PHYSICS 302L - 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 55480, and the class meets 2 to 3 PM on 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 daily.  The TA is Wei-Jin Zheng, office hours: Monday 3-4pm, RLM 14.318, and weekly problem session: Friday 3-4pm, RLM 5.122

Text: COLLEGE PHYSICS (9th ed) by Serway and Vuille, Vol. 2 (Brooks-Cole, 2012).  Earlier or later editions will work.  This course and text cover basic physics using algebra and trig but not calculus.  You should probably not be taking this course if you are majoring in science or engineering.  Science majors take calculus-based Phy 301, 315, 316 while engineers take calculus-based Phy 303K and L.  Also Phy 317K and L are survey courses like 302K and L, but using calculus.  302L covers important topics in fundamental physics, beginning with the gradual understanding of one of the four fundamental forces of nature, the electrical force, in the late 1700s, and ending with a quick survey of late 20th and early 21st century physics.

Syllabus and first day handout for Fall 2018. 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. Class attendance is NOT OPTIONAL; it is required, and contributes a significant percentage of the overall course grade. So far it looks as if class attendance will be checked in the standard way, using iClickers registered on Canvas.  You presumably already know how to do this from taking previous Natural Science courses, including 302K.  Note that all class grades are stored on Quest, NOT on Canvas.

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, these funds going  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.  

SO FAR:  As of assignment 12, only an average of 70 out of 82 enrolled students are turning in homework. The number has usually fluctuated between 70 and 75.  Remember that homework constitutes 40% of the overall class grade!  Looking over the grades so far, I can find 5 students who are not taking the exams and not turning in homework, and have course letter grades of D or F. 

  • HW 1, average 92%, turned in by 84 of 85 students.
  • HW 2, average 94%, turned in by 83 of 85 students.
  • HW 3, average 97%, turned in by 76 of 85 students.
  • HW 4, average 93%, turned in by 82 of 85 students.
  • HW 5, average 94%, turned in by 80 of 84 students.
  • HW 6, average 94%, turned in by 78 of 84 students.
  • HW 7, average 92%, turned in by 75 of 84 students.
  • HW 8, average 97%, turned in by 79 of 84 students.
  • HW 9, average 90%, turned in by 75 of 84 students.
  • HW 10, average 95%, turned in by 73 of 82 students.
  • HW 11, average 94%, turned in by 75 of 82 students.
  • HW 12, average 92%, turned in by 71 of 82 students.
  • HW 13, average 91%, turned in by 70 of 82 students.
  • HW 14, average 98%, turned in by 80 of 82 students.
  • HW 15, average 98%, turned in by 74 of 82 students.
  • HW 16, average 98%, turned in by 71 of 82 students.

  • Quiz statistics: average 72%, and 78 of 85 students took the quiz.  4 students made 100%. 12 people made from 100 to 90%, 24 people made from 89 to 80%, 20 people made from 79 to 70%, 2 people made from 69 to 60%, 9 people made from 59 to 50%, 3 people made from 49 to 40%, 1 person made from 39 to 30%, and 1 person made from 29 to 20%.

    Quiz 2 statistics:  Average grade 57%, highest grade 100%, lowest grade(s) 10%.  78 of 83 students took the quiz.  One student made 100, 6 students made 90, 9 students made 80, 12 students made 70, 15 students made 60, 13 students made 50, 10 students made 40, 5 students made 30, 3 students made 20 and 3 students made 10.  

    Quiz 3 statistics--- 75 of 82 students took the quiz. Average 71%. Distribution: 8 people made 100, 12 people made 90, 15 people made 80, 16 people made 70, 9 people made 60, 5 people made 50, 5 people made 40, 4 people made 30, and 1 student made 20 or less.  Remember the final will cover the same material as Quizzes 1 and 2, plus the three final chapters in the text, 28, 29 and 30, which have not been covered on any of the three quizzes. If you made poor grades on Quizzes 1 and 2, you can predict your final exam grade accordingly.  Extensive study and review are advised strongly.

     Final average 64%, with 77 of 80 students taking the exam.  Distribution: 2 students made from 100 to 90; 8 students made from 89 to 80; 16 students made from 79 to 70; 25 students made from 69 to 60; 15 students made from 59 to 50; 9 students made from 49 to 40.  One student each fell in the range 39 to 30, and 19 to 10!  The overall class average for the entire semester is 82%, as it almost always is for 302K and L, and 317K and L.

    Here is a way to get extra credit!

    Some useful hints on how to study physics. [Author unknown.]

    Hints on how to take notes in a physics class. [Author unknown.]

    Here is the Golden Rule of physics problem-solving. Ignore it at your extreme peril.

    How to get involved in Undergraduate Research.

    Interactive Animations of Basic Physics Concepts

    Important: the Laboratory Course 102N is a REQUIRED CO-REQUISITE for 302L. It is your responsibility to register for and take the lab, simultaneously with 302L, 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 8 AM and 6 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 302L: Here.

    CLASS SLIDES FOR 302L: Ch. 15, part 1, Ch. 15, part 2, Ch. 15 part 3, Capacitors, Direct Current, Direct Current Circuits, Magnetic Field, Magnetic Forces, Field of currents, Magnetic Materials, Induction, Self-Induction, AC Circuits, EM radiation, EM Spectrum, Red Shift! Ray Optics 1, Refraction, Rainbow, etc. Mirrors1, Convex Mirrors, Air Optics, Lenses, Double Slit! Thin films,   Single Slit and Grating, Polarization, Optical Devices, Eye and brain? Relativity 1, Relativity 2, Twins! Length Contraction! Binding Energy, Einstein's Theory of Gravity, Quantum 1, Quantum 2, Atoms, Spin and Pauli Principle, Molecules and Solids, X rays and Lasers, Nuclear1, Nuclear2, Radiation, Fission and Fusion,  The Standard Model, [From other courses: The Sun, Particles! The Proton, Early Universe, THE DARK!]

    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.

    In Fall 2018, watch for the Pizza Seminar!

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