Physics/Environmental Studies 107 Syllabus, Fall 2001
St. Lawrence University
Daniel W. Koon, Instructor

TEXT: Energy: Principles, Problems, Alternatives, 5th Edition, Joseph Priest, Kendall-Hunt

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. Check my homepage,, the course homepage,, and the Science Library for ADDITIONAL RESOURCES to help you learn the material.

ATTENDANCE POLICY: The instructor reserves the right to subtract one-half of a letter grade for each absence beyond the first three. I do not expect you to learn all of your physics from my magnificent lectures, just as I would not expect you to learn it all simply from reading every sentence of the text, or by doing every homework problem. However, each one of these items you miss diminishes the understanding you are likely to gain of the course material.

EXAMS: There will be three exams during regular class time during the semester, Friday, Sept. 21, Monday, Oct. 15, and Friday, Nov. 9, plus a Final Exam, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 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 in class on 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.
Dates in the calendar below are marked for the assignment of topic and the handing in of rough drafts. Failure to meet these deadlines will be counted against your final research project grade.

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.

GRADING POLICY: Your final average will be calculated from the following:
Homework                                  20%
Three semester exams               24%
Laboratory*                                20%
Final Exam                                     8%
Research paper                           18%
Class participation                     10%
90% plus      4.0 70% plus      2.0
85% plus      3.5 65% plus      1.0
80% plus      3.0 60% plus      1.0
75% plus      2.5
* Failure to complete the laboratory section of this course automatically results in failure of this course.

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. Should you feel inclined to argue this point, please do it before the first few weeks of class.

THE LECTURES: (Dates of topics subject to change)

8/31: Ch. 1
Energy and society
No lab
9/3: Ch. 2
Energy principles
9/5: 9/7: Graphing, functions vs
9/10:  9/12: 9/14: Ch. 3: Fossil fuels. 
Research project topics assigned
Roller-chair kinematics
9/17:  9/19: Ch. 4
Electric energy
9/21: EXAM I Light bulbs I
9/24:  9/26: 9/28: Light bulbs II
10/1: Ch. 5
Fossil-fuel electric power plants
10/3: Ch. 6
Electromagnetic radiation
10/5: List of references due Photodiodes
10/8:  10/10: Ch. 7
Global warning & ozone depletion
10/12: Fall break. No classes Fall break. No lab
10/15: EXAM II 10/17:  10/19: Thermopile I
10/22: Ch. 8
Thermodynamic principles
10/24: 10/26: Research paper outline due Thermopile II
10/29: 10/31: Ch. 9 
11/2: Heat engine
11/5: Ch. 10
Nuclear physics principles
11/7:  11/9: EXAM III Smoke detector and radioactivity
11/12: 11/14: Ch. 11
Nuclear energy
11/16: First draft of paper due To be announced
Thanksgiving Break
    Thanksgiving Break
11/26: Ch. 12
Solar energy
11/28:  11/30: Second draft of paper due  Greenhouse effect
12/3: Ch. 13
Other energy systems
12/5: 12/7:  Smoke detectors and radioactivity
12/10: 12/12: Ch. 14
Energy conservation
12/14: Final paper due in class To be announced

Final Exam: Wednesday, Dec. 19, 8:30-11:30.