Midterm 1: Feb 17 Tue 9:40-10:55 Hoyt
Midterm 2:Mar 24 Tue 9:40-10:55 Hoyt
Final: May 7, 16:00-19:00 SPURRIER
There will be no makeup exams.
You can use a calculator.
You will not be allowed to consult any book
or notes during the examinations.
Bring a picture ID to the final examination.
You can download and print them the same
way as the lectures.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT EXAMINATIONS AND GRADES
What is the best way to prepare for the exams?
The best way is to learn how to derive every major formula in the book
from Newton's laws. Once you learn to think this way physics will
look very simple.
It is the possiblity of reducing everything to a few simple basic laws (axioms) that sets physics apart from the rest of the sciences. But to learn think this way is hard, may be the hardest thing you have ever learned. The rest of the skills you will be tested on, such as solving problems or answering conceptual questions, are much easier to acquire and is mostly a matter of practice.
Why are we required to know integral calculus although our calculus
yet done integrals?
I go over the rudiments of integral calculus in one of the lectures.
Some basic rules of integration are summarized in the notes to that lecture.
This is all the integral
calculus you need to know to do the problems
I have assigned in homework and exams.
Why am I doing so badly in the exams when I am doing fine in homeworks?
The CAPA homeworks test your ability to apply what you learned
to some specific
situations. The exams also test if you know where the formulas come from: to be able
to derive them. You must read the lecture notes (and the book ) and be able to
reproduce the arguments. This is harder at first than just working out problems, but once you learn to think this way it will be easy.
I feel I am one of the better students in the class. Yet I have to work as hard as the students who are behind me. Am I doing something wrong?
No. To just pass the course you probably dont have to work too hard.
But if you want to get an A or close to it you have to work really hard.
that even the very best students have to struggle in order to get an A. Even if you are getting a 100% grade in the homeworks you will probably find the exams difficult.
How can I learn the derivations of formulae when the homeworks dont ask such questions?
The best way is to study the lecture notes and the textbook after the
lecture. Dont just read them: try to derive each formula I derived
in class yourself BEFORE you look at the derivation in the notes
or the book. You may find it hard at first but eventually you will be able
to recall where each formula comes from as soon as you see it.
I expect that most students will do well in the homeworks; they mostly
are applications of physics formulas to everyday situations. If you do well in the homeworks and
adequately in the exams you will get a C. To get better you have to be able to show that you can derive the formulas from the fundamental principles of physics. For example, if you know that the moment of inertia of a solid disk is 0.5 MR^2 (or know
where to look it up) you can solve the homework problems that use that fact.
(Knowledge at this level will get you a C.) In the exams I test whether you can derive that fact from the basic definition of moment of inertia. If you can do that also you are a candidate for an A. There is a substantial difference between an A and an A-.