Fall 2011, MWF 11:00-11:50 AM, PAI 4.42

UNIQUE # 56310


·       Homework Server:


Instructor: Professor Chih-Kang Shih,, 471-6603, RLM 13.318

Office Hours: Monday 9:50 – 10:50 a.m.; Tuesday 11-12 a.m. 


TA: Sarah Elias,

Office hours: TTh 4 - 5:30, RLM 10.314

Discussion Sessions: All 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

    M: RLM 6.114

    T:  RLM 6.120

    Th: RLM 7.112


Text: College Physics, 9th Edition, Volume 2 by Serway and Vuille (older editions are fine too). Tentative schedule of lectures will be updated shortly.


Course Schedule:Physics_302L_Schedule_rr.pdf


Overview: This is the second part of a non-calculus-based technical physics sequence for students who need to fulfill a general physics requirement. The course covers electricity, magnetism, optics, and selected topics in modern physics. This course carries the Quantitative Reasoning flag. Quantitative Reasoning courses are designed to equip you with skills that are necessary for understanding the types of quantitative arguments you will regularly encounter in your adult and professional life. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your use of quantitative skills to analyze real-world problems.


Administrative Issues: Please see Lisa Gentry, Undergraduate Office, RLM 5.216, 471-8856


Course Pre- and Co-Requisites: Physics 302K and 102M and credit or concurrent registration for Physics 102N.


Grading: Course grades will be calculated based on the weighted sum of the following: Homework 15%, In-Class Clicker Quizzes 5%,  Midterm Exams 44%, and Final Exam 36%. Course grades will be determined by a class curve and no prescribed cutoff values should be assumed.



This course makes use of the web-based Quest content delivery and homework server system maintained by the College of Natural Sciences.  This homework service will require a $22 charge per student for its use, which goes toward the maintenance and operation of the resource.  Please go to to log in to the Quest system for this class.  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 $50/semester. Quest provides mandatory instructional material for this course, just as is your textbook, etc.  For payment questions, email


You will download the homework and submit your answers online at Solutions will be available online right after the due time. The lowest two homework grades will be dropped in calculation of the course grade. Read the students’ instructions and FAQ at and You are encouraged to work together on the homework. You must, however, submit your own work for credit.


Midterm Exams and Final Exam: There will be three in-class midterm exams on (date to be announced). The lowest midterm grade will be dropped in calculation of the course grade. No makeup exam will be given. If you miss a midterm exam, it will be the one that will be dropped. The final exam is comprehensive and mandatory and will be held Saturday, December 10, 9:00-12:00 noon, as scheduled by the Registrar’s Office. No early final exam will be given. The midterm exams and final exam will be closed book. A formula sheet will be provided to you.  In addition, you are allowed to have one-page self-prepared “cheat sheet” for the midterm and three pages for the final.  Calculators may be used for numerical calculations only. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.


Pre-Class Reading and In-Class Clicker Quizzes: Before coming to class you are expected to have read the relevant materials from the textbook for that day. The lectures will not simply regurgitate what you have read, rather they will focus on explaining and expanding the concepts that you may have difficulty understanding, often with the help of demonstrations. We intersperse lectures with interactive quiz questions chosen to highlight the course materials. Occasionally quizzes will be given at the beginning of class concerning pre-class reading. In order to participate, you will need to have an i-Clicker and then register it by entering the serial number on the back of your i-Clicker (include leading zeros) under “My Profile” in Quest. When you return to the Quest menu and select this course, you will find your “Clicker Box #” in the information box. Be sure to make note of your box number which will be displayed in the Clicker grid on the screen in the classroom. If you try using your i-Clicker without registering its serial number on the Quest site, your serial number will appear at the bottom of the Clicker grid and your response will not be recorded. See instructions at If you submit a wrong answer, you still get 80% credit. We will begin to use the clickers from Monday August 29. The lowest 5 in-class quiz grades will be dropped. Note that the number of drops is intended to compensate for non-participation due to legitimate excuses as well as occasional clicker-related problems. There will be no manual adjustment on the in-class quiz score.


TA Discussion Sessions: TA discussion sessions are an integral part of this course. During each session, the TA will reiterate the course materials, work out examples similar to homework problems, or provide hints to solving homework problems. The sessions will start as soon as the time and location are determined. 


PHY 102N: The lab is a separate course and is a co-requisite of this course. The lab will begin in the second week of classes. 



Special Accommodations: The University of Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-6441 TTY.