Syllabus: PHYS 123, Winter 2010
Oscillations, Waves, Optics, and Modern Physics
Lecture Instructor: Matt DePies
Office: PAB B257
Tutorial Instructor: Peter Shaeffer
Lab Instructor: Toby Burnett firstname.lastname@example.org
<>Course WWW: http://faculty.washington.edu/mrdepies
Office Hours See course website.
- Also available by appointment in my
- Lecture Hall: A112 in the auditorium wing of the Physics
- Lecture schedule: MWF 10:30-11:20
- Course Texts: Tipler, "Physics for Scientists and
Engineers", 6th edition (UW custom Volumes 1 and 2); McDermott and
Shaffer "Tutorials in
Introductory Physics"; PHYS123
- NOTE: Concurrent enrollment in 123 Lab is mandatory
- webassign.com homework will be due as announced
- Tentative Weekly Course Schedule:
<>The schedule for Phys 123 is available on the course website.
This will be followed as closely as possible, and
Lecture Instructor's Comments
Welcome to PHYS 123, the third of a three-quarter
physics courses for physics and engineering majors. You should find
course challenging and stimulating, though perhaps it will not fit your
preconceptions of what a university physics course should be. I hope
you also find it to be interesting and enjoyable. Have a great quarter!
The course design is a cooperative effort of many faculty, each
is deeply concerned with providing the most effective learning
for every student. Each element of the course (lecture, lab and
is essential to your mastery of physics. The three elements are
coordinated, but are not necessarily synchronized. Research has shown
presenting material in cycles, so that the same topic is approached
than once from different viewpoints, is a very effective means of
deeper understanding and long-term retention of ideas.
You are strongly encouraged to visit with me regularly during
by appointment, by e-mail, etc. Get used to the idea of
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
the initiative, and now is a great time to start.
Memorization of material is not particularly helpful in this
goal in this class should be to understand how each new topic is
to all of the previous material, and how the concepts, rules and
can be applied to solve real-world problems. Never let anything go by
you do not understand. Generally, ask questions immediately. If it is
to interrupt, make a quick note to yourself and inquire later.
- Each quarter, the UW Office of Educational Assessment conducts
of undergraduate courses. For many years, the PHYS121-2-3 courses have
been among the courses reportedly requiring the most hours of work per
week outside of class. A typical course will show a span from 5 hours
week to 20 hours of study per week outside of class, probably including
some time spent on PHYS123 . Many courses claim to require at least
hours outside of class for each hour in class; PHYS123 delivers.
- Note that MATH 126: Calculus III is a
prerequisite/corequisite for this class. However, there is ongoing
as to whether MATH124 should be a strict prerequisite rather than a
for PHYS121. It is the opinion of many instructors that students who
already completed MATH126 are at a considerable advantage in PHYS123.
although it is possible to take the PHYS121-3 and MATH124-6 as simple
(i.e. P121 _with_ M124, etc.), students who have no prior experience
either calculus or physics should seriously consider getting 'one
ahead' in the MATH124-6 sequence with respect to the PHYS121-3 sequence.
- Be aware that many technical majors have a minimum grade
a core of lower-division technical classes including the PHYS121-2-3
Therefore, each student is strongly urged to discuss
entry requirements with their undergraduate or departmental advisors,
plan their course loads accordingly. The course grading policy is
Concurrent enrollment in PHYS123 lecture, tutorial and lab is
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
the Tycho lecture HW, tutorial participation and HW, supplemental HW
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
from the lecture infrared response system and/or the
homework related to the lecture. All percentages discussed in the
statement and in the summary below are used to determine your raw
before this adjustment is applied.
- Midterm exams: There will be three closed-book midterm
midterm will emphasize recent material, but may include questions
with topics from far earlier in the course. The exams will include both
multiple choice and essay-style questions. Only the best two of three
of the z-score [(your score - class average) / (std deviation)] will
toward the final course grade. Your lowest midterm score (relative to
mean) will be dropped. After correcting for different average scores on
different midterms, the midterms will contribute 35% to your final raw
grade. Calculators are permitted. Cell phones, radios, etc.
are not permitted.
Laptop computers are not permitted, and the use of the
capability now available on many calculators is not permitted.
are to be your own work; you are not permitted to collaborate
any other person. The Physics department reserves the right to ask for
valid identification from any student during examinations.
- Note that there will be no make-up exams.
outside professional, service, or career commitments (i.e. military
ROTC, professional conference presentation, NCAA sports, etc.)
exactly with the exam dates must contact the intructor early in the
quarter to establish alternate examination procedures. Students who
miss an exam without making prior arrangements with the lecture
will drop that exam score. Except for extreme circumstances, a final
of 0.0 may be assigned to any student who misses two midterm exams.
- Final Exam: A one-hour closed-book comprehensive final
25% of the final raw grade. This examination will cover material
from the entire
course. Calculators are permitted. Cell phones, radios, etc.
are not permitted. Laptop computers are not permitted, and the
of the text-storage capability now available on many calculators is not
permitted. The final exam is to be your own work; you are not
to collaborate with any other person.The Physics department reserves
right to ask for valid identification from any student during
A final grade of 0.0 may be assigned to any student who does not take
- Exam Re-grades: If you believe that the points on the
were incorrectly totaled or if there is a gross error in the grading,
may return an exam for regrading. To do so, you must resubmit the
no later than at the beginning of the lecture following the one in
the exams are returned. You must write a brief note on the front page
attached to the front page of the exam explaining the possible error in
the grading. Do not make *any* changes or marks on the other pages
the examination. Portions of each examination are scanned or
You should be aware that any request for a regrade may result in a
of the entire exam. Therefore your total score may increase or decrease.
- Labs 15% and Tutorials 10%: Grading policies will be
and tutorial section. Please note that grades for lab and tutorial form
a significant percentage of your overall grade for the course. Also, completion
of the lab and tutorial work is required in order to
the course. For example, if you complete fewer than six labs during
the quarter, and do not make up the work, your grade for the entire
will be 0.0 ! Even completing six of the seven labs will reduce your
significantly, by 1.2 to 1.3 standard deviations. Do not skip these
- Homework: 10%
Your responsibilty: Check your
Tycho system every week or two and report any problems to both the
instructor and the relevant TAs (and/or lab/tutorial faculty)
Lab, tutorial and exam grades should be recorded for your review within
one week from the date that papers are submitted for grading. Tycho
grades should be recorded within 24 hours of submission. Supplemental
should be recorded every two weeks or so. Grading problems that are
in a timely fashion will be investigated and, if action is warranted,
lecture, lab and tutorial instructors may choose to ignore grading
that are not reported in a timely fashion.
- Lecture homework will be assigned and collected weekly through
webassign.com, which is accessible via your UW netid and password.
- Tutorial homework will be assigned and collected in each
One problem from each assignment will be graded in detail, and will
to your score for tutorials.
- There may be computer projects assigned in the tutorial
are available in the Physics Study Center from 8:30am-5:20pm on
and at various other locations around campus.
The Physics Study Center
Students are encouraged to gather and work cooperatively in small
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
pendulum and proceed toward the end of the hall). Teaching assistants
be available for consultation during many portions of the day if your
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.