Physics 273

Honors Physics III: Modern Physics, Fall 2017


There will be no makeup opportunities for missed homework or recitations. The lowest quiz and lowest homework grade will be dropped. This is to allow for illness, conflicts, religious holidays etc. iClicker questions will count towards attendance. Students may miss up to two lectures without penalty.

Grade point values for different parts of the class are as follows:

  • Common Hour Exam I: 20%
  • Common Hour Exam II: 20%
  • Final Exam: 30%
  • Recitations: 15%
  • Homework: 10%
  • iClicker: 5%

The gradebook (link above) will allow you to track your grades through the semester.


All information regarding exams--including scheduling, location, and content--can be found on the exams page.


Lectures will be on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:35pm to 4:30pm in the Physics Lecture Hall on Busch Campus. The lectures will be given by Prof. John Paul Chou.

Remember to bring your iClicker unit to every lecture, so that you can answer questions electronically during lecture, and have your answers counted towards attendance.

Lecture notes will be uploaded to the course website before each lecture is given.


Your registration for this course includes an assignment to a 55-minute recitation section. Your recitation instructor will discuss problems similiar to those assigned for homework, and will encourage questions and class discussion. Towards the end of the class, the instructor will give a short written quiz. Your recitation instructor will grade your solution and return it to you the following week.

Section 1: Thursdays at 3:35PM-4:30PM in ARC-110
Section 2: Fridays at 10:35AM-11:30AM in ARC-108
Section 3: Fridays at 1:55PM-2:50PM in ARC-206
Section 4: Thursdays at 1:55PM-2:50PM in SEC-216

Textbooks and Homework

The required textbook is Modern Physics by Thornton and Rex: University Physics, 4th edition, Cengage Learning (2013), ISBN-10: 1133103723/ ISBN-13: 978-1133103721.

You will also need to purchase a WebAssign access card (available for purchase at the WebAssign site), and an iClicker. If you have an iClicker already for another course, you do not need to buy a new one. More instructions on iClickers can be found here.

There will be weekly homework assignments, due on Mondays at 3:00am. The submission is electronic through WebAssign, so if you are even one second late, you will get zero credit!

Getting Started with WebAssign

To begin using WebAssign, go to the WebAssign login page. For your username enter the first letter of your last name in lowercase, followed by ALL 9 DIGITS of your ID number.

For the institution, enter rutgers in lowercase, i.e. don't capitalize rutgers. For the password, enter your 9-digit ID number including leading zeroes if any. After you have logged in, you can (and undoubtedly should) change your password, but you cannot change your username or institution. NOTE: The above applies only to students who have not previously used WebAssign. If you have previously used WebAssign, your previous password remains valid.

Although you can log into WebAssign and examine the homework assignments starting Aug. 20, 2016, you won't be able to submit answers until you register your WebAssign access code. You can purchase the card bundled with the textbook, or you can purchase it separately from the cashiers at either the Rutgers University Bookstore or the Cook/Douglass Cooperative Bookstore, or you can buy it online at the WebAssign site.

Preparing Homework Assignments

The lectures and recitations each week will give you practice in doing problems similar to the ones in the assignment due the following Monday. You are encouraged to discuss homework problems with your classmates, and the Math and Science Learning Center would be an excellent place for you and your friends to work together. Of course you should attempt the problems on your own before discussing them with your friends. If you simply copy someone else's method for solving a problem, you will not have learned it well enough for success on exams.

When you are ready to submit an assignment, note that you can enter numerical answers in a variety of formats:

• A number, with or without a decimal point, e.g. 3215 or 1.23

• In scientific notation, e.g. 1.23E5 which means 1.23 multiplied by 10 raised to the power 5. So 1.23E5 is the same as 123000. Do NOT leave a space between the E and the number before or after it. Also, do not use the notation 10^5 or 10**5.

• Your answer can make use of mathematical operators like +, -, *(multiply), the slash symbol for division, and parentheses. So one could enter 3*(6+5) which equals 33. Do not leave spaces between numbers and operators, and do not include equal signs, e.g. =3/6 is invalid.

• THE MOST COMMON PITFALL FOR STUDENTS is that WebAssign only counts an answer as correct if it is within 1% of the right answer. So in solving a homework problem, you should not round off any numbers until the very end, and then you should submit the answer to three significant figures. For example, if your answer is 0.012345, you should enter it as 0.0123 or 1.23E-2. If you enter it as 0.012, you will be marked wrong, because 0.012 differs from 0.0123 by well over 1%.

• Be careful NOT to use the letter O for zero 0, nor the letter l for the number 1. Don't enter "pi" for 3.14159.

Submitting Homework Assignments

Once you've entered your answers, click the "Submit for grading" button at the bottom of the assignment. Your assignment will be returned with answers marked correct (with a check) or incorrect (with an X). If any were incorrect, you can retry the assignment. When you are ready to resubmit, click the "Review Last Submission" button. This will bring up all previous answers and allow you to edit the incorrect ones. If you simply call up the assignment, all answers are taken as blank again, and you will need to re-enter all your previous correct answers.

You are allowed up to 5 submissions for each assignment. The last submission you make is the one whose grade will be recorded. Here are some helpful hints concerning submission of homework:

• Once you click the Submit button, be patient and WAIT for a reply. If you impatiently click the button again, you will use up another of your 5 allowed submissions.

• You must allow your Web browser to accept cookies. Most Web browsers do accept cookies by default, so you should be okay unless you have explicitly disabled this feature.

• Do not use the "Back" button on your browser; use the buttons on the screen. Otherwise you may recall a cached page and your assignment might not get submitted properly.

• Be sure to click the WebAssign logout button before exiting your browser.

Students with Disabilities

Information for students with disabilities:

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 iClickers 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 else by any means during an exam or quiz,
  • making use of unauthorized materials such as solutions manuals or published solutions from prior years except those posted in the links to this course web site,
  • logging on to Mastering Physics as someone else, or having someone else log in as you.

However, we do encourage working together on homework and exam reviews, as well as studying together and critiquing each other's formula sheets. Ultimately, cheating in any form will not work in your favor: you will not learn the material for yourself. This can have only a deleterious effect on your own performance in classes and in the world at large.


Lecturer: Prof. John Paul Chou

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