The final score in PHY440 will be based on clicker questions, quizzes, homework and laboratory notebook. Each of these items will count as follows:
Clicker Questions: 5%
Quizzes: 27%
Homework: 20%
Laboratory: 50%
Note that the weights add up to 102%.


The final grade in the course is planned to be tied to the score in the following way:
Grade ≥ 85% --- 4.0
80% ≤ Grade < 85% --- 3.5
75% ≤ Grade < 80% --- 3.0
70% ≤ Grade < 75% --- 2.5
65% ≤ Grade < 70% --- 2.0
60% ≤ Grade < 65% --- 1.5
50% ≤ Grade < 60% --- 1.0
Grade < 50% --- 0.0

Clicker Questions

Correct answer: 3 points. Incorrect answer: 1 point. Not present: no credit. Extra points have been added to the total, to compensate for potentially being caught off-guard by novel questions.


Weekly homework assignments, see the schedule, will be due at the Wednesday lecture, for the material from the preceding week. Late homeworks may be accepted on individual basis only, for a reduced credit.


Quizzes will be given unannounced during lecture; there will be roughly fourteen quizzes throughout the semester. Calculators are required for the quizzes, therefore please bring a calculator to each lecture.

Laboratory Exercises

See the main class page.



Article 2.3.3 of the MSU Academic Freedom Report states: “The student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards.” In addition, the College of Natural Science adheres to the policies on academic honesty specified in General Student Regulation 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades ; the all-University Policy on Integrity of Scholarship and Grades; and Ordinance 17.00, Examinations. (See Spartan Life: Student Handbook and Resource Guide and/or the MSU Web-site .)

Therefore, except as explicitly specified below, you are expected to complete all course assignments, including homework, quizzes and laboratory excercises, without assistance from any source. You are expected to develop original work for this course.  Also, you are not authorized to use or facilitate for others the use of the Web-site, or similar sites, to complete any course work in this course. Students who violate MSU rules may receive a penalty grade, including but not limited to a failing grade on the specific assignment or in the course.

You are free to discuss answers to clicker questions with other students in the class. However, in the end you should decide on your own about the right answer and submit it using the clicker remote registered in your name. You should not operate the remotes of others or give your own remote to others to operate. You can seek and provide assistance concerning involved physics and strategies in solving homework problems or in carrying out laboratory tasks. You can discuss details of a problem or a lab exercise with others, as long as every party involved in the discussion significantly contributes to the discussion. At the end, however, every person involved in the discussion needs to write up own solution to the problem and to carry out the laboratory tasks on one's own. Under no cricumstances you can give away outright problem solutions, or to perform the lab exercises for others, or to seek these actions from others, reducing the learning experience of one of the parties to zero. Excessive similiarities between submitted works will be flagged and scores for their submitters may be reduced to zero. Persistent offenders of the policies may be further subjected to a penalty grade as indicated above. If you are in doubt whether a particular form of assistance or cooperation is acceptable, ask the teaching staff for the course.

Last revised: January 3, 2013.