University of Maryland General Information


Dr. O.W. Greenberg, Physics,4108, x56014,

TEXT: Physics for scientists and engineers, Volume 2, 5th edition, 

Serway and Beichner, Saunders College Publishing

MWF 1:00-1:50pm
PHY 1412
Wed 2:00-2:50pm
PHY 4208
Wed 3:00-3:50pm
PHY 3301
Thur 8:00-8:50am
PHY 3301


OFFICE HOURS: After lectures or by appointment.


Physics 270 is the third semester of a three semester introductory course in physics. Most of the material from Chapters 29 through 41 will be covered. The assigned reading material should be read BEFORE the lecture in order to increase your probability of understanding the subject covered, and so you can ask questions about ideas you don't grasp. I strongly encourage questions in class--if you don't understand something, very likely many other students don't either. Asking questions in a service to the entire class and also helps me by letting me know what students find puzzling. So please feel free to ask questions. 

Most of the lecture time will be spent describing the physical principles that you must learn, but the most important aspect of this course is problem solving. You cannot adequately learn the material by simply listening to the lectures and reading the textbook. The knowledge that you gain that way is superficial and temporary compared with what you learn by confronting and solving problems. The problem assignments should be considered the minimum that you must perform. There are many more good problems in the textbook; do as many as you can find time for. I emphasize working problems algebraically rather than copying numbers over and over again as you solve the problem. To help you establish the good habit of working problems algebraically, all problems must be done algebraically before being evaluated numerically. 


Problems in homework and on exams must be solved symbolically before being evaluated numerically. Numerical evaluation will require an electronic calculator with scientific functions: trig, log, exponential, and arbitrary roots and powers. 


The weekly homework problem sets, and their due dates, are shown on the homework assignment and solutions pages. Do most of the problems using WebAssign. The problems to be handed in at lecture are due at the beginning of the lecture one week after the date they are assigned, except for the first assignment which is due as stated in the homework assignment page, and except when there will be an exam. In exam weeks homework will be collected two days later. Late homework will not be accepted. The homework problems are an essential part of the course: the exams in the course will test your ability to solve problems similar to those given in the homework, as well as conceptual problems. All homework collected in lecture will be graded. Your course homework score will be based on the done on WebAssign (1/2) and the problems collected in lecture (1/2). 


There will be three 50 minute exams given during the lecture period on the dates shown in the attached schedule. You should learn only the very basic formulas; formulas that are not basic will be provided for exams and quizzes. In computing your course grade, all scores of the three in-class exams will be counted. The final exam will be based on the entire semester's work; the material covered in the in-class exams is indicated on the schedule. Make-up exams will not be given except for absences with documented medical disability, and ONLY when notification has been given before the start of the exams: such messages should be left on the instructor’s email:

In the case of intended absences for religious observances, the student must inform the instructor in advance. All such notices must be provided before the end of the schedule adjustment period. 


There will be a short quiz (10-15 min) during each recitation. This quiz will consist of a qualitative question or a problem from the assigned homework of the previous week. The lowest 2 quiz grades will be dropped. No quiz will be given during exam weeks. Recitations begin the second week of classes. Quizzes are closed book. Students will be assigned specific problems to be done on the board in recitation classes. The quiz-recitation grade will depend on both the quiz grades and the problems done on the board.


Physics 271 is the laboratory part of Physics 270, and meets in room PHY 3220. This course carries one credit and the grade is folded in with the Physics 270 course grade. You must pass Physics 271 in order to pass the entire course. If you do not pass this part of the course you will be required to repeat the entire course. The labs meet for three hours a week. You are expected to attend each class and will be allowed to make up labs only under exceptional circumstances. For more information on the laboratory portion of this course, consult the course web page, or contact Dr. Jawahery. If you have already taken Physics 271 and want that to count for this semester's course, go to the Student Services Office, PHY 1120, and ask that they officially report the grade to the instructor. 



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Last modified January 28, 2004       © 2004 University of Maryland 
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