Welcome back!

Introductory Physics III

PHYS 154

This quarter is much more thematic:  all about electricity and magnetism.
We start with the phenomena, and will discover how this can generate electromagnetic waves,
which includes radio waves and light.
There will also be a fun, but highly relevant,
digression into the Theory of Relativity!
If any of you have not had Dr. Ferrone for PHYS 152 or 153, be sure to read the informtion below carefully,
and you ought to check in with Dr. Ferrone as well.

Our contact info is  below. For your reference throughout we also have an equation summary sheet.






Charges and Fields [18]

April 3

Coulomb's Law: Parallel Plates

Potential Energy and Potential  [19] QUIZ

April 10

Electric Fields & Potentials

Circuits [20.1-20.8]  

April 17


1st midterm

in recitation:   Circuits continued [20.11-20.15]  (skip 20.9, 20.10)

April 24

Midterm review in lab

Magnetic Forces & Fields [21]
May 1

Measurement of e/m
Induction [22]   QUIZ
May 8
Faraday's Law
Special Relativity [28]
May 15
Discussion Questions

2nd midterm 

in recitation: Electromagnetic Waves  [24] 

May 22

Midterm review in lab

Physical Optics [27:1-27:4]    QUIZ no lecture,
Memorial Day--May 29

Diffraction Grating and Spectra

Physical Optics continued [27:5-27:10]

AND [29.5]

  June 5

Microwave Optics


to be determined

Stuff you need:

• John Cutnell & Kenneth Johnson Physics, 10/e, Wiley, 2012

• NO LAB MANUAL (Our write-ups are all on line)

• Sapling License.  It will cost $27.   YOU NEED THIS.  

ALSO You will need a calculator (but nothing fancy) for all QUIZes and exams--but not for reading quizzes or lab quizzes.
Smart phone calculators are not allowed.


Prof. Frank Ferrone, Disque 922, 895-2778, fferrone@drexel.edu

        Office hours:    Wed  9-11 or by appointment.

Alex Morrese - alexander.william.morrese@drexel.edu  Office hours 2-3 pm Wednesday & Thursday, 4-5 pm
Angelica Rivera - angelica.b.rivera@drexel.edu        Office hours Thursday 2-4 pm.
Anthony Ruffino - anthony.j.ruffino@drexel.edu
Office hours Wednesdays & Fridays 9 -10 am
Shalin Patel - shalin.s.patel@drexel.edu
Office hours Wednesdays & Fridays 9 -10 am
Office hours Tuesday 2-3 pm, Wednesday 3-4 pm

TA office hours are in Disque 916.   You are not restricted to only your own TA, though clearly they will know you better.

Lab Support Professional Staff
Ms. Lisa A. Ferrara ferrarla@drexel.edu


The course is graded on the curve; 55% is passing.

Reading Quizes: 10%

Homework 10%

Quizzes 10%

Labs 10%

2 Midterms: 30% (15% each) These are given in the lecture period that week. On those weeks there is no lecture, but you are still responsible for reading the chapters and doing problems in recitation. What if I fail a midterm?

Final: 30%    (cf. our Spring Senior policy below)

What if I have to miss a class where there is graded material?


Advice:   save all your returned, graded papers.  If there is any doubt at the end of the course, it is valuable that you show what papers you got back.   We have a LOT of graded material, so occasional errors happen copying grades.

Cheating:   We follow the University guidelines.   If you are caught, you automatically have a zero for the assignment (and in Midterms, no rescue point option.)  Depending on the degree of premeditation we observe, you may also have your course grade set as F without option of withdrawal.   This course has an elaborate and robust safety net.   Don't be stupid and cheat.

This is how the course works week-to-week.

Each week we cover a topic that corresponds to certain chapters in the Text. as shown in square brackets.  Some weeks it's a whole chapter; others it is a part.

On MONDAY when you come to class you will have read the chapter(s). There will be a brief multiple-choice computer based quiz on the chapter (one of the reasons you need to sign up for Sapling), and you need to complete it before lecture (e.g by noon). We don't expect you to know all the material yet, but, for example, we need you to know the definitions and terms, and to have read carefully. Watch out! These points add up, and will cost you if you regularly are unprepared. On the other hand they can act as one kind of safety net, documenting your effort if an exam doesn't go well.

In recitations, you will go over the assignment in class and hand in the problems, as selected in recitation by your TA.  The problems are listed under Asn.  Again, you get points toward your grade even for handing in an incorrect attempt.   In Wed recitation, you are responsible for doing ALL the assigned problems.  One will be collected, but your TA will decide that in recitation.   (It makes sense to do them one per page, therefore.)  You also may not ask your TAs how to do the homework prior to the recitation itself--after all that's what recitation is for.   On the Fri recitation  we will do review problems, which will be like the free response exam problems or in-class quiz problems, as well as any on-line problems you had trouble with on the HW.  The Friday problems, just like exam problems, will cover multiple chapters.   Think of them as early (and repeated) review for the exams.

You will also have 3 computer based-problems (Sapling):  one due Monday night (into Tues. am), one due Wednesday night,  and one due Thursday night.   Our rationale is that, like learning a language, frequent repetition is more helpful.  

The bonus point system

You know how in some coffee shops, pizza stores, etc, they have puch cards that give you bonus rewards?   We are using on-line stuff that way.

You will have 3 points worth of homework handed in Friday, and 3 points of pre-chapter questions. 3 and 3 each week is a perfect score. Every 5 points you get on Sapling HW gives you an extra one of those points. Do all 4 Sapling problems correctly, you get 4 extra points that week.
You can carry the points over week to week.

You say, "wait, the pre-chapter quiz was worth 5 points on Sapling, but 3 points is a perfect score?"   Those extra 2 are ALSO bonus points.   We know that this quiz is harder, so if you get all of it right:  bonus.

Can you go into a pizza store and get your card stamped without buying a slice.   Noooo. Can you get bonus points that week if you don't hand in the written homework?    Nooo. We are also extending the time for the pre-chapter quiz to 15 minutes.

So, while you will make mistakes on homework, pre-chapter quiz, etc., you also can make up points lost for those mistakes,  while still allowing the mistakes to help you learn.

On some Fridays we will also have Quizzes, as marked on the specific weeks above. These are harder than the reading and lab quizzes, and are like homework problems or problems from the book.

On LAB days we have the Labs in Disque. We expect you to read the lab beforehand. There will be a brief quiz at the start of lab, which will include 3 questions about the lab you are to do. The purpose of the labs is to reinforce the lecture material through hands-on experimentation. It is not to teach you how to do lab reports: your Bio  courses already taught you that. Thus, although we will not be collecting lab reports, we expect you to understand the material before you leave.  If you leave lab before your instructor goes over your work, you are considered to have missed the lab, and your lab grade for that lab becomes zero.  (So you can't just take the quiz and leave).  

Note that you NEVER have to hand in any "Pre-Lab" material, no matter what the write up says. {These writeups are used by other courses too...}

Midterm exams are held in the lecture hall.  In such a week, your recitation instructor will review the new material with you.

 Sapling License:

1. Go to http://saplinglearning.com and click on "US Higher Ed" at the top right.     

2a. If you already have a Sapling Learning account, log in and skip to step 3.     
2b. You can also use a Facebook account,  to create a Sapling Learning account.  Click “Create an Account”, then “Create my account through Facebook”. You will be prompted to log into Facebook if you aren't already. Choose a username and password, then click “Link Account”. You can then skip to step 3.     
2c. Otherwise, click "Create an Account". Supply the requested information and click "Create My Account". Check your email (and spam filter) for a message from Sapling Learning and click on the link provided in that email.     

3. Find your course in the list (you may need to expand the subject and term categories) and click the link.     

Once you have registered and enrolled, you can log in at any time to complete or review your homework assignments. During sign up or throughout the term, if you have any technical problems or grading issues, send an email to support@saplinglearning.com explaining the issue. Usually these are issues that cannot be resolved directly by your instructor.

 Missing Grades: The main rule is that we do not make up missed material, since we have such an extensive data base of your performance. Here are some specifics:

Homework: We NEVER accept late homework. You can always hand it in early if you have to be away. If you have some emergency, we will discount that assignment --and your grade (10% here) is then based on all the other homeowork.

Computer-based assignments:   Because these are specifically timed, you may have to miss some for valid reasons (e.g. you are away on a sporting event).  You will have to arrange with your TA for the reasonableness of your excuse.    Even if you do this in person, do an email exchange as well!   Your TA has a lot of grades to account for, and a valid excuse can easily fall through the cracks--and you become the victim.  If you have an email that says "yes, that excuse is ok" then you are solid.  If you come to us at the end saying someone agreed verbally, we cannot verify and hence we cannot accept the change.

Friday Quiz: Same as Homework. No makeups, ever.

Reading Quiz before Lecture Same as homework.

Labs: NO MAKE UP LABS. A valid excuse will be needed; your other labs therefore count more.

Midterms: Again, we do not do makeup midterms. If you miss one, AND HAVE A VALID EXCUSE the other carries the weight for your entire midterm grade.

Final: OK, we'll work out an option if you have an iron-clad excuse. Leaving early for the term break is NOT one of those excuses.


Midterm Rescue Points The midterms are tough. To get a good grade we expect you to understand the material, not only to have worked hard at it.

If you score below 55% on a Midterm, you may work your grade up (but no higher than 55%) by reviewing what you got wrong, and explaining clearly the right answers to your TA. This MUST be done before the next exam.

This must be done by each student individually.  You must explain in writing.   That means the correct multiple choice answer has to be fully explained to get the points.

NOTE the following:

1. This is NOT blanket extra credit. You cannot "boost" a mediocre grade with this mechanism. You must have a grade below 55, and you can only get as high as 55.


3. The rescue points are specific to each exam: you can't bank tutorial points from the first set to rescue a bad grade on the second exam.

4. Our goal is NOT just to give you more points. We think this will itself be a help to learning the material. The points are incentive to help you get back on track. The final is cumulative, and has no Rescue points.

Senior Policy

(Spring only)  Seniors graduating this Spring will have their two midterm exams count for 30% each, in lieu of a final.    This includes rescue points.