Your final grade will depend equally on midterm exams, final exam, laboratory work, and homework. In addition, I reserve the right to make a modest final adjustment based on in-class quizzes, class and lab participation, extra credit assignments, attendance, effort and overall attitude.
There will be two mid-term exams and one 3-hour final exam. Exams will consist of problems similar to the weekly homework problem sets. Although I will not provide formula sheets, memorization of formulas is not required. You may bring two handwritten pages of formulas, hints, pre-worked problems, etc. per exam (cumulative) provided you prepare the sheets yourself. I consider selecting and compiling the formulas for your crib sheet to be a valuable review exercise, so you may not simply copy someone else's work.
See the course schedule for dates and times of the exams.
Lab sections will meet almost every week. For informal labs, the TF, TA or I will perform exit interviews to determine whether you understood the physics behind that day's exercise.
All your lab work should be recorded in a quadrille notebook. This includes sketches of experimental apparatus, experimental procedures, raw data, as well as plots, fits, equations, etc. Data obtained in the lab should be considered sacrosanct: all raw data should be recorded in your lab book and under no circumstances should it be 'adjusted' after the fact. Any data that is unusable can be crossed out (with a note as to why it was rejected) but should not be erased. You will not be penalized for crossing out whole pages if you have a concrete reason to do so. In my own lab, I often end up striking days' worth of data when I discover a flaw in my experimental protocol; this is normal practice in a physics lab, though you may notice that I am surly and unresponsive after such an incident. Your notebook will be collected and graded periodically. The lab portion grade will depend in equal parts on your three formal reports, your notebook grade, and your engagement in the lab and exit interviews.
See the course schedule for dates and times of labs.
Weekly problem sets will be due at the beginning of class. They will be taken primarily from the textbook, with supplements and/or extra credit from MasteringPhysics (to be submitted online). Physics is learned by working problems: you will not succeed on the exams if you skip the problem sets. Late homework will suffer a 20% penalty per day.
Collaboration on problem sets is strongly encouraged. You may confer with or consult any student, TA, tutor, professor or textbook to help you understand the problem, but the written solution must be your own. You may not copy someone else's answer - neither from a fellow student nor from a prepared 'solutions' site or manual. If you do significantly use another resource (other than your textbook or professor), you should include a note to this effect. To encourage collaboration we will have informal problem sessions, laxly overseen by me and/or a grader, in Merrill 211 on nights before homework is due. Problem sessions usually include coffee and/or cookies of some kind.