Physics 4C- Chabot College - Scott Hildreth

Fall 2017 Syllabus Section 1 (21522)

Monday/Wednesday Lecture 2:30 - 4:20 PM in 1806

 Friday Lab 1:30 - 4:20 PM in 1810

Homework - Calendar - Lectures - Mastering Physics

Mastering Physics class ID:  hildreth07695
REMIND free text messages:

or text 
@k798d4 to the number 81010

 Instructor: Scott Hildreth   email:
 Office: 2013  voice mail: (510) 723 - 7468

Office Hours:
Monday/Wednesday 10:00 - 11:00 AM 
Monday 5:30 - 6:30 PM (office or astro lab 1806)
 3:00 - 4:00 PM (planetarium or office)

I also might be in the physics lab (1810) on Fridays before class from ~11:30 - 1:00 PM. My complete office hours for the term are available online at my home page: You can also make an appointment to see me at another time that fits your schedule. If you ever come by and miss me, please leave a note with your name, phone number, and the best time to reach you, and I will call you back.

I will check email multiple times every day, and I recommend this as the best way to reach me! However, you MUST include a clear SUBJECT message in your email, and your name, to ensure that your email will not be treated as "SPAM" and automatically deleted. I check my voicemail messages, but not daily. If you have an urgent need, and cannot get to email, leave me a voicemail message but do not expect an answer back the same day.

About Physics 4C, General Physics: Waves, Sound, EM Radiation, Optics, Thermodynamics

This is the third course of a 3 or 4-semester sequence of physics courses with calculus, designed for students majoring in:

Students who take Physics 4 generally are planning to transfer to four-year schools. Many Chabot students have gone on with great success to California State University campuses at Hayward, San Jose, and San Francisco, as well as Cal Poly SLO, and University of California campuses at Berkeley and Davis, among other schools. Chabot College has "articulation agreements" with these schools, which guarantee that your successful completion of Physics 4C at Chabot will be deemed equivalent to the same course at those schools. Your units will transfer, and you can continue in their physics sequence or continue on to more advanced work.

Subject Prerequisites for the course include:

Required Materials

1. Primary Textbook

Young and Freeman 14th ed. cover imageUniversity Physics, Young & Freedman, 14th edition, Pearson. 

 You have several options for this book, including purchasing separate Volume 1 & Volume 2 copies, or the larger Combined Volume (ISBN 0-321-97361-5, suitable for Physics 4A, B, and C).  Both versions are available in the bookstore, or available online from the publisher.  But you will have to purchase the online Modified Mastering Physics system described below, no matter what option you select, or what edition you purchase.   The new copies in the bookstore are bundled with the required modified mastering code.  You can also purchase the book as a completely online edition (e-text), bundled with Modified Mastering Physics, for approx. $113.95, at Pearson's online Modified Mastering Physics site.


The 13th edition of the book is acceptable, although some of the homework problems in the back of the older book may be different than those assigned from the 14th edition.  Please note that since all homework is assigned through the online Modified Mastering Physics, the textbook should not necessarily be a factor.   


2. Required Online Homework & Tutorial System

This term, all of the Physics 4 classes will continue to use an advanced, online homework and tutorial system called **Modified** Mastering Physics. If you purchase a new textbook, it will come with an individual access code.  You can purchase the entire package online (0-13-422501-5).   If you purchase a used book, or use an earlier edition, you will still be required to participate in the homework assignments using Mastering Physics, and you can purchase your own access code online for $65.95 at the publisher's website (  ) or $113.95 with the e-book.  The code works for 2 years, and will allow you to continue in Physics 4C (or repeat 4B) without purchasing another code if the book stays the same. 

If you are not sure that you are ready for this class, or you are unsure that you'll be able to do the work with your schedule, you can use the modified Mastering Physics system temporarily for 2 weeks.  After that point, you'll need to finalize your purchase with a credit card.

Other Requirements for our course:

Calculator: Multi-function with trig, statistics, exponentials. Graphing capability is optional.

Internet:  You need not own a computer, but you must have access to a computer (on campus, at work, or at home) that can access the Internet to participate in this class. In addition to the publisher site, we have a Canvas shell for discussion, quizzes, tutorials, and homework/lab review.


Physics 4C includes ~4 hours of lecture/discussion/short homework quizzes each week on Mondays and Wednesdays, and 3 hours of laboratory/discussion each week on Friday afternoons.  You must attend the lecture/discussion sections and the laboratory each week; attendance will be taken and factored into your overall course grade as "participation" credit. If you do miss class, I expect you to login to our online course site on Canvas to respond to questions, post comments, and let me know you are still in our class. If you must miss a discussion or lab, you must notify me and attempt to make arrangements to do make-up work. Missing 4 consecutive hours or 6 hours overall without advance notice will be cause for withdrawal. 

Please note that lab activities are always done as teams, and work will be done in lab groups that depends upon your regular attendance and active participation.  Also, please note that coming late to lab will affect your grade, and coming more than 15 minutes late without prior notice will mean you may not be able to participate in the activity in progress.  In some cases, this may mean you will miss the entire lab, and will not have a chance to make it up.  In other cases, you'll miss the 1st part of the activity for that day, and will not have the opportunity to submit that work for credit.   Coming in late imposes a hardship on your lab teams, and unfairly burdens team members who have to catch you up on what has happened.  Please do your utmost to attend labs on time.


Homework (15%) & Homework Quizzes (10%): 25%

Labs, Research Paper, Group Work, & Class Participation: 25%

Exams (50% of grade)

There will be two midterm exams and one final exam in the class. The exams include both short answer essays and numerical problems. Check the course calendar for the tentative exam dates. Sample questions for the exams will be provided to help you prepare.


Homework & Homework Quizzes (25% of grade)

One of the most important factors for your success in Physics 4, and future success at a 4-year school, will be your ability to solve basic physics problems and demonstrate your understanding of key concepts. And the best training to help you learn how to solve problems and really wrestle with those concepts is through lots of homework!

Lab Sections & Lab Write-ups, Group Participation & Discussion (25% of grade)

Labs will give you a hands-on chance to investigate concepts. You will work in groups to set-up, perform, and analyze experiments, and submit a group (or individual) write-up according to our Chabot College Physics Department Laboratory Report Standards. Attendance is required, and typically there will not be opportunities to make-up missed lab exercises.

Current research in physics learning shows that active group discussion is the most important ingredient for student success. Each week we will work in groups to explore concepts and problem-solving techniques. Attendance is required, and your active participation will be factored into your overall course grade. We'll often use Mastering Physics for our group work, and everyone in the group will share one ID and the credit for the work done together in class as long as each member of the team is recorded in the tracking form provided in class (and submitted by the end of class) or after class in a email submitted to me for each problem.  If you miss a class, you can work on these problems yourself but remember that doing so individually will NOT translate to the same participation/achievement grade as doing them in class, with others. 

In all your interactions in our class, whether on-campus or on-line, you are expected to participate respectfully and collegially. Please refer to the Chabot College Catalog for general expectations of student conduct in our course.

Grades will be based on an approximate scale, with extra factors taken into consideration if you are close to grade "borders" (like improvement during the term, group participation, attendance, etc.), and with the condition that you must pass exams with at least 40% score to pass the class regardless of other work.

Turning in Material & Late Work Policies

You may submit work in class, during office hours, under my door, and by Canvas messages. Late work will not be accepted without advanced approval from me. Late lab reports will receive 50% credit at best. There is no opportunity to makeup homework quizzes or missed labs.

If you submit your work via email and attachments, it is your responsibility to ensure that any attachment is readable and properly formatted and virus-free. If I cannot read an attachment, I will reply to your email and request you resend your message with the text and answer in the body of the email message. I suggest standardizing on "Microsoft Word" as a default format. Make a print copy of your work as a backup.

Academic Integrity & Citations

I expect all work turned in to be original, and any research material for papers, labs, or extra credit, whether copied or paraphrased, must be cited to received proper credit. Be sure to use quotation marks, and note references. Copying material from the text or other sources without giving a reference is not acceptable. I want to know what you think, not what someone else thought! If you use the Internet to assist with assignments and extra credit, you must include the URL, the universal resource locator, that identifies the sources. Citation styles for all work should follow the IEEE style, available online.

In research papers and lab reports, all outside references should be numbered consecutively and citations of references in the text should be identified using numbers in square brackets (e.g., “as discussed by Smith [9]”; “as explained online  [9, 10]”). Those references should appear at the end of the paper in numerical order.  For the refernces, at a minimum, you must include the name of the author, the title of the webpage you access, the publishing institution or organization hosting the site, the URL, the publishing date or last updated, and the date you accessed the site.  Examples:

K. Ison. "High Speed Rail plans get backing from civil engineering body." Institution of Civil Engineers. Internet:   Jul. 22, 2011 [Jan. 15, 2014].

Lincoln Cardoso Brandão, Frederico Ozanan Neves, and Gregório Christo Nocelli, “Evaluation of Hole Quality in Hardened Steel with High-Speed Drilling Using Different Cooling Systems,” Advances in Mechanical Engineering, vol. 2011, Article ID 746535, 7 pages, 2011. doi:10.1155/2011/746535, Internet: [Aug. 5, 2011}.


Hints & Suggestions for Success!

  1. Create a study group. Working with others is a great way to check your understanding of the assignments and the concepts. In the first assignment, you will introduce yourself to the class, and learn about your classmates. Read what they say, and call or email 2 or 3 to say you are interested in forming a study group. You are free to set up and join multiple groups, but try at least one, and if that doesn't work, look for another.

  2. Model, Simulate, Reproduce, Experiment! Don't miss an opportunity to build mental AND physical models for problems and questions. Make sketches of what is happening (and label the pieces clearly.) Use blocks, wheels, pencils, erasers, paperclips, books -- whatever you have handy to create a physical analogy for problems. If a question asks about a battery and a light bulb, try to build it! (Your family and/or co-workers may think you a bit strange, but only until you show them your passing grades in the class! Then they'll be very impressed.) Building mental and physical models is one technique that every great physicist seems to have shared, from Archimedes to Galileo, from Newton to Einstein to Feynman.

  3. Involve friends & family. Sometimes the very best way to learn something is to TEACH others; in this class, you'll have lots of interesting questions about how the world works, and you should actively try those questions -- and your answers! -- on willing friends and family members. Tell them you really need their help! See if they understand a bit better after you have explained what happened. When you submit your homework solutions, actively comment on those posted by your classmates. Help them understand how you see the problem. Teach them what you know. Not only will they benefit, but you will too! You'll find you understand the problem much better, and occasionally by trying to explain what you think you know, you'll find you have to start completely over. But that's OK! You are learning, and that is the goal for this class.

  4. Set up a REGULAR time to do the work. College classes allow you more flexibility with your schedule, but they are also seductive in their ability to allow you to procrastinate. If you wait until 11 pm Tuesday to start the homework due Wednesday, I guarantee that you will have a very hard time! Be rigorous with yourself, and set up a schedule each week when you will read the book, start the homework, etc. The self-discipline you encourage is a skill even more useful than what you learn about physics! (Yes, I really mean that! So do employers looking for self-motivated, independent and hard-working folks.)

  5. Let me help! Call me, email me, stop by and leave a note if you can. Use the discussion sections, the discussion forum, whatever works for you. No one learns physics very well by picking up a textbook and just reading alone -- even the best scientists in the world have to check their understanding by bouncing their ideas off others, and asking for advice and help.

Online Resources:

1. Class websites 

This is the class website, with the syllabus, calendar, homework summary, and lecture outlines. This site also has a link to the following online discussion forum:

2. Class Text Message System (using free REMIND app)

Send/Receive text messages regarding this class using free, secure REMIND system. Messages sent are archived online and always visible on our calendar page!

3. Class Discussion Board using Canvas

This is our online classroom where you can post messages, review homework and practice exam answers, take quizzes, and see great simulation tools to help you learn Physics. Your Username and Password are pre-set if you have registered for the course.

3. Publisher Websites

This is the online portal to the Mastering Physics system for our textbook by Young & Freedman.  From here, create your own userid and password.  You'll need your personal access code only once, and from then on, can access the site with your userid and password.  I would suggest using the same userid and password as that for Canvas.
 Specific instructions on how to get going for our class are located online.

You will need our Mastering Physics class ID:

Within the Mastering Physics STUDENT STUDY AREA, the publisher has an excellent companion website for our book,  Be sure to check it out.

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Questions? Email me at

8/10/17 - SH