The lecture schedule lists the chapter of the textbook associated with each lecture topic.
Reading the relevant chapter before a topic is covered in lecture not only reenforces the
material in your mind but allows you to bring questions to class and motivates in class
In the process of conducting scientific work, it is essential that an
attitude of trust and honesty exists between all participants. In the
Physics Department, we have an honor code. We expect you to behave
honorably in all aspects of your life. This means that we trust you.
For example, you are free to leave the room during a test without
asking me. We take this trust seriously and a breach of
trust has severe consequences. Cheating in any form is grounds for
dismissal from the course with a grade of F.
Use of cell phones, pagers, messaging PDAs, or other wireless
communication devices (including laptops for e-mail) is not permitted
at anytime during class or exams.
Please be considerate of your fellow students and conduct your
e-business outside of the classroom.
Please see the beginning of this document for the exam dates.
You are allowed to bring one
double-sided 8.5'' by 11'' page of notes to each of the exams. Exams will
consist of multiple-choice questions and short-answer questions. The final exam
will be comprehensive. Questions that proved the most difficult on the
mid-terms may be repeated on the final. I encourage you to argue with me about
your exam score if you believe that something was graded incorrectly, or if you
believe that you deserve more points.
Makeup Exam Information
If you cannot take an exam, see me well in advance
scheduling a makeup exam. If you cannot notify me in advance (minimum
1 week), contact me as soon as possible; this is best accomplished
All makeup exams will have short-answer / essay questions ONLY.
**The Final Exam CANNOT be made up or rescheduled**
Although this course is largely descriptive in nature, proficiency in basic
algebra is expected. You will not be performing math requiring a calculator.
In fact, a calculator is not required or even necessary. I want you to come
away with a basic understanding of the mathematical reasoning behind modern
scientific research. Plugging numbers into an equation and getting an 'answer'
is not the best way to achieve this. Instead, I would like to help you
understand, through some basic algebra, what an equation really has to say about
the natural world.
Influenza/H1N1 and YOU
The University of St. Thomas is committed to a healthy campus community. During
the 2009-2010 academic year, there will be ongoing concerns regarding the
prevalence among university faculty, staff and students of both the H1N1 virus
and seasonal influenza. To help limit the spread of these illnesses, the
Centers for Disease Control has provided college campuses the following
recommendation: students, faculty, or staff with influenza like illnesses
(temperature of 100.0 or greater, plus a cough or sore throat) are directed to
self-isolate (or stay home) for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone
without the use of fever-reducing medicine. In the event that students are
unable to attend classes due to this self-isolation recommendation, they should
consult the pandemic web site http://www.stthomas.edu/pandemic/plan/default.html and complete an on-line form
informing professors of their absence. In accordance, faculty will provide
opportunities for these students to participate in alternative educational
delivery due to this illness.
- Observational Project -
This course includes an observational project requiring you to make regular
observations of the Sun. It is extremely important that you make regular
observations spaced evenly throughout the semester. For this reason, you will
turn in your observations two times in addition to turning in the final project.
The total project, including the two observational turn ins, is worth 100 points
(10 percent of your grade).
Turn in #1
The first turn in is worth 10 points. At this time, you will turn in at least
three observations. The purpose of this turn in is to ensure that your
observations are good and that you are performing the calcualtions correctly.
This turn in will be not be graded harshly. If you turn in three observations,
you will get most of the points. It's mostly a check to make sure everything is
Turn in #2
The second turn in is worth 15 points. At this time, you will turn in at least
seven observations, the three observations from the first turn in with
corrections if required and four new observations. If any of the first three
observations were determined to be unusable by the grader, you will need to take
new observations to replace them. You will be graded on the quality of all
seven observations and they will be graded more strictly than the first turn in.
Final turn in
This turn in is worth 75 points. You will turn in ten observations, the seven
observations from the previous two turn ins plus three new ones. In addition,
you will turn in your final writeup and analysis. The details of the final
writeup will be given to you during lab later in the semester
IMPORTANT NOTE - You cannot recieve a passing grade in the class if you do
not receive at least 50% of the points on the observation project.
Tentative Lecture Schedule (Subject to Change)
|September 6th||Scale of the Universe|
The Sky From Earth
|September 13th||The Solar System- A scientific model evolves||3||Measuring the Sky|
|September 20th||Newton's Laws||4||Mapping the Solar System|
|September 27th||Energy and Momentum||4||Impacts|
|October 4th||Special Relativity|
|October 11th||The formation of the Solar System||8||Under Pressure|
|October 18th||Light and Spectroscopy||5||Jupiter's Moons|
|October 25th||Light and Spectroscopy|
|November 1st||The Sun|
Stars and Stellar Evolution
|The Drake Equation|
|November 8th||Stars and Stellar Evolution|
Midterm 2 (Friday)
|November 15th||Exotic Objects||18||HR Diagram|
|November 22nd||The Milky Way|
Galaxies and Galaxy Evolution
|No Lab - Happy Thanksgiving!|
|November 29th||Cosmology||22-23||Galaxy Classification|
|Expansion of the Universe|
|December 13h||Final Exam|
Friday December 17th 8:00am-10:00am
|All of them!||No Lab|
In order to receive a passing grade in the class you must
get at least 50%
of the total available lab points, at least 50%
the available observational project points, and
you must take all exams.
The grading scheme is guaranteed to be no stricter than that stated above. Any
changes to the grading scheme will be in your favor.
|95 % - 100 %
||76.7 % - 79.9 %
|90 % - 94.9 %
||73.3 % - 76.6 %
|86.7 % - 89.9 %
||70.0 % - 73.2 %
|83.3 % - 86.6 %
||65.0 % - 69.9 %
|80.0 % - 83.2 %
||60.0 % - 64.9 %
||0 % - 59.9 %