courses > physics 221-223

physics 223

To use Spotter, click on one of the following links:

The textbooks are Simple Nature and Relativity Simply Explained.

Lab manual: download

I'm the author of the books. I do not receive any royalty from sales of the books. You can choose to download the books for free and print them yourself, but you typically don't save any significant amount of money that way, and what you get is a big, thick, unbound stack of single-sided output.

syllabus for Physics 223, spring 2014

physics 221

To use Spotter, click on one of the following links:

The textbook is Mechanics.

You need to download and print the lab manual.

I'm the author of the books. I do not receive any royalty from sales of the books. You can choose to download the books for free and print them yourself, but you typically don't save any significant amount of money that way, and what you get is a big, thick, unbound stack of single-sided output.

syllabus for Physics 221, spring 2012

instructions for using Python

physics 222

To use Spotter, click on one of the following links:

textbook

Lab manual: download, in print

I'm the author of the books. I do not receive any royalty from sales of the books. You can choose to download the books for free and print them yourself, but you typically don't save any significant amount of money that way, and what you get is a big, thick, unbound stack of single-sided output.

syllabus for Physics 222, fall 2007

miscellany

alternative labs

To calculate a standard deviation, click here.

Applets demonstrating entropy:

  1. free expansion in terms of momentum rather than position (only works on Windows?)
  2. free expansion of a gas (click on applet button; window can be resized)
  3. sensitivity to initial conditions, time reversal (click on applet button; window can be resized)

data analysis for exercise 5B in Optics

computer software for doing integrals

Usually the best quick and dirty way to do an integral is by using the web interface at integrals.com. However, integrals.com only does indefinite integrals, and there are cases where a definite integral is doable, but the corresponding indefinite integral is impossible to calculate, so you can't just evaluate the definite integral by plugging in the upper and lower limits of integration into the indefinite integral. As far as I know, the best open-source software for doing integrals is maxima. It runs on Linux, MacoS X, and Windows. I have it installed on the Linux machine on the lab bench at the back of the room. To run it, log in using the username and password posted on the monitor, right click on the desktop, and select Open Terminal with the left mouse button. Type "maxima" at the prompt. Examples of using Maxima to do integrals:

the indefinite integral of cx^2:
  integrate(c*x^2,x);
     (The asterisk indicates notation. The second argument to the function tells the software what
     variable you want to integrate with respect to; it plays the same role as the Leibniz notation
     dx inside an integral in normal human calculus notation. Since c isn't the variable you're
     integrating with respect to, it's assumed to be a constant.)
the definite integral of e^-x, from 0 to infinity:
  integrate(exp(-x),x,0,inf);
     (Note that the Exp function has to be capitalized; the same is true for Sin, Cos, etc.
     INF stands for infinity.)
the definite integral of e^(-x^2), from 0 to infinity:
  integrate(exp(-x^2),x,0,inf);
     (Note that this integral can't be evaluated as an indefinite integral in terms of
     elementary functions like exponentials, trig functions, etc.)
To exit maxima when you're done:
  quit();