PHYSICS 303L - Rory Coker
Prof. Rory Coker
Office: RLM 8.312
Phone: (512) 471-5194
Fax: (512) 471-9637
Email: rory coker's civilian mail, coker's physics department mail

Office Hours:    Fall 2018,  Tuesday, 1 to 2 PM; Friday, 3:30 - 4:30 PM; RLM 8.312 [Subject to change.]

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The Fall 2018 unique number is 55740 - 55 ; the class meets from  1 - 2 PM MWF  in Pai 4.42. Attendance is REQUIRED in class, and the roll will be checked each day.   If you need personal help with the homework and are on campus, the Coaching tables by the elevators on the 5th level of RLM Hall will be manned at times to be announced, regularly on weekdays. The TA is Wei-Jin Zheng, office hours: Wednesday 3-4pm, RLM 14.318; problem sessions: Monday 6-7p, 7-8p, 8-9p, RLM 7.116 The unique number of the course you registered for tells you the TA session you are supposed to attend. Attendance is required! 

Text: PHYSICS FOR ENGINEERS AND SCIENTISTS, 3rd Edition, Vol. 2, by Ohanian and Markert.  Earlier or later editions will work.

Syllabus and first day handout. Basis of course letter grade: Final exam, 25%; homework, 40%; best 2 of the 3 exams, 25%; class attendance, 10%. The lowest homework grade is dropped, the lowest quiz grade is dropped, and 3 zero clicker grades are dropped. Class attendance is NOT OPTIONAL; it is required, and contributes a significant percentage of the overall course grade.  Attendance will be checked with iClickers, registered on Canvas, as in previous semesters.  You should be familiar with the procedure from earlier natural science courses you have taken, such as 303K.   Keep in mind that all grades for the class are tabulated on Quest, never on Canvas!  Mid-semester quizzes will be held as follows: Quiz 1, 7 - 10 PM, Pai 4.42, 9/20.  Quiz 2, 7 - 10 PM, Pai 4.42, 10/18.  Quiz 3, 7-10 PM, Pai. 4.42, 11/15.  See the course syllabus for more details, including coverage.  

The homework for this course is handled by the Quest on-line  homework service. Homework assignments are turned in by you on-line from your web-browser, logging-in with your UT-EID from An FAQ page is available here. Complete homework and quiz solutions are available on Quest within 15 minutes or half an hour after the deadline. Quest requires a $30 charge per student for its use, which goes toward the maintenance and operation of the resource. After the 12th day of class, when you log into Quest you will be asked to pay via credit card on a secure payment site. You have the option to wait up to 30 days to pay while still continuing to use Quest for your assignments. If you are taking more than one course using Quest, you will not be charged more than $60/semester. For payment questions, email Quest Fees.



  • HW 1, average 90%, turned in by 46 of 47 students.
  • HW 2, average 90%, turned in by 42 of 45 students.
  • HW 3, average 89%, turned in by 42 of 45 students.
  • HW 4, average 95%, turned in by 43 of 45 students.
  • HW 5, average 91%, turned in by 44 of 45 students.
  • HW 6, average 95%, turned in by 43 of 45 students.
  • HW 7, average 94%, turned in by 44 of 45 students.
  • HW 8, average 91%, turned in by 41 of 43 students.
  • HW 9, average 96%, turned in by 41 of 43 students
  • HW 10, average 91%, turned in by 41 of 43 students. 
  • HW 11, average 74%, turned in by 39 of 42 students.
  • HW 12, average 92%, turned in by 41 of 42 students.
  • HW 13, average 88%, turned in by 42 of 42 students.
  • HW 14, average 93%, turned in by 38 of 42 students.

  • Quiz 1 statistics.  42 of 45 students took the quiz, and the average was 79%.  The score distribution was as follows: 100 to 90%, 15 students; 89 to 80%, 6 students; 79 to 70%, 12 students; 69 to 60%, 4 students; 59 to 50%, 4 students; 49 to 40%, 1 student.  Highest grades 100%, lowest grade 42%.  This was probably the easiest of the three quizzes, by far, so if you had any trouble at all, take that as an early warning sign to take effective action: drastically change study habits and strategies, or get a tutor, or etc.

    Quiz 2 statistics: Average 74%, with 44 of 45 students taking the quiz.  Three people made 100%.  Lowest grade 14%.  Distribution: 100 to 90, 13 people; 89 to 80, 8 people; 79 to 70, 11 people; 69 to 60, 6 people; 59 to 50, 6 people; 49 to 40, 2 people; 19 to 10, 1 person.

    Quiz 3 statistics: average grade 74%.  40 of 42 students took the quiz.  2 students made 100%, 9 students made from 90 to 99%, 6 students made from 80 to 89%, 6 students made from 70 to 79%, 10 students made from 60 to 69%, 3 students made from 50 to 59%, 2 students made from 40 to 49%, and 2 students made from 30 to 39%.  It's probably a safe prediction that the average on the final exam will be about 76%.

    Final exam statistics: 42 of 42 students took the exam. Average 84%. 21 students made grades of 100 to 90; 7 students made grades of 89 to 80. 7 students made grades of 79 to 70. 2 students made grades of 69 to 60. 3 students made grades of 59 to 50. 1 student made a grade of 49 to 40. 1 student made a grade of 39 to 30.

    Here is a way to get extra credit!

    Important: the Laboratory Course  303N is a REQUIRED CO-REQUISITE for 303L. It is your responsibility to register for and take the lab, simultaneously with 303L, unless you have already taken and passed it in a previous semester. 

    COACHES AND TUTORS: Coaches are present at tables by the elevators on the 5th level of RLM, at various times between 9 AM and 5 PM weekdays. Coaches are there to give you hints on homework problems, and mini-lectures on key concepts in basic physics. You can obtain a physics graduate student tutor by contacting the undergraduate secretary, whose office is around the North corner from the coaching tables on the 5th level. If you are experiencing any difficulties in doing the homework you probably need a tutor, and you would need to work with him or her beginning as early as possible in the semester. Note that free tutoring is available here. And free study group tutoring is available here. A fairly accurate but incredibly difficult to read online resource on basic physics is here.

    CLASS NOTES FOR 303L (click)

    CLASS SLIDES FOR 303L: Coulomb, Matter, E field, Gauss Law, Potential, Capacitors, Current 1, DC circuits, Ch. 29, Ch. 30, Magnetic Materials, Induction, Self-Induction, AC Circuits, Radiation, Polarization, Spectrum, Reflection and Refraction, Concave Mirrors, Thin Lenses! Thin Films, Diffraction! Double Slit! Single Slit.

    [CLASS SLIDES FOR 302K: Motion, Kinematics, Free Fall, Vectors 1, Vectors 2, Unit Vectors, Projectiles, Projectile Relativity, Estimating Acceleration, Centripetal Acceleration, Radial and Tangential, Relative velocity, All Three Laws, The Dark! Friction, Roller Coaster, Conical Pendulum, Work, Energy's Fathers, Kinetic Energy, PE and E, Conservative forces, Drawing the PE, CE and Mass, Deuteron, Then and Now, Satellites, Orbits, Planet Men, Dark Matters! Gravitational Potential Energy, Center of Mass, Geometrical Center, Stability, Equilibrium, Total Momentum, CM and Orbits, Impulse! Elastic and Inelastic Collisions, Where is it? Angular Velocity, Rotational Inertia, Rotational KE, Torque, Rolling, Rotational Inertia Race, Angular Momentum, Torque and Angular Momentum, Precession, Stable and Unstable Rotations, Statics, Atomic forces, Young's, shear and bulk moduli, SHO, Waves, Reflection, Superposition, Standing waves on rope, Group velocity, Wave Applets, Fathers of the Wave, Sound, Spherical waves, Standing waves in pipes, Doppler effect, Sound level, Diffraction, Chladni Plates, Pressure, Pascal Principle, Buoyancy, Bernoulli Principle, Fathers of fluid physics, Thermal Physics! Heat! Engines When physics lecture demonstrations go wild.]

    Single-concept video tutorials on basic physics.


    In Fall 2018, watch for the Pizza Seminar!

    Coker's Homepage

    Most recent update is 10/22/2018

    Charles Coulomb

    James Joule

    James Clerk Maxwell

    Lord Kelvin