Class Policy

Class Meetings MWF 1:00pm-1:50pm, Room 203, Physics Building
Course Materials Required: WileyPlus Learning Spaces with eBook (Virtual Book)
     WileyPlus Access for How Thinks Work: the Physics of Everyday Life, 6th Edition
Suggested: Print Book (Binder Format)
     How Thinks Work: the Physics of Everyday Life
, 6th Edition by Louis A. Bloomfield

Purchase options:
  • WileyPlus Learning Spaces with eBook is available separately (978-1118994320) for
  • WileyPlus Learning Spaces with eBook and Print Book are available as a bundle (978-1119228714) for

Note: if you are comfortable reading and annotating online, using the eBook, you can choose not to purchase a print book.

Class Web Site
Homework Site
WileyPlus Web Site
WileyPlus Main Login  
Register with WileyPlus (Initial registration link for this class)
Technical Support Page 
Instructor Lou Bloomfield, Professor of Physics
Office: Room 133, Physics Building (see me here almost anytime)
TEL: (434) 924-6595
FAX: (434) 924-4576
Email Please see me in person, except for emergencies. I cannot promise to respond to or even acknowledge emails.
Electronic Devices Electronic devices may not be used in the classroom. In particular, cellphones and laptops must be off and put away.
Course Work
10 Problem Sets 30% of Course Grade (3% per set)
2 Midterm Exams 30% of Course Grade (15% per exam)
1 Final Exam 30% of Course Grade
Online Reading and Practice 10% of Course Grade
Problem Sets

The problem sets are assigned on the WileyPlus website for this class. Each set is worth a total of 100 points and contains approximately 10 multiple-choice questions. The questions are generally conceptual in nature and should require independent thought rather than mindless calculation.

The problem sets are not pledged work and you may discuss them with other students and the instructor after you have thought about them yourself. The true purpose of these problem sets is to help you understand the material, not to assign grades, so there is no value in struggling unsuccessfully to understand them on your own.

I have observed over the years, however, that students who simply copy answers from other students or from the instructor, and who don't make a serious effort to understand why those answers are correct, do poorly on the exams. It's in your best interest to work on the problems yourself at first and to seek help from others only when you are having trouble making headway. Similarly, you provide the best help to others when you guide them back onto the correct path, rather than simply giving them an answer.

Problem sets are due by the start of class (1:00:00pm) on the dates listed on the course schedule. Late problem sets are acceptable for reduced credit until 4 days (96 hours) after the due date. The maximum credit is 80% during the first 24 hours, 60% during the second 24 hours, 40% during the third, and 20% during the fourth.

Midterm Exams
Two fifty-minute, closed-book, in-class examinations. These exams will consist of about 30 multiple-choice questions.

The questions will emphasize understanding of concepts so that memorization will be far less valuable for answering them than basic insight into how things work.

Compelling reason for alternate midterm exam times will be considered only up until one week before each exam.
Final Exam
A three-hour, closed-book examination given during Finals Week. The exam will consist of about 60 multiple-choice questions.

The questions will emphasize understanding of concepts so that memorization will be far less valuable for answering them than basic insight into how things work.

Compelling reason for taking the final exam late will be considered only up until the College deadline for such requests. You must obtain permission from the Dean. No early final exams can be given.
Online Reading and Practice

WileyPlus Learning Spaces includes the eBook and a variety of other learning tools. 10% of your semester score will be based on Learning Spaces activities. I am still learning about those activities, so check here in a week or two for a description of what is expected of you.

Absence Policy I do not take attendance, but excessive absences will probably diminish your learning and therefore your grade.
Late Policy Specific grade deductions for late work and final deadlines are discussed on the list of course rules. Exceptions for illnesses, family emergencies, and religious holidays must be obtained in advance. You must contact me before something is due or before you miss an examination.
Guests and Visitors Guests and visitors are always more than welcome (except during the exams, naturally). No special permission is required.
Grading Information

Your course grade will be based strictly on your overall numerical score for the semester. I do not curve the individual scores for problem sets and exams. Students with overall numerical scores near the class average receive approximately a middle-"B" for the semester. Those with scores significantly above class average may receive an "A" or even higher for the semester. Those with scores significantly below class average may receive a "C" or even lower for the semester. I determine the distribution of grades at the end of the semester, based on a historical distribution. In a typical semester, about 30% of students get "A"-range grades, 50% get "B"-range grades, and about 15% get "C"-range scores. I give both "A+" and "F" grades every semester.

Problem sets not submitted or tests not taken will receive scores of zero. You are responsible for remembering the due dates and test times, so don't miss them!

Course Evaluation Incentive If you complete the University's course evaluation before the deadline for that evaluation, I will drop your lowest problem set score when computing your semester grade.
Letters of Recommendation I write letters of recommendation only for students who have talked with me in office hours at least 3 times during the semester. I am unable to write letters for scholarships.
College of Arts & Sciences Deadlines Add Deadline: Wednesday, February 1
Drop Deadline: Thursday, February 2
Withdraw Deadline: Wednesday, March 15
Request Change in Final Examination Schedule, Wednesday, April 26