Rutgers University Department of Physics and Astronomy

Physics 271 : Overview

General Information

01:750:273 Honors Physics I is a 3-credit introductory course that covers classical mechanics and thermodynamics. The main course home page includes a link to the complete syllabus, indicating the topics to be covered in each lecture and the sections in the textbook that should be read in advance of each lecture.

Required Purchases

All three items can be purchased at the Rutgers University Bookstore (Ferren Mall). The textbook can be found at the lower level, and the other two items may be obtained from the textbook desk at the lower level.

The Access Card can also be bought online at the WebAssign site.

The iClicker transmitter is a device that resembles a TV remote unit, and its purpose is to make lectures interactive. Several times during each lecture, the professor will display a multiple-choice conceptual question pertaining to the topics being discussed. Click the button corresponding to your answer.

Whether or not your answer is correct, you will be given credit towards attendance every time you give an answer. The total iClicker score will count 5% towards your final course grade.

If you already have an iClicker that you used in some other course, YOU DON'T NEED TO BUY ANOTHER ONE. At the end of the semester, you can sell it back to the Rutgers University Bookstore. Here are more complete iClicker instructions written by Prof. Bergman. Our main course home page has a link for registering your iClicker.


Lectures will be on Mondays 1:55-2:50pm and Wednesdays 1:55-2:50pm in the Physics Lecture Hall on Busch Campus. The lectures will be given by Prof. Duiliu Emanuel Diaconescu.

Remember to bring your iClicker unit to every lecture, so that you can answer questions electronically during lecture.

Lecture notes will be uploaded to the course Website soon after each lecture is given. So it should be unnecessary for students to take notes during lecture. We recommend that during lecture you concentrate on trying to understand what is presented, ask questions, etc.


Your registration for this course includes an assignment to a 55-minute recitation section. There are seven such sections, and they meet on Thursdays and Fridays, after the lectures for the week have been given.

Your recitation instructor will discuss problems similar 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. Your total recitation score will count 15% towards your final grade. The lowest two quizzes will be dropped.


There will be weekly homework assignments, due on Mondays at 11:59pm. We will use an internet-based homework service called WebAssign, which will enable you to access the homework assignments online, submit your answers online, receive immediate grading, and allow you extra chances to correct any of your wrong answers. The main course home page includes a link that provides detailed information about homework and WebAssign. Your total homework score will count 25% towards your final grade. The lowest two homework scores will be dropped.

The lectures and recitations earlier in the week will prepare you to do the homework. In addition, you are encouraged to form study groups with others in the class, and work on homework together. The Math and Science Learning Center would be an excellent place to congregate for this purpose.

Examinations and Grading

There will be two hour exams and a final exam, scheduled as follows:

Practice Exams for each of these will be posted on the Exam Copies page. Each Practice Exam will be discussed at a Review Lecture. Solutions to the actual exams will be posted after the exams have been given.

Each hour exam will count 15% towards the final grade, and the Final Exam will count 25%. The exams will be multiple-choice. They will be closed book, but you may bring one 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper with formulas and notes to consult during the exam. (You may write on both sides of this cheat sheet). Of course you should also bring a couple of pencils and a scientific calculator.

You may access the gradebook by going here and log in using your NetID.

This page is maintained by Prof. Duiliu Emanuel Diaconescu.