Department of Physics
University of Maryland
Physics 121 Syllabus
Fundamentals of Physics I
Previous work in trigonometry or MATH 115
While extensive use is made of algebra, trigonometry, and ele-
mentary geometry, this is a non-calculus based one-semester
course on mechanics, fluids, heat, vibrations, waves and sound.
Sylvester James Gates, Jr., Room 4121 (Physics Building),
PHYSICS, J. Cutnell & K. Johnson, Fifth Ed.,(J. Wiley & Sons,
Physics 121 Laboratory Manual (2002 edition)
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10:00-10:50, Physics Bldg.,
Haihong Che, Physics Bldg., Rm. 4223,
301-405-6192, e-mail: email@example.com
Lee Elberson, Physics Bldg., Rm. 4223,
301-405-6192, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The course instructor is available for scheduled office hours be-
tween 11:00 p.m. and 12:00 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday im-
mediately after class under ordinary circumstances. Students are
encouraged to contact Prof. Gates to arrange meetings at other
times as desired. For students with access to electronic mail,
inquiries may be sent to the instructor at any time via e-mail.
Office hours for Lee Elberson are Tues. & Thurs. 12 - 1 p.m. and
additional office hours for the other course teaching assistant
will be made available shortly.
The laboratory experiments are a very important part of this course.
All assigned experiments must be completed in order to pass the
course. Late reports will generally receive a score of zero but
will be counted towards the requirement of completing all experi-
ments. You are expected to arrive at the laboratory well prepared,
having answered any pre-lab questions.
The final grade for the course will be determined by the following
F.G. = (15/100) (H.W.) + (20/100) (LAB RPRT's)
+ (20/100) (XAM-1) + (20/100) (XAM-2)
+ (25/100) (Final XAM)
There will be two examinations given during the semester as well
as a final at the end of the term. All examination are closed
book. The in-class examinations are scheduled for Oct., 04 and
Nov., 08. The final is presently scheduled for Tuesday, Dec.,
21, 10:30 - 12:30. No makeup exams will be given. You are re-
quired to take the final exam.
You may bring one 3" x 5" formula card to each hour exam. You
may write anything you want to on both sides of the card. You
may bring three formula cards to the final exam.
Any emergency that might cause a student to miss an examination
must be rigorously}} documented (doctor's note, legal notices,
etc.) otherwise a grade of zero will be assigned to the student
for the missed examination.
If any conflicts with the examination dates are known to the
student these must be brought to the instructor's attention
immediately. Otherwise, the student risks being assigned a
grade of zero for the missed examination. Excuses after the
fact are not acceptable and will result in an assigned grade
Recitation & Laboratory Sections:
W......... 04:00pm - 04:50pm (PHY 1402) Discussion
W......... 05:00pm - 06:50pm (PHY 3306) Laboratory
M......... 03:00pm - 03:50pm (PHY 1219) Discussion
M......... 04:00pm - 05:50pm (PHY 3306) Laboratory
Tu........ 10:00am - 10:50am (PHY 1201) Discussion
Tu........ 11:00am - 12:50pm (PHY 3306) Laboratory
Tu........ 12:00pm - 12:50pm (PHY 4220) Discussion
Tu........ 01:00pm - 02:50pm (PHY 3306) Laboratory
W......... 12:00pm - 12:50pm (PHY 1402) Discussion
W......... 01:00pm - 02:50pm (PHY 3306) Laboratory
Th........ 08:00am - 08:50am (PHY 1402) Discussion
Th........ 09:00am - 10:50am (PHY 3306) Laboratory
M......... 11:00am - 11:50am (PHY 1402) Discussion
M......... 12:00pm - 1:50pm (PHY 3306) Laboratory
Th........ 12:00pm - 12:50pm (PHY 4220) Discussion
Th........ 01:00pm - 03:00pm (PHY 3306) Laboratory
Homework will be given regularly during the semester. It will
be collected normally at the end of the lecture on each Monday,
graded and returned to students. However, it is possible that
not every problem will be graded. Instead a randomly selected
subset of them will be graded. A record will be kept of each
student's completed problems. This tally will be used to cal-
culate the homework grade.
Problem solving is an essential part of physics. It is not poss-
ible to learn the subject without working through the details of
problems. There is a strong correlation between doing homework
and doing well on examinations. You are very unlikely to do well
in this course if you do not take the homework seriously. Late
homework will ONLY be accepted with a physician's written note.
However, points will be deducted from the grade on late homework
at a rate of 10 points/day.
A Guide to Doing Homework:
If you wish to have the best possible grades on homework returned,
*1. Staple your papers together.
*2. Box your answers.
*3. Make sure you turn in your homework with the correct section
clearly indicated on each page.
*4. Turn in neat homework (points will be deducted other-
*5. Write your solutions in pencil.
*6. Always write out your solution in algebraic form BEFORE
you substitute in numerical values.
*7. Always ``carry along'' correct dimensional units (i.e.
mass, length, etc.) and give only appropriate numbers
of significant figures.
*8. Consider whether your answers make ``sense'' by checking
*9. Draw a picture or sketch for every problem where it is
*10. Include appropriate diagram WHENEVER possible.
*11. Describe in words, why and where equations being used
appear in your write-up.
*12. SHOW YOUR WORK! Solutions or answers turned in without
explanation will NOT receive full credit.
It should be noted that many of the above comments also apply
to writing your solutions on examinations.
Disability Support Services:
The UMCP campus offers support in these cases. It is the respon-
sibility of the effected students to contact the Counseling Center,
Rm. 0126 Shoemaker Building 301-314-7682 or on-line at
in order to take advantage of this assistance. After this contact
the course instructor.
The University of Maryland has an established policy on academic
dishonesty (see the webpage at
Students are advised to become familiar with the policy which in
``The University can function properly only if its members
adhere to clearly established goals and values. Essential
to the fundamental purpose of the University is the commit-
ment to the principles of truth and academic honesty. Ac-
cordingly, The Code of Academic Integrity is designed to
ensure that the principle of academic honesty is upheld.
While all members of the University share this responsibi-
lity. The Code of Academic Integrity is designed so that
special responsibility for upholding the principle of aca-
demic honesty lies with the students.''
Students who infringe upon this UMCP policy will be subject to
Any student seeking additional assistance is urged to contact either
the course instructor or the T.A.'s as desired. The Slawsky Physics
Clinic is also an additional resource to explore. The Clinic does
NOT have established specific hours for this course, so check
with them ASAP about their availability.
All reading assignments are required. It may occur that examination
problems will be drawn from material not covered in lecture, recita-
tion nor homework.