Welcome to the Elementary Physics (II) course, PHY 309 L. This syllabus describes the class taught in Fall 2010 by Professor Vadim Kaplunovsky (unique #56970). Other professors teaching this course would have their own syllabi.

NOTE: __This web page will be updated during the semester!__
Please check it weekly.

Elementary Physics is a non-technical course intended for liberal-arts and other
non-science majors, hence the nickname «Physics for Poets»;
it's more *about Physics* than Physics itself.
Nevertheless, the language of Physics is Mathematics, and I will use a lot of formulae.
You do not need calculus or higher math to follow this class,
but basic algebra is essential.

For administrative reasons, the Elementary Physics is split into two courses, but if you are intesrested in Physics, you should take both. The first course (PHY 309 K) focuses on Mechanics and Thermodynamics, while the second course (PHY 309 L) covers Electricity, Magnetism, Waves and Optics, and Modern Physics (atoms, nuclei, relativity, etc.). The two courses are usually taught by different professors: This Fall, I am teaching PHY 309 L, even though I have not taught the 309 K class since 2006.

Before taking the Elementary Physics (II) course, you must complete Elementary Physics (I)
**or** a more techical physics class covering the same subject, for example 302 K, 303 K, 317 K,
or 301 K.
If you took a physics class in another university, please take you transcripts to Pat Morgan
(Physics undergraduate secretary, her office is in RLM 5.216), she will tell you if that class
satisfies the prerequisite or not.

There are no other prerequisites. Also, unlike the more technical physics courses, the Elementary Physics class does not require a lab.

- Instructor:
- Professor Vadim Kaplunovsky
- Office: RLM 9.314A
- Phone: 471-4918
- Email:
`vadim@physics.utexas.edu` - Reserved office hour: Wednesdays, 3 to 4 PM.
- Other office hours (I am likely to be in my office and available, but no guarantees): Wednesdays and Thursdays, 2 to 3 PM.
- Office hours during the exam week: Wednesday 12/8 and Thursday 12/9 from 3:30 to 5 PM.

- Assistant:
- David Purtseladze
- Email:
`datka@physics.utexas.edu` - Office and hours:
- Office hours during the exam week: Wednesday 12/8 from 9:30 to 10:30 AM, and Thursday from 2 to 3 PM, location TBA.

- Questions:
- For simple questions about homework or administrivia, please use email.
- If you need an explanation of some subject, or for any other questions that need answers longer than a few lines, please see me or the TA in person.
- For questions about grading of a homework or an exam, please see the TA first.
- If you need urgent help with a homework or explanation of some material, go to the coaching tables, see below.

- Physics Coaching Tables:
- Staff: Physics graduate students who teach labs or TA for 303 K/L classes.
- Location: RLM building, 5th floor, area between the elevators and the Physics Dept. offices.
- Times: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 9 AM to 6 PM, Fridays 9 AM to 12 noon.

The textbook for my class is
«The Physics of Everyday Phenomena:
A Conceptual Introduction to Physics» by
W. Thomas Griffith and Juliet W. Brosing (6^{th} edition).
It's the same book Dr. Matzner have used for
his Elementary Physics (I) class this Spring.

Every now and then, I'll bring some supplementary notes to class, or post them on the web. But you do not need to buy any supplementary textbooks, study guides, etc., so save your money. Likewise, you won't need clickers or special classtalk calculators — any scientific calculator will do.

In principle, this course should cover everything in the textbook. Or rather everything in chapters 12 through 21, since chapters 1 through 11 should have been covered in the previous course, General Physics (I). But in practice this is too much material for most students to absorb in one 3-unit semester, so I shall focus on the more important subjects and give less coverage to others. And a few minor subjects of lesser importance will be skipped altogether.

When I start a new chapter of the textbook, I'll announce which sections (if any) I am going to skip, and I will and post them here (at the bottom of the lecture page http://www.ph.utexas.edu/~vadim/Classes/2010f/lectures.html#skipped). The exams will not involve the skipped material.

The lectures are on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 3:30 to 5 PM,
in Painter Hall, room PAI 4.42.
*Attendance is mandatory and may affect your grade.*

*Disruption of lectures will not be tolerated.*
Persistent or egregious disruptiveness will lower your grade (if appropriate, all the way to F).

For your convenience, I will keep a log of lectures and their subjects on a separate web page http://www.ph.utexas.edu/~vadim/Classes/2010f/lectures.html. Since the pace of the course may change according to the students' understanding, I will not make a complete schedule at the beginning of the class. Instead, I will simply log every lecture after I give it. This way, if you miss a lecture, you will know what you should read in the textbook and other students' notes.

Some lectures will use supplementary notes or illustrations taken from external web sites. For some other lectures, I might write supplementartes myself. The links to those notes and illustrations will be posted here.

- Electric resistivity (Wikipedia article).
- Dot product and cross product or two vectors (Wikipedia articles).
- Ferromagnetism (HyperPhysics article).
- Interference, beats, and standing waves (my notes, printed copies distributed on 10/12).
- Illustrations of EM waves, colors, and vision.
- Illustrations of complex waves: diffraction, interference, and refraction.
- Mirrors and images.
- Refraction and reflection (Walter Fendt applet).
- Explanation of refraction (Walter Fendt applet).
- Ray diagrams and optical devices.
- Early history of atoms (Michael Fowler's web page at UV).
- Timeline of atomic discovery (Lee Buescher's web page).
- Nuclear binding energy (HyperPhysics article).
- Brookhaven National Lab's chart of nuclides.
- Radioactive decay chains (Walter Fendt applet).
- Exponential decay (Walter Fendt applet).
- Chain reaction demo.
- Fission chain reaction.
- Dr. Matzner's notes on Relativity.
- Michelson–Morley Experiment (Wikipedia article).

I will ask the TA to give a review session before each exam. I might also give a session or two myself when too may students have difficulties with a particularly thorny subject. I shall announce each session in class as soon as I schedule it, and I will also post the date, time, and room here:

- Review before the first midterm, September 23 (Thursday), 5 to 6:30 PM, BUR 212.
- Review before the second midterm, October 21 (Thurday), 5 to 6:30 PM, BUR 108.
- Review before the thurd midterm, November 18 (Thursday), 5 to 6:30 PM, BUR 108.

In my class, I shall not use any computerized homework systems. The homework assignments and the exams will be graded by the TA, who will look at your whole solution rather then just the answer. You will get a partial credit for a partially correct solution, and getting the concepts right will count for more then getting the right number at the end of the calculation.

The assignments will be posted on the homework page (http://www.ph.utexas.edu/~vadim/Classes/2010f/homework.html). The solutions will be posted on the same page after the due date. Most homework problems will be taken from the textbook, but I will also add a few of my own.

Homeworks will be assgned weekly, but you will get an extra class day after each mid-term test. The first set will be assigned on the first class day 8/26 and due 9/2. Altogether, there will be twelve homework sets, here is the complete schedule. I shall collect the homeworks in class; please do not bring them to my office or mailbox.

You may do your homework individually or in small teams of two or three students; larger teams are not allowed. A team should submit a single solution signed by all students in the team. If you work in a team, make sure everybody understands the whole solution — otherwise, you will flunk the exams.

To allow for emergencies, you may skip one or two homeworks without hurting your grade, but if you miss three or more, your grade will suffer.

There will be three mid-term tests during the semester, and one final exam at the end. Here is the schedule:

- The first mid-term will be on
~~September 28 (Tuesday)~~September 30 (Thursday).

Subjects: textbook chapters 12, 13, and 14 . - The second mid-term will be on
~~October 21 (Thursday)~~October 26 (Tuesday).

Subjects: textbook chapters 15, 16, and beginning of 17. - The third mid-term will be on November 23 (Tuesday).

Subjects: textbook chapters 17, 18, 19. - The final exam is scheduled for December 11 (Saturday), 2 to 5 PM,
room UTC 4.102

The final exam is comprehensive and will cover everything taught in class, from the first lecture to the last.

All exams are open-book. You may bring any books or notes you like, provided you can manage them at your seat without disturbing other students. But you must do your exam by yourself: Getting help from another person during the exam is not allowed. For this reason, using cellphones or Internet during the exam is not allowed.

Please bring your ID to all tests, especially to the final exam. To prevent cheating, we (me and the TA) will ID all students. If you don't have a UT ID, bring your driver's license or passport.

Bring a calculator. Most exam problems can be done with pencil-and-paper arithmetic, but sometimes a calculator can speed up the work.

The mid-term tests will be at the regular class time, in the usual classroom,
and last one hour (60 minutes).

The final exam will be in a different room
UTC 4.102

and last 3 hours (180 minutes).

The subject matter of each mid-term test may include anything studied in class up to the last lecture before the test. It may also involve subjects studied before the previous test, so don't flush your memories after the test is over. And the final exam will cover everything studied in class, from the first lecture to the last.

Only two best mid-term scores will count towards your grade. This allows one missed or botched test (because of illness or emergency) without damage to the grade. But if you miss (or foul up) two or all three tests, your grade will suffer.

If you cannot come to class on a test day, let me know *in advance*
so I can give you an appropriate remedy.
If you miss the test without my prior permission,
I will consider remedies only in cases of *documented*
illness or emergency.

The grades are based on homeworks, mid-term tests, and the final exam with the following weights:

- Twenty percent (20%) of the average homework score. To allow for emergencies, the averaging skips two worst homeworks of the semester. Missing homeworks count as zero scores, so missing one or two homeworks does not hurt your grade, but if you miss three or more, your grade will suffer.
- Twenty percent (20%) of the the best mid-term test, plus another twenty percent (20%) of the second-best mid-term. Altogether, the mid-term tests contribute 40% of the grade.
- Forty percent (40%) of the final exam score.

Here are the formulae I have used to calculate the grades:

- The input data for each student are the raw homework scores
*r_hw_1*,…,*r_hw_11*, the raw mid-term scores*r_mt_1*,*r_mt_2*, and*r_mt_3*, the raw final exam score*r_fin*, the attendence count*att_count*, and the count of excused absenses*excused*. - The raw scores are converted into percentage scores as

*hw_1*=*r_hw_1**100/normalization(*r_hw_1*);

and likewise for*hw_2*,…,*hw_11*,*mt_1*,*mt_2*,*mt_3*, and*fin*. - The averages and the combined score are calculated according to
*hw_avg*= average(best 11 of*hw_1*,…,*hw_13*);*mt_avg*= average(best 2 of*mt_1*,*mt_2*,*mt_3*);*combined*= 0.2**hw_avg*+ 0.4**mt_avg*+ 0.4**fin*;

- The attendance fraction is calculated based on 21 signup sheets and allowing for 2 un-excused absences. Thus
*expected*= 37 − 3 −*excused*;*att_frac*=*att_count*/*expected*;- if(
*att_frac*>1) then*att_frac*= 1;

- The combined score is adjusted according to attendance as

*adj_score*=*combined*+ 0.2**att_frac**max(100-*combined*, 0);

Note that this adjustment affects the low scores more than the high scores.

The ABCDF grades follow from the adjusted score *adj_score* according to the following brackets:

Letter grade | Adjusted score |
---|---|

A+ | 96 or higher |

A | 91 to 96 |

A− | 88 to 91 |

B | 84 to 88 |

B− | 81 to 84 |

C | 72 to 81 |

C− | 60 to 72 |

Luckily, there were no **D** of **F** grades in this class: The students who were heading
for such a grade have Q-dropped.

Note: The UT registrar records **A+** grades as ordinary **A**s.

Last Update: December 15, 2010. Vadim Kaplunovsky

vadim@physics.utexas.edu