Syllabus

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Course Materials
Assignments
Exams
Grading

Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Solve problems and answer conceptual questions about electric charges, fields, electric potentials, and circuits.
  2. Solve problems and answer conceptual questions about magnetic fields, magnetic forces, Faraday’s Law, and electromagnetic waves.
  3. Solve problems and answer conceptual questions about geometric and wave optics.
  4. Solve problems and answer conceptual questions about special relativity, quantum physics, atomic physics, and nuclear physics.

Course Requirements

Personally, I have three expectations from you in this course. First, I expect you to put forth your best effort. Second, I want you to remember to use all of the course resources at your disposal. These will include such items as review sheets, the discussion material, and the index and appendices in the textbook. (Helpful hint: Use the entire contents of the textbook.) Finally, since this is an Independent Study course, I expect you to experiment with some original or novel ways of looking at the coursework.

Prerequisites

PHSCS 105 (Introductory Applied Physics) or equivalent skills.

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Course Materials

I think you will find that this book is well organized, highly detailed, and full of helpful examples. Be sure to study the examples in each chapter as you read through the material. By doing this, you will be able to get a solid idea of what I expect of you in the Self Check exercises as well as the computational problems on the exams.

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Course Organization

This course contains seventeen lessons structured around six midcourse exams. For more information on these exams, look at the section titled “Exams” on the following page.

Please do not try to alter the organization of the course. You should submit your exams and the assignment to be submitted (found at the end of this course) in the proper order. Each exam or assignment must be tracked through the system or it may be lost. Under no circumstances should you try to send exams or assignments directly to me to bypass the course.

Read the Text!

I feel that reading the text is the real key to success. I know that most students do not make a habit of actually reading textbooks. Students generally get through a course by listening and taking notes during classroom lectures. There is nothing especially bad about this habit; however, it does take away some of your potential as a student. I found this to be true when I took a course in calculus through what was then called BYU Home Study. For the first time in my academic career, I found I had to read a textbook—there was no getting around that fact. I had always been a very good student, but I found that I had no idea what was going on in the course unless I read the book and worked the problems. During this time, I made another discovery: Many of the textbooks I had were pretty good reading and contained many helpful hints. The textbook for this course is extremely well written.

Discussion Material

The discussion material in this course will also be helpful as you study the science of physics. This is where I have a chance to add some of my experience and insight into the subject. I will not be able to compensate entirely for the lack of classroom lectures; you will still need to get through most of this on your own. However, in the discussions, I will do my best to supplement some of the areas where I find the text a bit hard to follow, and I will discuss some of the general ideas that have always interested me as I have studied physics at various levels.

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Assignments

The only homework you will submit will be an assignment to review all the major concepts in the course to help you prepare for the final exam. This assignment is at the end of the course.

Self Check Exercises

At the end of each lesson you should work through the Self Check exercises for each chapter. There are two sections in the Self Check exercises: assigned questions and additional questions. You will submit a percentage score and a point total for the assigned questions to me along with the assignment to be submitted (at the end of this course). The answers for these assigned questions are in the Appendix of this course. You will find a scoring system for the assigned questions in the “Self Check Exercises” section of each lesson. The score from each lesson should be recorded in the chart found in the grading section of this syllabus. This will be on the honor system. The assigned questions will only count as 30 percent of your final grade. You will not be able to do well on the exams until you have mastered the problem-solving skills from each chapter in the book. Some of the assigned questions may require a bit of innovative thinking before they can be solved. I have tried to keep these types of questions to a minimum. I do not want to convey the idea that the study of physics is simply memorizing a series of mathematical tricks. I expect you to master physical concepts.

Also, you should complete the list of additional questions from the assigned chapter in your text. These will help you prepare to solve the exam problems requiring computation. The answers to these questions are in the back of the textbook. The additional questions will help give you the problem-solving experience that you need to complete the course. You need to work these on your own. Simply stated, you must work many problems in order to become a proficient problem solver. You cannot do well in this course without working lots of problems!

Self Check Exercise Report

Download and use the [ LINK REMOVED ] Self-Check Exercise Report to record your score for each lesson. You will submit your score along with the instructor-graded assignment to be submitted prior to requesting the final exam.

Your Self Check exercise score equals a Self Check exercise point total divided by 450 and multiplied by 90. Round the Self Check exercise score to the nearest whole number and report this score to me with the assignment to be submitted. If you fail to report this score before you take the final, you will be 30 percent short on the total points for the course when your grade is calculated! That would mean that your maximum possible grade would be a C!

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Exams

You will complete six midcourse exams and a comprehensive final exam.

Review Sheets

You will need to complete the review sheets found in the “Preparing” sections for each midcourse exam. You will be allowed to use these review sheets when you take the exam and you will be required to submit them with the exam. The review sheets are designed so that all the key ideas you need will be with you as you proceed through each exam. Do not feel that you need to copy the entire textbook onto the review sheet. If you do that, it shows me that you have not mastered the main ideas. However, don’t let me limit what you feel will be useful to you as you take an exam. You may write anything you choose on the review sheets. The review sheets should help you realize that you are not required to memorize a great deal of material. I hope you recognize that my goal is to get you to understand the physics behind a problem. You may also use a scientific calculator on the exams.

The review sheets for each midcourse exam must be filled out by hand and turned in with the exam, or 10 percent will be deducted from your test score.

Midcourse Exams

A midcourse exam may cover material from one, two, three, or four lessons. Before each exam there will be a section on how to prepare for the midcourse exam. The six midcourse exams contain a wide variety of problems. Simple problems will be mixed with others that may be fairly challenging. Five questions on each exam will be multiple choice. There will be four problems on each exam that can be answered only with lengthy computations. The five multiple-choice questions will be worth two points each. The computational problems will be worth five points each. This allows me to be very generous with partial credit as I grade the exams. As you can see, each exam is worth thirty points and represents 10 percent of your total course grade. Your goal in this course is to learn to use clear physical ideas and apply them to everyday situations.

Final Exam

The final exam is comprised of thirty multiple-choice questions that will test your knowledge of concepts rather than your ability to solve computational problems. The reason behind this approach is actually quite straightforward. You need to know the physical concepts behind the problems in order to solve problems that you may encounter in the future. This course will serve you well if you take the time to master the ideas. Remember, you will not be allowed to have review sheets or other papers with you during the final exam. You should have memorized some of the more basic equations and laws that you have used throughout the course by this time. None of the problems on the final will involve difficult computations. However, there will be several simple computational problems on the final exam.

At the end of this course, in the section on preparing for the final exam, there is an outline of the key ideas in the course to help you study for the final exam. Feel free to use this section to review each unit. There will be some short-answer questions that you will submit for grading before you take the final exam.

The exams are only available to be taken in a paper format. Please plan for shipping time.

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Grading

There are 300 points possible in this course. The Self Check exercises will count as 30 percent of your grade, each of the six midcourse exams will be worth 10 percent, and the comprehensive final exam will only be worth 10 percent (30 points) of your grade.

I often have students concerned that I will fail to use a curve when I assign grades or that I will miss something due to the fact that this is an online course. I want to assure you that all the grades and partial credit are assigned equally with on-campus classes and that I am fully aware of the problems and difficulties associated with taking classes at home. I have worked hard over the years to prevent grade inflation in my classes. I have been an online instructor for almost fifteen years. During that time, I have learned what quality of student to expect and how much work a student will put into a course. I have learned that a large number of students who work hard and complete a class are of higher quality than the general population on campus. Thus, I know that the students who complete a class are generally motivated and conscientious. I think that is one reason why the average grade in my classes is a B. Students who take the time to complete a course almost never earn a grade lower than a C. It is not easy to earn an A, but it is much more difficult to fail if you take the time to put in the work.

Midcourse Exam 1 10%
Midcourse Exam 2 10%
Midcourse Exam 3 10%
Midcourse Exam 4 10%
Midcourse Exam 5 10%
Midcourse Exam 6 10%
Homework 30%
Comprehensive Final Exam 10%

Your grade for the course will be determined by the scale on the following page.

Grading Scale
A 92%–100% C 63%–75%
A− 90%–91% C− 60%–62%
B+ 87%–89% D+ 57%–59%
B 82%–86% D

53%–56%

B− 80%–81% D− 51%–52%
C+ 76%–79% E (fail) 50% or below

Note: This course fulfills the General Education Category II requirement.

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Time Requirements

I feel that it is not possible to do well in this course without working hard for at least two months. If you request my permission for rapid submission of exams in order to make a deadline, this may or may not be possible. If granted, please be aware that this course of action is taken at your own risk!

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.

Assignments

1 instructor-graded assignment Resubmission is allowed for a fee.

Resubmit an assignment for a fee.

Exams

6 proctored, instructor-graded midcourse exams and 1 proctored, instructor-graded final exam. (No retakes are allowed.) You must pass the final exam to pass the course.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514
USA

BYU Copyright Notice for TEACH ACT

COPYRIGHT NOTICE
The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.
“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment…
Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy.

Copyright notice for specific, individual copies
All copies are intended for non-commercial, educational purposes in connection with this registered course and only for students enrolled in this course. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws.