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Physics 1201


Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday, 2:55 - 4:10pm, Rockefeller Hall 203.

Sections:                                                                                                                                                          Wednesdays, 9:05 - 9:55am, 2:30 - 3:20pm, 3:35 - 4:25pm Rockefeller 102, and                                                     Wednesdays, 2:30 - 3:20pm Rockefeller 103.

Professor: Itai Cohen,
508 Clark Hall, tel. 607-255-0815,
Office hours: Monday 10:00-11:00am, Friday 4:00pm-5:00pm and by appointment.


Teaching Assistants:
office, , tel. 
Office hours: 



office, , tel. 
Office hours: 

Course webpage:

Science Matters, Hazen and Trefil, Anchor Books 2009

Voodoo Science, Robert Park, Oxford Press 2000

Stuff Matters, Mark Miodownik, First Mariner Books Edition 2015

Additional or alternative literature:
Questioning the Universe, Ahren Sadoff, CRC Press 2009.

Course syllabus and reading assignments

Homework: Approximately 11 weekly homework assignments.
Homework is due on Fridays

Lecture Notes: You will find the lecture notes posted at the end of each week.


Class Projects:

Final exam: 

Makeup exams/quizes will be oral unless the original exam date conflicts with a religious holiday or students have made alternative arrangement with the instructor.

Final grade: based on homework (25%), quizzes and participation (25%), one prelim (25%), one final project (25%).

Academic Integrity: Each student in this course is expected to abide by the Cornell University Code of Academic Integrity. You are allowed to discuss the subject and the homework problems with others. However, you should write up the homework by yourself and acknowledge all sources including a list of people you worked with. Moreover, only you will be held responsible for all the content you submit.

Socratic Teaching Method: Class participation is mandatory. Everyone is expected to participate in discussions relating to reading materials, homework, exams and lectures.

Guaranteed Recipe for Success:
1) Take notes during lecture and sections.
2) After each lecture but before the next lecture review your notes. Identify the parts you do not understand.
3) Come to each lecture and discussion section with specific questions.
4) Keep up with the reading so that you have some familiarity with each topic prior to hearing about it in the lecture
5) Find at least one "partner" in the class with whom you can meet at least once or twice a week to discuss materials from the lectures, the reading assignments and the homework.
6) Take the homework assignment seriously. Do not try to do the whole assignment the night before it is due. Some version of the homework questions will appear on the exams.