Physics 123H - Honors Analytical Physics I
Classical Mechanics - Fall 2017

Course Information

Students are responsible for all information contained on this page!!!
Co-requisite: CALC I (01:640:151)


The website for Physics 123H is . All announcements will appear there, as well as in the lectures.


A listing of the course staff, including contact information, office hours, and minilabs, is available HERE. Students of any section are welcome to attend the office hours of any instructor. HOWEVER, you must attend the workshop to which you are assigned.

The course instructor is Prof. Duiliu-Emanuel Diaconescu who will be teaching the lectures.
For questions regarding the lecture material or homework that cannot be resolved by your workshop instructor please contact Prof. Diaconescu with a concise email containing "Physics 123H" in the subject line.


REQUIRED:  Holliday, Resnik and Walker "Fundamentals of Physics" with Webassign 10th Edition, John Wiley and Sons.
Make sure the book comes with the Webassign access code, otherwise you need to purchase the code separately.
ALSO REQUIRED: an i-clicker


Students with i-clicker issues or Webassign issues should send a clear and concise e-mail to Prof. Diaconescu:
The courseID for Webasign is .
When sending email, be sure to include your full name and Rutgers ID number, and include "Physics 123" in the subject line.


Lectures will be given in the Physics Lecture HallWednesday Period 1 (8:40 - 10:00 AM)

Student iClickers units will be used to collect answers to questions posted during lecture.  IClickers will be used for lecture participation score (see GRADING section below).  Purchase an iClicker unit at the Rutgers Bookstore or elsewhere. 



As part of this course, you will attend an 80-minute workshop section that meets once per week  in Physics and Astronomy Building, Rm. 227. Find your workshop meeting time and instructor here.

The workshops have three parts:

Recitation: This is a problem solving section under the guidance of your workshop instructor.

Quiz: takes 10-15 minutes and will be based on the homework submitted the previous Wednesday, and on the lecture material from the week before that.

Minilab: This is a collaborative activity done in small groups (two to three students), that focusses on conceptual understanding of the new material and usually involves a hands-on component. Your group will be asked to answer questions, and the instructor and learning assistant will circulate around the room and discuss your answers with you. You will receive a grade as a group and it will contribute to your recitation grade.

There also will be a "pre-lab", which is a short assignment that you are supposed to print out, answer before the workshop, and submit in the beginning of each workshop. The assignments for each workshop will be accessible in advance on the syllabus. You are expected to print them out and bring them with you to class.

You are expected to bring the workshop handout (prelab), a notebook to work in, and a calculator to each workshop.

WORKSHOP ABSENCES: If you have to miss a workshop due to an unavoidable conflict, you should attend another section's workshop during the same week.  HOWEVER you must obtain the permission of both workshop instructors, and you must arrange for the grade to be transferred to your regular instructor.  There will be no makeup opportunities for missed workshops outside of the week they are scheduled.


There will be 12 homework assignments at one or two week intervals. The due dates are listed in the Syllabus. It is strongly recommended to complete the homework shortly after your recitation, and if possible before lecture. It is very important that you WORK ALL THE HOMEWORK QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES and bring your solutions with you to the workshop. You are strongly encouraged to participate in the discussion of exercises and ask questions about aspects that you have not completely mastered. Note that the weekly quizzes and many questions on the exams will be closely based on the assigned questions and exercises.
HOMEWORK MUST BE ENTERED BY 11:59PM (23:59 hrs) ON THE DUE DATE (USUALLY WEDNESDAYS). No exceptions, no grace period.

For submission and grading of homework we will use an Internet-based homework service called WebAssign. It has several advantages:

  • You submit your homework assignment on the Web, and you get it graded immediately, instead of turning it in to an instructor and waiting a week to get it back.
  • If any of your answers were wrong, you can retry the incorrect problems and resubmit your assignment. You are allowed up to 5 submissions, which should enable most students to achieve perfect or near-perfect scores on most assignments.
  • Although every student is assigned the same problems, the numbers in each problem are randomized so that the numerical answer may vary from student to student.
The best way to access Webassign is via the link provided in your Sakai account. Your login information and other detailed instructions can be found here.


There will be two 80-minute common hour (CH) exams and one three-hour final exam in this course.  The CH exams will be conducted in several locations, and students are assigned to locations alphabetically. A label with your name on it will be pasted on one of the several versions of the exam and sent to the assigned location. If you go to the wrong location, you will not find your exam.

Exam Date and Time Locations
Final  TBA TBA


Make-up Exams:  To take a make-up exam, you have to obtain PRIOR PERMISSION from Prof. Diaconescu Exam locations and dates will be announced later.  A written explanation of why you must miss the exam, with supporting written evidence such as a note from the dean of students or health services, or written evidence of a conflicting exam, is required.  You are advised to resolve conflicts by changing your conflicting engagement, rather than rely on the make-up exam(s) in this course.

All exams will be multiple choice and closed-book. For each Common Hour Exam, you may bring with you a single "formula sheet": ONE 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper (OK to use both sides, but no photocopies) on which you may write any information that might be helpful to you during the exam. On the final exam you may bring two such sheets. The numerical values of relevant constants will be provided to you. You must bring a calculator to the exams (with no stored course information), as well as pencils for the computer forms. Communicating devices of any kind will not be allowed. In particular, cell phones must be turned off and placed in a bag (or similar) so that they cannot be seen by you or by anyone else. Failure to obey this rule will be considered cheating. Consequenses of cheating and academic dishonesty are severe, ranging from failing the course to expulsion from the University. (See section on academic integrity below.) Don't do it!


The nominal contribution of the various components of this course to your final grade is summarized in the table below.
Course Component Weight Notes
First Midterm 15%  
Second Midterm 15%  
Final Exam 30%  
Workshop Quiz 10% two dropped
Minilabs 10% two dropped
Lecture Participation 5% three dropped
Homework 15% Online (best 10/12)

Factors such as class participation in workshops contribute towards your final grade.


HOW TO STUDY FOR THIS COURSE: From experience we know that, in order to be successful in this class, consistent weekly effort is required on your part.  You need to "socialize" the material, to turn it around in your own mind, to get acquainted with it in several ways. Try also to study with friends. Through discussions with others, you will understand the material in a deeper way. Do not hesitate to contact your instructors, but do this as early as possible. Most things we can help you with, if we know about them early, but there is often little we can do if you wait until a few days before the common hour exams or the final. Above all, solve the assigned exercises, and when you have done all those, do some more!

You are strongly encouraged to form your own informal study groups. The best way is to form a group of 3-4 people and get together at a regular time once a week to thrash out your difficulties with homework exercises, reading, etc. It should be clearly understood, however, that the submitted homework should be, in the end, done by yourself. It is also the best preparation for the exams.

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS: Practice problems and sample exams will be posted here. The Math and Science Learning Centers (MSLC) ( on Busch and on Douglass and the various campus computer hubs have computer workstations that can access WWW. Students who need help in our course are strongly encouraged to see our recitation instructors. Their office hours are listed in the Instructors link in our course web page. In addition, free tutoring may be available form Rutgers University Learning Centers. For more details, consult the MSLC web page, or visit the MSLC (Busch Campus, ARC building, 3rd floor) in person.

E-MAILING INSTRUCTORS:  E-mailing is often the most efficient and effective means of communication in the course. The usual rules of punctuation, spelling, grammar, style and courtesy apply to electronic mail. If you expect your Instructor to pay attention to your message, we offer the following advice:

  • e-mail your workshop instructor first.  She or he is your first point of contact with the course personnel
  • use:  "Physics 123:" followed by your subject in the subject line so that the e-mails are easy to sort (we will do the same). 
  • construct concise e-mails with well-defined questions.  Avoid rambling stream-of-consciousness messages.
  • sign your full name,
  • write in clear, whole sentences with proper punctuation,
  • do not use texting shorthand - use "you" instead of "u" etc,
  • check your spelling, and
  • be courteous.

We will communicate with you exclusively through your Rutgers e-mail account. Failure on your part to check that account is not an acceptable excuse.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: Please review the Rutgers Policy on Academic Integrity for Undergraduate and Graduate Students. As this document makes clear, cheating can take many forms, none of which are acceptable. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • using an iClicker unit not your own on behalf of someone else, or asking someone to do so,
  • communicating or copying the contents of a recitation quiz to anyone else,
  • communicating with anyone other than the instructor by any means during an exam or quiz,
  • making use of unauthorized materials such as solutions manuals or published solutions from prior years,
  • logging on to Webassign as someone else, or having someone else log in as you.

However, we do encourage certain activities, such as:

  • working together on homework and exam review,
  • studying together and critiquing each other's formula sheets.
Students who would like to change sections should request a special permission number.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: If you have a disability, you are urged to speak to Professor Diaconescu early in the semester to make the necessary arrangements to support a successful learning experience. Also, you must arrange for Professor Diaconescu to receive a letter from your College's Disabilities Coordinator verifying that you have a disability. Please follow this link which contains more information for students with disabilities.