University of Maryland - Department of Physics


Spring 2014 Prof. Alberto Belloni Physics 273/273H


Title: PHYS 273/273H Introductory Physics: Waves. Oscillations and AC circuits using complex variables, Fourier series and integrals, waves on strings, sound; electromagnetic waves from Maxwell's equations in differential form; physical optics.

PHYS272 (Introductory Physics: Fields), and MATH241 (Calculus III Multivariable Calculus). (MATH 340 is also acceptable.)


Corequisite: MATH246 (Differential Equations) or MATH414. (MATH 341 is also acceptable.)


Instructor: Prof. Alberto Belloni, Room 4331, Phone: 5-6058, e-mail:


Office Hours: Wednesdays and Fridays, 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and by appointment. You are also welcome to come to my office without an appointment, however I may not be available.


Schedule: 3 meetings weekly:

T,H....... 9:30 am - 10:45 am (PHYS 1410)

F........... 9:00 am - 9:50 am (CHEM 1402)


Optional Texts:

       Waves and Oscillations, Walter Fox Smith (2010), ISBN: 978-0-19-539349-1.



Homework: The homework assignment will be posted on the course website each Thursday. It is the student's responsibility to check the website for the assignment each week. Homework will be collected at the beginning of class each Thursday, except for exam weeks, for a total of 12 homework assignments. The homework problems will be graded on a scale from zero to three: three points if completely correct, two points if mostly correct, one point if mostly incorrect, zero points for entirely incorrect or no answer. No make-up homework will be accepted, but the lowest two homework grades will be dropped when your final grade is calculated. Homework will not be accepted electronically. If you use a computer but you have trouble printing your results, you may copy them by hand.


Lecture: Class time will be spent on a mixture of lecture material and lecture demonstrations.


Exams: We will have two in-class mid-term exams and a final exam. The final exam will take place on Friday May 16, from 8:00 am to 10:00 am in PHYS 1410. The exam questions will be a mixture of qualitative and quantitative questions, similar to the homework. The exam will be closed book, closed notes, and you will not be allowed to use a calculator.


Undergraduate Peer Tutoring: There is a new tutoring service available to undergraduate physics majors in the introductory courses, provided by physics majors who have already completed the introductory series. The tutoring service is available Monday through Friday, from 4pm - 6pm in PHYS 1304 (the room next to the undergraduate student lounge). The tutors are happy to provide homework help and discuss course topics in general with students at no cost. If you have any questions, please direct them to Hannalore Gerling-Dunsmore at and Mathew Calkins at


Honors Section: Honors students will complete an honors project, to be approved by the instructor. Honors students will meet with the each other and the instructor once a month to discuss the status of their projects. Each student will prepare a presentation based on their project to be given to the other honors students at the end of the semester. There may also be additional homework questions and exam questions for students enrolled in 273H.


Credit: Phys 273 Phys 273H


Midterm 1 20% 15%

Midterm 2 20% 15%

Final Exam 30% 25%

Homework 30% 25%

Honors Project 20%


Grading Scale: A ten-point grading scale will be used to assign final letter grades, with the - and + grades reserved for the lowest three and highest three points in each bracket. For example, 97% to 100% will be an A+, 93% to 97% will be an A, and 90% to 93% will be an A-.