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Class Meetings

The class group will be the same for lecture and recitations and we will meet in the following times and places.

  • Lectures - Monday,Wednesday,Friday 9:00 AM - 9:53 AM Physics P116
  • Recitation - Thursday 2:30 PM - 3:50 PM Physics P112

Attendance at all class meetings is expected.

Required Materials

The textbook for this course is Giancoli, Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 4th Edition. You should make sure that you get this with access to the Mastering Physics homework system which we will be using. The version of the book at the campus book store is a loose leaf version, we chose this one as it is cheaper and so that you do not need to carry the whole book around with you, the current prices at the book store are ($184.85 new, $138.65 used). The book store version should come with Mastering Physics already (make sure to check this carefully if you buy it used!). If you want a hard cover copy of the book, I would suggest to look online, for example, Amazon. If you buy a used book without an access code you can purchase access to Mastering Physics separately online at the Mastering Physics website (Current Price: $66). An alternative to buying a hard copy of the book is to buy an electronic version, which is also available through the Mastering Physics website (Current Price: $110.00 including access to Mastering Physics).

Once you have an access code for Mastering Physics you will need to register for our course using the course code, which is MPDAWBER61089.


The grades for this course will be determined according to the following breakdown

  • Midterm 1: 15%
  • Midterm 2: 15%
  • Final Exam: 35%
  • Homework: 20%
  • Recitation Problems: 5%
  • Group Project: 10%

The distribution of letter grades for the course will be skewed to reflect the fact that this is a highly challenging course. What this means is that a relatively high fraction of the class can expect to receive an A, but every student who does will have worked extremely hard to do so!


There will be 11 sets of Mastering Physics problems assigned for homework. Homework sets will be due by 8:00 AM on the date which they are due (due dates are on the course calendar and can also be seen in Mastering Physics). All the homework sets will be listed under the category “Homework” on Mastering Physics. Each question is worth 1 point independent of how difficult they are. Some homework sets are longer than others and therefore will be worth more than others!

As well as the homework sets, sets for practice (basic tutorial style questions), and review will be made available. The additional question sets will not earn you any credit directly, but the practice questions may help you grasp concepts and the review questions will help prepare you for exams. Both practice and review problems will be listed under the category “Practice” on Mastering Physics, but they are not the same difficulty level. The practice problems for each chapter are fairly easy and are a good warmup for the homework problems, while the review problems are more challenging and help prepare you for the exams.

All problem sets are available for the entire semester. I would advise to try to solve a few of the problems after each lecture to reinforce the points learned, rather than waiting till right before the homework is due and trying to work out the answers in a rush. The hope is you will come to recitation having already tried all the problems and know which ones you want to get help with before they are due the next morning. The homework tips should help you identify which problems you are ready to tackle after each lecture.


There will be 3 lectures a week. Lecture notes and videos will be posted on line after each class.

Attendance at lectures will not be recorded, however, attendance is considered mandatory and you will be considered to be aware of all material and information presented in class. If you can not attend a lecture because of a religious holiday, official university sporting commitment or other similar events you will not be penalized, but as all notes and a video of each lecture are posted online you will be responsible for catching up on any lectures you miss. It is advisable to contact the professor if a special commitment will result in you missing a large number of classes.

Learning physics is not a passive exercise and regular attendance at class and interaction with the professor and other students is the best way to master the material.


Starting from Fall 2013 there will no longer be a separate lab section associated with PHY141. You must enroll in a PHY133 section of your choice. You must take PHY133 simultaneously with PHY141.


Recitation sessions will take place on Thursday afternoons. The recitation sessions will focus on problem solving, and all students are expected to attend and participate. At many of the recitation sections an exam style problem will be given to be completed individually, in some cases in class, in others as a take home problem, these will be graded and counted towards the final grade for the course (5%).

If you can not attend a recitation because of a religious holiday, official university sporting commitment or other similar events you can request a way to make up the problem assigned, but I would appreciate it if you let me know in advance. Videos of recitations will be posted after they take place.


There will be two midterm exams on October 3rd and October 31st, both held in P112 at 2:30PM.

There will also be a final exam on December 12th at 2:15PM.

All exams are cumulative, in the sense that we will continually build concepts one on top of the other as we move through the course. You may bring a single letter size sheet of hand written notes to all exams. You can write on both sides of the sheet.

Academic Integrity

Each student must pursue his or her academic goals honestly and be personally accountable for all submitted work. Representing another person's work as your own is always wrong. Faculty are required to report any suspected instance of academic dishonesty to the Academic Judiciary. For more comprehensive information on academic integrity, including categories of academic dishonesty, please refer to the academic judiciary website at

Disability Support Services (DSS)

If you have a physical, psychological, medical, or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services, ECC (Educational Communications Center) Building, room 128, (631) 632-6748 or They will determine with you what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.

Critical Incident Managment

Stony Brook University expects students to respect the rights, privileges, and property of other people. Faculty are required to report to the Office of Judicial Affairs any disruptive behavior that interrupts their ability to teach, compromises the safety of the learning environment, and/or inhibits students' ability to learn.

phy141/syllabus.txt · Last modified: 2013/08/26 08:13 by mdawber
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