Physics 303K-Spring 2016

Physics 303K ‘ Engineering Physics I (Spring 2016)

MWF 11:00 am – 12:00 pm,     PAI 2.48,    Unique numbers: 55205 (primary), 55210, 55215, 55220

MWF 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm,       PAI 2.48,   Unique numbers: 55245 (primary), 55250, 55255, 55260




QUEST: Registration in UT QUEST is required. Quest will be used for Homework, Learning Modules, Class Clicker Quizzes, and the four evening tests. Read QUEST FAQs to get started:


FOR EACH CLASS: Move to the center of each row of seats, leaving no seats vacant.  (This course is full and students are wait-listed.)   Always sit next to at least one other person with whom you can discuss the clicker questions.



Ernst-Ludwig Florin,


Email:  (please mention always ‘PHY303K‘? in the subject of your email). Office: RLM 14.322

Office hours: Tuesday 2-3 pm and Friday 1-2 pm, RLM 14.322. Other times by appointment.



Michael Himmelsbach

Email: (please mention always ‘PHY303K‘? in the subject line)

Office: RLM 14.310

Office hours: Wednesday 2-3 pm, RLM 14.318. Other times by appointment.

Review: Sunday 5-7 pm, RLM 4.102

Homework Review: Sunday 7-9 pm, RLM 7.116


UNDERGRADUATE LEANING ASSISTANTS (UGLA) are undergraduates here to help and answer homework questions. They do NOT participate in the grading.  The LAs are:

Peter Kuo                          (MWF 11-12)

Ayesha Rahman             (MWF 12-1)




5-7 pm,    RLM 4.102           Review Session  (Orrin Shindell)

7-9 pm,    RLM 7.116            Homework Review (Michael Himmelsbach)


10-11 am,  RLM 5th floor tables near the elevator  (Irakli Gudavadze)

2-3 pm,     RLM 14.322         Office Hour (E.-L. Florin)


11-12pm,   RLM 14.224         Office Hour (H. Swinney)

2-3 pm,     RLM 14.318          Office Hour (Michael Himmelsbach)

2-3 pm,     RLM 5th floor tables near the elevator (Irakli Gudavadze)


5-6 pm,     RLM 7.104            Office Hour (Irakli Gudavadze)

6-7 pm,     RLM 7.104            Office Hour (Zane Rusk)

7-8 pm,     RLM 7.104            Office Hour (Noor Al-Sayyad)


1-2 pm,     RLM 14.322          Office Hour (E.-L. Florin)

2-3 pm,    RLM 14.224          Office Hour (H. Swinney)


4-5 pm,    WEL 3.266           Office Hour (Noor Al-Sayyad)

7-9pm,     RLM 6.104 (NOTE ROOM!!!) (Michael Himmelsbach) ( on 4/10 & 5/1 only’before tests)



For 11 a.m. class:   Tuesday, JES A305A at 6pm (55205), 7pm (55210), 8pm (55215), 9pm (55220)

For 12 p.m. class:  Thursday, JES A307A at 6pm (55245), 7pm (55250), 8pm (55255), 9pm (55260)



THIS COURSE may be used to fulfill three hours of the Natural Science and Technology (Part I or Part II’CORE component 030 or 031) component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: (1) communication skills, (2) critical thinking skills, (3) teamwork, and (4) empirical and quantitative skills.

This calculus-based engineering mechanics course uses the modern Matter and Interactions curriculum, which emphasizes the four fundamental principles that form the basis of science and engineering: momentum, energy, angular momentum, and entropy. Frequent connections are made between the macroscopic and microscopic (e.g. gases as collections of colliding molecules, Einstein’s model of a crystalline solid), demonstrating the universality of the fundamental principles. The course introduces concepts from quantum physics, including quantization (e.g. the quantized harmonic oscillator) and concepts from relativity, including Einstein’s famous E=mc^2.

The evening Discussion Sessions are an integral part of the course; these sessions emphasize the development of systematic problem solving techniques.


TEXTBOOK: Matter and Interactions, volume I, 3rd Edition (NOT 2nd and NOT 4th!), by Chabay and Sherwood. The book is available from stores on the drag and from many online vendors; the book is available as paperback and ebook for purchase and also for semester rental.

>> Do NOT purchase the publisher’s homework software WebAssign. The cost includes a homework service that we will not use; instead we will use UT’s QUEST homework system.


BOOKMARK this website has videos, lectures, and practice problems.

>>Do NOT purchase the publisher’s homework software WebAssign. The cost of WebAssign includes a homework service that we will not use; instead we will use UT’s Quest homework system.


QUEST: Registration in UT QUEST is required. Quest will be used for Homework, Learning Modules, Class Clicker Quizzes, and the tests. Read QUEST FAQs to get started:


LEARNING MODULES on QUEST: The Quest Learning Modules must be completed at least 15 minutes BEFORE CLASS BEGINS in order to count for credit in the course. These modules include a reading assignment and short clicker-type questions.



i-CLICKERS will be used in class starting on Friday January 22nd.  Starting on Monday, January 25th, the clicker questions will count toward the semester grade. For a clicker session in a class,  50% of the clicker grade for that class will be given if some response is made (right or wrong).  The remaining 50% of the clicker grade will be pro-rated by the number of correct answers to the questions. For example, if there are four clicker questions with a response given for all four questions but with only one correct response, the grade for the class is 62.5%=[50% +(1/4)50%].


Academic dishonesty: Using another person’s clicker is an example of academic dishonesty that is a violation of the UT Honor Code ( If a student is found to be using another student’s clicker, the names of both students will be submitted to Student Judicial Services ( for appropriate action.


Clicker purchase: Either the basic i-Clicker (about $10 online) or the i-Clicker-2 will work fine.  i-clickers are available new or used from many places online, and are available locally at the UT-coop and elsewhere.


Register your i-clicker in QUEST by entering its serial number. Quest will give you a number (1-150) for your clicker; you will need this number in class.  DO NOT REGISTER ON THE i-CLICKER WEB SITE. If you buy a used clicker with a serial number worn off, then determine the serial number in class by punching a i-clicker key and looking on the screen to see your serial number light up.


QUEST is maintained by the College of Natural Sciences. After the 12th day of class, when you log into Quest you will be asked to pay via credit card on a secure payment site. You have the option to wait up to 30 days to pay while still continuing to use Quest for your assignments.  Address questions regarding fees to  Address questions regarding payments to .


HOMEWORK: Due by 11:30 p.m. in the Quest system each Thursday and Sunday (except Sunday evenings before a Monday evening test). You may submit your answers one problem at a time, any time up to the due time for the homework set.   No homework will be accepted beyond the cutoff time.

ENTERING EXPONENTS IN QUEST: Use scientific notation, e.g. 3.569e-10, which means 3.569 times ten to the negative tenth power. The number -4375 can be written equivalently as -4.375e+3, or -4375, or -4375.000000


SIGNIFICANT DIGITS: Do not round off. Answers will be graded ‘correct’? if they are within 1%, except for the answer zero, which must be exact. To be safe, use four digits, as in the examples above.


TESTS will be at 7-9 p.m. on MONDAYS on >>> February 15, March 7, April 11, and May 2 <<<

Room for the 11:00 a.m. class:           BUR 106         (for all tests)

Room for the 12:00 p.m. class:           WCH 1.120     (for all tests)

All four tests are required. NO makeup tests or alternative test times will be available ‘ check your course schedule for other courses NOW. The tests are a required part of the course, as listed in the UT Course Schedule that you had when you registered for the course.

FOR YOUR TESTS you will need only a pencil and an ID (UT or TDL). [You will NOT need a calculator.] Leave everything else at home, or put your coat, backpack, cell phone, all electronic devices, etc. in the front of the class room before taking a seat.  Your assigned seat will have your test, a Scantron answer sheet, a sheet of formulas, and scrap paper.



TEST ABSENCES: If an evening test is missed, it will be the ‘dropped’ test, unless the absence is excused, e.g. documentation is provided within one week attesting for example to a broken leg, pneumonia, car wreck,  jail term. For such an excused absence the final exam grade will be substituted for the missing test grade.


FINAL EXAMS (current status): 

11 a.m. class:       final on Saturday, May 14, 2016, 9 a.m. -12 noon

12 p.m. class:       final on Monday, May 16, 2016, 2 p.m. ‘ 5 p.m.


Location will be announced later in the semester.

Please confirm the dates towards the end of the semester at


GRADING:    Semester grades will use the plus-minus grading scale. The contributions to the grade include:

  • Learning Modules [Quest] due 15 minutes before each class begins (4 drops) 5%
  • Class clicker quizzes [Quest] (4 drops) 8%
  • Class written work (1 drop) 2%
  • Homework [Quest ]  (2 drops) 8%
  • Discussion sessions (1 drop): 7%
  • Tests (4 tests, 1 drop) 34%
  • Written questions on Tests (4 tests, 1 drop) 2%
  • Final Exam 34%



(1)   Before class: Read the textbook assignment and complete the Learning Module at least 15 minutes before class begins.

(2)   Bring your i-Clicker to every class. It’s also helpful to bring your textbook.

(3)   Arrive for class in time to start promptly. Late arrivals and early departures are disruptive.


COACHING TABLES: Starting on Monday, February 1st, assistance with course material and homework will be provided by physics graduate students, 9-5 weekdays in RLM  near the elevators on the 5th floor (one floor up from ground level).


STUDY SESSIONS: You are encouraged to organize study groups. You can ask a teaching assistant to help you form a study session.  You can also reserve a Group Study Room on the web site


LABORATORY: The 103M lab is a separate course with a separate grade.