PHYSICS 152 - Spring 2011

University of Hawaii, Manoa
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy
Instructor: Michael Nassir
Office: Watanabe Hall, Rm. 426, (808) 956-2922
E-mail: nassir @

Spring 2011 SYLLABUS
with Reading Assignments


PHYS 152

Spring 2011

Physics Links & Software

(most recent first)

Saturday, March 12, 2011 — Midterm #2 Rescheduled to Wed. Mar. 16 in **PSB 217** (due to tsunami closure)

Due to the Mar. 11 tsunami closure of campus and cancellation of classes (and our midterm exam), I have decided on the following schedule for the week ahead:

Mon. 3/14 8:30am: Regular lecture in PSB 217 (homework due as originally scheduled)

Wed. 3/16 8:30am: *** Midterm #2 in PSB 217 lecture hall *** (the Art Auditorium is NOT available)

Fri. 3/18 8:30am: Regular lecture in PSB 217

All of the original exam conditions still apply (one sheet of handwritten notes allowed, etc.). The exam will still cover only the topics that I had originally announced for Midterm #2, and nothing additional.

Friday, February 4, 2011 — Free Individual Tutoring in Sinclair Library

The Learning Assistance Center (in Sinclair Library) has two more ways that you can get help on material for PHYS 152 and many other courses:

(1) FREE individual tutoring is available for PHYS 152 (and MANY other courses)! Click here and follow the instructions to choose a tutor and make an appointment.

(2) Free Supplemental Instruction (SI) sessions are being offered this semester for nine large math & science lecture courses (but not for PHYS 152 specifically). These small-group sessions are based on topics from lectures and homework, but are not intended as a replacement for attending lectures. Click here for a list of all courses that have Spring 2011 SI sessions, plus more information about Supplemental Instruction in general.

Monday, January 31, 2011 — Computer Accounts in Watanabe 421

All of you now have accounts on the four computers in Watanabe Hall Rm. 421 (Physics Learning Center). You can log in anytime using your UH username and UH password.

These computers are good for launching Firefox and accessing webpages (including Mastering Physics), but other than that, they are pretty "dumb" -- there are no printers or USB ports, and there is very little other software installed. But at least they provide a way to quickly look at Mastering Physics problems and other Web resources if you don't have your own laptop/smartphone handy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 — Tutoring Hours in Watanabe 421

Our Physics Lab TAs have arranged free drop-in tutoring hours in Wat 421 -- two or three hours are available each day of the week.

TAs will give first priority to their own lab students with lab-related questions, but beyond that, they are happy to answer questions about homework problems for any lower-division PHYS course.

The current schedule is posted outside Watanabe 421, and is also linked here (PDF file) -- look for the blue and green blocks with the TA's name and "Wat 421." (Ignore the time blocks that say "lecture.")

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 — Weekly Help Sessions

Given the large size of our class, in lieu of traditional "office hours," I will be holding weekly homework-related help sessions in PSB 217 (our regular lecture hall):

Wednesdays, 3:00-4:30pm
Thursdays, 3:00-4:30pm

Each session will review the formulas and methods for the Paper HW questions due the following Friday, and for the more challenging questions of the Online HW due the following Monday. I will also take general questions about any other problems (Tutorial questions, other book questions, etc.).

Thursday's session will be largely a repeat of Wednesday's session.

Friday, January 14, 2011 — Mastering Physics initial announcements

Our Mastering Physics course is now set up! Here's some info that you might need when registering and joining the PHYS 152 "course" online:

UH Manoa ZIP code: 96822
Course ID: UHPHYS152S11
Student ID: *** please use your PHYS 152 roster number ***
(If you have already entered a different student ID, you can change this with "Edit Profile".)

Here is a handout with more detail about how to log in to MP for the first time (NOT distributed in class, to save paper)

The "zeroth" assignment ("Introduction to Mastering Physics") has no due date and is not worth any credit... it is completely optional. It is just there for you to get an introduction to entering answers and using the MP system.

Your first assignment ("Online HW #1") is now available for you to start. Normally, I'll make MP Online Homework assignments due on Mondays at 8:30am (start of lecture). Online HW #1 is due Monday, Jan. 24.

You can see the details of my scoring policy when you're in MP, but here are some highlights:

* Most assignments will have roughly 5 multiple-choice questions (worth 2 points each) and roughly 5 numerical questions (worth 5 points each). For example, Online HW #1 is worth 28 points total. Longer assignments will be worth more, and shorter assignments less. (Our Paper Homeworks are all worth 25 points each, so Online and Paper assignments are worth similar weight, roughly speaking.) ALL homework points will be combined and re-weighted to become 20% of your final course grade.

* I have NOT set a limit on the number of times you can attempt a numerical question, and there should be no penalty for wrong answers. (Multiple-choice questions DO have limits and penalties for wrong answers, of course.) There is no penalty for using Hints, nor is there any bonus for leaving Hints unopened.

* Late submissions on MP are deducted a penalty of -5% per day past the due date/time. There will be NO dropping of Online HW scores, since they can be submitted late.

If you have technical problems (such as using your existing MP account), please contact the MP Support staff or our local Pearson publishing rep (contact info on the PDF document above).

Friday, January 14, 2011 — PHYS 152L Lab TAs

Each TA's name is followed by office location, phone (if known), and "" e-mail address -- e-mail is probably the best and easiest way to reach them:

Sec. 1 Mon 1:30pm - Ms. Wei Cai - Wat 431 - 956-2937 - weicai
Sec. 2 Tue 9:00am - Alireza Abrishamkar - Wat 428 - alireza
Sec. 3 Tue 12:00pm - Ms. Wei Cai - Wat 431 - 956-2937 - weicai
Sec. 4 Tue 3:00pm - Mr. Joshua Murillo - Wat 429 - 956-2937 - murillo
Sec. 5 Thu 12:00pm - Alireza Abrishamkar - Wat 428 - alireza
Sec. 6 Thu 3:00pm - Mr. Joshua Murillo - Wat 429 - 956-2937 - murillo

Monday, January 10, 2011 — PHYS 152L LAB Announcements
There are NO PHYS 152L Lab classes during the first week of the semester (Jan. 10-14). Also, labs do NOT meet on Martin Luther King Day [Monday, Jan. 17] or other state holidays.

PHYS 152L Lab classes will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 18. (If you are enrolled in a Monday section, your first lab meeting will be on Monday, Jan. 24.)

If you need to enroll in a lab section that is full:
(1) keep checking MyUH for a spot to open up (as other students rearrange their schedules this week); and/or
(2) contact the TA for that lab section and explain the urgency of your situation -- our Lab TAs may choose to over-enroll up to 1 or 2 extra students at their discretion. Show up to the first lab meeting of your desired section if you are unable to contact your TA beforehand.

If possible, it is easiest if you conduct the section change yourself in MyUH before the online deadline for switching sections (Tuesday, Jan. 18, 4:00pm). However, our Physics Dept. office can switch your lab section AFTER the deadline, after you get approval from the TA.

Once TAs are assigned to their respective lab sections later this week, I will publicize their names and contact information.

Monday, January 10, 2011 — Registration Deadline Reminders
Keep in mind the following UH Manoa registration deadlines on MyUH:

Tuesday, Jan. 18, 4:00pm
-- deadline to DROP courses (without "W" grade on transcript)
-- deadline to switch sections
(Our Physics Dept. office may be able to help you to switch lab sections AFTER the deadline, after you get approval from the TA.)

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 4:00pm
-- deadline to ADD courses
-- deadline to change grading options (letter grade vs. Credit/NoCredit)

Friday, March 11, 4:00pm
-- deadline to WITHDRAW from courses (with "W" grade on transcript)

Monday, January 10, 2011
Welcome to PHYS 152!