Lecture Instructor's Comments

  • Welcome to PHYS 123, the third of a three-quarter sequence of introductory physics courses for physics and engineering majors. You should find this course challenging and stimulating, though perhaps it will not fit your preconceptions of what a university physics course should be. I hope that you also find it to be interesting and enjoyable. Have a great quarter!
  • The course design is a cooperative effort of many faculty, each of whom is deeply concerned with providing the most effective learning experience for every student. Each element of the course (lecture, lab and tutorial) is essential to your mastery of physics. The three elements are carefully coordinated, but are not necessarily synchronized. Research has shown that presenting material in cycles, so that the same topic is approached more than once from different viewpoints, is a very effective means of encouraging deeper understanding and long-term retention of ideas.
  • You are strongly encouraged to visit with me regularly during office hours, by appointment, by e-mail, etc. Get used to the idea of seeing the Professor outside of class during the quarter; it will pay off for you in many ways as the years go by! This will not happen unless YOU take the initiative, and now is a great time to start.
  • Memorization of material is not particularly helpful in this class. Your goal in this class should be to understand how each new topic is related to all of the previous material, and how the concepts, rules and formulae can be applied to solve real-world problems. Never let anything go by if you do not understand. Generally, ask questions immediately. If it is inconvenient to interrupt, make a quick note to yourself and inquire later.
  • General Comments

    Grading Policy

    Concurrent enrollment in PHYS123 lecture, tutorial and lab is mandatory; students will receive a combined grade for lecture, tutorial and lab. The final course grade is based on the best two of three midterms, the final exam, the Tycho lecture HW, tutorial participation and HW, supplemental HW and lecture exercises (using the new infrared response system), and lab participation and reports. A summary of the grading policy for this course may be found in the 12X Grading Policy Statement. However, the lecture instructor may adjust individual final grades by no more than 0.2 grade points (about 5 % out of 4.0 possible) based on records from the lecture infrared response system and/or the supplemental homework related to the lecture. All percentages discussed in the policy statement and in the summary below are used to determine your raw grade, before this adjustment is applied.

    The Physics Study Center

    Students are encouraged to gather and work cooperatively in small groups in the Physics Study Center located in room AM018 of PAB. (to reach the Physics Study Center, go down the stairs that circle behind the Foucault pendulum and proceed toward the end of the hall). Teaching assistants will be available for consultation during many portions of the day if your study group needs assistance, but staffing levels will not support much individual attention. The Study Center is staffed from approximately 9:30am to 4:30pm on weekdays.