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Physics 270 - Spring 2008

Introductory Physics:
Waves and Optics

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Recitation Sections WILL meet the week of Jan. 28 - Feb. 1

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Syllabus Weekly Assignments



Course Description

Third semester of a three-semester calculus-based general physics course. Electrodynamics, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves, geometrical optics, interference, diffraction, special theory of relativity, and modern physics.

PHYS260, PHYS261 and MATH241.
Co-requisites:  Corequisite: PHYS271
PHYS270 and PHYS271 (lab) must be taken in the same semester and the grade for the courses will be combined into a single grade for both. To pass, students must complete passing work in both PHYS270 and PHYS271. CORE Physical Science Lab (PL) Course when take concurrently with PHYS 271.



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Physics 270 - IPhysics 270 - Electrodynamics, Light, Relativity and Modern Physics

Instructor:  Professor E. Williams  (http://www.physics.umd.edu/spg/)
Room 2332 Physics,
Phone 301-405-6156
course web page:   http://www.physics.umd.edu/courses/Phys270/williams/index.html
    e-mail:  edw@physics.umd.edu (include “Phys 270” in subject line)
    Office hours:  Mondays 1:00-3:00

Teaching Assistant:  Stanislav Solomovich
Room:  4223
e-mail: ssolomov@umd.edu
Office hours:  tba

Class Time/Location:

Lecture:    Tu Th  2:00 -3:15 PM, Room 1412 Physics
Recitation Sections:
0301:  Th   8:00am -  8:50am (PHY 4220)
0302:  Th.  3:30pm -  4:20pm (PHY 1402)
0304:  Th. 11:00am -11:50am (PHY 4220)
0306:   W    1:00pm - 1:50pm (PHY 4208)

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.
PHYS271 must be taken in the same semester in order to count for the CORE Lab Science requirement.
PHYS270 taken alone is not accepted as a non-lab science course for CORE.

Randall D. Knight, Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach, First Edition" Addison Wesley
10 digit ISBN: 0-8053-8960-1,
13 digit ISBN: 9 780805 389609.

Mastering Physics: 
Web-based problems, grade access, document access
•    You must have a student access code.  This may be included with purchase of the textbook, or can be purchased online at: http://session.masteringphysics.com/myct?productID=knight1.
•    During the registration process, you will create a student account, specifying a login name and password.  Once registered, you can log in to MasteringPhysics and can access the Study Area for the textbook.
•    You will be sent the Course ID by e-mail.  This will allow you to “enroll” for access to the class site. When you enroll, you will be asked for a Student ID - please enter your recitation SECTION NUMBER for this (that is 301 or 302 or 304 or 306 based on your recitation section, see above). 

Course Material:
Chapters 32-35, 22-23 and 36-40 of Knight FIRST EDITION
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Course work and grading:

1. Problem sets: Mastering Physics problems + 1-2 written problems weekly
    Due Tuesdays at the beginning of class
2. Quizzes:  1 per week in recitation section
3. Exams:   in-class exams:     Tuesday, March 4
                                                Tuesday, April 8
                                                Tuesday, May 13
4. Final Exam:  Cumulative examination.  The University will assign the final exam date/time later in the semester. 
5.  Weighting of course components:

Problem sets:           20% 
Quizzes:                     5%
In-Class Exams:      45%
Final Exam:            30%

Partial credit will be assigned on problem set, quiz and exam problems where work is clearly presented. Use of a calculator is allowed and expected on examinations, quizzes and problem sets.

Missed assignments or exams

Late problem sets will be penalized 20% per day late.  No makes-up for quizzes will be given.  The two lowest problem set scores and quiz scores will be dropped.   This is your insurance policy for unforeseen events - don't intentionally skip two assignments and then find yourself without an option when the dog eats your homework. 

 Makeup examinations will only be given for those with a valid documented excuse (doctor's note, accident report, certifiable religious observance,  etc.).  If you know ahead of time that you will miss an exam, you must notify me before the exam.   If you miss an exam due to an emergency, let me know as soon as possible afterwards.   I consider requests for make-ups or any other special consideration to be governed by the precepts of academic honesty. 

Academic Honesty

Working together to develop understanding of assignments is encouraged.  However, each student is expected to do the assigned problems and write or submit the problem sets independently, and hand in his or her own work for grading.  Examinations and quizzes are closed book and are expected to be worked totally independently.  

For any questions about academic honesty, see University policies at:



Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:

The University has a legal obligation to provide appropriate accommodations for students with documented disabilities.   In order to ascertain what accommodations may need to be provided, students with disabilities should inform me of their needs in the first week of the semester. 

How courses will be continued/completed in case of an emergency that will close the University for an extended period of time

The course outline will be followed using remote teaching to the extent possible in such a situation.  Information on continuing course requirements will be posted on the course web page and/or sent by direct e-mail to all students.  Students will be responsible for material/assignments disseminated in this way.   The grade of "incomplete" will not be used.

In the event that the University-maintained web pages and e-mail service disappear during the closure, the course content will be shortened as needed and grades will be assigned on a pro-rated basis.   The grade of "incomplete" will not be used.

If the closure is extended, it seems possible that the University may institute formal policies to deal with the situation.  In that case, any University rulings will be followed. 

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January 28-Feb. 1:  Reading from Chapter 32 of Knight
                                See MasteringPhysics Web page for Problem Set #1 (due Feb. 5)

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Classroom Demonstrations

I will occasionally use classroom demonstrations or discussion of practical applications to motivate concepts in the course.  You should not treat these demonstrations as opportunities for a nap.  The material presented will be included on examinations, either as part of the problems or as possible extra credit. 

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  Handouts will be posted here or on the Mastering Physics page as appropriate.

Copyright (2008) University of Maryland, College Park. All rights reserved. 
Permission to redistribute the contents without alteration is granted to
educational institutions for non-profit administrative
or educational purposes if proper credit is given to
the University of Maryland, College Park as the source.