Physics 5010 - Fall 2017

Physics 5010 - Theoretical Classical Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics
John DeFord

5010-001:   M W, 11:50 a.m.-1:10 p.m.; LS 107 - map

First class meeting is Wednesday, August 23!!!

Instructor: John DeFord
     JFB B-6
     Office Hours: 7:00 daily; or by appointment
     Contact Dr. DeFord

Course Administrator: Mary Ann Woolf
     205 JFB
     Contact her at

Grader: Moji Wang
     Office hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 2 pm to 3 pm or by appointment
     Office location: INSCC 134

Prerequisites: PHYS 3740 AND MATH 3150 AND MATH 3160.

Exam Schedule

Exam 1 October 25
Exam 2 November 29

The FINAL EXAM is Wednsday, December 13, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Course Information

Physics 5010-20 is a series which serves two purposes. One is as the finishing course for non-professional track Physics majors. The second is to help incoming graduate students who have neither passed nor exempted the Common Exam for admission to the PhD program. As such it will have a mix of backgrounds in its students. I hope to be able to accommodate this variety, but the governing principle will be to achieve a satisfactory level of understanding by its end. I will attempt to show how the various subjects covered fit together in one grand overall picture.

The first semester deals with Classical Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics. The second deals with Electrodynamics and Statistical Mechanics. It is assumed that all students are proficient in calculus and both ordinary and separable partial differential equations. In addition, they will make considerable use of complex variables and linear algebra. Where appropriate we will spend lecture time refreshing these math skills as needed. In particular students will need to be proficient at vector calculus and comfortable with spherical and cylindrical coordinate systems.

The actual mechanics of the course are as follows. There are two 75 minute ectures/week. Homework assignments will be passed out roughly every two weeks and due one week later. There will be two take home exams during the semester each to be due in one week. In addition, there will be a comprehensive take home final. Homework and hour exams will count 100 points each, the final 200 points, for a total of 500 points. There will be two grades one counting everything, and one counting the final only. You get the higher of the two.

You are encouraged to work together on the homework assignments, but the exams are individual and taken on an honor system.

There are several recommended books for the course, but none required. Instead the web page will publish notes on what is covered in the course, so that it is not necessary to take exhaustive notes during lecture. Hopefully this will make it easier to follow what is done in class.

This should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. I am in the office at around 7 AM each day and always happy to see and help you. The only people who are likely to have problems are those I never see! Take advantage of the help available. HAVE FUN!


For additional information, a former 3220 student placed all the 3220 lecture on youtube. Just google "physics 3220 lecture videos youtube taylor checketts".

Important Dates

Last day to register without a permission code is Friday, August 25.
Last day to drop (delete) classes with no tuition penalties is Friday, September 1
Last day to add classes is Friday, September 1.
Last day to elect CR/NC options is Friday, September 1. Last day to withdraw from term length classes is Friday, October 20.


 September 4  Labor Day
 October 8-15  Semester Break
 November 23-24  Thangsgiving Break

Recent Changes in Student Code

All students and faculty need to be aware of important changes in the Student Code that went into effect in the last couple of years. Students now have only 20 business days to appeal grades and other "academic actions" (e.g., results of comprehensive exams). The date thatgrades are posted on the web is considered the date of notification. A "business day" is every day the university is open for business, excluding weekends and University-recognized holidays. If the student cannot get a response from the faculty member after ten days of reasonable efforts to contact him or her, the student may appeal to the Department Chair if done within 40 days of being notified of the academic action. Students should definitely document their efforts to contact a faculty member.

Similarly, faculty members who discover or receive a complaint of academic misconduct (e.g., cheating, plagiarism) have 20 business days to "make reasonable efforts" to contact the student and discuss the alleged misconduct. Within 10 more business days the faculty member must give the student written notice of the sanction, if any, and the student's right to appeal to the college Academic Appeals Committee.

All students and faculty members are urged to consult the exact text of the Student Code if a relevant situation arises. The code is on the University web site at

Students with Disabilities

The University of Utah provides equal access to its programs, services and activities for people with disabilities. If you need accommodations in this course, contact the Center for Disability Services, 162 Olpin Union Bldg, 581-5020 (V/TDD) to make arrangements for accommodations.

| U of U disclaimer | Site maintained by Mary Ann Woolf