Physics 105

Professor Ann Silversmith

Office #G054; Phone xtn. 4704; email

Welcome to Physics 105, a continuation of 100. The course will be run in a similar way to 100, with a few changes that I’ll explain on the first day of classes. We will cover most of the rest of your intro text, College Physics by Hugh Young etc. 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 soon agree) very 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.

The class meets MWF at 9am, and class attendance is important/essential to your success. I expect that we will all be here for every class meeting.  If you have to miss a lecture due to illness or a personal emergency, please get the notes from a classmate. I do not take attendance but I do notice when students are routinely absent.

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)
Quizzes 2 Quizzes =5%
Lab 20%
Homework (18-2) HW’s = 15%


Two midterm exams are scheduled for the 5th and 10th weeks of the semesters on Thursday evenings. The first midterm is on 2/18/16 and the second on 4/7/16. The final exam will be cumulative and is scheduled for Saturday 5/14/16 9am-noon.


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.  A third quiz is scheduled near the end of the semester and is optional. If you have to miss Q1 or Q2 you should definitely take Q3. If you take all 3 quizzes, only the top two will count toward your grade.


Lab starts next week and meets from 1-4 Tues/Wed/Thurs. There are 11 labs; we have two extra weeks and will not have lab during weeks when midterm exams are scheduled.

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


Homework is an important part of your work in this course because the best way to learn the physics is by practicing. Problem sets will normally be due every other class period at 9am. So, Friday of the first week, Wednesday of the second week, Monday and Friday of the third week …... Your questions and problems will be graded and solutions will be posted on Blackboard. Please make your HW solutions neat and easy to read. Show your work! We cannot give you any credit for correct answers if you give no justification. Underline or highlight your final answer so the grader can find it.

For the sake of the graders (and for fairness) late HW is not accepted. I will drop your lowest 2 HW scores when compiling final grades, so if you have a particularly busy week with other classes, or if you are sick one week, you should take a pass and skip the 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 from me with homework problems when you are stuck. But please realize that the word homework contains the word “home” for a reason. Figuring out how to apply the laws of physics to assigned problems by yourself is the way to learn this material. Watching someone else work out a solution is no substitute.

You may also use the Q-lit center as a resource, and you may discuss the homework problems in general terms with other members of this class. Please indicate on your problem sets when you have done either of these. PLEASE ONLY HAND IN WORK THAT REFLECTS YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING.

Tentative office hours – may be adjusted to better suit your schedules

MONDAY        3-4:30pm

TUESDAY       11am-noon


THURSDAY    11am-noon

FRIDAY           3-4:30pm

(Other times by appointment.)


Physics 105