Syllabus PHY3101

PHY 3101 — Modern Physics — Spring 2017

Class Hours: MWF, Period 3 (9:35 - 10:25 am), Room 1002.  Section 3798
Instructor: G. R. Stewart, Office NPB 2132, phone 392-9263, e-mail, Office Hours: Monday Period 7 (1:55-2:45 pm), Wednesday Period 4 (10:40-11:30), or by appointment.

Course Description: This is a grand survey of all (or at least a lot) of physics, condensed into one semester!  The pace is fast – most subjects (exception is relativity) only get 3 lectures.  If you want to learn a lot of physics in 15 weeks, and are willing to work hard in order to keep up, this is the class for you:  relativity, quantum mechanics, the nuclear atom, the Schrödinger equation, atomic physics, molecular structure, solid state and nuclear physics.

Prerequisites: This course requires that you have studied Newtonian mechanics in a previous calculus-based physics course such as PHY2048, as well as electricity and magnetism in PHY2049 and at least have co-registered in a vector calculus course (Calc 3).

Course Schedule

Grading: Grades will be based 20% on homework sets, 25% each on two midterm exams and 30% on one cumulative final exam. 
Homework:  Unless otherwise announced (for existence, when Martin Luther King day falls on Monday, Jan. 16), homework will be due each Monday in class.  Late homework is not allowed, as solutions will be posted (eLearning site, or Canvas) after the homework is turned in.  Homework can be turned in in class or under Prof. Stewart’s office door, room 2132 in the physics building by 10:25 am.  Solutions will be posted on the e-learning web site.  You will get to drop your lowest homework score.  If you miss a homework because of, e. g. illness or U of F mandated travel, that will count as your drop. 
The final exam (closed book) is 7:30-9:30 am on Monday, April 24 (Exam group 24A) in our regular classroom 1002.
The two midterm Exams will be in class (see Course Schedule), closed book.  For each midterm you may bring one 8.5 x 11 inch formula sheet (both sides), prepared (printed, hand written, Xeroxed, …) however you wish.  The anticipated letter grade scale is A: 85%; A-: 81%; B+: 77%; B: 70%; B-: 65%; C+: 60%; C: 50%; C-: 45%, D+: 40%; D: 35%; D-: 30%; E: <30%.                                                                                                                                                Makeup:   For anyone missing *one* of the two midterms due to an excused absence (illness with doctor’s note, organized U of F activity requiring your presence elsewhere), there will be a “one size fits all” makeup given in class on the last day of class, April 19, that will cover all of the material covered on the first two tests (chapters 1 through 7).  Only students with an officially excused absence may take the makeup.  (The makeup may *not* be substituted for a low score on one of the midterms by students who take both midterms.)  Students missing both midterms will receive an incomplete in the class.  Students who have already taken both midterms have the last day of class free.     

      The following paragraphs of advice on how to do well in Physics are shamelessly plagiarized from an earlier class.   You are of course free to make your own choices, but - if you should feel inclined to accept advice (which although 'free' is not of zero worth) - you will find it helpful:
I do not take daily attendance, but it is to your advantage to attend class. You may spend most of your time distracted by things other than physics, but in between you will have the opportunity to learn what subjects I think are important, and you can then concentrate on these subjects during your reading. If by some unfortunate set of circumstances you do miss class, do not ask me if I said anything important. Instead, ask a classmate; she or he is likely to give an honest answer, and you won't offend me. There will be a substantial number of examples discussed in class that are not in the textbook, and examples in class will, in some sort of modified form, appear on tests. If you miss class you will not do as well in this course.
      Do the assigned homework. This is the drudge part of physics, but it is absolutely necessary. We will learn grand ideas and see their wondrous applications in class. But, your understanding is only superficial unless you can apply these same grand ideas to completely new circumstances. As well, some of the concepts introduced in this class will seem hard to understand at first.  In course work, this is usually overcome by doing homework problems. Do not be surprised if the homework is frustrating at times; solving one challenging problem makes the next much easier. And homework problems often appear on tests. Doing all of the homework is the easiest way to improve your grade. Not doing homework is the easiest way to lower your grade.  You may work with others while doing your homework, but the handwritten solutions you turn in must be yours.

Textbook: The course text is

Modern Physics by Tipler and Llewellyn.  The 6th edition is currently available.  This text is required, meaning that you will be assumed to have access to this text to complete reading and homework assignments.

Other books and resources:

Outside Help Services: The Teaching Center in Broward Hall (tel. 392-2010) offers a range of free services, including individual tutoring in physics. 

Accommodations: Students requesting classroom accommodations must first register with the Disabilities Resources Program, located in the Dean of Students Office, P202 Peabody Hall. The Disabilities Resources Program will provide documentation to the student, who must then deliver this documentation to the instructor when requesting accommodations.

Academic Honesty: All University of Florida students are required to abide by the University's Academic Honesty Guidelines and by the Honor Code, which reads as follows: We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. On all work submitted for credit by students at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: "On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment." Cheating, plagiarism, or other violations of the Academic Honesty Guidelines will not be tolerated and will be pursued through the University's adjudication procedures.