Physics 104 - How Things Work- Summer, 2002

Greg Sullivan
Links to Course Information
Course Policies
Course Goals

    Physics 104  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.

    You may have chosen this course as part of your CORE Liberal Arts and Sciences Studies Program, the general education portion of your degree program. CORE Distributive Studies courses are designed to ensure that you will take a look at several different academic disciplines and the way they create and analyze knowledge about the world. A faculty and student committee approved this CORE Distributive Studies course because it will introduce you to ideas and issues that are central to a major intellectual discipline and because it promises to involve you actively in the learning process. Please take advantage of the opportunities this course offers you.

Course Description
    The class meets Monday - Friday from 9:30-10:50 in room 1410 of the Physics Building.  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 for 80 minutes, 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.

    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 through E-mail.

    The course grade will be determined by the following:
Homework 10%
First Hour Exam  45%
Final Exam 45%

    Homework will be given regularly throughout the course. It will be collected and graded. Homework is actually worth more than the 10% 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.