Course Info - Winter Term

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During January we will study the special theory of relativity using Spacetime Physics (Taylor and Wheeler, 2nd edition). A supplementary text is available at the bookstore: Special Relativity (French), more compact but still comprehensive. This text is not required, but you may find that it is helpful.

During the remainder of the course we will use Electricity and Magnetism (Purcell, Berkeley Physics Course, Vol. 2, 2nd edition). This text is required and is available at the bookstore. Div, Grad, Curl and All That (Schey), a highly recommended supplement to Purcell, is also available at the bookstore.

Homework Assignments

Homework is due every Friday in lecture. It will be accepted up to one week late for 1/2 credit. You are encouraged to discuss the problems with others but the write-up must be your own, not copied from others or the blackboard in recitation. You should be able to reproduce any solution you hand in without help from anyone else. In the past, some students have achieved high homework grades and still failed the quizzes and tests. This shows poor judgment in using help: the object of the homework problems is to help you learn the material.

It is highly recommended to attempt all of the homework problems as early as possible, and not to leave a full set until the night before it is due. There are too many problems to tackle in one sitting, and you will learn the most if you have a few days to talk to your fellow students and your TA about the harder problems.

There are many more problems in the texts than are assigned. You may wish to work additional problems to gain more practice. Your TA can assist you in selecting problems.


There will be four take-home quizzes during the quarter. Each will be distributed at lecture on Friday and due the following Wednesday at the beginning of lecture. There will be no credit given for quizzes that are submitted late. There will be a take-home final covering the entire term. There will be no midterm exam. A review session will be held on Sunday afternoon at 2PM in 114 E. Bridge before each quiz and the final are due.


Your grade will be based written homework (20%), quizzes (40%), and the final exam (40%). A combined score of 50% is sufficient to pass. Your attendance and performance in recitation and general level of effort can be used as a basis for supplemental points (up to 5%) according to the judgment of your TA.

Physics 1b Analytical

This document is available in hard copy form at the physics office, and is handed out at the start of term at lecture.

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Physics 1b - Physics 1c - TIDE Info - Java 1.1 Applets
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