PHYS 113: Contemporary Physics I

Welcome to Contemporary Physics I. This is a fairly unusual introductory Physics class. We will cover everything from relativity to classical mechanics to the Standard Model of Particle physics (although not in that order). We'll do programming, pen-and-paper problems, and lots of thought experiments. Please ask lots of questions, and by all means get in touch with me if you have any questions or concerns.
[Course Information] [Announcements] [Material and Links]

Course Information

A complete discussion of course policies can be found in the
course syllabus (Current Version: 9/3/13).

Prof. Dave Goldberg (
Office: Disque Hall Room 810
Phone: x2715
Office Hours: MW (1-2), F (11-12), or by appointment in advance

Teaching Assistant:
Ms. Kelly Douglass (
Office: Disque Hall 808 (rear)
Office Hours: T,Th 1-2pm

Thomas Cronin (
Office: Disque Hall 808 (during office hours only)
Office Hours: Th 10-11am Lecture: MWF 12-1. Location TBD

Recitation: W2-4 (Sec. 1), W4-6 (Sec. 2). W6-8 (Sec. 3). Disque 704.

Textbook: Matter and Interaction by Chabay and Sherwood, 3rd Edition. Volume 1, Volume 2.
We will only be using the first volume this term, but I strongly recommend getting both at once, and doing so as cheaply as possible. Both volumes will be needed for the 3 term sequence.


  • 10/20/13: The midterm exam will be held on Monday, October 28, in class. You will have 1 hour to complete the exam, though it will be designed so that Kelly can finish it in 12 minutes. Here are some materials to help you prepare:
  • 10/23/13: Notes on Special Relativity
  • 11/1/13: Midterm Solution Key
  • 11/30/13: The Final Exam will be held on Monday, December 9, 3:30-5:30pm, in our regular classroom, PISB 108.
    You will have 2 hours to complete the exam, though it will be designed so that Kelly can finish it in 24 minutes. Here are some materials to help you prepare:
  • 12/10/13: Final Exam Solution Key

Materials and Links


Homework Assignments

Homework will be distributed on Mondays and will be due the next Monday. A 10% penalty will be given for each day of lateness. The lowest homework will be dropped from your final average.

Recitation Assignments

Recitations will be distributed during recitation sections and will be due via email to Kelly ( by the end of the next recitation section. The first 30 minutes to an hour of recitation sections will be devoted to homework and concept discussion. You are not to work on your recitation assignments during the theoretical discussion.

Additional Handouts