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Course Info






PHY 114: General Physics II
Prof. S. Rajeev rajeev@pas.rochester.edu ---- Spring 2009

Course Information

Instructors | Lectures | Announcements | Workshops
Laboratory | Textbooks | Homework | Examinations | Grading

PHY 114 is the continuation of PHY 113. The topics of electromagnetism, light, optics, relativity, quantum mechanics, atomic physics and nuclear physics will be covered at an introductory level. Students are assumed to have a working knowledge of basic calculus and the material covered in PHY 113. The course is designed for science majors who are not majoring in physics or engineering.

We have two major goals in this course as far as each of you is concerned. One goal is to provide you with a basic survey of the principles of electromagnetism and modern physics and an appreciation of the importance of these principles to your world. The other goal is to develop in you the ability and confidence to attack analytical problems.


For the names and contact information for the faculty and teaching assistants for this course, see the Contact Information page of this website.
Tuesday and Thursday 12:30 - 13:45 in Hoyt Auditorium

Notes for each day's lecture will be posted on the Calendar page of this website after the lecture has been presented. The Calendar page will also contain the course syllabus (which may get revised as the course progresses) and suggested reading assignments from the text to accompany each lecture.

course website: If you are reading this, you have found the course website - http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~stte/phy114S09/ The course website will be used extensively for distributing course materials such as lecture notes, homework problems and solutions. The home page of the site is where we will post time sensitive announcements. Please check there regularly. If something is on the course website, you are responsible for knowing it!

course email list: We will set up a course email distribution list. Time sensitive announcements, corrections to problems, changes in exam location if any, etc., will be sent to you via email. It is essential that you be on this list if you are in the course.

Each student in the course must be enrolled in one workshop section. Your workshop will meet once a week for two hours. Experience from past courses shows that consistent attendance at workshops strongly correlates with a better grade in the course. The workshops are the best way I know to help you understand physics concepts and learn to solve analytical problems.

Each week the workshop leader will guide you in thinking about and trying to solve one or more problems related to the material covered the previous week in lecture. These problems will generally be chosen from that week's homework.

Workshop leaders will keep track of workshop attendance, which will be one of the measures we will use to asess the level of effort you have put into the course. This level of effort may be taken into account when assigning the final letter grade for the course and will serve as the deciding factor in cases that are on the boarderline between two letter grades.

The schedule of workshops is given below. Workshops will begin the week of January 26.

1Monday13:00-15:15Hylan 20372324Gerardo Viza
2Monday16:50-19:30Morey 52472331Brad Christensen
3Monday18:15-20:55B&L 27072362Melanie Pelcher
4Monday19:40-22:20Morey 52472528Gerardo Viza
5Tuesday14:00-16:40Hutch 13872510John Golden
6Tuesday15:25-18:05Hylan 10172472Gerardo Viza
7Tuesday16:50-19:30Wilmot 11672489Justin Comparetta
8Wednesday14:00-16:40B&L 27072405Justin Comparetta
9Wednesday15:25-18:05Hutch 13872436Mark Pecaut
10Wednesday16:50-19:30Hylan 30672297Justin Comparetta
11Wednesday18:15-20:55Meliora 20972390Gerardo Viza
12Thursday15:25-18:05Hylan 20672288Mark Pecaut
13Thursday18:15-20:55B&L 27072313Dan Linford
14Friday11:00-13:00B&L 20872270Mark Pecaut
15Friday13:00-15:15Morey 52472345Justin Comparetta
The laboratory part of this course is conducted independently of the lectures. Information about the labs may be found on the lab website www.pas.rochester.edu/~physlabs. You must satisfactorily do and pass all the labs in order to get a grade for this course. Anyone failing to satisfactorily pass all the labs receives an incomplete in the course. Laboratory will count 15% towards you total course grade. Of this 15%, 10% at full credit will be given to all students who pass all the labs. The remaining 5% will be based on your total score on the prelab questions that accompany each lab. Prelab questions will be collected at the start of each lab. Prelab questions will NOT be accepted late. All questions concerning the laboratory should be addressed to the laboratory email address, physlabs@pas.rochester.edu, or addressed to the faculty member in charge of the labs, Prof. McFarland. In most cases the physlabs email address is the appropriate destination for your questions and is more likely to yield a timely response.

  • Physics for Scientists and Engineers, vols. 2 and 3, 4th edition, by Douglass Giancoli
On reserve in the POA Library (3rd floor Bausch and Lomb Hall):
  • Physics for Scientists and Engineers, by Douglass Giancoli
  • University Physics, by Young and Freedman
  • Fundamentals of Physics, by Halliday, Resnick and Walker
  • Physics, by Tipler
Physics is a problem oriented subject and as such it is essential to work through problems in order to gain a complete understanding of the material. Each week on Friday a new problem set will be posted on the Homework page of this website. You must complete your solutions to these problems and turn them in by noon on the second following Monday (i.e. you have 10 days to complete the assignment). Your solutions must be turned into the PHY 114 homework locker located on the ground floor of B&L (near the entrance to the tunnels).

Our goal with these problem sets is not to test your abilities, but rather to help you understand the material. Therefore, from each problem set one problem will be chosen at random and will be graded for effort. It is not necessary that you have the correct solution to the problem to get credit, only that it be evident that you have made a hard and honest attempt to do the problem. The best 8 out of 10 assignments will count 10% towards your final course grade. We reserve the right to switch this grading system from the one problem method above to a "scan for effort" through the entire problem set.

You are encouraged to discuss the problems with your classmates both before and after the problems are due. However you should struggle with each problem on your own first. Relying on your classmates for the solutions will only cause you disaster on the exams! Although you may discuss problems with your colleagues, you must write your own solutions independently.

Solutions which are handed in late will not be accepted. A big motivation of the problem sets is to keep you from falling behind in the course, so accepting late assignments defeats this purpose. Our grading policy allows you to miss up to two problem sets with no direct effect on your grade. However failure to do problem sets, and so not learn that week's material at the level we expect, is a sure way to do poorly on the exams and get a poor grade in the course. We therefore urge you to do all the problem sets, even if it is too late to hand one in.

After each problem set is handed in, solutions will be posted on the Homework page of this website. Regardless of how well you think you have done on your own solutions, you should read these posted solutions carefully to make sure you have no mistakes, misconceptions or holes in your understanding. Remember, physics does not cram easily!

There will be three in class Term Exams during the semester and a Final Exam. The Term Exams will last 1 hour 15 minutes and be given during the regular lecture time in Hoyt Auditorium. The Final Exam will last 3 hours and is scheduled at the time below. The schedule for the exams is below. The Final Exam is cumulative for the entire semester.

Term Exam 1Tuesday, February 1712:30 - 13:45 Hoyt Aud (in class)
Term Exam 2Tuesday, March 24 12:30 - 13:45 Hoyt Aud (in class)
Term Exam 3Tuesday, April 21 12:30 - 13:45 Hoyt Aud (in class)
Final ExamWednesday, May 6 19:15 - 22:15Hubbell Aud (Hutchinson 141)

Cheat sheet: For the exams you will be able to bring with you one 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of standard ruled paper with whatever notes you wish to write on it. You may write on both sides, but only one line of writing per ruled line.

In computing your final course grade we will give you the option of dropping your worst Term Exam score. This allows you to miss an exam with no penalty towards your grade. If you miss one of the Term Exams for any reason whatsoever (no matter how good or frivolous), that exam will count as your "drop" and will be excluded in computing your final grade. We do not want or need to hear about it. Only if a very good reason is forcing you to miss a second Term Exam should you contact us and we will try to work something out with you. Use this flexibility to drop an exam score sparingly and only in a time of real need because we will not negotiate for additional flexibility.

If you miss the Final Exam for this course you will have to take an incomplete in the course and take the Final Exam in May 2010 in order to complete the course. No exceptions will be made.

Regrading requests: If you notice a numerical error in adding points for your exam score, please send an email explaining the situation to Prof. Teitel (stte@pas.rochester.edu) within one day of your receiving back your test, and then bring your exam to Prof. Teitel at his next available office hour. If you believe you have had a problem graded incorrectly you should: (i) first be certain to carefully read the posted solutions to make sure you understand the problem correctly; then if you still feel you have a case you should (ii) leave your exam with Prof. Teitel (either in his mailbox outside the department main office, or under his door) together with a note explaining your complaint. The exam will then be reviewed and returned to you. We reserve the right to completely regrade exams that are submitted for reconsideration. If you still believe you have not been graded correctly, please see Prof. Teitel at his next available office hour. Frivolous attempts to grub for extra points will not be viewed kindly.

course numerical average

Your final course average will be computed as the maximum value obtained from the four possible schemes given below. Schemes 1 - 3 allow you to drop your lowest Term Exam score. But if you have done well on all Term Exams and less well on the Final, then scheme 4 may give you the highest numerical average.

SchemeExam 1*Exam 2*Exam 3*Final*Lab**HW#
1- - -20%20%35%15%10%
220%- - -20%35%15%10%
320%20%- - -35%15%10%

*All exam grades will be rescaled so that the class mean of each exam is 70. For example, if the overall mean of Exam 1 is 63, everyone's Exam 1 grad will be rescaled by 70/63 before the course average calculations above are performed. This normalization will approximately even out any variations in exam difficulty.

**You will not receive a grade in the course until you have completed and turned in all the required laboratory work. Of the 15%, 10% at full credit will be given for passing all the labs; the remaining 5% will be based on your total score on the prelab questions that accompany each lab.

#Your homework average will be based on your scores on the best 8 of the 10 assigned problem sets.

Your grades on the various componets of the course will be reported to you, as they get recorded, via the University's Blackboard system. It is your responsibility to notice any recording errors and report them to Prof. Teitel (stte@pas.rochester.edu) as soon as possible.

course letter grade

Your initial relative position on the grading curve depends solely on the numerical course average as computed above. We will then assign letter grades to this numerical scale. There is no fixed curve to be assigned, and no grade quotas. If you all do "A" work in our eyes, you will all get A's.

If you are close to (but below) a grade boundary (within one point, as we will round course averages to the nearest integer) we may advance you to the higher grade depending on how we judge your effort in the course. Workshop attendence and a recommendation from your workshop leader will play the main role in this assessment.

If you are at the bottom of the grading curve it does not necessarily mean you are failing the course. It means we will look very carefully at your scores and your effort. If you are living on bits of partial credit and are putting in little visible effort, they you many not pass the course. If you are making more mistakes than you should, but we are convinced that you are putting in effort, you will pass. However, don't expect a stellar grade in that case.