PHYSICS 43 General Information Fall 1995

Course: Physics 43-Statistical Physics (

Professor: Chris Levey (,

Office: 217e Cummings Hall, x2071 (Research Lab: 223 Cummings x2618 and 5 Wilder)

Lectures: Monday and Wednesday, 11:15-12:20

Discussions: Friday 11:15-12:20

x-hour Tuesday 12:00-12:50 (occasional use, as announced)

Labs: Schedule arranged by Jan Largent, 220 Wilder (two labs per term, about 3hr each)

Office Hours

Discussion Preparation:
For each Friday class, you must read the indicated material and be ready to summarize the key points. You must also bring in writing (to be turned in) a list of at least two key points made in the reading at least two good questions on the material. The questions and key points will form a base from which to start our discussion. Critical reading always raises questions, and is an important part of learning. Think especially about how this material may relate to material you have seen in this and other courses, or to experiences you have in everyday life. Think about what various results mean in extreme limits. Examples of good questions: eqn 2.2 looks like a binomial coefficient; is there a relationship between this probability and a binomial expansion? or, considering eqn. 1.5, if T-->0, does V vanish?--what happens to the gas molecules if there is no volume? Good questions usually take some thought. An example of a poor question is: How does one get from eqn x.y to eqn x.y+1 in the text (a better question would be: I've worked out the implications of eqn x.y, and I can only get x.y+1 by making assumption zz; is this really necessary, and is it valid?).

Due as shown on course outline at the BEGINNING of class. Late homework (15 min. up to 1 week late) counts @50% unless PRIOR arangements are made.

One midterm and one final.

  • Homework: 20%
  • Discussion & Preparation: 10%
  • Labs & Writeup 10%
  • Midterm: 25%
  • Final: 35%

Honor Principle:
It is expected that you have all read and understand the Academic Honor Principle. Note that you are bound to take some action if you witness an apparent violation. In the context of this course:

  • Exams: The following will be on each exam cover sheet: "You are allowed to bring in and use a calculator and one 8.5x11 inch sheet of paper with whatever notes you like on both sides. You may not consult any other source or person (except the instructor) during the exam."

  • Homework & Labs: You may not directly copy another student's work. You may not consult another student's work without their knowledge and permission. However, you are encouraged to consult with other students in the homework problem solving process (this is facilitated by working in the same room; I'd suggest 210 Wilder). You will learn the most by working as much as you can on your own first, then consulting with others on the parts you or they can't get. One bottom line is this: in the end (after any consultation) you must be able to work through on your own whatever you turn in. All lab data reported must be your own.