Tuesday, February 2, 2010

PH253: Exam 1

Exam 1 is coming up in 2 weeks, 16 Feb 2010. Here's what it will cover:

Sects. 1.1-3, 5 (Relativity, excluding 1.4)
Sects. 2.1-3 (quantum hypothesis, photoelectric, photons)
Sections we did not cover in class which you are responsible for: 2.1.7, 2.2.4, 2.3.1

The material we cover for the next 3 classes will mostly not be on the test. Specifically, it will not cover 2.4. The format of the exam will be 5 problems (i.e., solve, no multiple choice), you pick any 4 to solve. Put another way, I'll give you 5 problems, you can skip any one of them you like.

I will provide a formula sheet with all relevant constants and basic formulas which should be enough to solve all problems. Additionally, you are allowed to bring in a single 8.5x11 inch sheet of paper with your own notes, formulas, etc. -- anything you want, really. Front and back sides are allowed, I will allow two sheets with only a single side if you prefer that. You are additionally allowed writing implements and a calculator (i.e., not a cell phone or any network-enabled device). You can feel free to program your calculator in arbitrary ways, however, just no internet or peer-to-peer communication.

More details and sample problems will follow in the next week. For now, I suggest reading the chapters and homework solutions.


  1. Would you be able to post a copy of the formula sheet that you will be providing before the test? I only ask so that I won't have repeated information on my additional sheet.

  2. Definitely. I will try to have a draft of it up by the middle of next week some time so you know what you don't need to put on your own sheet.

  3. Does the cheat sheet have to be handwritten?

  4. No, it doesn't have to be handwritten. The only real specification is the paper size.

    I will suggest to you, however, that the act of making the formula sheet (typed or not) can be a hugely beneficial way to study. Grabbing someone else's formula sheet is only going to lull you into a false sense of preparedness.

    Also, when a professor is willing to let you use a formula sheet: probably a trap. It is usually a sign that formulas alone are not going to help much, but understanding will be required.

  5. When will the cheat sheet be available?

  6. I hope to have the formula sheet out Tuesday night or Wednesday mid-day.

  7. I am belatedly enjoying the play between Dr. LeClair's `formula sheet' and Anonymous's `cheat sheet'.