Syllabus:
Atomic, Molecular and Condensed Matter Physics, Phy491, Fall 2008
Credits: Total
Credits: 3
Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 3 Prerequisite: (PHY 471 and PHY
410) and completion of Tier I writing requirement Description: Manyelectron
atoms. Molecules, crystal structure, lattice dynamics. Band models of metals
and semiconductors. Transport properties.
INSTRUCTOR: Carlo Piermarocchi, room 4263 Biomedical & Physical
Sciences, Telephone: 45631 Email: carlo@pa.msu.edu. Office
hours: Wednesday 9:30am12:30am. Call or email to schedule an appointment at
other times.
Text: Textbook: Ashcroft and Mermin,
Course
Structure: 2
meetings per week on Monday and Wednesday: 1:40pm to 2:55pm. Room 1308 BPS.
The
schedule of the lectures is here.
You can get an idea of the topics we will discuss during the semester by looking at what we have done last year here (2007 topics).
Homepage: http://www.pa.msu.edu/courses/current/PHY491/
Grading:
Individual
Homework: We
will give out individual homework problems during the semester. There will be
credit for the homework  problem sets will be available at least a week before
they are due. The worst 2 homework assignments will not count towards your
final grade.
Group
assignments: The course is organized in
the Problem Based Learning format. Students are required
to be engaged in group activities and take control of their learning process
during the class and in meetings outside the class. The informal groups are
composed by 3 or 4 students. The groups are chosen by the students. You can
decide to work with the same group or change group during the semester, just remember
to sign your name on every group assignment that you return to get the credit
(group grade).
Midterm
Exams: There will be two midterm
exams, on Wed October 1^{th} and on Wed November 12^{th}. If
you miss either one or both the midterms and provide a valid excuse (a written
note from a doctor, dean etc.) your final exam will be multiplied by 13/9 if
you miss one midterm, and by 13/5 if you miss both midterms.
Final
Exam: The final exam will be on
Thursday December 11^{th} from 12:45 pm until 2:45 pm. The final exam
will cover everything we have done, but with a slight emphasis on the last
third of the course. You must take the final and if you miss it due to a valid
excuse (see above) you will have to take a makeup, otherwise you will get a
0.0 for the course.
Final Grades: Grades are based on the following formula:

% 
First Midterm 
20 
Second Midterm 
20 
Group Work 
15 
Homework 
20 
Final Exam 
25 
TOTAL 
100 
The guaranteed
scale may be lowered in your favor but not raised is:
Total point percentage 
Final
grade 
>93% 
4.0 
88%93% 
3.5 
83%88% 
3.0 
78%83% 
2.5 
73%78% 
2.0 
68%73% 
1.5 
60%68% 
1.0 
<50% 
0.0 