Physics Building, Room 2307 (Mailbox in 2323); x56147
The exams are now marked. Stop by to look at yours (but I have to keep it for a year) and to pick up your term paper. Have a great summer, and look for rainbows near sprinklers.
Final exam: average: 171, high: 223.5, low: 97
Course grade distribution: 3 A+, 3 A, 5 A, 8 B+, 13 B, 6 B, 3 C+, 3 C, 2 C, 1 D, 2 F
***Link to lists (in pdf [preferred] or html format) to help in studying for final.***
The final exam is scheduled on Tuesday, May 20, 1:303:30 p.m. Half will be like a midterm covering the material since the second midterm. The other half will cover the whole course. You will be allowed to use a "crib" sheet that you have prepared by yourself. You may use one side of 81/2 x 11 inch paper and write anything on it that you like (formulas, definitions, sketches...).
Last updated May 23, 2003








Assignments 


Evaluation Criteria 
Individual Paper 
Group Paper 






Introduction
Physics 104 is a relatively new course
being taught only for the past several years at the University of Maryland.
It is based on a similar course
that was developed and taught at the University of Virginia by Prof.
Louis Bloomfield, whose book we are using. Much of the material in this
course description was taken (with permission) from the UVA course. There are
some differences between our course and theirs. Since our class is much smaller,
we can do things in a more personal manner.
Course Description
The class meets Monday, Wednesday,
and Friday at 2:002:50 pm in the room 1201 of the Physics Building. This
class room allows us access to one of the best lecture demonstration facilities
in the world; we will make liberal use of it throughout the semester.
The class size is small (maximum 50), which allows a better view of the demonstrations
and promotes discussion.
The purpose of this course is to show
you the scientific basis the world around you. In particular we will focus
on "how things work." I have picked a list of topics that, hopefully,
you will find interesting. Of course there are far too many topics that
could be covered than we have time for. Therefore, during the first few
meetings I will solicit suggestions for the specific topics we will cover this
semester. Also, there will be many opportunities to ask about things that
we don't cover in class. This course should
be fun!
To allow time for demonstrations and
discussion in class, students should preview material to be discussed that day
by skimming the appropriate sections in the text, looking at the new terms,
and thinking about what new concepts are most puzzling. Students are strongly
encouraged to form study/discussion groups. In science courses (much like in
foreign language courses), it takes time to master new concepts and ways of
thinking. Also, much of the material makes use of earlier results. Thus, students
should keep current on the work. Don't get behind!
Grading
The course grade will be determined
by the following:
Homework  14% 
First Mid Term Exam 
18% 
Second Mid Term Exam 
18% 
Term Paper  20% 
Final Exam  30% 
Homework
Homework will be assigned regularly
throughout the semester. It will be collected and graded. Homework is actually
worth much more than the official 14% of the grade, as it will help you clarify
your understanding of the material, point out your areas of weakness, and help
you prepare for the exams. It is very unlikely that a student will do well in
the course without carefully doing the homework. There are many, many
more interesting and worthwhile problems than can be assigned as homework. Students
are strongly encouraged to do as many as possible to ingrain the material and
to check their understanding.
Term Paper
Each student will be required to do
a term paper. Details about the paper are given below. The rules
for the paper are:
1. The report on the project paper is due in class on Monday, April 28. I will deduct one grade step (A becomes A) for each day the term paper is late (including Saturday and Sunday). After the seventh day (Monday, May 5), term papers are no longer acceptable under any circumstances.2. Term papers must be written in your own words. Copying material essentially wordforword from another source without crediting it as a quotation is plagiarism and will not be tolerated. Extensive quotations make for a very poor paper. "Shoveling in" text from web sites with no mental processing also leads to poor papers.
3. You may not work together with anyone on an individual term paper. If you are writing a group term paper, you may work together only with the 1 or 2 other members of your group.
4. Term papers may not be written on objects that are part of the course syllabus. A list of such forbidden topics is part of this packet.
5. I will not assist in topic selection for the term papers after Monday, April 14.