Physics 205 (0001 and 0002): Elementary Physics III (Spring 2020)

Tues. & Thurs. 8-9:15 AM, East Hall Auditorium

PHY205 (Elementary Physics III). Course description: LEC: (3 crs.) Introduction to topics of thermodynamics, kinetic theory, wave motion, acoustics, and optics. (Lec. 3). Intended for science or engineering majors.

PHY275: Elementary Physics Laboratory III. Course description: LAB: (1 cr.) Laboratory exercises and recitation sessions related to topics in PHY 205. (Lab. 3, Rec.) Pre: Concurrent enrollment in PHY 205. [Students must register for Lab & Recitation sections.]

Course goals:

The goals of the lecture course PHY205 and the laboratory/recitation course PHY275 are the following:

(a) The students should master the key physics concepts in thermodynamics, kinetic theory, wave motion, acoustics, and optics.

(b) The students should learn how to identify the necessary input data and to solve quantitative thermal and optical problems.

(c) The course will show the students how to apply mathematical methods to the physical concepts in order to perform the necessary steps in the quantitative solution of the problems.

(d) The laboratory sessions should acquaint the students with relevant experimental methods, statistical analysis of the data, and cohesive presentation of the results.

(e) The recitation sessions should teach the students how to describe the thermodynamics and optics problems, identify the solution strategy, and get the quantitative.

Required: Credit for having passed PHY203 and PHY273. Concurrent enrolment in PHY275 (lab) and PHY275R (recitation). Successful completion of/or concurrent enrolment in MTH142. If you have previously taken and passed PHY275, you need not repeat the lab, but you must register for, and attend, a section of PHY275R.

A. E. Meyerovich

222 East Hall

Phone: 874-2047

Office hours: T, TR 9:30-11

P. Nightingale

203 East Hall

Phone: 874-5882

Office hours: T, TR 9:30-11

Text: Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 6thEd., Vols.1&2, by Paul A. Tipler and Gene Mosca (Freeman/Worth, 2008) (Chaps. 15-20, 31-33).

Homework: Homework will be administered through a web-based service named WebAssign, which can be accessed at The Class Key for WebAssign for this course is: uri 8748 9931. You will enroll with this class key, creating your own user ID and password. When you go to the login page, simply click the box saying "I have a class key." You will have to either 'create a cengage account' or 'link your webassign account to your cengage account'. When you first log on you will be asked for your access code, which will be packaged with the textbook, which is available in the URI Memorial Union bookstore. If you do not have an access code, you can pay an online fee. You will have 4 chances to submit your homework solutions before the due date. There will be no extensions of the due date. Log on well before each assignment due date.

Exams: There will be three unit exams and a final exam (see schedule below). Exams are closed book: a calculator and one note sheet of 8.5"×11" will be allowed for the unit exams. Each unit exam will be of 75 minute duration. The final exam (three hours) will have three sections corresponding to the three units, plus questions covering chapter 33. Four note sheets and a calculator will be allowed for the final. If you earn a higher score on a section of the final exam than you did on the corresponding unit exam, the score on the corresponding section of the final will replace your unit exam score. The final exam units serve as make-up exams: no other makeup exams are given.

Grading: Average of three unit exams: 40% (If you earn a higher score on a section of the final exam than you did on the corresponding unit exam, the score on the corresponding section of the final will replace your unit exam score); Final exam: 30%; Homework: 15%: Recitation: 15%. . Letter grades will be assigned with the following minimal basis: A: 93, A-: 90, B+: 87, B: 83, B-: 80, C+: 77, C: 73, C-: 70, D+: 67, D: 60.

PHY205 Schedule:



WebAssign Problems/Due date

Jan. 23

Intro., Chapter 17

Chap. 17: 34, 36, 48, 46, 50, 54, 60, 61

Jan. 28

Chapter 17


Jan. 30

Chapter 18


Feb. 4

Chapter 18

Chap. 17 WebAssign due by 11pm Chap. 18: 28, 34, 38, 46, 64

Feb. 6

Chapter 18


Feb. 11

Chapter 19


Feb. 13

Chapter 19

Chap. 18 WebAssign due by 11pm Chap. 19: 28, 32, 48, 42, 46, 56, 78

Feb. 18

Chapter 19


Feb. 20

Exam1: Chap.17, 18


Feb. 25

Chapter 19


Feb. 27

Chapter 20


Mar. 3

Chapter 20

Chap. 19 WebAssign due by 11pm Chap. 20: 23, 29, 30, 40, 44

Mar. 5

Chapter 15


Mar. 09 -15

Spring break

Mar. 17

Chapter 15

Mar. 19

Chapter 15

Chap. 20 WebAssign due by 11pm Chap. 15: 32, 38, 47, 61, 72, 81

Mar. 24

Chapter 16

Mar. 26

Chapter 16

Chap. 15 WebAssign due by 11pm Chap. 16: 27, 31, 50, 45, 57

Mar. 31

Exam 2: Chap.19, 20, 15

Apr. 2

Chapter 31


Apr. 7

Chapter 31

Chap. 16 WebAssign due by 11pm Chap. 31: 29, 32, 41, 53, 64, 80

Apr. 9

Chapter 32


Apr. 14

Chapter 32

Chap. 31 WebAssign due by 11pm Chap. 32: 27, 78, 40, 42, 86

Apr. 16

Chapter 32


Apr. 21

Chapter 33

Chap. 32 WebAssign due by 11pm Chap. 33: 22, 41, 62, 65, 82

Apr. 23

Exam 3: Chap.16, 31, 32


Apr. 28

Chapter 33

Chap. 33 WebAssign due by 11pm


Final Exam: Chap.15-20, 31-33

TBA, 8 - 11 a.m., East Hall Auditorium (may change)

Recitation (PHY275R): Attendance at recitations is required. Recitations will consist of problem-solving activities and open-book quizzes. The problems to be solved in recitation are listed below in the schedule.

PHY275R Schedule and Problems

See the website.

PHY275: Laboratory Policies

Laboratory Schedule: The PHY275 laboratory meets once a week for two hours. During the semester, you will be performing the following experiments:




No lab this week

East 15

1/23, 24

Ideal Gas Law

East 15

1/30, 31

Calorimetry I

East 15

2/6, 7

Calorimetry II

East 15

2/13, 14

Thermal Expansion

East 15

2/20, 21

Simple Harmonic Motion

East 15

2/27, 28

Waves & Resonance

East 15

3/5, 6

Sound Waves

East 15

3/19, 20

Optics: Selection

East 15

3/26, 27

Optics: Experiment

East 15

4/2, 3

Optics: Prepare Presentation

East 15

4/9, 10

Optics: Presentation

East 15

4/16, 17

Possible make-up lab

East 15

4/23, 24

Conducting a Laboratory: At each session, there will be a brief introduction to the relevant material and an explanation of how to handle particular pieces of equipment. It is the students' responsibility to set up, perform, and analyze or interpret experiments: ask questions about any aspect of the experiment or the underlying physics that is unclear.

Laboratory Manual: The PHY275 Laboratory Manual (purchasable at the URI Bookstore) contains detailed descriptions of scheduled experiments.

Laboratory Notebook and Grades: Performance in the PHY275 Lab will be based on Lab Notebooks: there will be no other written reports. You must use a Computation Notebook #43-648 or Laboratory Research Notebook #43-643, or equivalent (quad ruled for graphs, sequentially numbered pages bound to stay) - NOT spiral bound or 'notepad'. Such a notebook from previous semester usage in PHY273 and PHY274 is suitable for use here, (also available at the URI Bookstore and at the Rhode Island Book Company).

The detailed grading grading directions will be given in the beginning of the first lab session. For each experiment, your Lab Notebook must include the following items (each item worth 20 points of 100 possible point total):

(a) A sketch of the apparatus with significant dimensions indicated and a brief description of its purpose.

(b) The data from measurements recorded in tabular form including the appropriate units.

(c) Graphs appropriately labeled and accompanied by explanatory captions.

(d) An error analysis of each observation and a statement of how these errors affect the uncertainty of the final result.

(e) A discussion and interpretation of the results obtained.

Make-up Labs: Zero points are assigned for any session missed. If you have a legitimate reason to miss a laboratory session, you may ask (in advance) permission to participate in another laboratory section or to do the experiment (only one) during the make-up week.