PHY 300: Vibrations, Waves, and Optics Fall 2008
Prof. Peter R. Saulson, Room 263-4 Physics, 3-5994, firstname.lastname@example.org
Grader: Liang (Lyons) Cao, Room 243 Physics, 3-3920, email@example.com
Physics 300 is a brand-new course on Vibrations, Waves, and Optics. This is a set of topics that include some of the coolest ideas in physics. They are accessible with just one year’s background in calculus-based physics. Once you start to notice it, you’ll realize that vibrations and waves occur everywhere, and play a central role in a huge range of physics problems. Even better, the ideas in this course make a great lead-up to a study of quantum mechanics; a substantial portion of what seems weirdest about QM comes directly from involving waves in the description of “particle” motion.
The learning goals in PHY 300 are:
1) Acquire knowledge about a variety of physical phenomena, including:
*examples of harmonic oscillators
*driven oscillations and resonance
*coupled oscillators and normal modes
*normal modes of continuous systems
*group velocity and wave packets
* wave properties of light
2) Gain an appreciation of the wide applicability of vibration and wave concepts, and
3) Build physical intuition and experience with the mathematical description of physical phenomena.
The vast majority of the course will be based on the textbook Vibrations and Waves by A. P. French. This is a classic text. We will follow it closely, and most homework problems will be drawn from it. It is available at the S.U.B.
We’ll use additional written material when we come to the optics material in the latter part of the course. More details will be forthcoming later in the semester.
The class will meet in Physics Building B113 (in the first basement “B” level) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 to 3:20 p.m. A good portion of the class will be taught in a participatory lecture format. Your active engagement is very important, and will be expected – a small portion of the grade will come from participation points earned by volunteering to work example problems at the board, or by asking good questions.
Homework is an absolutely crucial part of the course work. There will be a weekly homework assignment, assigned on Thursdays and due the following Thursday by 5 p.m. (Late homework will not be graded without an excuse approved by Prof. Saulson, and under no circumstances after the answer key is posted.) The homework will be graded. Exams will be drawn to a very large extent from the homework problems, so doing the homework each week is the best way to prepare for exams.
There will be two midterm exams, given during regular class periods on the dates listed in the Course Calendar. The Final Exam will be held on Thursday December 11 from 2:45 – 4:45 p.m.
Prof. Saulson will hold office hours on Wednesday afternoons from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Room 263-4 Physics Building, starting in the second week of the semester. You are welcome to schedule an appointment for a meeting at another time; please use email to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment.
Grades will be computed according to the following weighting scheme: Mid-term exam #1: 20%; mid-term exam #2: 20%; Final Exam 40%; homework 10%; class participation 10%.
A note on working with friends
Working with friends can be very helpful in learning a difficult subject like physics. I encourage you to find other classmates with whom to study. However, you must always generate your final homework solutions by yourself. Any course work to which you sign your name, whether it is a homework assignment or an examination, must represent your own work. We will take seriously any violations.
Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:
Students who are in need of disability-related
academic accommodations must register with the Office of Disability Services
Tue 26 Aug: French Chapter 1
Thu 28 Aug: French Chapter 1
Homework: Problems 1-5, 1-7, 1-10, 1-12
Tue 2 Sep: French Chapter 2
Thu 4 Sep: French Chapter 3
Homework: Problems 1-11, 2-3, 3-1, 3-2, 3-5
Tue 9 Sep: French Chapter 3
Thu 11 Sep: French Chapter 3
Homework: Problems 3-6, 3-9, 3-12, 3-13, 3-14, 3-15 (Extra credit: 3-16)
Tue 16 Sep: French Chapter 4
Thu 18 Sep: French Chapter 4
Homework: Problems (Extra credit 4-1), 4-3, 4-4, 4-6, 4-7, 4-10
Tue 23 Sep: French Chapter 4
Thu 25 Sep: Midterm Exam #1 on Chapters 1, 2, 3
Tue 30 Sep: Eid Ul-Fitr holiday, no classes
Thu 2 Oct: French Chapter 5
Homework: Problems 4-11, 4-12, 4-13, 4-15, 4-16
Tue 7 Oct: French Chapter 5
Thu 9 Oct: Yom Kippur holiday, no classes
Homework: Problems 5-2, 5-4, 5-6, 5-9, 5-10
Tue 14 Oct: French Chapter 5
Thu 16 Oct: French Chapter 6
Homework: Problems 5-12, 5-14, 5-17, 6-1, 6-2
Tue 21 Oct: French Chapter 6
Thu 23 Oct: French Chapter 6
Homework: Problems 6-10, 6-11, 6-14, 6-15
Tue 28 Oct: French Chapter 7
Thu 30 Oct: French Chapter 7
Homework: Problems 7-2, 7-5, 7-8, 7-9, 7-12
Tue 4 Nov: French Chapter 7
Thu 6 Nov: Midterm Exam #2 on Chapters 4, 5, and 6
Homework: 7-14, 7-15, 7-18, 7-21
Tue 11 Nov: French Chapter 8
Thu 13 Nov: French Chapter 8
Tue 18 Nov: French Chapter 8
Thu 20 Nov: Geometrical Optics
Tue 25 Nov: Geometrical Optics
Thu 27 Nov: Thanksgiving holiday, no classes
Tue 2 Dec: Physics of Light
Thu 4 Dec: Light as a wave
Homework: TBD, and Study for Final Exam
Thur Dec 11, 2:45 - 4: 45 p.m.: FINAL