Physics 117 Syllabus

Room 1410
Room 3310
Dr. Stefano Liberati

Office: PHY Room 4205
Telephone: 301-405-6032

Office Hours:
Mon. 3:00-4:00pm
Wed. 2:00-3:00pm

TA: Brendan Foster
Office: PHY Room 4219

  Inside the Course

Physics 117

Course contents overview

Class and Lab Plan


Homework & Quiz solutions

PHYSICS 117 (From the course catalog):  
A study of the development of some basic ideas of physical science. Prerequisite: qualification to enter MATH 110. Intended for students majoring neither the physical nor the biological sciences

Text: Kirkpatrick & Wheeler: Physics, A World View (4th Edition)
In order to do most of the book during the semester, we will roughly cover one chapter per week (on the average).

Laboratory: Room 3310 - The laboratory experiments are an essential part of this course. You cannot pass the course unless you have completed every experiment and submitted the lab report. Since time in the laboratory is limited, come to the lab fully prepared. Read the lab manual and any supplementary materials in advance. Lab reports must be submitted before leaving the lab. Late lab reports will not be given any credits. The lab will be run by the TA who will be in charge of the laboratory.

Homework: Homework will be assigned every week for practice. You do not need to submit homework solutions, but quizzes will be based on homework problems. Therefore, you should always do the homework problems. You will not do well in the course if you do not do the homework. You should consider your homework a self-test of your preparation and degree of understanding. If you have problem with your homework do not hesitate to contact the instructor or the TA. Act before it is too late!

Quizzes : Brief announced quizzes based upon recent materials will take place regularly (average: one quiz per week). These will be based on homework problems and will be given in the last 20 minutes of the lecture. No make-up quizzes will be offered and the absence on a quizz day shall require a previous notification or a written documentation. In any case at least %80 of the quizzes should be taken in order to pass the course.  

Exam Dates: There will be two hourly exams and one final exam. The exact dates of the exams will be announced during the class. (If you must be absent from an exam for a religious observance, you must notify Dr. Liberati before the end of the schedule adjustment period.) 

Grading: Your semester grade will be based on overall course score, computed with the following weights:

                          15%    Quizzes
                          30%    Lab Reports
                          25%    Two Hourly Exams
                          30%    Final Exam  

No make-up exams will be offered but your lowest (curved) quizz and exam score (or half of your final exam score if your final exam is your lowest) will be dropped. You must take Final Exam and do every lab to pass the course. The final grade will be given in a normalized ("curved") basis.

Extra Help: Dr. Liberati will be available after lecture, or in Physics Room 4205D during his weekly office hours (Mon & Wed: 1pm-2pm) or at other times by appointment to answer any questions. The TA will help with the lab, grading, and will also answer questions that you may have.

You are encouraged to ask for help whenever you feel it may be useful, and better sooner than later. In addition, the University's Learning Assistance Service (LAS) offers general assistance. If you are experiencing difficulties in keeping up with the academic demands of this course, you might wish to contact the Learning Assistance Service, 2201 Shoemaker Bldg., 301.314.7693. Their educational counselors can help with time management, reading, note-taking, and exam preparation skills.

Calculators: You should bring a scientific calculator to the class, and especially to the lab and exams.

Cellular Phones and other wireless devices: The use of any wireless device (especially the use of “text messaging”!) will be forbidden during quizzes and exams.

Lab Notebook: You should keep all of your original lab notes in a single notebook. A square ruled page format is convenient for plotting graphs as you go. See the 117 Laboratory Manual for further details on lab notebooks and reports.

UMD-logo University of Maryland Honor Pledge

The University has a nationally recognized Honor Code, administered by the Student Honor Council. The Student Honor Council proposed and the University Senate approved an Honor Pledge. The University of Maryland Honor Pledge reads:

"I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this assignment/examination."

In Physics 117, you may be asked on occasion whether you wish to append this pledge to a work (e.g., Exam, Report, Assignment) you are submitting for course credit. We recommend that you do so at each opportunity as a constructive re-affirmation of your support, in principle and in practice, of academic integrity. Whether or not you choose to do so will have no affect on any aspect of your Physics 117 course record.

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