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MWF Period 10 (5:10–6:00 pm) in 1001 NPB

Technical Physics by F. Bueche and D. Wallach (4th ed., John Wiley & Sons, 1994)

Reference Books:
Applied Physics by A. Beiser (Schaum's Outline Series) (optional)
College Physics by F. Bueche (Schaum's Outline Series)

Aim: This course will be a survey of basic physics and some of its practical applications to the world around us. Topics in mechanics, properties of materials, heat and vibratory motion will be covered. The principal goal will be to show how physical principles and scientific ways of thinking can be turned to many real-life situations. The problem-solving skills you pick up in this course will prove very useful in your own field of specialization.

Your job: You should attend all lectures to learn about the basic concepts and how to apply them in solving problems, and also to hear any special announcements. Since a large amount of material is covered, it is essential that you read the textbook concurrently with the lectures to strengthen your understanding of physical principles. Finally, you should work diligently at the homework assignments, which--although they are not collected or graded--form a key part of the course.

SOLUTIONS MANUAL: A solutions guide to selected homework problems and to old exam problems will be put together by the Society of Physics Students (NPB 2229) and will be available for purchase at Target Copy. SPS uses the proceeds to fund its activities. This guide is highly recommended, though it should be consulted only after considerable time has been spent attempting to do the homework problems. Old exams that you can download are posted on the course WEB PAGE. Students usually find these helpful in studying for the current exams. Solutions to exams will usually be posted on the WEB PAGE.

Problem-solving: This provides a good measure of your understanding of basic principles by testing your ability to combine different physical concepts as they apply to unfamiliar situations--something which is crucial if you are ever to apply Physics in ypur careers. Problem-solving is a skill that has to be developed, and everyone benefits from practice. Your grade in this course will based solely on your success at solving problems in the mid-term and final exams, so there will be a direct payoff for your effort. You should be capable of earning an average grade on the course if you have successfully worked through all the homework problems assigned on page 3. If you are aiming for a B or better, you should expect to do additional problems.

Try each problem on your own first. Consult your notes or the textbook for statements of basic principle or fundamental equations, which you aren't expected to memorize, even for the exams. If you get stuck, talk the problem over with a friend, come to see me during office hours, or--in case of an assigned homework problem--look up the solution in the course handout. Whenever you need help to complete a problem it is essential, though, that you consolidate your new understanding by successfully doing another problem of the same type by yourself.

Exams: There will be three mid-term exams, and a comprehensive final, each in multiple choice format. You must bring photo ID (which will be checked) and No. 2 pencils (bring more than 1) to each exam. You may also bring a formula sheet, a calculator, and blank scratch paper, but no other materials.

SCHEDULE FOR MIDTERM EXAMS (subject to change):
An exam consisting of 8-10 questions will be given in class.
Exam 1: (Tentative) Monday, September 19
Exam 2: (Tentative) Wednesday, October 19
Exam 3: (Tentative) Wednesday, November 18

Final Exam:  FINAL Exam, December 12, 3:00-5:00 pm, NPB 1001.

The exams will emphasize physical reasoning rather than memorization of facts. This reasoning will be developed by steady work over the entire semester, not by last-minute cramming. During the later stages of your prepation for each exam, you may want to work through the corresponding sample exams which are posted at the course web site. You will find that a significant number of the questions are closely based on the examples worked out in class. However, the exam questions are not grouped chapter-by-chapter, so you may need practice in identifying which principles are being tested, and which equations should be used, in each problem.

Memorization of the way to solve a given problem is not the way to go. Rather, think about the equations that are needed to solve the problem, why those equations are needed, and how they are related to each other. In this connection, you should find it useful to divide all of the physical quantities that appear in a problem into those whose values are known and those unknown. You have to find a number of independent equations equal to the number of unknowns, and which, of course, contain all of the unknowns of the problem but no others. Then you can solve for the unknowns. It turns out that a certain type of memorization, namely, of all the important equations, is in fact useful here. Then you can quickly jot down equations until you find the right ones for a problem.

Students are neither to give or receive any unauthorized aid on any of the examinations (though they may work together on the homework problems).

We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

Grades: There will be FOUR exams; three mid-term exams and one final exam. The final exam will be comprehensive and include all material covered in the course.  The final grade will be determined by the best two scores of the mid-term exams (30 points each) plus the core of the final exam (40 points).  In addition to the scores associated with the scheduled exams (the sum of which has a maximum of 100), you will be able to obtain up to 4 extra points, based on your performance involving the Student Response System that the Department has adopted.

Letter grades will be assigned by slightly curving  the overall scores. The grade ranges vary slightly from semester to semester, but the following is typical:

≥83 A- 52 C+ ≥35 D

 You are required to purchase a responder that is used to record your answers to designated questions (quizzes) posed in class. (The responder can later be re-sold.) During lecture, questions will be posed and you will be given typically 1-3 minutes to choose the correct answer from the displayed multiple-choice list. The question may involve any relevant topic, such as material covered the previous lecture, material you should have read in advance, a demonstration performed in class, etc. You will receive a cumulative average Response System score of 0-4 points, based on performance, which will be added to your total exam score at the end of the semester. For each quiz itself, 2 points will be given for a correct answer, 1 point for an incorrect answer, and 0 points for no response at all.

Make-ups: Unless superseded by a valid excuse a missed exam will result in a zero. Valid excuses are officially sanctioned UF events, medical excuses or family emergencies. Acceptable excuses will require a coach's, doctor's or instructor sanctioned note with a verifiable contact phone number. The documentation must be provided to your instructor within 2 weeks of the missed exam or a rational reason that it will be delayed must be e-mailed along with the projected receipt date of the documentation within those 2 weeks. A valid excuse will allow you to take the cumulative make-up exam to replace the zero on the missed exam. There will be one cumulative make-up exam (covering material from all three exams) given on Monday, April 19 at a mutually agreeable time.

If you are encountering difficulties with the course, please come see me. If necessary, please contact me for an appointment at a convenient time, or just try to catch me in my office. Also, the help services listed below will be available.

The Student Teaching Center in Broward Hall (Tel. 392-2010) offers a range of services, including individual tutoring in physics.

Course Outline: The day-by-day schedule is provided for guidance only. Changes may be announced in class.