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PHYS 1410 6.0 Physical Science

(FW 2012/2013)


Winter 2013 Term Updates

  • [Update: 05/02/13] Grades for the winter term have now been calculated. Overall, performance on the final was strong (see stats/distribution here), so that helped bring many people's grades up. Individual final exam grades can be found here. Winter term grades were computed using the rubric noted here in this webpage. Keep in mind that the winter term grade is 40% of your total grade for PHYS 1410. The other components come from the fall term (40%, which you already know) and the labs (20%). You can find the winter term (and lab) grades here. Final grades for PHYS 1410 will be determined shortly by Prof. Kirchner, but you should be able to determine where stand as you have all the numbers in hand. Questions with regard to your lab grades should be directed to the lab coordinator (e.g., Nick Balaskas).

  • Grades for the 2nd in-class exam (taken on 4/3) are now available. Your individual (cumulative) score can be accessed here (as identified via the last 5 numbers of your student ID). Solutions (as well an approximate guide for the grading rubric) can be accessed here. Some stats can be found here. Also, this plot shows a comparison between performance on the first and second exams. Note that there is one person who took the exam, but did not put their name on it (and thus have been assigned a zero until the discrepancy can be resolved).
    → Regarding the final, it will likely be at least two weeks before the exam will be graded and final grades determined. Any updates will be posted here.
  • [Update: 04/4/13] Several announcements:

    • The 2nd in-class exam is currently being graded. Solutions (as well an approximate guide for the grading rubric) can be accessed here. It is unlikely that the scores will be posted before the final exam next week, but we'll make every attempt to do such.
    • If there are any updates to the 'formula sheet' for the final exam, they'll be posted here. But assume that the one used for the 2nd exam (here) will be the one you have. Note the error there regarding the numerical value of the speed of light!
    • Several students have indicated consternation regarding the lack of clarity on the 'Clickers and quizzes' component of the course grade. We apologize for the late policy change, as ideally this would have been set in stone from day one. Although doing the HW (earnestly) is crucial to doing well in the class, not everyone felt it was fair to double the value of the HW grade (see 3/25 update). To compensate, the policy will be as follows:
      • If your HW grade is higher than your final exam grade, then your HW grade will be used for the 10% originally intended for the 'Clickers and quizzes' in the marking scheme
      • If your HW grade is lower than your final exam grade, then your final exam grade will be used for the 10% originally intended for the 'Clickers and quizzes' in the marking scheme
      → This is the best solution we could come up with. Thus, even with a poor HW grade, students still have a chance to improve their grade based upon their performance on the final exam.
    • Good luck to all preparing for the exam. Just to reiterate: FINAL EXAM WILL TAKE PLACE ON THURSDAY APRIL 11 FROM 7-10 PM in TC Rexall

  • The 'equation sheet' for the 2nd in-class exam (on Wednesday 4/3) can be found here for reference.

  • [Update: 03/25/13] A handful of announcements:

    • There is no class on Friday March 29th (Good Friday). Students with labs on that day will have to attend the makeup on Monday, April 8 at 2:30 PM. Also note that we will have class on that Monday (4/8), which will comprise a review session for the final exam.

    • The second in-class exam will take place next Wednesday (4/3/13). The same rules as before apply before: there are no make-ups. The exam will cover everything since the last exam. This includes material from Giordano chapters 21, 22, 11, 12 and 23. Specific topics are indicated on the Notes page. The format will be similar to the first exam: four problems plus an additional extra credit problem, all drawn from the assigned HW problems, the problems covered during recitation, and additional relevant problems from the book (but not necessarily assigned for HW). A good way to prepare is review all the class notes and HW problems, and solve additional problems from the text in a time-constrained fashion (so to simulate the limited time limit you have during the actual exam).

    • The HW assignment covering material from chapters 12 and 23 will be posted today. This will be the final (graded) HW assignment for the semester. Note that you will be responsible for this material for the exam next week (Wednesday, 4/3).

    • Due to the lack of 'clickers' this semester stemming from technical issues, the 10% of the grade dedicated to 'Clickers & Quizzes' will come from the HW (i.e., the HW will now count for 20% rather than 10%). See 4/4 update above

    • Just to reiterate the test policy and make it explicit: Poor performance on an in-class exam can be 'remedied' by way of improved performance on the final exam. This policy is chiefly designed the help those with excused absences deal with the no make-up policy, thus the instructor has some discretion to what extent this policy is employed. What this means in most cases is that relevant material from the final exam can be used to replace your in-class exam grade if you do better on the final. This potentially applies to both in-class exams. Thus everyone has incentive to do their best on the final.
      Note: 'Cramming' for the final will unlikely allow you to do well (i.e., it won't be a breeze by any stretch of the means as it represents an integration/ culmination of all the material over the course of the semester).

  • The grades for the first exam are now available. Statistics for the exam, as well changes due to the regrading can be accessed here. As you can see, the benefit of regrading the exam had a significant improvement on the grades. Your individual (cumulative) score can be accessed here (as identified via the last 6 numbers of your student ID). Lastly, solutions (as well as an older guide for the grading rubric) can be accessed here. You can come by office hours next week to pick up your exams.

  • The date is now set for the final exam. The FINAL EXAM WILL TAKE PLACE ON THURSDAY APRIL 11 FROM 7-10 PM in TC Rexall. The exam will be 3 hours and will be comprehensive over the winter term material (fall term material will not appear directly on this exam). It is crucial you show up on time and have the complete exam period to work on it. There will not be any makeups for this exam (barring a major emergency; trust me, you really do not want to miss this exam period). Further updates on the exam will be posted here as the date gets closer. And don't forget that we will have our 2nd in-class exam on Wednesday April 3.

  • [Update: 02/26/13] Snow is scheduled for tomorrow. Ugh. Assuming the university does not close (likely given the current forecast), the test is still on for tomorrow as planned. Please allow yourself extra time to get get to campus/class, as it will be your responsibility to make sure you are present for the exam. If the university is by chance closed tomorrow, the test will take place on Friday (3/1).

  • Exam 1: Our first winter term exam will be coming up after reading week on Wednesday 2/27. The exam will cover all material discussed in class up to (and including) Friday 2/15. There will also be an additional HW assignment due after reading week and you will be responsible for that material as well. In terms of specific book chapters covered for the exam, refer to the Notes page.

  • For those who missed the lab on 2/8 due to the snow day, here is a message from Prof. Jerzak:
    Physics lab was cancelled on Friday (2/8) (snow storm). We would like to offer an opportunity to students do a makeup lab on one of the following days/times this week:
    Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Wednesday, 7-10 p.m.
    Thursday, 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Please contact Mr. Nick Balaskas (102 C Bethune College, physics lab) or Stan Jerzak (233 PSE) to obtain a permission form to do the makeup lab.

    It is important you make this up ASAP!

  • Grades for the Fall 2012 semester are now posted here. Contact Prof. Kirchner with questions. These scores represent 40/100 total points of your 1410 grade. 10/100 additional points will come from your lab grade for fall, and 50/100 will come from the winter term (40 points for class, 10 points for the lab). Note that the drop date is Feb.15.

  • Grades for the Fall 2012 final exam are now posted here. If you have questions concerning your grade, contact Prof. Kirchner via email (including to schedule an appointment to see your exam; they will not be returned otherwise). Complete grades fro the fall semester (including clickers, tests, HW, etc..) will be posted soon.

  • There was a hiccup in the scheduling for the tutorial session on 1/8/13. Sorry for the confusion that caused and for any delays. For clarification, the schedule will be the same as last semester and the tutorials will take place in Vari B on Tuesdays from 1:30-2:30. Notes associated with the tutorials will be posted under the Notes link.

  • The two in-class midterm exams are scheduled for Wednesday February 27 and Wednesday April 3. Same rules as Fall semester apply.

  • Office hours for Prof. Bergevin will be MWF 2:30-3:30 in Petrie 240. Note that labs start the week of Jan.14 (see

Fall 2012 Term Updates

Results of Test #2 (the first column shows the last few digits of your student #, the second column shows your score. Note that 16 points = 100 %. You can pick up your marked tests from my office (PSE 228).

The End-of-Term Exam will be written on Dec 11 (7-10 pm in the Rexall Centre). It will cover all the material discussed in the term. Emphasis will be placed on energy (Chap. 6), momentum (Chap. 7), and rotational motion (Chaps. 8 and 9). Here is what you can do to prepare for it:

  1. Review the assigned book chapters and my lecture notes.
  2. Review the concept checks (particularly those of Chaps. 6 to 9).
  3. Review the tutorial problems (the challenge problems in particular), i.e., make sure that you are able to redo them step by step without aids.
  4. Review the EWA homework problems, i.e., make sure that you are able to redo them step by step without aids.
  5. Do the bonus EWA assigment.
  6. To get more practice do some of the additional problems of Chap. 4 (4.64 - 4.92), as well as the (remaining) book problems from Chaps. 7.5 (7.32 - 7.40) and 8.5 (8.51 - 8.64).
Formula sheet for the exam (you don't have to bring it to the exam).

Test #2 was written on Nov. 28. Here is how to prepare for it:

  1. Review chapters 5 and 6 and the corresponding lecture notes on circular motion, gravity, work and energy.
  2. Do the concept checks in Chaps. 5 and 6.
  3. Review the tutorial problems taken from Chaps. 5 and 6 and the challenge problems #3 and #4, i.e., make sure that you are able to redo them step by step without aids.
  4. Review EWA homework problems on circular motion, gravity, work and energy (from the last three assignments), i.e., make sure that you are able to redo them step by step without aids.
  5. Do the remaining book problems from Chap. 6.3 (6.31 - 6.51) to get more practice.
Solutions of test #2

Test #1 was returned on Nov 7. Your score is out of 16 points, i.e., if you have 8 points, you scored 50%. If you do better on the December exam, the test mark will be discarded and your exam will count 25% (instead of 20%). The same policy will be applied to the second test, i.e., your December exam might count 30% toward your final grade.
Solutions and marking scheme

Study groups (see the online poll on Doodle): talk to your class reps (email addresses are given below) to find out more!

Clickers (Oct 11): Due to this mess with clickers who first didn't work, but now do, we started over on Oct 10, i.e., all previous clicker quizzes will be discarded. To make up for them, we will repeat a few old questions in the next couple of classes (also to recap and prepare for the upcoming test). In contrast to what I said in class on Oct 10 these make-up quizzes start on Monday, Oct 15.

Note that we are using channel 41. You can miss two clicker quizzes in the Fall term (i.e. four questions) without being penalized. Also note that there won't be any other quizzes in the Fall (but two tests as stated below).

Class Logistics

Class Time
Lectures: MWF 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm in LAS (formerly CSE) B
Tutorials: T 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm in VH B

The tutorials will start in the second week, i.e., on September 11. Problems done in the tutorials will not be discussed during office hours, i.e., attendance in the tutorials is highly recommended. The logic is that classes focus on concepts, whereas problem solving is learned in tutorials and while working on your own or in groups. Note that tests/exams evaluate you mostly on problem-solving skills. Pre-reading and class attendance are pre-requisites for understanding the concepts, and understanding the concepts is a pre-requisite for solving the problems, i.e., everything plays together and you should not think that you can do without one or the other and still be successful.

Labs will start in the week of Sept. 17. They are coordinated by Prof. Stan Jerzak (233 PSE, jerzak [at] Visit the lab website and take a look at the handout.

College Physics (2nd edition), Nicholas J. Giordano, with EnhancedWebAssign, two volumes, with clickers included.

ISBN 017-655-1832

The bundle (including a clicker) is available in the bookstore for $199.95.

Additionally, copies of the Student Companion and Problem-Solving Guide are available in the bookstore and the library.

Mathematics chapters to upgrade from algebra-based to calculus-based physics: math

These are officially called Personal Response System (PRS), info about how to register them: Clicker Webpage. You must register the clicker code under your name, otherwise you won't get credit. If you have a registered clicker from another course, you can use it without registering again.

Cost: included in the textbook package. Alternatively, you can buy a clicker for $42 here.

More info on how to get started (especially on how to self-enroll into WebAssign) from our book publisher. Note that the EWA grace period will end Saturday, Sept 15 at 12:00 am.

Marking Scheme (different from 2011/12)

On-line homework (Enhanced WebAssign): 10%

Laboratories: 20%

Clickers and quizzes: 10%

Class Tests (no make-ups, but value transfer if warranted: 2 tests per term): 20%

End-of-Fall (Mid-term) Exam: 20%

End-of-Winter (Final) Exam: 20%

Test Dates (Fall)
Oct 24, Nov 28

Exam Date (Fall)
Dec 11, 7-10 pm (Rexall Centre)

Too sick to write the test? Two things are required: (i) notify the instructor by email or by phone BEFORE the start of the test; (ii) get us a doctor's note within a week.

Special dates (Fall)
No classes on Oct 8 (Thanksgiving) and on co-curricular days (Oct 31 and Nov 2)

Class Representatives
Chantelle Abdulla (chanabd [at]
Amin Adam (hydramin [at]
Laiba Khan (laiba4 [at]
Mara Oprea (marao [at]