
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: [BW] Excerpt from University Physics, Bauer & Westfall (chapters 1720); or Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Fishbane, Gasiorowicz, Thornton (Vol 1), 3^{rd} Edition (chapters 1720 for Thermodynamics); earlier editions OK also.[TR] 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. Typos and errors for this edition are available here.
Homework: There will be a weekly homework assignment. A copy of your homework will be due at the start of class on Tuesdays (for the previous week's assigned material). This will be Workshop day, in which you will work together on the homework in randomly assigned groups. You can then turn in revised homework on Thursday and receive credit for solutions which you have made a serious attempt at in the copy you turned in on Tuesday. 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 Angel after they have been turned in Thursday. Therefore, late homework will not be accepted.
Exams: There will be five Midterm exams (25 minutes each, on Tuesdays as indicated on the schedule below, and one Final exam. Practice exams will be linked to the schedule.
Grades: The final grades will be calculated from the homework assignments (25%), the midterms (50%) and the final exam (25%). Clicker points will be added as a bonus of up to 5% (a correct answer is worth 2 points, an answer is worth one point). In the table below I give the grade assignment scale. For final grade assignment, these minima may be lowered, but will not be raised.
Minimum Score Grade 95% 4.0 87% 3.5 76% 3.0 70% 2.5 62% 2.0 53% 1.5 45% 1.0 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 3x5 index card of handwritten notes (8 1/2 x 11 paper for final). 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 (here I'm assuming you're a physics major) might find useful for further study:
It’s about Time, Mermin ($19 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 ($101 list price) on Physics are full of insights from a deeper point of view; for this course, Volume I contains discussions of relativity and thermodynamics, while Volume 3 covers quantum mechanics, starting with a masterful discussion of photon interference. I also found inspiring his book The Character of Physical Law (list price $17) for more general discussions; videos of the original Feynman Messenger Lectures (on which this book is based) are now available on the web, so you can see him in action.
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. And here is an interesting article on the interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Course Schedule
Week Lectures Topic Readings Workshop/Tuesday Homework 1 WedTh 9/12 BW 17, 18 none Set 1 (pdf), Due Th 9/9 2 TW 9/7
(Labor Day)Kinetic Theory BW19 Thurs 9/9: Workshop Set 1 Set 2, Due Wed 9/15 3 MTh 9/13 Thermodynamics BW 20 Wed 9/15: Workshop Set 2 Set 3, Due Tue 9/21 4 MTh 9/20 TR 1,2 Tues 9/21 Exam 1 (Sets 1&2)
9/21: Workshop Set 3
Set 4, Due Tue 9/28 #2.23, 24, 25, 28
Final Draft Thurs 9/30
5 MTh 9/27 Special Relativity 2 TR 2 Tues 9/28: Set 4 Set 5, Due Tue 10/05,7 #2.31, 48, 51, 54, 66, 92 6 MTh 10/4 TR 3 10/5: Workshop Set 5 Set 6, Due Tue 10/12 #3.17, 18, 27, 33, 35, 39, 43, 47, 48
7 MTh 10/11 What's in an Atom? TR 4 10/12 Exam 2: Sets 35 (Thermo + TR 2)
Workshop: Set 6
Set 7, Due Tue 10/19,21 #4.5, 8, 11, 22, 23, 24, 30
8 MTh 10/18 Waves and Particles TR 5 10/19
Workshop Set 7
Set 8, Due Tue 10/26,28 #5.1, 3, 5, 15, 18, 19, 26, 42
9 MTh 10/25 Quantum Theory TR 6 10/26 Exam 3 TR 3,4
Workshop Set 8
Set 9, Due Tue 11/2,4
#6.5, 11, 17, 21, 35, 37, 39,43
10 MTh 11/1 The Hydrogen Atom TR 7 11/2
Workshop Set 9
Set 10, Due Tue 11/9,11 #7.3, 10, 20, 23, 24, 29, 30 11 MTh 11/8 MultiElectron Atoms TR 8 11/9 Exam 4 TR 5,6
Workshop Set 10
Set 11, Due Tue 11/16,18 #8.8, 21, 24, 26, 32, 37 12 MTh 11/15 Nuclei of Atoms TR 12 11/16
Workshop Set 11
Set 12, Due Tue 11/23
final draft Wed 11/24
# 12.4, 8, 13, 17, 26, 30, 50, 51
13 MW 11/2224
(Thanksgiving)
Interactions of Nuclei TR 13 11/23 Exam 5
TR 7, 8
Workshop Set 12
Set 13, Due Tue 11/30, Thurs 12/2
#13.1, 8, 14, 26, 30, 43
14 MTh 11/29 Elementary Particles TR 14 11/30
Workshop Set 13
Set 14, due 12/7, 9
#14.8, 11, 13, 15, 19, 23, 33, 42
15 MTh 12/6 Cosmology/General Relativity TR 15,16 12/7 Exam 6 TR 12,13
Workshop Set 14
16 Final Exam Wed Dec 15
Room: 1420 BPS
3:005:00 pm Practice Final