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.
[Syllabus] (v. 9/6/16)
[Course Information] [Announcements] [Material and Links]

Course Information

A complete discussion of course policies can be found in the syllabus.

Prof. Dave Goldberg (
Office: Disque Hall Room 810
Phone: x2715
Office Hours: M1-2, Th2-3, Fr 10-11
or by appointment in advance

Teaching Assistant:
Mr. Christopher Brown (
Office: Disque Hall, Room 923
Office Hours: T,Th 10-11

Mr. Justin Bird (
Office: Disque Hall, Room 808 (Rear)

MWF 12-1
Curtis Hall, Room 352A

W2-4 (Sec. 1), W4-6 (Sec. 2).
Disque 704.

Matter and Interaction by Chabay and Sherwood, 4th Edition. [Amazon Link] (The book is also available in 2 separate volumes)
We will only be using the first volume this term, but I strongly recommend getting both at once or the single volume version, and doing so as cheaply as possible. Both volumes will be needed for the 3 term sequence.

Additional Help
Besides the course staff, this year we have two Physics Fellows:

In addition to their walk-in hours (above) they can be scheduled for private tutoring in calculus, physics, or with general computing issues. This service is at no charge to you.


  • Midterm Exam: 10/26/16

    On Wednesday, October 26, 2016, we will have an in class midterm exam. As noted in the syllabus, this will be worth 20% of your final grade and will be closed book. In order to help you prepare, please review the following materials:

Materials and Links


Homework Assignments

You will typically have 3-4 classes (1-1 1/2 weeks) to complete homeworks, and the due date will be made very clear. 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 the TA. 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.

Last year's Recitation Cup Winners: Jonathan Thornton and Jonah Graciani