PHYS 100 - Physics in the Modern World

Course Info - Spring Semester 2013


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Instructor:    Dr. Edward Rhoads

Office: LD156P

Office Hours: Mon, Wed 1-3 pm; Tue 4-5:30 pm; Thu 3-5 pm; or by appointment

Unofficial Office Hours:  Most of the time.  Feel free to come by whenever.  I usually get to school at about 1 PM.

Phone: 278-1134



Laboratory Instructor:  TBA

Email: TBA


Course Description:

This is an introduction to the ideas, methods, and impact of physics in the modern world. Emphasis is placed on conceptual understanding of theories, experiments, and applications.



1st year high-school algebra (MATH 001 or above).


Required Materials:       

Textbook: Conceptual Physics, 10th Edition by Paul G. Hewitt

Basic calculator (scientific calculator is not necessary)


Meeting Locations/Times:

Mondays 3:00 4:50 pm
Wednesdays  3:00 4:50 pm
Wednesdays  1:00 2:50 pm



Topics from Chapters 2-10, 13-14, 20, 22-25, 28-29 will be presented. Students are expected to read the current chapter in the textbook before and after attending lecture.



The purpose of homework is to help the student to reinforce concepts covered in lecture and to apply what they have learned. Homework is typically assigned during lecture (Monday) and will be collected at the beginning of recitation the next week (Wednesday).  You are encouraged to look at the homework before it is due so that you can ask questions about it.  Lowest 2 NON ZERO scores will be dropped.  Zeros might be dropped on a case for case basis.  Late Homework will not be accepted.



Recitations are for more hands on stuff.  Some weeks will involve group work.  This should aid you to do the homework as well.  Sometimes I will use questions very similar to homework questions.



This is the hands-on section of the course. Students work in groups to perform experiments intended to illuminate various aspects of the material. There will be no make-up labs; however the lowest two NON-ZERO lab grades will be dropped before computing the final lab grade. Zeros are not dropped.  Go to the Calendar webpage to view the weekly experiments.


Lab Attendance Policy: Students earn a zero on the first missed lab. For two or more missed labs, the overall course grade will be lowered by one complete letter grade for each occurrence.



Exams 1-3 each consist of 10 multiple choice questions, 4 short answer questions (lowest short answer gets dropped), and a list of formulas. The final exam is comprehensive and consists of 15 multiple choice questions, 6 short answers (lowest gets dropped) and a list of formulas.  Students may use a calculator on all exams and 1 page of notes which are to be handed in the class period before the exam.


Make-up Exam Policy: Students will be allowed to make up an exam within a week only if they provide the instructor with written documentation in the form of

(a) a copy of a death certificate in the case of the funeral of a relative;

(b) a formal letter for a physician stating the medical reason for the absence;

(c) a formal letter from an employer or a commanding officer authorizing a business trip or military service;

(d) a formal letter from an attorney or a officer of the court verifying a court appearance.

No other excuses will be accepted - no exceptions!



Exam 1   100 pts     970 A+ 870 B+ 770 C+ 670 D+ below 600 F
Exam 2   100 pts     930 A 830 B 730 C 630 D  
Exam 3   100 pts     900 A- 800 B- 700 C- 600 D-  
Homework   200 pts            
Recitation   100 pts            
Laboratory   200 pts   Note: Automatic failure for the entire course if the student earns less than 250 total exam points (Exams 1-3 and Final Exam).
Final Exam   200 pts  
TOTAL 1000 pts  


Academic Integrity:

The Department of Physics takes academic integrity very seriously. The usual penalty for a student caught cheating includes an F in the course. Further penalties may include probation, suspension, or expulsion from the University.  This applies especially to the homework.  Any student caught copying another student will be severely penalized.  While I do encourage students to work with each other, it is each students responsibility to do their own work - so don't copy other people's work - after all they might make a calculator error or have a typo, so you don't want to make the same mistake.


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