentress and bringing back replies.
Labs count for 20 % of the final grade.
How labs work is discussed in the lab.
The labs begin in the week of Jan08, starting on Tuesday.
You'll need to buy the Physics 210/211 lab manual at the bookstore.
The 4th test may be omitted if we are a bit pressed for time.
The in-class tests count for 40 % of the final grade.
If you are in semester II, then earlier topics includes all topics from semester I.
It counts for 20 % of the final grade.
It is at the regular university-scheduled time (see 2012 Spring Final Schedule), but instead on Apr27, Friday, 10:15--12:15, in Koch 100---NOTE this is NOT the regular classroom.
All three sections of Physics 210 write the final at the same time.
Guidelines for the final:
readings 9 % or less 3 drop homeworks 10 % or less 1 drop interview 1 % no drops lab 20 % no drops in-class exams 40 % or less no drops 1 comprehensive final exam 20 % or more no dropsA few other points about evaluation and grading can be mentioned:
Students are encouraged to keep good attendance.
So 3 in-class hours and at least 6 out-of-class hours should be spent on physics.
There is NO fixed scale.
Nosta bene: The instructor decides what GPA the curve gives. Yours truly can move it up or down depending on the overall performance of the class in relation to yours truly's expectations.
The final grades are decided on by the instructor directly---the curve is NOT used---except as a guide.
There do NOT have to be any Ds or Fs if everyone comes up to the yours truly's expectations---which is sort of the standard in the back of my mind.
There is special consideration for those who improve on the final. But how much depends on how things look to the instructor at the end of the semester.
Remember that after an instructor has submitted FINAL GRADES, any adjustments (except for purely clerical errors) are very difficult. Reweightings are frowned on or just not allowed.
Students should make any queries about their final grades before the instructor submits them.
The requests can be made in person, by email, or on a reading report slip.
The links to the posted grades are given in the Sections list.
The postings give a full explanation of what is what in the postings---so don't query me about anything until after reading the explanation.
Students who don't ask for posting can always ask the instructor for their current mark record and letter grades. Queries by email are probably best for this.
The tentative semester I schedule is below.
There might be a little variation, but not much actually.
Any material not covered by in-class lecture is a reading and expected known.
It is a jam-packed course.
No dated schedule has ever been adhered to by the instructor---except for summer courses.
So there are no dates for chapters in this tentative schedule.
However, we have 16 weeks in the semester (not counting spring/fall recess) and we may lose about two weeks of classes for in-class exams and holidays: e.g., in the fall, Labor Day and in the spring Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day.
So about 14 weeks and 42 lecture class hours.
Since we are planning on 12 chapters (chapters 23--34), we will be covering about a chapter per week on average.
We have 8 weeks in the summer semester and 5 lecture periods a week.
So about 40-1=39 lecture periods where the subtracted period is for the July 4 holiday.
Since we are planning on covering chapters 23--34 (12 chapters) we will cover about a chapter every 3 days and that will take 36 lecture periods.
The remaining 3 lecture periods are for the exams.
But that's why we have courses, to yoke ourselves together like mule team and just drive forward to the the end in a finite time.
And it's all great stuff: intellectually exciting, vital for education and career.
Some parts of chapters may be omitted.
Some parts of chapters may be assigned as readings with NO in-class lecturing on them.