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Course Information

Professor Lisa Everett

5215 Chamberlin Hall

Office Hours
Tues 4-6 pm

or by appointment

Professor Teresa Montaruli

4112 Chamberlin Hall

Office Hours
Starting from the last week of April please fix an appointment by email


Teaching Assistant
Office Discussion (3136 Ch) Lab (3136 Ch)

Matt Palotti

3331 Chamberlin Hall

Office Hrs Tue 10-12 am

601-R 1:20pm

602-R 2:25pm

301-M 1:20-4:15pm

302-T 1:20-4:15pm



  • Physics for Scientists and Engineers - Vol. 1 & 2
    Paul A. Tipler
    Gene Mosca
  • Modern Physics
    Paul A. Tipler
    Ralph A. Llewellyn

The first is the same book (Vol. 1) that was used last semester in Physics 247. This semester we will use volumes 1 and 2.  You also will need a second book on Modern Physics. These books have gone through a number of editions that do not vary significantly one from the other. You can use older editions than the 6th and 5th for the 2 books respectively. You will also need to purchase a HW system (WebAssign, cost options below).

Below please find the suggestions from the textbook editors for how to purchase your books together with the WebAssign HW system:

1. If you already own Tipler & Mosca Vol. 1 and 2 and you need to buy Tipler & Llewellyn Modern Physics and WebAssign access code (additional $10) you can use the ISBN code: 1-4292-3846-1

2. If you have to buy Tipler/Mosca Physics for Scientists and Engineers 6e Vol 1, Vol 2 & WebAssign access code you can use the ISBN code 1-4292-3845-3

3. If you just want to purchase WebAssign access code you can do it online also for $15.45. Instructions are in the HW section of this page.


Description of 248 A Modern Introduction to Physics: 16 week session (Tue Jan 20 - Fri May 8), 5 credits (P-I). Continuation of Physics 247.

Prerequisites: Open to Freshmen Physics 247, Math 234 or con reg. Intended primarily for physics, AMEP, astronomy-physics majors. Not open to students who have had Physics 202 or 208; students will receive degree credit for only one of the following courses: Physics 104, 202, 208, 248

Contents: E&M, waves, quantum mechanics, Schroedinger equation, hydrogen atom and atoms with many electrons, nuclear physics,...

Lectures: 9:55-10:45am Monday, Wednesday and Friday in 2241 Chamberlin Hall.
You may be called upon to answer questions in lecture and to assist with demonstrations.

Honors: You will be asked to read and report on one of the books we will propose. Some of the books overlap with the ones proposed in P247 so you will have to chose between all others if you already discussed one of them in P247. The report will consist of a short essay which includes a brief synopsis of the book's content along with your impressions, curiosities, doubts and the knowledge you gained upon reading the book.

Homework: This semester you are going to use an online Homework system called WebAssign with problems taken from your textbooks. HWs will be due on Tue at 11:59 PM every week. During the first week you will have practice sessions to use this system with your TA and Professors in discussion sessions.

Exams: Three midterm exams will be held during lecture time, one final exam.

Midterm Exam #1: Feb. 13, during lecture time
Midterm Exam #2: Mar 13, during lecture time
Midterm Exam #3: Apr 24, during lecture time
Final Exam: Mon. May 11, 2:45pm, Van Vleck B239

Discussion Sections: Discussion sections are two times per week on Thursdays at 1:20pm for Sec 601 and at 2:25pm for Sec 602. Attendance is IMPORTANT for you. Please note below that 5% of your grade depends on your participation (e.g. questions, answers and comments) and attendance during Discussion sections. You will receive group problems to solve that contribute to this percentage of your grade. We would like to remind you of the importance of discussion sections in general. They are really helpful for improving your understanding of the lectures and HW, as well as for preparing for exams. Consider them as an invaluable help for you. They also provide a venue for discussing topics we do not have time to discuss during lectures, as it allows for a more direct interaction with your instructors. Discussion sections start Thursday, Jan. 22. Topics are listed on the syllabus.

Laboratories: Laboratories are three hours long, once per week.
Labs start week of Jan. 26.
There are 11 labs this semester. You must complete at least 10 of them, or you will receive a failing grade for the entire course. If you complete only 10 of them, the entire lab portion of your grade (see below) will be reduced by 30%. Missed labs can be made up with an approved excuse (this needs to be a good one!), and the TA's approval. Labs can be made up during an alternate lab period that same week or during the week of the immediately following exam (when there is no scheduled lab). This means, for instance, that after the week of the first exam, you can no longer make up lab #1. The message here is you should complete all the labs!

Grading: your grade will be based on a weighted average of your work for the course as follows


HWs are due each week on Tue at 11:59 PM. The grade will be reduced after that deadline.  Further details will be specified shortly.


Grade based on participation, lab question sheets and notebook keeping.


Discussion and Lecture participation/behavior, group problem in discussion sessions.
3 Midterm Exams


This percentage of your grade will be divided as follows: 2/5 for your best midterm, 2/5 for the second best and 1/5 for your third best, which means 16%, 16% and 8% will be assigned to the corresponding Midterm exams


Your exam scores will correlate to the following letter grades: A, AB, B, BC, C, D, F. An F means you fail this course. We will produce a curve of the distributions of the grades for each exam and based on the average and width of this distribution we will decide the exact correspondance between the letter grades and the scores.



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