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PHYSICS 104: Uncertainty and Chance in Physics
Prof. S. Teitel stte@pas.rochester.edu  Fall 2000
Course Info
Time:  Fall 2000, Tues. & Thurs. 2:00  3:15, B&L 405 
Instructor:  Prof. S. Teitel 
Website:  http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~stte/phy104f00/ 
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) 
Grading: 
Homework  40% 
1st inclass exam  15% 
2nd inclass exam  15% 
final exam  30% 

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
