Physics 161-001 3 credits Spring 2010


MWF 10-10:50 Regener 103          

Professor James L. Thomas Office P&A 1113

Office hours in Regener 111: W 9-10, F 11-12 + Problem session, M 11-11:50 Regener 114

SI: Brigette Black      

SI Sessions:

T 2-4 Reg 114 

W 12-2 Reg 114; 2-3 Reg 111

Th 4-5 Reg 114

List of Homework Assignments  (LINK) and LINKS TO SOLUTIONS

Powerpoint Class Slides, including iClicker Quizzes

Problems Session (Phys 168)   M 11-11:50 Regener 114

Exam Dates:

MONDAY FEBRUARY 15   Chapters 17-20. Thermodynamics. Equation Sheet for Thermo Exam  SOLUTIONS

F  Mar 12  Chapters 21-24.  Electric Fields                         Equation Sheet for EM MidtermExam 2  SOLUTIONS

F  Apr 16  Chapters 25-28.  Circuits and Magnetic Fields   Equation Sheet for EM MidtermExam 3   SOLUTIONS

Final Exam: 1/3 covers Chapters 29-32; 2/3 comprehensive. Final Exam Equation Sheet

FINAL EXAMINATION Friday, May 14 7:30–9:30 a.m.

Text: University Physics, Young&Freedman. 12th Edition. Chapters 17-32.                        

• iClicker keypad and Mastering Physics online homework system (MP) are required.  MP comes free with new texts purchased in the bookstore.  If you bought a used text or obtained your text elsewhere you will have to purchase MP (details below). 

• The problem session (Physics 168) should be helpful but is not required. The laboratory (Physics 161 L) is very relevant to the course and is recommended but is not required.

• Physics is primarily about IDEAS, not NUMBERS. You will probably want a calculator for homeworks.

Calculators will be permitted on exams, but the exam emphasis will be on algebraic, not numerical computation.

Grading: 1000 pts total.

Final exam: 400 pts.

Midterm exams – 200 pts each.

NO MAKEUP EXAMS / Exams scores are NOT curved.

1000..A..920..A-..880..B+..840..B..800..B-..760..C+..720..C..680..C-..640..D and worse…   

Homework & iClickers ADD to your point total, scaled to up to 60% of the points missed on exams!

½ Online Homework, 1/3rd iClickers, 1/6th Written Homework, 1/12th Problem session attendance.  (total > 1)

Clicker grading: 1 click pt for any answer, 2 click pts for correct answer.

Online homework will be due approximately every week, typically on Fridays at class time. 

Please pay attention to the deadlines: you will lose 1%/day for late Mastering Physics (MP) homework.

There will be considerable “extra credit” MP homework. There is no excuse for getting < 100% on the MP homework.

A written homework will be due each week. No late written homework accepted.


• TA, problem/review sessions TBD

• The Center for Academic Program Support (CAPS, see

• For help in accessing Mastering Physics and for I-Clickers instruction, contact the Arts and Sciences Service Center, Ortega Room 260, or call (505) 277-1037

This should go without saying:

Do not cheat.  Any form of cheating behavior will be dealt with severely.  I use the words cheating behavior because if you are looking in the direction of your neighbor's paper I can't read your mind and determine whether you are cheating.  But I can tell what you are looking at.  Do not wear a baseball hat or any other type hat that covers your eyes during a test. All cell phones and other electronic devices must be turned off and placed out of sight.  If I even see a cell phone during a test the owner will receive a zero.  I will not tolerate this or other cheating behavior, period.  And there are many other examples.  Use common sense about this.  Turn cell phones off and put them away.

Dropping the class.  If you drop the course then please let me know so I can give you a WP if appropriate. Otherwise, default is WF.

I-Clickers (Keypads):  The I-Clickers/keypads we are using this semester can be purchased from the bookstore. You must register your keypad before class on Friday and bring it to class every day.  To register your i-clicker go to: following the directions provided using your BANNER ID as your "Student ID".  You can also go to  for instructions and help on registering.  When you register your keypad be sure to provide your name (even though the registration Website treats your name as an optional field).

Mastering Physics (MP) is the on-line homework system. Your new book comes with an MP package (no extra cost to you).  If you have a used book you need to buy the Mastering Physics package from the bookstore or you can go on line with a credit card and buy it.  To buy MP access online, go to  then click on the title of your textbook. Then click Buy Now and follow instructions.   Whether your MP package came with the text or whether you bought access from the bookstore or online, everyone must register on line and complete the first MP assignment and start becoming familiar with MP before class on Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Important notes for registering:  The UNM Zip code is 87131.  Our Course ID is MPTHOMAS161. (careful about the letter O versus the number 0!)   Your Student ID will be your BANNER ID .  Student Access Code:  This is a six-"word" printed code supplied beneath the pull-tab inside your Mastering Physics Student Access Kit.  It is valid for registering one student. If the tab in this kit has been pulled back, the code may no longer be valid.  If you buy a secondhand textbook, any code supplied with it is probably not valid.  In either case, you can purchase a Student Access Code online using a credit card or you can go to the bookstore and buy a mastering physics package.  If you need help then click on the ? icon.  There are more detailed Mastering Physics registration instructions at   Listed here are links where other important aspects of the course are described.  Please go to these links and read their contents.

For problems with MP, you can go to