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Last updated: Thu Sep 8 09:10:45 am 2005 (EDT) by Tibor Nagy

PHY 184 Fall 2005

Michigan State University


Course Coordinator: Felicia Berryman, Tibor Nagy, Stan Schriber

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Instructor Information

Professor Stan Schriber (section 001)
Office: Rm 100B NSCL, Phone: (517) 333-6352
Email: schriber@nscl.msu.edu

Dr. Tibor F. Nagy (section 002)
Office: Rm 1253 BPS, Phone: (517) 355-9200x2515
Email: nagy_t@pa.msu.edu, nagytibo@msu.edu

Teaching Assistants:
Vijay Singh, singhvij@msu.edu
Jonathan Cook, cook@nscl.msu.edu
Justin Pilot, pilotjus@msu.edu

You are encouraged to ask questions in class and in the learning center to better understand the concepts and get assistance with problem solving. Questions about solving homework problems can also be discussed using the "feedback" feature of LON-CAPA. See the feedback (FDBK) button. Postings are visible to everyone in the course and other students in the course can respond to questions. Posts can be made anonymously but the instructors, however, can see the names. The URL for LON-CAPA is: http://msu.loncapa.org

Course Description

Physics 184 is a calculus-based physics course for students majoring in engineering or physical sciences. Topics include: electrostatics, electric currents, magnetism, induction, electromagnetic waves and light, geometric and physical optics, special relativity.


(PHY 181B or PHY 183 or PHY 193A or PHY 183B or PHY 193H or LBS 164) and MTH 133.

Class Hours

Section 001: Mo, Tu, We, Th, 16:10-17:00, Rm 1410 BPS,
Section 002: Mo, Tu, We, Th, 17:10-18:00, Rm 1410 BPS.

Office Hours

Professor Schriber: Th. 12:00-14:00, Rm 100B NSCL,
Dr. Nagy: Mo. 13:00-14:30, Rm 1248 BPS.

Helproom Hours

Time is scheduled (Fridays - 09:00-18:00 & Mondays - 09:00-21:00) in the Physics Learning Center (1248 BPS) where students can get assistance and individual attention. Members of the teaching team will be available for help on any physics topic covered in the course. You may attend any and as many of the sessions as you wish. The Physics Learning Center can also be useful as a place for groups to meet for studying and problem solving. Interacting with fellow students is a good strategy for learning physics.

Exam Information

There will be two 50-min midterm exams with optional 30% partial credit for corrections (PCC) and one 2-hour final exam. The midterm exams and the final exam will be based on the material covered in lectures, the textbook, quizzes and homework.

Dates and locations of exams are:

Wednesday, Oct 05, 2005, Lecture time, Rm 1410 BPS,
Wednesday, Nov 09, 2005, Lecture time, Rm 1410 BPS.

Tuesday, Dec 13, 2005, 17:45-19:45, Location: TBA

You are responsible for bringing the following to the midterm and the final exams:

(i) A calculator: All exams will require the use of a calculator. Make sure that your calculator's batteries are fresh, as sharing of calculators will not be allowed. All other electronic devices (PDA, Cell phone, CD-Player, etc) are not allowed. The calculator must be a hand calculator; not a computer, nor a device that can communicate by some means such as wireless.

(ii) Two #2 (HB) pencils to be used for filling out the computer scoring sheet.

(iii) Midterms: You may bring one 8.5 by 11 help sheet. Only one side of this sheet may contain hand-written formulas, notes, etc.

(iv) Final exam: Your 8.5 by 11 help sheet may be filled on both sides.

All the exams are closed book exams.

Partial credit for corrections (PCC) works as follows: After the exam, the same set of problems is assigned as homework (the PCC set). Answers can be entered through LON-CAPA, as for any other homework until the respective due date. If your PCC score is higher than your exam score, 30% of the difference will be credited to your exam.


Quizzes will be given frequently in class. Quizzes will be based on current lecture materials, textbook, and previous homework. Quizzes are not announced and at least one quiz per week should be anticipated. The quiz will be posted on LON-CAPA the Thursday prior to the week of a quiz. This gives you an opportunity to practice the methodology for the problems in advance. You will need a pocket calculator to solve them and a #2 pencil to fill out the computer scoring sheet. No makeup for quizzes will be given, but 90% score on quizzes will earn the full 10% credit towards the course grade.


There will be 14 homework assignments for which solutions are entered through the LON-CAPA system. The homework due dates are Monday, midnight. Solutions will be posted Wednesday 10:00 AM. Note that homework assignments are individualized.

Excuse policy

There will be make up for missed in-class tests, quizzes, or homework assignments. In order for a missed in-class test to be excused, you must present to the instructor within one week a written excuse, dated and signed by you, stating the circumstances that caused you to miss the exam. This excuse should be accompanied by supporting material, for example a written document from a doctor, dean, etc. Excused absences from the in-class tests will result in your grade being calculated on the basis of your performance on the other in-class tests. No adjustments will be made to quiz scores unless more than four quizzes are missed due to excused absences. For homework only an extended absence or illness will be considered a valid excuse. In case of a significant network outage, we will extend the deadline. The Michigan State University Code of Teaching Responsibilities states that any student missing the Final Exam may not be allowed to pass the course. Please familiarize yourself with University policies concerning academic integrity at http://www.vps.msu.edu/SpLife/rule32.htm as they will be applied.


From ------- To | Week, Chapter, Topic
08/29 --- 09/01 | 1 Ch.16 Electrostatics
09/05 -- Monday | Labor Day (no classes)
09/06 --- 09/08 | 2 Ch.17 Electric Field
09/12 --- 09/15 | 3 Ch.18 Electric Potential
09/19 --- 09/22 | 4 Ch.19 Capacitors
09/26 --- 09/29 | 5 Ch.20-21 DC Currents, Circuits
10/03 --- 10/06 | 6 Ch.22 Magnetism
10/05 Wednesday | Midterm #1 (BPS 1410)
10/10 --- 10/13 | 7 Ch.23 Magnetic Fields
10/17 --- 10/20 | 8 Ch.24 Induction
10/24 --- 10/27 | 9 Ch.25 EM Oscillations
10/31 --- 11/03 | 10 Ch.26 Electromagnetic Waves
11/07 --- 11/10 | 11 Ch.27 Geometrical Optics
11/09 Wednesday | Midterm #2 (BPS 1410)
11/14 --- 11/17 | 12 Ch.28-29 Opt.Instr, Wave Opt.
11/21 --- 11/23 | 13 Ch.29 Wave Optics
11/24 -Thursday | Thanksgiving Day (no classes)
11/28 --- 12/01 | 14 Ch.30 Relativity
12/05 --- 12/08 | 15 Review
12/13 - Tuesday | Final exam: 17:45-19:45

Grading Information

Grades are based on the following formula: Homework: 30%. Two midterm exams: 30% (15% each). Quizzes: 10%. Final exam: 30%. This course in not "graded on a curve". The guaranteed scale below is based on the total percentage of points. It may be slightly lowered but it will not be raised.

4.0 > 92%
3.5 > 84%
3.0 > 76%
2.5 > 68%
2.0 > 60%
1.5 > 52%
1.0 > 44%
0.0 < 44%


W. Bauer, G. D. Westfall, Physics for Engineers and Scientists, Volume Two, Second Edition (Black Cover), McGraw-Hill, 2005, ISBN 0-07-321590-2.