The following is outdated information from previous semesters, posted here for students who already finished the course.

Spring semester, 2008:

GSI information. Office hours. Visit any GSI. Get to know them all! We have spread out office hours so that they don't conflict with the discussion sections, and we emphasize early week since midterm exams are on Thursdays. Office hours for the particular GSIs are listed below. But you are encouraged to come to any of the following times in 473 Birge: Monday 10-11, 2-3, 4-5; Tues12:30-1, 2-3;Weds 9-9:30, 12-1, 3-4. Jan also holds an office hour Tues 11:30-12:30 in 410 Hearst Mining (near Pimentel).

Joel Mefford. Head GSI.
          email: joel.andrew.mefford@gmail.com
          phone (before 10 pm): (510) 292-8017
          office hour: Wednesday 12-1 in 473 Birge.

Paul Bruno
          email: paulbruno@gmail.com
          phone (before 10 pm):(510) 282-3122
          office hour: Tuesday 2-3 in 47 Birge.

Jan Korsbakken
          
email: jankorsbakken.pffp@gmail.com
          phone:510 717 0709
          office hour: Tuesday 11:30-12:30, in 410 Hearst Mining (near Pimentel!)

Janet Casperson
          
email: janet.gsi@gmail.com
          phone (before 10 pm): 510 292-608
          office hours:Tuesday 12:30-1 and Weds 9-9:30 in 473 Birge.

Nick Kemming
          
email: nickkemming@berkeley.edu
          phone:(510) 221 8713
          office hour: Wednesday 3-4 in 473 Birge.

Amber Lancaster
          
email: amberlancaster@berkeley.edu
          phone (before 10 pm): (314) 397-2020
          office hour: Monday 4-5 in 473 Birge.

Patrick Lee
          
email: patrick.robin.lee@gmail.com
          phone:(559) 284-4019
          office hour: Tuesday 12-1 in 473 Birge.

Andrew Myers
          email: atmyers@berkeley.edu
          phone (before 10 pm): (919) 302-9513
          office hour: Monday 2-3 in 473 Birge.

Sebastian Wickenburg
          email: wickenburg@berkeley.edu
          phone (before 10 pm):510)664-2939
          office hour: Monday 10-11 in 473 Birge.

Discussion Sections: Below is a list for the Spring 2008 semester. The initial GSI assignements are shown in the table below. Send your Tuesday HW and your requests for excused absences to your GSI.

101

M 1-2

2 Evans

Sebastian

102

Tu 12-1

B56 Hildebrand

Amber

103

W8-9

385 LeConte

Janet

104

Th 11-12

75 Evans

Janet

105

F 1-2

85 Evans

Nick

106

M 12-1

85 Evans

Joel

107

Tu 1-2

3 Evans

Paul

108

W 2-3

85 Evans

Andrew

109

M 11-12

85 Evans

Sebastian

110

Tu 8-9

4 Evans

Amber

111

M 1-2

385 LeConte

Joel

112

Tu 12-1

4 Evans

Paul

113

W 1-2

385 LeConte

Andrew

114

Th 11-12

4 Evans

Jan

115

M 12-1

2 Evans

Patrick

116

M 11-12

B51 Hildebrand

Patrick


 

To purchase the textbook:

We are using a revised edition of the text for this spring semester.
It can be purchased online from Thomson Publishers with free shipping:
Physics for future Presidents Fall 2008 Edition
You'll also be able to get it (at a higher price) at the campus bookstore or on Amazon.

Below is the webpage from the Spring 2008 class. In August, this will be replaced with a new webpage for the Fall 2008 class. If you are taking the course this coming fall, you can scan through this page to get an idea of what is required.

 

I have posted the final grades. I hope you did better than you expected. Thanks for taking my couse, and have a great summer!

I have just posted updated grades. These count the sum of midterms 1 and 2 for 80% of the grade. Please check all entries; if you find errors, notify your GSI right away. (Not me; it is your GSI who maintains the records.) Note that the final exam counts for as much as the first two midterms combined -- so study hard and do a good job!

April 15. Our class has just received the highest possible honor. In a student vote conducted by the Daily Cal, it was named "Best Class at Berkeley"!

My new book, the popular (I hope) version of Physics for Future Presidents, is about to be published by Norton Publishers. Although based on this course, it is written in a different style,to be read rather than to be studied. It contains about half of the material we cover in this class, with emphasis on the topics I think the current candidates really need to know most: terrorism, energy, nukes, space, and climate change. Find out more about it at the PffP Norton Website. You can even pre-order it from Amazon (for delivery about June 15). Note: Amazon seems to have the textbook confused with this new one. The new one is cheaper.

Aprl 12. I have posted the Seating list for Midterm 2.

April 7. About Midterm 2: it is scheduled for Thursday April 17. That's soon. Come to the Midterm 2 Review Session on Sunday April 13, 1-4pm, 155 Dwinelle. Note: Midterm 2 will include material from the Climate Change Chapter -- but not from the Quantum Physics chapter. If you look at old midterms, you'll see quantum questions (e.g. about lasers, xerox machines, quantum fingerprinting, etc.). For this semester, such questions will have to wait for the final exam.

2 April. I have written a draft of the new chapter 10 on Climate Change. (In the next edition of the printed text, the old Chapter 10 will be 11, and the old 12 will be 13.) I recommend the pdf version; I also post a html version that might work better with some browsers.

14 March. I have posted two of the best essays from the first midterm exam. Congratulations to Alyssa Pskowski and Bethany Riordan!

13 March. I have updated the midterm grade list (see the 12 March entry below) to include the grades from Jan's students, who had not made it on the previous list because of an oversight. If you still can't find your secret name, contact your GSI.

12 March. I've posted the midterm grades. Warning: the grades assign 80% to the exams; since there has been only one, that basically assumes that you will score the same on the second midterm and final (and that is rarely true). So the grades are only preliminary. Check for errors, in the midterm score, HW, and quizzes. A score of -99 means excused; a score of -98 means the grade has not yet been entered. For 75 students who did not submit their secret names to their GSIs (even if they did to me), their grades are not yet posted, and if they want to know them, they will have to email their GSI. Finally, for students who did poorly on the final exam, I still give a C- if you have taken most of the quizzes and emailed in your HWs. The only way to get an F is to fail to participate. Many students have chosen this path, unfortunately, so there is a record number of Fs this semester. A D means you have missed too many quizzes or HWs, but not quite enough to earn an F. Students with Ds and Fs can still pass, but only if they do all of the remaining HWs and take all of the remaining quizzes (unless excused by their GSI). The grades are posted here.

Find your seat for the midterm on the midterm seating chart. If you have been assigned an aisle seat but would like a regular seat, see me before the exam.

26 Feb. Exam this Thursday, Feb 28. You do not need to bring a bluebook, scantron sheet, or calculator: just you and a pen. We will hand out the exam, including a place to write your essay. If you would like to practce writing an essay on one page, you can download it: essay sheet.

Review session for the first midterm: Feb 24. 1-4pm 155 Dwinelle

I have posted office hours for all the GSIs. For general questions you are welcome to visit any one, so get to know them all!

Error in chapter 1, caught by student Claire Dorman, on page 1-7. It says that a typical fuel tank holds 100 pounds of gasoline, and since batteries weigh 80 times more for a similar amount of energy, you would need 800 pounds, or 200 if your car only needs to go 75 miles before recharging. Obviously that should be 8000 pounds of batteries. Why didn't I catch that? I think because I was visualizing lithium=ion computer batteries, which are much more compact than are the lead-acid batteries, but lithium-ion batteries are much more expensive. Thanks, Claire!

Wondering what we expect for the Tuesday HW? Last semester I asked our GSIs to pick out sample homeworks that illustrate what we are looking for. Take a look at the Homework Example page.

I have posted the GSI names for each discussion section below. Please send your Tuesday HW and your request for excused absences to you own GSI. Please use the formats for these that are described below.

See: Muller teaches physics to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and other candidates.

I've posted two plots I showed in the lecture on Thursday Jan 24. These are the Greenhouse emissions of countries, showing that the rapid growth of carbon dioxide from the developing world, and Greenhouse Intensity, showing the large emissions to GDP in China and India.

Jan 22. In class today I gave some incorrect numbers (verbally) for US oil use. Here are the correct numbers: the US uses about 21 million barrels of oil each day, adding up to about 7 billion barrels per year. Total US oil reserves are about 21 billion barrels, so if we don't import, we run out rapidly. See the chart in the item below for total fossil fuel reserves.

Jan 22, 2008. Guess which country in the world has the greatest reserves? Saudi Arabia? Iran? Russia? China? USA? I have posted a plot of Fossil Fuel Reserves. This is a plot I show in the first week of class, but is not in the text.

There is a new version of the required textbook, the "Spring 2008 edition." It is most easily obtained by ordering it online here, with free shipping. It is $49.50 (cheap!). At the bookstore is it about $10 more expensive. The changes (over the Fall 2007 edition) are these: many typos (printers fault, not mine) have been fixed. Two pages have been added to Chapter 1 on the cost of energy. Problems at the end of the chapter have been numbered. The changes are small enough that you can probably get by with a used Fall 2007 edition, but I tried to keep the price low enough that you would be able to afford the new version, and cherish it as a keepsake.

The 2008 class schedule for lectures, homeworks, and reading is now posted.

Important Note: Three assignments Due the First Week:
     First assignment is due on the first Thurday by 9:30 am (before lecture)!
     Read Chapter 1 on Energy. There may be a pop quiz.)
          Chapter 1 is available online (see column on left) if you haven't gotten your copy of the text yet.
     Second assignment: read this syllabus to see if there is anything else applicable to you.
     Third assignement: your "bio" is due on the first Friday by 11 pm!
If you don't do these on time, you may be dropped from the course.
          (We have a long waiting list.)
If you are on the waiting list, do the assignments as if you are in the course. Last semester EVERY student on the waitlist got into the course, eventually.
You are required to attend lectures. If you have to miss one or more, send in an excuse (before the lecture!) or your grade may suffer. See below.


Fall 2007 information
(for those who took the course that semester)

 

Grades for Fall 2007 have been posted. I hope you did better than you expected. Have a great holiday and break! And keep on reading those newspaper articles, and learning more physics, for the rest of your life!

Dec 10. The final exam will be in the RSF at 8:00 am on Saturday Dec 15, in the "blue gym." You will choose one essay question from three choices; the essay questions will be based on Chapters 1-10, but not Chapters 11 or 12. 40 multiple choice questions will be based on all chapters, 1-12.

Dec 9. Grades are now up-to-date as of Dec 9. Grade Sheet for Dec 9.

Dec. 8. I've posted the grade sheet with all the quiz, homework, and midterm grades. Please check. A score of -99 means you were excused; a score of -98 means your GSI has not yet entered a grade. (I'll update this on Dec 9 with more grades.) If there is an error, email your GSI immediately. We cannot accept changes requested to after Dec 13. The error for Josh's grades has now been corrected. Here they are: Grade Sheet for Dec 8.

I've posted the Midterm 2 Seat Assignments.

Muller teaches physics to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Rudy Giuliani, and other candidates.

Nov 7. Midterm exam coming up Thursday Nov. 15. It will test the material in chapters 6-10. The midterm review will be this coming Sunday, Nov 11, from 12 noon to 2 pm, in 2050 VLSB (Valley Life Sciences Building).

Oct 31. I've posted the midterm grades. Please check and see that all your grades were entered properly. A score of -99 means you were excused; a score of -98 means your GSI has not yet entered the grade. Please report any errors by email to your GSI in the next week, that is, by Nov 8. For this grade, the first midterm counted for 80%. For your final grade, it will count for only 20% (with midterm 2 as 20% and the final as 40%), so you have lots of opportunity to raise (or lower) your grade. The grades are posted here.

A soldier in Iraq listened to my physics lectures while manning a .50-caliber machine-gun and watching over a goat herder's field where insurgents were suspected of passing through a week earlier. Read the whole story.

2 October. I have posted the Midterm 1 Seat Assignments. If you have a problem with the seat, let me or a GIS know, and we will try to change it. Do not trade seats or make other informal changes.

28 Sept. There will be a review session this Sunday afternoon 30 Sept from 2-4 pm. It will not be on Tuesday, as we had originally hoped, because we were unable to get a room. It will be held in 2050 VLSB (Valley Life Sciences Building).

28 Sept. Some of the textbooks have a corrupted Chapter 11. Please check your own; I will take a survey in class to see how many people have a problem. Look at page 11-4. Does the first equation look right, or does it have two boxes under the square-root sign? I have posted Chapter 11 on the web site, so you can download a copy without the errors. It is available in two formats: html (for web browsers) and pdf (better for printing).

Sept 18. Download a practice essay sheet. These are similar to the ones that will appear on your midterm exam. You must write on the lines, and not in the margins or between the lines. (That's to prevent you from writing too much!) I suggest that for your homework you write out your essay (from a previous midterm) by hand on one of these sheet, before keyboarding it into an email to send to your GSI. That way you'll get practice for the exam, and you'll get a good sense of the maximum length. No, you are not encouraged to fill up all the lines; they represent a maximum length. But you can also lose points if you don't say enough.

13 Sept. The first midterm exam is coming up on Thursday October 4. There will be 20 multiple choice questions, and a choice of an essay question (pick one of two). To give you a sense of what we hope for, I am posted three essays from previous exams that received perfect scores. The subjects of the essays were explosions, terrorist nuclear weapons, and radiation. We will cover the latter two topics in the next two weeks.

12 Sept. Your homework for Tuesday Sept 18 is different. Instead of reading a newspaper article, I want you to take a trial essay question from one of the past exams, and submit that (to your GSI, in the body text of your email). All of my old exams are posted in the index on the left; for your convenience you can also find them here: Old PffP Exams. You need to find a topic we have covered, so the easiest way is to look at the old Midterm 1 exams. You might also be able to find a suitable question in the old final exams.

Sept 10. I have not yet had the opportunity to read all your bios, and as a result I have not yet listed all the secret names. So that we can post grades, I asked that you send your secret name once again, but this time directly to your GSI. You can do this by sending email with "secret name" in the header, and in the text put your name, SID and your secret name. Your GSI will then enter it into the grade sheet.
Thanks for helping with this. Remember: send it to your GSI, not to me.

Sept 7. I asked our GSIs to pick out sample homeworks that illustrate what we are looking for. Take a look at the Homework Example Page.

Aug 24. I have sent an email to all students who are registered or waitlisted for this semester. If you didn't receive it, then you need to check the email address you have listed at Bear Facts; I sent the email to this service, not to individuals, so if your address is incorrect, you will miss future emails too. In the meantime, you can read a copy here.

Note to Fall 2007 students:
We are using a revised edition of the text for this fall semester.
It can be purchased online from Thomson Publishers with free shipping:
Physics for future Presidents Fall 2007 Edition
You'll also be able to get it (at a higher price) at the campus bookstore.
Chapters 1 and 2 are available online (see column on left) if you haven't purchased it yet.

Not sure if you should take this course? Read below.

The index for this site is on the left side of this page.
New items will be posted below, with the most recent ones at top.

Do you have a terrible problem with your discussion section time?
If so, notify our head GSI and explain the problem in detail,
and we will see if we can change it for you.

Vladimir Calugaru
          email: calugaru@berkeley.edu
          phone (before 10 pm): (510) 384-8530
          office hour: Weds 12-1 in 473 Birge

Grace (Jui-Shan) Hsu
          email: juishan@berkeley.edu
          phone (before 10 pm): (510) 541-3939
          office hour: Thurs 3-4 in 473 Birge

Chung Hay Luk
          email: ch_luk@berkeley.edu
          phone (before 10 pm):(925) 408-6019
          office hour: Monday 2-3 in 473 Birge

Josh Mackanic
          email: joshmackanic@berkeley.edu
          phone (before 10 pm):(404) 641-6309
          office hour: Monday 1-2 in 473 Birge

Linsey Nolan
          email:linznol@berkeley.edu
          phone (before 10 pm) 813-767-6130
          office hour: Tues 4-5 in 473 Birge

Jascha Sohl-Dickstein
          email: jascha@berkeley.edu
          phone (before 10 pm): (607) 592-3522
          office hour: Thurs 1-2 in 473 Birge

Old Discussion Sections: Below is a list from the fall 2007 semester of the GSIs who taught the various discussion sections.

101

M 1-2

75 Evans

Joel Mefford

102

Tu 12-1

155 Barrows

Jascha Sohl-Dickstein

103

W 3-4

247 Cory

Grace Hsu

104

Th 11-12

3 Evans

Grace Hsu

105

F 1-2

71 Evans

Vladimir Calugaru

106

M 12-1

3 Evans

Paul Bruno

107

Tu 1-2

71 Evans

Jascha Sohl-Dickstein

108

W 2-3

2 Evans

Josh Mackanic

109

M 11-12

2 Evans

Paul Bruno

110

Tu 2-3

71 Evans

Linsey Nolan

111

M 1-2

71 Evans

Andrew Myers

112

Tu 12-1

41 Evans

Chung-Hay Luk

113

W 3-4

85 Evans

Josh Mackanic

114

Th 11-12

175 Barrows

Chung-Hay

115

M 12-1

2 Evans

Joel Mefford\

116

M 11-12

75 Evans

Andrew Myers