Fundamentals of Physics I

About the Course

This course provides a thorough introduction to the principles and methods of physics for students who have good preparation in physics and mathematics. Emphasis is placed on problem solving and quantitative reasoning. This course covers Newtonian mechanics, special relativity, gravitation, thermodynamics, and waves.

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Course Structure

This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 75 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2006.

The Open Yale Courses Book Series

For more information about Professor Shankar's book based on the lectures from this course, Fundamentals of Physics: Mechanics, Relativity, and Thermodynamicsclick here.

Course Materials

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About Professor Ramamurti Shankar

Ramamurti Shankar is John Randolph Huffman Professor of Physics at Yale. He received his B. Tech in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras and his Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the Yale faculty in 1977 after three years at the Harvard Society of Fellows. He is dedicated to teaching and has published two texts: Principles of Quantum Mechanics and Basic Training in Mathematics: A Fitness Program for Science Students. His website has further details and a link to jokes collected by his students from Physics 200-201.

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Syllabus

Professor

Ramamurti Shankar, John Randolph Huffman Professor of Physics

Description

This course provides a thorough introduction to the principles and methods of physics for students who have good preparation in physics and mathematics. Emphasis is placed on problem solving and quantitative reasoning. This course covers Newtonian mechanics, special relativity, gravitation, thermodynamics, and waves.

Texts

Wolfson, Richard and Jay Pasachoff. 1998. Physics with Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 3d ed. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley Publishing Company.

Recommended: Shankar, Ramamurti. 2003. Basic Training in Mathematics: A Fitness Program for Science Students. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Requirements

Homework will be given every Wednesday and is due the following Wednesday before class. Solutions will be posted on Wednesdays, so problem sets must be turned in on time. There will be one in-class midterm halfway through the semester.

Grading

Homework: 20%
Midterm examination: 30%
Final examination: 50%
Letter grades will be assigned by taking the highest score of either the total final average or the final exam.

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Course Books and Other Related Titles

Yale University Press offers a 10% discount on the books used in PHYS 200 that it publishes, as well as on other related titles. A portion of the proceeds from your purchases will be donated for the ongoing support and development of the Open Yale Courses program.

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