Welcome to Physics 201
Physics for Scientists and Engineers Vol I, 6th Edition
by Serway and Jewett. We will be covering the first 11 chapters.
Homework will be assigned weekly, typically between 6 and 10 problems from the book. Although the homework will contribute only 10% toward your final grade, please note that the successful completion of the homework is fundamental to your understanding of the material. Further, all tests will also be of the problem-solving type, qualitatively indistinguishable from the homework. In short, spending quality time working on these homework assignments is a most excellent investment of your time!! Homework will not be accepted past the due date.
The lab is a vital and integral part of the course. We will explore first hand the kinematics and dynamics that we learn in the classroom environment, using various combinations of digital video, computer aided sensing devices, and good 'ole common sense. Attendance at labs is mandatory. More than one unexcused absence from a scheduled lab experiment is unacceptable.
There will be two midterm exams (...an hour each...) and a comprehensive one-hour final exam. All tests are closed-book, but you are allowed a single page of hand written notes. The lowest score of the three will be dropped, and the remaining two scores will contribute 75% to your final grade. Homework will contribute an additional 10% and a final written lab project contributes the remaining 15%. There are no make up tests. You must take all tests.
A physics course can be a most rigorous and demanding challenge, requiring focused effort and quality time. The average successful student spends 2-3 hours outside of class for every hour in class. The better prepared student with a strong high school background and superior mathematical skills might require somewhat less commitment and still do quite well, but that's an unusual scenario. You should schedule at least 15 hours per week for physics study time.
At no cost, fall behind. Each chapter builds upon the previous, each concept springs from the prior. If you fall behind, the new material can be hopelessly confusing, and your frustration palpable.
Perhaps the worst question is the unasked one. Ask questions. That's the keen advantage of the classroom environment. So take advantage of that environment and ask, ask, ask. Also, please take advantage of my office hours. If my posted hours are inconvenient, by all means talk to me about meeting at another time. I'm flexible. And my mission is to help you learn physics.