
Course Information: posted at http://www.pa.msu.edu/courses/PHY215
The weekly homework assignments and class notes from the previous week can be found in the Course Schedule below.
Textbooks: Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Fishbane, Gasiorowicz, Thornton (Vol 1), 3^{rd} Edition (chapters 1720 for Thermodynamics); earlier editions OK also.Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Thornton and Rex, 3^{rd}. edition; earlier editions also OK, though the homework problem numbers will be from this edition.
Homework: There will be a weekly homework assignment. Homework will be due at the start of class on Tuesdays (for the previous week's assigned material). Homework problems will be graded on a scale of 2,1,0 points each; to get credit for an answer, show your work. Solutions to the homework problems will be put in a notebook at the reserve desk of the BPS Library after they have been turned in. Therefore, late homework will not be accepted.
Exams: There will be three Midterm exams and one Final exam.
Grades: The final grades will be calculated from the homework assignments (25%), the three midterms (15% each) and the final exam (30%).
Plan to spend about 12 hours per week on Physics 215:
Lectures 4h/week
Homework 4h/week
Readings 4h/weekAll exams are closed book, except for a 5x8 index card of notes. All absences from midterm exams require a written excuse from your doctor, Dean, etc. The MSU Code of Teaching Responsibilities states that any student not taking the Final Exam will not be permitted to pass the course.
Prerequisites:
•PHY 184 or PHY 184B or PHY 294H or PHY 234B orLBS 272 (LBS 267) or concurrently
•MTH 234 or MTH 254H or LBS 220 or concurrently
Coverage: Themodynamics, relativity, atomic physics, quantized systems, nuclear physics, elementary particles, and possibly special topics from modern physics.Additional materials
Some books you might find useful for further study:
Understanding Thermodynamics, Van Ness ($9) A supplement for those taking a first look at thermodynamics: you! I may use some material from this book in my lectures. Not afraid of equations, but aiming squarely at enhancing intuition.
It’s about Time, Mermin ($30 list price) The fruit of teaching special relativity to nonmajors for many years: very careful pedagogy on the conceptual foundations, using a minimum of mathematics.
Feynman's Lectures on Physics, Volume 1 are full of insights from a deeper point of view; source of Van Ness' treatment of energy conservation.
In addition, there are interesting web sites about pioneers of physics, including both history and biography. Here are some collected by Professor Brock of MSU.
Course Schedule
Week Monday Date Topics Chapters in Book Homework Assignment 1 Mon 8/25 Introduction, Heat (pdf) Fishbane 17, 18 Set 1 (pdf), Due Tue 9/2 Monday, Sept 1 No class (Labor Day) 2 Tue 9/2 Kinetic Theory Fishbane 19 Set 2, Due Tue 9/9 3 Mon 9/8 ThermoDynamics Fishbane 20 Set 3, Due Tue 9/16 4 Mon 9/15 The Birth of Modern Physics Thornton & Rex 1,2 Set 4, Due Tue 9/23 Thursday, Sept 18 First Midterm Exam Covers Weeks 13 Practice Exam 5 Mon 9/22 Special Relativity Thornton & Rex 2 Set 5, Due Tue 9/30 #2.23, 24, 25, 28, 31, 48, 51, 54, 66, 92
6 Mon 9/29 Photons Thornton & Rex 3 Set 6, Due Tue 10/7 #3.17, 18, 27, 33, 35, 39, 43, 47, 48
7 Mon 10/6 Atomic Structure Thornton & Rex 4 Set 7, Due Tue 10/14 #4.5, 8, 11, 22, 23, 24, 30
8 Mon 10/13 Waves Thornton & Rex 5 Set 8, Due Tue 10/21 #5.1, 3, 5, 15, 18, 19, 26, 42
Thursday, Oct 16 Second Midterm Exam Covers Weeks 47 Practice Exam 9 Mon 10/20 Quantum Theory Thornton & Rex 6 Set 9, Due Tue 10/28 #6.5, 11, 17, 21, 35, 37, 39,.43 10 Mon 10/27 The Hydrogen Atom Thornton & Rex 7 Set 10, Due Tue 11/4 #7.3, 10, 20, 23, 24, 29, 30 11 Mon 11/3 ManyElectron Atoms Thornton & Rex 8 Set 11, Due Tue 11/11 #8.8, 21, 24, 26, 32, 37 12 Mon 11/10 Nuclear Properties Thornton & Rex 12 Set 12, Due Tue 11/25 # 12.4, 8, 13, 17, 26, 30, 50, 51
Thursday, Nov 13 Third Midterm Exam Covers Weeks 811 Practice Exam 13 Mon 11/17 Nuclear Interactions Thornton & Rex 13 Set 13, Due Tue 12/02 #13.1, 8, 14, 26, 30, 43 14 Mon 11/24 Elementary Particles Thornton & Rex 14 Thursday, 11/27 No Class (Thanksgiving) 15 Mon 12/1 Cosmology/Review Thornton & Rex 16 16 Wednesday, December 10 Final Exam, 3:00  5:00 pm
Rm 1415 BPS
Covers entire course Practice Final Exam