Physics 104 - How Things Work- Spring, 1999

Jordan A. Goodman
Links to Course Information
Course Policies
Course Goals
Term Paper Guidelines
Term Paper Guidelines
Term Paper Suggested Topics
Term Paper Topics to Avoid
Assignments & Solutions
HyperNews Discussion

Homework Assignments 
Solutions to all homeworks are posted

Info About the Final
Final Exam Tuesday May 18, 1999
10:30- 12:30

Exam 2 Solutions
Solutions in HTML
Solutions in PDF (prettier)
(Review sheet for Exam2)

Exam 1 Solutions
Solutions in HTML
Solutions in PDF (prettier)

Internal Combustion Engines Explained
Refrigeration Cycle Explained
Maglev Train Slides
Neutrino Mass talk slides (PDF)

    Physics 104 is a new course being taught for the first time at the University of Maryland this semester. It is based on a similar course that was developed and taught at the University of Virginia by Louis Bloomfield, whose book we are using. Much of the material in this course description was taken (with permission) from the UVA course. There will be some differences between our course and theirs. We have a smaller class which allows us to do things in a more personal manner.

Course Description
    The class meets Tuesday and Thursday from 2-3:15 in room 0405 of the Physics Building. This is a windowless pit in the basement of the Physics Building down behind the lecture halls. While the setting and the acoustics leave some things to be desired, we are very near the world's best lecture demonstration facility which we will use liberally during the semester.
Because this class meets only two days a week for 75 minutes as a result, we have more time in each class to do demonstrations and have discussions. This will be an important part of the course and missing even a single class will put you at a serious disadvantage.  In addition to class discussions and demonstrations, we will make use of the Web and E-mail discussion forums. The use of these electronic media are not optional. If you are unfamiliar with them, this course will provide a learning opportunity.
    The purpose of this course is to show you the scientific basis of how objects work in the world around you. I have picked a list of topics that hopefully you will find interesting. There will be many opportunities to ask about things that we don't cover both in class and on the E-mail forums.

    The course grade will be determined by the following:
Homework 15%
First Hour Exam  20%
Second Hour Exam 20%
Term Paper 20%
Final Exam 25%

    Homework will be given regularly throughout the semester. It will be collected and graded. Homework is actually worth more than the 15% of the grade that it counts for, as it will help you clarify your understanding of the material, point out areas of weakness and help you prepare for the exams. Only rarely will a student do well in the course without carefully doing the homework.

Term Paper
    Each student will be required to do a term paper.  Details about the paper can be found below.  The rules for the paper are:

1.    The report on the project paper is due in class on Tuesday, April 27, 1999. I will deduct one grade step (A becomes A-) for each day the term paper is late (including Saturday and Sunday). After the seventh day (Tuesday, May 4, 1999), term papers are no longer acceptable under any circumstances.

2.    Term papers must be written in your own words. Copying material essentially word-for-word from another source without crediting it as a quotation is plagiarism and will not be tolerated. Extensive quotations make for a very poor paper.

3.    You may not work together with anyone on an individual term paper. If you are writing a group term paper, you may work together only with the 1 or 2 other members of your group.

4.    Term papers may not be written on objects that are part of the course syllabus. A list of such forbidden topics is part of this packet.

5.    I will not assist in topic selection for the term papers after Tuesday, April 20, 1999.