PHYS 114

Contemporary Physics II

Winter 2014-2015

Instructor: Professor Gordon Richards  Lecture: MWF 12-12:50am; LeBow 133 (for now)
Office: Disque 812 Phone: 215-895-2713
e-mail: (subj: PHYS114) Office Hours: W 3:30-4:30pm, Th 2-3pm (or by appt.)
TA: Elizabeth Wills Recitation: W 2-4pm or 4-6pm, Disque 704
TA Office: Disque 705 TA Phone: x2732
TA e-mail: TA Office Hours:TBD (or by appt. in advance)
Text: Matter and Interaction (3rd Ed.),, Chabay & Sherwood

Course Description:
The course description, credit hours, and enrollment restrictions can be found at this link.

Purpose and Learning Goals:
This is the 2nd of a 3 quarter sequence in Contemporary Physics, which is the backbone of the physics undergraduate program. Students will learn the basic principles of mechanics, thermodynamics, and electricity and magnitism and will be assessed on this knowledge using standard concept inventories. There is a strong practical component to the course using VPython as a tool for exploring solutions to problems that do not have a simple analytic form.

The text for this class is Matter and Interaction (3rd Ed.) by Chabay & Sherwood. Students should complete the readings for each lecture before class (see schedule below) in addition to reviewing the material after the lecture. Note that while we are very supportive of the non-traditional approaches taken by this text, some students may benefit from having one of the more standard texts as an additional resource. For example: Fundamentals of Physics (7th Ed.) by Halliday, Resnick, & Walker; or Principles of Physics (4th Ed.) by Serway & Jewett.

We will meet three times a week for 1 hour. As the Contemporary series is the core of the Physics program you are required to attend all lectures and are expected to have completed the reading before class (see below for reading assignments). Pop quizzes will be given in class if it is necessary to enforce these requirements. There will be an explicit class participation component to your final mark; in other words, ask questions and be prepared to participate in discussion.

Traditionally, recitation is a much more informal part of the class. We will meet in the Physics computing lab for 2 hour each week. The recitations will consist of two parts. The traditional component of recitation will involve discussion of homework problems, review of exams, and discussion of material that may have confused you in class. Since the material on the homeworks is quite challenging, I strongly encourage you to try working on your homework well ahead of time, and bringing your questions to recitation. For the second part, in order to understand physical concepts, and get a grounding in numerical coding, you will be required to write 5 programs over the course of this term. These will employ the Visual Python programming language and will allow you to create moving realizations of physical concepts.

Homework problems will be assigned at the end of each lecture, so that you may attempt them at the time that the relevant concepts have been taught. The collective problems from each MWF lecture will be due at the start of class on the next Friday. The problems will primarily be taken from your book, though there will be some which are not.

Discussion is strongly encouraged when working through problem sets, but the work you turn in is expected to be your own. Generally speaking, verbal collaboration is OK, but visual collaboration is not. Here's a guideline: if a friend verbally describes how to go about solving a problem to you without specically writing equations, then you are fine. If, however, you directly transcribe the work of another, you are plagiarizing their work.

The grading scale will be a standard 10-point scale (e.g., 90 is the lowest A-). The breakdown is as follows:

You can find the gradebook (sorted by the last 5 digits of your student ID number) at:

Drexel's policies on Academic Integrity and Course Dropping apply to this course.

You may not copy one another's exams, homeworks, or recitation codes. All of these are considered cheating and will be dealt with in the following manner. The first infraction will result in a zero for all parties involved. The second infraction will result in an F for the course and a report to the office of academic affairs.

Changes to the parameters of the course may need to be made during the quarter. In the case of such events, students will be notified by the instructor through their official Drexel e-mail.

Student with disabilities requesting accommodations and services at Drexel University need to present a current accommodation verification letter (AVL) to faculty before accommodations can be made. AVL's are issued by the Office of Disability Services (ODS). For additional information, contact ODS at, 3201 Arch St., Street, Suite 210, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 215.895.1401 (V), or 215.895.2299 (TTY).

Schedule of Topics

Lecture Subject Chapter Reading Due
0 (1/5) No Lecture
1 (1/7) Angular Momentum Principle & Cross Products 11 [4.10, 5.1, p. 186, 5.3-5.5], 11.1, 11.6
2 (1/9) Rotational Angular Momentum 11 [9.3], 11.2, 11.3
3 (1/12) Torques 11 11.4, 11.5
4 (1/14) Conservation of Angular Momentum & Gyroscopes 11 11.7, 11.8, 11.11 Program 1
5 (1/16) Statistical Mechanics 12 [7.4, 8.4], 12.1, 12.2 Week 1 HW
- (1/19) University Holiday
6 (1/21) Thermal Equilibrium; Entropy; 2nd Law 12 12.3, 12.4
7 (1/23) Temperature 12 12.5 Week 2 HW
8 (1/26) Heat Capacity 12 12.6
9 (1/28) Boltzman Factor 12, 13 12.7, [12.8], 13.2, 13.3 Program 2
10 (1/30) Ideal Gases 13 13.4 (pp. 518-520), 13.5 (pp. 524-528, 530b-532t) Week 3 HW
11 (2/2) Carnot Engines 13 13.7, 13.6
12 (2/4) Make-up/Review Lecture 13.6? Week 4 HW (in recit)
13 (2/6) Midterm In class
14 (2/9) Electric Fields 14 14.1-3
15 (2/11) Superposition 14 14.4-6 Program 3
16 (2/13) Dipoles 14 14.1-8
17 (2/16) Observing Electric Interactions 15 15.1,2
18 (2/18) Charges Interacting with Neutral Matter 15 15.3
19 (2/20) Conductors and Insulators 15 15.4-6 Week 6 HW
20 (2/23) Charging and Discharging 15 15.7-8
21 (2/25) Intro to Distributed Charges 16 16.1-3 Program 4
22 (2/27) Charged Rods 16 16.1-3 Week 7 HW
23 (3/2) Charged Rings/Disks 16 16.4-6
24 (3/4) Charged Spheres and Capacitors 16 16.7-9
25 (3/7) Electric Potential 17 17.1-4 Week 8 HW
26 (3/9) Make-up/Review Lecture 14-17
27 (3/11) Non-Uniform Fields 17 17.5-7 Program 5
28 (3/13) Paths 17 17.8 Week 9 HW

Final Exam:
Tuesday 17 March 2015, 8-10am, PISB 107

If you have read this far, please send the instructor an e-mail (prior to the first lecture) for one unit of extra credit. Your e-mail should indicate what my office hours are expected to be for this term and that you understand that we may switch rooms from the one listed in the master schedule.

Last Modified: 22 December 2014