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Department of Physics
Undergraduate Courses

Physics 247 Fall 2012: A Modern Introduction to Physics

Description: Introduction to physics recommended for students who are considering majoring in physics, astronomy, astronomy and physics, AMEP. Also suitable for those majoring in science or mathematics. Mechanics, relativity, cosmology. Three lectures, two discussions, and one three-hour lab per week.

Prerequisites: Open to Fr. Math 222 or con reg, or cons inst. Intended primarily for physics, AMEP, astronomy-physics majors. Stdts will receive degree cr for only one of the following crses: Physics 103, 201, 207, 247

Instructors: Duncan Carlsmith, 4285 Chamberlin, 262-2485, ; Michael Winokur, 5106 Chamberlin Hall, 890-0958,

Teaching assistant: Zachary Simmons, Chamberlin 4340, 263-2449, Office hours 09:00-9:45 AM, M and W,

Lectures: Chamberlin 2241, 09:55-10:45 AM, M, W, F

Discussion session: Review of concepts and examples. Come prepared!

Laboratory session: Laboratory sessions are mandatory. See syllabus/calendar for schedule. If you miss a lab, arrange a makeup with the TA.

Online homework: Weekly exercises through the CONNECT website are due each Friday evening before midnight. Use the following URL to register: . There you enter your email address which is used to check if you already have access, and if not enter the access code bundled with a purchased text or purchase access to McGraw-Hill CONNECT.

Office Hours: Instructors are available after class (alert instructor) or by appointment (send email or connect via skype). The Teaching Assistant is available 9:00 AM, M, W 5206 Chamberlin Hall.


1) (Required) University Physics with Modern Physics, by Wolfgang Bauer, Michigan State University, Gary D. Westfall, Michigan State University ISBN: 0072857366 Copyright year: 2011, Packaged with CONNECT website online exercise system.

Hardcover book (with modern physics) bundled with Connect Plus: ISBN: 007-740569-2 Three-hole punch book (with modern physics) bundled with Connect Plus is: 007-801296-1. Connect Plus access code (which is the full text with modern physics and the homework access on-line) is: 007-730550-7. The following will be available at the University Bookstore: Volume 1 (chapters 1-20) with Connect Plus: 007-801537-5 Volume 2 (chapters 21-40) with Connect Plus: 007-801538-3. Both Volumes will be used in Physics 247.

2) (Required) Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 3rd Ed., Stephen T. Thornton, Andrew Rex, Brooks-Cole (2006) SBN-10: 0534417817. Note the 3rd edition will be used.

3) The general laboratory manual is online at Instructions for labs not in the manual with be supplied by the Teaching Assistant. Information about lab notebook requirements is here .

Grading: The final grade will be determined from the components listed below.

  • Lecture attendance/work session participation 10%. Participation at lecture/demonstration and work session is required. Check in with the TA who will record your attendance.
  • Laboratory: 20% of grade. Completion of all laboratory assignments is required. If you miss a lab, arrange a make-up with the TA.
  • Discussion section participation: 10% of grade. Attendance at discussion section is required. Discussion will focus on answering questions and problem solving. Quizzes and additional exercises may be expected. Discussion sections begin the week of 6 Sept.
  • Online homework: 20%.
  • Midterm Exams: 20% In-class hour exams on 12 Oct. and 9 Nov.
  • Final Exam 20% Final exam 21 Dec emphasizing material since previous exam.

Cheating: Anyone caught cheating on an exam will receive an F for the course.

Honors: Consult instructors for acceptable research projects. A 5 page (double spaced) term paper describing the work of a Nobel prize winner in physics is acceptable for Honors credit. The paper should summarize the award winning work itself and present day research in the area including three recent papers from the ArXiv. It is due no later than 3 Dec.

Syllabus: see link below

Website: Grades, links, and additional resources will be available at the course website on LEARN@UW.



Lecture Notes

Homework Solutions

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Last updated: 05/17/2010

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