The primary expectation I have of you is that you will all work hard to learn physics. You are all presumed or probable physics majors or have opted to take this course instead of the far easier physics 5x ``equivalents'' as a free choice. I therefore expect that this ``hard work'' will, for you, be a form of ``hard play'' - you will be doing what you might well end up doing professionally for the rest of your life and if it isn't fun and exciting for you, you're probably making the wrong choice of major. Hard work leads to great rewards in anything you put your hand and mind to, and I don't just mean in physics.
Note that I do not mean that you should necessarily do well on everything you try - physics is difficult and may take you years to conceptually absorb. I've had students get C-'s in this sequence from me who went on to be happy and fulfilled physics majors. I just mean that even when you can't or don't get a problem, trying to solve it and puzzling over the answer should be a satisfying activity for you rather than an annoying and distracting chore.
This course is extremely problem-oriented. One truly learns physics by learning how to think of and solve physics problems. The problems assigned are carefully selected to both illustrate important principles and to make you analyze and develop complex, multistep solutions that require conceptual insight and guidance. You will not be expected to do this often difficult work in a vaccuum - the course is carefully designed so that every student should be able to get 100% of their homework (at least) perfectly correct.
The following describes the structure of the class and what you should do to take maximum advantage of it.
Lecture will have three main aspects (in no particular order):
Recitation will have three phases: