Phys104 - How Things Work
University of Maryland, College Park
Fall 2010

Professor: Ted Jacobson
Room 4115 (Physics Bldg.), 301-405-6020,
Office hours: After class, or by appointment.
Class meetings: MWF 2:00-2:50pm, Room PHY 1410
Grader: Julia Salevan,

Textbook: How Things Work, 3rd Edition, by Louis A. Bloomfield
John Wiley and Sons, Inc. ISBN: 978-0-471-46886-8
Textbook companion website (4th edition):
Some options for purchasing the book. Note: VERY cheap copies are availabled used at

Course web site :   Homework assignments, class notes, supplements, and solutions will all be posted
at the course web site, .

E-mail:    I encourage students to make use of e-mail for quick correspondence with me regarding lecture material,
homework problems, or whatever. I will also use e-mail to communicate with the class at large. I can often be reached
at night or on weekends by email. Students are responsible for making sure I have their correct email address
and checking their email daily. Important messages will sometimes be sent to the class by email.

Homework:  The purpose of the homework if for you to engage with the material. This is how you will master it,
and it will help you discover what you don't yet fully understand. Discussing physics helps understanding.
You are encouraged to discuss the homework with fellow students, with our grader/tutor, or with Dr. Jacobson 
(feel free to ask Dr. J questions about the homework by email). However, what you turn in should be your own answers.
Beware: if you just copy answers, you won't be well prepared for the exams!

+  Usually assigned once weekly.
+  Must be turned in at the beginning of class on the due date (not to the grader).
+  Please make sure you include your name and the homework and course numbers, and staple the pages together.
+  Late homework accepted only under dire circumstances: if you know it will be impossible to turn in an assignment 
    on time you must discuss this with me in advance of the due date. Medical reasons accepted only with a doctor's note.

Exams:  Two mid-terms and a final exam (Thursday, Dec 16, 1:30pm-3:30pm).  The final will just be a third "mid-term".
If you know ahead of time that you will miss an exam you must notify me before the exam. For emergencies, I will
accomodate those with valid, doumented excuses and who have given me timely notification.

Grading: The course grade will be based on the homework and exams. The lowest two homework scores will be dropped.
The exam grades will be uniformly shifted upwards if I deem necessary for a "curve". The relative weights are adjusted to
maximize your total score as follows: either 25% for hw and 15,25,35% for your exams (in order of increasing exam score),
or 15% for hw and 15,35,35% for exams. The letter  grades corresponding to numerical scores will be determined after reviewing
the class performance as a whole, consistent with the grade definitions indicating mastery of the material:
A: excellent, B: good, C: adequate,  D: marginal. The exams are "curved" so that the letters generally fall close to the standard
ranges: A: 100-90%, B: 89-80%, C: 79-70%, D: 69-60%, but often the ranges are stretched a little on the lower end.

Tips for doing well :

Academic honesty:  The University of Maryland, College Park has a nationally recognized  Code of Academic Integrity,
administered by the Student Honor Council. This Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all undergraduate
and graduate students.  As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards for this course.  It is very important
for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. For more information on the
Code of  Academic Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit

The University has adopted an Honor Pledge, which is a statement undergraduate and graduate students are asked to write
by hand and sign on examinations, papers, or other academic assignments not specifically exempted by the instructor.
The Pledge reads: "I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this
assignment/examination." In this course it is assumed that all students have entered the University agreeing to the
honor principle which would apply in general to all campus activities, so usually no specific statement is required.