Physics 53 Resources
Robert G. Brown
Duke University Physics Department
Durham, NC 27708-0305
Copyright Robert G. Brown, 2020
Physics 53 Resources are provided for the benefit of the
students taking Physics 53 from me during the regular semester at Duke.
Others who discover them online are welcome to use and peruse them and
the associated other resources online for the purpose of teaching or
Students should probably download copies of each of the following
As you might expect, some of these documents may change during the
course of the semester, especially if events like hurricanes or
earthquakes or terrorist attacks (all of which have been factors in the
years I've been teaching) intervene to introduce a delay. I will try to
announce it in class if an updated version has been posted, but it is
still sensible to come back and check from time to time.
- The course syllabus. This describes what we will cover in very
broad terms and tells you how the couse is divided up into logical
- The course schedule. This is a week-by-week guide to the course,
with the dates for the homework and exams (and certain other important
dates) laid out. This schedule is not written in stone and may
be changed as circumstances dictate during the semester, but it is a
pretty good estimate of where we'll be, when, for the time being.
- The course grading scheme. This describes how the assigned work
and exams will be graded and how the scores will contribute to your
overall grade. It is very important to look at this early, so that you
can see how to succeed in the course in a way that lives up to your
- Suggested study methods to use in this course, especially The
method of three passes. The latter details a way to study physics
systematically over several days each week that optimizes understanding
given a reasonable investment of effort.
The documents linked from this page are all provided under a
modified Gnu License appropriate for the document type (OPL for text, GPL for
software/source). Please read the relevant license(s) before
redistributing the document(s) in any form -- an explicit agreement with
the author is required for certain kinds of for-profit redistributions.
In all cases the license makes the documents generally available for
unlimited personal use and non-profit distributions (for example,
linking or posting copies on a website, distributing paper copies to a
class for free or at cost).
The author cherishes feedback. If you like or dislike the
document(s) and would like to say so, wish to redistribute a version in
any medium to be sold at a profit, would like to contribute or comment
on material, or just want to say hi, feel free to contact the author