Physics 323 - Spring 2017

Advanced General Physics

Course Description

This is the first of two one-semester courses on advanced general physics. The primary purpose of these courses is to give you an understanding of classical mechanics and classical electromagnetism at a greater depth than that covered in introductory physics. In Physics 323, we will focus on classical mechanics while Physics 324 in the spring will focus on electromagnetism. The format of the course will be different than in previous years and will consist of both lectures and active learning sessions. This is outlined in greater detail below. Please review it carefully.

How to Contact Me

My office is Serin 328 W. If you would like to contact me, please send email to me at This is a special email account that I've set up for this course to keep the email separate from all my others. Please use this email for communications having to do with this course. Please do NOT use my email.

Format of the Course

Lectures will be on Tuesdays and the active learning sessions will be on Thursday. There are two sections of the course. Section 1 will meet from 1:40 pm to 3:00 pm on both Tuesdays and Thursdays in Tillett Hall, Room 264, on the Livingston Campus. Section 2 will meet from 6:40 pm to 8:00 pm on both Tuesdays and Thursdays in Allison Road Classroom Building, Room 333, on the Busch Campus. Please attend the meetings for the section that you are registered for. I will try to keep the two sections more or less synchronized, so if you can't make your regular meeting time on a particular day, you can attend the meeting of the other section. The first class for both sections is Tuesday, Sept. 5.

In the Tuesday lectures, I will cover material from the textbook. Please come to class prepared having read the assigned material from the textbook. Also please come prepared to ask questions. I want the students to be actively engaged. If there aren't sufficient questions, then I will ask questions of the students randomly.

The Thursday meetings will be active learning sessions. You will go over lecture material and homework problems in groups of three to four. Teaching assistants along with me will be available to answer questions and to assist with problems. Every other Thursday a quiz will be given on material covered since the previous quiz. More detail on the quizzes is given below.

Active participation by the students, particularly in the Thursday sessions is important. Attendance and participation in the lectures and active learning sessions combined will count for 20% of the course grade.


I am working on the course syllabus. When it is ready I will post it here. This syllabus is meant to be flexible and will be modified as appropriate as the course proceeds.

Office Hours

I don't plan to hold regular office hours, but please don't hesitate to come to see me about any questions you might have concerning the course material or related physics. If you would like to meet with me, simply email me at listing three times that you are available. I will then get back to you within 24 hours letting you know which of those times would be good for me. Please, though, do not phone or drop by my office unexpected.


I will post weekly homework problems usually consisting of problems from the textbook. The homework will not be graded but is meant to help you to learn the material and to prepare for the quizzes and exams. You can find solutions here . It is to your advantage to try to solve the homework problems before looking at the solutions. The homework will in general consist of a range of problems from straight forward to challenging. Making an attempt at the homework problems is very important.


There will be six in-class quizzes during the semester. They will be given during the Thursday sessions shown in the schedule below. Students will be allowed to retake each quiz once if they wish. The final grade for the quiz will then be the average of the two grades, no exceptions. For each student, I will drop the lowest of the six quiz grades. The quiz grades in total will count for 50% of the course grade.

Quizzes will be given on the following Thursdays:   9/14,   9/28,   10/12,   11/9,   Tuesday 11/21   and   12/7.


There will be an 80-minute, in-class, mid-term exam and a 3-hour, final exam. The mid-term exam will be on Thursday, October 26. The final exam will on Monday, December 18, from noon to 3 pm. The midterm will count for 10% of the course grade and the final will count for 20%.


The course grade will be based on the following criteria:

Class attendance and participation: 20%
Inclass quizzes: 50%
Midterm exam: 10%
Final exam: 20%

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This page is maintained by Prof. Steve Schnetzer.