Physics/Environmental Studies 107 Syllabus, Fall 2005
St. Lawrence University
Daniel W. Koon, Instructor

TEXT: Energy: Its Use and the Environment, Roger A. Hinrichs, Merlin Kleinbach, Brooks/Cole Publishing

LEARNING PHYSICS: Much of what you will learn in this course is counter-intuitive and contradicts preconceived notions we all have had about how the Universe operates. To overcome these notions, it is important to confront them. This requires a lot of practice. If you expect to learn this material simply from coming to class, doing the homework, and going to lab, you are in for a disappointment. You will get some of this practice in the laboratory, but you probably will need to do more. Read the sections of the book listed below before each lecture. Do the homework. Do extra problems. Discuss problems with classmates, other students, and the prof.

ACADEMIC RESOURCES, SPECIAL NEEDS: If you need accommodation for special needs, please contact your instructor by the end of the first full week of classes. Please also contact the Office for Academic Services for Students with Special Needs (homepage, e-mail) as soon as possible. Another useful office for all students is the Academic Achievement Office, which can set you up with tutoring for this and other courses.

ATTENDANCE POLICY: The instructor reserves the right to subtract one-half of a letter grade from your final grade for each class absence beyond the first three. (e.g. four absences means your highest possible final grade is 3.5.) Each lab absence counts as two class absences. Each time you are late for class will count towards an absence. Missed labs can be made up only at the discretion of the instructor.

EXAMS: There will be three exams during regular class time during the semester, Friday, Sept. 16, Friday, Oct. 21, and Monday, Nov. 14, plus a Final Exam, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 1:30-4:30. You may bring with you to the exam a calculator and all the notes you can fit on a 3" x 5" index card (both sides, handwritten).

RESEARCH PROJECT: A research project, a report on some aspect of energy or humankind's use of energy, is due the Monday after the last day of classes. The report must contain an appropriate bibliography, with adequate use of footnotes in the body of the text to indicate the sources. It is the author's responsibility to assess the reliability of the sources cited. Use of sources with competing points of view is encouraged.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: Please read the relevant portions of the Student Handbook (pp. 148-9) printed at the bottom of this syllabus. You will be held responsible for them. Of particular interest, please note that you may not submit any work for a grade -- such as the research project -- that you have submitted for any other course. In addition, you may not submit someone else's work as your own. Proper attribution of sources in your research project will be required.

HOMEWORK: Homework assignments will be due at the beginning of class on the date they are due. The instructor reserves the right to not accept any work not handed in at that time. The reason for this is so that we can discuss the homework in class as soon as possible, and clear up any problems anyone may have with the material. When submitting homework sets,
  • Write your name at the top,
  • Indicate the number of the set and the original due date,
  • Staple pages together, if needed,
  • Write legibly, but you needn't be a "neat freak".
Your goal in writing a homework solution is to communicate what you understand and what you don't understand about the problem. I encourage you to write (scientists DO use complete sentences) about those points of the problem that confuse or interest you and to make commentary on the plausibility of your answers.

CELL PHONES No cell phones, beepers, pagers, etc. should be heard during class time.

GRADING POLICY: Your final average will be calculated from the following:
Three semester exams24%
Final Exam8%
Research paper18%
Class participation10%

All exams, homework, and labs will be counted toward your final average. All cutoffs are exact. I do not round percentages up before calculating the final grade, even if they are the tiniest fraction of a percentage. Should you feel inclined to argue this point, please do it before the first few weeks of class.

THE CALENDAR: (Dates and topics are subject to change)
8/26: Ch. 1: Introduction Powerpoint data No lab
8/29: Finish Ch. 1 before class 8/31: Ch. 2: Energy mechanics. pp. 35-43, 63-71 9/2: pp. 44-51 Graphing, functions vs correlations
9/5: pp. 51-58 9/7: Ch. 3: Conservation of Energy. pp. 73-79 9/9: pp. 79-84. cents/kW-hr Roller-chair dynamics
9/12: pp. 84-90. Prefixes 9/14: Exam review 9/16: EXAM I Content, format Car physics, plus handout
9/19: Ch. 4: Heat and work. pp. 93-97 9/21: pp. 96-101 9/23: pp. 111-119 Library session, plus 'Appliantology'
9/26: pp. 101-111 9/28: Ch. 5: Home conservation: pp. 125-138 9/30: Class canceled 'Appliantology', continued
10/3: Ch. 6: Solar energy: pp. 155-165 10/5: pp. 165-185 10/7: (Ch. 12) pp. 386-8. Links Solar Energy, part I
10/10: Ch. 7: Fossil fuels: pp. 201-5, 217-226 10/12: pp. 205-217, 227-9 10/14: Fall break. No classes Fall break. No lab
10/17: Ch. 8: Pollution: pp. 239-248 10/19: pp. 248-268 10/21: Annotated Bibliography due Solar Energy, part II
10/24: EXAM II 10/26: Ch. 9: Global warming, etc.: pp. 28, 269-279, 289-302 Links 10/28: pp. 303-314 no lab
10/31: Ch. 10: Electricity: pp. 317-330 11/2: pp. 331-340 11/4: pp. 340-349 Light bulbs
11/7: Ch. 11: Electromagnetism 11/9: Ch. 13: The atom 11/11: Ch. 14: Nuclear fission Hydrogen I
11/14: EXAM III 11/16: 11/18: Hydrogen II
11/21: Thanksgiving Break 11/23: Thanksgiving Break 11/25: Thanksgiving Break Thanksgiving Break
11/28: Ch. 15: Nuclear radiation 11/30: Ch. 16: Nuclear fusion 12/2: pp. 398-409: Wind & Hydro Smoke detectors and radioactivity
12/5: Wind and hydro 12/7: Student oral presentations 12/9: Review for exam. (YSBAT) Final paper due Monday Student oral presentations

Final Exam: Tuesday, Dec. 13, 1:30-4:30.


All students at St. Lawrence University are bound by honor to maintain the highest level of academic integrity. By virtue of membership in the St. Lawrence community, every student accepts the responsibility to know the rules of academic honesty, to abide by them at all times, and to encourage all others to do the same.

Responsibility for avoiding behavior or situations from which academic dishonesty may be inferred rests entirely with the students. Claims of ignorance, unintentional error, and academic or personal pressure are not excuses for academic dishonesty. Students should be sure to learn from faculty what is expected as their own work and how the work of other people should be acknowledged. Instructors are expected to maintain conditions which promote academic honesty.

Instructors have the duty to investigate any instance involving possible academic dishonesty and must present evidence of academic dishonesty to the Academic Honor Council rather than make private arrangements with the student involved. Violations of the St. Lawrence University Code of Academic Honor are administered under the constitution of the Academic Honor Council [See Student Handbook for the Constitution].

Academic Honesty

The primary objective of the University is the promotion of knowledge. This objective can be furthered only if there is strict adherence to scrupulous standards of honesty. At St. Lawrence, all members of the University community have a responsibility to see that standards of honesty and integrity are maintained.
Students who respect academic honesty and who are orderly and meticulous in their treatment of both their own work and the work of others should anticipate no difficulty with cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty. Borrowing ideas or language from others is acceptable scholarly practice and in many instances actively to be encouraged.

Academic dishonesty generally arises from one of two sources: either a student has knowingly cheated or plagiarized or he/she has been careless or slipshod in discriminating between his/her own work and that of others or in acknowledging sources accurately. These latter difficulties are easily circumvented. Any standard handbook on English usage or term paper writing manual will furnish a methodology as well as appropriate internal reference, endnote, or bibliographical forms (cf., for example, the Harbrace Handbook, A Guide to MLA Documentation, or Writers Inc.).

A major objective of the University is the pursuit of knowledge which can be achieved only by strict adherence to standards of honesty. At St. Lawrence, all members of the community have a responsibility to see that these standards are maintained.

Academic Dishonesty

  1. It is assumed that all work submitted for credit is done by the student unless the instructor gives specific permission for collaboration.
  2. Cheating on examinations and tests consists of knowingly giving or using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance during examinations or tests.
  3. Dishonesty in work outside of examinations and tests consists of handing in for credit as original work that which is not original, where originality is required.
The following constitute examples of academic dishonesty:
  1. Plagiarism: Presenting as one's own work the work of another person - words, ideas, data, evidence, thoughts, information, organizing principles, or style of presentation-without proper attribution. Plagiarism includes paraphrasing or summarizing without acknowledgment by quotation marks, footnotes, endnotes, or other indices of reference (cf. Joseph F. Trimmer, A Guide to MLA Documentation).
  2. Handing in false reports on any experiment.
  3. Handing in a book report on a book one has not read.
  4. Falsification of attendance records of a laboratory or other class meeting.
  5. Supplying information to another student knowing that such information will be used in a dishonest way.
  6. Submission of work (papers, journal abstracts, etc.) which has received credit in a previous course to satisfy the requirement(s) of a second course without the knowledge and permission of the instructor of the second course.
Claims of ignorance and academic or personal pressure are unacceptable as excuses for academic dishonesty. Students must learn what constitutes one's own work and how the work of others must be acknowledged.

St. Lawrence students are required to sign the following statement prior to registration for classes:

"I hereby acknowledge that I have read the above document and I understand my responsibility in maintaining the standards of academic honesty at St. Lawrence University."

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