Modern Physics I

http://www.fiu.edu/~baraue/teaching/modernI.html


General
This is the first semester of a two semester sequence for physics majors.  Students will be introduced to the topics that make physics truly interesting: relativity, quantum mechanics, atomic physics, nuclear and particle physics and many others.  You are expected to have already mastered calculus-based introductory physics and have a good working knowledge of calculus I and II.  As this is a course for majors, you should expect it to be rigorous.

Your best bet for doing well in this course is to attend all of the lectures and do all of the assigned homework. Reading the text will provide a different perspective on the topics covered in the lectures. Don't expect to do well by putting off the homework and cramming for tests.  You must stay on top of the subject.   Don't get behind--if you are having trouble with the material get help immediately. The material builds on itself and getting behind early will make it very difficult to catch up.

Textbook
"Modern Physics" 3rd ed. by Serway, Moses, and Moyer.

The order the material is covered and the extent to which we cover all topics in the book will be determined as we go along.
I also strongly recommend that you get a book with a table of integrals and other math formulas. I use the Schaum's Outline: "Mathematical Handbook of Formulas and Tables". It is relatively cheap and I have been using the same copy since I was an undergraduate.  I use it frequently. There is also an online version. Just go to the library's on-line catalog, enter the title, and follow the links. 

Instructor 
Brian A. Raue Office: CP 217
Office Hours: MW 10-12:00, TTh 2-4:00
Phone: 305-348-3958
E-mail: baraue@fiu.edu

Lectures
Tuesday & Thursday 9:30-10:45 in CP 101

Exams (Schedule subject to change)
There will be two midterm exams and the final exam but the final is not cumulative. Each exam is worth 28% of your final grade.
There are no makeup exams
unless there was an extreme emergency or if you have contracted me prior to the test with a legitimate reason for missing it.   All make ups will be done at the end of the semester provided you are passing the rest of the course with a C or better. 
--Midterm Exam 1: Thursday September 26, chapters 1 & 2
--Midterm Exam 2: Tuesday October 29, chapters 3 & 4
--Final Exam: Tuesday December 10 9:45-11:45, chapters 5,6, & 7

HOMEWORK POLICY.  READ CAREFULLY.
Homework

Every week there will be a homework assignment to be turned in and graded. Homework will count as 16% of your grade. However, if you fail to achieve at least 50% on the homework portion of the grade, the highest grade you can obtain in this class is a C-. Problems will be taken from your textbook, other books or will be made up by myself. Problems involving numerical answers will be turned in online using the CAPA system (see the homework page for details).  Each part will be assigned a value of about 1-3 points. Problems requiring proofs will be turned in on paper to me.  From these, I will randomly choose one or two problems each week for a thorough check.  They will be worth 3-5 points.  You will then receive 1 point for what I deem a good-faith effort at solving the other hand-in problems. Solutions to assigned problems will be posted on the web after the due date. I encourage you to work with your classmates on the homework but make sure that you understand it and aren't just copying it. This will be revealed on the exams.  I know that it is easy to find the solutions out there on the web.  However, simply copying down somebody else's solutions will not help you when it comes to preparing for the exams. 
Follow this link http://www.fiu.edu/~baraue/teaching/modernIHW.html  to the online homework page. This page will also have a tentative schedule for topics to be covered.  Do your homework on time.  Late homework is not accepted for the online portion and late homework turned into me will be receive half credit for up to one week after the due date. After that, it is simply not accepted.

Grades
A letter grade will be assigned only at the end of the semester but I will attempt to give you an idea approximately where you are throughout the semester. The grading system is based on the following scale although I reserve the right to "curve" as I see fit:


A: 89-100% A-: 86-88%
B+: 83-85% B: 75-82% B-:72-74%
C+: 69-71% C: 58-68% C- grades are generally not given
D+: 55-57%
D: 44-54%
D- grades are rarely given

The relative weighting is as follows:
exams: 28% each
homework: 16%

Cheating
Cheating is considered a very serious offense and offenders will be dealt with very harshly. The minimum penalty for cheating on an exam will be a zero on the exam with the possibility of automatic failure for the course or a recommendation of expulsion from the university. All students should be familiar with the FIU Student Code of Standards.