| General Physics III
P300 | 3226 | Schwandt
Instructor: Prof. Peter Schwandt
Lectures: 1:25-2:15 p.m., MWF, Swain West 217
Textbook: Elementary Modern Physics by Paul A. Tipler (Worth Publ., 1992)
Level of Course: This course is designed for students who (1) have taken
the introductory physics course P201-202 (or equivalent), (2) who want or
need to take another general physics course beyond P201-202, and (3) at the
same time need to satisfy the COAS Intensive Writing requirement. P300 is
not intended for physics majors but is a serious and intensive introductory
physics course at the P201-202 level. Calculus will be used sparingly in
P300 but it is not a prerequisite for the course.
Goals of the Course: P300 is intended for science students who are acquanited
with classical mechanics and electrodynamics but who have had little or no
exposure to relativity and quantum theory. The first half of this course
focus on these two great theories of 20th century physics. The second part
of the course will deal with application of these new theories to the major
disciplines of modern physics, i.e., atomic, condensed matter (solid state),
nuclear and elementary particle physics.
The COAS Intensive Writing component of the course is designed to enhance the
student's understanding of the basic concepts and principles of contemporary
physics through writing about them, as well as provide the student with the
opportunity to develop and improve his or her writing skills in general and
skills in science writing in particular.
Homework Assignments: Homework problems will be assigned on a regular weekly
basis. The homework will be collected each Monday and partly graded.
Papers: Two drafts of four different short papers will be required during
the semester. These will be read and critiqued by the instructor for both
physics content and quality of writing. Students whose writing skills are
judged below average by the instructor will be expected to make use of the
University Writing Tutorial Services (WTS) for help with the mechanics, style
and organization of their writing. Information on WTS is provided in a
The length of each paper must be at least 3 pages but should not exceed 5
double spaced (to facilitate instructor's comments). Word processing is
recommended to make rewriting easier.
Examinations: Two 1-hour examinations will be given during regular lecture
times. The 2-hour final exam will be comprehensive, with emphasis on the last
1/3 of the course. About half of the questions on the exams will be similar
to the quantitative homework problems, the remainder will test a student's
conceptual understanding by requiring brief descriptive answers.
There will be no makeup exams. Any missed exams without a valid excuse will
count as zero. Valid excuses for missing exams must be discussed with the
instructor (prior to the exam, if possible).
Course Grade: The final course grade will be based on performances on all
exams, homework problems and papers, with weighting factors approximately as
follows: exams 10% per hour, papers 10% each, homework problems 20% total.
Bulletin Board and Internet Web Site: Current information on the course will
be posted in a display case on the 2nd floor of Swain West. Homework and
exam solutions will be posted there, but will also be available on the WWW
at the SW Library website.
Academic Services: This office in SW132 can help you with drop and add paper
work. It also maintains a list of available physics tutors that may be
helpful if you are having serious difficulty with the course.