PHYSICS 230: GENERAL PHYSICS with calculus II, spring 2011

Tim Gfroerer, Davidson College



Class Discussion: MWF 10:30 – 11:20 am, Dana 146

Office: Dana 155

Lab: Dana 049

Text: Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics

by Serway and Jewett (7th edition) with Physlet Physics

Phone: x2319

Lab: Monday 2:30 – 5:30 pm and Tuesday 1:00 – 4:00 pm in Dana 127

Office Hours: Monday 11:30am – 1:30pm, Tuesday 9:30 – 11:00am, Wednesday 11:30am – noon, Thursday 9:30 – 11:00am (and more generally, most other normal working hours when I'm not preparing for or teaching a class or lab). Questions naturally arise in the process of learning and doing physics. In fact, the really good questions are what keep physics going.  I expect you to have lots of questions and I hope that you will come by my office to talk with me about them.


Course webpage:

I will post announcements, simulations, assignments, and solutions here.


Objectives: This course is the 2nd half of a 2 semester introductory physics sequence with calculus. Topics include electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics. There are two overriding goals:

1. develop a fundamental conceptual understanding of the phenomena

2. learn mathematical techniques and improve analytical problem solving skills


Class Discussion and Exercises: Attendance at and participation in class discussions are critical for learning new physics.  Reading the text, studying the workbook explorations, and answering the pre-class exercises before class will definitely facilitate this part of the learning process.  If you took Physics 130 at Davidson, you should own a copy of the Physlet Physics workbook.  Otherwise, I suggest that you purchase one.  Pre-class exercises allow me to gauge your grasp of new material and enable me to use class time effectively.  They are due 1 hour before class starts.  In-class clicker exercises will be used periodically to keep everyone engaged and give us the opportunity to explore new concepts together.  The College’s 25% rule on attendance will be in effect.  Please initial the roll posted in the classroom indicating your presence at each class meeting.


Homework: Building problem solving skills takes lots of practice.  I will assign approximately 10 questions/problems/physlets from each chapter in the text so that you can test your understanding and practice problem-solving techniques.  I encourage you to work in groups of 2 – 3 students on the homework sets, but you must participate in the process of obtaining the solution to each problem.  When working with a partner, keep in mind that reviews and the final will test your individual problem-solving ability.  Do not consult solution manuals, solution sets, or another student’s work from any previous class.  Using any solution, other than those found in your textbook or posted on our website, is an honor code violationAlways show your arguments, realizing that neatness, clarity, correct units, and appropriate significant figures also count.  Homework will be collected for grading at the beginning of class on the dates designated and late homework will not be accepted.


Laboratory: Of course, physics is ultimately supposed to explain the way things work in the real world, and lab will help you connect our (sometimes obscure) class discussions with actual physical phenomena. This connection is especially important this term since we’ll generally be discussing topics that are not quite as accessible as what you learned in General Physics I.  You must bring a dedicated laboratory notebook and $5 for a lab manual to the first lab meeting.  If you need to miss lab for a scheduled event, you must inform me at least one week ahead of time. If you need to miss lab due to illness, you must inform me before lab begins. Otherwise, you will not be permitted to make up the missed lab.


Seminar Attendance: Seminars broaden your scientific perspective and show you how physics is being used in the world beyond Davidson.  Attendance at all physics seminars is strongly encouraged - extra credit will be given.  Ask questions!


Reviews and Final Exam: We will have 3 closed-book in-class reviews as shown on the schedule.  I will provide practice tests with solutions to facilitate your preparation for the review.  Consulting reviews from any other offering of Physics 230 is an honor code violationThe self-scheduled final exam will be comprehensive, but untested material (Ch. 44 - 46) will be weighted more heavily.




 Homework and Exercises 20%
 Laboratory (including pre/post labs) 20%
 3 Reviews 40%
 Final Exam 20%