Classical PhysicsPhysics 140, Fall 2009Professor SullivanEmail: sullivan@kenyon.edu |
This
course is the first semester of what is really a three-semester,
calculus-based,
introduction to physics. The other courses in the sequence are PHYS 145
(Modern Physics) and PHY S240 (Fields and Spacetime). In PHYS 140
(Classical Physics) we qwill start with the core physics issues of
describing motion mathematically (called "kinematics") and determining
how forces affect motion (called "dynamics") in the context of
classical mechanics. Electric and magnetic fields will be introduced as
the source of two of the forces we will be dealing with. We will
examine the concept of a conservation law, a unifying theme in physics.
Building on these basics, we will examine rotational, oscillatory, and
wave motion, the orbits of planets and electrons, and electric
circuits. All of this is designed to prepare you for the surprises of
relativity and quantum mechanics to be presented in PHYS 145. PHYS 140 has two co-requisite courses. The first is PHYS 110 (First Year Seminar in Physics). PHYS 110 is designed to give you a peek at what an undergraduate physics education prepares you for: exploring a current research topic in physics. (If you are not a first year student, then you must enroll in PHYS 141 instead of PHYS 110.) The second co-requisite is MATH 111 (Calculus A). Newton invented the calculus to describe motion and we will use calculus to do the same and more. However, PHYS 140 is structured so that you do not already have to know calculus in order to begin. But you must be taking MATH 111 at the same time as PHYS 140 (or maybe you have already taken MATH 111 or you have placed out of MATH 111.) |
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The
textbook for the course is University
Physics, 12th edition by Young and Freedman. I feel your pain
and bewilderment about the price. On the bright side, if you go on in
physics this text will be useful for a lifetime and, if you do not go
on in physics, the bookstore has a buy-back program at the end of the
semester. Lectures are given three times each week. Attendance at lecture is not a factor in grading, but good attendance is highly recommended and you are responsible for all meterial presented in class. My notes are not suitable for copying, so seek out another students if you need notes from a class you may have missed. The course grades are based on homework (15%), two, two-hour midterms (each counting 25%), and a two-hour exam that is really just another midterm (but worth 35%) that happens to be given at the time specified by the Registrar for the final exam in this class (Friday, December 18, 2009 at 1:30PM). The mid-course, midterm exams will be held Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 and Tuesday, November 1st, 2009, both from 7:00-9:00PM. To determine if there are sufficient conflicts to force a rescheduling, I expect you to check these times for conflicts with your schedule and email me by next Monday (Spetember 7, 2009) if a conflict exists. There will be weekly homework problems due each Friday at the beginning of class. To help you work through Challenging problems, there will be a "help session" led by an upperclass physics major on the preceeeding Thursday evening and I have extended office hours on Wednesday afternoon. Do not be fooled by the small weight given the homework in the final grade. In physics, homework is to tests like practice is to games in sports. You don't get much credit for practices, but you can't expect to do well in games if you haven't practiced. Homework is also a chance to get feedback on the learning process. Close the feedback loop by going over returned homework and getting help on weaknesses that have been identified. Late homework will be accepted up to one week after they are due, but with a penalty to encourage you not to get behind. If your homework is turned in between the start of class on the day it is due and the time that I transfer the papers to the grader, the penalty will be 10%. If handed in after that time, but before the beginning of class one week later, the penalty will be 20% and will be graded when convenient for the grader. I absolutely encourage you to work with others while doing homework and studying for tests. There is no curve in this class, so it never hurts you to help others, and teaching others will deepen your own understanding. However, it is critical to the learning process that what you turn in represents your own understanding and should never be just a copy of others work. To test your understanding, try putting away all notes from a joint problem solving session and do the problems over by yourself, remiinding yourself of the reasoning behind each step. Simply turning in the results of other people's work is unhelpful (doesn't help your grade that much and you do not identify problem areas before an exam where it will effect your grade) and also constitutes plagiarism. I want to do everything that I can so that everyone is able to fully participate in class and has a successful experience in physics. Please contact me immediately if there is anything preventing your free and open participation in class. Additionally, if you have a learning disability and need accommodation, I encourage you to contact me, but more importantly, to contact Erin Salva (Coordinator of Disability Services, x5453, salvae@kenyon.edu) in the Dean of Academic Advising Office to determine appropriate and effective accomodation well before any such accomodation is needed. I also believe that each of you own a piece of me for the price of your tuition and I enjoy getting to know all of you a little better. Please do not hesitate to take advantage of my office hours (MW immediately after class, MW 2:10-3:00PM and W3:10-5:00PM). If you have a conflict during all of my office hours please contact me to arrange an appointment. Or just drop by my office in Hayes 206. I spend a lot of time in the department and if my door is open, I will be happy to talk to you. My swine flu policy: If you have symptoms of flu, DO NOT come to class. Follow the guidelines on self-isolation that the College has given you. However, please contact me by email (sullivan@kenyon.edu) or phone (X5830) - NOT in person - to discuss how you will meet class requirements while being stuck in your room. |