PHYSICS 104: Uncertainty and Chance in Physics
Prof. S. Teitel ----- Fall 2000

Course Info

Time:Fall 2000, Tues. & Thurs. 2:00 -- 3:15, B&L 405
Instructor:Prof. S. Teitel
Prerequisites:   High school algebra; high school chemistry helpful but not essential
Restrictions:Closed to majors in engineering and the physical sciences
Text:Reasoning About Luck, by Vinay Ambegaokar
on reserve in POA library (B&L 3rd floor)
1st inclass exam15%
2nd inclass exam      15%
final exam30%
Homework:There will be approximately 8 homework assignments handed out during the semester. These count 40% of your course grade. You must hand them in on time to get full credit. You are encouraged to discuss homework problems with your classmates, however each student must hand in his or her own independently written up solution. Copied solutions will be penalized.
Exams:Exams will be closed book, closed notes. Exam dates will be announced later.

Tentative Syllabus

  • Theory of Probability (roughly 1/2 semester)
    coin flipping experiments
    definition of probability and simple computation rules
    permutations and combinations and the binomial theorem
    binomial distribution
    mean and standard deviation of a probability distribution
    behavior at large N -- the Normal distribution
    applications: random walks and diffusion, diffusion limited aggregation and fractals
  • Elementary Mechanics (roughly 1/4 semester)
    vectors - geometrical description
    Newton's laws of motion applied to linear and circular motion
    conservation of energy
    Newton's law of gravitation
    equivalence (and importance) of inertial and gravitational mass
  • Elementary Kinetic Theory of Gases (roughly 1/4 semester)
    ideal gas law
    deducing the atomic theory of matter from chemistry experiments
    chemical formulae and Avogadro's number
    deriving the ideal gas law from probabilitic mechanics
    the relation between temperature and energy
    other topics as time permits

Last update: Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 2:41:18 PM.