Physics 205

Professor Ann Silversmith

Office #G054; Phone xtn. 4704; email asilvers


Welcome to Physics 205, a continuation of 200. This class meets MWF at 11 am, and class attendance is important/essential to your success. I expect that we will all be here for every class meeting. We will cover most of the rest of Giancoli. We do almost a chapter a week; it is a fast pace and requires consistent hard work on your part.  The subject material is challenging and (I hope you’ll agree) interesting.  We spend a fair bit of time of electricity and magnetism, then move on to optics and finally, during the last month, we study the amazing physics of the 20th century – Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.  That’s the best part.


Your grade in this class will be calculated using the following weighting:


                  Exams                     60% weighted as follows: 1st exam @ 10-20% 2nd 15-20% and final exam @ 20-30% (%’s chosen to optimize grade).

                  Homework               (18-2) HW’s = 15%

                  Quizzes                    2 Quizzes =5%

                  Lab                         20%


Lab meets from 1-4 Monday-Thursday (starting this week).  There are 12 labs, so we have two extra weeks. We will not have lab during weeks when midterms exams are scheduled.


Grades for individual labs will depend on your participation during lab period and on your written work. Detailed information about how your lab work is assessed and graded will be explained this week in lab – and is similar to the system you are familiar with from last semester. If you have to miss a lab because of illness or a scheduled college activity, please let your lab instructor know ahead of time so we can reschedule.



Homework is an important part of the course because the only way to really learn the physics is by practice. Problem sets will normally be due every other class period at 11am. So, Wednesday of the first week, Monday of the second week, Fri of the second week …... Make your HW neat and easy to read. Show your work!

We can’t give you any credit for correct answers if you give no justification. Underline or highlight your final answer so the grader can find it.


Your questions and problems will be collected and solutions will be posted on Blackboard. Your work will be graded and returned. For the sake of the graders (and for fairness) late HW is strongly discouraged and must be penalized: -20%/day starting the first day. I will drop your lowest 2 HW scores when compiling final grades, so if you have a particularly busy week with other classes, you may take a “pass” and skip that problem set. Of course, you are still responsible for the material, and can use the solution set as a study aid. Office hours are scheduled so that you can come and get help with problems:


MONDAY         4-5pm

TUESDAY         3-4pm


FRIDAY            3-4pm

TUESDAY and THURSDAY mornings by appointment

You may also use the Q-lit center as a resource; please indicate on your problem sets when you have done so. You are also encouraged to discuss the homework problems in general terms with other members of this class, BUT PLEASE HAND IN WORK THAT REFLECTS YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING.


We will have two quizzes this semester on Fridays of weeks 2 and 8 that count for a small portion of your grade. They will take 10min of class time and will be based on homework problems and class notes.


Two midterm exams are scheduled for the 5th and 10th weeks of the semesters on Thursday evenings. The first midterm is on 2/16/12 and the second on 4/5/12. The final exam will be cumulative and is scheduled for Tuesday 5/8/12 7-10pm.


Physics 205