PHY 131

Classical Physics I

Stony Brook University

First part of a two-semester physics sequence for physical-sciences or engineering majors who have a strong mathematics background and are ready for a fast learning pace. It covers mechanics, wave motion, kinetic theory, and thermodynamics. Calculus is used concurrently with its development in MAT 131. Three lecture hours and one recitation hour per week. The Laboratory component, PHY 133 (Lab 1), could be taken concurrently. Not for credit in addition to PHY 121, PHY 125, or PHY 141. Advanced Placement Physics or a very strong course in high school Physics is recommended. This course has been designated as a High Demand/Controlled Access (HD/CA) course. Students registering for HD/CA courses for the first time will have priority to do so.
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Thomas Hemmick

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PHY 131
Thomas Hemmick

PHY 131 Syllabus for Thomas Hemmick — Fall 2018

NOTE: Information in this syllabus should be considered as “preliminary”.
All students are responsible for changes announced in lecture and via class Email.
Course Organization
The course is comprised of two main divisions: Lecture and Recitation. Lectures are meetings of the
entire “in-person” class. Recitations are meetings with faculty in groups of ~35 students or less. Both
portions are required and make contributions toward the final class grade. There is additionally an
online version of the class. Online students receive lecture and recitation via recordings of the live
class(es). Laboratory is an entirely separate class.
Lecture
Lectures are held in Javitz 100. Attendance is required and enforced by “clicking in”. Online students
receive a special “punctuated echo” recording that replaces the “clicker” questions with browser-based
responses.
Recitation
Because the class has so many students, it is difficult for students to receive individual attention during
the main lecture. For this reason, the course is additionally divided into 16 so-called recitation sections
numbered R01-R16. Recitation sections are typically focused upon helping students to understand and
complete that week's homework assignment. Recitations are taught by faculty members. During a
recitation meeting, it is possible that a quiz, additional homework, or some other instrument used to
determine the student's recitation grade will be assigned and/or collected.
Required Material
1. Textbook: Katz available here:
http://services.cengagebrain.com/course/site.html?id=1901050.
2. All Course Information handed out in lecture.
3. A NON-Programmable calculator.
a. Exams allow no formula sheets.
b. Calculator should have:
c. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division.
d. Trig functions.
e. Log functions.
f. Square root.
g. Calculator must not have ability to store formulas.
h. Practice with your exam calculator even on homework.
4. An account in the WebAssign system (see below).
5. A clicker from the Turning Point Company
Grade Determination
The grades will be calculated based upon the following percentages:
Exam-1
Exam-2
Exam-F
Rec
Homework
Percentage
15
15
30
10
15
Your final score based upon the weightings listed above will be compared to the following scale to
determine the letter grades (i.e. there is not a curve in PHY131):
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
F
Percentage
90-
100
85-
89
80-
84
75-
79
70-
75
65-
69
60-
64
55-
59
50-
54
45-
49
below
45
The grades will be normalized between recitation sections. Normalization is not curving since the grades
will be brought to the same mean as one another without an overall shift upward or downward.
Homework
The homework is electronic and delivered through WebAssign. To access WebAssign, please log into the
RECITATION section in blackboard (i.e. PHY131.Rxx where xx is your recitation number). Follow the
Tools>>Access WebAssign link and youre in! Additional details are given in lecture.
Getting Help
Office Hours
PHY131 and PHY132 are indeed difficult courses and most students require help from time to time. The
best source of help is to go to the office hours of anyone in the course staff. Everyone in the course
(Lecturers, Recitation Instructors, and Lab Instructors) hold regular office hours. You can and should go
to these office hours when you need help.
Help Room
All course members will sit shifts in room A-129. A-129 is the room where you hand in lab reports and it
is also known as the Help Room.
Review Videos
Review videos are available posted on the course web page. Up to 3% extra credit is available for
viewing them all. They are divided into headings by “learning objective” and are not a perfect match to
the book (they are better).
Review Sessions
Professor Hemmick has developed a tradition of holding extensive review sessions outside of class.
These are typically held in the evenings or weekend before an exam. Typically one 8-hour review is held
prior to each midterm and prior to the final. During these reviews, we do physics problems from
practice exams (mostly the same material as the review videos) and we make them up on the spot and
upon request from any source. The idea is that by the time the review is finished, everyone present
should be so thoroughly familiar with the material that the exam will have become easy.
The philosophy is simple. The exams in this course are tough but fair. We will work as hard as necessary
so that by the time you take them they will seem easy. High scores on a tough exam is the explicitly
stated goal of the instructor and should be the same goal for all students. Scheduling of these reviews
will be done in lecture.
Exams
Large classes hold evening exams scheduled by the university, NOT the instructor. Here are links to the
schedule of these so-called “common exams”:
http://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/registrar/registration/classschedulearchives/2016schedulepdfs/fall2016/FALL%202016%20EVENING%20EXAMS%20041816.pdf
http://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/registrar/registration/classschedulearchives/2016schedulepdfs/fall2016/1168%20Fall%202016%20final%20exams.pdf
Schedule of Lecture
The Class Calendar (accessed through Blackboard) will show a rough outline of which topics will be
covered at what time. The actual schedule may vary somewhat.

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