PHY-106, GENERAL PHYSICS: January 16 - May 11, 2013
Demetris Nicolaides, Ph.D., Professor of Physics, Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Office hours: 11-12, 5-6 Monday, 3-4 Tuesday. Also by appointment.
Phone: 973-748-9000 ext. 1321
Textbook: Serway & Vuille, COLLEGE PHYSICS, 9th Edition.
Calculator: A scientific calculator with the minimum capabilities of scientific notation display, trigonometric and logarithmic functions.
COURSE OBJECTIVE: To provide students with a clear presentation of some of the fundamental laws of nature. Topics covered will be from the thematic paths of Electricity, Magnetism, Light and Optics and Modern Physics.
COMPETENCIES TO BE DEVELOPED: Analytical skills, critical thinking, the ability to adapt to change and innovate in new fields, self-motivation and discipline.
METHODS OF TEACHING: Lecture with hands-on demonstrations, computer simulations, problem solving sessions and labs.
The purpose of the weekly problem-solving sessions is to go over assigned homework problems. Also, through such sessions the students will practice modeling scientific problems using diagrams and do quantitative analysis. One of the most difficult aspects of learning physics is the ability to turn a word-problem into quantitative analysis.
HOMEWORK: Homework problems are assigned for each chapter. Students should make an honest effort to solve as many problems as possible. Also, the students are responsible for all examples done in the book and in class. This will definitely help them do well on their exams.
EXAMS: There will be 4 written exams given during the course of the semester, the lowest grade of which will be dropped. An exam which is missed corresponds to the grade zero. There will be no make-up exams. After the lowest grade is dropped, the average of the remaining exams will count for 60% of the final course grade. Exams will be held on Mondays. There will be a review on Thursday before the Monday exam.
FINAL EXAM: There will be a final exam which may be comprehensive, and will count for 25% of the final course grade.
PRESENTATION: Each student may be required to give a five minute presentation on a topic in physics which is also related to their major field of study. The presentation together with the lab (see below) will count for 15% of the final course grade. Presentations will be held on the Monday before the last one. Students must email me and their classmates an abstract of their topic, as a file attachment. The abstract length should be no more than 200 words.
LABORATORY: Labs may include the following: Electrostatics, Coulomb’s law, Variable Capacitor, Ohm’s Law, Resistance in Circuits, Series vs Parallel Circuits, Kirchhoff’s Rules, Diodes and Transistors, Magnetic Force vs Current Length of Wire and Magnetic Field, Snell’s law, Total Internal Reflection, Mirrors and Lenses, The Photoelectric Effect, Wave vs Quantum Model of Light.
Formal lab reports are required for each of the labs performed in the laboratory. A lab report will be accepted only if the student does the experiment. These reports will be collected and graded. If not submitted on the required time, points will be taken off. Lab reports (and presentation) count for the 15% of the final course grade.
Lab report format: OBJECTIVE, (1 sentence), DATA, (in tables), and DATA ANALYSIS, (which among other things includes graphs and the answers to questions). The CONCLUSION of the lab must be written at the end. The reports must be prepared with the help of various computer software such as Quattro Pro or Excel.
ATTENDANCE POLICY: Students in all classes are permitted absences totaling two weeks of class meetings, effective the first day of class. When students exceed this allowance, a grade of W will be filed, up until the last date allowed for withdrawal without permission, or WF thereafter.
A student participating in a College-approved activity may be excused from class without its counting toward the two-week limit of absences. "Approved" means an activity approved by an officer of the College (President, Dean).
Lateness or early departure may count as an absence.
IN SUMMARY: Exams 60%
Lab / Presentation 15%
The final course grade is determined by first finding the average of each grade category (Exam, Lab, Final) rounded to the nearest integer, and then averaging these averages (according to their assigned percentage) also rounded to the nearest integer. The numerical value of the final course grade will correspond to a letter grade as follows:
A: 96-100 A-: 90- 95 B+ : 87-89 B: 83-86 B-: 80-82
C+: 77-79 C: 73-76 C- : 70-72 D+: 67-69 D: 63-66 D-:60-62 F: 0-59
Chapter 23 Mirrors and Lenses is optional.
Mid-term grades due March 15
Last day to withdraw from a course without permission of Academic Standards Com. March 27
Spring break begins 8:00 AM March 4 (Classes resume March 11)
Easter recess begins 8:00 AM March 28 (Classes resume April 1)
Last Day of classes is May 4