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Spring 2009 Physics 102 Koch Syllabus

Spring 2009 Physics 102 Koch Syllabus

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Published by Steven J. Koch
This is the syllabus for Spring 2009 semester Physics 102, Section 001 at the University of New Mexico. Instructor: Prof. Steven J. Koch
This is the syllabus for Spring 2009 semester Physics 102, Section 001 at the University of New Mexico. Instructor: Prof. Steven J. Koch

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Published by: Steven J. Koch on Jan 22, 2009
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06/16/2009

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Introduction to Physics, Physics 102, Section 001Spring 2009, Prof. Steven J. Koch, Instructor
Course Description
Designed for non-science students in all colleges as well as for students planning to majorin the sciences who want a general introduction to the basic phenomena and concepts of physics. The treatment is primarily descriptive, with practical demonstrations andapplications and with a minimum of elementary mathematics. No previous preparation isassumed. Topics covered may include the structure of matter, energy, sound, light,atomic and nuclear physics, mechanics, electricity and relativity. However, not all topicswill be covered and content will be adjusted to fit the needs of the class.
Goals
The primary goal of the course is to help students develop a better understanding of avariety of physics concepts that they experience or hear about in their every day lives.We will strive for true understanding of the concept versus tiresome memorization of facts and trivia. This may lead to a heightened enjoyment of everyday physics wonders(such as rainbows, sunsets, waves, phases of the moon), improved ability to understandtechnological issues (such as energy shortages and sources, nuclear power and radiation,cell phone communication), and a deeper understanding of future scientific materialincluding biology, chemistry, geology, medicine, and possibly a subsequent moreadvanced physics course!
Required Materials
Textbook: Conceptual Physics, 10
th
edition, Paul Hewitt, used or new.iClickers, available at bookstore
 
 
Registration is required in order to get participation grade. We will discuss thisduring lecture and instructions may be posted on WebCT.WebCT Vista: Automatically enrolled http://vista.unm.edu 
 
This is the main website for the course, and will be used for electronic quizzesand homework, announcements and other electronic course materials. The mostup to date schedule and syllabus will be posted on WebCT. Assignments and duedates will be posted. You are expected to check WebCT regularly as will bediscussed in lecture.
 
Computers are available at multiple locations on campus, seehttp://its.unm.edu/pods/  for updated locations.Pencils are necessary for the in-class exams.
 
Technical Support
 Cathy Webster is available to help with iClickers and WebCT. Her contact information,office hours and answers to some FAQs can be found here:http://panda.unm.edu/Courses/StudentHelp/index.html 
Teaching Assistant
Mr. Zhang Jiang, Physics Graduate Student.  john6060@unm.edu. 
Learning Disabilities
If you have a learning disability, you can contact Accessibility Services,http://as2.unm.edu/ . 
Quizzes and Homework Assignments
There will be regular homework assignments posted on WebCT. These will consist of required readings, problems and exercises. There will be no grading of homework (neither for correctness nor participation), but on-time submissions may receive feedback and will be eligible for display to other students as excellent answers. The weeklyreading will take around an hour for an average student (though it may inspire you to doextra web reading), and the homework exercises could take as little as 15 minutes. Mostweeks will require a written response to a homework question, with excellent answersoften a paragraph or less.In addition, there will also be electronic quizzes on WebCT. These quizzes will be of asimilar format to the exams and therefore will be an excellent way to assess learningprogress along the way. Completion of the quizzes is required and they will have a strictdue date, but they will not count towards the course grade. However, performance on thequizzes correlates with performance on the upcoming exam and serves as a crucialindicator of concepts a student still needs to study. Quizzes require about 15 minutes orless for an average student.Because homework and quizzes do not count towards your grade, there is a significantrisk that a few students will not take them seriously. If it becomes evident that a studenthas fallen behind and is not completing these assignments, I will drop the student fromthe course.
Exams
The exams will be written so that a student who has attended all of the lectures andcompleted all of the assignments should not be surprised by any question. Questions willbe multiple choice and will challenge the s
tudent’s understanding of the concept (rather 
than memorization of a fact). Questions will span a range of difficulties. Each exam willbe equally weighted and will only cover material since the previous exam. The finalexam will not be comprehensive. Some concepts will require understanding of otherconcepts covered earlier in the course, and thus some exam questions may cover topicsfrom prior exams.

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