Physics 218 by 4A83AJ


									Physics 218

        Lecture 1:

        Alexei Safonov
                Today Lecture
• Structure of the class
• Organizational issues
   – Instructors, textbooks, meeting times
• Course requirements and grading

• Practical details
   –   Exams
   –   Homework and quizzes
   –   Reading assignments
   –   Recitations
        Physics 218: Basics
• Content:
  – Introduction to Classical Mechanics
  – Concepts, Problem Solving, and Labs
  – Requires high school level calculus
• Structure:
  – Lecture (2 per week) – MPHY205 (here)
  – Recitation (1 per week)- MPHY 234/335
  – Lab (1 per week) – MPHY 234/335
• Lectures (ENPH 202, MW 5:45pm):
  – Prof. Alexei Safonov (me)
  – Email:
     • Put PHYS-218 first in the Subject line!!!
  – MIST M319, 979-845-1479
     • The “tower” portion of the Physics Building
  – Office hours: W 3:45-5:00 PM
     • Tentatively, may change later
• Recitation and labs:
  – TA’s will provide contact info at your first meeting
  – First meeting on the week of Sept 5-9
     • No lab this week!
                Online Info
• Main link:
• Has links to everything else you may need
  Online Info about PHYS-218
• PHYS-218 main web-site:
• My web-page (available from elearning):
    • Then click “Teaching” tab on the left
  – Will include syllabus, and important
    • Will also try to keep there schedule reminders, due
      dates, homework info, these notes etc.
• MATH 151
  – It is a GOOD idea to take it before this class
  – If you do well in MATH 151, you will survive
    here too, but you are in somewhat
    disadvantaged position as many of your
    classmates took calculus in high school
• Test Yourself:
  – There are 10 math quizzes on my web-page
  – They are not mandatory, but try them:
     • If you can relatively easily get 80+% of the
       problems within 15 minutes, you are ok
     • If not, consider coming back next semester
• Get them right now or the bookstore may
  run out of them:
  – Buy and Register your clicker ASAP!
  – Register for Mastering Physics (MP) ASAP!
     • MP packet often comes with new textbooks, also
       available separately in the bookstore, also can pay
       online at
  – Textbook and lab manual (see syllabus)
• Clickers are registered through
• Grading will be based on the following scales:
   –   Exam1: 75 points
   –   Exams 2&3: 100 points each
   –   Final: 200 points
   –   Lab: 100 points
   –   Recitation: 100 points
   –   In-class Quizzes and Lecture Assignments: 50 points
   –   Homework: 75 points
   –   Total: 800 points
• I will curve all scores AFTER the final, but will
  give you feedback along the way
   – If your final score is higher than average of exams 1-
     3, final will be re-weighted to have 275 max and
     exams 1-3 will be re-weighted to give 200 max
            Lecture Structure
• You will have to routinely read material of
  each new Chapter before lecture!
• Clicker Quizzes:
  – In-class quiz at the end of the lecture using
     • 2-3 multiple choice questions about the material of
       the lecture
  – Several mini-quizzes during lecture
• Quizzes contribute 50 points to your final
• Typical average from past years: 25
 Lectures, Recitations and You
• In lectures, I focus on teaching you:
   – Concepts and underlying physics
   – Application of concepts for solving problems
   – Methodology of solving problems and common
   – All of the above illustrated on typically simpler
     example problems
• Recitations focus more heavily on practical
  problem solving
• Both can only send you in the right direction, but
  the real learning happens when you work our
  the homework problems
• Weekly assignments on Mastering Physics web-site
  (check often):
   – Need to get 70%+ on each individual weekly assignment AND
     70% average final homework score to pass the course
   – Each late portion of HW gets 10% reduction in score PER DAY,
     so if it’s 3 days late and you did not yet start working on you
     assignment, you are done with this class
• Important:
   – There is an option to “give up” on a problem in MP. Don’t use it!
       • If you “give up” on problems, it’s irreversible and it can bring your
         score below 70%!
       • Instead, move on to another problem and go back to this problem
         later (you don’t have to do them in order)
       • Important: start working on HW problems early!!!
• Last year average student’s score about 90% (of 75
  points maximum towards final score)
               Homework - 2
• If at the end of the course your average score
  across the entire set of homework assignments
  is less than 70%, you final grade will be F.
• If your average score is 70+%, but not all of your
  weekly assignments are above 70%
  – Make-up assignments for the ones where you did not
    meet 70% threshold
  – Comparable to the failed assignment in difficulty and
  – If you meet the 70% threshold on all make-up
    assignments, the automatic failure rule will be waived
    for you, but your final homework assignment score
    will not be changed by these make-up assignments
        Recitations Quizzes
• You have to do most of the work on your
  HW before the recitation
• At recitations, you will have a chance to
  ask questions about the HW problems
• Your instructors will walk you through 2-3
  problems that attracted most questions
• In the last ~10 minutes you will take a quiz
  – Usually one of the problems in the current HW
    (typically one of the difficult ones)
• Average score from last year ~80 out of
• Lab policies are uniform and set by the Department
• Implementation is in the hands of your TAs and they will
  inform you of all the details at your first session.
   – As a general rule, no labs are to be dropped and you need an
     officially recognized excuse to re-do a lab
   – You need to get at least 70% for labs to pass the course
• If you are re-taking this course and have received 80+%
  for labs on your last attempt, I may accept your old
   – You need to submit a written request (talk to people at Physics
     Front Office Window, 4th floor of the office wing of ENPH)
   – Even if approved, you still need to attend recitations, do quizzes
     etc. !!!
• Average score for lab is about 85 points out of 100 (last
Lab Score Transfer
• 3 midterm exams:
  – Will be administered during regular class
    meetings times
  – General structure:
    • Problem 1: about 10 multiple-choice problems
    • Problems 2-4: full size problems
       – Different in difficulty, but at least one typically harder than
         others (similar in quality to the more difficult problems
         from the homework assignments).

• Final exam:
  – 2 hour long, schedule set by the University
  – 6-8 full size problems covering entire course.
    How to Pass This Course
• In order to pass this course you must:
  – Take all the exams and the final
  – Pass the Lab part with >70%
  – Get 70+% on homework (each weekly
    assignment and the average over all
  – Have your total score above the F range (60%)
      How to Fail This Course
• In order to fail this course you should:
  – Miss one of the exams or the final
  – Pass the Lab part with <70% or fail it in any
    other way
  – Get less than 70% on any weekly homework
    assignment of less than 70% average of the
    course homework section
  – Have your total score in the F range
   What to Expect: PHYS-218
• Be prepared that this is one of very hard
  and time consuming classes
  – Need typically 10 hours of hard work a week
    besides classes
• Inter-relation and intensity of the material
  makes it harder:
  – You miss one thing, but it will come and bite
    you several times as the same concepts
    repeat throughout the course
• If you can’t afford that much time, take this
  class next semester
• We will generally follow this sequence:
  – Week 1: material X is covered in the lecture
  – Week 2: material X is covered in recitation
  – Week 3: Monday at noon full HW assignment
    on material X is due

• Read material before the lecture and
  prepare for reading and lecture quizzes
• Start working on your HW early, definitely
  before recitation
  How To Do Well in PHYS-218
• Maximize scores in all “service” categories
   – Labs, recitations, HW, clicker quizzes, some (very limited) extra
     credit opportunities
• Do your best on the exams
   – They are what really matters most to your final grade!!!
• You won’t do well on exams unless you train yourself in
  solving HW problems
   – Do problems yourself: if someone explains you the solution and
     you “understood” it, that’s not good enough
   – If you are stuck, ask for help with a similar problem; if you had to
     get help with a HW problem, solve 5 more similar ones from the
     book yourself
   – Really helps to go beyond HW assignments and do more
     problems from the book
   – You likely will have to struggle through some of the problems,
     but that’s the only way, you will notice that soon things will start
     coming to you easier
• Not a bad idea, but be careful:
  – You do not want a tutor who is solving
    problems for you and trains you to solve
    “standard exam problems”
  – You want someone who will:
     •   spend time finding your weak spots
     •   help you understand concepts
     •   teach you how to solve problems
     •   check that you figured this material by letting you
         solve several problems on the same subject while
         watching your steps and logic
Your TO-DO List
• Get them now before the
  bookstore ran out of them!
• Register your clicker at
  – Log into with
    your NEO login and password
  – Go to this class (Physics 218)
  – Click on “Course Content” and
    follow the link to register your
• Will use it first time this
Register Your Clicker
• Register on
• First assignment is due Monday at noon
  – Introduction and Preliminary Material
  – Points will not count towards your final score,
    but you need to get 70+% right, just as for any
    other assignment or you will fail this course!
Register on MasteringPhysics
         Prepare for Lecture
• Read material of Chapter 1 before the
• “Trial” reading quiz at the lecture
  – We will use the system, but the questions will
    be trivial this time (and for the last time)
• There will be lecture quizzes on Monday
  – You will need your clicker up and running!

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