Course Overview

Course Description

The goals of this course are to teach you the basic concepts of classical mechanics and to make you adept in solving relevant problems.

Physics, Volume I, 5th edition, by Resnik, Halliday, and Krane Chapters to be covered: 1-14,17 (in part)
Additional material: The portable T.A., A physics problem solving guide, Volume I, by Andrew Elby).
Recommended reading: R. P. Feynman, R. B. Leighton, M. Sands, The Feynman Lectures on Physics (Addison-Wesley 1963).

Online Resources
Physics Education Technology: Interactive Physics Simulations
Java Applets on Physics by Walter Fendt

Instructor Information

Research Fields
Theoretical Atomic Physics and Quantum Information
Marianna Safronova's Research web site

Instructor's travel
September 13 - 16 Notre Dame University, collaborative work
September 18 - 23 Seattle, Invited talk a the Workshop on Rare Isotopes and Fundamental Symmetries
October 16 - 17 Boston, Invited talk at the ITAMP seminar series, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Harvard Physics Department


Course Requirements


Homework is generally assigned each Friday. It is due next Friday. The exceptions are noted in the lecture schedule. The homework is to be brought to the discussion section and placed in a homework box at the beginning of the lecture. Homework will consist of 10 multiple-choice questions, 1-2 recommended problems from “The portable T.A.” book, and several (about 4-5) problems. You do not have to turn in the problems from the T.A. book. The homework will only contain the material that has already been covered in class.

Graded quizzes (20-25 minutes, 5 multiple-choice questions and 1 problem) will be given at all of the discussion sections. Exceptions will be noted in the lecture schedule. All quiz problems are always taken from the current homework. One lowest quiz grade will be dropped when the final quiz grade is determined.

Interactive quizzes
I will frequently give “interactive quiz” questions during lectures (not graded). The answer from the entire class is expected. Each student will be given A, B, C, D flashcards during which you will bring to each lecture. There will be a stack of empty cards and a marker on the desk during each lecture. If you forgot your cards make new ones (write in LARGE letters).


There will be three closed book midterm exams during the course. Each exam will generally cover the material taught in the relevant section of the course. There will be a final exam that will cover material from the whole semester. This will be a closed book exam as well.

Dates & Locations
Midterm # 1 September 21, 10:10 - 11:00, SHL 123
Midterm # 2 October 17, 10:10 - 11:00, SHL 123
Midterm # 3 November 30, 10:10 - 11:00, SHL 123
Final Exam: December 14, 10:30 - 12:30


Course Policies & Grading

Course Policies

Making up a quiz or exam and Late homework
Only excused absences are eligible for making up a quiz, exam, or submitting late homework. If you miss quiz or exam or are unable to submit homework on time due to an excused absence you have to notify me by e-mail and schedule a make up as soon as you can. No make ups (and late homework returns) will be scheduled after one week passes from the day of your absence unless special circumstances are present. If you anticipate a conflict ahead of time, then you should let me know in advance that you will or may be absent.  University policies ( ) outline the criteria for an excused absence.

Academic Honesty
Student Guide to University Policies: Code of Student Conduct

Homework and Quiz Grading Policy
1) Multiple choice questions are graded on 0/1 scale: 1 if the answer is correct and 0 if it is not.
2) The problems are graded on the 3 point scale described below.

3 points
The problem is solved correctly and correct answer is obtained.
2 points
Substantial portion of the solution, which is in the direction of the correct answer is given or complete (in principle correct) solution is given but some mistake is made which lead to incorrect answer.
1 point
An attempt to solve problem has been made and an understanding of how such problem may be solved is demonstrated (some work in the direction of the correct solution is present).
0 points
No solution is provided or no understanding of how such problem may be solved is demonstrated.
The total number of points and the possible maximum number of points will be marked on the homework. One lowest homework grade will be dropped when the final homework grade is determined. One lowest quiz grade will be dropped when the final quiz grade is determined.

Course Grade

Your final grade for Physics 207H will be based on your total score for all the components of the course (exams, quizzes, homework assignments, and labs). The grade is determined as following:
Percentage Assigned
Exam #1
Exam #2
Exam #3
Final exam
15% (one lowest grade is dropped)
20% (one lowest quiz grade is dropped)