TEXT              Modern Physics, 3rd edition   by  Serway, Moses, & Moyer

CLASS          The pace of the class will be brisk, mostly because I will assume that you know
                        much already (by having done the assigned reading; see below).

READING     I can't emphasize enough how important reading the relevant text sections in
                        advance of our discussion of them in class is to your success in this course. 
                        It is your responsibility to make sure that you know what's expected of you for
                        the next class in the way of textbook reading or written homework before leaving
                        class that day; I will try to make that preparation apparent, though. 

                         I will try to set aside the first part of every class for questions that may have
                         arisen during the assigned reading for that day.  This way, you have a chance
                         to clear up points that were not explained well before I ask you questions about it.

                         A syllabus is also available.  You may have some choice in what topics we cover and what we omit.  

WRITING       Homework problems will be assigned regularly (probably due M/W/F);
                         they will either be due in class the next day or by 5 pm in the black box on the
                         table in front of my office. 
Homework with more than 1 paper is to be stapled; if not, it will not be graded.

 Lab work will occur throughout the trimester.  You will need to have 2 lab books, 
             although we will not come close to filling either (so ones used in previous courses     
             are fine).

We will have quizzes at the end of each major topic (and a final exam) so that you and
I are sure that you have actually learned something and are not just following what we do in class.


Your class commitment grade is my assessment of how committed you are to
            making this class a successful learning experience.   Some examples include:

                      You are welcome to talk with me at any time during the year about your class commitment grade.

GRADING     pre-final:

                                     Class commitment              15%
                                     Presentation Problems       10%
                                     Homework/Labs                   50%
                                     In class quizzes                    25%

                                     Final exam                                        15 - 25%  (your choice)

                        The following scale applies to all work in this class

                            A:      80 - 100
                            B:      70  -  80
                            C:      60  -  70
                            D:      below  60

TUTORIAL    mine is presently Wednesday night, 6 - 8 pm, but only every other week. 
I also encourage you to come by during the day for help or to email me with questions.

 TARDY          Of course, I expect you to be on time for class.  "Tardy" means not being in your seat at the time when class is scheduled to begin.  Because Physics classrooms have radio-controlled, accurate clocks, it will be easy for everyone to know whether you are Tardy or not.  In addition what NCSSM pollicy considers as Tardy, you will also be considered and reported as Tardy if you arrive late for 8 am classes or classes immediately following lunch.  You will be considered Tardy even if you arrive on time, but have to return to your room because you are inappropriately dressed, do not have your calculator, or do not have your lab materials (lab book, prelab, ...) on days when lab is scheduled.

Physics Department Tardy Policy below addresses the consequences of being Tardy.  These consequences are in addition to school-wide Tardy Policies.  The Tardy Policy is also posted in physics classrooms. 

HONESTY    Honesty means turning in work that is your own.  See the Physics Department Honesty Policy below.


ncssm Physics safety, tardy, CLASSROOM COMPUTER USE, and honesty policies

Physics SAFETY CONTRACT  2008 - 2009

 We may be doing many activities that require the use of sensitive equipment. Safety is the # 1 priority in our classrooms. To ensure a safe learning environment, all students will be instructed in science classroom safety and the student safety contract will be signed and filed at NCSSM.   When necessary, safety considerations will be included on student handouts; they also will be given orally at the start of each activity.



The absence or lateness of each student will be recorded on a daily basis. Any student who is late to class three times will receive 30 minutes of work detail after school. This work detail is in addition to any sanctions incurred under the school-wide tardy policy. Work detail may include cleaning of the physics whiteboards, classrooms, lab areas and hallway, repair of physics equipment, Saturday morning work detail under the supervision of Plant Facilities staff, or other work. Failure to fulfill the work requirement satisfactorily will result in further disciplinary action including possible issuance of levels.

You will be considered Tardy even if you arrive on time, but have to return to your room because you are inappropriately dressed for class or lab, do not have your calculator, or do not have your lab materials on days when lab is scheduled.


Computers may be used in the classroom only for activities appropriate to physics instruction and learning.  The instructor will guide these computer-appropriate


It is a violation of your academic honesty to give or receive information to or from others during a test or quiz or to use unapproved sources of information. It is also wrong to give or receive information about a test or quiz before all students, including those in other sections of the course, have taken it. On each test, you are required to sign an honesty pledge to the effect that you have upheld the Physics Academic Honesty Policy.

On problem assignments, make an earnest effort to solve problems by yourself before asking for help from physics instructors, tutors, or your classmates. Unless stated otherwise, we expect you to do all writing independently of other students. This means, for example, that you may not look at any other student's assignment (paper, electronic submission, whatever) while writing your own.

The nature of lab work requires you to work with others in carrying out experiments. On labs for which you write joint reports, we expect each member of the lab group to participate fully in the preparation of the report and to be familiar with all aspects of it. On the cover page of such reports, each partner must write and sign a statement that he/she participated fully in the preparation of the report. On labs for which individual reports are written, we expect you to do all writing and all calculations independently of other students (including your partner). Presentation of data not collected by you personally in your lab journal or reports is a violation of academic honesty.

No credit will be given for assignments turned in that violate the Physics Academic Honesty Policy.

Disciplinary consequences of cheating are described in the Student Handbook.