Lectures
The course meets on Tuesday and Thursday at 1pm  2:30pm in Crow 204.
Personnel
Prof. Mark Alford
Office: Compton 358;
Office hour: Monday, 11am to noon
Students are also welcome to make appointments to see Prof. Alford
at other times.

Not yet assigned
Help session:
Not yet determined.

p171@physics.wustl.edu 
Clickers
In this course, we will be using the i>Clicker
for inclass
quizzes and discussions.
 Each student must check out a clicker from Olin Library.
 Each student must register their iClicker. There is a tool for
doing this on the Physics 171 Blackboard web page
 The deadline to return your clicker to Olin Library is the last day of classes, Friday, Dec. 8th, 2017. Students who do not return their clickers at the conclusion of the semester will be charged for replacement of the device.
 The clicker comes with two AAA batteries. These should not need to be replaced during the semester, but if they do need to be replaced you have to do it yourself.
 If you own an older model clicker, you are encouraged to check out a newer one from the library. If you prefer to use your older model, contact the professor or assistant to get it registered.
Textbook
Physics and Technology for Future Presidents
by Richard A. Muller, ISBN 9780691135045
You must own a copy of this book: the course will follow it
closely.
Note that this is the textbook whose cover looks like
the picture shown here. Do not confuse it with the bestselling
popular book "Physics for Future Presidents".
Tell us about errors:
If you find a mistake in the textbook, or even just a place where
the explanation is unhelpful, please tell the professor, either
in person or via the course email address. Your feedback can
influence future editions.


This course will cover selected chapters from the textbook.
Energy and Power 
Atoms and Heat 
Nuclei and Radioactivity 
Chain reactions, Nuclear Reactors, and Atomic Bombs 
Climate Change 
The goal of the course is for students to understand
the physics underlying the world we have built for ourselves.
Students will
learn how to use basic physics knowledge to address societallevel questions.
Quantitative skills
 Be comfortable with numbers and simple arithmetic calculations
 Scientific notation (5×10^{6} = 5 million)
and metric prefixes (kilo, giga, …)
 Units and conversion (kilograms to pounds, etc)
 Answering questions by making rough estimates, justifying them,
and using them in simple calculations
Energy and Power
 Importance of energy. Tracking the flow of energy through a process
 Energy storage: why it matters; pros and cons of different ways of storing energy
 Cost and uses of different forms of energy (coal, gasoline, natural gas, …)
 Difference between energy and power (power = rate of flow of energy)
 Typical power consumption/production of real world processes (power plant, car, a whole country, …)
Atoms and Heat
 Understand heat as movement of atoms
 Properties of atoms (size, mass, structure)
 The relationship between heat and temperature
 How we manipulate heat using heat engines and heat pumps;
basic limitations on their performance
Nuclei and Radioactivity
 Types of radioactivity
 The electromagnetic spectrum (Xrays, light, microwaves, …)
 Health effects of radiation. Relation between dose (in Sieverts) and
cancer risk
 Chain reactions, exponential growth and decay
 The concept of half life, application to Carbon dating
 Nuclear power and weapons: fission and fusion
 Basic functioning of nuclear reactors. Properties of nuclear waste
Climate change
 Climate history over the last million years
 Greenhouse effect, greenhouse gases
 A simple mathematical model of global heat balance
 Recent observations (measured temperature, extreme weather,
size of polar ice caps) and their relation to climate change
 Role of fossil fuels in power generation and climate change.
 The Paris Agreement, Kyoto treaty,
Cap and Trade
 Pros and cons of fossil fuels and alternative power sources (solar,
nuclear, wind, biofuels, …)
Grading
The final grade will be a weighted average of
 homework (20%)
 midterm (30%)
 endofterm exam + quizzes (50%)
 Contribution from Quizzes:
 If you do better on the endofterm exam than on the quizzes, we
ignore the quizzes, and use your endofterm exam grade as 50% of your course grade.
If you do better on the quizzes than on the endofterm exam,
we use 40% endofterm exam plus 10% quizzes.
So the quizzes can't lower your grade, but they can help compensate for a
weak performance on the endofterm exam.
Your two weakest quiz grades will be dropped, to allow for occasional
absences or misunderstandings.
 PASS/FAIL:
 A grade of C or above counts as a "Pass".


Credit for meeting assistant or professor:
Up to Mon Sept 24th, students get a onetime credit of 5 points
on their homework for meeting the professor or assistant outside class. This includes
attending a help session or office hour.
Homework
 Homework:
 Tests your understanding of material we have already covered
 Contains multiple choice questions, along with regular questions or a short report
 Completed using a special template form to facilitate grading
 Must be handed in as hardcopy by the due date (usually Tuesday)
 Late homework will only be accepted by prior arrangement with
the Assistant or Prof. Alford.

Students are encouraged to form study groups and
discuss the course material with each other, but each student must
independently formulate his or her own homework solutions.
Please make sure you understand the university's
policy on academic integrity, especially the section on
"Copying Or Collaborating On Assignments Without Permission".
 When answering a question (other than multiple choice),
you will usually only get partial credit
if you just write down an answer, with no justification. To get full
credit you need to give reasons why your answer is correct.

When giving numerical answers, always show the units (eg
100 kg, 500 Calories, etc).
Quizzes
There will be regular inclass quizzes.
Your two lowest quiz grades will be dropped, and then
if you do better on the remaining quizzes than on the endofterm exam
then the quizzes will contribute 10% of your grade, as described above.
Exams
Tues Oct 9th, 2017, 1pm onwards (no time limit) in Crow 204 (our
regular classroom)

Thurs Dec 6th, 2017, 1pm onwards (no time limit) in Crow 204 (our
regular classroom)
There will be no exam during Finals Week.

These rules apply to quizzes, the midterm and the endofterm exam.
 Each student may compile a single lettersize
handwritten "crib sheet" of facts and formulas. Both sides of the sheet
may be used, but the sheet must be an original handwritten
document, not a copy.

For the exam you are expected to know (or write on the crib sheet)
important general numbers that you might need to answer a realworld question, such as the rough cost of domestic electrical power, the power in sunlight, the output of a large power station, etc. You do not need to record detailed numbers from tables in the book, such as the energy density of gasoline or the atomic number of Carbon. Those will be provided if needed.
 Each student is expected to bring a calculator to the exam.
Calculators that can graph or do algebra are permitted. Calculators
(e.g. cell phones) that can connect to the internet or other external
sources of information are not permitted.
 When answering a question (other than multiple choice),
you will usually only get partial credit
if you just write down an answer, with no justification. To get full
credit you need to give reasons why your answer is correct.

Multiple choice questions
Multiplechoice questions usually have one correct answer, but sometimes
they may have no correct answer, or more than one.
If your answer is exactly
correct, you get 2 points. Otherwise, the only ways to get partial credit are:
 If the correct answer is "none", there is no partial credit.
 If there is one correct answer, there is no partial credit.
 If there are two correct answers, you get 1 point if you only offered
one answer and it was correct.
 If there are three correct answers, you get 1 point if you offered two
answers and they were both correct.
 If there are four correct answers, you get 1 point if you offered three
answers and they were all correct.