__Phys270 __

Sections 0301, 0302, 0303, 0304 and 0306

**Spring 2009**

**Electrodynamics,
Light, Relativity and Modern Physics**

Homework Assignments:

Homework
Solutions:

None at present

Lecture:** ****Tue, Thus 2:00-3:15 PHY 1412**

Instructor:**
Tom Cohen (I prefer to be called
by my first name)**

Room: 2104,

** Phone: 5-6117
E-mail: cohenl@physics.umd.edu**

Formal Office Hours:** Immediately following lecture Tuesdays
and Thursdays**

**However
you should feel free to drop in at his office at other times; **

**unless
he is busy he will be happy to meet with you;**

**Alternatively
you may send e-mail to request an appointment.**

Discussion sections: **Section 0301 Thurs. 8:00 am PHY 4220
Section 0302 Thurs. 3:30 pm PHY 1402
Section 0303 Mon. 1:00 pm
PHY 4208 **

**Section 0304
Thurs. 11:00 am PHY 4220**

**Section 0306
Weds. 1:00 p.m. PHY 4208**

Teaching Assistants: Ed Behn Sylvia
Zhu

Sections: 0301 ,0302, 0303,
0306 Section: 0304

Office: Physics 0104 Office: Physics 3103B

Phone: 5-8577 Phone: 5-6189

e-mail:
ed@behn.us e-mail: __sjzhu@umd.edu__

*Mandatory Laboratory Requirement *:

**PHYS 271 is the
laboratory component of this course. You
must complete and pass PHYS271(which requires completing all of the labs) in order to pass PHYS270. **

**Mastering Physics**

**Much of the homework for this course will be assigned
through the computer using the “Mastering Physics” system. You are required to have a Mastering Physics
account linked to this course. When
registering, the “Course ID ” is **

**The course will cover Chapters 22-24 and 33-41 of Knight (2 ^{nd} edition).**

**General Philosophy:** Many students view
physics entirely through the prism of problem solving. From this perspective, a physics course is
essentially a set of prescriptions needed to solve certain classes of problems. This view is unfortunate---the essence of
physics is that nature can be understood through a comparative small number of
rules which can formulated mathematically.
Some of these laws are empirical in nature: they succinctly encode the
results of numerous experiments. Others
of these rules are derived---they can be obtained using mathematical and
physical reasoning starting from the empirical laws. Similarly physical laws
typically have limited domains of validity and it is essential to understand
what they are. Often this possible only
if one has a firm grasp on the origins of the laws in question. Thus, in this course along with problem
solving there will be a strong emphasis on the underlying unity of the physics,
the origins of the physical laws used in problem solving, and the use of
appropriate mathematical tools for the subject covered.

**Topics: ****This
course will cover magnetism, electromagnetic induction, Maxwell’s equations and
electromagnetic waves, optics (physical and geometric), aspects of “modern
physics” (relativity, quantum phenomenon and the composition of matter. ) **

**Book: Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A
Strategic Approach 2^{nd} edition, by Randall D. Knight,**.

Frankly, it is my view that the book has **many** weaknesses; in particular it does a rather poor job in
explaining the origin of many of the physical ideas. In addition for several topics the book does
not use the appropriate mathematical tools to deal with the issues
treated. Accordingly one should NOT view
the course and the textbook as being essentially equivalent.

**Lecture: **As noted above, the book has weaknesses. The material discussed in lecture will treat
essentially same material as in the text but often from a rather different
perspective. It is essential to follow
the lectures to do well in the course.
Material for exams will follow the lectures as much or more than the
book.

**Communication: ** I strongly encourage students to make use of
e-mail for quick correspondence with me regarding lecture material, homework
problems, and the like. I will also use e-mail to communicate with the class at
large.

**Homework**: Homework will generally be
assigned weekly with the assignments.
There will be two kinds of assignments:
One type will be assigned through the “Mastering Physics” program and
will be graded electronically. You will
be assigned several such problems each week.
** The MP assignments will be due on the Friday
of the week following their assignment.
This will ensure that all sections will have met prior to the due date
and thus give you a chance to ask questions about the assignments. ** The other type of
problem will be a single problem which you will be expected to work through and
write up the solution in a cogent manner.
One purpose of this second type of homework assignment is so that you
get some practice in scientific communication---thus you will be expected to
explain your reasoning; simply writing down equations is not sufficient.

Although you will have many more of the “Mastering
Physics” problems then the written ones, each type will count an equal weight
in the final grade. All homework
assignments count. Late homework will
not be accepted since solutions will be posted. If there is a legitimate excuse
for missing a homework assignment, the average of your other homework grades
will be used as a replacememtn of the grade for that assignment. The Mastering Physics assignments will have a
penalty of 20% off for everyday late.

Homework solutions for the written assignments
will be posted on the course Web site.
These *may* simply be scans of
correct and well written solutions turned in by students (with the name
omitted). If for some reason you do NOT
wish your solution to be placed on the web site please indicate this on your
solutions

**Mastering Physics Assignments**:

You will be allowed six tries to successfully
complete each problem and will receive instant feedback on errors. Some errors may be due to using the incorrect
number of significant figures. The on-line homework will use random numerical
values so you will have different values from others. It means that you have to
understand the correct method of getting the answer in order to succeed. It is
important first to work out a formula for the desired quantity so that you
develop skills that will help to prepare you for exams. Only after you have
thought through the physics and derived an algebraic formula for the result
should you plug in numbers. Mastering
Physics sometimes offers hints when you are stuck. Ideally you should work through the problems
without the hints. To discourage you
from going to the hints too easily a modest deduction from the question score
will be made when you call a hint. The Mastering Physics assignments will have
a penalty of 20% off for everyday late.

**The Mastering Physics Access Code is good for
two years. Normally, students who obtained an access code when they took
Physics 161 will not need to purchase a new one. If a new code is needed,
beware that a new book purchased at the bookstore does not come bundled with
the MasteringPhysics access code. The best options are:
1.) Purchase a used book, and purchase the MasteringPhysics access code at
www.masteringphysics.com for $44.50.
2.) Buy textbook bundles with MasteringPhysics directly from the publisher at
www.mypearsonstore.com. They offer a 10% discount over bookstore pricing, and
free FedEx shipping. The upcharge for bundling MasteringPhysics with one book
is only a few dollars.
Instructions for logging onto Mastering Physics are located on a pamphlet
included in your text and are listed below for your convenience.
**

User ID (you create)

Password (you create)

Course ID:

Your UMID number

For any technical problems please contact the mastering physics support team by phone: (888) 547-4415 during normal business hours or by email: support@masteringphysics.com

**Discussion Sections:** The discussion
sections have several functions. One is
to provide students a chance to ask questions to clarify issues raised in
lecture and the book. A second is an
emphasis on problem solving. To help
make the problem solving component compelling, the sections will generally work
on at least some of the current week’s homework assignments---before they are
due. Given this it is strongly in your
interest to make an attempt at the homework *before*
the discussion section. This will enable
you to ask the TA to focus in section on those problems which are giving you
trouble. The sections will commonly have
a short quiz

**Exams**: There will
be at least two midterm exams and a final.
You will be permitted to use a one page (both sides) formula sheet
prepared by you for the exams. Much of
the benefit of the formula sheet stems from its preparation---the act of
deciding which formulae are important enough to include on the sheet will help
you to study for the exams. An
electronic calculator is permitted on the exam, but no other electronic devices
are.

**Tentative mid term exam schedule**:

..........First Midterm Examination: Tuesday,:
March 3, 2009.

..........Second Midterm Examination: Tuesday,
April 7, 2009.

...........

**
Final Examination**: The final exam will emphasize the
material in the final 3

**Grading**:
Tentatively the grading for the Phys 270 component of the class will be based
on the following weights: Exams 75%, Homework 20% (10% Mastering
Physics 10%), Quizzes 5%.. Note that these are tentative and subject to
change. An attempt will be made to
assign grades in as fair a manner as possible and it may be necessary to alter
these weights to deal with unexpected circumstances. Note that homework and quizzes accounts for
more than one quarter of the grade. This
means that to do well, you must take these quite seriously. However, any individual homework assignment
or quiz is of rather little weight so that if you do poorly on one it is quite
unlikely to affect your grade. Note,
that the grading will **NOT** follow the
silly 90%=A, 80%=B, 70%=C scale familiar from high school. Rather, the association of grades with
percentages will depend in large measure on the difficulty of the exams and
will be set *a posteriori *in order to
assign grades fairly. The PHYS270
component of the grade will be combined with the lab component from PHYS271
(with a weight of 75% and 25% respectively) and the final grade will be
based on this combined score. Remember
you must separately pass each portion of the course (270 and 271) to pass the
combined class.

Practice Tests:

First 1/3 of the material (50
min exam) __Practice
Exam 1__

Second 1/3 of the material
(50 min exam) __Practice Exam 2__

Comprehensive (2 hour exam) __Practice Exam 3__