Office: room 209 JCL, phone: 953-5781

Office Hours - TR 10:00-10:50 → But come by any time

email me, or send me an anonymous web-based email, or go to my home page

Syllabus | Other Stuff |
---|---|

Resources General Assumed Knowledge Mathematica Preparation Attendance Learning Objectives Learning Outcomes Due Dates Homework Quizzes Grades |
Einstein's 1905 Paper Below are a couple of beginner-level courses On line tutorials Wolfram Training offers both quick-start and Inside Science News Physics World NSF-REU Summer Research Program |

- MIT Open Courseware Intro to Special Relativity
- MIT Open Courseware Relativity
- Free etext Modern Physics
- Tufts Open Courseware Modern Physics Lecture Notes

- Table of Atomic Weights

Text: There will be no traditional text requirement, but it is good if you can find a recent (say last ten years) Modern Physics text to help you.

In this semester we hope to give you the background and execution of 20th century revolutions in physics. I expect to cover from the development of relativity up through quantum mechanics in 3-D and the hydrogen atom. We want to further develop your physical intuition, to extend your physics experience more deeply, especially into relativity and quantum mechanics, to enhance your capacity for solving problems both qualitatively and quantitatively, and for you to understand the motivation and process of the development of modern physics. Major topical areas are: relativity, quantum nature of light, matter waves, and quantum mechanics.

If you have a question, please ask it. If you have a comment, please make it. Even an anonymous note under my door or in my mailbox is fine. Communication is the essence of the classroom experience. I am pleased to see you any time you can find me. I encourage you to email me. I usually read my email at home and at the office.

You will need to maintain a working knowledge of the physics and mathematics at the level of physics 111-112, and calculus. Phys230 has a formal co-requisite of Calculus III (math221), although there are a couple of (restricted) exceptions to this. We do some very elementary differential equations which do not require having had the Differential Equations class.

As an important part of this course we will be learning to use a powerful computerized mathematics system, *Mathematica*. Computational systems such as *Mathematica* are very common tools in many fields of science and engineering and the experience you gain in this class will likely be a significant benefit in your further education and in your career. You will be encouraged, and sometimes mandated to work problems using *Mathematica* in homeworks, quizzes, and tests. You can get it here for your personally owned computer. It is installed on all of our computers in room 218 JC Long.

I expect you to have studied the relevant material for each day. Assume that I may give you a short quiz at any time to help motivate you to be prepared for class. The best advice I can give you is come to every class, participate, take good notes, read the book, do the problems and keep up. The most common, and perhaps the deadliest habit is to postpone your assault of the material. You are expected to diligently apply yourself, since it is your future you are working for. Assume that I may give you a short quiz at any time to help motivate you to be prepared for class. The best advice I can give you is come to every class, take good notes, read the book, do the problems, talk with your classmates, and **keep up**. I know these sound trivial, but they are all too often ignored.

Attendance, timeliness and participation are critical to the learning process and an integral part of this course. In general, I believe that absence is its own punishment, that is, you miss things you can't possibly get by going over a classmate's notes. You are responsible for material covered that day. Contact one of your classmates for the notes. Failure to attend class on the day an assignment is assigned or due does not mean that you may turn in a late assignment without penalty. There are certain aspects of the course for which the information can be obtained only in class, thus, a student who misses class will miss material they will need on quizzes and tests.

**To document an absence for any class**

- Go to 67 George Street (white house next to Stern Center) to discuss absences and fill out the appropriate forms.
- If you have questions consult Constance Nelson or Dean Evelyn Nadel in that office.
- Forms are available online and can be faxed to the office at 953-2290, or you can fill them out in the office on George Street.
- You will need documentation for health, personal, or emergency situations.
- It is your responsibility to get me timely information if you are on an athletic team or on a College-sponsored field trip.

If you are late or miss class I may assign you extra homework to help you get focused.

A key word in education is RESPONSIBILITY. I have responsibilities as the instructor. You have responsibilities to yourself, me, and the class. One responsibility is to be in class every day and be there on time. As a student it is your job. Another is to read the day's reading before class. Also please do not think it is my job or my responsibility to teach you. IT IS NOT. It is my job to create an environment in which you can teach yourself. The goal of education is to empower the individual student to be self-taught. I can't really do this for you, but I can help a lot.

Assignments I may give are due at the beginning of class on the assigned day. Late assignments may be accepted, at my whim, but will ordinarily be penalized with a lowered grade and/or by assigning further work.

Be prepared to consider the following points on your homework:

- Discuss whether you think your answer is reasonable or not and explain your reasoning.
- Compare your answer to another quantity with which you are familiar.
- Spell out the assumptions and approximations you made in solving the problem, and comment about their range of validity.
- Comment about the effect of changing the values given in the problem.

We will have three tests during the semester, plus the cumulative final exam. Expect tests to cover topical blocks. Tests may include problems, graphs, sketches, explanations, and *Mathematica* exercises. I generally do not have multiple choice or true/false questions, although on the final exam there may be several GRE-type problems. If you question your score on graded work you must bring it to my attention within 24 hours after they were handed back in class. I may at any time, without prior notice, prohibit the use of calculators on any quiz or exam. Of course, I won't expect the impossible if I do so. Calculations would be those reasonably expected to be do-able by hand. I'll schedule the tests about a week in advance for each, so pay attention!

I may give pop quizzes without notice. If you keep up on your homework and reading assignments you should have little difficulty with the quizzes. There will be no makeup quizzes.

I assign letter grades to tests when I return them to you. Major assignments, such as tests, are assigned letter grades, and assigned a number as in the College's grading scheme (A=4.0, A- = 3.7...). Minor assignments, such as the proficiency exercises, and quizzes are graded on a 10-point scale, which is rescaled to a 4.0 scale by dividing by 2.5. The weighted average is calculated to determine the final grade. Below are the relative weights of the pieces of your semester grade. Any quizzes given will be weighted 5% each, taken from the tests component.

5% Mathematica Proficiency Exercises

55% Tests

40% Final Exam

Course Prerequisite: phys112 or hons158. Prerequisite or corequisite: math 221, or permission of the instructor.

- To increase understanding of natural laws by surveying the major topical areas of modern physics
- To develop physical curiosity
- To enhance problem solving and critical thinking skills
- To enhance investigative and observational skills
- To develop an appreciation for logical qualitative and quantitative reasoning
- To develop communication skills
- To connect physical concepts, principals, and laws to global and societal issues

- describe the motion of objects relativistically and quantum mechanically
- apply conservation laws
- apply fundamental concepts in relativity and quantum mechanics
- use computer software relevant to visualizing and solving problems
- solve word problems
- apply physical principles to novel situations
- provide a description of how to solve a problem, justifying their choices
- provide different representations for a problem (verbal, graphical, vector, diagrams, or equations)
- describe the role of physics and physicists in history

Any student eligible for and needing accommodations because of a disability is requested to contact me as soon as practical or as soon as you have been approved for services so that reasonable accommodations can be arranged. I'm easy to get along with.

Academic Integrity —

It is expected that you will adhere to the university's honor code and student code of conduct, as can be found in your student handbook.