PHYS 1102w -- Changes

Mon Feb 23 11:23:37 2009

Effective Term: New:  1109 - Fall 2010
Old:  1089 - Fall 2008
Department: New:  11140 - Physics & Astronomy, Sch of
Old:  11140 - IT Physics & Astron, School of
Sponsor Name:
New:  James Kakalios
Old:  Kenneth Heller
Sponsor E-mail Address:
this course fulfills:
New:  PHYS - PHYS Physical Sciences
Old:  PHYS SCI/L - PHYS SCI/L Physical Science with Laboratory Core
Criteria for
Core Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed core requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or method.

Core courses must meet the following requirements:

  • They explicitly help students understand what liberal education is, how the content and the substance of this course enhance a liberal education, and what this means for them as students and as citizens
  • They employ teaching and learning strategies that engage students with doing the work of the field, not just reading about it.
  • They include small group experiences (such as discussion sections or labs) and use writing as appropriate to the discipline to help students learn and reflect on their learning.
  • They do not (except in rare and clearly justified cases) have prerequisites beyond the University�s entrance requirements.
  • They are offered on a regular schedule.
  • They are taught by regular faculty or under exceptional circumstances by instructors on continuing appointments. Departments proposing instructors other than regular faculty must provide documentation of how such instructors will be trained and supervised to ensure consistency and continuity in courses.

The course will give students an understanding of basic physical phenomena and principles, in particular, Electricity, Light and Optics and the basic principles of Thermodynamics. They will be required to employ mathematical reasoning when applying these concepts and principles to determine quantitative solutions to problems, using math at a level up to and including algebra, plane geometry and trigonometry.  They will work in small peer groups in weekly Discussion sections, solving context-rich problems, applying the concepts described in the lecture sections.  Students will perform hands-on experiments that test and amplify concepts presented in lecture in weekly two-hour lab sections, again working in small peer groups.  The students are encouraged in lab section to develop hypotheses and make predictions of the expected outcome of their experiments, which they then test through direct measurement.
This is best illustrated by the syllabus.  Weekly labs also have the same topics.

Week 1-3        Conservation of energy                                        Serway Chap 5, 8
                                Compentent  Problem Solver, Chap. 5

Week 4                Conservation of momentum                                Serway Chap 6,        

Week 5                Conservation of angular momentum                Serway Chap 8

Week 6                Fluids in motion                                                Serway Chap 9

Week 7-9        Thermodynamics                                                        Serway Chap 10,11,12

Week 9-11        Electricity & DC circuits                                Serway Chap 16,17,18

Week 12-13        Light & optics                                                        Serway 22,23,25

Week 14-15        Atoms & light                                                        Serway Chap 28
Please provide a provisional syllabus for new courses and courses in which changes in content and/or description and/or credits are proposed that include the following information: course goals and description; format/structure of the course (proposed number of instructor contact hours per week, student workload effort per week, etc.); topics to be covered; scope and nature of assigned readings (texts, authors, frequency, amount per week); required course assignments; nature of any student projects; and how students will be evaluated.

The University policy on credits is found under Section 4A of "Standards for Semester Conversion" at . Provisional course syllabus information will be retained in this system until new syllabus information is entered with the next major course modification, This provisional course syllabus information may not correspond to the course as offered in a particular semester.

New:   PHYSICS 1102W.100
Syllabus - Spring 2009
•        Instructor: Professor Benjamin Bayman
Office: Physics 231
Phone: 612-624-0309
Office hours: M 10:00 to 11:30 and W 14:15 to 15:35
•        T.A. office hours will be posted on the class website (, where you will find other information relevant to the progress of the course.
•        Course materials (available at the Bookstore in Coffman Union)
Textbook (required): Essentials of College Physics by Serway and Vuille.
Lab Manual (required): College Physics Laboratory: Heat and Electromagnetism
Lab Journal (required): University of Minnesota 2077-S
Student Responder (required).
Supplement (optional): The Competent Problem Solver for Introductory Physics, by Heller and Heller.
•        Course Overview:
Physics 1102 is the continuation of the introduction to physics begun in Physics 1101. By the end of this Semester, you should have a deeper understanding of the phenomena occurring in your surrounding physical world. You will have a clearer picture of the behavior of the universe on the largest (cosmic) scale, and on the smallest (subnuclear) scale. You will also understand more about the physics of biological systems, including your own body. In addition, you will be more competent at measurement and quantitative reasoning concerning physical processes.
•        Prerequisites:
Admission to this course requires that you have successfully completed Physics 1101. The mathematical skills required are the same as for Physics 1101., i.e. you should be conversant with basic algebra and trigonometry. If your algebra and trigonometry are rusty, read Chapter 1 and Appendices A through D in the text. Your skills will certainly improve with practice as the course progresses. If you did not take Physics 1101 and have satisfied your prerequisite in some other way, you should meet with me to discuss any special needs or concerns.
•        Workload:
If you have spoken to someone who has already taken Physics 1102, you have probably heard that this is a difficult course. This is true. The material is difficult, and the course moves at a fast pace. Since each new topic builds on previous work, it is of great importance that you do not fall behind. Expect a workload consistent with University policy (three effort hours per week per credit, for an average student to receive an average grade). This means at least twelve hours per week, which is at least six hours outside scheduled class meetings.
•        Lectures:
M W F (13:25 to 14:15) in Physics 166.
In preparing my lecture on any given topic, I will assume you have read the material in the text on that topic. My task will be to elaborate on important and difficult ideas, and to clarify points that may be confusing. Your primary learning tool in this course will be your textbook. It is important for your future career that you develop the ability to learn new material, on your own, by reading textbooks and technical journals. Some of the material that will be presented during the lectures will also appear on the class website. However, useful verbal information, interesting demonstrations, and answers to questions will be presented in the lecture, which will not appear on the web page.
Be sure to bring your responder with you to class. Responder questions will be posed based on the assigned reading, and on concepts introduced during the lecture. You will earn credit points for successful answers, which will contribute to your final grade (see below).
•        Weekly Homework Assignments:
Every Friday in lecture and on the class website, a reading and homework assignment will be posted. The assignment will include five or six end-of-chapter problems, which will be collected at discussion sessions the following Thursday. Late homework will not be accepted. One question will be graded. The worked-out solutions to all the problems will be posted on the website. You are encouraged to work together in informal groups while doing your homework, but each student must hand in her or his own work. There will be no graded homework in test weeks.
Working problems is the only reliable way to test your understanding of a topic. There are many problems at the end of each chapter. The answers to odd-numbered problems are given in the back of the book. Try as many of these as you have time for. If your answer agrees with the one in the back of the book, fine. If not, or if you can�t come up with any answer, seek help, either from me or from your T.A., or from someone in the Physics Tutoring Room (Room 230). Doing physics problems is hard work, but you will be rewarded by a deeper understanding and sense of accomplishment. The test problems will be of the same type and general level of difficulty as the problems at the ends of the chapters.
•        Discussion Sections:
Thursdays, at various locations and times. You will work on challenging problems, in small groups. Each group will submit its common solution for grading, and all members of the group will receive the same grade. The component of the final grade associated with the discussion sections will be based on these weekly grades (lowest score dropped). You are expected to attend every session. In weeks preceding a test, the discussion section will be devoted to problems of the type to be covered on the test.
•        Laboratory:
Various times in Physics 220. The laboratory material is an integral part of this course. Experiments are planned to give you useful hands-on experience in various aspects of the subject. Careful recording of observations in your lab journal and preparation of formal lab reports are important parts of this experience.
You have the same T.A. and work in the same group as in your discussion section. Since you carry out the lab exercises in a group, and the equipment for each lab is available for only a limited time, make-ups are not possible. You will need to consult as soon as possible with the course and lab instructors if an officially-excused absence from lab proves unavoidable.
Each lab consists of several problems and will generally take two weeks. Specific problems will be assigned by your T.A. for each week of lab. Good preparation is essential to making effective use of your time in the lab. Before the lab session, you should have read the Introduction, Objectives and Preparation sections of the write-up in the lab manual for all assigned problems. Each lab problem includes "Method Questions" and "Predictions." You should prepare concise and clear answers to these and enter them in your lab journal; they will be checked at the beginning of each lab period.
At the end of the final session for a given lab, your instructor will assign one of the problems, about which you are to write a formal report. Since Physics 1102W is designated as a writing-intensive course, you will be expected to produce well-structured, well-written reports that have been carefully proofread. Reports must be typewritten. A sample lab report is provided in Appendix E of the lab manual. Lab reports must be submitted for grading at the next lab session after the lab is completed. You must complete all labs and achieve an overall lab grade of at least 60% to pass the course.
o        Other resources:
TAs are available during most business hours in the Physics Tutor Room (room 230) to help any introductory physics student. You don't need an appointment, though there is a schedule posted outside the room if you wish to meet with a specific TA. We encourage you to make use of this resource if you have any questions. Additionally, if you need intensive one-on-one help, the Physics Department front office (room 148) maintains a list of physics tutors who will meet privately with students for an hourly fee.
•        Examinations:
Fifty-minute class tests will be given on February 11, March 11, April 8 and May 6. Your grade for the course can be based, in part, on your best three test scores (see below for a list of possibilities). If, for some reason, you have to miss a test, then your grade will be based on the three tests that you took. There will be no make-up tests.
A three-hour final exam will be held on May 16th, from 13:30 to 16:30.
The class tests will be closed-book. You will be able to bring to the first test a 3" x 5" card containing notes. You can bring two such cards to the second test, and so forth. You can bring to the final exam a single 8 � x 11�� sheet of notes. No other memory aids are allowed, including calculator memories. The use of a calculator for numerical work is allowed.
If you are not satisfied with the way one of your test questions is graded, return the test paper to me, accompanied by a one-paragraph written explanation of your case. I will discuss the situation with the grader, and an appropriate adjustment will be made.
Because of Minnesota privacy laws, tests and other materials will be returned to you in a manner ensuring that only you can see your scores. Papers will be handed out at the first lab or recitation after grading is completed. Test scores will be distributed by e-mail to your official University address.
•        Grade computation:
Your final grade will be based upon:
Sum of three best class test scores 30 %
Final exam score 25 %
Laboratory grade 20 %
Discussion section grade 10 %
Homework 10 %
Responder questions 5 %
Sum of all four class test scores 35 %
Final exam score 20 %
Laboratory grade 20 %
Discussion section grade 10 %
Homework 10 %
Responder questions 5 %
whichever total is greatest.
Suppose that S is the score calculated in this way. The corresponding letter grade will be:
A if S 90%,
A- if 90% >S 85%,
B+ if 85% > S 80%,
B if 80% > S 75%,
B- if 75% > S 70%,
C+ if 70% > S 65%,
C if 65% > S 60%,
C- if 60% > S 55%,
D+ if 55% > S 50%,
D if 50% > S 40%, F if 40% > S.
I reserve the right to adjust these numbers downwards. I will not raise them.
Remember: No matter what grade you earn according to the above prescription, you will not pass the course unless you achieve a lab score of 60% or greater.
•        Tentative Lecture Schedule:
Jan 21, 23, 26 Chapter 10
Jan 28, 30, Feb 2 Chapter 11
Feb 4, 6, 9, 13 Chapter 12
Feb 11 Test 1
Feb 16, 18, 20 Chapter 13
Feb 23, 25, 27, Mar 2 Chapter 14
Mar 4, 6, 9 Chapter 15
Mar 11 Test 2
Mar 13, 23, 25 Chapter 16
Mar 27, 30 Chapter 17
Apr 1, 3, 6 Chapter 18
Apr 8 Test 3
Apr 10, 13, 15 Chapter 19
Apr 17, 20 Chapter 20
Apr 22, 24, 27 Chapter 26
Apr 29, May 1, 4 Chapter 29
May 6 Test 4
May 8 Review
Liberal Education Core Requirement
This class satisfies the University of Minnesota Liberal Education requirement of a physical science course with a laboratory component, as part of the Liberal Education Core.  Discoveries and inventions that have profoundly altered the course of human history arose from the physical sciences.  As citizens and voters (whether in the United States or in another country), today’s students will be called upon to make decisions on such topics as global climate change, alternative energy sources and resource management.  A familiarity with the methods and findings of the physical sciences has never been more important and forms a crucial component of a common education.  

This class will expose the student to physical principles and concepts, demonstrate how these principles can be applied to quantitatively describe natural phenomena, and provide the student with an opportunity to perform hands-on experiments and measurements that replicate how physical knowledge is obtained.  All knowledge in the physical sciences is empirically acquired, and a proper exposure to the ways of knowing and thinking in the physical sciences requires a laboratory component to any formal coursework.  The lab component of the class will give you experience in making predictions based upon hypotheses, which are then empirically tested by experiment or observation, through which scientific knowledge is developed.  The language of the physical world is mathematical and students will be expected to employ mathematical reasoning in order to solve problems both qualitatively and quantitatively. Physics is a social endeavor, and the student will gain experience in cooperative problem solving, working in small groups with other students, in both the laboratory and Discussion sections of the course.
•        Responsibilities:
The University expects the highest standards of honesty and integrity in the academic performance of its students. Any act of scholastic dishonesty is regarded as a serious offense, which may result in expulsion. Scholastic dishonesty is defined as submission of false records of academic achievement; cheating on assignments or examinations; plagiarizing, altering, forging, or misusing an academic record; taking, acquiring, or using test materials without faculty permission; acting alone or in cooperation with another to obtain dishonestly grades, honors, awards, or professional endorsement. Aiding and abetting an act of scholastic dishonesty is also considered a serious offense, with the same possible consequences.
Academic dishonesty in any portion of the academic work for a course shall be grounds for awarding a grade of F or N for the entire course.
Students may not make commercial use of their notes of lectures or University-provided materials without the express written consent of the instructor. (See the Senate policy at
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