PHYSCS 800-172               Introductory Physics II                       Spring 2006


Course Website: _____________________________________

Instructor: Dr. Bob Benjamin            E-mail:

Office: 322 Goodhue Hall            Phone: (262) 472-5114

Office Hours: The hours below are my approximate office hours. 

            Wed: 2-4:30 pm  (Goodhue 322)
            Thurs: 6:15-8:15 pm (Upham 238)
            Fri: 1:30-3:30 pm (Goodhue 322)
Other hours are available by appointment, but please note that I will have NO office hours on Monday afternoon or Tuesday.  Since I sometimes need to attend campus meetings or deal with emergencies, please check my on-line calendar if you can before coming by for office hours. I will not be announcing changes to office hours in class.

Course Objectives: Introductory Physics II is a calculus-based physics course designed for science majors. The principle objectives are:

Course Prerequisites: PHYSCS 170 is a prerequisite, MATH 253 is a corequisite.

Required text:
(available at Text Rental)

Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics, Serway & Jewett, 6th edition

Other required materials: Clickers (available at Textbook Rental) and a scientific calculator (graphing capability is not necessary).

Supplemental materials:

• Student Solutions Manual & Study Guide for Serway & Jewett’s Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics, Volume 1 by J.R. Gordon, R. V. McGrew, & Raymond A. Serway (ISBN 0-534-40855-9)

I am getting a few copies to put into the SPS (Society of Physics Students) room. This book not only has worked out example problem, but an excellent set of chapter summaries.  If you are going to be a physicist or engineer, I strongly urge you to consider buying this book. 

Web Site for Textbook:

University of Illinois-Practice Exams:

Scientific Calculator:

• You might also wish to buy a Texas Instruments TI-30X IIS calculator to get used to using the same calculator as will be provided during the exam. These calculators cost about $20 at the bookstore.


Grading policy: The grade you earn in this class will be based upon the five assignment types listed below. The maximum number of class points is 1000 (not counting extra credit). A grading scale is given below for your reference. You can use the score below to determine your guaranteed grade. At the end of the course, if five people have not earned an A with the grading scale below, the grading scale will be uniformly slid downward so that five people earn A’s. For example, if the fifth highest score in the class is an 850, then the grading scale becomes A (850-1000), B (750-849), C (600-749) and so on.  Grades are not curved, encouraging you to work together, but I expect each student to hand in his or her own work. 


Grading Scale


Grade Breakdown









Midterm exams





Final exam


















Attendance: Attendance is a small part of your grade for this course. However, it is a disadvantage to miss any lectures because the lectures, demonstrations, and in-class activities will greatly enhance your ability to understand the material. There will often be assignments done in class that are worth points. If you are ill, please contact me before class to make arrangements to make up in-class work. Otherwise, you will lose the points for any day you are absent. Late exams are not allowed, but in special cases you may take an exam early. You must remember to sign in on the attendance sheet to get credit.

Exams (3 exams@100 class points each): Three midterm exams are scheduled as shown in the attached schedule. Note that the lab period before each exam is reserved for an exam review to be held during lab time.

Final exam (1 exam@200 class points): The comprehensive final exam is on Wednesday, May 11 from 10-noon.

Homework (200 class points): This semester we will have a mix of on-line and written homework due weekly. With the exception of exam weeks, the on-line portion of homework will be due by 11 pm on Thursday night. The written part of the homework will be due no later than the beginning of class on Fridays. On exam weeks, the on-line portion and the written portion will be due by 4:30pm on Thursday to my office, although I’m hoping that you’ll have it done before the exam review session. There will be no credit for late homework unless you have a valid excuse and have made prior arrangements.

Each homework assignment will be worth 100 points, providing a total of 1400 possible homework points. Your homework score will be the number of homework points/1300 points. To convert from homework points to class points: 

Class points= (homework points earned)/(1300 homework points)*200

You should consider the homework the minimum number of problems needed to understand the material. I recommend that you work out at least five additional problems for each chapter from the text. The answers to odd problems are provided at the back of your book and I have the solutions to even problems as well.

Participation (100 class points): There are two components to your participation grade: preflights  and attendance. Each will carry equal weight of 2 participation points per day.

                        Class points= (participation points earned)/(total participation points)*100

Attendance and participation: Attendance will be taken for each class period by a sign-in sheet at the front of the room. Just initial the sheet when you come in. I will also be checking to make sure that you are answering the clicker questions. I will be teaming you up into groups of three to discuss concept questions as well as work on problem questions. The groups will be reshuffled after each exam.

Preflights:  Before each lecture, you will have a series of questions to answer (“preflight”) on your reading assignment for that lecture. Your answers must be submitted by midnight the night before the lecture.  I strongly encourage you to read ahead over the weekend and answer those weeks preflights before the week starts. If, for some reason, you can’t get a computer connection, you can print out the questions and turn in your answers at the beginning of class.  Please make sure to do your reading thoroughly and come to class with a solid idea of the concepts covered in that day’s reading assignment.  The more prepared you are, the more likely we will be able to spend some of the class time working out problems, including homework problems.

Labs (200 class points): There will be twelve labs this semester held in Upham 238, starting the first week of class. I will give you a separate syllabus covering this section of the course, and how the grades will be assigned.

Extra Credit (25 class points): The Physics department will be arranging a series of colloquium on Fridays (and possibly other days or evenings). You can receive extra credit by attending these talks and turning in a half-page single-spaced summary (either written or typed) of what the talk was about and what you learned. Each report will earn 5 extra credit class points. You can receive no more than 25 extra credit points during the semester. For those of you unable to attend these talks/events, you can receive extra credit by doing some research and writing up the solution to an alternate set of questions that will be posted to the course News page.

How to do well in this course: 50% of your grade in this course comes from exams, so it is important to make sure that you prepare properly for the exams. I will be providing additional help/pointers as the first exam draws near. But note that 50% of your grade is completely under your control. If you start your homework promptly, turn in all your preflights, and do all of the class activities, there’s no reason why you can’t get 100% on this part of the course. You will seriously hurt your grade if you don’t turn in the homework, preflights, and attend the classes/in-class activities.  

Course Schedule:  This course will cover Chapter 1 through Chapter 22 of the book, covering dynamics, rotational motion, waves, and thermodynamics. The tentative topic schedule is attached; deadlines for preflights and homework will be provided on the on-line course Planner. 

Workload: The University sets a minimum level of effort which each student must devote per credit earned for all courses at the university, a minimum found in Section V-C, page 1 (revised 1992 August 1), of the University Handbook. Effectively, you should be spending twice as much time on this course outside of class as you do in class, approximately eight hours of work for this four credit class.  If you find that you are spending significantly more than that, please discuss it with me to see if I can help you study more effectively.


Special needs statement: Students with special needs should contact the instructor to make appropriate arrangements.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is dedicated to a safe, supportive and non-discriminatory learning environment. It is the responsibility of all undergraduate and graduate students to familiarize themselves with University policies regarding Special Accomodations, Misconduct, Religious Beliefs Accomodation, Discrimination and Absence for University Sponsored Events. (For details please refer to the Undergraduate and Graduate Timetables; the Rights and Responsibilities section of the Undergraduate Catalog; the Academic Requirements and Policies and the Facilities and Services sections of the Graduate Catalog; and the Student Academic Disciplinary Procedures [UWS Chapter 14]; and the Student Nonacademic Disciplinary Procedures [UWS Chapter 17].)