Lectures: Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:00 am to 12:20 pm rm 106 Physics Building.
Office hours: Tuesdays rm 309 Physics 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm.
Prerequisites: Basic calculus (I and II) and physics (PHY211/212) essential.
Grading etc There will be a weekly homework, a midterm exam and final and a project. The project will be worth 30% of the final grade, the exams 20% each and the homeworks 30%.
Homework: The homework will be assigned weekly typically on a Thursday and it will be due the following Thursday. I expect you to hand it in on time. Doing the homework will be a large part of learning the material on this course - try it early in the week and come see me in the Tuesday office hours if you have problems or questions.
Exams: The exact date of the midterm is not fixed yet. Probably just before Spring break. Project presentations will take place the last week or so of classes. The style and nature of exams will be designed to test basic understanding of essential material.
Projects: A large part of your work in this class will be a project of your choice. The general guidelines are that it should
a) in some way demonstrate your understanding of topics covered in this course,
b) be about the same amount of work as a term paper (which I would consider to be about 10-20 pages in a reasonable type-style like this one) and
c) include references to outside sources as appropriate for that project. Projects will be graded on a combination of creativity and the understanding of course material (and outside reading) that they demonstrate. The rule of thumb should be that your project should be something that you are proud of. Each project must, however, be approved by me, so you need to discuss your project with me before you begin! You are welcome to continue to consult with me while you work on your project. Each of you need to `contract' with me for a project by end of March. It is a good idea to start thinking about your project early!!! You will be asked to give a short presentation about your project at the end of the semester. They may include use of the Web and/or programming components.
Here are some possible project suggestions.
Books: Wheeler and Taylor: Spacetime Physics. I will also hand out notes as we go along which supplement the material in the textbook. This is especially true in the second half of the semester.