General Information for PHYSICS 211

David McIntyre, Weniger 463, tel. 737-1696, 

Prerequisites: PH 211 requires completion of MTH 251 and concurrent enrollment in MTH 252.

Giancoli, Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 3 rdEdition (Prentice Hall 2000): Required

Brandt, Study Guide and Student Solutions Manual: Optional

Physics 211 Lab Manual: Required

Office Hours:
D. McIntyre, M 1-2, W 9-10, F 9-10

The office hours for the teaching assistants are held in Weniger 145. A schedule will be posted on the bulletin board outside that office. Please make good use of this resource, and note that any of the TA's in that room should be capable of assisting you with any questions you might have.

Lecture attendance is important for successful completion of the course. Though lecture attendance per se is not required, you will be responsible for all material covered as well as any announcements made during the lectures. To facilitate a more interactive lecture experience, we will use Personal Response Systems (PRS). Each student will be issued a PRS unit at the beginning of the term, which must be returned at the end of the term. The course outline has a detailed reading list for each lecture. You are expected to read the material before coming to lecture. A graded reading quiz will be given in each lecture using the PRS units. The PRS units will also be used for non-graded discussion questions and other graded quizzes. The 7:30pm Wednesday time slot will be used only twice for midterm exams.

Web Site:
This course makes extensive use of the World Wide Web. The homepage for the course is located at On the web site you will find this general information, the course outline, links to the online homework site, and other information. Access to the web is available from any of the student computing facilities on campus. If you need assistance, contact the computer consulting desk in the Valley Library.

Physics is as much about learning to solve problems as it is about learning physical concepts. You can find many problems at the end of each chapter in Giancoli. We recommend that you solve as many of these as you can. The course web site has a selection of practice problems chosen from Giancoli. In addition, you are required to submit weekly homework that will be part of your course grade. These homework problems are available at a remote web site accessible through the course site. To access the homework, you must first register with the homework server. The two sections have different homework systems, which were explained on the class handout. On the course web site there are separate links for the two sections. Make sure you use the homework system appropriate to your section.

The lab is intended to assist you with learning physics concepts by involving you in hands-on observations and measurements. The schedule of experiments is on the course outline. Please study the lab manual in advance of the laboratory. Each lab has a set of questions to be completed before the lab and then turned in at the beginning of the lab session. Laboratory reports following a format to be explained by your lab instructor are due at the end of the lab period. Lab attendance and satisfactory performance are mandatory. You must attend all labs, and satisfactory work must be submitted on all lab reports to get full credit for the course. If you know in advance that you will miss a lab section, please arrange to attend another section during that week. Otherwise, you may make-up at most 2 missed labs during the make-up week listed in the course outline.

Course grades will be based upon a 500 point scale. The point values for coursework are: MT1: 100, MT2: 100, Homework: 50, Quizzes: 50, Final: 200. The lowest 10% of homework and quiz scores will be dropped, so please do not waste valuable time by requesting to make-up any missed homeworks or quizzes. If you do not satisfactorily complete all the labs, your total score will be multiplied by the fraction of labs that you do complete (e.g.,7/8). Course grades will be assigned using the following point scale: A: 400-500, B: 325-399, C: 250-324, D: 175-249, F: 0-174. No +/- grades will be assigned. I reserve the right to move the grade boundaries down, but I will not move them up.


You are encouraged to enroll in the recitation section PH221. This course carries one credit and consists of weekly group problem solving sessions. They are taught by experienced TA's. Grading is P/N with grades determined by the TA. An honors section is also available.

Students with Disabilities:
Students with documented disabilities who may need accommodations, who have any emergency medical information the instructor should know about, or who need special arrangements in the event of an evacuation, should see the instructor as soon as possible.