Physics 225 Fall 2018

Prof. Karin Dahmen

& Info
& Notes
& Exams


Final exam locations to be posted in student gradebook 
Excuse documentation for sickness etc can be uploaded at
Website is up    Friday August 24th, 2018
Please take two minutes to read through the general course information on this page.
Some specific points:
  • Homework 1 is posted on the Homework & Exams page. Homework is due every Tuesday at 11 am and must be dropped off in the Phys 225 homework box on the second floor of Loomis. (It's on the north side, in the corridor between Loomis and MRL).  
  • Please look at the office hours posted below. Important: if you cannot make any of these times due to your class schedule, please send me an email right away and include all the times on Mondays and Wednesdays through Fridays that you are free.   

General Information

Office hours are held in Loomis 279
Please do make use of office hours. Homework is not a quiz, it's training, we want and expect you to get it all correct, and we'll be happy to check your homework at office hours to make sure you understand everything before you leave. Also bring any questions you have about the units, lectures, or anything else to office hours and we'll make sure your questions are answered.
Monday  10 am -12 noon Loomis 279 Yinghe Yu
Monday 1pm-2pm Loomis 279 Saavanth Velury
Tuesday        after lecture  Loomis 151     Karin Dahmen
Thursday   10:00am - 12:00 pm   Loomis 279 Tahereh Mozafarishamsi
Thursday 3pm-4pm Loomis 279  Saavanth Velury
Thursday 4pm-6pm Loomis 279 Chunyu Lu
Friday 9:30 am- 11:30 am Loomis 279 Pin-Yi Li
Class Times and Locations
Lectures Loomis 151,   Tuesdays from 4:00 - 4:50 pm
Discussion Sections    Loomis 158 Wednesdays,Thursdays and Fridays
  • Chunyu Lu,Tahereh Mozafarishamsi, Pin-Yi Li, Yinghe Yu  → Email All with grading questions
Recommended Text Books (all on reserve at Grainger)
There is no required book for this course, but a textbook is often very helpful to provide a different point of view and additional detail. Here are my recommendations:
  • "Special Relativity" by A. P. French
    This book is excellent for its historical presentation of Special Relativity. The development of this theory is a fascinating story; we won't talk about history in 225 so do pick up this book if you are interested. Note that the Copyright is 1968 so there will be used copies available, possibly at considerably lower prices than new books.


  • "Spacetime Physics" by Taylor and Wheeler.
    Every book written by Taylor and Wheeler is filled with physical insight. The presentation is very ``talky'', with vastly more words than math. The style is not to everyone's taste but you will find extended discussions of the physical consequences of Special Relativity and its apparent paradoxes. The book also contains many worked examples.


  • "Basic Training in Mathematics: A Fitness Program for Science Students", (Paperback) by R. Shankar.
    I'm not crazy about this book but it definitely has some great content. More to the point, it's the only text on mathematical physics I could find that meets these two criteria: it's at a freshman / sophomore level, and it's recent enough that it uses modern notation.


Course Grading
Your grade in this course will be based on successful completion of the weekly homework assignments (35%), participation in the discussion sessions (10%), performance on a mid-term exam (15%), and performance on the final exam (40%).
Homework due dates and time
Homework is due at 11 am on Tuesdays. Your solutions are to be deposited in the course homework box that is located on the second floor of Loomis Lab, at the entrance to the overpass to the Materials Research Lab (MRL) on the north side. The homework boxes are painted bright yellow; you can't miss them unless you are totally absorbed with texting or Angry Birds.
Late Policy for Homework
If you don't make the deadline, you lose 15% of your grade for each weekday that your homework is late. The graders check the homework box each day at 11 am; anything turned in after that time will belong to the following day's submissions. You cannot get any credit for homework that is more than six days late.
Late Policy for Attendance at Discussion Sessions
If you're 8 minutes or more late, you will receive only half credit for that week; if you are 15 minutes or more late you get zero credit.
Conflict Exam Rules
Physics 225 does not schedule conflict exam sittings. For final exams, the rules concerning conflicts are outlined in points (5) and (6) of the Student Code - Final Exam section. Point (5) describes the max-2-in-24hr rule: students are not required to take three exams in a 24 hour period. There is a strict order of precedence that determines which courses have to offer you a conflict exam if you have a scheduling collision
. As Phys 225 runs a "non-combined" final and has a relatively small number of students compared with many other 1st or 2nd year classes, it is first in this order, i.e. you will take the conflict exam for your larger classes. If you have a final exam scheduling collision which is not resolved by these rules (e.g. two smaller / "non-combined" courses that collide), email the instructors from all of the courses involved at the same time so that they can work out among themselves who will give you a conflict sitting.