Basic Info

Instructor: Dave Feldman
Email: daveAThornacekDOTcoaD0Tedu
Office: Second Floor, Turrets Annex
Office Hours: By appointment.
Mailing List: physics1AThornac3kD0TcoaDOTedu
Tutors: Mikus Abolins-Abols, Dana Norwood, Yiftu Wondimu
Help Session: Wednesdays, 6:30-8:00pm TAB


As our primary text we will use the Six Ideas books by Tom Moore. I would like to cover all of unit C and about a quarter of unit N.

  1. Thomas A. Moore. Six Ideas that Shaped Physics: Unit C: Conservation Laws Constrain Interactions, second edition. McGraw Hill. 2003. ISBN: 0-07-229152-4.
  2. Thomas A. Moore. Six Ideas that Shaped Physics: Unit N: The Laws of Physics are Universal, second edition. McGraw Hill. 2003. ISBN: 0-07-239712-8.

Important Note: Be sure to get the second edition of the text. If you're purchasing the book online, be sure to check the ISBN. This is the most reliable way to see what edition of a book you're getting; each edition has a unique ISBN.


Your evaluation will be loosely based on the following:

  • Weekly Homework Assignments: 55 percent.
  • Mid-Term Exam: 15 percent.
  • Final Exam: 20 percent.
  • Class and Lab Participation: 10 percent.

I recommend against grades; I believe they are more likely than not to interfere with genuine, reflective learning. However, I will assign grades (for those who so opt) by following the guidelines in the COA Course Catalog. I do not have any quota of A's, B's, etc.

Policies and Stuff

  1. Homework will be due Fridays at the end of the day. More than one unexcused late homework assignment will result in me mentioning this in your narrative evaluation and may result in a lowering of your grade.
  2. You are strongly encouraged to work together on homework. You can also consult me, class tutors, other faculty, friends, and family. However, the homework you hand in should represent your own understanding. This means that if your friends get a homework problem and you don't understand how they did it, you shouldn't photocopy their solution and turn it in.
  3. Exams will be open notes, open book, and (essentially) untimed. You may not, however, get any help from any humans during the exam.
  4. I will almost always assign reading for each class. You should do the reading. I strongly recommend reading over the chapter before class and being prepared with questions and comments.
  5. More than two missing homework assignments will result in a grade no higher than a C.
  6. You'll want a calculator that can handle scientific notation, trigonometry, and logarithms. There's no need to buy an expensive graphing calculator.
  7. I expect you to attend labs.
  8. I will be sending out class info via email. Thus, it's important that you check your email.
  9. Academic misconduct—cheating, plagarizing, etc.—is bad. Any cases of academic misconduct may result in a judicial hearing. Possible consequences range from failure of the assignment to expulsion.
  10. A more informal description of this course can be found here.