Physics 205 is the second semester of a one year calculus-based course that provides a general introduction to electricity and magnetism, optics, and quantum mechanics.
Lecturer: Don Bunk
Course Text: Fundamentals of Physics 10th Edition by Halliday, Resnick, and Walker
You will need a scientific calculator and please bring it to every class and lab. If you have a graphing calculator that will be ideal. If not, then an inexpensive scientific model that can handle trig functions, logs, and exponentials will be sufficient.
I encourage you to attend office hours early and often. By attending office hours you will get more than just hints how to do HW problems- I can get an idea how you are going about solving problems and give you more general guidance in the course.
You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the following policies. They outline your responsibilities in the course.
Homework assignments will be posted on Blackboard typically one week before the assignment is due. The lowest homework grade will be dropped.
Pre-Labs and Labs:
Laboratory handouts will also be posted on Blackboard the Friday prior to the lab. Please see your lab instructor for their respective policies.
Final Exam: Saturday May 16th, 2-5 pm
Cheat sheets are not allowed on my exams. I will provide you with a list of important formulas with your exam. You are allowed a scientific calculator on the exams -one that can handle basic addition, multiplication, logarithms, exponentials, and trig functions. Any use of features beyond those listed on a more advanced calculator or smartphone during an exam is strictly forbidden and a violation of the Hamilton college Honor Code.
If your HW average is lower than your exam average, I will replace your HW average with your exam average. This does not hold for any other replacement on the above list. Borderline grades will be decided on the following factors: contributions to the class including participation, and improvement throughout the semester.
*NOTE: The lab questions on exams will comprise 20% of the Lab portion of the grade.
Although attendance in lecture is not required, it is highly encouraged, and being late to class is considered rude and unacceptable. Homework is due at the beginning of the class on the due date whether you attend class or not that day.
Attendance at laboratories is mandatory. If you have to miss a lab notify your instructor ASAP. If you are going to miss a lab, you may be obligated to make it up in advance. If you miss a lab without prior notice and cannot provide a written medical excuse you will receive a zero for that lab.
Collaboration is a healthy and vital part of working through physics problems. This ranges from working with classmates, working with me in my office hours, the resources provided through the QSR Center, and any additional textbooks or internet resources you my find. All work handed in should be your own.
Make sure you understand the Honor Code.
Assignments will normally be due at the beginning of class on Wednesday and I will accept assignments up to the start of the next class (Friday) at 20% penalty per day for a total of 40% off on Friday. After that time the solutions will have been posted and any assignments arriving after that time will be recorded as zero. If you can see that you are not going to make one of these deadlines then it is up to you to talk to me and work out some other arrangement before the deadline.
Hamilton College will make reasonable accommodations for students with properly documented disabilities. If you are eligible to receive an accommodation(s) and would like to make a formal request for this course, please discuss it with me during the first two weeks of class. You will need to provide Allen Harrison, Associate Dean of Students (Elihu Root House; (315) 859-4021) with appropriate documentation of your disability
Physics is challenging and challenging activities require hard work and are often very discouraging. That said, the more challenging something is, the more fun and rewarding it is when you do start making progress.
You would not run a marathon without some training, and you should not take a physics exam with training either. Moreover, you can’t train for a marathon by just reading a book- you have to go out and work hard. Similarly with physics you can’t just read the book, you have to go out and train (do as many problems as possible). Copying HW solutions from other people and resources is just like watching someone else run for you- it might help you get your form down, but you can’t solely train by watching all people do all the work! Lastly, would you goof off for an entire month and then stay up all night running the night before a big race?
Most physicists are wrong most of the time when they are working at their limits, which includes me. In this class you will be working at the limits of you knowledge all semester - so don’t feel bad about saying incorrect things.
On letters of recommendation:
Grades are wonderful, but they speak for themselves. You would be surprised how many B students I could write a stellar letter for and how many A students I could hardly remember. If you want a letter for me, give some thought to the quantity and quality of our interactions. Come speak to me immediately if you think there is a chance you might ask me to write a letter for you. Lastly, there is no column for goofing-off or immaturity in my excel sheet, and so these things won’t affect your grade, but they severely limit the extent to which I can write a letter for you.